Author

Aly Semigran
Staff editor Aly Semigran is a New York City native who grew up in Philadelphia and spent the better part of her youth trying to figure out what the Philly Phanatic was (an anteater?), quoting 'The Simpsons,' and learning all about movies from her dad. After graduating from Temple University, where she studied journalism, she moved back to NYC and began her career as a freelance entertainment journalist. Her work has been published in Entertainment Weekly, Maxim, Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia City Paper, MTV.com, and iVillage.com. She is thrilled to be a part of the Hollywood.com team and she is still quoting 'The Simpsons.' ('I'm Idaho!')
  • 'Louie' Recap: The Ballad of Tape Recorder
    By: Aly Semigran Jul 27, 2012
    There may be no greater testament to why Louie is currently the best comedy on television than the fact that it's a comedy that rarely makes you laugh out loud, yet it remains, indisputably, the best. That's not to say the show doesn't provide its share of belly laughs. From his sister's Season 2 pregnancy scare that turned out to be what was likely television's longest fart, to his daughter telling the instant classic "gorilla at the ballet" joke, Louis C.K. can make you rewind and pause your DVR like the best of him.  But because the truly un-categorizable series is more often a bittersweet slice of life, those laugh-out-loud moments that are peppered in are all the more special and damn funny. Maybe that's why, on my second viewing of "Daddy's Girlfriend, Pt. 2" (it required two), the opening stand-up sequence felt especially hilarious because of the juxtaposition of the hauntingly sad conclusion.   During his routine, Louie described being on a date with a woman that made him so nervous he "farted for the rest of my life." For the record, I had to pause the DVR both times. Only Louis C.K. — and I can say this with the utmost certainty — could start a show with the line "you just feel buckets of c** on your face" and end it with a sorrowful look into the mind of someone grappling with mental illness.   We picked up almost right where we left off in last week's episode, to find Louie picking up the lovely book shop employee (played achingly well by Parker Posey) for their date. As she and a coworker lock up the store, something small but monumental happens. Small in that, like Louie, you may have missed it or brushed it off, but monumental in its meaning. As her coworker locked up she said, "Goodnight, Seymour", to which he replied, annoyed, "My name's Roger." It may seem like an insignificant detail (and to a man who is happy to be on a date with a beautiful woman, probably an ignorable one entirely) but it was a warning sign of things to come. Why would this woman blatantly call her coworker by the wrong name? If it were accidental, wouldn't she apologize for her mistake? Something was amiss, something beyond the seemingly quirky, kind woman we met last week.   It became clear, after she took Louie to a bar and tried to order them drinks, only to be told by the bartender she's not going to serve her "after last time," that perhaps she has a substance abuse problem. A darkness, a sadness is underneath. When she swiftly exits the bar with Louie, claiming the crowded bar made her anxious, the night turns into the very definition of an emotional roller coaster. She immediately shifted gears from sullen and embarrassed to manic and talkative. "You're gonna have to keep up with me, I reveal myself to people very quickly," she told Louie, a statement more loaded underneath the surface. She regaled Louie with a devastating story about being a young girl battling carcinoma. On first viewing, it felt like a deeply personal revelation about a traumatic, life-changing experience. On second watch, when you know she'll later lie to Louie about her real name (which was Liz, not, as she teased, Tape Recorder) and clearly has demons in her head, your heart breaks at the thought that maybe that story, too, is a fabrication or embellishment.    If there was something deeply, darkly humorous to find in all this, it's proving, at long last, the dangers of the manic pixie dream girl. If Parker Posey didn't look like Parker Posey or men didn't confuse mania with impulsive and quirky, Louie may have never been pulled into fitting room of a vintage store to put on a sparkly dress at her request to prove that he liked her. Sometimes, the lengths men will go to to impress a woman,  knows no bounds.   