Latest Blog Posts

<p>Olivia Wilde</p>

Olivia Wilde

Credit: AP Photo

Olivia Wilde talks about nudity in 'Drinking Buddies': Consent in Hollywood

A short discussion on 'We Saw Your Boobs' and giving actresses credit

AUSTIN – When Olivia Wilde stripped her clothes off in front of Jake Johnson in “Drinking Buddies,” you could hear an audible gasp in the Paramount theater during the film’s premiere at South By Southwest.

Wilde and Johnson play Kate and Luke, friends and coworkers, who in this scene are out on a weekend trip to a cabin. Both have brought their significant others on the vacation, but then the “drinking buddies” find themselves deliciously alone on a beach. As is their wont, they flirt heavily, and late into their night of boozing and teetering on the edge of hooking up, Kate starts taking off her clothes and heads toward the water, urging Luke to skinny dip with her.
 
The fact that the viewing audience reacted as they did in that moment exposed a visceral reaction to the quandary, the acting, and to Wilde’s bare skin. (Notably, Johnson’s Luke doesn’t follow suit.)
 
Many of Joe Swanberg’s films have included nudity – male and female – and writers before have criticized the filmmaker of using nudity as exploitative, or as an easy way to shock audiences into conveying emotional nakedness.
 
In an interview after the premiere, however, Wilde said it’d serve the audience well to trust actors in their decisions for nude and sex scenes because, for example, getting nude for “Drinking Buddies” was all her idea. There was no script for the film, only Swanberg as its captain, and Wilde told her director she wanted to skinny dip because “it felt so incredibly organic to that moment.”
 
“I didn’t feel conflicted. That is the magic moment [Kate’s] been waiting for, where she is offering herself, quite literally, to [Luke]. She’s being so inappropriate, and she knows it,” Wilde told me. “And if Joe had said it’s too inappropriate, like ‘If you’re nude it’d be too jarring,’ I would have fought for it.”
Read Full Post
<p>Yeah Yeah Yeah's Karen O at SXSW</p>

Yeah Yeah Yeah's Karen O at SXSW

Watch: Yeah Yeah Yeahs amaze with new album title track 'Mosquito' at SXSW

Watch the whole show, while you're at it

AUSTIN -- As you'd suspect, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs rolled out some new tunes at the South By Southwest music conference during their concert at Stubb's last night, what with their fresh album due April 16.

So they came out swatting, with the title track to the new effort, "Mosquito." Now, this song had previously made its way online from another live show this month. However, it's important to note how energetic its performance is here, how batty and aggro Karen O gets, like Siouxie and Electric 6 cramming their best ideas together.

Now imagine that going the whole show. Because it did.

The evidence is in the video below, which capturers the 55-minute show. To skip the pre-show banter from the NPR folks, fast-forward to about the 6-minute mark.

But also don't miss the performance of two brand new songs, debuts of "Subway" and "Under the Earth," which make me think that "Mosquito" may not be a slighter or leaner album, but proves the band has an expert touch on their more off-the-hinge moments, feeling more playful around their song structures. "Sacrilege" -- their current single -- features a gospel choir on tape, but that crescendo was tracked at the show, which is too bad. The choir could've been the audience, who seemed fairly well-acquainted with the track already.

Read Full Post
"Snooki & JWOWW"

 "Snooki & JWOWW"

Credit: MTV

Watch: Snooki, JWOWW, Roger and Jionni chug breast milk shots

Snooki says shots of breast milk are the only shots she's had

Well, we knew Snooki giving birth would change everything, and this clip from Tuesday's episode of "Snooki & JWOWW" (airing at 10 p.m.) is just further proof of it. Instead of hitting a club, forgetting her underwear, and staggering home, Snooki instead curls up on the sofa with her friend JWOWW and their significant others Jionni and Roger. Yes, they do shots, but not of booze -- of breast milk. It's not high tea or anything, but it's quite a bit calmer than their pre-baby antics, isn't it?

Read Full Post
"Funeral Boss"

 "Funeral Boss"

Credit: Discovery Fit & Health

Exclusive: 'Funeral Boss' premiere sees dead people

Warning: This may be disturbing to some viewers

It turns out that every tiny niche of daily existence from the cradle to the grave has been plumbed for the purposes of creating reality TV. To make that case, Discovery Fit & Health has created "Funeral Boss," a series about life (and death) at a mortuary premiering tonight at 10 p.m. As this show isn't for everyone, this exclusive clip may not be, either, so consider yourself warned. 

Read Full Post
"The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

 "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"

Credit: Bravo

Listen: CulturePop Podcast No. 5 - 'The Bachelor,' 'Burt Wonderstone,' Natalie Maines

We weigh in on the 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' casting process, too

Welcome to the latest installment of CulturePop! We had a lot to talk about this week, including David Bowie's new album, some reality TV faves and "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," and the rundown is posted below. We hope you'll listen!

Read Full Post
<p>Robson Green will join &quot;Strike Back&quot;&nbsp;stars Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton in the new season.</p>

Robson Green will join "Strike Back" stars Philip Winchester and Sullivan Stapleton in the new season.

Credit: Cinemax

Cinemax's 'Strike Back' adds cast for new season

Dougray Scott and Robson Green will team up with returnees Philip Winchester, Sullivan Stapleton and Rhona Mitra

The "Strike Back" roster is going to be at maximum strength for next season, as the Cinemax action drama(*) has announced that all of its leads from the end of last season — Philip Winchester, Sullivan Stapleton and Rhona Mitra — will be back (along with supporting players Michlle Lukes and Liam Garrigan), and joined by newcomers Robson Green, Dougray Scott and Milauna Jackson.

