<p>Madonna</p>

Madonna

Credit: Jordan Strauss/AP

2014 Grammy Awards Live-Blog

Join us for 3.5 hours of music celebrating itself

HitFix's awesome and well-informed music team is covering the Grammy Awards from the red carpet and backstage. 

That leaves me to cover the telecast itself, which is a challenge for three reasons:

1) I mostly know new music from who makes guest appearances on "American Idol" or "The X Factor."

2) CBS sucks and doesn't broadcast the Grammys live across the country, unlike the Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes and even the SAG Awards.

3)The Grammys are *scheduled* for 3.5 hours. Oy. 

So please join the conversation below, because if folks don't stick with this recap, I'm gonna commit Boy Named Sue-icide.

Yup. That's the kind of up-to-date commentary you can expect from this live-blog.

So read, or else I'll have to commit suicIdes of March. This blog is your vehicle, baby! It'll take you anywhere you wanna go. Click through...

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<p>&quot;The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz&quot;</p>

"The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz"

Credit: Sundance

Review: 'The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz' is a harrowing cyber-thriller

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
Brian Knappenberger's Sundance doc generates sadness and anger
There is a perception that on the list of liberal enclaves, the Sundance Film Festival ranks only slightly below a poetry reading in San Francisco and Communist Party fundraiser in Boston.
 
There's probably some truth to that. 
 
However, hell hath no fury like a Sundance documentary director disappointed and the unfulfilled potential of President Obama has been a running theme over the past couple years. No amount of Fox News Obama condemnation could ever match the sense of betrayal illustrated in Rick Rowley's "Dirty Wars." Michelle Obama hasn't been immune either, as the First Lady's difficulties taking a hard line with food mass-producers is depicted as a major letdown in "Fed Up." Half of the World Docs seem to wish their central dilemma were receiving more or less attention from the Obama Administration.
 
With the possible exception of "Mitt," you'd be hard-pressed to find a Sundance documentary that wants to claim things would be better had the election results gone differently, but a consistent running undercurrent of recent Sundances is, "President Obama. Dude. You were supposed to be better than this."
 
When it comes to eroded idealism, it's hard to get more damning than Brian Knappenberger's "The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz," which begins with news talking heads declaring that the title cyber-activist was "killed by the government" and spends the next 100 minutes confidently underlining that point. No, President Obama isn't really blamed for Aaron Swartz's death, at least not directly, but when it comes to the overzealous prosecution of the Reddit co-founder, there's little doubt that the message is, once again, "We expected better."
 
Actually, I should change the punctuation there. It has to be "We expected better!" because Knappenberger's doc, playing in the US Documentary Competition at Sundance, is all about exclamatory mood. For maybe 30 minutes, you go "Wow, look at this brilliant young man!" Then for maybe 40 minutes you go, "Wow, I'm so angry about what was done to this brilliant young man" and then for the last 30 minutes, you go, "Boy, it's so sad what happened to that brilliant young man!" Of course, all of that exclamation can sometimes be exhausting and Knappenberger maybe underlines some of his points a little aggressively, but he really wants to make sure you feel the outrage of Swartz's tragically brief life. 
 
And I did.
 
[More after the break...]
 
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<p>&quot;The Overnighters&quot;</p>

"The Overnighters"

Credit: Sundance

Review: 'The Overnighters' is a frontier tale for 2014

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
Jesse Moss' Sundance doc received some of the Fest's best reviews
[Preamble: I saw "The Overnighters" before touching down in Park City last Sunday, which meant I saw it kinda in a vacuum. When I got to the Festival, I wasn't hugely surprised that "The Overnighters" was the doc I was hearing the most buzz about. At that point, I'd written the intro to the review, the part that precedes the page break. I never finished the review, because Sundance is all about starting reviews that I never finish. It's fun! Anyway, I'm expecting "The Overnighters" to be a big winner at Saturday night's closing awards ceremony, so I'm taking one last stab at the review.]
 
Jesse Moss' "The Overnighters," featured in the US Documentary Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, plays at times like a modern frontier Western. 
 
Like HBO's classic "Deadwood" or AMC's much-admired [by the people who pop up in online comments whenever its renewed] "Hell on Wheels" or Discovery's decent new miniseries "Klondike," it's the story of a migration of desperate men, many of them criminals and reprobates, seeking riches in the unspoiled wilderness. Like most Westerns, there seem to be fortunes to be made, but the brass ring remains just out of reach for most settlers. Like many a Western, there are clashes with the natives, who feel like they're being disenfranchised by the scruffy, dirty, dangerous men pushing in on their land. And, like more than a few Westerns, there's a wacky priest at the heart of the story, trying to save souls in the influx of sinners. 
 
