And as expected, the Rich Ross era is quickly over.
It's always callous in these situations to say "I told you so," but when Bob Iger first announced that Rich Ross would be taking over as Chairman of Walt Disney Studios two and a half years ago there was a collective eyebrow raised across Hollywood. Ross had turned Disney Channel into a moneymaker for Disney and CEO Bob Iger saw him as "visionary" who could streamline the movie studios offerings while focusing more on cinematic brands that could have life across the entire corporation. It's a synergistic approach that all media companies try to achieve, but rarely succeed at (Fox and the old Viacom being the most successful). Even with a changing entertainment landscape where more television and movie talent jump between the small and big screen, Ross did not have the background or skills to handle a job of this magnitude. And, the industry experienced this same scenario only a few years ago when Brad Grey put former FOX executive Gail Berman in charge of production at Paramount Pictures. That also lasted just about two years and was pretty much a colossal failure.
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And as expected, the Rich Ross era is quickly over.
Happy 420! Could the international day to hail all things pot have any better spokespeople than Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg? The answer is resoundingly no. And just in case they haven’t made their love of the herb clear enough, they return today with “Roll Me Up & Smoke Me When I Die,” from Nelson’s forthcoming album, “Heroes.” Listen to it here.
If the song is new to you— it's a standard in Nelson's live show —the surprise is that this version is a rollicking, country tune that stands on its own merits as a truly enjoyable song, as opposed to some novelty. The musicianship is great, the outlaw country attitude is essential, the picking is delicious, guests Jamey Johnson and Kris Kristofferson add just the right amount of gravel, and, believe it or not, Snoop is totally convincing on a a country track.
[More after the jump...]
For all you fans of "Criminal Minds," quick: why would a dry cleaner murder the band Liars?
There are a few answers but mostly questions in the music video for Liars' "No.1 Against the Rush," as a killer finds a few ways to capture the three-piece band. It's not cute, though. It's all disturbed blue hues and everyday circumstances to the weird lyrical sibling "I want you." Tonight's an Ambien night.
I'm not sure I'm ready for it, but yesterday's full lineup announcement brought home the fact that this year's Cannes Film Festival is less than a month away. It scarcely feels like a year ago that the likes of "The Artist," "The Tree of Life" and "Drive" entered our lives, but here we are, ready to welcome next batch of potential crossover hits, treasured obscurities and inevitable disappointments.
With that, welcome to our Cannes Check series, in which I'll individually preview each of the 22 titles in Competition. (Much as I'd love to give similar treatment to Un Certain Regard and other festival strands, I am but one man.) Same as last year, I'll be covering one film a day, in alphabetical order of the director's surname. Tidily enough, that means we're kicking off with the film that itself will be raising the curtain on this year's festival -- Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom."
A quick review of last night's "Awake" coming up just as soon as I have a cassette player...
A review of last night's "30 Rock" coming up just as soon as I make out with Paz de la Huerta at a children's museum...
Yikes. After the epic brawls on Part One of the three-part reunion, this follow-up hour felt like a bunch of childish whining, even before Marlo came out to embarrass herself all over again.
But Andy did finally raise the Africa controversy, with sadly predictable results.
This entire episode was upstaged by Sheree's bombshell announcement this week that she won't be returning for season five. After tonight, it seems like that's for the best.
Yep. That sure does look like a Wes Anderson movie.
The entire line-up for Cannes that's been announced so far has me damn near giddy, and as soon as they announced that the opening night film was going to be Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom," I made sure to book my travel so I'd be there for the kickoff.
I read about half this script, then stopped. Not because it was bad, but because of the exact opposite. I was having so much fun with it that I decided I'd rather just see it play out than read it and ruin it for myself. The worlds that Wes Anderson creates in his films are so specific and visual and all-encompassing that it's impossible to really "read" one of his films ahead of time. You have to see how the actors choose to inhabit the characters, and you have to see the details that he packs his frame with, and you have to hear the soundtracks he puts together.
I don't get it when people complain about the heightened reality that Anderson creates in his movies. It seems to me that if you don't like directors with a strong signature style, you just should skip their films, not complain that they are so specific. Anderson's absolutely got a signature that you can see as soon as something begins, and ever since "Bottle Rocket," he has been refining that style a little bit more with every movie.
"Parks and Recreation" is back after its brief spring hiatus, and I have a review of tonight's episode coming up just as soon as I bounce some business ideas off Russell Simmons on Twitter...
Francis Lawrence has emerged as the favorite to replace Gary Ross as the director of "Catching Fire," the highly-anticipated sequel to "The Hunger Games," and according to a report just published in The Hollywood Reporter, he'll get his official offer to helm the movie this afternoon.
This has been a lightning-fast process, primarily because Lionsgate can't afford to waste any time. They have a specific timetable they have to meet if they plan to have Jennifer Lawrence done with shooting in time for her to make the jump to the sequel to "X-Men: First Class" that she is also committed to, and it sounds like Lionsgate ended up meeting with Lawrence and with Bennett Miller today.
As with the "Twilight" films, it seems like the studio is casting a wide net for what they're looking for in a director on this series, and none of the picks are what I would call typical action directors. While Lawrence made "Constantine" and "I Am Legend," his most recent film was "Water For Elephants," and in conversation with him, he's always seemed like a guy who had a pretty broad range of interests in terms of what he'd like to make.
A review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I cry during "About a Boy: The Soundtrack"...