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If I were a betting man, I'd bet that Gary Ross does end up making the second film in the "Hunger Games" series.
Whoever ends up directing the film, it's going to have to shoot this fall, and that means the heat is on for Simon Beaufoy, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "Slumdog Millionaire," to get the script in shape. If Ross does return, he and Suzanne Collins are going to take a crack at it again as well, and that's going to take a little time. They've got to be working at a gallop right now.
And now that the schedule is set for "Catching Fire," Fox is able to claim a January start date for a sequel to "X-Men: First Class," once again directed by Mathew Vaughn. And just like that, Jennifer Lawrence is sort of officially a movie star.
The rotation at the top of the Billboard 200 continues as Nicki Minaj prepares to assume the top spot next week with “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded.” That will make six different titles at No. 1 in the past six weeks.
Minaj’s sophomore set looks good for sales of up to 235,000, which will lead it to handily come in above Adele’s “21,” which will bounce back up to No. 2 with sales of up to 165,000, according to Hits Daily Double. Three other titles look good to bow in the top 10: Rascal Flatts’ “Changed” will move up to 120,000 copies for No. 3, while gospel artist Marvin Sapp’s “I Win” will likely come in at No. 7 with up to 50,000 sold.
You've got a lot of options for what to watch and how, and we want to help you plan your weekend with a new column where we'll highlight three things you can see in theaters, three things you'll find streaming, and three titles new to home video. Appropriately enough, we call this The Weekend Watch.
IN THEATERS NOW
There are certainly new movies to see this weekend. I'm not sure I'd really recommend "American Reunion," but I have a feeling you know already if it's something you'd enjoy or not. It is, in every way, an "American Pie" film. I did not make it to an early screening of Whit Stillman's "Damsels In Distress," but I'll be catching up with it ASAP. I've also got "We Have A Pope" here in the house, and I'll be seeing that this weekend at some point. Morgan Spurlock's "Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope," a documentary about geek culture and what draws people to San Diego in record numbers every year now, also opens in limited release, and it's worth seeing. For my money, though, these are the three films in theaters this weekend most worth your attention:
Talk about an ice age. Drake and Rihanna’s clip for “Take Care” is visit to the frozen tundra of your heart.
The two characters want to take care of each other, but are too scared to let themselves be vulnerable. In the strikingly shot, primarily black and white clip, a minimalist aesthetic that matches the starkness of the loneliness both Drake and Rihanna feel perfectly matches the tone. There is a buffalo, bird and fish thrown in for good measure, as well as beautiful nature footage of a snow-covered landscape.
[More after the jump...]
“I’m tired of the underdog mentality. I’m older and I am not cool.“
Willie Nelson can seldom do wrong in our book. Today, he released his cover of Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe,” which is featured on his May 15 album, “Heroes” (listen here, via Rolling Stone). We already heard his interpretation of Coldplay’s “The Scientist” on a Chipotle commercial during the Super Bowl.
It is very clear that Nicki Minaj is not a morning person. Just watch this tremendously lethargic lip-synching performance of her top 10 hit “Starships” on this morning’s “Today” show. She is totally phoning it in. Quite honestly, it’s almost as bad as Britney Spears’ horrible MTV Video Music Awards performance from a few years ago and the outfit is nearly as unflattering.
“Is that too much for early in the morning, you guys?,” she asks as she moves around with the clunky moves of a really rusty aerobics instructor. The answer is a resounding yes, for Minaj, if no one else.
[More after the jump...]
Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Pusha T and Big Sean all showed up for the first-showing of "G.O.O.D. Music," Ye's label collection of original tracks from its artists. "Mercy" is a taking-turns kind of tune, as you'd expect, but of course Kanye made sure to write in a little something special for himself.
Listen to the song at Kanye West's website (re-done for very high resolution screens, apparently).
The straight-forward beat gives way to an Other World dark dance, led by a rip from the "Scarface" score. There's no guns or drugs here, though, with exception to his mention of "Molly," the same substance name-drop that put Madonna in time out, albeit briefly, a couple weeks ago.
After another weird diversion into suicide (which figured prominently into his "Power" single), Yeezy's all sorts of chest-puffery: "I step in the Def Jam building like I'm the sh*t / tell them give me $50 million or I'm going to quit / Most rappers taste level ain't even at my waist level / Turn up the bass level till it's at your face level." Good to know that his ability to divulge his talents has a price tag.
Meanwhile, 2 Chainz ups his profile with a verse that follows in the same vein. But it was Big Sean who opened up the door on this decent track, putting his "swerve" on the sort of rhymes he loves the best: extolling the virtues of strip clubs and their inhabitants.
The song, overall, isn't much of a conversation piece, but a conversation starter. The "G.O.O.D. Music" comp is guaranteed to be bursting with big names, let's just hope they're not all showing up, on every track, all at once.
No word yet if there will be new track every single Friday, but Ye has never been shy about that gimmick.
Yesterday, his track with DJ Khaled, "Theraflu," also broke out. Check out The Beat Goes On's thoughts on that here.
As you know if you've been reading me for more than five seconds, I think "The Wire" is the best drama to ever air on television. I'm also an enormous fan of the rest of David Simon's oeuvre, all the way from his book "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets," all the way up through "Tremé," which will be back on HBO this fall.