I may be overselling "The Overnighters" with that description. Moss' film is slightly at war with itself, trying to tell two stories, not necessarily arcing either story satisfactorily and then relying on what's presented as a somewhat strange twist in the final act to tie the whole thing up in a bow that either makes the whole movie feel too neat or too messy, depending on how you view it. [A couple critics I've talked to have said that they don't think Moss is trying to use the twist to tie things up or explain them. I think that in terms of authorial intent, they're right. However, I know how the story presented on the screen arcs. Causation is implied, even if it's not intended.]
 
And the more I think back on "The Overnighters," the less I buy the "twist," the less the twist satisfies the arc of the story and the more I wish that Moss could have better focused on one of his two stories. But I still wanted to use the frontier Western analogy, because I'm sure it's part of what Moss is going for and, even if it doesn't always work, it's still a big part of what keeps "The Overnighters" watchable, probably endlessly discussable and, in the end, tantalizing.
 
[More after the break...]
 
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Aaron Paul discusses 'Hellion,' 'Better Call Saul' and Corn Pops

Aaron Paul discusses 'Hellion,' 'Better Call Saul' and Corn Pops

Also from Sundance, young star Josh Wiggins discusses this big break
PARK CITY, UTAH. Aaron Paul has been wearing out a groove between Los Angeles and Sundance over the past 10 weeks, making appearances for the Golden Globes and SAG Awards in one location and zipping back and forth for premiere and press on the indie drama "Hellion" in the other.
 
In "Hellion," directed by Kat Candler, Paul plays a widower struggling to keep his family together, particularly rebellious, motocross-loving teen son Jacob (Josh Wiggins).
 
"Hellion" is Wiggins' first credit on any screen bigger than YouTube, which led me to ask Paul about his own first screen role and how his work in that project compared to his Sundance co-star. We also discussed how they kept things estranged on-screen, but warm and convivial off. 
 
Since this is the second time in three Sundances that I've interviewed Paul for a film in which he plays an alcoholic (following 2012's "Smashed"), I asked about different versions of addiction.
 
And, of course, we discussed "Breaking Bad," Jesse Pinkman and Paul's relief at escaping from that character's tortured headspace, but his excitement about returning to a younger, goofier version for the AMC spinoff "Better Call Saul." How soon will Paul be ready to return to that world? He explains.
 
"I love that family so much. Whenever they want me, I'm there, because it would be nice to jump into Jesse again in his lighter days," he says of the prequel.
 
Check out the full interview above.
<p>&quot;Shark Tank.&quot;</p>

"Shark Tank."

Credit: ABC

TV Ratings: 'Shark Tank' nets ABC Friday win, 'Enlisted' up

'Shark' has highest-rated regular episode ever

Fast National ratings for Friday, January 24, 2014.

ABC won Friday night thanks to the highest-rated regular "Shark Tank" episode ever, while FOX's timeslot swap of "Enlisted" and "Raising Hope" paid dividends for the first-year military comedy without really hurting the veteran show.

For the night, ABC averaged a 1.7 rating among adults 18-49, and 7.2 million viewers overall. FOX was second (1.4, 5.1 million), followed by NBC (1.3, 5.4 million), CBS (1.1, 8 million) and the CW (0.3, 772,000).

8 p.m. --
"Bones" won the hour for FOX with a 1.8 rating and 7.4 million viewers, up from last week.  "Dateline NBC" was second (1.4, 7.3 million), followed by an "Undercover Boss" repeat on CBS (1.2, 6.4 million), "Last Man Standing" and "The Neighbors" on ABC (1.1, 5.1 million) and "The Carrie Diaries" on the CW (0.3, 916,000).

9 p.m. -- "Shark Tank" (2.2, 8.1 million) won the hour for ABC with its highest-rated regular episode ever. NBC's "Grimm" (1.5, 5.9 million) was second, followed by a "Hawaii Five-0" repeat on CBS (1.0, 8.1 million). Placed immediately after "Bones," "Enlisted" (1.0, 3.2 million) added more than a million viewers from last week and was up significantly in the demo, while "Raising Hope" (0.8, 2.4 million) actually did slightly better in the demo this week than it did a week ago at 9.  A CW "Supernatural" repeat (0.2, 628,000) was in last place. 

