With 20 years of experience in the electronic music industry, it’s safe to say that Paul Van Dyk is an authority on the subject. Today (April 3), the German producer and DJ released his new studio album “Evolution,” after five years chock full of singles, compilation and remix contributions, work on the “Dark Knight Rises” soundtrack, crafting songs for video games like “Mirror’s Edge” and racking up frequent flyer miles as one of dance music’s biggest festival and circuit jetsetters.
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We're still over two weeks from the official announcement of this year's Cannes Film Festival lineup, but speculation over the inclusions is in full swing -- the blogosphere is littered with wish lists, predictions (the most thorough of which is this rundown by critic and betting man Neil Young) and even purported leaks, including this bogus one excavated yesterday by Jeffrey Wells.
As a guessing exercise, that list looked plausible enough in some respects -- at this stage, few are going to bet against David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis" or Jacques Audiard's "Rust and Bone" showing up in a Competition, while young Directors' Fortnight and Un Certain Regard graduate Xavier Dolan seems ripe for his first appearance in the big show -- but questionable in others. For starters, as much as we'd welcome some fresh blood in the mix, it seems unlikely-to-impossible that perennial Competition participants Michael Haneke, Ken Loach and Abbas Kiarostami, all of whom have films ready for the taking, are all going to miss out on a berth.
Probably shouldn't be going there on my honeymoon, but, well, it's relevant and our trip is winding down, so why not?
I'm on the tail end of a nine-day trip to Rome, typing this out from an apartment on Via dei Pettinari, listening to the sounds of joy and inebriation from those walking east across the nearby Ponte Sisto and a night of drinks across the Tiber in the Trastevere. Posters and full-bus adverts for Woody Allen's "To Rome with Love" (née "Nero Fiddled"/"The Bop Decameron") have been announcing the film's imminent April arrival all over the city and the trailer dropped today, so I thought I'd give it a look and "work" for a bit.
Allen cranks out a film per year. The law of averages dictates that most of them will stink, and indeed, as of late, most of them do. For every "Midnight in Paris" (which held an impressive stay on the circuit last year and yielded a Best Original Screenplay Oscar for the writer/director), we're due a "Scoop" here, a "You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger" there, etc. I have heard from only one person who has seen "To Rome with Love," and from what I gather, it's back to the junk pile. And the trailer sure does suggest some scattered silliness with little to stimulate the mind.
It’s notoriously difficult, at times, for British artists to break in the United States, to garner the same amount of success here than they do in their home country.
T.I. isn't the best singer, but he got a fitting hook and an easy beat for "Love This Life," which his label Grand Hustle/Atlantic is dubbing as the first single from long-awaited album "Trouble Man."
So a centerpiece for "Man" is T.I.'s woman, on whom he spends his energy with "Love This Life."
"You know, you love / Bitch, you know you love this life/ Don't nobody do you like me," T.I. reiterates on the refrain. Because if there's one thing that ladies love, is being told what they like. And to be called bitch.
Beyond some obvious strain between romance and being a hustler, T.I. has dropped a generally likeable, Mars-produced track, his flow bounding after the beat with ease and an accessible drum sample that could take it to top 40 and not just the rap charts.
No insight has been revealed as to when to expect "Trouble Man" except "later this year; there have been some fits and starts in getting an album proper from TIP ever since he left the pokey in late summer last year. He's launched his reality show "T.I & Tiny: The Family Hustle," put out a book last fall, premiered a mixtape on New Year's Day in 2012 and has dropped a few promotional singles with "I'm Flexin'" featuring Big K.R.I.T. as the biggest standout. It didn't track so big with crossover radio, so maybe that's why there's a push with "Love."
T.I. is on tap as producer of Iggy Azalea's forthcoming debut album "The New Classic"; he will also star along side of Kelsey Grammer in Starz series "Boss."
What do you think of "Love This Life?"
I spend more time disappointed by movie posters these days than not. Sure, I love the sort of secondary posters that Mondo is doing, but those aren't the actual theatrical release one-sheets for the most part.
No, instead, we are treated to an endless sea of photoshopped images and movie star faces, unimaginative art that seems to all look like it was made by the same marketing intern. It's a real drag, especially for a movie fan who grew up in an age where movie posters became just as much of an art as the films they advertised.