Still, even with those hindsight warning signs, it was easy to see she was intrigued by her. She was fascinating, exciting, different. They had amazing chemistry. She took him for his first trip to New York City institution Russ and Daughters for some un-date-friendly food; she revealed her desire to desire visiting North Dakota, but not actually visit it; and she showed such compassion and worry for a homeless man enduring a psychotic episode, the mere bat of her eye had Louie buying his meds and giving him a hotel room for the night. Sometimes, it truly knows no bounds.   Louie was so willing to go along for this ride that he follows her into a building, where she somehow convinces him to climb countless flights of steps to sneak onto a roof. When they reach the roof, with Louie a little bit worse for the wear, she sits on the ledge of the building, a move that finally makes him vocalize his discomfort and anxiety. "The only way I'd fall is if I'd jump," she told Louie, after he expressed that the sight of her on a ledge was upsetting to him. "A tiny part of you wants to jump, but I don't want to jump, so I'm not afraid. I would never do that," she said bright-eyed, joyous. "I'm having too good of a time." After letting out a sigh, we watched as all that hope and happiness drain from her eyes. It sharply and distinctly turns to sadness, something Louie noticed, too. Liz is someone who wants to believe, in her heart, she's having too good a time to ever jump, but her mind is haunted. She knows that is simply not true.    You'd be hard-pressed to find a better piece of acting this summer than this heartbreaking scene between C.K. and Posey. Both come to their own terrible conclusions in that moment and both did it in such understated, masterful ways. Your heart, quite simply, broke for the both of them. Liz, a free-spirit trapped in a prison of her mind, and Louie, someone who is ready to open his heart up again, only to have to guard it again. With the 2012 Emmys so close, one can only hope Posey's stunning performance isn't forgotten by 2013. It's a delicate balance to pull off a character like this and Posey did it marvelously. While I hope, for Louie's sake (and hers, truthfully) that he doesn't see Liz again, I will be sad to see Posey go.  Follow Aly on Twitter @AlySemigran  More:  Louie Recap: 40-Love  Louie Recap: Welcome to Miami  Louie Recap: A Gorilla Walks Into a Ballet... Louie Part 2
  • 15 Americans to Follow on Twitter During the Olympics 
    By: Aly Semigran Jul 26, 2012
    There's a time and place where people from every corner of the Earth can come together to speak a universal language of unity. And sure, Twitter is great and all, but it's time for the Olympics! Both of these worlds will inevitably collide as not only everyone watching the 2012 Summer Olympics will have something to say about it on the social networking hub, but those actually competing in the games will, too.  Many of the U.S. athletes competing in this year's games have already been tweeting about their journey to London and keeping their followers and fans up to speed on their quest to the podium. Take, for instance, rising tennis star Lisa Raymond, who recently took to her Twitter to share, "On the plane to #london2012 , Carl Lewis sitting in front of me- gotta be a good sign right?!?!!! #Olympics."  From the prank-happy U.S. basketball team to Twitter/Olympic all-stars like Michael Phelps, there's plenty to keep you entertained during those commercial breaks while watching hour upon hour of Olympic greatness. Here now are Hollywood.com's staff's picks for the essential American athletes to follow during the 2012 Summer Olympics. #USA! #USA! #USA!:  Michael Phelps: Who has a better perspective on the thrill of the Olympics than a 14-time gold medalist? The Subway sandwich enthusiast always makes sure to keep his fans up to speed on his whereabouts, from the exciting ("Last workout in France today!! Then finally get to head to #LONDON2012 !!") to the mundane ("I hate hiccups," "Sitting at lunch now…"). Just like in 2008, all eyes will be on Phelps, and this time around, likely all of the tweets, too.  Ryan Lochte: You know that old saying: why follow one incredibly hot U.S. swimmer when you can follow two? Well, Ryan Lochte is now the answer to that question! Sure, not every tweet is as enthralling as watching him race ("Really enjoying this weather in London!") but he's just as loyal to his fan base as they are to him ("I love LOCHTE NATION!!! I'm looking at all the replies...WOW you guys are amazing support!!") Jeah, buddy!    Missy Franklin: Sorry fellas, you can't get all the swimmer glory on Twitter. Especially not when there's awesome female swimmers like Missy Franklin, who send out great, RT-friendly tweets like this: "I saw the Tower of London today! Wish I could spend more time there, but I guess I have to swim soon or something."  Venus Williams: Never mind the fact that you should already be following both Venus and her sister Serena Williams on Twitter (consider it your civic duty) but the tennis superstar shares everything from visiting a Jamba Juice (awesome) to getting passed the Olympic torch (super awesome) to representing our great nation in the games (super, incredibly awesome: see above.) There's a reason why she's 841,989 followers and counting.    Kevin Durant: While the entire U.S. Men's Basketball team is worth following on Twitter (if only for their hilarious ongoing sleeping picture pranks), the Oklahoma City Thunder forward, who will be making his Olympic debut this year, is already a champ at keeping us entertained at 140 characters or less. Durant's excitement about his experiences so far ("Headed to Manchester with my USA bball teammates!! So blessed I get this opportunity!! #PGCountyRepresenter!!") not to mention sharing some great photo ops (including this amazing one with his teammates below) has all the makings of a dream Twitter team. Jordan Burroughs: With a Twitter handle like @alliseeisgold, how could you not follow wrestler Jordan Burroughs during the Olympics? Plus, the guy seems as tech savvy as they get: Burroughs bought a flip cam to document his time in London and got his dad an iPad. And you just can't argue with the fortune cookie of destiny!  Alex Morgan: Gooooooooaaaaaaal! Who says Americans don't care about soccer? With a fierce player like Alex Morgan representing the U.S. it's impossible not to get wrapped up in the other football. Giving insight from both on and off the soccer field (hey, she needs coffee just as much as we do!) she's one to watch during the Olympics and on Twitter.  Misty May-Treanor: A verified volleyball superstar and a verified tweeter, Misty May is a friend of both instagram and promotion (plenty of Nike and Visa shout-outs!) A serial tweeter, you can be sure she'll give us plenty of reading material during the games. Alexandra Raisman: Every four years, we as a nation become engrossed with the women's gymnastics team and it looks like 2012 will be no different. We're already keeping up with the likes of Kyla Ross (whose Twitter background will make you dizzier than a series of backflips), McKayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber, and Gabrielle Douglas, but our favorite so far has been Alexandra (Aly) Raisman. The 18-year-old not only gives insider perspective ("PODIUM TRAINING TODAY. Aaaaaah too excited. Can't believe it's already here, everything's going by so fast!") but she can rock a mean British accent, too. Or so say says. "My British accent is spot on. Well at least I think it is... ;)"    Tyson Gay: Tyson, as his Twitter profile explains, is "the American record holder at 100m, at 9.69 seconds. Trying to be the fastest man in history. Also is a world champion sprinter and Olympian." But even world class athletes like Gay fall victim to the dreaded pocket tweet, like he did on July 24. Still, his intentional tweets are even better. Case in point: "Happy to win today in London. Things are coming together for the big race here next month #London 2012. Thank to all for your support."  Allyson Felix: A breakout star at the 2008 Olympics, the gold and silver medalist seems poised to be a winner on the track again. And, yep, on Twitter. She's bringing some much-needed California girl flare flare to London, care of Twitter.    