A friend suggested I wait to publish anything on Howe Gelb’s latest project until I saw the guy play piano. Last night, the Giant Sand (now Giant Giant Sand) mastermind performed solo at Joe’s Pub in New York. I’d seen Gelb play a handful of other times – mostly when he’s on guitar, mostly with other people.
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"Oh yeah. 'The Artist.'" Cheap shot but that crossed my mind the other day. It wasn't until a press release hit earlier this week announcing a theatrical re-release for the film* that I gave much thought to the season we just concluded in February. It's interesting, sometimes, to note the quick burn-off takeaway...if there is one.
But with Sacha Baron Cohen's "The Dictator" (all 75 minutes of it) making its way to theaters next weekend, I can't help but recall poor Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet -- covered in the "ashes" of Kim Jong-il. I might have mentioned it while live-blogging that night (ugh), but I don't think we ever posted it, so we might as well now.
Meanwhile, Cohen was on Howard Stern earlier this week promoting the film, touting it as one of few out-of-character interviews he's done. In true Stern fashion it was a fantastic interview and covered a wide range of topics (including the since oft-reported news break that the actor is no longer a part of Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained.")
NBC has renewed "Parks and Recreation" for a fifth season.
As of now, the order is only for 13 episodes -- which is the same amount that "30 Rock" (definitively entering its final season) and "Community" (long-term future up in the air) got yesterday -- but I'm hearing that "Parks" will be on NBC's fall schedule, which means there's still very much a chance that the show could get a back 9 order, continue, etc.
UPDATE: Scratch all that above. The order is now for the full 22 episodes. Among other things, that'll get the show (which NBC owns) up to 90 episodes total.
Though the renewal came a day later than several of NBC's other decisions, I hadn't worried too much about the future of "Parks" being in doubt. NBC owns the show, and as modest as the numbers have been, it's done better than several other shows, and it's a known quantity in terms of what its floor is. NBC has ordered a lot of new comedies, but it's entirely possible those shows will do worse than Leslie Knope, Ron Effing Swanson and friends.
So rejoice, people of Pawnee. All is right with the world once again.
UPDATE: According to several published reports, NBC has also renewed "Up All Night." So a very good day in the Poehler/Arnett household.
Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers” was released in U.S. theaters last weekend and is already breaking records, having usurped the all-time opening weekend crown held by “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” with $700 million worldwide already in the bank. Many predicted the final culmination of the seeds Marvel has been planting the past four years would be a success, but few foresaw the magnitude of the appeal.
Of course, Whedon has had a loyal cult following for years, but “The Avengers” in particular seems to have tapped into something audiences have been craving in their summer blockbuster fare. If we look at the films of a similar ilk that have enjoyed this level of success, they are often expansive visually and strike at one or two simple but resonant archetypal themes. Joss infuses the film with the addition of an infectious sense of humor.
Tim Burton is back in the multiplex this weekend for the first time since 2010's "Alice in Wonderland" raked in a billion dollars worldwide. Will "Dark Shadows" be such a hit? Uh...no. But now that the film has moseyed on into theaters, it's time to hear what you thought. I'll say it was amusing and harmless enough until a third act that is deplorable. Not that the rest of the script is that much better. It's actually awful and repetitive, but at least it has great art direction (natch). If/when you get around to seeing it, rifle off your thoughts in the comments section below.
On May 15, Adam Lambert’s second post- “American Idol” comes out. “Trespassing” is an extremely ambitious song cycle that takes the listener though life’s highs and lows. For Lambert’s fans, it come as no surprise that he holds nothing back whether he’s leading the party or in the depths of despair, aching to be understood.
Lambert talked to Hitfix about creating the follow up to 2009’s platinum “For Your Entertainment” and how, even though he makes it look easy, sometimes he struggles to be “fierce.” Read his comments about fellow "American Idol" contestant Kris Allen's new single here.
A review of "The Office" season finale coming up just as soon as the coconut is pretty subtle...
A quick review of last night's "30 Rock" coming up just a soon as Siri brings Jessica Tandy back to life...
The town of Pawnee on "Parks and Recreation" is often compared to Springfield on "The Simpsons" in the way that it's given the show such a deep bench of ancillary characters while also creating a recognizable community for our characters to live and work in.
Springfield has a busy but clueless news media, and so does Pawnee, where the man behind the anchor desk is Perderick L. "Perd" Hapley, marvelously played by Jay Jackson. Personality-wise, Perd probably owes more to Dr. Hibberd than to Kent Brockman; where Kent Kent is a relic from the days when news anchors were expected to be the Voice From the Mountaintop, Perd is an idiot getting by on an amiable personality and a propensity to laugh (even if he doesn't always understand your humor, he can recognize the cadence of a joke), and he's also changed his hairstyle over the years.
NBC's online team has put together another of its "Parks and Rec" character mash-up videos — which is exclusive to HitFix for the next few hours — this time highlighting the cheerful inaninty of Perd. SPOILER WARNING: The clip reel contains a few scenes from last night's season finale, so if you haven't seen it yet, don't watch.
Following the lead of the Academy Awards, the Latin Grammys have now decided to expand the field for album of the year from five to 10 contenders. The Latin Grammys come under the same umbrella as the Grammys: the National Academy of Recording Artists and Sciences (NARAS), though the two have separate boards of trustees. Should the Grammys follow suit?
The Latin Grammys will also expand the nominees to 10 in the other three general categories: song, record and best new artist.
While a representative of the Recording Academy told the Los Angeles Times that the move does not mean the Grammy Awards will do the same, you can bet that the idea is being floated around.
[More after the jump...]
A review of tonight's "Awake" coming up just as soon as I destroy a sacred song from your childhood...