"Paranormal Activity 4" may have topped the box office this weekend, but the story of the chart remains "Argo" -- which, by dipping just 15% to take $16.6 million, posted the strongest ever hold for a live-action film on a non-holiday weekend. Warner Bros. are said to be confident the film will reach at least $90 million domestically, which is a pretty extraordinary projection these days for a film about grown-ups in which nobody wears a cape. All of which underlines the immediate reaction I had upon finally seeing the film for myself last week: combining that strong populist appeal with old-fashioned craftsmanship, rousing political history and Hollywood insider lore, it's unequivocally the one to beat for Best Picture. [Variety]
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A quick review of tonight's "Tremé" coming up just as soon as I explain the difference between a fiddle and a violin...
My review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as my plan is the same as your plan...
A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as you can break a hundred...
A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I'm pardoned by the state of Georgia...
Taylor Swift’s second collection was named “Fearless,” but that title seems more apt for her latest album, “Red. Out tomorrow (Oct. 22), the set is the biggest release of 2012 and is expected to sell more than 1 million copies in its first week.
After moving millions of albums, selling out arenas around the world, introducing oodles of younger fans to country music, and creating her own cottage industry based on songs about her good-for-nothing ex-boyfriends, Swift has crafted an album that portrays an artist in transition musically, if not thematically. The 22-year old is not just sliding further toward the pop end of the country-pop spectrum she has navigated since her 2006 self-titled debut, but also strongly gravitating toward rock. She seamlessly and fearlessly veers between these various musical styles.
[More after the jump...]
"Lincoln" director Steven Spielberg was featured tonight on CBS' "60 Minutes" tonight, and the segment pretty much put the guy on the couch, digging into his family life and history in order to find a defining thread connecting all of his legendary films.
The thing they settle on is a portfolio about the outsider, with Spielberg noting everything from his long-time denial of his Judaism to a 15-year time of estrangement from a father he finally reconciled with nearly 20 years ago. They also get his parents to sit down and discuss the impact Spielberg's early life has had on him and the impressions left, etc., but keep coming back to a sense of shattered ties ultimately informing a lot of his work over the years, right up to and including his latest.
"I saw a paternal father figure, someone who was stubbornly committed to his ideals," he said of Abraham Lincoln, played by Daniel Day-Lewis in the film. "He was living with two agendas, both of which had to do with healing: to abolish slavery/end the war, but he also had his personal life, and I think there's darkness there."
LONDON - I mentioned last week that Jacques Audiard's "Rust & Bone," five months after a more divided Cannes reception, seemed to be playing well at the BFI London Film Festival. With civilians and critics alike, it was perhaps the title I heard most often in conversations about what festival titles had stood out, or indeed which ones they planned to see -- egged on, perhaps, by the ubiquitous billboards for the film plastered around the British capital. Meanwhile, it earned extra, inadvertent media exposure as the site of the festival's most tabloid-friendly incident: at its gala premiere, two patrons were ejected from the cinema for getting more than a little frisky during the film. Adjust the inevitable "thrust" and "boner" puns to taste.
More officially, however, its status as the film of the festival was sealed at last night's festival awards ceremony, where a jury led by David Hare handed it the Star of London for Best Film over 11 other shortlisted titles. London has become a happy hunting ground for Audiard: in 2009, his film "A Prophet" took the inaugural Star, a prize that has since been handed to "How I Ended This Summer," "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and now "Rust & Bone." Four years in, and they have yet to make a dud choice.
1. Beyonce: Bey snags the Super Bowl halftime show. Not on the possible guest list: M.I.A. or her middle finger.
2. Microsoft Music Service: Once more with feeling. Microsoft will launch its own internet music service next week starting with XBox and then spreading to Window 8. Let’s hope it works out better for them than Zune.
3. Justin Bieber: His video for “Beauty and a Beat,” featuring Nicki Minaj, got 10.6 million views in its first 24 hours on Vevo, setting a new record. Congratulations are due, but as he’ll eventually learn that careers are measured in years, not days... (or, see below, decades)
4. The Rolling Stones: They make it official and announce four dates in November to celebrate the 50th: The two London dates sell out in seven minutes. Hey, it’s only rock and roll but we stil like it.
5. Adele: She’s making other folks rich. Rumor has it her U.K. indie label’s profits soared to $67 million in 2011, primarily on the back of “21.”
6. Taylor Swift: As the Oct. 22 release of “Red” approaches, the only question is how much more than 1 million will it sell in its first week?
7. Bruce Springsteen: Like Superman, The Boss swoops into to Ohio and Iowa to rally for Obama. Working On a Dream 2.0.
8. Lady Gaga: She puts Die Antwoord in their place after they nastily kill her off in a video. Apparently their ire comes from her asking them to open for her. What an insult! They too edgy and hip to open for her, but they’ll sure use her to get publicity. #growup #youstilldonthaveahit
9. Barbra Streisand: It’s a good time to be Babs: She’s on a sold-out tour and with “Release Me,” debuting at No. 7, she is the only act to land more than one album on the Billboard 200 in every decade since the ‘60s. Her closest competition? The Rolling Stones (see No. 4)
10. Jason Aldean: The country superstar joins the elite ranks of artists who can play stadiums. His stadium tour includes a July date at Fenway Park, making him the first country artist to ever play the Red Sox' home field.