DETROIT -- There is a lot of pressure on Jordin Sparks, according to Jordin Sparks. Back when I visited the set of the “Sparkle” remake in early November last year, the singer spoke on the nail-biting audition process and gaining the film’s title role. It’s her first film, period, let alone her first lead character in a movie, and the “American Idol” star expressed some first-timer jitters.
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I realize that this is my third post in the space of a week to mention the staggering wardrobe created by the late Eiko Ishioka for "Mirror Mirror." But since a posthumous Best Costume Design Oscar for the Japanese visionary -- a word diluted by overuse that fully applies here -- who passed away in January after battling pancreatic cancer, is going to remain near the top of my wishlist for the next awards season, you may as well get used to it. Certain feats of genius demand appropriate respect, and with so many shiny (and shinily dressed) objects still to arrive and distract viewers in the next nine months, one may as well hammer the message home early.
Accents, details and color flashes of Ishioka's "Mirror Mirror" designs still drift into my head two weeks after seeing the film: the saturated cobalt tone of Snow White's fighting gear, or the absurd detailing on the ship-shaped hats worn by Julia Roberts' literal court pawns. Not many films invite a rewatch just to drink in background garments one might have missed; here's one.
Last night's premiere of "Dance Moms: Miami" was good news for "Dance Moms" fans broken up about the flagship show airing its season finale. Now there's a whole new set of ambitious kids, crazy moms and flamboyant instructors to follow.
It's less good news for anyone who doesn't enjoy seeing kids put under unreasonable amounts of pressure, grown women embarrass themselves and arguments inflated for entertainment purposes.
I'll admit I'm in the second camp, and I've never bothered to check into the "Dance Moms" phenomenon before this. I've seen clips and interviews, but it always seemed like something worth ignoring.
It’s a good week for Justin Bieber: His new single, “Boyfriend,” enters the Billboard Hot 100 at No. 2 based on sky-high digital sales and tremendously strong acceptance at Top 40 radio.
“Boyfriend” sold a staggering 521,000 copies this week, making it the fourth highest sales week for any digital song (debut or otherwise). The record still belongs to Flo Rida’s “Right Round,” which sold 636,000 copies in 2009.
[More after the jump...]
I'll let you be the judge. The '90s rockers have officially been back on the road and back in the studio, this song "Live to Rise" the first fruits of those efforts. It's undeniably Chris Cornell, all meat and long hair on a memorable hook. The guitars have their share of flangers, the drums now have an updated "pop." The guitar lines go in one ear and out the other, but thematically, the song will be a hit for movie-goers, who will enjoy this midtempo testosterone fuel.
"Like the sun, we will live to rise again," goes the refrain. Appropriate for all involved. It is Soundgarden's first newly recorded song in 15 years, since the release of their last album "Down on the Upside"; as you'll remember, they also dropped "Black Rain" for "Guitar Hero" a couple years ago, but that was simply a previously unreleased tune from former sessions.
The whole soundtrack tracklist is very bro-dude, with names like Bush, Papa Roach, Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch and Buckcherry contributing. Stone Temple Pilots' Scott Weiland shows up, thankfully with something other than a Christmas song.
"The Avengers" soundtrack will be out on iTunes first, on May 1. The film hits theaters nationwide on May 4.
Soundgarden are expected to release a new full-length album some time in 2012. They have several tour dates listed for 2012, all overseas, with a couple of high profile festival-headlining gigs for the Download Festival in Donington, England and Hard Rock Calling in London.
Here is "The Avengers" soundtrack tracklist:
1. "Live to Rise" - Soundgarden
2. "I'm Alive" - Shinedown
3. "Dirt and Roses" - Rise Against
4. "Even If I Could" - Papa Roach
5. "Unbroken" - Black Veil Brides
6. "Breath" - Scott Weiland
7. "Comeback" - Redlight King
8. "Into the Blue" - Bush
9. "A New Way to Bleed (Photek Remix)" - Evanescence
10. "Count Me Out" - PUSHERJONES
11. "Shoot to Thrill" - Theory of a Deadman
12. "Wherever I Go" - Buckcherry
13. "From Out of Nowhere" - Five Finger Death Punch
14. "Shake the Ground" - Cherri Bomb
Additional track on the international release:
15. "Pistols At Dawn" - Kasabian
A quick review of last night's "New Girl" coming up just as soon as I start talking like a Native American when I get angry...
Before Wes Anderson made a name for himself with "Rushmore" and kindred spirit Noah Baumbach found his voice in "Kicking and Screaming" there was another filmmaker bringing a quirky, WASP-y world view to independent cinema, Whit Stillman.
Until today I had never seen an episode of Style Network's "Giuliana & Bill." And now that I have, I'm wondering why anyone would watch this show on a regular basis.
Obviously someone out there likes it. Tonight was the fifth (!) season premiere, which apparently was much more serious than usual as it tackled Giuliana's diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer.
I wouldn't say "E! News" host Giuliana Rancic and her "Apprentice"-winning husband Bill are bad, or even boring, people. I'm just curious where the appeal in an entire show chronicling their relationship lies.
This is all pure speculation, but here are five possible explanations for why people watch:
A review of tonight's "Justified" coming up just as soon as I hear about Van Halen playing your birthday party...
It's the first ever live results show on "The Voice"! A product of the show's success, NBC is giving it some extra hours on the schedule and making the eliminations more dramatic. Will it be as mind-numbingly inane and unnecessarily padded as the average "American Idol" results show?
Don't count on it, because four people will be going home. And before that happens, the bottom three from each time take the stage for a last chance performance in the hopes of winning a coach's save.
Plus, Gym Class Heroes will perform with Team Adam. That's a lot to pack into a single hour, so let's get to it.