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Box office: 'If I Stay' beats a strong 'Guardians' on Friday with $6.8 million

2 hours ago

The drama "If I Stay" took the top spot at the box office, but it may not stay there for long, as Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" is enjoying a strong resurgence. Meanwhile, Frank Miller's "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" is D.O.A.  "Stay," which stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Jamie Blackley and Mireille Enos, picked up $6.8 million on Friday, easily topping "Guardians" which picked up another $4.8 million in its fourth weekend. However, it looks likely that "Guardians" will pull ahead of "Stay" by Sunday. "Stay" is expected to earn a slightly disappointing $16.8 million, while "Guardians" could rack up slightly more.  The Marvel film -- starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and the voices of Vin Diesel and Bradley Coooper -- is poised to become the biggest domestic hit of the summer. Having already earned $239 million, it will have no trouble crossing the $250 million mark by Sunday. "Transformers: Age of Extinction »


- Dave Lewis

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10 Stories You Might Have Missed: Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives a 'Sandman' update

13 hours ago

In this week's installment of 10 Stories You Might Have Missed: Joseph Gordon-Levitt gives us an update on "Sandman." Y'know "Sandman" right? It's the DC Comics superhero you probably haven't heard of that could be a great movie. Also: "Castle" is sort of getting a spin-off, Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda" breaks Miley Cyrus' Vevo record, James Cameron talks more about his "Avatar" sequel plans, "The Awesomes" gets renewed, "Top Chef" heads to Boston, Swedish duo The Knife calls it quits, and more.  Catch up here: »


- Dave Lewis

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Take Me To The Pilots '14: ABC's 'Cristela'

13 hours ago

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.] Show: "Cristela" (ABC) The Pitch: "Cristela Alonzo is fairly popular with a certain audience and if you just schedule it on Friday after 'Last Man Standing,' nobody will even notice if it fails. Remember 'Malibu Country'?" "Huh?" "Exactly." Quick Response: There isn't much to say here beyond a repetition of what I already wrote about "Mulaney" and "The McCarthys." In person at TCA press tour, Cristela Alonzo was smart, funny and her energy and enthusiasm were infectious. Her stories about her upbringing and her early days in comedy were amusing and entertaining. However, in the context of the pilot she co-created with Kevin Hench, Alonzo isn't exactly sure how to capture that energy and enthusiasm on camera. Multi-cam probably is a good choice for "Cristela," because Alonzo's style isn't small. She's very expressive and periodically loud and you can understand why she'd want the approval of an »


- Daniel Fienberg

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Fxx's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon: Day 3 - HitFix Picks

16 hours ago

[As you probably already know, starting on Thursday, August 21, Fxx is running the Every Simpsons Ever Marathon, running through all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons," plus "The Simpsons Movie." To aid in your viewing process, Team HitFix is selecting our favorite episodes from each day, plus an episode or two that you can skip and use as a bathroom or nap break.] Somehow, despite including two different clip shows, Day 3 of Fxx's Every Simpsons Ever Marathon leads us deep into the show's Golden Years, as we finish Season 4, go through Season 5 and most of Season 6, spanning from "So It's Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show" through "The PTA Disbands." For the second straight day, we had no trouble picking two favorites apiece and we left out a slew of great episodes including Krusty's Kancellation, Bart's rise to "I Didn't Do It!" fame, James Woods' stint at the Kwik-e-Mart, Homer's trip into space and Lisa's attempts to design a new Malibu Stacy. [The image accompanying this story is from "Marge in Chains" which, if I'm being honest, didn't come close to making our list, but it's the only official image Fxx was able to provide for the episodes airing on Saturday.] My own greatest regret is that I couldn't pick "Treehouse of Horror V," which features "The Shinning" and "Time and Punishment," which are two of my five "Treehouse" segments. However, I stand by the two episodes I chose. And guess what? Day 4 was even Harder, choosing-wise. But that's tomorrow. »


- Daniel Fienberg, Alan Sepinwall, Drew McWeeny, Josh Lasser and Dave Lewis

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Maria Bamford Opens Up About Bipolar Disorder, Still Slays

19 hours ago

Maria Bamford is one of the rare comedians who has a style that's both recognizable and completely surprising every single time she takes the stage. The voices alone, guys. They're shocking. The gifted standup also has a gift for candor. In this episode of Scott Moran's docuseries "Modern Comedian," Bamford discusses her bipolar disorder and time spent in the psych ward, or as she calls it, "the hoosegow." It is both bracing and awesome, and she's often very, very funny. A great, must-see video. »


- Louis Virtel

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Images from 'Selma' feature David Oyelowo as Mlk, Tom Wilkinson as Lbj and more

22 hours ago

Ava DuVernay's "Selma" is going to come around at a particularly noteworthy time. Yes, it's been 50 years since the Selma-to-Montgomery marches and yes, it's been 49 years since the passing of the voter rights act. But as we look around today, it's perfectly clear: the more things change, the more they stay the same. Starting with voting, it's increasingly a Constitutional right that finds itself under fire. The strictures placed have been aimed — if not explicitly, then damn near close — at minorities all in the name of combating "voter fraud." But this was a dog that didn't hunt from the start, to the point that a Washington Post report revealing 31 credible instances of voter fraud out of a billion — that's 31 out of 1 with nine zeroes after it — comes across as hardly shocking, and borderline humorous. DuVernay herself has stated that if her film does nothing else, it must bring attention to this steady erosion. »


- Kristopher Tapley

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Translating Peter Capaldi's Permanent 'Doctor Who' Bitch Face

22 hours ago

The time is nigh! In one day, Peter Capaldi bursts onto the scene as The Doctor in the new season of BBC's "Doctor Who." Playing the 12th incarnation (or 13th or 14th depending on your math), Capaldi has promised his Doctor will be darker. And he's going to prove it by giving laser-eyed hate vision to every camera within a 500 yard radius. But what does each glare really mean? #1 - Capaldi Annoyance Meter: 8 He is clearly done with this photoshoot. His gaze pierces into the soul of the photographer, who collapses into a puddle of tears. They're sorry. So, so sorry. But they have to take just one or two more photos. Photo Credit: BBC Translation:   2 - Capaldi Annoyance Meter: 4 It is far too bright outside to be a proper London day. Capaldi is clearly annoyed by this unseasonable post-production cheeriness. Just let it be gloomy! Photo Credit: BBC Translation: »


- Donna Dickens

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More details on Nyff-bound 'Gone Girl' and 'Inherent Vice' surface

23 hours ago

All eyes are on the fall festivals now as Venice and Telluride are set to gear up next week with Toronto shortly after. And just on the horizon: New York. The Film Society at Lincoln Center pretty much won the day this season by landing the big premieres of David Fincher's "Gone Girl" and Paul Thomas Anderon's "Inherent Vice," while the choice of "Birdman" for closing night — despite the fact that it will have already played Venice and likely Telluride prior — felt like a natural progression. Nyff Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones recently spilled a bit on the Fincher and the Anderson, two films hotly anticipated this season. First, "Gone Girl." He didn't have a lot to say but he did mention that the film is "this panoramic, phantasmagorical, acid trip of a movie that keeps shifting gears for an amazing cinematic ride." He said "Vice," too, »


- Kristopher Tapley

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Emmy Predictions 2014: Outstanding drama series

22 August 2014 12:30 PM, PDT

Because it's NBC's turn to air the Primetime Emmy Awards this year, and because the Peacock would understandably rather air its lucrative Sunday night NFL package in September, the ceremony will take place in late August again. And as an added wrinkle, this year's ceremony will actually happen on a Monday, August 25 at 8 p.m., with Seth Meyers hosting. Between now and then, Dan and I will be making our picks for both who should and will win many of the major categories — if you're wagering, keep in mind that Dan tends to be much better at predicting the winners than I am, but also that he was just as flummoxed as I by last year's winners like Jeff Daniels, Merritt Wever and Bobby Cannavale — concluding with our predictions for Outstanding Drama Series. Outstanding Drama Series "Breaking Bad" (AMC) "Downton Abbey" (PBS) "Game of Thrones" (HBO) "House of Cards" (Netflix »


- Alan Sepinwall

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Uncanceled Showdown Final 4: After thrashing 'Firefly' can 'Jericho' be stopped?

22 August 2014 12:00 PM, PDT

We're down to the Final 4 of HitFix's Uncanceled Showdown and we have to admit... We didn't see this coming. Sure, we knew that "Jericho" fans were well-trained when it comes to mobilizing to send nuts, but like many of you, we just assumed that when it comes to mobilizing to skew online polls, nobody could top Joss Whedon fans in general and Browncoats in specific. Ooops.  The quarterfinals showdown between "Jericho" and "Firefly" figured to be competitive, but we just guessed "Firefly" fans would come through in the end. Heck, even when "Jericho" fans came out hot in the first day of voting, it still felt inevitable that "Firefly" would get a big last-minute push to victory. Nope. "Jericho" didn't just beat "Firefly." It destroyed "Firefly," picking up over 70 percent of the vote in our most popular showdown to date.  That leaves "Jericho" going up against HBO's "Deadwood" in one semifinal. »


- Daniel Fienberg

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Coldplay's new video shows 'True Love' comes in all shapes and sizes

22 August 2014 11:34 AM, PDT

While Coldplay undoubtedly meant for its video for “True Love” to come across as sweet, I’m not sure it will strike the same tone for everyone. The clip features Chris Martin and a female in inflatable suits, which are mean to represent their being overweight. They get shunned wherever they go. For example, Martin tries to get on the bus to go to a baseball game, but gets turned away because of his size. His employer kicks him in the ass for no apparent reason.The girl gets spurned when she tries out at an audition and people in her row look visibly dismayed when she goes to the ballet (and, of course, gets stuck in her seat). But despite their puffy bodies, they have great dreams, including their love of ballet and their desire to be on stage, so after a performance, Martin’s character dances as he »


- Melinda Newman

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New 'Nightcrawler' trailer sets up the murky ethics of the Jake Gyllenhaal thriller

22 August 2014 11:19 AM, PDT

Every new piece of footage or marketing for "Nightcrawler" has me champing at the bit at this point. First Open Road Films offered up a brief viral tease of the film, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal as an ethically unbound freelance crime journalist in Los Angeles, ahead of its announcement as a Toronto Film Festival world premiere. Then came the first teaser trailer, which proved to me that cinematographer Robert Elswit was bringing the goods here. And that pulp-inspired poster was awesome. Now, a full trailer, laying out all the ethical implications at the heart of the film. "Nightcrawler" recently jumped off what has become a crowded Oct. 17 release date (recently flooded by "Fury" and, for platforming purposes, "Men, Women & Children," not to mention "Birdman") and lit out for Oct 31 instead. Wise move, and if anything in the film sticks out for awards — Gyllenhaal's clearly transformative performance? Rene Russo's ambitious news lady? »


- Kristopher Tapley

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Conan's 'Scraps' Episode Had Unbelievably Funny Outtakes

22 August 2014 11:15 AM, PDT

Conan O'Brien had a "scraps" episode last night in which he showed funny outtakes and rehearsal footage. And God, I cried laughing. I cried! Cried. Cry-y-y. Check out these clips from the tremendous show. We've got the intro to start, followed by an uproarious rehearsal for a Photoshop-themed sketch and a rad impromptu cover of Radiohead's "Creep." The last two videos are audio-only and they're still hilarious. »


- Louis Virtel

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Jimmy Fallon has 'Good News And Good News' to make this terrible week better

22 August 2014 11:06 AM, PDT

According to the news lately, everything is terrible. Just frickin' awful man. The kind of bad that makes you question if aliens would even bother to vaporize us or just be content to let us self-destruct. But what if it didn't have to be that way? Jimmy Fallon introduced a new "Tonight Show" segment last night to give America — and the world — hope. "Good News And Good News" takes real live NBC news anchors and has them read out a bunch of happy headlines. Sure they're all fake, but even false hope is better than no hope right? »


- Donna Dickens

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Lena Dunham has a bicycle mishap in 'Girls' season 4 teaser

22 August 2014 10:51 AM, PDT

"We're back in production." That phrase, coupled with some footage of Lena Dunham awkwardly falling off a bike bring season 4 of HBO "Girls" a little bit closer to reality. Dunham posted a 15-second version of a teaser on her Instagram:   And here's a much longer version, for those of you who have no plans for the next 31 seconds: What hilarious and hard-to-watch self-absored shenanigans will Hannah (Dunham), Marnie (Allison Williams), Jessa (Jemima Kirke), Shoshannah (Zosia Mamet) and Adam Driver (hey, he's not a girl!) get up to this time around? "Girls" returns in 2015. »


