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Review: 'Poltergeist' feels like a half-hearted karaoke riff on the original

3 hours ago

Director Gil Kenan's work on "Poltergeist" is, like his work on "City Of Ember" and "Monster House," smart and focused and technically adept. He has done about as good a job as anyone would have done with David Lindsay-Abaire's screenplay based on the 1982 film, and the same is true of the cast. Sam Rockwell, Rosemarie DeWitt, Jared Harris, and Jane Adams are all very good at what they do. The various visual effects houses and tech departments on the film all did what they were hired to do, and taken as a whole, "Poltergeist" is professional and slick and entirely fine. It's also unnecessary in every way. There are a few moments here and there where Kenan pieces together a few images or a few new ideas, and in those moments, we get a glimpse of the potential for doing a new "Poltergeist." For the most part, though, »


- Drew McWeeny

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An early look at the Best and Worst of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival

3 hours ago

Cannes — The 68th Festival de Cannes is almost at an end. There is only one more competition film to screen, Justin Kurzel's "Macbeth," and then the Coen brothers-led jury will begin deliberations over what entry will win the prestigious Palme d'Or. The favorites are still "Son of Saul" and "Carol," but two relatively new entries, "Youth" and "Mountains May Depart," may steal their thunder. Tomorrow night's awards ceremony is going to be very intriguing. But more on that later... On Wednesday, the lovely and talented Alison Willmore of Buzzfeed and I took some time to chat about the films we liked and, of course, the films we didn't. We agreed on both one "best" and one "worst" so if you've been waiting to see someone physically express their feelings about Gus Van Sant's latest as opposed to just reading about it, this is your chance. Note: This »


- Gregory Ellwood

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Coldplay's attempt at a 'Game Of Thrones' musical is actually pretty funny

4 hours ago

If there's one thing to bring the houses of "Game of Thrones" together, it's Coldplay. Or at least that's what Chris Martin thought. The British pop-rockers and the cast of the bloody HBO series brought their A-Game to a skit last night for the "Red Nose Day" charity telecast. Check out Jon Snow -- er, Kit Harrington -- sing "Wildling" to the tune of "Wild Thing" to Ygritte (Rose Leslie), Peter Dinklage rock a saucy number solo and surprise narrator Liam Neeson narrate the whole thing. »


- Katie Hasty

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Outrage Watch: Jim Breuer slams 'SNL' cast rankings - 'I lost all respect for Rolling Stone'

5 hours ago

Jim Breuer doesn't care about being ranked 139 out of 141 on Rolling Stone's infamous "SNL" cast ranking -- he just has a problem with Rs writer Rob Sheffield's tone. "I lost all respect for Rolling Stone, because I didn’t care about the list. It’s what that guy wrote about people," Breuer railed on Wednesday's "Howard Stern Show." "Like, there were cast members like, 'Oh this douchebag.' Like why would you -- people are just trying to make a living, and what kind of douche -- where are you at in your life -- that gives you the right to stand there and go, 'Number 134, this guy, I wish he would die.'" You can listen to Breuer's full comments below. #JusticeforCheri [via Uproxx] »


- Chris Eggertsen

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HitFix Daily Snap: The 'Survivor' season that deserves more love

5 hours ago

Some shows just don't need to be canceled. Why ever cancel 'Survivor'? We don't tire of the conceit. It's not like "American Idol" where the glory of winning depends on our investment in an artist's market potential. "Survivor" is about "Survivor" and that''s that. Though quality may vary from season to season, we're never bored of the ludicrous machinations and maddening puzzle challenges.  As we process the "Worlds Apart" finale, let's pick an underrated season to spotlight: I think "Survivor: Philippines" deserves a bit more credit -- not only because Denise Stapley was a valiant and cool winner, but because Lisa Whelchel's arc on the show was, um, astounding? She went from being a self-assigned, miserable hermit to a real player and pseudo-philosopher who was both sincere and successfully manipulative. A rare kind of character, even for "Survivor." Here's what else is going on at HitFix today. »


- Louis Virtel

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All you need to know about this summer's biggest music festivals

5 hours ago

Lollapalooza. Bonnaroo. Coachella. Sasquatch! Summer music fests are hard to keep straight sometimes, so we've done all the straightening out for you. Below, HitFix breaks down the who, what, where and when of all the biggest summer music festivals in North America -- we're gonna leave the "how" up to you. For instance, did you know that Austin City Limits' two weekend lineups aren't Exactly the same? And which other gatherings are four days -- or longer? And can you guess which dance music festival still hasn't revealed its lineup, despite festivities being only three weeks away? And Just Where Are You Going To See Drake, Huh? Wear sunscreen and stay hydrated. Welcome to the official start of summer, fest-goers. »

- Katie Hasty

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Get ready for Bill Murray's Netflix Christmas special. Here's a teaser.

6 hours ago

Legendary comic actor and Oscar nominee Bill Murray is ready to celebrate Christmas, which should perplex you. Since last year he's been working on a Christmas special for Netflix with Sofia Coppola, and now we get a glimpse of what they've been up to. Oooh! Glum! The special, out this December, will also feature George Clooney, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and Miley Cyrus. Bring the spirit, guys.  »


- Louis Virtel

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 285 - 'Game of Thrones' controversy and finales

6 hours ago

Happy Friday, Boys & Girls! It's time for a spoiler-y installment of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. This should see you through the long weekend. Actually, since we did nearly two hours of podcasting on "Mad Men" alone on Monday... That's a lot of Firewall & Iceberg this week. We kinda picked a random assortment of finales to talk about in this podcast, some that we were asked about in Listener Mail and some that we just felt like touching on. So obviously these segments are all spoiler-y for the shows in question. And since we got asked about The Bad Thing in last Sunday's "Game of Thrones," we talked about it. Here's today's breakdown: "The Good Wife" (00:03:35 - 00:21:40) "Jane the Virgin" (00:21:40 - 00:38:50) "New Girl" (00:38:55 - 00:46:00) "Arrow" (00:46:00 - 01:00:10) "The Flash" (01:00:15 - 01:07:20) Sunday's "Game »


- Daniel Fienberg

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Ask Alan, Episode 8: Goodbye to David Letterman & 'Mad Men'

6 hours ago

Time for another Ask Alan video, this time goodbye-themed, as I took questions on the end of the David Letterman era as well as "Mad Men." We should be back on a bi-weekly schedule for a good stretch now, so please keep the questions coming. As always, you can send questions to video@hitfix.com, and please put "Ask Alan" in the subject line. (Clicking on this link does all that for you.) Try to keep the questions tightly-phrased, though if you're asking for some kind of viewing recommendation, information on both what you like and what you've already seen is very useful. See ya in the next video, Jack. »


- Alan Sepinwall

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TV Ratings: 'Wayward Pines' rises in Week 2, 'Red Nose Day' is quiet on Thursday

7 hours ago

Fast National ratings for Thursday, May 21, 2015. The first out-of-season primetime of the summer was predictably sluggish with a "Big Bang Theory" repeat ruling as the night's top show in all measures, followed by an "Odd Couple" repeat as CBS won in most measures. NBC's star-studded "Red Nose Day" represented a great cause, but drew little audience attention. The show's biggest number was $21 million raised for children's charities thus far, so none of the rest of this stuff matters for it. The night's biggest notable was a Week 2 bump for Fox's "Wayward Pines," which was up from last week's premiere in most measures. Meanwhile, the second night of ABC's "500 Questions" didn't deliver great numbers, but it retained much of its audience from Wednesday. Let's get to the ratings... Among adults 18-49, CBS averaged a 1.1 rating for Thursday night, tops in the key demographic. Fox was second with a 1.0 key demo rating, »


- Daniel Fienberg

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Review: 'Louie' - 'The Road, Part 1': Left luggage

9 hours ago

A quick review of last night's "Louie" coming up just as soon as I get a hot pour bun... Given that last night's episode was the first half of a two-parter that will wrap up this abbreviated season, and that "Louie" multi-part stories don't always fully reveal themselves until they're done, I was half-tempted to just pass on writing up "The Road, Part 1" and returning next week to discuss the finale. But whether the vignettes this week were setting up some larger point for the next — perhaps about Louie finally making a human connection on this road trip he's just hoped to survive — I thought each individual story was interesting enough that the episode was able to function on its own. We get a glimpse of Louie's packing ritual (he is not the only man of a certain age and size who makes sure to include at least one »


- Alan Sepinwall

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Book fans are getting a 'World War Z' movie sequel, whether they want it or not

9 hours ago

There’s no denying the box office draw of “World War Z.” The film generated over $200 million in domestic gross. This, despite a troubled production and a third act that felt akin to a writer backed into a corner saying “Disease vials are basically modern day magic potions, right?” In today’s Hollywood landscape, that meant a sequel was inevitable. Yesterday Paramount Pictures revealed their plan. “World War Z 2” — hopefully just the working title — is set to be released on June 9, 2017. If that date seems familiar, it’s because it’s already been tagged by Fox for their Fantastic Four sequel. While a box office rumble between genre titans makes for good headlines, the more interesting bit of “WWZ2” news is that “Locke” writer Steven Knight has been tapped for the blockbuster sequel. As it’s still early stages, no whisper of the plot for “WWZ2” has been mentioned. »


- Donna Dickens

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'The Lobster,' 'The Assassin' and 4 other mini-reviews from Cannes

9 hours ago

Cannes — Even at a more civilized festival such as Cannes, it can be hard to catch every single movie in competition. There are always a few that will slip through the cracks and you can always count on the inevitable life drama moment to rear its ugly head. Unlike other festivals, Cannes has less repeat screenings across the board. That also makes things tough for one person to chronicle it all. With less than 24 hours left in the festival we’re happy to say we've been able to cover 10 Cannes selections in depth. Here are capsule reviews for another six selections you may still be curious about. [Expect full reviews of “Macbeth,” “The Little Prince” and “Chronic” by the end of the weekend as well as some thoughts on whether Oscar stepped out on la Croisette this year.] "Louder Than Bombs" Director: Joachim Trier Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne, Amy Ryan, Isabelle Huppert, David Strathairn, David Druid Reaction: Trier’s first English language film is sort of a mixed bag. On the one hand, he often has creative and new ideas on how to stage scenes. »


- Gregory Ellwood

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Review: Caine, Keitel and Weisz are at their best in Sorrentino's glorious 'Youth'

13 hours ago

Cannes — Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino has already dipped his toe into the familiar genre of characters of a certain age reminiscing about the good old days with 2013's "The Great Beauty." He even won an Oscar for it. Two years later he returns to the Cannes Film Festival with "Youth," a follow-up that stands besides "Great Beauty" thematically while also presenting a decidedly different point of view. “Youth” starts off with The Retrosettes Sister Band performing a cover of “You Got the Love," interpreted in a retro style and a twist on the old adage “everything old is new again.” In this case, everything new is old again, a theme that may or may not apply to the central characters in Sorrentino’s cinematic opera.   The movie centers on Fred Ballinger (Michael Caine), a legendary British composer and conductor, and Mick Boyle (Harvey Keitel), a famous American film director. Friends for 60 years, »


- Gregory Ellwood

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Why the Playboy Mansion is terrifying and perfect

21 hours ago

I visited the Playboy mansion last night for a screening of the new "Entourage" movie, which seems like something a youth pastor recommends to help kill your homosexuality. I'd expected to sit in Hugh Hefner's theater with other journotrash, watch Adrian Grenier exist for two hours, and leave without fanfare. To my surprise, we were allowed to tour the mansion's backyard and explore. Here's everything I gathered about Hef's living situation from hanging out in his lawn with a free vodka soda. You are greeted by peacocks. Have you ever just looked at a peacock? Like, face to face? Here's how you know you did it right: You think you're going to die. Peacocks are huge. They seem docile and happy to hug the ground all day, but they're capable of flying. Divebombing, really. They're like condors of gay pride swooping around and scaring you with glamor. Hef has »


- Louis Virtel

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'Jem and the Holograms' star Stefanie Scott has a message for the haters

