Latest Blog Posts

<p>Ke$ha pledges allegiance to the freak flag</p>

Ke$ha pledges allegiance to the freak flag

Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Ke$ha's 'Come On' arrives with a 'Die Young' rap remix

Wiz Khalifa, Simon Cowell favorite Becky G and Juicy J dig in

Ke$ha's trying to corner the current market on low-brow pop tartalage, having started with party anthem "Tik Tok" and bringing her up to Hooters and Budweiser name-checking on "Come On," released today. Even as single "Die Young" continues to ascend toward the top of the Hot 100, her label is obviously eager to get more of a party going by time her new album "Warrior" drops on Nov. 30.

Stopping here: If there's anything to be learned from Morrissey is that if you're only going to sing three or four notes ever, you'd better sing them well -- or at least make them yours. "Come On" may be one of the least imaginative melodies to come from Ke$ha's camp (camp being operative), sung by a still-rising pop star who I think has traditionally good instincts for a hook. But of the four notes that she really sings, she makes them all her own.

Despite her marketing efforts to align her with Hollywood trash, I like to think of Ke$ha's voice as the Midwestern accent of the singing world. It's all hard consonants and dipthongs, and the over-emphasis on mispronounced words like your mom saying she's going to get her herr done. The "yum" lyrics in "Come On" nod heavily at Salt-N-Pepa's "Shoop," as generic "carpe diem" all-nighter messaging hits on par with Katy Perry's "T.G.I.F." It's all pretty safe stuff from a self-sworn member of the Illuminati (go watch "Die Young's" video).

If you want more hard edges from "Die Young," Dr. Luke has just released a remix of that track with rap cameos from Juicy J, Becky G and Wiz Khalifa. Check that below, too.

Read Full Post
<p>Zoe Saldana</p>

Zoe Saldana

Credit: AP Photo

Zoe Saldana and Anna Kendrick to present 28th Spirit Award nominees

Rapper-actor Common will also be announcing

Zoe Saldana, Anna Kendrick and rapper-actor Common will present the 2013 Film Independent  Spirit Award nominees.

The three presenters will unveil the nominees in a press conference at 10:00 am PT on Tuesday, November 27 at The W Hollywood.

Co-Presidents Sean McManus and Josh Welsh jointly made the announcement today.

Read Full Post
<p>My new book, &quot;The Revolution Was Televised,&quot;&nbsp;is now available in print as well as for several eReaders.</p>

My new book, "The Revolution Was Televised," is now available in print as well as for several eReaders.

'The Revolution Was Televised' is on sale now!

A look back at TV dramas from 'Sopranos' through 'Breaking Bad' is now out in paperback

Last week, I told you all about my new book, "The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever," and said that it would go on sale around the week of Thanksgiving. As it turns out, the Kindle and Nook editions of the book were released much earlier than expected, while the paperback has come out slightly ahead of schedule today. (Other digital editions, for the iBookstore, Sony Reader, Kobo, etc., should be coming at some point in the next few weeks. The distributor I use for those sites works on a different schedule from everyone else. But if you want to read it on an iPad or iPhone, the Kindle app is really good, and is what I use for eBooks.)

Read Full Post
Oscar Talk: Ep. 96 -- Thanksgiving on the way, 'Anna Karenina' and 'Silver Linings' open

Oscar Talk: Ep. 96 -- Thanksgiving on the way, 'Anna Karenina' and 'Silver Linings' open

Also: Surveying Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Welcome to Oscar Talk.

In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.

Read Full Post
<p>Tracy Morgan and Alec Baldwin in &quot;30 Rock.&quot;</p>

Tracy Morgan and Alec Baldwin in "30 Rock."

Credit: NBC

Review: '30 Rock' - 'Aunt Phatso vs. Jack Donaghy'

Tracy models a movie character after Jack, while Hazel takes advantage of Liz

A quick review of last night's "30 Rock" coming up just as soon as I say "guards, seize him!" at a Knicks game...

Read Full Post
<p>Helen Hunt in &quot;The Sessions.&quot;</p>

Helen Hunt in "The Sessions."

Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Roundup: Helen Hunt to receive Spotlight Award at Palm Springs fest

Also: American Cinematheque honors Ben Stiller, and celebrating 'Argo' attire

With Best Supporting Actress still the least defined of this year's four acting races, Helen Hunt currently seems as likely a frontrunner as anyone for her work in "The Sessions": partly because she's excellent in a well-liked film, and partly because, as Jennifer Hudson can attest, it doesn't hurt to be nominated in supporting for a lead role. Hunt's trophy trail began yesterday with the announcement that she is to receive the Spotlight Award at January's Palm Springs International Film Festival. It's an honor that has previously alighted on Jessica Chastain and Amy Adams en route to an Oscar nod, and while seemingly small, it's a well-timed opportunity for some California-based exposure and gladhanding as the race heats up. Everything counts. [Thompson on Hollywood

Read Full Post
Darren Criss and Vanessa Lengies on 'Glee'

Here's two people I like on "Glee": Darren Criss and Vanessa Lengies

Credit: Fox

'Glee' recap: 'Glease' is not a word

'That's unfortunate, but it doesn't really have anything to do with us.'

How low has "Glee" sunk? They're writing their own reviews.

"Three words: 'Grease.' McKinley. Bravo," raved some idiot from the McKinley High newspaper.