It's always nice when I see a poster that stands out, but to see three posters in the span of 24 hours that all seem to be strong graphic treatments of upcoming movies… well, that's rare like a Bigfoot sighting, and worth a mention.
One thing's for sure… Kim Pierce appears to be very excited about her upcoming remake of "Carrie."
Every year, the night after the Academy of Country Music Awards CBS takes advantage of having the talent still in town and tapes a themed special that will air a few weeks later.
This year, it was the turn of country’s new goodwill ambassador, Lionel Richie. As you know, last week the R&B/pop superstar released “Tuskegee.” Named after his hometown, the album is a collection of his greatest hits performed by Richie with current and veteran country acts.
The album, which was originally projected to sell less 50,000 copies in its opening week, according to sources, blew out the door and will move around 190,000 copies: enough to land at No. 1 on Wednesday’s Billboard Country Albums chart and at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart, right behind Madonna’s “MDNA.” It will be Richie’s highest debuting album in 24 years.
If you are a Katy Perry fan, there’s only one place you’re going to get your fireworking self to on the fourth of July weekend, and that’s to the theater to see “Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D.”
The trailer for the concert film appeared today and revealed that the movie will be much more than a straight-ahead performance flick. In the clip below, she talks about growing up in a “100% Christian” environment. She started singing in church and there was never any other plan. “If you have a dream, you have to go on a journey to fulfill that dream,” she adds in giving the trailer an aspirational and inspirational feel.
[More after the jump...]
Okay, so last week, as a goof, I invited first Twitter, and then the commenters here, to see if you could recast "Gilligan's Island" using only actors from the same show. 130+ enthusiastic comments later, it occurred to me that we might be onto something here. So as an experiment, we're going to try this again. Maybe it was just a one-time thing that we'll get bored with quickly, maybe it's something we can keep going for a few weeks before it runs out of steam, or maybe it is something that can just run FOREVER, until we're trying to figure out which actors from "Deadwood" would be best-suited to star in a new version of "My Mother the Car." We'll play it by ear.
For today, I'm going to respond to a Twitter request on that first night to try this game with "Cheers," which remains one of my all-time favorite sitcoms (and which the smart folks at The AV Club have been analyzing weekly for a while.) Wanting to try to recast a sitcom with a sitcom, I again thought of "Community," since Joel McHale seems an easy choice to play Sam, while Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs would, respectively, make a strong Diane and Rebecca. (The hair color's reversed, but I care less about appearance than getting at the essence of the character.) After that, though, things started to get sketchy, until I wound up casting Ken Jeong as Norm because there was nobody better in the main cast.
Then I tried "Parks and Recreation," where I found the opposite to be true: it was simplicity itself to fill all the supporting and even recurring roles with people from the world of Pawnee, but a pain to cast any of the leads. Here's the best I could do, with some explanation, but it's not perfect:
I don't think I ever wrote a review of "Titanic."
I'm not sure, though. I know I was already contributing reviews to Ain't It Cool in 1997. I'm pretty sure I sent material to Ain't It Cool as early as 1996. I know I was writing reviews for newsgroups as early as 1995. But for some reason, I don't think I ever wrote a review of James Cameron's massive cultural event, which seems strange to me now.
After all, I've been a James Cameron fan since the moment my first screening of "The Terminator" ended in 1984. And working in Los Angeles, it was impossible not to be aware of and fascinated by the stories of what was happening on the set of "Titanic". What I found most interesting was that Cameron was getting a reputation as the guy who made the most expensive film of all time every time out, and each time, those big bets seemed to be paying off. "Terminator 2." "True Lies." Giant expensive gambles that managed to shrug off the reports of trouble that plagued them during production. But at a time when $100 million was still considered a lot of money to spend on a movie, "Titanic" was at least twice that, delayed, a nightmare, the moment he was bound to fail.
Finally, the competition truly begins as Team Christina and her "singers from every genre" face off against Team Blake's "unique sounding vocalists." (We'll see Team Adam and Team Cee-Lo next week.)
It's been weeks since they filmed those battles and a few things have changed: Adam has less hair, Cee-Lo has more (thanks to a wig), Christina dropped the ridiculous hat and covered up her cleavage and Blake...looks like Blake.
Christina "could not be more thrilled about what's going to happen tonight," while Blake thinks "it's gonna be tough. America is gonna know what it was like for us going through those battle rounds, it's hard to make a decision."