- Dave Lewis

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MTV Vma Predictions 2014: Beyonce versus everyone else

22 August 2014 10:31 AM, PDT

MTV will hand out its annual Video Music Awards on Sunday (24). Veteran Beyonce and newcomer Iggy Azalea, who lead all nominees with eight nods, will be doing battle all night in several categories. Something to bear in mind: the awards are voted by the fans, which means acts with younger fans with itchy and eager texting fingers can get the nod over artists with more passive fans. This is much more of a popularity contest than it is a referendum on the actual best video in each category. As I noted earlier this week, it is a tremendously female-dominated field this year, so look for the ladies to rule. Here are my predictions for the main categories.   »


- Melinda Newman

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John Lithgow on Marrying Alfred Molina in 'Love is Strange'

22 August 2014 10:09 AM, PDT

The Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated John Lithgow is a major factor of why "Love is Strange" is such an intimate, believable movie. The film chronicles a 60-something gay couple (Lithgow and Alfred Molina) who have to recalibrate their lives once George (Molina) loses his teaching job at a Catholic school. The couple is forced to separate in order to find adequate lodgings, and their struggle to get by is sweet and, frankly, kind of devastating.  We caught up with Lithgow to discuss finding chemistry on the big screen, whether he misses Broadway, and the kinds of gay fans who approach him most.  "Love is Strange" is in theaters today. »


- Louis Virtel

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Emmy Predictions 2014: Outstanding comedy series

22 August 2014 10:00 AM, PDT

Because it's NBC's turn to air the Primetime Emmy Awards this year, and because the Peacock would understandably rather air its lucrative Sunday night NFL package in September, the ceremony will take place in late August again. And as an added wrinkle, this year's ceremony will actually happen on a Monday, August 25 at 8 p.m., with Seth Meyers hosting. Between now and then, Dan and I will be making our picks for both who should and will win many of the major categories — if you're wagering, keep in mind that Dan tends to be much better at predicting the winners than I am, but also that he was just as flummoxed as I by last year's winners like Jeff Daniels, Merritt Wever and Bobby Cannavale — coming close to ending as we discuss the best comedy category. Outstanding Comedy Series "The Big Bang Theory" (CBS) "Louie" (FX) "Modern Family" (ABC) "Orange Is the New Black »


- Alan Sepinwall

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Nicki Minaj keeps her assets covered in Juicy J's 'Low' video: Watch

22 August 2014 9:52 AM, PDT

After showing off a year’s worth of ass in one day with her video for “Anaconda,” Nicki Minaj keeps it her most formidable asset out of sight in her cameo on Juicy J’s “Low” video and leaves the twerking to others. Minaj comes in around 1:30 on the tune. Declaring she’s “fly every day,” she delivers a 40-second X-rated rhyme dressed relatively demurely in a black, then white, dress. Even if you're not a Minaj fan, you have to admire her sheer ubiquity these days, between her own "Anaconda,"  "Bang Bang" with Jessie J and Ariana Grande, Beyonce's remix of "Flawless" and now this... Juicy J’s low voice combined with a hypnotic beat creates a slinky tune, as he, like Kelly Rowland earlier this year, talks about liking his “kisses down low.” Hey, at least he's practicing safe sex, as he tells us the only thing in his suitcase is condoms. »


- Melinda Newman

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10 Funniest TV Ladies Who Never Won the Best Actress Emmy

22 August 2014 9:26 AM, PDT

Of all the major award shows, the Emmys are the likeliest to get winners right. After all, they usually have a few different chances to award the same people for the same performances. Eventually your favorite can slip in and score a much-deserved Emmy, like Andre Braugher on "Homicide: Life on the Street." Sometimes it never works out (Jane Krakowksi on "30 Rock," anyone?), but those are notable exceptions. And so are these. In preparation for the Emmys on Sunday we're taking a look at 10 actresses who never won a deserved "Best Actress in a Comedy Series" Emmy for their roles on a specific series and ranking their injustice. Some of these ladies would eventually win for other roles, but their losses for these fantastic characters is unforgivable.  »


- Louis Virtel

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