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'How To Train Your Dragon 2' wins Best Animated Feature at 42nd Annie Awards

1 hour ago

The 42nd Annual Annie Awards were handed out on a busy Saturday night in the awards world and "How To Train Your Dragon 2" was the big winner.   The DreamWorks Animation blockbuster (it's true) took home six Annies including Best Animated Feature and Directing (Dean DeBlois). While the entire Academy votes on the Best Animated Feature category, this endorsement from the animation community can't hurt in a very competitive year. Other big winners included "The Simpsons," Amazon's "Tumble Leaf" and Oscar frontrunner "Feast" for the Best Animated Short Subject honor. "The Boxtrolls'" Sir Ben Kingsley took home the award for Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production and Phil Lord and Christoper Miller won for Writing in an Animated Feature for "The Lego Movie." A complete list of this year's honorees is as follows: Best Animated Feature "How to Train Your Dragon 2," DreamWorks Animation Directing in an Animated Feature Production Dean DeBlois, »


- Gregory Ellwood

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'SNL': J.K. Simmons whips it out for debaucherous 'Teachers' Snow Day' sketch

2 hours ago

When the kids are away...the teachers will play. "Whiplash" star J.K. Simmons lets it all hang out in "Teachers' Snow Day," a new "SNL" digital short in which rap-video debauchery erupts at a high school after the students are instructed to stay home. "This ain't 'The Breakfast Club,' we drink to die," spits Kate McKinnon's wild-eyed gym teacher. It gets pretty real.   »


- Chris Eggertsen

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'Grand Budapest Hotel' and 'Birdman' top 2015 Art Directors Guild Awards

2 hours ago

The Art Directors Guild handed out their 2015 awards and outside of a Marvel Studios win in the Fantasy Film category, there weren't many surprises. "The Grand Budapest Hotel," arguably the Oscar frontrunner, took home the Period Film honor. "Budapest's" studio stablemate "Birdman" won the Contemporary Film award and "Guardians of the Galaxy" beat out "Interstellar" and "Into the Woods" in the Fantasy Film category.   Notable TV winners included "Game of Thrones," "True Detective," "Silicon Valley" and the 86th Academy Awards. The night also featured Anne Hathaway presenting the Guild's Cinematic Imagery Award to Christopher Nolan and George Clooney handing Production Designer Jim Bissell ("E.T.," "300," "Good Night, and Good Luck.") the Lifetime Achievement Award.   Presenters on hand included Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones ("The Theory of Everything"), Julie Bowen ("Modern Family"), Tony Hale ("Veep"), Mayim Bialik ("The Big Bang Theory") and Margo Martindale ("The Americans"). A complete list of all of »


- Gregory Ellwood

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'The Imitation Game' wins the 2015 USC Scripter Award

2 hours ago

Los Angeles — It maybe hard to believe, but the USC Scripter Award is honoring its 27th recipient this year. The Scripter is the equivalent of an Adapted Screenplay honor for both the screenwriter and the author of the original source material. The last five winners were "Up in the Air," "The Social Network," "The Descendants," "Argo" and "12 Years A Slave." Your 2015 winner? The duo behind "The Imitation Game." Andrew Hodges, author of "Alan Turing: The Enigma," wasn't on hand, but screenwriter Graham Moore was and the Oscar nominee seemed to be caught off guard by the win. "I need to thank the man who made 'The Imitation Game,' my director Morten Tyldum," Moore said in accepting the award. "I would do an impression of his Norwegian accent, but all he'd say was, 'Good job Gra-ham!' Our producers Nora Grossman and Teddy Schwarzman, whose tireless dedication brought this »


- Gregory Ellwood

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'SNL's' take on sexist Super Bowl ads is cutting and hysterical

2 hours ago

You know the grinning, snack-serving wife in the background of all those Super Bowl commercials? She's dying a slow soul-death in that kitchen of hers. "Totino's Super Bowl Activity Pack for Women" was one of the strongest sketches on tonight's "SNL" - a smart, cutting satire of dated male-driven ads in which Vanessa Bayer expertly conveys the sad desperation of a woman doomed to wear a sensible pink sweater for all eternity. "Anything for my hungry guys!" she endlessly chirps. Great stuff. »


- Chris Eggertsen

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'SNL': Jebidiah Atkinson takes down all the Grammy stars

