Latest Blog Posts

Listen: Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne combine again for 'High School'

Listen: Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne combine again for 'High School'

Watch the rap-pop star's 'American Idol' promo and her fragrance commercial

Nicki MInaj and Lil Wayne don't use the term "High School" like Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa did for their grass-loving film, but instead use it as a touchstone for maturity. No, this ain't like high school, Minaj declares on her new track "High School," right before laying out a detailed narrative in her rap verse then launching into sexy-time talk. She's still finding that nice balance of pop and rap, of flirtation and provocation, and her words reflect that.

Lil Wayne's turn on "High School," on the other hand, doesn't show much progression. Did you know Lil Wayne likes oral sex? Oh, then spoiler alert.

I finally got around to watching "Nicki Minaj: My Truth," the star's E! feature, last night. In "Part 2," Tunechi shows to the studio for his verse on this track, and apparently takes eight hours to dole this one out. The show is a good reminder of just how many handlers entertainers need (or feel like they need) but also just how the "creative" process works when there's only a day of available time. What I'm trying to say is, Wayne could do better than this, but this is what we got, perhapsbecause he only had one day to do it.

Minaj has promised more rap that her pop persona on the deluxe reissue of "Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded - The Re-Up." "High School" is just one of the five new songs, and between that, excellent "The Boys," there's some improvement. She's busily promoting the Nov. 19 arrival of "The Re-Up" re-release, plus her forthcoming season of "American Idol" as a new host and launching her first fragrance. I'll give you three guesses as to what her perfume is named, but you'll only need on.

Promotions for each below.

Read Full Post
<p>Lily Collins either needs to wash her hand or she's part of a long tradition of magical super-beings in 'The Mortal Instruments,' and I'm not sure which.</p>

Lily Collins either needs to wash her hand or she's part of a long tradition of magical super-beings in 'The Mortal Instruments,' and I'm not sure which.

Credit: Screen Gems

Young adult sensation 'The Mortal Instruments' gets a trailer

Can Lily Collins and Harald Zwart make this the new 'Twilight'?

I have not read "The Mortal Instruments," mainly because there are only so many hours in the day and there are now roughly 100,000 different Young Adult series that deal with romance and the supernatural, and I have to sleep and eat occasionally.

Screen Gems is gambling on this as a new franchise that can put them into the same sort of business that Summit has so beautifully managed over the last few years with the "Twilight" franchise and which every studio in town has been chasing as hard as possible.  Lionsgate managed to pull it off with "The Hunger Games," but there are plenty of examples of where it's gone wrong, the cinema landscape littered with the corpses of "City Of Ember," "The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising," "Eragon," and more.  At first glance, I'm not sure what sets "The Mortal Instruments" apart.  It looks like a riff on "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," with Lily Collins starring as Clary Fray, a girl who learns that she is not a mortal, but is instead a powerful being born to hunt and kill demons on Earth.

Read Full Post
<p>Melissa Rosenberg</p>

Melissa Rosenberg

Interview: 'Twilight' scribe Melissa Rosenberg talks 'Breaking Dawn' and ABC's 'Red Widow'

How does the screenwriter expect viewers to respond to a key new scene?
It's been a busy couple weeks of "Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" content on this blog. 
 
I've posted video interviews with stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner and Elizabeth Reaser & Nikki Reed and Kellan Lutz & Jackson Rathbone and Michael Sheen, as well as director Bill Condon.
 
Closing the week, on the day of the film's premiere, my last interview is with Melissa Rosenberg, the franchise's lone screenwriter dating back to "Twilight" in 2008. 
 
Hardly an unknown when she landed the "Twilight" gig, Rosenberg's credits including "Birds of Prey" and "The O.C." on the small screen, as well as a little dance film called "Step Up." Still, Rosenberg has achieved a new level of prominence for transferring Bella and Edward and Jacob from Stephenie's Meyer's books to blockbuster effect.
 
And with that new level of prominence has come a new level of scrutiny, as Rosenberg has felt the love of "Twilight" fans when she perfectly captured Meyer's key moments and the outrage when she changed punctuation or a hair style. With "Breaking Dawn - Part 2," she's ready for both reactions, especially for a key late scene that may surprise even devoted readers.
 
That prominence has also led to more big-ticket writing gigs, including ABC's midseason drama "Red Widow," starring Radha Mitchell.
 
In this interview, Rosenberg discusses her connection to the "Twilight" franchise after scripting five films, as well as her expectations for audience reactions to The Scene We Can't Discuss in Detail. 
 
We also talked a bit about "Red Widow," which will bring a very cable sensibility to wherever ABC decides to slate it this spring. 
 
Click through for the full Q&A.
 
Read Full Post
<p>Tina Fey and Paul Rudd share some special time together in 'Admission,' which arrives in theaters next March.</p>

Tina Fey and Paul Rudd share some special time together in 'Admission,' which arrives in theaters next March.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Tina Fey and Paul Rudd flirt in the charming 'Admission' trailer

A new film from Paul Weitz looks like a nice mix of humor and heart

Oh, I see… Friday is trailer day.  Lots and lots of new trailers, and they're all over the map in terms of genre and tone.

I had no idea Paul Rudd and Tina Fey were making a film together, and I always enjoy it when a trailer shows up out of nowhere like this.  It's a Paul Weitz movie, so I'm going to guess it falls somewhere between a traditional comedy and a traditional drama.  It features Wallace Shawn, Michael Sheen, Gloria Reuben, and Lily Tomlin, and it's aiming for a March 2013 release.

Here's the synopsis for the film:

Straight-laced Princeton University admissions officer Portia Nathan (Fey) is caught off-guard when she makes a recruiting visit to an alternative high school overseen by her former college classmate, the free-wheeling John Pressman (Rudd). Pressman has surmised that Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), his gifted yet very unconventional student, might well be the son that Portia secretly gave up for adoption many years ago. Soon, Portia finds herself bending the rules for Jeremiah, putting at risk the life she thought she always wanted — but in the process finding her way to a surprising and exhilarating life and romance she never dreamed of having.

Here's the trailer, via Yahoo! Movies:

Read Full Post
<p>The Stanley&nbsp;Kubrick exhibit at LACMA</p>

The Stanley Kubrick exhibit at LACMA

Credit: HitFix

Touring Stanley Kubrick exhibit lands at LACMA and it's a cinephile's dream

The newly opened showcase runs through June of next year

LOS ANGELES – If LA film lovers are looking for something to do this holiday, look no further than the Stanley Kubrick exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A touring treasure trove of artifacts from the famed filmmaker's career that has already made stops all over the world, from Frankfurt to Berlin, Melbourne to Ghent, Zurich to Rome, Paris to Amsterdam, it has set up shop in LA through June 30, 2013 and is well worth the $20 admission price.

As soon as you walk through the giant glass doors you're met with a career spanning three shorts and 16 features, including the uncompleted "Napoleon" and "Aryan Papers," as well as the Steven Spielberg-directed "A.I.: Artificial Intelligence," which Kubrick developed. A pair of video walls in a dark room greet you first, with clips from a number of films to get you in the right frame of mind. Then the journey really begins.

Read Full Post
<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
BLOGS BY NAME