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Rapper 2 Chainz will take his first major label studio album to the top of the Billboard 200 next week, as “Based on a T.R.U. Story” will handily bow at No. 1.
The title from the ubiquitous artist, who's recently collaborated with Nicki Minaj and Kanye West, will sell up to 140,000 copies, that’s 60,000 more than the projected sales for “Now 43,” this week’s No. 1 seller, which will drop to No. 2, according to Hits Daily Double.
The only other new contender in the Top 10 will be Insane Clown Posse’s “The Might Death Pop,” which could bow at No. 4, the highest position the band’s last effort, 2009’s “Bang! Pow! Boom!,” reached.
With no Amazon .99-cent special propelling an unlikely title up into the top the chart as has happened the past two weeks (Hello Frank Sinatra and Bee Gees!), the Top 10 shifts back to familiar current names. Rick Ross’s former No. 1, “God Forgives, I Don’t,” will likely fall slightly to No. 3. Justin Bieber’s “Believe,” Maroon 5’s “Overexposed” and One Direction’s “Up All Night” are in a dead heat for the No. 5 spot.
Similarly, both Zac Brown Band’s “Unchained” and Adele’s “21” are too close to call for the No. 8 spot. (Will this be “21” last week in the top 10? It could be...after nearly 20 months of never falling out of the top 10). Likely to land at No. 10 is Kidz Bop Kids’ “Kidz Bop 22.”
After making a huge splash this week by debuting at No. 4 with “Perfectly Imperfect,” new arist Ellie Varner falls out of the top 15.
The new chart will be released next Wednesday.
I'm going to have a longer version of this interview posting next week, and it was a real pleasure to have a deeply nerdy tech conversation with Keanu Reeves about the moment we're in right now as an industry, and the wrestling match that's going on right now between film and digital.
For one thing, it's always nice to realize that the person you're having a conversation with really knows their subject. Reeves has been working on this project for two years, and during that time, he's become quite fluent in the debate, and seems to have a pretty even-handed perspective on the historic moment where we find ourselves.
The core truth is that we're really just arguing about the tools of storytelling. In the end, good storytelling is good storytelling, and if the tools evolve, then filmmakers will evolve as well. They'll continue to use those tools to communicate a broad spectrum of ideas and attitudes, and some people will do it well and others won't, and it won't really be about which cameras they use or how they cut the film.
I kept looking through the "N-O" section. Surely I missed it. Is there a "next page" link? No. Am I in the right...no, I'm not on the wrong page. I'm in the "all films" section. Let me search by director, for the Lumet films. There's "Dog Day Afternoon." There's "Night Falls on Manhattan." There's "12 Angry Men." One vote each. Maybe it's a glitch. Only three Lumet films? I'm getting side-tracked.
Finally it just settled: 846 top 10 lists from correspondents in 73 countries citing 2,045 different films, and not one of them -- not a single one -- thought 1976's "Network" deserved a mention. "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" gets to call itself one of the lot, but not one of the greatest films of all time, indeed, the greatest screenplay of all time.
I interviewed writer/director Peter Hedges when he was getting ready to release "Dan In Real Life," a Steve Carrell movie from a few years ago, and our 20 minute scheduled conversation ended up lasting much longer. Hedges struck me as a decidedly non-Hollywood type, smart and sincere and serious about making movies with a nice mix of sentiment and ideas.
That sensibility is definitely represented in "The Odd Life Of Timothy Green," the latest movie by Hedges, and there are definitely things to like about the film. It's uneven, though, with a central conceit that doesn't quite hang together, and I'm not sure the film's theme is focused enough to really work. It's a hard film to dislike because of just how earnest it is, but it's also a film that has some severe problems, making it hard to give a blanket recommendation.
Hedges, starting from a story by Ahmet Zappa, has crafted a movie that aims to make some profound statements about the nature of parenthood and what it takes to nurture someone, and he is assisted greatly by a cast that includes Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Rosemarie DeWitt, David Morse, M. Emmet Walsh, Lois Smith, Dianne Wiest, Ron Livingston, Common, and James Rebhorn. He's got John Toll shooting, so you know the movie looks great. It is, aesthetically speaking, uncommonly pretty for a Disney live-action family film, and it aims to earn copious tears from you.