3 hours ago

Jebidiah Atkinson is back with more brutal cut-downs of our most beloved artists. I'm not a fan of Michael Che and Colin Jost on "Weekend Update," but Taran Killam helped make the segment bearable tonight with the return of his eye-rolling 1860s critic Jebidiah Atkinson. This week Jebidiah levels his unforgiving wit at Grammy nominees both past and present, from Meghan Trainor ("She's all about that bass/'Bout that bass/No talent") to U2 ("I still haven't found what I'm looking for - a way to delete your album!") to Celine Dion ("Someone turn her Celine Dioff!"). "Oh yes, who wouldn't be excited for a nightlong tribute to the Spotify playlist of a 12-year-old girl?" he spits sarcastically of the upcoming awards show. Hard to argue there. »


- Chris Eggertsen

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'SNL': Kate McKinnon is perfect in this 'Casablanca' parody

3 hours ago

It's easy to imagine Kate McKinnon as the heroine of a 1940s screwball comedy - but turns out she can do wartime melodrama too. "Saturday Night Live" parodied "Casablanca" (of all things) on tonight's episode, and the newly-minted Ghostbuster absolutely killed it as Ingrid Bergman's Ilsa, who in an "alternate ending" absolutely cannot wait to get on that plane after Rick (J.K. Simmons) mentions the concentration camps. God, I like her a lot better now. »


- Chris Eggertsen

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2015 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners

5 hours ago

The 2015 Sundance Film Festival concluded on Saturday (January 31) night with a Tig Notaro-hosted award ceremony in which it seemed like nearly everything was given an award by one of the Festival's juries. "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl," directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, won both the Us Dramatic Jury Prize and Audience Prize, an increasingly less rare double. On the Us Documentary side, Crystal Moselle's "The Wolfpack" won the Grand Jury Prize, but "Meru" won the Audience Award. John Maclean's "Slow West" won the World Cinema Dramatic Grand Jury Prize, while Chad Garcia's "Russian Woodpecker" was the World Cinema Documentary Grand Prize winner. While "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" was one of the most buzzed-about titles in the Us Dramatic Competition, several other rave-winners picked up key prizes on Saturday night, including the Grand Jury Directing Award to Robert Eggers for "The Witch," the Waldo Salt »


- Daniel Fienberg

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Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Jk Simmons and D'Angelo

6 hours ago

Jk Simmons seems like a pretty inspired choice to host “Saturday Night Live,” with his acting versatility baked into his lengthy track record in both the most serious of dramas and silliest of comedies. He’s been in seemingly everything, but his recent award-winning turn in “Whiplash” is getting him the kind of attention not often bestowed upon him. Look for at least one sketch tonight parodying that film, and at least one or two others that reference one of his many, many, many roles. I’m primarily curious tonight about the show’s focus. After a bad episode with Blake Shelton, and the fortieth anniversary show right around the corner, how much attention can really be on this episode? The worst case scenario is that there are a lot of half-formed ideas that don’t really reach fruition. But the upside could be that this could be a weird, »


- Ryan McGee

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Key & Peele prove Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch are smarter than the Academy

9 hours ago

Last night "Key & Peele" delivered a Super Bowl-centric special edition of their regular show on Comedy Central and, needless to say, it killed. Show stars and creators Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key delivered another edition of their popular East/West Bowl skits, but they also released a bit that is laugh-out-loud funny for anyone who follows both awards season and the NFL. With Peele playing Seattle Seahawk Marshawn Lynch and Key as his energetic teammate Richard Sherman, a mandatory press conference turned into, well...honestly, we just can't spoil it. (Hint to Neil Patrick Harris and the Academy Awards producers who shall not be named: Maybe these guys should present this year? Or give them a skit? It's not too late is it?) Enjoy and remember: "Biscuits and Gravy." (Oh and you can check out the latest edition of the East/West bowl below it.) Get More: Comedy Central,Funny Videos, »


- Gregory Ellwood

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'American Sniper,' 'Imitation Game' controversies top of mind in Santa Barbara

10 hours ago

Santa Barbara — Controversy was at the forefront of discussion Saturday at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's annual Writers Panel featuring behind-the-keyboard talent involved with some of the year's most celebrated films, all of them nominated for Academy Awards for their work. With "American Sniper" lighting up the box office and a tempest swirling around who Chris Kyle was, screenwriter and former actor Jason Hall claimed his work wasx was a willful dissection of a soldier "back home, but not back." Moderator Anne Thompson framed a question regarding negative response to the film quite favorably for Hall, calling it a "Rorschach" reflective of personal politics, so anything regarding Kyle's reported racism wasn't directly addressed. But Hall did say that the late soldier's memoir should be considered in a certain context. "This book is out in the world, so people think this is Chris Kyle," he said. "But this guy was back from the war, »


- Kristopher Tpaley

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Box Office: 'American Sniper' still no. 1 on Friday, but for how much longer?