Read Full Post
<p>Toks Olagundoye and Simon Templeman sing and dance in &quot;The Neighbors.&quot;</p>

Toks Olagundoye and Simon Templeman sing and dance in "The Neighbors."

Credit: ABC

Review: 'The Neighbors' - 'Sing Like a Larry Bird'

A musical episode shows how far the ABC comedy has come from its humble beginnings

When "The Neighbors" premiered back in the fall, I found the pilot so disheartening that I ultimately didn't even review it, choosing to devote my limited time in premiere week to shows I either liked or that at least had the potential for growth. I didn't see any in a show that leaned so heavily on gags like naming all the aliens after famous athletes.

I watched another couple of episodes (the shopping mall trip and Halloween) later in the fall, each of which showed signs of becoming something I wouldn't hate, and I made a mental note to come back later in the season to see what "The Neighbors" had become.

And with the musical-themed "Sing Like a Larry Bird," it looks like I picked a very good week to check back in. This wasn't a "good by 'Neighbors' standards" sitcom episode. This was a good sitcom episode, no other qualifiers needed.

Read Full Post
<p>Yeah, that's still awesome.</p>

Yeah, that's still awesome.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Will Steven Spielberg return to the franchise to direct 'Jurassic Park 4'?

If Universal wants the series to be an event again, the choice seems clear

I've heard some exciting things about the "Jurassic Park 3D" release that's coming in a few weeks, and I am looking forward to taking both Toshi and Allen to see the film on an IMAX screen in 3D. They're excited, and they've been talking about it since the release was first announced.

As we covered in Film Nerd 2.0, they saw the film on Blu-ray, and while it was definitely a formatively scary experience for them both, it's one that we had as a family, and at home, and they enjoyed it. They've seen the film many times since then, and they love the dinosaurs now. They love the scary scenes. They know most of them beat for beat.

Seeing the first "Jurassic Park" in the theater in 1993 was a huge cultural moment, and I really studied the way the screenings worked as I went back over and over. The T-rex attack in the middle of the film played like virtual reality. When it started, some tiny little part of the ancient animal brain inside each of us remembered that stark, existential fear that comes from being prey. Right now, we are not used to, as a species, being hunted and eaten. It is uncommon for us. We are the top of the food chain, a hard won placement that we've maintained for a long time now.

Read Full Post
<p>This is as good as things get, and they don't ever get this good again in the brilliant and angry 'Cheap Thrills'</p>

This is as good as things get, and they don't ever get this good again in the brilliant and angry 'Cheap Thrills'

Credit: Drafthouse Films/Snoot Entertainment

Review: 'Cheap Thrills' is a black-comedy masterpiece about the way we live today

A pitch-perfect cast makes this one hurt

AUSTIN - The biggest acquisition story out of this year's SXSW festival so far came when Drafthouse Films picked up "Cheap Thrills," and now that I've seen the film, I can vouch that it is money well-spent.

Drafthouse Films has demonstrated eclectic taste in what they will or won't pick up so far, and any company that will release "Miami Connection" and "Bullhead" and give both the same amount of attention and support is a company that intrigues me. This summer, they're releasing "The Act Of Killing," a documentary that made my top ten list last year after I saw it at the Toronto Film Festival, and while I think that's an incredibly important release, and a film that I want people to see, a documentary about an Indonesian genocide is not the easiest sell of all time. I recognize that they're taking a big chance with that film, and I respect that they're willing to do it. Any distributor who wants to stay in business has to play the commercial game as well, and "Cheap Thrills" is the sort of pick-up that I can get behind critically, but that has a real shot at being a commercial title for them as well, and that is exciting.

Read Full Post
<p>Brandon Hantz of &quot;Survivor: Caramoan&quot;</p>

Brandon Hantz of "Survivor: Caramoan"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: Caramoan' - 'Persona Non Grata'

Everything goes to hell
Pre-credit sequence. The Fans return to camp. Laura is gone and Shamar is gone and Matt thinks this will be a turning point. "The game got simplified," Reynold says. Sherri is emotional at losing Laura, who reminded her of her daughter. "It was a point of division," says Reynold, claiming that he's glad he doesn't have his Idol anymore. "I hope you don't think I was taking jabs at you guys and your alliance," Reynold tells the rest of the tribe, but Matt and Mike know that there's another Idol out there and Reynold could find it again and be a threat again. Or something. As we know from CBS' relentlessly spoiler-y promotion, all of this stuff with the Fans is going to be totally irrelevant. 
 
Read Full Post
<p>Justin Timberlake</p>

Justin Timberlake

Credit: Patrick Seeger/AP

Justin Timberlake takes over the CW on March 19

Enjoy the latest performances from 'Timberweek' on 'Jimmy Fallon'

Justin Timberlake took over NBC this week with last Saturday’s guest hosting of “Saturday Night Live” and his 5-night stand on “Late Night WIth  Jimmy Fallon.”

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
Justin Timberlake's top 10 singles: 2001-2013

Justin Timberlake's top 10 singles: 2001-2013

Do you agree with our selections?

As Justin Timberlake’s new solo album, “The 20/20 Experience” prepares to land in stores March 19, we take a look back at his best singles over the course of his career, whether as a solo artist, a member of ‘N Sync or as a featured artist.  These are based on our preference, not the song's chart rank. Regardless of whether you agree with our selections, there’s no denying that Timberlake brings something special to every song to which he lends his glorious falsetto and undeniable style...even if he isn't wearing a suit and tie.
 

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME