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Review: 'Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever' with Aubrey Plaza as Grumpy Cat

10 hours ago

Late in Lifetime's "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever" TV-movie, the cat that launched a thousand memes objects to a plot twist by asking, "Is this not my movie?" The film (it debuts Saturday night at 8),  written by "SpongeBob" vet and "Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties" director Tim Hill (who also directed this) and Jeff Morris, seems at war with itself as to how much it should — or can — be Grumpy Cat's movie, and the answer is "not enough," unfortunately. But at least the movie is aware of that problem, since it opens with Grumpy Cat (aka Tardar Sauce) — played in voiceover by Aubrey Plaza, in a piece of casting that feels like destiny — getting excited at the thought of how disappointed we'll be "when you realize this movie is just a sappy melodrama about me, Grumpy Cat." Except it's only vaguely about Grumpy Cat, and primarily about Chrystal »


- Alan Sepinwall

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See Asa Butterfield, Sally Hawkins in first trailer for British Indie Awards-nominated 'X+Y'

17 hours ago

Documentarian Morgan Matthews’ feature debut "X+Y" played quietly at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival. The voters involved with this year’s British Independent Film Awards are clearly noticing something fest-goers overlooked. Based on Matthews’ own BBC documentary "Beautiful Young Minds," which followed the selection process and training of Britain's 2006 International Mathematical Olympiad team, "X+Y" stars "Hugo" and "Ender’s Game" actor Asa Butterfield as a young math whiz coping with his emotionally and logistically complex mind. The first trailer for the film plays like a mix between "A Beautiful Mind" and Mark Haddon’s novel "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," meaning the Bifa’s may not be the only ones prone to falling for it. Adding a bit of gravitas to the uplifting young adult story are Eddie Marsan, Rafe Spall, and the Academy Award-nominated Sally Hawkins, one of the most genuine actresses gracing screens »


- Matt Patches

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What Movie Have You Watched the Most? The Hitfix Staff Answers

19 hours ago

Everybody has that one movie that they've watched so many times, "knowing it by heart" doesn't even begin to describe the relationship. It's the film that you drop everything to watch when it comes on TV, or that you bought and wore out the VHS copy, and then the DVD and the Blu-Ray... and you're still happy to watch it again on Netflix. Maybe it all started with what your family liked to watch (or what they hated) or what ended up in your stocking at holiday time, or what you fell in love with at the theater. Below, the HitFix editorial staff shares its most-watched movies of all time. What is yours? Tell us in the comments! Donna Dickens "Titanic" I was that fourteen year old girl. The one that saw “Titanic” in theaters multiple times (my personal tally was seven.) I bought the VHS two-pack. I recorded the »


- HitFix Staff

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The Snap: Why We're Thankful for Beyonce, Nph, and More

20 hours ago

Sure, we've had our disappointments in movies, TV, and music this year, but we also have plenty to be thankful for. In this episode of The Snap, I remind you what to cherish about pop culture just in time for your big tryptophan binge. Check out the abbreviated episode above or the full episode right here. Be sure to check out past episodes of The Snap: Ep. #35: A Salute to the Classic Women of Video Games Ep. #34: Here's Why the '90s Sucked Ep. #33: Why Anne Hathaway Rules Ep. #32: The Sexiest Psychos in Movie History Ep. #31: Why Horror Classics are Still Scary Ep. #30: Everything You Don't Know About Taylor Swift Ep. #29: 5 Unanswered Questions About 'Gone Girl' Ep. #28: 19 Beautiful Things That Look Like Donald Trump Ep. #27: 20 Reasons Fall is the Worst Season Ep. #26: Everything Wrong with Urban Outfitters Ep. »


- Louis Virtel

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Report Card: How did we do with our 'Most Anticipated Films Of 2014' list?

26 November 2014 8:30 PM, PST

One of the things we do every year here at HitFix is compile a list of the things we're most looking forward to in the next year. As the end of 2014 approaches, we're gearing up to write that same list for what promises to be one of the craziest year of giant movie releases ever, and as we started work on that, we looked back at last year's list. Let's just say it was enlightening. We decided to have some fun with it and issue ourselves a report card to see how well we called it before 2014 began. In some cases, I think we were spot on, but we also overestimated just as many things as we underestimated. Then you've got stuff like "Jupiter Ascending," which won't even make it to theaters until February. What is clear, though, is that we had strong reasons to make the predictions we did, »


- Drew McWeeny

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10 Observations About Abigail Breslin's Pop Song 'You Suck'

26 November 2014 5:10 PM, PST

Emergency: Abigail Breslin, the adorable teenaged Oscar nominee from "Little Miss Sunshine" and "August Osage County," is going for grit on her new pop single "You Suck." It is... really something. #AbigailYouTried is trending on Twitter. Just watch and listen.   Here are ten observations about this sacred new jam. 1. Get ready for "Kit Kittredge: An American Flop" to meme.   2. If you listen closely, you can actually hear JoJo turning this down.  3. "You really need to learn to wash your hair!" "I hope it all falls out!" "I'd rather date a rock!" Jan Brady wrote this.  4. Oh, Toni Collette, please pick up this child in an old van and whisk her away to learn about life with Alan Arkin.  5. It's good that Abigail's lashing out this way, I think. Child stars can go awry in this department. And I'm not just saying that because Abigail suddenly bears a serious resemblance to teenage Tatum O'Neal. »


- Louis Virtel

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Will the 'Star Wars: Episode VII' teaser live up to the franchise's previous trailers?

26 November 2014 4:39 PM, PST

After months of on-set reports, wild rumors, tweeted photos and cryptic interviews, Disney and J.J. Abrams are releasing the very first teaser trailer for "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens" on Friday. Moviegoers are sure to see some familiar faces and designs, plus new characters, creatures, ships and planets that will have fans speculating about what they're seeing in the same way they  did in for 1977's 'Star Wars" and 1999's "The Phantom Menace." Abrams is even more secretive than most Hollywood directors, and he loves to misdirect (remember the Khan confusion prior to the release "Star Trek Into Darkness"?), and the teaser will likely be a true tease that avoids any kind of narrative twists.  With that in mind, it's time to turn back the clock to re-visit the ever-evolving teasers released in advance of all six films. It's a list a billion of years in the making. »


- Dave Lewis

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Meghan Trainor's Thanksgiving Carols: 'Uncle Dan Hates Obama' Is Your New Holiday Jam

26 November 2014 3:03 PM, PST

Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" is a catchy single, but I'm more partial to her follow-up jam "Uncle Dan Hates Obama (And Won't Shut Up About Benghazi)." Yes, it's Thanksgiving time, and as Jimmy Kimmel notes, it's a holiday woefully short on season-specific tunes. But not to worry: Meghan is here to mint a whole slew of new Turkey Day classics, including but not limited to "My Flight Got Canceled in Denver (I'll Be Sleeping at an Airport Quiznos Tonight)," "I'm Not Bringing Leftovers on the Plane, Mom" and "Grandma's a Racist (Pass the Yams)." Wait, do they actually let you sleep at the Quiznos in airports? That doesn't sound so bad. »


- Chris Eggertsen

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Fifth Harmony's new video will hit you like a 'Sledgehammer' of girl-group cliches

26 November 2014 2:03 PM, PST

Are Fifth Harmony the new Destiny's Child? It's hard to say, but they're definitely trying. The third-place "X-Factor" contestants vamp demurely but effectively in the new video for "Sledghammer," the second single from the group's upcoming debut album "Reflection" that's slated for release in January. It's a perfectly catchy nonsense pop single, and while the clip can't touch the timeless brilliance of that other "Sledghammer" video, there are enough chandeliers, white fabrics and "just lounging here in my Mariah Carey dress" theatrics here to satisfy anyone who remembers fondly the heady days of '90s R&B. Does that make it good? That's for you to decide. But it certainly doesn't do anything we haven't seen before. Check out the video below. What do you think? »


- Chris Eggertsen

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Fans call the shots in Coldplay's lush new interactive video

26 November 2014 1:53 PM, PST

Coldplay's new interactive video gives viewers many choices, but to see them all you have to be a pretty big Coldplay fan, because you'll have to hear their new single "Ink" like 300 times. For the latest single from their smash album "Ghost Stories," the group decided to let fans call the shots in the animated video. In the video playable here, a heartbroken man -- who bears a passing resemblance to frontman Chris Martin -- pursues the love of his life through a surreal world of sumptuous paintings. The limited interactivity allows fans to guide the avatar on his journey, deciding whether he goes right or left, gets rescued by a bear or an eagle (like Gandalf), jumps in the ocean or floats off into the sky. The press release states that there are over 300 possible combinations on the journey, so it helps if you really like Coldplay.  Like an »


- Dave Lewis

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Here's Rosa Parks as a Contestant on 'To Tell the Truth'

26 November 2014 1:11 PM, PST

It's rare that you see the cast of the old game show "To Tell the Truth" awed by any particular contestant, but in a 1980 iteration of the series, all four panelists looked dazzled and flabbergasted by the presence of Rosa Parks. The civil rights pioneer appeared with two impostors and attempted to stump the panel. The whole clip is great, but Nipsey Russell's words about Parks are just spectacular. Kitty Carlisle is looking pretty divine herself.  »


- Louis Virtel

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Jordan, Turturro join Blackout For Human Rights' 'Do the Right Thing' reading

26 November 2014 12:45 PM, PST

Turn on the news this past week and you’ll see people from around the country amassing in protest of the recent decision that police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. The inaction provoked conversation of race and authority in present day America, with politicians, human rights groups, and driven individuals rallying for reconsideration on the case and justice for all who’ve suffered in similar situations. This includes many in the entertainment industry, who will join forces with the Blackout for Human Rights network this Friday, Nov. 28, to keep the conversation going. In New York, a group of leading indie directors and actors will stage a special screenplay reading of Spike Lee’s "Do The Right Thing," which celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2014. Blackout for Human Rights presents the event, organized by filmmakers Ryan Coogler ("Fruitvale Station") and Shaka King ("Newlyweeds"). John Turturro, »


- Matt Patches

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Analyzing this year's sobering assortment of documentary short subject Oscar players

26 November 2014 12:30 PM, PST

This year's line-up of documentary short Oscar finalists is a heavy bunch. Three deal with terminal diseases, one touches on post-traumatic stress, another focuses on the heart-wrenching fallout of natural disaster and social policy and still another observes the psychological rigors of a particularly gruesome occupation. Only one of the films fully eschews troubling stories of struggle. Perhaps that's less a commentary on the films themselves than the world they're documenting. In any case, it's a rich assortment. And it will really come down, in a few cases, to what "type" of film voters want to pass on through to the next stage. Because — and not to be too reductive — there are a few instances of similar turf being trodden, though never with diminishing returns or impact. Each of the movies is expertly rendered and tells a vital real-world story. No surprise, then, that they've made it this far. So »

- Kristopher Tapley

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Ridley Scott drops plot hints for 'Blade Runner 2' but will not direct the sequel

26 November 2014 12:15 PM, PST

Ridley Scott seems like one of those guys who is going to be directing movies right up until the moment he finally keels over mid-take at the ripe old age of 107. He just seems unstoppable. He hasn't even released his latest film, "Exodus: Gods and Kings," and he's already shooting his next one, "The Martian," based on the popular book by Andy Weir. It does not appear, however, that he will actually be directing the "Blade Runner" sequel that they've been discussing for the last few years. In an interview with "Variety" this week, Scott announced that he will not be helming the film, but that they are very close to getting another filmmaker onboard. Scott's been supervising the development of the script for a while now, working with Hampton Fancher, one of the writers of the original "Blade Runner." “We talked at length about what it could be, and »


- Drew McWeeny

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Let's not forget about Tilda Swinton in 'Snowpiercer' for Best Supporting Actress

26 November 2014 12:14 PM, PST

It's turning out to be another great year for Tilda Swinton. In February, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" premiered to raves at the Berlin Film Festival and made a ton of money in the months following. Cannes 2013 player "Only Lovers Left Alive" gained more critical traction as it continued to play around the world, eventually earning Swinton a surprise Best Female Lead Independent Spirit Award nomination. She filmed a key role in Judd Apatow's new Amy Schumer comedy "Trainwrecked," set for theaters in 2015, and re-teamed with old buddy George Clooney and the Coen brothers for the comedy "Hail Caesar!," which is currently filming and scheduled to debut in 2016. Perhaps most importantly, her performance in Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer" finally saw the light of day stateside. Following a summer 2013 debut in Bong's native South Korea, the post-apocalyptic thriller was released in most of the world beginning in January and eventually found its »


- Gregory Ellwood

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Ranking 'Peanuts' Characters from Least to Most Insufferable