15 hours ago

Superbowl weekend can often be slow at the box office. Especially since most of America is in front of their TV sets all day on Sunday.  Many studios have tried to counter program with female or teen themed films, but it rarely works.  One movie studio, Warner Bros., won't be ignoring the returns this year because they have "American Sniper" on their team. Clint Eastwood's Oscar-nominated blockbuster took in another $10 million on Friday for a $227.1 million overall come that was mostly earned over 15 days of wide release. The Super Bowl does make three-day projections difficult, but "Sniper" should clear at least $28-30 million over the frame with a final tally of $300 million plus a given at this point. It will easily be no. 1 for a third straight weekend, but beyond that? "Jupiter Ascending" and "The Spongebob Movie: A Sponge Out of Water" have a shot at taking the top spot next weekend. »


- Gregory Ellwood

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TV Ratings: 'Shark Tank,' 'Blue Bloods' lead slow Friday

16 hours ago

Fast National ratings for Friday, January 30, 2015. Most of Friday's offerings were down slightly this week, which meant that the status quo remained in place: "Blue Bloods" carried CBS to easy victory overall and "Shark Tank" paced a narrow ABC win among young viewers. Let's just get straight to the numbers... Among adults 18-49, ABC averaged a 1.5 rating for Friday night, edging out the 1.4 rating for CBS in the key demographic. NBC's 1.1 key demo rating and the 0.9 key demo rating for Fox followed, while The CW had a 0.3 key demo rating for the night. Overall, though, CBS averaged an estimated 10.13 million viewers and a 6.4 rating/11 share for Friday primetime, easily beating the 6.84 million viewers and 4.4/8 for ABC. NBC was third for the night with 4.22 million viewers and a 2.7/5, followed by Fox's 2.47 million viewers and 1.5/3. The CW averaged 964,000 viewers and a 0.6/1 for the night. 8 p.m. - "Undercover Boss" led the 8 p. »


- Daniel Fienberg

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10 Stories You Might Have Missed: Are Angie and Brad heading to 'Africa?'

30 January 2015 11:22 PM, PST

This week in 10 Stories You Might Have Missed: 'Africa' may be in store for Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Plus, Lil Wayne sues his home label, "Salem's" season 2 gets a premiere date, 'Extant gets Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Suge Knight arrested for hit-and-run death, Matthew McConaughey is "Born To Run," "Top Chef" gets renewed, "Ted 2" gets a new trailer, Brian Wilson schedules a new solo album, and Fox adds Kevin Connolly and Weezer pilots. What caught your eye this week? »


- Katie Hasty

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'Boyhood,' 'Grand Budapest Hotel' win Ace Eddie Awards for editing

30 January 2015 11:00 PM, PST

One thing was pretty certain going into Friday night's Ace Eddie Awards ceremony honoring the best in editing: "Boyhood" was an odds-on lock to win the drama prize, and is, as ever, the frontrunner to win the Oscar in the category. So that happened. With "Birdman" tearing up the guild circuit, though, certainly plenty of us had an eye on it coming out on top in the comedy field, despite a lacking Oscar nod. Alas, that didn't happen. "The Grand Budapest Hotel," which was nominated for a film editing Oscar, came out on top. Cue more "what does it all mean" dialogue. It doesn't mean that much, though. There used to be a stat some folks would cling to re: Ace's place in the Best Picture build, but "12 Years a Slave" (nor "Gravity," for that matter) didn't win there. "The King's Speech" didn't win there. "No Country for Old Men, »


- Kristopher Tapley

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Review: Kevin Pollak's stand-up doc 'Misery Love Comedy' is oddly myopic

