Well, the blockbuster movie season is upon us. Though I guess it's left to be seen how many blocks "John Carter" will really bust. I haven't seen the film yet, so I have nothing to offer. I've heard some good things but mostly I've been warned off a few dozen times. I'll saddle up to it in due time, but for now, I imagine many of you will be hitting the multiplex this weekend to have a look for yourselves. When/if you do, head on back here and give us your take.
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It's come up so quick this year that I'm having trouble believing that South By Southwest is finally underway today.
I'm here for the entire film portion of the festival, and for those who haven't been here, you may not realize that SXSW is not just about movies. There is also a major Interactive conference, and an amazing Music festival. Interactive runs concurrently with film, and Music starts just as Film is ending. The net result of all of this is that Austin is absolutely, no question, 100% bananas for the next 15 days or so.
I'm here for Film, though, and unless I can wrangle my way into the show Fiona Apple is playing, all of my events are Film oriented, and I thought before we get going, it would be good to look ahead at what you can expect from our coverage.
For example, TONIGHT kicks off the festival for me. I'm going to see a Norwegian dark fairy tale called "Thale," then the premiere of Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard's genre-bending "Cabin In The Woods" serves as the centerpiece premiere, and then it's off to the South Lamar Alamo for a midnight screening of "[REC] 3," the latest chapter in the dark and disturbing Spanish horror franchise.
In Usher’s new song, “Climax” the song takes on the less sexual meaning in that he’s singing about a relationship coming to the end of its time. In the video, there’s definitely room for double meaning of the song.
In the moody video, Usher spends a lot of time behind the wheel, looking confused and hurt (either that or he can’t find his car keys). It’s also totally unclear how much of the activity is really happening and how much is going on totally within his own head.
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Christina Aguilera’s redemption continues: First she signs up as a judge on “The Voice,” which turns into a runaway hit that is beating “American Idol” at every turn (take that Jenny From the Block). Then she and her “Voice” mate Adam Levine duet on Maroon 5’s No. 1 smash, “Moves Like Jagger,” and now, she’s unleashed the below batch of awesomeness.
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Adam Lambert has delayed the release of his second post- “American Idol” set, “Trespassing,” from its original March 20 release date to later this spring, but we’ve got two tracks potentially from the album below.
Lambert performed at a radio event and showed off two songs, “Cuckoo,” and “Chokehold,” according to The Insider. We aren’t sure where these were filmed, although on Lambert recently tweeted about performing before some radio fans in Denver.
[More after the jump...]
50 Cent will be in Austin next week to remind fans that, once upon a time, he was still making music, even amazing music.
The rapper-turned-movie exec will be performing his 2003, 8x platinum Interscope debut "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" in its entirety for the Shady 2.0 SXSW Showcase, courtesy of Eminem's Shady Records. Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse -- who were the two big new signings to the label last January -- are also confirmed to help headline the March 16 (Friday) show at the Austin Music Hall.
Big K.R.I.T., Schoolboy Q, Action Bronson, Don Trip, STS and The Foodchain are also on the bill.
The performance of "Get Rich or Die Trying" boggles the mind in a few ways. First, 50 Cent has been edging away from music altogether in recent years, in lieu of launching Cheetah Vision, his film production company and acting in almost a dozen films in the last three years. He continues to support other ventures like G-Unit clothing and releasing a memoir.
Part of the delay on releasing something new has to do with disputes with Interscope, which 50 has publicly admitted to. The differences may be creative: he has threatened a dance-inspired album, which never came to pass, instead of a straight-forward "Get Rich"-inspired rap album, which will be his fifth and first since 2009's "Before I Self Destruct."
So this showcase may signal that Interscope/Shady and 50 Cent have made nice and are ready to proceed with re-building the brand of 50 Cent As Rapper. "Discovered" by Eminem at the turn of the century, Marshal Mathers may even be present to help prop up on songs like appropriately titled "Patiently Waiting." Now if Dr. Dre could get his cards stacked right...
It could be a larger indication of big movements from Shady Records on the whole. The signing of Hip-Hop's New Class member Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse (one half of which is Royce da 5'9", who spent last year recording and touring with Eminem as Bad Meets Evil) in 2011 was the first indicator, but with Em in working order, back from tour, producing and championing newer, younger acts, we could see more and more powerhouse signings, perhaps of talent showing up in Austin.
This show will surely be one of the most sought-after, well-attended spots at the festival this year; the potential for stage-crashers and collaborations is optimal. Will you be there?
Before we dug into our interview, Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor dug into a pre-lunch snack (which you can see a bit of here). Thankfully, it wasn't salmon, though fish sticks were served for lunch. While the theme worked for promoting the movie, I'm pretty sure Blunt and McGregor preferred the macarons.
While Blunt and McGregor have an easy rapport that makes them seem like the perfect pairing in this interview, the connection is harder to see at the beginning of their new movie, "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen." A story about a fishing expert (McGregor) who finds himself muscled into assisting a wealthy sheik on what seems like a fool's errand -- building a dam and stocking it with fish in Yemen so that the sheik can pursue his beloved sport fishing -- it brings together McGregor and Blunt as a very unlikely couple.
A review of last night's "30 Rock" coming up just as soon as I take a log with googly eyes to a father-son picnic...
The Cannes Film Festival has a reputation for choosing slight-to-major disappointments for its opening night -- think back on such flat party-starters as "Robin Hood," "Blindness," "My Blueberry Nights," "The Da Vinci Code" and "Hollywood Ending," if indeed you care to remember them at all. But the odds have improved lately: two recent Cannes curtain-raisers (and eventual Best Picture nominees), "Up" and "Midnight in Paris," salvaged the slot's reputation sufficiently that the news of a major auteur's latest opening this year's fest needn't sound alarm bells.
That auteur, as most Cannes-watchers correctly speculated, is Wes Anderson, whose "Moonrise Kingdom" was confirmed yesterday as the film that will kick things off on May 16. Given that the film is opening in French theaters on the very same day -- and in the US only nine days later -- it was an inevitable choice, though it's worth noting that this is Anderson's first film to play the Croisette. (His last live-action feature, 2007's "The Darjeeling Limited," premiered at Venice, marking his European-major debut.)
I can't really imagine many modern blockbuster filmmakers who would be a match for James Cameron just on a comparison of filmmaking skills, but I can think of even fewer who could stand up against him when it comes to real-world fortitude.
Sure, it's easy to be an adventurer when you're rich, but only in the sense that you actually have the resources to make your wildest dreams come true. Money doesn't make it any easier to face the fear that comes with doing something truly dangerous, and anyone who writes off what Cameron accomplishes when he's in world adventurer mode is not being honest about what it is that he does.
For example, this past week, Cameron broke a world record for depth diving in a submersible that he helped develop, and it sounds like it was amazing. I'm even more excited to see what happens when he travels to the Challenger Deep in the western Pacific, and what sort of footage he brings back from it.