I have to say, if I ran the Academy, I'd bar press from the Oscar Nominees Luncheon. Established as a relaxed event to foster a spirit of mutual appreciation and camaraderie among the nominees, away from the tedium of the campaign trail, the lunch has grown into just another PR pit-stop: the nominees remain switched on, while journalists monitor applause levels like hawks to gauge which contenders are more popular than others. The latter seems both a distasteful and unreliable practice: some pundits are getting excited that Best Supporting Actor dark horse Max von Sydow was the only nominee to receive a standing ovation, but then, frontrunner Christopher Plummer wasn't even in attendance. Anyway, Steve Pond, whose approach is to proceedings is more healthily sceptical than most, paints the clearest picture of the event. [The Odds]
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A review of last night's "How I Met Your Mother" coming up just as soon as my breath reeks of shredded carrots and deceit...
Early Monday morning, audiences got a chance to see the new trailer for "The Amazing Spider-Man" at a special Sony event that was held in 13 cities around the world, and I was there. I shared my impressions from that event with you in an earlier piece.
Now it's your turn to get a look at Sony's latest attempt to explain the difference between this new version of "Spider-Man" and what we grew used to in the Sam Raimi films.
There's quite a bit to look for in the trailer. You'll see Peter Parker, wiseass. You'll get a glimpse of The Lizard in all his greenness. You'll see some of the scale that they're going for this time, as well as the sense of humor that seems like such a fresh addition to the series.
Things are getting serious on "The Bachelor." But they couldn't be too serious, because Courtney is still here, sucking on her overbite, ripping off her clothes and generally not being the kind of classy dame Ben claims to consider marriage material. But then again, I'm not sure Ben's using his head at all (at least not the one on his shoulders) as he seems to devolve into a stuttering 13-year-old dork whenever Courtney comes around. Actually, Ben seems pretty dorky in a general sense, but given that all these women are willing to overlook that glaring character flaw, it does make good television. And I'm sure at least one of them will get a cask of questionably good booze if she plays her cards right.
Anyway, they're off to Panama City, Panama! Oh, look, a little map with an animated plane graphic so we can see where they've been! Courtney sucks on her overbite and thinks about skinny dipping again! Yay!
It's part two of our reunion show, and things are finally getting REALLY nasty, as Brandi's joined the gang and, well, if anyone's going to get into some verbal fisticuffs, it's going to be the chick that slit Eddie Cibrian's tires and texted that Kyle was a C-U-Next Tuesday to a friend of hers (and accidentally sent said text to Kyle herself). But more on that in a moment. But seriously, I wish I'd realized how much fun Brandi is a lot earlier in the season!
I posted my review of NBC's "Smash" on Friday, and a number of you weighed in on the show, having already watched it online. But I imagine some of you didn't get to see it until tonight's official premiere, and I'm curious what you guys thought of it. Did you like the songs, whether original or covers? (And once the songs shift into fantasy mode, would you prefer they stayed that way until the end, rather than toggling back and forth?) Do you have a favorite between Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty? Did you find the "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" number sexy or disturbing? (Several women I know who watched it initially thought something very bad was going to happen to Karen in that apartment.) And, most importantly, do you intend to keep watching?
Though I didn't love the show, I find it interesting enough that I'm going to attempt some kind of weekly coverage. Some reviews may be longer than others, but there will at least be a venue for discussion of each episode. (No idea if NBC will be sending more out in advance past the first four; if not, don't expect posts until Tuesday morning sometime.)
In the meantime, have at it.
If Sony had any doubt about the public curiosity about their upcoming "The Amazing Spider-Man," my guess is that the the massive lines outside the AMC Century City theater where the Los Angeles portion of today's big multi-media sneak peek event took place must have gone a long way toward putting them at ease.
They had events happening at the same time today in Rio, London, New York, and Los Angeles, with different people representing the film at each event. Here in LA, director Marc Webb showed up to introduce the presentation and to kick things off. In Rio, Emma Stone was joined by producers Avi Arad and Matt Holcum. In London, Rhys Ifans was on hand, and in New York, Andrew Garfield showed up to once again prove himself the most breathless advocate the new film could ever hope to have.