I've got two words for that: Yeah, right.

Read Full Post
<p>I have no idea what's going on here, but it sounds like I'll learn all about 'Secret Service' in the very near future.</p>

I have no idea what's going on here, but it sounds like I'll learn all about 'Secret Service' in the very near future.

Credit: ICON

Mark Millar promises a new 'Secret Service' film 'every two or three years'

Twitter's become a bullhorn for the busy comic mogul

Mark Millar seems to have hit a groove right now that is sort of amazing to watch unfold.  For a long time, he was the guy with a lot of development deals, the guy whose work was sort of inching its way towards the big screen, and then that Russian madman and Hollywood vets Brandt and Haas figured out how to pull off "Wanted," and Matthew Vaughn sort of lost his mind for "Kick-Ass" and pushed it through before anyone realized what was going on, and suddenly everything's coming up roses.

His recently announced deal with Fox where he's consulting with them on their Marvel titles is a great gig, and we'll see how much they follow his lead.  We'll see if they can pull off something fun with their next wave of movies, and if they finally get to do something of the crazier stuff they have the rights to do, like that "Deadpool" movie.  I have no idea what his plans are, and that's a good thing.  I know that the creative team on "Fantastic Four" is amazing (Josh Trank direting and Jeremy Slater writing) and that "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" sounds like a promising direction for the series with Singer returning for the first time since "X-Men 2."  That's actually sort of a huge deal based on how badly that relationship ended when he left to do "Superman Returns," and I'm curious to see if we see Sentinels right away at the start of the film as the giant extended middle finger to Rothman on his way out the door.

Read Full Post
'Breaking Dawn' director Bill Condon talks changes from Stephenie Meyer's book

'Breaking Dawn' director Bill Condon talks changes from Stephenie Meyer's book

Helmer also says how his stars are different from their public images
I suppose it was my fault, but my interview with "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" director Bill Condon involved more discussion of "Dreamgirls" than I might have expected.
 
The thing that most "Twilight" fans probably don't realize is that Condon previously stared down a rabidly devoted fanbase when he adapted that beloved musical, steering Jennifer Hudson to Oscar gold. But don't worry, Condon is quick to note that "Twilight" fans are the more passionate lot. 
 
In our conversation, Condon discusses his confidence that those fans will enjoy The Scene We Can't Discuss from "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," the scene that isn't exactly in Stephenie Meyer's book and that's sure to cause plenty of rumbling (positively and, perhaps, negatively). 
 
He also talks about his three stars and how they differ from their public image, or at least how two of them differ. Which one lines up with their reputation? You'll have to watch the full interview.
 
This is the last of my "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" video interviews. I've already posted my "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" interviews with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner and Elizabeth Reaser & Nikki Reed and Kellan Lutz & Jackson Rathbone and Michael Sheen.

I still have a long written Q&A with writer Melissa Rosenberg to post tomorrow. 

Assuming it's midnight wherever you are, the film is now in theaters.

 

Read Full Post
"Project Runway All Stars"

 "Project Runway All Stars"

Credit: Lifetime

'Project Runway' recap: 'Made in the USA Today'

They need to create headlines, but one gets a career obit

We kick things off the way we always do -- with a useless introduction from the host. Carolyn Murphy imitates Heidi Klum, but without the German accent that makes the bitchy attitude oddly endearing. Carolyn tells the designers it's time for the first fan interactive challenge! Which Joanna Coles will explain! In the workroom! Do we really have to stick with this stupid structure? Come on, Lifetime, this show is only an hour! And those poor designers have to go to two locations for no stinking reason!

Read Full Post
<p>Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, John Cleese and Michael Palin all appear through the magic of animation in 'A Liar's Autobiography'</p>

Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, John Cleese and Michael Palin all appear through the magic of animation in 'A Liar's Autobiography'

Credit: Brainstorm Media

Review: 'A Liar's Autobiography' is a disappointing look at Graham Chapman's life

Even with Chapman speaking for himself, the film just doesn't work

When I discovered Monty Python, I fell head over heels for them as soon as I saw them.  It wasn't a case of gradually getting interested in their work.  There are plenty of things that required repeat exposure before I formed a full opinion, but not with Python.  I was in fifth grade, and a friend named Craig Carver had me over to his house one afternoon.  He told me he had a movie to show me that would blow my mind, and in this particular case, he was right.  "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" felt to me like something I had been waiting for my whole life, a secret language that I spoke as soon as I heard it.

I quickly found myself obsessed with them, watching "Flying Circus" anytime it aired, tracking down their other movies.  When "Monty Python's The Meaning Of Life" came out, I talked my way into seeing it in the theater three different times, delighted each time to see the horror that washed over everyone when they reached the Mr. Creosote sequence.  I bought the records they put out ("Matching Tie and Handkerchief" was a particular favorite) and I memorized all of it.

Read Full Post
"The Vampire Diaries"

 "The Vampire Diaries"

Credit: The CW

'The Vampire Diaries' recap: 'We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes'

Hallucinations aren't the worst of Elena's problems

Well, I've got to hand it to "The Vampire Diaries." Just when you think you know where the show is going, it throws you a bloody, bitten curve ball. Sometimes that's a good thing, and sometimes it's just depressing and sad. I'm not sure exactly how I feel about the latest one, or whether it belongs in the former category or the latter one, but I think we can all agree it's a doozy. 

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME