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Things are looking, if not rosy, at least stable at ABC's daytime sudser "General Hospital" as the show enters it's 50th year. It's a nice change, according to star Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer). "I think we were all pretty emotional to get 24 [Emmy] nominations when we were so shaky a year ago… We've been living on death row."
Do you ever just look at the stars and, like, confess your dreams? Do you see Brandon Flowers there, or is he the manifestation confession?
The Killers have unleashed their music video for single "Runaways," a combo of the abstract and performance video that leave vapor trails of fist-pumping, tear-streaming rock sonically akin to Asia's "Heat of the Moment." The band opts for brilliant pops of color with a lot of black background as frontman Flowers recounts his seemingly doomed romance. It also looks like the performance screen for "Rock Band," without the actual game. Everybody looks good, refreshed.
They should be. It's been four years since the band's last "Day & Age," and with the new album "Battle Born" due on Sept. 18, it will have been almost exactly two years since Flowers dropped his solo debut "Flamingo."
"Runaways" bowed on the Hot 100 this week after its first week of radio and sales, at No. 78.
The last time I wrote about Ira Sachs' "Keep the Lights On" was a little over six months ago at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. I'd spoken to Sachs and one of the film's stars, Zachary Booth, about the impressive gay drama with hopes it got picked up for major distribution. A lot has happened in half a year.
"Lights" wowed a few weeks later at the Berlin Film Festival winning a "Teddy" honor and has played the festival circuit with stops at Tribeca, Seattle and Karlovy Vary. It's also screened at gay film festivals such as San Francisco's Frameline and Los Angeles' Outfest where it won the Grand Jury Award for Outstanding U.S. Dramatic Feature Film. Oh, and happily, Music Box Films came on board to give the picture a proper art house release.
This year, while I was at the Cannes Film Festival, there was one movie that I was in an absolute frenzy to see, even though it wasn't actually playing as part of the festival. I kept hearing mention of marketplace screenings that were held for international distributors, and I did everything I could to sneak into one of them.
And why wouldn't I be interested? After all, it's based on a great novel by David Mitchell, it's directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, and it's got a big sprawling cast that includes Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, and Ben Whishaw. There are very few big studio movies I'm more interested in or excited about than "Cloud Atlas," so it was crushing to have to leave Cannes admitting defeat, the film still resolutely unseen by me.
The Venice Film Festival unveiled its lineup this afternoon, and it looks much as we expected it would -- but lest we sound too blasé, who would ever have thought a few years ago that we'd see Terrence Malick debuting two new features in consecutive years? Wonders will never cease, if you'll forgive the lousy pun. "To the Wonder" is obviously the film that most Lido-bound journos are salivating over, but festival director Antonio Barbera revealed that he has one title left to announce -- and the smart money is on it being Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master."
Anderson's film, which hasn't -- yet -- turned up in the Toronto lineup, would represent a major coup for the Italian fest. Venice can't compete with Toronto for sheer star power, not least because it's a much smaller affair, but that selectiveness, plus its longstanding jury awards, comfortably give it the edge in prestige.
Interviewing a group of people is difficult under any circumstances. Interviewing four very funny, very sharp comedians together is like trying to juggle water. And when you factor in a time limit of less than five minutes, it's almost an exercise in futility.
Thankfully, I've got some sort of rapport built up with Jonah Hill and with Vince Vaughn from various encounters over the years. I met Jonah for the first time on the set of "Superbad," and it's been a real pleasure running into him on various sets and at film festivals and at screenings and even on a Comic-Con panel over the last few years. Vaughn has always struck me as a huge personality, and the first time we formally met was after the taping of the Ain't It Cool pilot for Comedy Central. Jon Favreau was a guest on the show, and at our after party, Vaughn joined us, and being at a club for a wrap party with Vince Vaughn is exactly how you'd imagine being at a club for a wrap party with Vince Vaughn would be.
My, how things have changed! Willie's gone, Britney's remaining teammates are on the ropes, Janelle's working with Boogie Mike, whom she loathes, and Frank is the king of his domain. Aren't you glad none of these people are in politics? They'd have blown up Switzerland, joined forces with North Korea and declared war on Mexico, just for kicks.
So tonight's episode of "So You Think You Can Dance" is going to be tough for me to assess based on having met so many of the dancers a few nights ago at the Fox press tour party. I didn't get to meet everyone (though yes, one of the people I spoke to is in the bottom this week -- FYI, I'll be writing up those interviews soon), but everyone I did meet was pretty adorable. I'd hate to see any of them go, as I still think this season may have the most consistently amazing dancers of the series. But, as we all know, only two can win this, so let's get to the dancing.
Dan and I are at press tour together, which means it's time for an in-person installment of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. We're punchy enough that it took some prompting for Dan to remember what day it was, but we talked quite a bit about the tour so far, answered your mail and did the usual "Buffy" and "Breaking Bad" pieces.
When I sat down with the cast of "The Watch," they were all together as a group, which made it hard to ask people about their individual projects.
Even so, I was curious to see if Ben Stiller is any closer to kicking off production on "Zoolander 2," which he's been aggressively talking about on and off for the last few years. The first film was a casualty of its post-9/11 release date, only finding an audience gradually once it came home. That's not uncommon for comedies, especially comedies that are centered around big character choices. Look at the way the "Austin Powers" films built in popularity, or the way "Macgruber" continues to gain in popularity over time.
"Zoolander" is one of the strangest characters that Stiller ever played, and it will be interesting to see if a second film can take all the things people liked about that first film and expand on them in smart and surprising ways. He's been working with Justin Theroux on a script for a while now, and we've heard occasional updates from him about the progress.