Steven Lopez: Like so many other U.S. athletes on this list, Lopez, a Tae Kwon Do gold medal champ, is returning to the games for (hopefully) more glory. A fan-friendly tweet, Lopez might give you a RT if you send him some Olympic-sized loved. Then again, why would you even attempt to say something mean about a guy who tweets about "Working on face kicks"?  Lolo Jones: The athlete with perhaps the single cutest Twitter profile pic (she's hurdling over her pup!) Lolo Jones is the one you'll want to follow if you're big on religion/inspirational-based tweets during the games.  Phil Dalhausser: The charming volleyball champ (he won gold at the 2008 games) is just as much fun to watch on Twitter as he is during a match. Sure, there would be nothing quite like actually being at the games, but Dalhausser certainly makes us feel like we're there, from stunning scenes from his hotel balcony to exciting insight about London's Olympic facilities John Orozco: Speaking of great Twitter profile pics, male gymnast John Orozco gets a gold medal for his. The Bronx native, who gets Twitter love from the likes of Gym Class Hereos and Ricky Martin, is posing with First Lady Michelle Obama in his profile shot. Talk about a team USA good luck charm.     Who will you be following on Twitter during the 2012 Summer Olympics? Share with us on Twitter @Hollywood_com!  More:  Everything We Want To Know About the Olympics Opening Ceremony  Double-Amputee Oscar Pistorious To Compete in London's Summer Olympics  Rafael Nadal Drops Out of the Olympics
  • 'Big Brother' Recap: Queso and JoJo
    By: Aly Semigran Jul 26, 2012
    There was a beloved, albeit short-lived, Nickelodeon game show in the '90s called Wild & Crazy Kids in which wild and/or crazy kids competed in what was essentially a televised Field Day. The games would range from silly (Dizzy Bat) to gross (food fights) to downright ridiculous (Donkey Basketball) and one's victory was announced by Omar Gooding or Donnie Jeffcoat. (How in the hell is Donnie Jeffcoat not the name of a current reality show contestant?)  Big Brother is essentially Wild & Crazy Kids, if they had locked said kids in a house for a long period of time, promised them an absurd amount of money to stop at nothing to win, and replaced Omar Gooding with Julie Chen. Wild and crazy? Absolutely. But hey, at least they still have those inane games to play! Tonight those wild and crazy kids played a memory game in which they willingly dressed up like tortilla chips and jumped into tubs of dip.  Ah, to be young again! Or just to be an adult with absolutely no sense of shame or self-awareness.  Of course, unlike Wild & Crazy Kids, Big Brother has that whole manipulation and extreme paranoia angle. (Okay, no wonder that show didn't last very long.) With Willie now out of the picture after physically attacking Joe (which Ian totally would have broken up if he wasn't in a towel or Ian), the house was now down both a villain and a number one target. Boogie and Shane to the rescue!  Willie played his Big Brother villain card all wrong too early in the game by going with the bully angle instead of creepy mastermind who resembles Herbie the Dentist gone terribly, horribly wrong. The ol' Boogster, on the other hand, got that one down pat. Willie's villain void left an opening for Boogie to attempt to scheme his way into influencing Frank's decision-making process on who to put on the block next. While Danielle and Willie's allies Shane and JoJo were the obvious choices, Boogie wanted to shake things up and sacrifice a pawn. Frank, who is damn good at not showing his cards yet, was on the fence about that possibility and had to think it over.  As Frank mulled over his next move, Shane and JoJo came to terms with their fate that they were likely to be put on the newly vacant spot on the block. "Ohhhh myyy gaaaaawwwwd, we're going on the blaaaaawk," JoJo commis-uh-rated to Shane. In what was presumably an act of solidarity, Shane also wore a pink tank top. These colors don't run! (I don't think there was a pink team on WIld & Crazy Kids, but for the sake of my analogy, Shane and JoJo were now on it.)  JoJo wasn't going to let her fate be left to Frank, she decided. So she did what any logical person in this situation would do to stay alive in the game: she bold-faced lied (telling Frank she has his back, despite all evidence to the contrary) and swore on the life of her grandmother. Somewhere, JoJo's spirit animal JWOWW is shaking her head in disbelief at the lack of keeping it real. But, Frank wasn't buying the act. "I gave you a chance, JoJo," he warned. Pray for JoJo.  