American Idol (CR: Michael Becker/FOX)


American Idol is now down to six singers, and tonight’s installment will have the artists singing a country and a rock song to earn their keep and survive another week on the show. TVLine journo Michael Slezak released the official set list for tonight’s performances, and Jena Irene is my pick to hit it out of the park, as she is set to perform Carrie Underwood’s “So Small” and the Heart staple “Barracuda.”

During a recent interview, C.J. Harris was asked if he had any favorite American Idols from yesteryear. “Ruben Studdard was on it and Chris Daughtry, all those guys,” said Harris, who will perform Zac Brown Band’s ‘Whatever It Is’ and The Guess Who rocker ‘American Woman.’  “I mean, they’re all amazing, you know.  I think Chris Daughtry (brought) so much out of me, you know.  I used to follow…you know, I follow Chris Daughtry on Twitter and his voice is just amazing.  He has a different sound.  I mean, he wasn’t scared to be who he is and you know, he’s just an awesome guy.”

Caleb Johnson is also tacking Carrie Underwood, as he’s scheduled for a rendition of “Undo It.” On the rock end, he’ll be covering The Black Crowes tune “Sting Me.” Click on the media bar below to hear Johnson talk about his love for American Idol vets Chris Daughtry and Adam Lambert:

American Idol airs tonight on FOX (8 pm et/pt).

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi


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The Mindy Project (FOX, CR: Beth Dubber)

Tonight’s episode of The Mindy Project, titled “An Officer and a Gynecologist,” features a guest appearance from TV vet Tim Daly (Wings, The Fugitive, Private Practice) as a cranky officer who gets even surlier after Mindy (Mindy Kaling) gives his daughter birth control pills. Since Mindy is never predictable, her handling of the matter should lead to extremely unexpected results.

It’s Mindy’s own approach to life which has garnered a loyal following to the show, and cast member Beth Grant talked about the program’s popularity. “I love the vicarious thrills of living my life through Mindy,” said Grant, who plays absent minded nurse Beverly on the show.  “She has all these escapades and you know she’s a professional and she’s good at what she does. She’s a good doctor but she goes out; she has fun and she dates all these gorgeous guys and has all these adventures and she dresses fabulously and then she’s a fashion icon and she’s funny and she’s easy, you know, it’s not like she’s hitting it hard. It’s just easy and sweet and kind and I think we all kind of want to be her. I know I do.”

The Mindy Project fans are also tune in to check in on the relationship between, as well as the back and forth banter, of Mindy and Danny (Chris Messina). In a recent interview, Kaling humorously offered up her thoughts on kissing her co-star. “It’s one of the perks of the job,” she added. “It’s like you kiss like you would kiss. You know, it’s like, fun. Yeah, that’s Chris. It’s like I know him so well and feel so close with him and vice versa, so, we just do it.”

The Mindy Project airs tonight on FOX (9 pm et/pt).

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Rio 2 Soundtrack

Music legend Sergio Mendes continues his collaboration with composer John Powell with the Rio 2 soundtrack. During a reent interview, the musician talked about working with Carlinhos Brown and Powell to create the Rio 2 tune “Batacuda Familia.”

“The idea was to have a celebration of the family getting together again,” said Mendes about the song, which also features vocals from Jamie Foxx, Rita Moreno, Siedah Garrett, and Rachel Crow. “So Carlinhos Brown, we’ve been writing songs for a long time now. Batucada (translates to) having a lot of percussion. (So we came up) with something very positive, sunny, and colorful. We sat at the piano and John Powell also co-wrote the song with us.”

Mendes, whose next album Magic comes out in June, explained that there is a marked difference between producing a soundtrack and working on one’s own album. “The movie guides us,” he added. “That’s what we write music for. It’s different if I’m writing a song for my record. If I’m writing for an animated movie like Rio you have to think about the children, the melody has to be simple, not too complicated and then you have to have the joy that the rhythmical part of Brazilian music brings.”

To check out the full interview with Sergio Mendes, in which he discusses his memories of jazz great Cannonball Adderly and his touring plans, check out the Q&A article on Deepest Dream.

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Blue Ruin

In theaters and On Demand April 25, Blue Ruin centers on Dwight Evans (Macon Blair), an outsider who remains haunted by the murder of his parents. Upon the killer’s release from prison, Evans steps out from the shadows and drives down a bloody road of vengeance. Tautly directed and refreshingly unforgiving in tone, Blue Ruin is a viscerally thrilling suspense tale that is hard to shake even after the credits roll.

Part of a film’s creative success lies in the collaboration between the filmmaker and his actors. Director Jeremy Saulnier and Blair have been close friends for over 25 years, and with that bond comes months of working through the material. This shorthand enabled Blair to put his body and soul into Dwight Evans, and since this drifter is a man of few words, much of the performance hinges on the actor’s pure physicality and behavior.

“The key was an extremely long period of development where Jeremy and I, before any money was sunk into it, when the stakes were relatively low, that we could talk at great length about everything that this character was doing,” said Blair, who also starred in Saulnier’s 2007 debut feature Murder Party.

Blair discusses his collaboration with Saulnier on Blue Ruin in the following video:


I also posted a video which has Saulnier offering up directing advice. You can check it out on Deepest Dream .

Here’s a pivotal scene from Blue Ruin, which sets Dwight Evans on his unrelenting journey:


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posted by Greg Srisavasdi


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American Idol (CR: Michael Becker)

American Idol continues tonight (Fox, 8 pm et/pt), as the top seven attempt to survive another week in the competition. For singer Jena Irene, part of her Idol journey has helped her gain a ton of confidence as a performer.

“My confidence level, I mean it’s grown,” said Irene. “It started off very small, but after over the months of preparing and getting all the advice that I’ve gotten and taking everything into consideration, I think my confidence and then my originality, I hope that people like what I come up with in the next few weeks.  But, yeah, it’s been fun.”

For CJ Harris, American Idol has also helped him hone his craft. Although he’s a natural musician and has an authentic, down home country/blues voice, Harris’ talent did need a bit of nurturing.

“I knew that I could do something with music,” said Harris.  “I was just really waiting on the help, man.  I couldn’t afford to have the voice lessons and the guitar lessons and things like that I really wanted to get help on.  Now that I’m here and I get help on interviews, on how to do an interview, how to breathe, how to do this and that, and it’s just helped me all around as a musician, from my stage performance to a lot of things.  I’m just excited.”

To hear Caleb Johnson talk about showing his creativity on American Idol, click on the media bar below:


We’ll also miss last week’s eliminated singer Malaya Watson. Check out her thoughts on her American Idol experience and also hear what JLo had to say about Watson’s “God-given” talent on this Deepest Dream post.

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Kitchen Nightmares (FOX, Jeff Neira)

Another season of Kitchen Nightmares premieres tonight (Fox, 8 pm et/pt), as Gordon Ramsay returns to help a former client and also travels to Denver, Colorado to fix up an Italian restaurant named Pantaleone’s. Known for his culinary expertise and refreshingly candid manner in working with different chefs, Mr. Ramsay is focusing this series of episodes on family run businesses.

“I mean, it’s a bit of a whirlwind,” said Ramsay. So I think every country globally has equally as bad of restaurants as we do here. But I think it’s something that the viewers never get tired of. And, also I think it’s been more heartfelt over the last 18 months, 2 years with the economy. So there are a lot more family restaurants that have gone under and are struggling trying to keep up with conglomerates chains. So this year, season six, we focus more on the personalized, family-run businesses that had a lot more at stake, not just in terms of the jeopardy financially. But, you know, if the restaurant is broke, the family is broke. If the family is broke, the restaurant is broke. So season six for me is one of the most important.”

In the clip below, Ramsay talks about the cities he visits this season on Kitchen Nightmares.

Gordon Ramsay also continues to learn and grow from his Kitchen Nightmares experience. Check out my article on Deepest Dream to read more about the show and why Ramsay takes the project in such a personal fashion.

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi


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Jim and Elizabeth Carroll

Husband and wife counseling team Jim and Elizabeth Carroll serve as the port in the storm of Marriage Boot Camp, as they help guide troubled couples through their various problems. Even though seeing spouses bicker and banter makes for an interesting reality TV show experience, a fractured marriage is really nothing to laugh at in the long run, and hopefully the Carrolls can work their magic with these respective couples.

“What we do is we put people through drills and exercises so they learn themselves,” said Jim Carroll. “If you do a bunch of brain stuff with them and say ‘this is what you need to do,’ nobody really listens. But when you play these interactive games and drills, people get so much out of it and they take it for the rest of their lives as a lesson learned.”

In the following clip, Jim Carroll talks about the different couples that are featured in Marriage Boot Camp.


The show airs tonight on WE tv at 9 pm et/pt.

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Joe (Roadside Attractions, CR: Linda Kallerus)

There are many takeaways from Joe, a drama that centers on an ex-convict’s (Nicolas Cage) friendship with a hard working yet troubled teenager (Tye Sheridan). Along with first rate performances. the feature is one of filmmaker’s David Gordon Green’s most stirring efforts, as the narrative, which is based on the Larry Brown novel, contains the danger of Undertow and the evocative feel of George Washington and All The Real Girls. Even if this film is influences by some of his earlier work, Green turns Joe into a distinctly singular experience, as it will be hard to find a more memorable character on screen this year than Joe Ransom.

Cage’s work as Ransom isn’t the only standout in the film, as Gary Poulter, who plays the teenage boy’s abusive, alcoholic dad, is also memorable. In the production notes, Green recalled why he hired Poulter, who was discovered by casting director John Willims on the streets of Austin, Texas. “We were looking for drifters who were real and interesting and Gary had just a beautiful look to him. You could see the lost soul behind his eyes. He was missing part of an ear, as he was just as much interrogating John as John was interviewing him. There was something special there.”

Unfortunately, Poulter’s acting career didn’t travel beyond “Joe,” as he died in March 2013. During the press conference, Cage, Sheridan, and Green talked about working with Poulter. Click on the media below to hear their comments:


To hear how Nicolas Cage connects a scene in Joe with Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Häägen-Dazs, and his professor-father, check out my Deepest Dream post.

Joe opens in select theaters and On Demand this Friday.


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posted by Greg Srisavasdi




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"Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier"Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans)Ph: Zade Rosenthal© 2014 Marvel.  All Rights Reserved.

When he first signed on to the Captain America franchise, Chris Evans was worried about the lack of anonymity that it would bring him. He played the Human Torch for the two Fantastic Four films, but playing one of Marvel’s most popular heroes was a huge step in his career. It’s a move that, to this day, he obviously doesn’t regret.

“Had I not done the movies, it would’ve been the biggest mistake of my life,” said Evans. “It really wouldn’ve been the biggest regret to date and there are plenty. It’s changed everything for me. I mean not just what it’s enabled me to do outside of these movies, but it’s so comforting knowing that you’re making good movies.”

To hear Chris Evans talk about taking on the Captain America franchise, click on the audio below:


Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which stars Samuel Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, and Robert Redford, opens nationwide Friday. If you want to check out Scarlett Johansson’s thoughts on the Black Widow’s transformation in the new film, go to our sister site Deepest Dream.


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posted by Greg Srisavasdi


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EA Sports

Great news today for FIFA enthusiasts, as EA SPORTS 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil demo can now be downloaded for the Microsoft Xbox 360 (for Xbox Live Gold members) and for the PlayStation 3 console. Xbox Live Silver members will be able to download the demo starting April 8.

According to Gamespot, the demo takes up 1.7 GB on the PS3 and 1.66 GB on the 360, and the site to download the demo is as follows: http://www.easports.com/2014-fifa-world-cup/custom/demo.

Fans who play the demo can play as members of Brazil, England, Mexico, the U.S., Ivory Coast, Japan, New Zealand, and Australia in the Kick-Off mode. The festivities will take place at Estadio de Maracana, the venue that will host the World Cup Final.

EA SPORTS 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, which contains 203 national teams, 21 new stadiums, and 7,469 players, comes out April 15 in North America. It’s also great to know that certain titles are still being released on the Xbox 360 and PS3 (at least for the 2014 season!).

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posted by Greg Srisavasdi


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