26 November 2014 12:00 PM, PST

That's definitely a double negative in the headline, but how else can one adequately rank the characters of "Peanuts"? There's just no other way. Charles Schulz' iconic strip is headed to the big screen, and while I'm happy that such a quaint institution has a place in 2014, no one can deny that these characters are often agonizingly horrible. I get chills thinking of the way Peppermint Patty says the word "Chuck." I cringe thinking of Schroeder's refusal to make eye contact. I scream thinking of the existence of Rerun Van Pelt, who (thankfully) only appeared in scattered strips. Have you seen "Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown?" It's about the Charlie Brown gang going to camp and engaging in a river race. I don't recommend it unless you want to see every one of these balloon-headed microbes at their absolute worst. Snoopy drives a motorcycle in it. I am almost ill. »


- Louis Virtel

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Review: 'The Flash' - 'Power Outage'

26 November 2014 11:56 AM, PST

A quick review of last night's "The Flash" coming up just as soon as I admire your timepiece... Other business kept me from seeing "Power Outage" until this afternoon, but I liked the split focus approach. Neither Clock King (even played by Robert Knepper) nor Blackout were likely compelling enough to justify an episode on their own, but worked just fine as antagonists in stories that were more about conflicts among the ongoing cast: respectively, Joe's protectiveness of Iris (who got to save herself) and Harrison's ongoing attempt to study Barry's power and ensure events in the future. The latter is obviously the bigger story the series is dealing with, and "Power Outage" toggled back and forth between suggesting Wells is obviously a villain and saying he's a someone who will do very ruthless things (like sacrificing Girder — and, in the process, making Barry's silly unmasking in front of him »


- Alan Sepinwall

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Al Pacino remembers Mike Nichols: 'Hard to find anyone like that again.'

26 November 2014 11:46 AM, PST

Los Angeles — A week ago the film world lost one of the masters, legendary director Mike Nichols. Naturally the news sent a shockwave through the tight-knit community as Nichols' reach was pretty deep, the lives he had touched, and certainly, the careers he had affected. One of them was Al Pacino. Pacino starred in Nichols' adaptation of Tony Kushner's Broadway landmark "Angels in America" alongside great actors putting out great work, from Emma Thompson to Meryl Streep to Jeffrey Wright and more. Many of them, including Pacino, showed up on our assessment of the great performances Nichols managed to draw out in his 40-plus years in the business. "That happens in life, where we lose someone and it's palpable," Pacino told me recently. "Everybody feels it. There's a void there. They're gone. I loved him. I just loved him. He was probably the greatest director I ever worked with. »


- Kristopher Tapley

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 258

26 November 2014 11:45 AM, PST

Happy Wednesday, Boys & Girls! If you're heading over the river and through the woods this Thanksgiving, here's a new installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast to help you pass the time.  In this week's installment, we reviewed Lifetime's Grumpy Cat Christmas movie, Pixar's "Toy Story" holiday special and, just in case we don't get to podcast by next Tuesday, Bravo's "Girlfriends' Guide To Divorce." We also talked extensively about The State of TV Comedy and about "How To Get Away With Murder" in the aftermath of its fall finale thing.  Here's today's breakdown: "Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever" (00:01:30 - 00:09:15) "Toy Story That Time Forgot" (00:09:20 - 00:15:10) "Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce" (00:15:10 - 00:24:10) Listener Mail: State of TV Comedy (00:24:35 - 00:48:10) Listener Mail: The Correct Number of Cooks (00:48:15 - 01:01:40) Listener Mail: "How To Get »


- Daniel Fienberg

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The Thanksgiving Day reality TV marathon guide

26 November 2014 11:08 AM, PST

Thanksgiving Day means expressing gratitude, connecting with loved ones, and sharing a meal. It also frequently involves overeating, preparation for Friday's orgy of consumerism, and rapidly getting annoyed with your family and friends. Thankfully, there's a solution: getting lost in hours of reality TV marathons.Many cable networks have scheduled them, so here's a guide to all of the television you can escape to when you ditch your family or just seek out a television without a parade or football. First, cleanse your television palate by binge-watching fall's best reality series, Starz's "The Chair," online or on demand. It follows the creation of two films that both use the same script, which is thematically appropriate: both "Hollidaysburg" and "Not Cool" are about returning home for Thanksgiving for the first time after being away at college. When you're done with artful reality television or just need families more dysfunctional than your own, »


- Andy Dehnart

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