Still, no one had more reason to be nervous about an impending eviction than Shane. After the two were, unsurprisingly, put up on the block by Frank, it became abundantly that Shane's "loyalty" to Willie could lead to his own undoing on the show. If there was going to be anything to save sitting ducks Shane and JoJo from imminent eviction, it would be the Power of Veto competition.  And wouldn't you know it, both Shane and JoJo got picked for Power of Veto competition, alongside Frank, Ian, Wig, and Ashley. Before getting around to this week's incredibly high stakes POV, Big Brother decided to give us a little levity, as they so often do, with a quick getting-to-know-you segment. This week it was POV competitor Ashley who proved us all wrong about our notions of her being a completely vapid floozy... by announcing to her housemates, and the nation, that she wants nothing more in this world than to be barefoot and pregnant and married to her dream guy. Some of her dream guy's qualities, you ask? Well, among other traits, he must be attractive, only have eyes for her, play Monopoly sometimes, and enjoy one of the following: eating, snacks, and/or food.  So it was no wonder, really, that a wide-eyed Ashley marveled "This is the coolest thing ever" when she saw this week's POV. Hosted by Joe, a man Guy Fieri would describe as "overdoing it," the game consisted of the players (dressed up as the aforementioned chips) digging through vats of sauces to find menu items, which they would have to place, in order, on a menu board. (See photo.) Everyone had a strategy: Ian was going to use his photographic memory, JoJo was going to pretend she wasn't swimming in a Staten Island beach and Ashley was going to use secret code to align the menu items. (B = burrito, F = fajita, and, dear God, Ashley is probably going to outlive us all, isn't she?) While the game was undoubtedly memory-based, it still had one of the key Big Brother ingredients: it was really freakin' slippery. No matter what the outcome of this little exercise in the human spirit was, it already made for two of my all-time favorite Big Brother sound bites: JoJo's declaration of "What I need is a Veto Burrito" and Wig's grievance "It's the darn toot." Never change, Big Brother. With the exception of Ashley, who finally debunked that ridiculous theory that slow and steady wins the race, everyone got perfect scores. But it was Shane who finished first, earning him, for the second week in a row, the Power of Veto. "That's what you get, America!" Shane cried. Indeed.  With Shane likely to take himself off the block, that made Danielle really worried, y'all. Would Shane, her one true love/guy who flirted with her that one time in the house, really his spot vacant, leaving the likelihood for Frank to put her up? Dan, like any good coach, manipulated her emotions and pried on that very fear making Danielle this year's first mascara tear-soaked contestant. ("I trusted Shane with everything," she wept.)  But maybe Danielle wouldn't have to worry after all, as the Boogie Man still tried to sway Frank, and their newly acquired ally Shane (who proved he's really in it to win it, by his willingness to leave Coach Britney in the dust) into using Wig as this season's first pawn. You're darn tootin' Frank wasn't going along with that ruse. As the almighty curly one put it, "I'm not ready to rock the boat yet." So, as expected, demure Southern belle Danielle was put on the block, doomed to face a possible eviction against  hard-as-acrylic-nails Northerner JoJo, leaving us with a veritable Big Brother Civil War. That's what you get, America.Who do you think has a fighting chance to stay in this thing: JoJo or Danielle? Do you think Frank is playing this game the most skillfully so far? In turn, will Boogie get to ride his bountifully curly coattails until the very end? Share your thoughts on last night's episode in the comments section below. Follow Aly on Twitter @AlySemigran More: Big Brother Recap: Willie or Won't He? BB14ep6 [Photo credit: CBS]
  • 'Life of Pi' Trailer: Shipwrecks and Tigers and Whales. Oh My!