22 hours ago

It's safe to say the first trailer for Jon M. Chu's live-action "Jem and the Holograms" movie (embedded below) didn't go over too smoothly with fans of the original series. But cast member Stefanie Scott (a.k.a. Kimber) is asking the doubters to give it a chance. "I think that they have to see the movie to understand that things that they think are missing are in there," Scott told us while doing press rounds for the upcoming horror prequel "Insidious: Chapter 3." "It's kind of like, why would we put it all of that in the trailer when you get to discover it through the movie?" Fans decried the absence of a number of elements from the original animated series, including rival band the Misfits, the holographic computer named Synergy and Jerrica (a.k.a. Jem's) star earrings. To hear Scott's full comments on the matter, click on the video above. »


- Chris Eggertsen

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Why '500 Questions' is the trivia experience TV needs

21 May 2015 1:32 PM, PDT

I am a game show zealot. I believe in the umber glow of Chuck Woolery and the sneering capabilities of Paul Lynde. I'm also a rabid fan of trivia; I was on "Jeopardy!" a couple weeks ago and Gsn's "The Chase" before that. Every time network TV rolls out a new primetime trivia-based game show, I'm listening and hopeful and there -- and I have three spring-loaded requests: 1) Please, Jesus, anything but more "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?"-type lighting; 2) Good lord, no more multiple choice questions; 3) Make me love you, new show. I want to love you. Embrace me, you child. Last year we got the Ryan Seacrest-hosted "Million Second Quiz," a multiple-choice bonanza with "Millionaire" lighting that was tedious and unchallenging (read: not lovable). You can understand my devastation there. "500 Questions" is this year's new primetime trivia attempt. Hosted by CNN journalist Richard Quest, "500 Questions" airs »


- Louis Virtel

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'Welcome to Me' gets Borderline Personality Disorder wrong in one irreparable way

21 May 2015 12:46 PM, PDT

"Come on, not the crazy bitch." -- Dawn Hurley (Joan Cusack) in "Welcome to Me" Shira Piven's "Welcome to Me" has been in limited theaters and on iTunes since the first of the month, and it's racked up praise from a number of critics, including Variety's Justin Chang ("A strange and often startlingly inspired media/mental-illness comedy") and the New York Times' A.O. Scott ("Defies expectations and easy categorization, forgoing obvious laughs and cheap emotional payoffs in favor of something much odder and more interesting"). Given that this is one of the few movies ever to specifically name Borderline Personality Disorder (Bpd) as the cause of its lead character's troubles, I wanted to be on board with it. I really, really wanted to be. I'm no Bpd expert, but I've tried my best to educate myself on what is an extremely complex, destructive, deadly (the suicide rate of patients »


- Chris Eggertsen

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Paul McCartney collaborated with Lady Gaga for this new soundtrack

21 May 2015 10:44 AM, PDT

In 2005, Paul McCartney co-authored a children’s book, High in the Clouds, about two competing ways of life, Animalia and Megatropolis, featuring a squirrel and frog as protagonists. Predictably, the animal heroes are headed to the big screen, with a film version of High in the Clouds in development for the last couple years, with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 director Cody Cameron set to direct. But, as this is a McCartney passion project, the Beatles’ great is working on songs for the movie, with Deadline reporting that McCartney has seven or eight new songs set for the film, and will even voice one of the characters, according to Rolling Stone... Read the full article at Radio.com. »


- Philip Cosores - Radio.com

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Will 'Star Trek Beyond' take the Enterprise 'where no one has gone before'?

21 May 2015 10:35 AM, PDT

Simon Pegg has a real knack for saying things I agree with in a way that drives people completely insane. I've known Pegg for a little over a decade now, and I was a fan for a year or two before that thanks to "Spaced." It's been quite clear in that time that he takes genre very seriously, and that his fandom is genuine. One of the reasons "Spaced" connected to people who saw it was because it was clearly coming from people who spoke that same secret language that we all do as fans, and we could see ourselves in the characters. Edgar Wright's voice as a filmmaker builds off of the visual vocabulary of many of our genre heroes. One of the reasons I am inordinately curious about "Star Trek Beyond" is because Pegg is one of the writers of the film, meaning he's playing a key »


- Drew McWeeny

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