10 p.m. -- "20/20" (1.9, 8.3 million) won the hour for ABC, followed by a "Blue Bloods" repeat on CBS (1.0, 9.7 million). The "Dracula" season finale (1.0, 3.1 million) was up slightly over last week.

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change.
<p>&quot;Rudderless&quot;</p>

"Rudderless"

Credit: J.R. Cooke

Review: Billy Crudup shines in William H. Macy's 'Rudderless'

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
Sundance closer also co-stars Selena Gomez, but don't see it for her
It's funny, but if you asked me to list my favorite actors, it would take me a while to get to Billy Crudup.
 
Probably that's Crudup has made some strange, but often admirable, career choices and has occasionally vanished in the background in the sort of paycheck roles I wouldn't begrudge him for a second.
 
However, when I think back on Crudup's body of work, he's given some performances that I consider to be all-time classics.
 
"Almost Famous," for example, doesn't work without Crudup's passionate, mercurial Golden God Russell Hammond. In a perfect world, Crudup would have picked up an Oscar nod for "Almost Famous." He did not. Instead, his highest profile acting honor is an Independent Spirit nomination for "Jesus' Son," a cult classic in which he gets astounding comedic mileage from some very dark material, etching one of cinema's best and most unique depictions of drug addiction. And although I may be a party of one on the movie, Crudup's commitment in Robert Towne's underrated "Without Limits" never ceases to impress me.
 
He's done decent work since then, but perhaps the reason I don't include Crudup among my favorite actors is because his last great performance -- unless you were a fan of his radioactive blue super-wang in "Watchmen" -- was all the way back in 2000.
 
That's no longer true. 
 
"Rudderless," one of the Closing Night films of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival represents a confident directing debut for William H. Macy and gives Crudup his best role in years. The actor responds with a performance that's funny, heartbreaking and confidently musical, anchoring a film with a challenging and sometimes shaky premise that very much requires his steadying presence.
 
More on "Rudderless" after the break.
 
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<p>&quot;Fed Up&quot;</p>

"Fed Up"

Credit: Scott Sinkler

Review: Obesity documentary 'Fed Up' isn't fresh, but it's persuasive

HitFix
B
Readers
n/a
Sundance doc continues a conversation about healthy eating
I'm into the third week of the TCA Press Tour/Sundance double-bill and things have begun to get just a bit punchy and, with punchiness, I start falling back on intellectually facile puns. 
 
So when I tell you that Stephanie Soechtig's Sundance US Documentary Competition entry "Fed Up" offers ample food for thought, you're going to have to take that with a grain of salt.
 
Oy. See what I did there?
 
Yeah. I have no pride. 
 
Just because it's punny doesn't mean it isn't true. One of the pleasures of Sundance is riding shuttles with passionate audiences discussing the movies they've just seen and I don't remember the last time I took a shuttle in which every single rider was so deep and loudly in conversation about the film that they just saw as after catching a matinee of "Fed Up."
 
It's telling that I don't think I heard a single person discussing "Fed Up" in terms of its cinematic quality or lack thereof. Nobody wanted to talk about whether or not "Fed Up" was a "good" movie, but everybody wanted to engage with the documentary's central polemic.
 
Even at a film festival, not everybody is equipped with the vocabulary or the desire to talk about the merits of direction or editing or cinematography, but no matter who you are or where you go, absolutely everybody has the vocabulary and the desire to talk about food and eating. And just as devoted moviegoers are stubborn in their subjective approval or disapproval of certain films, "eating" is something that most people think they know how to do correctly, so when a documentary like "Fed Up" comes along and assails the fundamentals of this very basic human process, everybody has an opinion and everybody wants to share the things that they're sure they're doing right and the things they're apparently doing wrong. 
 
So that's something I have to keep in mind when I'm reviewing "Fed Up."
 
I don't think it's a very good movie, but I think it's a hugely effective documentary, at least in certain contexts. It happens that the Sundance Film Festival is exactly the context in which "Fed Up" would be most superficially effective. The question is how the filmmakers, including executive producer and narrator Katie Couric, will be able to get "Fed Up" out into our national bloodstream so that its ideas will be able to circulate. Without wide distribution, concentrated most heavily among young viewers, it has no value at all. With wide distribution, particularly in schools, I've seen first-hand how well it instigates conversation. Ultimately, I think that Soechtig will be happier with that compliment than she'll be unhappy about any minor disappointment I feel in "Fed Up" as an aesthetic endeavor. "Fed Up" is designed to make people rethinking their eating habits, not to win Oscars.
 