    By: Aly Semigran Jul 25, 2012
    If there's any director working today that is capable of taking material that's tricky to adapt to the big screen, turning out a masterful piece that does the original work justice, and still exceed our expectations in the end, it's Oscar-winner Ang Lee.  With the exception of the disappointing Taking Woodstock (then again, any post-Woodstock film is pretty much doomed to fail capture the essence of the famous event), Lee's near-perfect track record includes Sense and Sensibility, The Ice Storm, Lust, Caution, and the film that rightfully earned him Best Director Oscar, the sweeping, haunting interpretation Annie Proulx's short story, Brokeback Mountain.  After watching the stunning, jaw-dropping trailer for the director's latest undertaking, Yann Martel's 2001 beloved, dream-like fantasy adventure novel Life of Pi to life, it seems like he's done it again. And this time, in 3D no less. Just the trailer alone feels like a wonderful, mysterious journey (was that a zebra?) and that's only in two minutes. Imagine what the two hour spectacle about the tale of Pi (newcomer Suraj Sharma) shipwrecked and trying to survive on the ocean (was that a whale?) alongside an unlikely travel companion, a tiger, will feel like.  Whether the film will play out more like a gorgeous sweeping saga that takes us to another place (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) or an overstuffed envisioning of an otherworldly place in our minds (The Lovely Bones) will remain to be seen until Life of Pi hits theaters in December, but we can still be wowed by the preview in the meantime. Watch the clip here:  Does this spectacle look like the next Tree of Life to you? Or more What Dreams May Come? What say you?  More:  Life of Pi First Look — PHOTO  Tobey Maguire Joins Life of Pi  Life of Pi Adds Three Actors Life of Pi trailer [Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
  • New 'Homeland' Teaser Gets Deeper Into Season 2 — VIDEO
    By: Aly Semigran Jul 24, 2012
    The first teaser for the eagerly anticipated second season of the addictive Showtime drama Homeland lasted all of 10 seconds. (Of course, in those 10 seconds, I'm certain Claire Danes' troubled CIA operative Carrie Matheson would have been able to pull out crucial clues and hints at what's in store.) Now a second trailer for the Emmy-nominated series has been released, and Homeland fans can finally breathe a sigh of relief: there's more! A full 25 seconds more! The preview delves deeper into the busy mind of Carrie. Or, at least the fragments that may be left of it after the harrowing, heartbreaking electroconvulsive therapy procedure she endured in the Season 1 finale. With snippets of what sounds like dialogue from both last season and this upcoming one (which premieres on Showtime on September 30), there's no denying that Carrie won't rest until she reveals the truth about Brody. As we hear in a profound Carrie voiceover (no, not this kind): "You are a traitor and a terrorist and now it's time to pay for that."  Look at the thrilling, albeit short, clip below. And then look again:    More:  Homeland Teaser: 5 Important Questions We Need Answered  Homeland and Dexter Announce Return Dates  Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy: Baby on the Way! Homeland Teaser 2
  • No...I'm Batman! The Best 'Batman' Declaration Videos 
    By: Aly Semigran Jul 24, 2012
    While only a few actors in Hollywood history have had the chance to say "I'm Batman" on screen (among them, Lewis G. Wilson, Robert Lowrey, Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, Christian Bale and the stars who have done voice work for the various animated Batman series') plenty others in pop culture have proudly made the claim.  Like the Bat signal shining over Gotham, Batman and his oft self-boasting dialogue has left an indelible mark in pop culture.  From Daffy Duck to Cosmo Kramer to Lady Gaga, the "I'm Batman" line has spanned every facet of the industry. Check out this supercut of everyone's favorite superhero identification — which features clips from the Batman movies and Batman-loving shows like Community — here:  When Donna (Loretta) and Tom (Aziz Ansari) invited a heartbroken Ben (Adam Scott) along for Treat Yo Self 2011 on Parks and Recreation, he didn't exactly get into the spirit of things. But when they brought Batman into the picture, well, then they were speaking his language. Quite literally, actually, as Ben (who donned a full Batman costume, pictured) and Tom did their best growly Batman imitations. Enjoy:  Speaking of TV nerds imitating their