At heart, today was a big media event to premiere a new trailer, and I'm glad I knew that going in. I was prepared to drive an hour in early morning LA traffic to watch ten or twelve new minutes of footage, and all told, I probably got a little less than that. You'll see the new trailer later tonight as part of a big online premiere, but there was also an extended sizzle reel that featured a fair degree of unfinished effects work. The guys seated behind me were convinced they were going to see the whole movie this morning, and I wonder how many of the hundreds of fans who I saw queued up outside the venue thought the same thing. It's a film that comes with a fair degree of hype and expectation, and for many people, the question has been the same since it was first announced: why, exactly, are we already getting a reboot of this franchise?
Hey, remember when Eddie Murphy stepped down as Oscar host and some clever folks suggested hiring The Muppets for the gig? And remember how pretty much everyone with a beating heart loved that idea? And remember how #MuppetOscars trended on Twitter for a while? Remember how it inevitably didn't happen? And remember how we didn't mind too much, because we'd at least get a great Muppets performance on one of the Best Original Song nominees? And remember how the fun-free music branch quashed that idea by nominating the one song from "The Muppets" not performed by The Muppets? Remember? Oh, what a time.
Well, our fuzzy friends may have been short-changed by the Academy, but Miss Piggy, at the very least, is getting due recompense across the pond from BAFTA: the porcine prima donna has been hired to host the official red carpet coverage for the British Academy's ceremony on Sunday evening, interviewing the nominees and assorted celebrities as they arrive and presumably showing off her fashion expertise.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that 'Resident Evil' star Milla Jovovich will light up Oscar's technical night when she hosts the Scientific and Technical Awards on Sat., Feb. 11. The event will take place at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel and Jovovich will present 10 awards to 30 individual winners that evening.
Portions of the Sci-Tech Awards will be included in the broadcast of the 84th Academy Awards on Feb. 26 on ABC.
It's hard to believe that Jeremy Sisto, who might be better known for playing Jesus, Julius Caesar, Billy Chenowith on "Six Feet Under" or Detective Cyrus Lupo on "Law & Order," is now going for laughs as the dad of a teenager on ABC's "Suburgatory." (Wed. at 8:30 p.m.)I spoke to Sisto briefly about the latest episode of the show (which will bring the pilot's plot full circle), George's new romance (with guest star Alicia Silverstone) and why he had such a tough time convincing people he's funny until now.
Just under 38 million viewers tuned in for "The Voice" last night. How many will return for Night 2? Who knows!
Let's get down to the Blind Audition business... After the break...
Yeah, what did happen to the Counting Crows?
I was thinking about that as I saw the movie "Gypsy Davy" at this year's Sundance Film Festival. The documentary film, in a tangent, reveals the origins of "a black-haired / flamenco dancer" and the father who plays guitar in the '90s hit "Mr. Jones." There's footage of the band's floppy-dreaded frontman Adam Duritz singing the song live and a reminder that Duritz and his bandmates had lives and other bands before Counting Crows. And they've seen some strange years after its inception.
The rock act parted ways from Geffen in 2009, and I honestly thought that may be the end of that. They'd released the immensely personal and very dark double-disc "Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings" in 2008, with some interviews revealing some of heavy baggage. There were some good reasons why it took the band six years to release an album of new material after 2002's "Hard Candy," including Duritz' struggle with a dissociative disorder. It's a mental illness spurred on by pressure, which the band undoubtedly had after its string of hits starting in 1993 and throughout the '90s into the 2000s.
Being an immensely popular rock band from the 1990s doesn't always bode well in this jaded post-Internet age. Ask Bush, or the Wallflowers or Creed.
All this while, the Counting Crows have been touring consistently, and Duritz and the crew have been pretty lively on Twitter, with well over a million followers, and vibrant in other online community hotspots. It's this relationship that may have spurred an experiment from the band for the release of their next studio effort.