Latest Blog Posts

<p>Sheila Vand in &quot;Argo.&quot;</p>

Sheila Vand in "Argo."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Roundup: On the humbler supporting stars of 2012

Also: Guessing the win tally for 'Argo,' and trailer trickery

One of the reasons I get more bothered than some over the admittedly nebulous issue of so-called category fraud is that for every Christoph Waltz or Helen Hunt who gets slotted into the supporting race for a major role, it's harder for lesser-known actors who stand out in far smaller parts to get the recognition they deserve. If Hunt is supporting in "The Sessions," for example, then what is the superb Moon Bloodgood? So I'm glad Lisa Rosen has written this LA Times piece celebrating a number of uncelebrated faces from assorted awards contenders, including Bloodgood, Sheila Vand in "Argo" (not included in SAG's ensemble listing, by the way) and Gina Montana in "Beasts of the Southern Wild." I'd add Jesse Plemons in "The Master" and Corinne Masiero in "Rust and Bone," among others. What lesser-spotted supporting stars stood out to you? [LA Times]   

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<p>Alfred Molina in &quot;Monday Mornings.&quot;</p>

Alfred Molina in "Monday Mornings."

Credit: TNT

Review: TNT's 'Monday Mornings's offers a refreshingly restrained David E. Kelley

'Harry's Law' creator dials back his usual quirks for new hospital drama
When you’re blessed with more natural talent in your chosen field than all but a handful of human beings in history, it’s easy to get bored and start goofing around. You see it with athletes all the time. Sometimes, they’ve already established their Hall of Fame bonafides by the time they start doing weird things, like that season when Wilt Chamberlain decided he was going to lead the league in assists (and did), just to prove he could, or when Michael Jordan quit the NBA to chase after curve balls in the baseball minors for two years.
 
A lot of the time, though, you’ll see a player decide that it’s all coming so easy to them that they don’t have to work as hard at the fundamentals, and that people would rather see something flashy than something effective. Everyone said Vince Carter had the tools to be the next Jordan, and Carter could dunk with anyone, but he never had Jordan’s focus, and never became as great as we thought he could be.
 
This isn’t limited to sports, of course. Many of the best writers in TV history have had trouble getting out of their own way, whether it’s David Milch disappearing down a metaphysical rabbit hole on “John From Cincinnati” or Aaron Sorkin writing women on “The Newsroom.”
 
But in terms of a disappointing Vince Carter-esque talent-to-production ratio, the champ may be David E. Kelley, whose new TNT medical drama “Monday Mornings” debuts tonight at 10.
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<p>I have nothing to add to this image that would make it any better than it already is.</p>

I have nothing to add to this image that would make it any better than it already is.

Credit: MGM/UA Home Entertainment

'Thunderbirds Are Go!' for ITV Studios and Weta Workshops

Who's the audience for this latest revival of the '60s cult oddity?

"In today's news, NOSTALGIC PROPERTY has been BOUGHT/GREENLIT/DEVELOPED by SOMEONE I GENERALLY LIKE and will now be made again."

I should keep that open in a document at all times on my laptop, because I write that story about 250 times a year these days.  Today, it is the Thunderbirds, a property that is familiar to 100% nobody under the age of 20, and Weta is the hook that's got everyone writing about it.  I am sure dozens of you could immediately comment under this story about the rich and interesting history of "Thunderbirds," and you can defend it both as commercial gamble and creative foundation.  I'm not saying otherwise.

I'm saying that at this point, planting a flag in another thing that occupies a certain percentage of pop culture real estate is par for the course.  I just recorded a podcast with Scott Swan where we talk about, among other things, yesterday's Super Bowl movie commercials, and he made a good point about "The Lone Ranger."  If this version doesn't work, it is safe to say that no one will ever make a "Lone Ranger" property again, because at this point, it's had so many chances to re-establish its place in pop culture, and the last feature film was a disaster, and this one is crazy expensive and had the biggest commercial pedigree possible and the most aggressive marketing team in the business selling it and it HAS to work.  So if it doesn't, I think it's scientifically safe to say it never will.

