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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 156: 'Witness,' 'Wedding Band,' 'The Walking Dead,' 'Homeland' & more
A hurricane can postpone the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, but Sandy couldn't stop it forever. After I spent the last week either powerless or as a nomad in the wilds of Connecticut, I was finally able to return home last night. In fact, the podcast was supposed to be finished yesterday, but midway through recording it, I got the call that our power was back on, and had to hastily pack up the family truckster for the drive home to Jersey, so we're technically reviewing HBO's excellent "Witness" a day late. That's what On Demand and HBO multiplex channels are for. In addition, Dan and I review TBS' "Wedding Band," discuss NBC's mid-season schedule, the "Up All Night" format change, how we feel about "Nahville" and "Last Resort" these days, and the latest episodes of "The Walking Dead" and "Homeland."
J Cole, whose 2011 debut, “Cole World: The Sideline Story,” bowed at No. 1, will release his sophomore set, “Born Sinner,” on Jan. 28, 2013.
[More after the jump...]
So far, one of my favorite strange digressions of Steven Spielberg's career has been his collaboration with Tony Kushner. I love it because it is so very unlikely, and because both of the films that have resulted from this creative conversation are so unlike the rest of Spielberg's work.
Kushner blew me away with "Angels In America" when it first opened on stage, and I think he's got a very specific, very beautiful voice as a writer. "Munich" is a film that I like more as I return to it, and I think Spielberg's sentimental streak has found a perfect antidote in the frank and observational voice of Kushner's words. While I'm not a fan of biopics in general, I was curious to see what these two would make of Abraham Lincoln as a subject. It's about a big a canvass as there is in terms of American characters. He has passed the point of icon and become a mythic figure at this point, and so making a film about him requires a point of view, a reason beneath the history, and Kushner and Spielberg found a pretty tremendous way into the film.
Rihanna’s “Unapologetic” doesn’t come out for two weeks, but today she tweeted fans a hand-written track listing.
And yes, the album includes the tune “Nobody’s Business” featuring Chris Brown. Can’t wait to hear the lyrics on that one. God bless her, she knows she’s just ratcheting up the hype at this point and that we’ll all get our panties in a twist about her collaborating with him again following their partnership on “Birthday Cake” and “Turn Up The Music.”
She reteams with Eminem on a track called “Numb,” which would be awesome if it’s a sequel to “Love The Way You Lie.” Other guests include Future on “Loveeeeeee Song” and Mikky Ekko on “Stay.”
The album contains 14 tracks, plus a bonus track called “Half Of Me.” First single, “Diamonds,” has already hit No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B Songs chart.
As we previously reported, a few different versions of “Unapologetic” will be released including a limited edition box set for $250 that includes a diamond bracelet and exclusive photos.
"Just What I Am" is the lead single from Kid Cudi's new hip-hop album. And just what is Kid Cudi about?
"F*ck yes, I'm so odd... I need to smoke," he raps, with co-partier King Chip on the track. From there, it's all red solo cups, pretty firls and puffs, as the guest rapper (formerly Chip tha Ripper) rolls regular smoke-blowing and Cudi brings something a little more real.
Any way you toke it, it's an easy song to listen to, and a good sample of what might be off of "Indicud," which follows Cudder's rap-rock record WZRD. The new set will be out some time in 2013 via Universal/G.O.O.D. Kanye's imprint also feature Cudi on a some "Cruel Summer" tracks as it was released last month.
Kid Cudi's last rap album was 2010's "Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager."
We're going to see Luke Skywalker again… right?
I'm not sure how old you were in 1999, but for those of us who were first generation "Star Wars" kids, there has never been anything like it in terms of hype. The crazy part is that a good 50% of the hype had nothing to do with the studio and everything to do with our own expectations and a powerful sense of nostalgia. By the time "The Phantom Menace" opened, I'm convinced that even the single greatest movie ever made would have been a disappointment simply because of the weight of expectation.
One thing that made it hard to accept the prequels as real "Star Wars" films was the lack of familiar faces. Sure, the characters were related to other characters or they were younger versions, but for the most part, you're talking about a brand-new cast, and one of the basic mandates of a sequel is giving the audience more of the thing they've already enjoyed. As a result, there is a chance that all of that crushing, vocal "Phantom Menace" frenzy is just going to look like a warm-up to the deafening buzz as we build to the release of a true sequel to the original trilogy, complete with Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, and, yes, Han Solo.
Before we get to the reviewing, a bit of housekeeping — as in, my house finally got power, heat, cable, etc. last night, which meant we could return from our post-Sandy exile to the lovely, well-powered streets of West Hartford. There will be a podcast sometime later today (Dan and I were interrupted yesterday by the news that I could return home), and hopefully everything else will return to schedule (give or take a Nor'easter later in the week).
And now a few thoughts on last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as I channel my inner goddess...
Well, given what's going on out there, it'd seem inappropriate to lead with news of some minor precursor award announcement or random pre-release bumf for "The Hobbit" -- it's Election Day, and that weighs as heavily on Hollywood's mind as anyone else's. Variety Ted Johnson breaks down the implications for the film and entertainment industry of an Obama or a Romney victory, which could have a significant impact on issues ranging from piracy to censorship to same-sex marriage, and also examines the California propositions, some of them with starry cheerleaders, pertinent to showbiz folk. Good luck, America. Do the right thing. [Variety]
The ladies who lunch in L.A. are back, and the good news is that I see no sign of the pricetag-dropping Dana. Instead, we get a new housewife, Yolanda, who is married to songwriter David Foster, is also the ex-wife of Lisa's pal Mohammed, and (if you go by the promos) can throw down with the best of them. Not that we see any sign of that in this episode. No, we have to wait a bit for the women of Beverly Hills to sharpen their claws. Their manicurists are, like, totally booked in advance, people. Where did you think we were, Atlanta? Pfft!