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I will admit that I walked into "The FP" ready to love it.
After all, it's being released by Drafthouse Films, and I'm a big fan in principle. After all, this is a company that was formed by Tim League to release "Four Lions" when no one else in America had the balls. And having known Tim for the better part of fifteen years, I know that our taste doesn't always align, but that more often than not, we do enjoy the same sort of weird.
So I found myself depressed when, about a half-hour into "The FP," which Drafthouse Films is currently rolling out in limited release, with more theaters being added this weekend, I realized that not only did I not love it, but I was impatient for it to end. The film feels to me like a short film stretched way past the breaking point, which makes sense, because it started as a short film.
I am fascinated by Reggie Watts. I don't even know if I'd describe him as a comedian, because his live shows are such an original mix of music and humor and attitude, and there's no one else I can point to who does what he does.
One of my favorite moments in the LCD Soundsystem documentary "Shut Up And Play The Hits," which I absolutely recommend to you, is when Reggie Watts shows up during that final Madison Square Garden performance to collaborate on a song. It's just amazing to see how Watts can build this wall of sound that drops into what James Murphy and the band do so well, and it makes the case for Watts as far more than "just" a comedian.
Ridley Scott's "Legend" is an absolutely gorgeous movie, but as a film, it's wildly uneven and occasionally stone-cold silly. I still remember the afternoon I saw it the first time, and my friend and I who saw it together ended up yelling at each other because of how differently we processed it. He really bought into the world of the film and thought it was a great accomplishment regardless of the script, while I couldn't really get past some of the things that I think hobble the film.
I posted my review of NBC's "Bent" yesterday. Now it's your turn. What did everybody who watched think? Did you stay for both episodes? Did you like the chemistry between David Walton and Amanda Peet? Did you enjoy the crew? (I, personally, would listen to J.B. Smoove say "smitten" for quite a while.) Were you distracted to see Landry in scenes with a very different guy named Riggins? And does the weird scheduling — and what it suggests about NBC's faith in the show — make you more or less likely to watch future episodes?
Have at it. I enjoyed the show enough that I'll have posts (length TBD) the next two weeks for the remaining episodes.
One of the interesting side effects of being at a film festival, especially one that lasts longer than a week, is that you become unstuck in time. You stay so busy that the outside world sort of recedes completely. I came up for air a few times during SXSW, but for the most part, it was the rest of Team HitFix that was dealing with breaking news and posting new trailers. I missed quite a few of them, and when I realized that, I thought I'd go back and catch up.
I know I talked to people at SXSW about that Japanese "Avengers" trailer, and it's certainly worth some conversation. It's interesting that the Japanese trailer just plain reveals the alien invasion aspect of the film that the American campaign has so carefully hidden. There's a lot more material here, including an appearance by Pepper Potts that surprised me. Until now, I wasn't 100% sure she was even in the film.
There's more of an emphasis on both Hawkeye and The Black Widow here, and we finally see Cobie Smulders, who I hear is one of the surprise highlights of the film. All in all, this is a great sneak peek at the film, and now that I've seen it, I don't want to see anything else until I see it all put together.
“We Are Young” is aging well as the song by fun. featuring Janelle Monae spends its third week atop the Billboard Hot 100 this week.
For much of the rest of the chart, the song remains the same: Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” stays at No. 2, while The Wanted’s “Glad You Came” hops up one space to No. 3, flipping places with Adele’s “Set Fire To the Rain,” which falls to No. 4. Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know” featuring Kimbra stays at No. 5 but keeps its bullet.
Welcome to Wednesday (March 21) night's "American Idol."
If scuttlebutt is to be believed -- and I always believe scuttlebutt -- Wednesday's theme is The Music of Billy Joel. And if additional scuttlebutt is to be believed, mentoring the Top 10 will be Sean Combs, because if anybody is trained to help aspiring singers with the work of Billy Joel, it's P. Diddy.
Click through to find out how a man who can't sing steered our "Idol" hopefuls in the fine art of singing...
They say a woman who changes her hair is about to change her life. Katy Perry hacks off most of her natural locks in the new music video for "Part of Me," so her shift in life? Joining the Marines.
The Ben Moore-directed clip was shot, in part, over three days at Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton in San Diego, where Perry was put through a series of combat training exercises, shooting guns, lifting logs and lip-syncing beneath a gigantic American flag, throwing in some literal "bombs" and "blows."
The clip opens up with Perry listening to a fictional celebrity interview on the radio that obviously reflects on her disintegrated relationship with now-ex-husband Russell Brand; we learn that her character in the video was inspired to join the armed services after the crash-and-burn ending of a relationship with a boyfriend. Perry told MTV that she wanted a video that was an "affirmation of strength" after a relationship that took it out of her. "I wanted go the strongest route I possibly could."
That route began with her chopping off all her hair (a la "G.I. Jane"), embracing her hoodied androgyny ("The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo") wrapping her infamous boobs with gauze (a la... "Shakespeare in Love" [???]) and crying into a sink before handing over her clothes and preparing to mouth "Yes drill sergeant" for as many times as it took. The inspiration was a bumper sticker: "All women are created equal, then some become Marines."
In this case, enlisting was a source of self-esteem, encourages a sense of community among other women. Marines are tough, their part of America's pride. But part of the video's oddness was Perry's degenderizing -- and the co-option of a military institution.
Music lovers and vinyl collectors, update your shopping list: The Flaming Lips have announced further details on their Record Store Day collaboration set, plus below are some outlines on other April 21 exclusive drops, like those from Sub Pop, Arctic Monkeys, Sex Pistols and more.
For some reason, amid the building media hype about the release, I feel oddly disinclined to see "Titanic 3D" -- neither because I fear, as Roger Ebert bemoaned, the defacement of some kind of masterpiece, nor because I so dislike the film as to make an active point of not revisiting it.
That said, I somehow haven't revisited it since December 1997, though it certainly hasn't slipped from memory. What I remember fondly of it (and there's much to go under that column) I remember vividly enough not to crave a reminder. I also remember much that was lunky and crass and tin-eared, none of it likely to be remedied by an extra dimension. The film's charms are, in my mind, irrevocably tied to conditions of who and where I was when I first saw it, aged 14, smack in the middle of the demographic that rather infectiously lost their collective minds for it that summer. (Yes, I was in the southern hemisphere then.) Historical epic it may be, but it's a teenage time-capsule piece for me, and coating it in the ubiquitous 21st-century veneer of state-of-the-art 3D seems somehow anachronistic. I'm not claiming it's rational, but it's why I'm personally resisting.