beloved caped crusader, the guys of The Big Bang Theory, particularly Jim Parson's Sheldon, can say "I'm Batman" like they really, truly mean it. Watch and learn how here:  The Winchester boys have some super powers of their own on Supernatural, but they got into the superhero spirit of things in this classic moment:  The Simpsons has been chock full of great Batman references and jokes over the years, but perhaps none better than Homer's accidental Batman declaration seen here. (In his defense, that cult's chant sounded an awful lot like the Batman theme song.) Da na na na na na na watch it!:  What's your favorite pop culture "I'm Batman" proclamation? Does Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory do it best? How about Abed on Community? Or should it be left to the pros like Bale, Keaton, and, uh, Kilmer? Tell us in the Bat Cave, er, comments section!  Follow Aly on Twitter @AlySemigran More:  Batman Beyond: The Dark Knight Rises and Rebooting the Caped Crusader The Dark Knight Rises Has Third Biggest Opening Weekend Gross Ever  The Dark Knight Rises Review Im Batman
  • Toronto Film Festival 2012: Films From Affleck, Redford, Malick Among the Lineup
    By: Aly Semigran Jul 24, 2012
    With just 44 days until the start of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival (oft considered the unofficial kick-off to Oscar season) the lineup has finally been announced. There's no doubt aboot it, either: there are some high-profile films and major Oscar contenders at this year's festival.  Kicking things off with the Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis' mind and time-bending action thriller Looper, the 2012 fest will feature films heavy on the star power, including Tom Hanks in Cloud Atlas; Bill Murray in Hyde Park on Hudson; Marion Cottilard in Rust and Bone; Keira Knightley in Anna Karenina; Jake Gyllenhaal in End of Watch; native Canuck Ryan Gosling in The Place Beyond the Pines; Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper featured in Silver Linings Playbook; and Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark Ruffalo in Thanks for Sharing, to name just a few of the big names.  While there are quite a few anticipated projects being screened at TIFF (including The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Imogene, The Iceman, A Late Quartet, and Love, Marilyn) perhaps none more than the latest efforts from filmmakers Terrence Malick, Ben Affleck, David O. Russell, Mira Nair, Noah Baumbach, and Robert Redford. Redford, who knows a thing or two about the festival circuit, stars and directs Company You Keep, a political thriller about a young journalist (Shia LaBeouf) following the story of a wanted ex-radical activist (Redford).  Malick is following up his Oscar-nominated 2011 masterpiece The Tree of Life with To The Wonder, a film about a man who reconnects with a woman from his hometown after his marriage falls apart, starring Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem, Rachel Weisz, and fellow festival filmmaker, Ben Affleck. Affleck (pictured) — whose hotly anticipated film Argo, based on the true-life story about a  CIA "exfiltration" in 1979 to get six Americans out of Tehran — leads an all-star cast that includes Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler, and John Goodman.  The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival (you can check out the full lineup of movies at the event here) begins on September 6 and ends on September 16.  Follow Aly on Twitter @AlySemigran  More:  Watch Ben Affleck's Argo Trailer  Company You Keep Enlists Stanley Tucci, Chris Cooper  From Kubrick to Malick: The Most Visually Arresting Directors [Photo credit: Warner Brothers]  TIFF
  • 'Breaking Bad' Star Aaron Paul Was Once a Contestant on 'The Price is Right' — VIDEO 
    By: Aly Semigran Jul 20, 2012
    Need another reason to love Aaron Paul? I don't understand the question and I won't respond to it. Of course, you don't need another reason to love Aaron Paul, but he just gave us another one, anyway. Turns out, the Breaking Bad star was once a contestant on The Price is Right, and had the same enthusiasm to come on down and meet Bob Barker as Jesse Pinkman would while having a great realization about magnets.  During a visit to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Thursday night, the talk show host revealed to Paul that he dug up the 14-year-old footage of him on the game show. The Emmy-winning actor seemed just as delighted as his fans were to see his jubilant venture down to Contestants' Row. Watch the very Pinkman-like moment (in this case Bob Barker is Walter White, which is an amazing alternate universe) below:  Yeah, bitch! Plinko!  More:  Breaking Bad Star Aaron Paul: From Meth to Missionary  Breaking Bad Pulls in Record Viewers  Breaking Bad Recap: Live Free or Die
