While we've been waiting a few weeks for a new episode of "The Vampire Diaries," tonight's episode is one centered upon a slow story build and, at the end, a few unexpected developments, which is probably about as much as we can handle after a CW-induced dry spell. More importantly, we're treated to flashbacks to 1912, which means retro hair, a flip-flop in Salvatore characteristics (Damon, so sensitive!) and just a little more backstory to keep things interesting. And while some of the seemingly urgent plotlines of recent episodes are back burnered (Rebekah seems to be the only one nervous about that white oak tree), it hardly matters when there's a serial killer loose in Mystic Falls.
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At this point, I'm starting to suspect there are more than two Duplass brothers.
It's really the only way to explain their almost absurd level of productivity recently. Since "Cyrus" played Sundance, it seems that there is always something coming out with either Mark Duplass starring or written by them or directed by them, and it's been a good run for the two of them.
I quite liked "The Puffy Chair," their early film, but when they made the jump to working with casts that are better-known, they also seemed to hone their craft in a way that is surprisingly at home in the mainstream. Their new film, "Jeff, Who Lives At Home," is my favorite thing they've done, and so of course when asked if I wanted to sit down with them to talk about the movie, the answer was a very easy "yes."
A quick review of tonight's "Awake" coming up just as soon as I take a few sleeping pills...
The finale begins! Although it's a little disappointing that not a single woman made it to the end and at least one designer seems determined to make "sexy" outfits that only look good on skinny 15-year-old boys and professional models, I'm still interested to see what this episode holds. I'm hoping that someone can slip Mondo some antidepressants or maybe a bottle of vodka, because if his bad mood doesn't lift soon it's going to be awfully hard to root for him. Funny or not, for the last few episodes he's really been a pain in the ass.
I was just talking about Tim Burton. The singular filmmaker's work has been on a bit of a "meh" slope in recent years, and "Dark Shadows" was really starting to look like just another obvious piece of material for him to play around with before moving on to the next. But judging by the recently released trailer, the film might just have its share of inspired moments.
I never saw the 1960s television series being re-booted and sent up here, so I have not loyalties or expectations, even. But it seems to me a good time for a film like this amid these vampire-obsessed pop culture days, or at least one without the names Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer on it.
Johnny Depp has the starring role as blood-sucker Barnabas Collins. Joining him will be Michelle Pfeiffer (in her first collaboration with Burton since "Batman Returns"), Eva Green, Chloë Grace Moretz, Helena Bonham Carter (of course), Jackie Earle Haley and Christopher Lee, among others.
I published my review of ABC's "Missing" on Tuesday. Now it's your turn. For those who chose the Ashley Judd spy drama over "Idol," "Community," March Madness, etc., what did you think? Did you appreciate all the attempts to remind us of her maternal side (including the gag where she tells the girl at the club to put out the cigarette), or was it all a bit much? Did you like the location filming? Enjoy the action? Glad to have Judd working again, or did you not miss her during her relative downtime? Thoughts on Sean Bean's latest method of dying? And will you watch again?
Have at it.
A review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I convince you that turtlenecks are made of turtle's necks...
On Wednesday night, "American Idol" said a vaguely-shocking farewell to Jermaine Jones. Who would be homeward bound on Thursday (March 15) night's show?
Click through for the full live-blog...
Take a shower, you already smell bad: SXSW Music programming heads into its second day, Thursday, March 15.
Below I've outlined some more artists to watch, Some shows will overlap, some are a haul, but... you paid extra for the SXSW Teleport, didn't you? Check out shows from Bruce Springsteen, Tenacious D, Kendrick Lamar, Grimes, the Punch Brothers, Dev, Alberta Cross, Yellow Ostrich and more.
Thank you again to Unofficial SXSW, for having a nearly-perfect accuracy and navigable scheduling interface.
"Fuck 'Glee,'" Channing Tatum's hulking undercover cop mutters early on in "21 Jump Street," having disguised himself as a teenager for a high-school drugs bust, only to discover that his letterman-jacketed jockishness no longer carries the social cachet it did in his youth. It's a throwaway line that nonetheless unlocks several suspended levels of socio-cultural awareness in Phil Lord and Chris Miller's enthusiastically goofy spin on the long-buried youth TV series of the same name -- a blithe barrage of wildly variable gags that would no more admit to such awareness than have Tatum and his partner in bromance, Jonah Hill, kiss on screen.
"Glee" would, of course, and therein lies the point. Perhaps the most conceptually playful and self-sustaining entry in the recent mini-genre of 1980s TV reboots, "21 Jump Street" employs its dodgy cultural lineage less as nostalgia kick than as conversation starter: amusing (and genuinely flummoxing) Johnny Depp cameo aside, the film is only incidentally interested in its source material, and far more preoccupied with the tension between between past and present adolescent generations.
AUSTIN -- Fiona Apple made a return to a large-scale stage for the first time in six years last night (March 14), for an audience eager for an early answer: Will the singer-songwriter be a "best" or "worst" of 2012? For attendees at the South By Southwest Music Conference, there is rarely anything in between, as hype forms hyperbole and fans are converted to fanatics.
The NPR showcase at Stubb's was Apple's opportunity to bow new material from her forthcoming full-length "The Idler Wheel," which has a tentative ETA in June. It proceeds her last album "Extraordinary Machine," out in 2005, evidence of just how much credence the Los Angeles-based gives to traditional album release schedules. Her set list boasted three new songs along with a mix from her three previous efforts, including tracks from her debut "Tidal," an album that still seers with lust, sexual abuse, self-abuse and coming-of-age. Apple, now 34, was ever-emotional on stage, consistently embracing all the instability and jitters of her late teens and early 20s, with endearing snarls and that patented, quivering vibrato.
As is custom, Stubb's had embarrassing sound problems. Apple continued screwing her in-ear monitor back onto her head though she and her four-piece backing band showed no unprofessional attitude, let alone revealed any error in-set. During instrumental jams, the artist would bury her head in her arm on top of the full length piano, or close her eyes and smooth her skirt. Her slender arms would slash Xs in front of her, or she's flail her high ponytail as she restively put her hands on her hips.
You've got to hand it to someone who makes their home in uncomfortable places. For all the volatility that comes with a "comeback," she, well, makes the most of it.