More on "Fed Up" after the break...
 
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<p>Greg Kinnear and Peter Stormare in &quot;Rake.&quot;</p>

Greg Kinnear and Peter Stormare in "Rake."

Credit: FOX

TV Ratings: 'American Idol' carries FOX to Thursday win, 'Rake' disappoints

Greg Kinnear legal drama premiere loses nearly half of 'Idol' lead-in

 

Fast National ratings for Thursday, January 23, 2014.

Even a diminished "American Idol" was strong enough to carry FOX to a Thursday night ratings victory, albeit while CBS was in repeats and with an underwhelming debut performance from "Rake."

For the night, FOX averaged a 2.5 rating among adults 18-49 and 9.6 million viewers. CBS was second (1.9, 7.8 million), followed by ABC (1.1, 3.9 million), NBC (1.0, 3.2 million) and the CW (0.9, 2.2 million).

8 p.m. -- "Idol" won the hour for FOX with a 3.3 demo rating and 12.1 million viewers. CBS was second (2.4, 10.8 million), and it's worth noting that a "Big Bang Theory" repeat (2.9, 12.8 million) about tripled the audience for a new "Community" (1.1, 3 million) on NBC. Together, "Community" and "Parks and Recreation" (1.2, 3 million) barely finished in third for NBC, followed by the CW's "Vampire Diaries" (1.1, 2.7 million) and ABC's "The Taste" (1.0, 3.8 million).

9 p.m. -- CBS won the hour with repeats of "The Crazy Ones" and "Two and a Half Men," which averaged a 1.9 demo rating and 7.9 million viewers. The premiere of "Rake" (1.7, 7.1 million) lost nearly half its "Idol" lead-in among viewers under 50, and dipped at the half hour, but still finished the hour in second place, followed by more of "The Taste" (1.2, 4.1 million), the continually troubled "Sean Saves the World" and "The Michael J. Fox Show" on NBC (0.7, 2.4 million) and the CW's "Reign" (0.7, 1.8 million).

10 p.m. -- "Parenthood" (1.3, 4.3 million) narrowly won the demographic battle for the hour, but it was also the only non-repeat in the timeslot, and a CBS "Elementary" rerun (1.2, 7.6 million) did significantly better among total viewers. A "Shark Tank" repeat (1.1, 3.9 million) was third for ABC.

All ratings information comes from preliminary Fast National Nielsen data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are subject to change

<p>&quot;Marmato&quot;</p>

"Marmato"

Credit: Sundance

Review: 'Marmato' mines for gold and drama in Colombia

HitFix
A-
Readers
n/a
Mark Grieco's documentary also features nefarious Canadians as villains
"Marmato" is Mark Grieco's first feature and he went all-in to deliver one of the best film's I've seen in this year's US Documentary Competition.
 
Over six years, Grieco lived in the Colombian mining village of "Marmato," serving as director, cinematographer and producer, wholly committing to telling the story about globalization, the illusion of progress, the insatiable human desire for riches and the decline of a way of life that is simultaneously woefully outmoded and yet authentic and worth preserving. 
 
Thanks to the duration of his presence in the region, Grieco has been granted a depth of access that allows him to populate the film with compelling and fully realized characters, while his background as a photojournalist has yielded a view of a unique corner of the world, one in which poverty and wealth overlap in the midst of great physical beauty. 
 
"Marmato" is somewhat hampered by telling a story that hasn't reached its conclusion, leading to an abrupt ending, but I liked Grieco's storytelling enough that I would gladly watch a sequel. [Might I suggest "More Mato" as the sequel title? No. I probably should not.]
 
Full review after the break...
 
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<p>This is Alyson Ragona.</p>

This is Alyson Ragona.

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Season 13 Auditions #4 - Atlanta

It's time for Keith, J-Lo and Harry to head to the Dirty South

Once again, the Sundance Film Festival has been good enough to take the entire evening off so that I can recap "American Idol."

Once again, I am lying.

However, it's time for some "American Idol" auditions from Atlanta.

Click through for my full reaction to Thursday (January 23) night's episode.

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