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<p>Will we see Hulk fighting for his life on an alien planet in Marvel's Phase Three?&nbsp; That's the rumor tonight.</p>

Will we see Hulk fighting for his life on an alien planet in Marvel's Phase Three?  That's the rumor tonight.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Sounds like Marvel plans to keep The Hulk busy for the next few years

Have we learned the role the Hulk will play in Phase Two and Phase Three?

There is a very short list of reporters online who consistently and correctly scoop information that is supposed to be secret.  I'm not talking about breaking a casting story because the studio sent you the press release ten minutes early, and I'm not talking about the shell game that gets played with information at the trades.  I'm talking about genuinely revealing something that someone else does not want revealed at all.  It is a skill set that very few outlets seem to value or cultivate.

Then you've got Latino Review and El Mayimbe, who evidently subsists entirely on a liquid diet of the tears from angry studio executives.  Mayimbe cracks me up because of how alpha male he gets about scoops.  When you're hunting down information on movies about dudes in spandex beating all hell out of other dudes in spandex, it seems to be a particularly funny time to get aggro about what it is you're doing.  And that's what makes Mayimbe great.

It also helps that he's got a pretty ridiculous track record.

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"Downton Abbey"

 "Downton Abbey"

Credit: PBS

'Downton Abbey' recap: Season 3, Episode 5

The family struggles to return to normal after a painful loss

As you might expect after last week's episode (and if you haven't watched last week's episode, come on, just catch up already; you're killing me here), all is not swell at Downton Abbey and likely won't be for quite a while. Though life has returned to some semblance of normalcy at the great estate, things have changed -- and are going to keep changing. If there's any theme this season, it's that as much as Robert (and, to the extent that he represents old guard money) wants to hold on to the past, change has come to Downton and there's nothing anyone can do to stop it. 

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<p>Beyonce performs during the Super Bowl halftime show.</p>

Beyonce performs during the Super Bowl halftime show.

Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Review: Beyonce delivers a sexy, if rushed, Super Bowl half-time show

Destiny's Child reunion less than a thrill

In a Super Bowl half-time performance that was as frenetic as it was fierce, Beyonce delivered a sexy segment that was part Victoria’s Secret fashion show, part tutorial on how to dazzle an audience. From the first moment, she was in the zone—a no-boy zone — with her all-female band and all-female back-up dancers.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Super Bowl XLVII!!!!</p>

Super Bowl XLVII!!!!

Credit: AP

Super Bowl XLVII Live-Blog - The commercials, the trailers and maybe some football

Forget the 49ers and Ravens, follow the game beyond the game

Welcome to HitFix's Super Bowl XLVII live-blog. 

Unlike last year, when I grew increasingly tense and frustrated at the Patriots' inability to put the Giants away (and ensuing defeat), I don't have an extreme rooting interest in Sunday's (Feb. 3) Big Game. I was born in the Bay Area and half-rooted for the 49ers growing up (half-rooting for the Saints as well), so that's where I'm rooting tonight. But I won't get worked up either way.

So click through and follow my full Super Bowl live-blog, which will mostly ignore the football and concentrate on the big commercials and trailers and whatnot.

Weight in and critique the advertisements!

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<p>Sean and Leigh&nbsp;Anne Tuohy in&nbsp;New Orleans for today's big game</p>

Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy in New Orleans for today's big game

Credit: AP Photo

Sandra Bullock to attend Super Bowl with 'Blind Side' family

Go Ravens

Believe it or not, there's a bit of an Oscar angle to today's big game. This year's Super Bowl pits the San Francisco 49ers against the Baltimore Ravens, and on the offensive line of the latter, defending Joe Flacco's blind side throughout the game, will be Michael Oher, subject of the 2009 Oscar-winning film "The Blind Side."

The film came on strong at the end of the year that season, crossing $250 million at the domestic box office and landing a surprising Best Picture nomination in the first year that allowed 10 nominees. It also quickly became Sandra Bullock's victory march as the actress charged on through Oscar night to the Best Actress prize for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy, the Memphis socialite who took Oher in when he had nowhere to turn.

The Tuohys, of course, will be attending the big game in New Orleans this year. Not only that, but Bullock, who has kept in touch with the family ever since her experience working on the film, will be there as well, rooting for the purple and black.