  • DirecTV Restores MTV, Comedy Central, and 15 Other Channels To Customers 
    By: Aly Semigran Jul 20, 2012
    Ten days after DirecTV dropped its 17 Viacom stations — including MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, BET, TV Land, Spike, and VH1, among the others — the cable providers restored service to their customers as of Friday morning. That's right, SpongeBob, Snooki, and South Park are all back in their rightful place: your television.  On July 20, DirecTV released a statement which said that they reached a "new long-term agreement" with Viacom. The financial terms were not disclosed. Derek Chang, executive vice president of Content Strategy and Development for DirecTV, stated, "We are very pleased to be able to restore the channels to our customers and thank them for their unprecedented patience and support. It’s unfortunate that Viacom took the channels away from customers to try to gain leverage, but in the end, it’s clear our customers recognized that tactic for what it was."  Chang added, "The attention surrounding this unnecessary and ill-advised blackout by Viacom has accomplished one key thing: it serves notice to all media companies that bullying TV providers and their customers with blackouts won’t get them a better deal. It’s high time programmers ended these anti-consumer blackouts once and for all and prove our industry is about enabling people to connect to their favorite programs rather than denying them access.” With the DirecTV issue now put to rest, will Dish Network now follow suit? The provider stopped carrying some of their networks, including AMC, because of a contract dispute. The decision to drop that channel put Breaking Bad fans in the dark on the night of the Season 5 premiere, until AMC stepped in to offer online streaming. As of now, Dish and AMC are still at odds.  [Photo credit: MTV]  More:  DirecTV Drops Viacom Stations Comedy Central, MTV, and More  Breaking Bad Season 5 Premiere To Stream Online For Dish Subscibers Direct Back
  • President Obama Says Aurora Shooting "Beyond Reason"
    By: Aly Semigran Jul 20, 2012
    In wake of the horrible tragedy that unfolded in Aurora, Colorado on Friday morning, President Barack Obama spoke about the mass shooting that took place. The President was in Fort Myers, Florida, where he was originally scheduled to hold a campaign event, but instead discussed the tragedy. "There are going to be other days for politics," Obama said, "This, I think, is a day for prayer and reflection." (According to Reuters, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden also canceled their campaign events for the day. Additionally, President Barack Obama's campaign has asked Colorado television affiliates to pull its negative advertising in the state.)  The President, who also held a moment of silence at the gathering told the crowd, "I was looking forward to having a fun conversation with you about some really important matters we face as a country... the differences between myself and my opponent in this election. But this morning we woke up to news of a tragedy that reminds us of all the ways we are united as one American family." "We're going to stand by our neighbors in Colorado during this extraordinarily difficult time," he told his supporters, "Such violence, such evil is senseless; it's beyond reason." He continued, "We do know what makes life worth living. People in Aurora loved and were loved. If there's anything to take away from this tragedy, it's the reminder that life is very fragile here, time here is limited and it is precious. What matters at the end of the day is not the small things; it is not the trivial things ... Ultimately it is how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another." Obama then touched on how the horrible turn of events in Aurora impacted him and his family. "My daughters go to the movies. What if Malia and Sasha had been in the theater as so many of our kids do every day? Michelle and I will be fortunate enough to hug our girls a little tighter tonight. For those parents not so lucky, we have to embrace them and let them know we'll be there for them as a nation."  As of press time, the shooting rampage in the Auroro movie theater at the midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises has claimed the lives of 12 and injured 38.  [Photo credit: Alan Diaz/AP Photo]