30 January 2015 9:00 PM, PST

Kevin Pollak's documentary "Misery Loves Comedy" has a cute pun of a title that also draws attention to the film's primary flaw. Had Pollak just called his first directing foray "My Friends Talk About Comedy" or "White Comedians Love Misery," I probably could have just felt that this was one person polling a bunch of chums on a subject of mutual interest and accepted its limitations. But "Misery Loves Comedy" spends its entire runtime on a series of talking-head interviews with various comedians and on grand pronouncement after another, different variably famous stand-ups keep saying what "comedians" are like and what "comedy" is about. And given the composition of Pollak's panel of experts, I'm afraid that's ludicrous. With dozens of comics participating, the total number of African-American comics featured in the entire documentary? One. Whoopi Goldberg is brought in to summarize one Richard Pryor routine. She does that and nothing more. »


- Daniel Fienberg

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The Week in Horror: 'Friday the 13th' reboot gets a push, 'The Crow' loses another star

30 January 2015 7:36 PM, PST

Welcome once again to "This Week in Horror," HitFix's ongoing series that rounds up the most pertinent fright-genre news to break over the last seven days. In this week's edition: the reboot of a beloved slasher title gets a big push (into 2016), that long-gestating "Crow" reboot loses another star, and an acclaimed Netflix anthology series may be getting a U.S. version. #1 "Friday the 13th," "Paranormal Activity 6" and "Rings" do the release-date shuffle Paramount did the franchise-movie shuffle this week with the latest installments of three major horror series: their mysterious "Friday the 13th" reboot (moved from November 13, 2015 to May 13, 2016); "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension" (moved from March 13, 2015 to October 23, 2015); and "Rings," the belated third entry in the haunted VHS tape franchise, which will take "Friday the 13th's" November 13, 2015 slot. Let's hear it for unoriginality! [Deadline] #2 Luke Evans is no longer Eric Draven Luke Evans has dropped out of Relativity's remake of "The Crow, »


- Chris Eggertsen

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Jennifer Lopez on her bleak new role - and why 'Boy Next Door's' success meant so much

30 January 2015 4:50 PM, PST

"Lila & Eve"? Let's just say it's a far cry from "The Wedding Planner." The gritty drama starring Jennifer Lopez and Viola Davis is premiering tonight at the Sundance Film Festival - and needless to say, it's not a feel-good time at the movies. "It was a very intense shoot," said Lopez when I spoke with her this afternoon. "I can't say I was happy the whole time, I wasn't. It was intense, and the scenes between Viola and I are intense. What we're doing is insane. ...it's just a dark thing. You know what I mean? It's not like going to work on a romantic comedy." "And by the way," she hastened to add of her previous rom-coms, "I love those films. But this is something different." Lopez, in case you were wondering, is the "Eve" part of the equation - the devastated mother of a murdered child who hooks »


- Chris Eggertsen

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The Backstreet Boys Pick the Hits They Hated Most

30 January 2015 3:28 PM, PST

If you want an up-to-date, comprehensive look at how the Backstreet Boys are doing in 2015, you can do no better than "Backstreet Boys: Show 'Em What You're Made Of," the new documentary about Nick Carter, Brian Littrell, Howie DoroughA.J. McLean, and Kevin Richardson. The movie, out on iTunes and YouTube today, chronicles the group's 2013 album "In a World Like This" and subsequent tour.  "Show 'Em What You're Made Of" also focuses on the Boys' upbringing and revisits their childhood homes, which often leads to some emotional reckoning. We caught up with the guys to discuss the revealing nature of the movie, what their fans will learn from it, and the hits they still have trouble loving. »


- Louis Virtel

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'Game of Thrones' season 5 floodgates open, release 18 brand new photos to ogle

30 January 2015 2:59 PM, PST

April is coming. But the first official photos of the new season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” are here now. Hot on the heels of the official Season 5 trailer, HBO bestowed fans with a visual feast worthy of any lovingly described Westeros feast. Eighteen high-resolution promotional stills await your hungry eyes. There’s a good mix of fan favorites and new faces. We don’t get any Sand Snakes, but Ellaria Sand is there to represent the women of Dorne. In what was new information for me, Deobia Opaeri is portrayed as playing Doran Martell’s captain of the guard, Areo Hotah. Brace yourselves, anti-race-bending racists will be up in arms over that one. Speaking of Doran Martell, HBO traded in an elderly, sickly, gout-ridden man for Alexander Siddig. The role of elderly man instead went to Jonathan Pryce who will introduce the Sparrows into play. There’s also »


- Donna Dickens

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