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<p>Ben Affleck at the 65th annual&nbsp;DGA&nbsp;Awards</p>

Ben Affleck at the 65th annual DGA Awards

Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Ben Affleck, Lena Dunham, Rian Johnson win Directors Guild awards

'Argo' keeps on keepin' on

Check off one more box on the "Argo" industry tour of awards season goodies. The Directors Guild of America (DGA) has crowned Ben Affleck with the award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film, this just a week removed from big wins from the Producers and Screen Actors Guilds. Is it really clear sailing to a Best Picture win at the Oscars from here? Or will the fact that Academy members won't even have ballots in hand until Friday mean there's too much time for "them" to second guess the guild circuit?

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Jason Isaacs talks 'Sweetwater,' Lucius Malfoy and returning to TV

Jason Isaacs talks 'Sweetwater,' Lucius Malfoy and returning to TV

Sundance interview includes much discussion of sympathetic villains
PARK CITY, UTAH - Jason Isaacs is an extremely nice guy who makes an extremely evil guy when circumstances require.
 
The "Awake" and "Brotherhood" star was battling a near-total vocal outage when we talked at last month's Sundance Film Festival, but he fought through the hoarseness to discuss his dark turn in "Sweetwater."
 
In the Miller Brothers' not-exactly-Western, Isaacs plays self-appointed prophet Josiah, who rules a small frontier fiefdom with the alleged word of God and an iron fist. A man of faith, Josiah is also heavily invested in worldly goods, including land, multiple wives and a band new mahogany desk from British Honduras. This all causes him to run afoul of the initially passive, but increasingly vengeful, Sarah (January Jones).
 
Josiah is not a good guy, but to hear Isaacs describe him, he's not exactly a bad guy either. Then again, Isaacs has a deep and abiding sympathy for Lucious Malfoy, the dastardly Death Eater he played in the Harry Potter franchise.
 
In our Sundance conversation, Isaacs discusses the fine art of playing villains without thinking of them as villains. He also talks about his love for Apple products and -- this will be exciting for fans of the short-lived "Awake" -- his desire to get back into TV this year. In fact, he says he's weighing several TV offers. 
 
Check out the full interview above...
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<p>&quot;Life of Pi,&quot;&nbsp;winner for fantasy film</p>

"Life of Pi," winner for fantasy film

Credit: 20th Century Fox

'Anna Karenina,' 'Life of Pi' and 'Skyfall' win at the 17th annual Art Directors Guild Awards

'Anna' would appear to still be the Oscar favorite -- or is it?

The 17th annual Art Directors Guild awards were also held this evening. On the film side, as always, awards were given in three categories: period, fantasy and contemporary. Check out the nominees here.

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<p>Beyonce</p>

Beyonce

Credit: Morry Gash/AP

Music Power Rankings: Beyonce and Justin Bieber make the list

Why are Kelly Clarkson and Barbra Streisand in the top 5?

1. Beyonce: “...Any questions?”

2. Justin Bieber: He’s headed for his fifth No. 1 album next week with “Believe Acoustic,”  making him only the 10th artist to have a No. 1 album in four consecutive years.

3. Kelly Clarkson: She leads Forbes’ list of top-earning “American Idol” alumni with $8 million. While that’s about $7,950,000 than the average person makes, that still seems low to us.

4. Gary Allan: After making albums for 17 years, the country singer finally lands one atop the Billboard 200 albums chart. Still, he’s got nothing on Tony Bennett who was 83 by the time he landed his first No. 1 album.

5. Barbra Streisand: Babs will perform at the Oscars, marking her first appearance at the show in 36 years. Hello and welcome back, gorgeous.

6. Justin Timberlake:
He brings sexyback to the Grammys with his first television appearance to support his new album, “The 20/20 Experience.” 

7. Miley Cyrus:
She leaves Disney far behind and signs with RCA. “Party In The USA, Parts 2-5” coming soon.

8. Chris Brown: He brawls with Frank Ocean in a studio parking lot and then compares himself to Jesus on the cross. I must have missed The Gospel According to Chris in the Bible.

9. The Eagles:
They sign with Capitol Records. We’ll see how high they fly again, especially on the wings of their new documentary, “A History of The Eagles.”

10. Alicia Keys: She’s named global creative director for BlackBerry. Do you think she thought they said Burberry?
 

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