I posted my review of the new season of "Strike Back" yesterday. Now it's your turn. What did everybody think of the season-opening two-parter? Do you feel Rhona Mitra fit in, or was it an Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie situation? Did the scenes of Stonebridge back on the homefront work, or did they just feel like marking time until he got back to Section 20? Were you intrigued with what we've seen so far of our big villains for the season (including Tywin Lannister himself, Charles Dance)?
This is a show I have a lot of fun watching, but not one I have much to say about week to week. Perhaps I'll check in if there's a particularly notable episode, but for the most part, "Strike Back" does what it just — just very, very well.
But as for the premiere, have at it.
I posted my review of the new season of "Boss" earlier this week. Now it's your turn. What did everybody think of the season premiere? Did you like new additions Sanaa Lathan, Jonathan Groff and T.I.? Do you like the way we're seeing Kane's condition progress? Did you notice any significant stylistic differences from the arrival of new showrunner Dee Johnson?
I won't be covering the show weekly, but I'll try to come back at the end of the season to talk about everything that's happened. In the meantime, have at it.
It's unusual at these broadcast press days to get time to talk technical with filmmakers. For the most part, these events are all about getting a sound bite out of a movie star.
On a film like "ParaNorman," thought, it's great to have that chance to talk to the people who actually brought the remarkable world of the movie to life. Stop-motion is one of those art forms where survival depends on younger artists learning from those few people who are still actually doing this, and Laika's new film plays like a master class on the potential for stop-motion. They've combined classic technique with high tech in a way that is visually dazzling.
Beyond that, though, "ParaNorman" is an example of just how beautiful and affecting performance work can be when you've got masterful animators at the helm. Laika is unusual as a company because Travis Knight is not only the head of the company, but also an animator who did a lot of the hands-on work himself. There are some dazzling sequences in the film that he was the lead animator on, and it's proof that he's not just some executive. His father is Phil Knight, the co-found of Nike, and Laika was created out of the passion that Travis Knight feels for stop-motion animation in general.
When you sit across from Jason Statham, it's hard to not be aware that he could end you if the mood struck him.
As one of the youngest members of the core team of "The Expendables," Statham gets to do some of the most physical hand-to-hand combat in the movie. He's got a scene in a church in the film that is him at his balletic badass best.
Talking to him about this second film in the series, I wanted to ask about how the action scenes were designed this time around. It feels like this second film did a much better job of building scenes that gave each cast member room to show off the skills that qualified them for the movie in the first place. Statham talked to me about how he works with his fight choreographer, a guy who he's been working with for a while now.
Judging from all the trailers of "The Master," some of the themes seem to be dealing with the disorienting feeling that down is up, and what you know is never the full truth. And listening to a bit of Jonny Greenwood's work for the film, the score will be rolling with that tide.
"Application 45 Version 1" is the track that you'll get if you pre-order Nonesuch's Sept. 11 drop of the soundtrack to the Paul Thomas Anderson film. And it'll have you poking around for the downbeat, wondering if it's minor or major and generally exciting the jitters that are beyond your 4 p.m. cup of caffeine. The cello is enough to give you goosebumps.
This is the second time Greenwood and Anderson have teamed up, after their phenomenal combination on "There Will Be Blood": the score to that film was ruled ineligible for a soundtrack Academy Award, as it included previously recorded material. However, it did earn a Grammy nod for Best Score Soundtrack but lost out to "The Dark Knight" because, man, seriously.
I'm surprised it's taken this long for me to have to write one of these posts -- international submissions for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar usually start trickling through in July or so. So expect a lot more of these announcements before the October 1 deadline for submissions. We'll be keeping track of them -- or doing our best to, as they begin flooding in in the thick of festival season -- on our Contenders page for the category.
Anyway, Morocco is first out of the gate this year, having selected Faouzi Bensaidi's socially-minded thriller "Death for Sale" as their best hope for awards glory. Perhaps the country's selectors are feeling a little more confident, having unexpectedly cracked the nine-film longlist for the first time back in January with the under-the-radar prison drama "Omar Killed Me," and therefore having come tantalizingly close to their first Oscar nomination. Not a prolific film industry by any means, Morocco has only entered the race eight times since 1977.