For fans of the French electronic duo AIR, a trip to the moon is fairly routine.
For fans of the French electronic duo AIR, a trip to the moon is fairly routine.
Adele’s “21” turns Sweet 16 as the title spends its 16th non-consecutive week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
Her tally gives the unsinkable album that longest weeks at No. 1 since the “Titanic” soundtrack which ruled for that long a period in 1997-1998. In the SoundScan era, which began in 1991, only five albums have spent 16 weeks or more at No. 1 and the album to beat remains the soundtrack to “The Bodyguard,” which logged 20 weeks at the top. So in order to set the record, “21” needs to spend, somewhat poetically, 21 weeks at No. 1.
The biggest surprise about the nine-film shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar is, well, how unsurprising it is. Seven of the titles I predicted yesterday are on it; the two films I didn't, Morocco's "Omar Killed Me" and Taiwan's "Warriors of the Rainbow," are the kind of could-have-been-anything choices that we know to expect (or not to expect, as it were) by now. Presumed frontrunner "A Separation" naturally made the cut and festival favorites "Pina" and "Bullhead" are present and correct -- as is the semi-obligatory annual Holocaust drama, in the shape of Agnieszka Holland's "In Darkness." Check, check, check.
The general predictability of the list makes it harder than usual to speculate what three films may have been rescued by the executive committee. There's nothing as outwardly subversive as "Dogtooth" or "Confessions" in the group, which suggests to me that the committee may have had their hands full saving consensus critical favorites: if they really did have to come to the rescue of a film like "A Separation," as has been rumored, that narrows the window for a truly "difficult" film like "The Turin Horse" to slide in.
LL Cool J will host the 54th annual Grammy Awards, marking the first time the music awards show has featured a host in seven years.
The move makes sense for several reasons: LL Cool J has hosted The Grammy Nominations Concert Live since its inception three years ago; he’s a two-time Grammy winner himself, and then, of course, The Grammys air on CBS and LL Cool J stars in “NCIS Los Angeles,” which runs on CBS. Plus, he’s a fun and genial host with a broad appeal.
I obviously don't write about every interesting show on television, nor do I write about every episode of every show that I cover.(*) Not remotely enough hours in the day for that. Sometimes, my taste will overlap exactly with some of you, and other times there will be shows you love that I never write about, or even watch. On occasion on the old blog, I'd do open threads for people to discuss whatever shows they liked that I wasn't writing about, but they tended to get unwieldy, and at times turn into extensive, detailed discussions of shows I (and others) hadn't seen yet but intended to at some point. So I stopped doing them after a while.
(*) People keep asking me, for instance, when my review of this week's "How I Met Your Mother" is going up, and the answer is that it's not. I took a couple of days off post-press tour, with all but one post over the last two days (the "Cougar Town" premiere, which I wrote in 10 minutes while my son was napping next to me) being something I'd written in advance. I liked the episode well enough (it was very broad but still felt "HIMYM"-y enough to work) but I'm just going to jump ahead to reviewing the next new episode when it airs.
My favorite thing about this blog, both at the old location and this one, has been the community that developed around it. I'm not writing just to hear myself talk, but to start a conversation that you guys have kept going so smartly for so long. But that conversation is always limited to whatever it is I'm watching. (Or to the shows being covered by Fienberg, Liane and on Monkeys as Critics.) There hasn't been an avenue for this great collection of TV fans to talk about a show if it's not on my radar...
Sweetie darling, it's time for yet another "Absolutely Fabulous" special to make its U.S. premiere on Logo (Mon. Feb. 6, 10:30 p.m.). Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the series, the special will pick up where the last left off, as Patsy and Edina lumbered into the 21st century.
The Bamboozle 2012 added 60 new performers to the May 18-19 line-up. Among the new additions are Jimmy Eat World, PJ Pauly D, Andrew Dice Clay, All American Rejects, ASAP Rocky and the reunited The Promise Ring.
They join a list for the 3-day North Beach Asbury Park, N.J.-festival that includes headliners Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters, Skrillex, Blink-182 and Incubus. This marks the first time the 10-year Live Nation-produced Bamboozle has been held in Asbury Park since 2005.
Also new to the bill are Mike Posner, Kreayshawn, Treos, Patent Pending, We Came As Romans, Motion City Soundtrack, NeverShoutNEver, Bayside, and Bouncing Souls.
Bamboozle also revealed the schedule: Skrillex, Incubus and Mac Miller will headline May 18; Foo Fighters and Blink-182, May 19; Bon Jovi, May 20. There is still a special guest to be announced who will also headline on May 20.
Michelle Williams is someone who seems to have planned her entire career in contravention of Hollywood's usual code for beautiful young actresses: from her taste in offbeat indie projects to her shy public demeanor and pixie-ish styling, she's pretty much the anti-ingenue, and the last person you'd expect to be the subject of a raunchy lad's-mag photo shoot. Which is partly why her casting as a publicity-fed sex symbol like Marilyn Monroe is so counter-intuitively effective, as is this eye-opening QG profile, in which she further channels the star by stripping down to her underwear and posing up a storm. An ingenious ploy by Harvey Weinstein? Her own initiative? Either way, it's getting the Best Actress hopeful attention at just the right time, and for those who do read the accompanying interview, she comes off as smart and engaging. Well played. [GQ]
A good night last night for both "New Girl" and "Raising Hope," with reviews coming up just as soon as I get smart by watching NBC comedies...
A quick review of last night's "Parenthood" coming up just as soon as I pretend not to be bored in exchange for ice cream...
The last time Steven Soderbergh and Lem Dobbs collaborated, the result was "The Limey," one of my favorite of Soderbergh's films overall. It's a tough-minded, broken-hearted little revenge thriller, and Terrence Stamp is awesome in it. It's got style to spare, and it's really lean. Gets in, gets it done, and then gets out.
When I first heard about "Haywire" and heard that the film was created specifically to showcase Gina Carano, a well-regarded MMA fighter in real life, I admit that I sort of wrote the film off immediately as "lesser" Soderbergh. The last film he made where he built a film around a real-life personality was "The Girlfriend Experience," an only slightly successful movie that is more experiment than experience, so I admit my hopes were not especially high.
I would argue that part of why "Haywire" works so well is because Lem Dobbs is the screenwriter, and he approached this with a wicked pulp spy movie sensibility that pays off in a film that works first as a spy film, second as an action film, and then also as a drama. It's genuinely well-written. It's clever. And while there's plenty of room in the film for Carano to snap into her own skill-set and start beating holy hell out of anyone within arm's reach, which she does in spectacular fashion several times, those moments are character punctuation. There's not a single unmotivated or gratuitous action beat in the film.
In other words, forget what your calendar tells you. "Haywire" is no mere January movie.
It was a nice change of pace interlude this evening, even if it was ultimately awards related in some way.
"War Horse" may be the World War I film currently in cinemas stirring awards talk throughout the season, and "The Artist" might be the black and white silent film leading the charge in this year's Best Picture race, but for two evenings at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills, William A. Wellman is stealing some of Steven Spielberg and Michel Hazanavicius' spotlight.
Wellman's silent, black and white, 1927 Best Picture-winning WWI epic "Wings" has been fully restored in a partnership between Paramount Pictures (this year celebrating its 100th anniversary), the Academy's Film Archive and Technicolor. It was unveiled this evening at the Academy in the first of two screenings this week as part of the studio's centenary and the film's (as well as the Academy's) 85th anniversary in advance of a January 24 Blu-ray release.