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Listen: Another new Van Halen track, 'Blood And Fire'
Credit: AP Photo

Listen: Another new Van Halen track, 'Blood And Fire'

How does it compare with 'Tattoo?'

We’ve already gotten to hear “Tattoo,” the underwhelming first single from Van Halen’s new album, “A Different Kind of Truth,” out Feb. 7.

Now, Rolling Stone is previewing 90 seconds of a new Van Halen track, “Blood and Fire.” It’s much more melodic than “Tattoo.” We don’t know if it’s based on an older song as well —“Tattoo” has remnants of a 1977 track, “Down In Flames — but it sounds like something straight out the ‘80s.  Rolling Stone readers (and major hardcore VH fans) have commented that this is built around one of Eddie’s unreleased instrumentral tracks called “Ripley.” If so, we’re wondering if any of the songs were brand new compositions  

[More after the jump...]

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Watch: Red Hot Chili Peppers get funky in new video for 'Look Around'

Watch: Red Hot Chili Peppers get funky in new video for 'Look Around'

How do they spend their down time?

Wonder what goes on behind closed doors for members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers?  They get their funk on in various and sundry ways. In the new video for “Look Around,” which premiered on Spinner today, we get an inside look at their leisure pursuits as each hangs out in his own room.

Anthony Kiedis hangs out with a lady friend, who comes in through the refrigerator, a kid and a dog.  Flea and a female friend dance then get down to even sillier pursuits as they strip down to their undies. Silly string is involved.  Chad Smith goes visit Kieidis and a little too jubilantly fixes a clogged toilet.

[More after the jump...]

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Watch: Mary Elizabeth Winstead talks getting 'Smashed' at Sundance

Alcoholic dramedy is a career highlight for the 'Scott Pilgrim' star
With movies like "Sky High," "Death Proof" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," Mary Elizabeth Winstead secured her status as a fanboy favorite years ago. 
 
The 27-year-old actress' career may be on the verge of a big shift in the aftermath of her new dramedy "Smashed," which premiered earlier this week at the Sundance Film Festival.
 
In "Smashed," Winstead plays Kate, a fun-loving woman with a particular love for alcohol, imbibed at any hour of the day. After hitting bottom multiple times, Kate decides to sober up, only to discover that working The Steps isn't nearly as easy or as enjoyable as her former life.
 
Although the supporting cast for "Smashed" includes Emmy winners Aaron Paul and Megan Mullally, newly minted Oscar nominee Octavia Spencer and the incomparable Nick Offerman, the movie belongs to Winstead, who's in practically every shot and gets to mine both pathos and a surprising amount of comedy, all while dodging any sort of Hollywood It Girl glamour. 
 
It's a role Winstead actively pursued and when the cast and crew of "Smashed" came to the front of the theater for a post-showing Q&A, she was visibly moved, brushing away tears.
 
In an interview the next morning, Winstead discussed her emotional Sundance experience and the most challenging role of her career.
 
Check it out...
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<p>Eli Roth and Brad Pitt in cinematic remixing master Quentin Tarantino's &quot;Inglourious Basterds.&quot;</p>

Eli Roth and Brad Pitt in cinematic remixing master Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds."

Credit: The Weinstein Company

Everything old is new again, and again

Repurposed scores and visual motifs are the order of the day, and also yesterday

One good sting deserves another. There has been a fair amount of discussion recently about “The Artist”’s score. Guy addressed the “controversy” surrounding the film in his piece on that full page Variety ad that Kim Novak took out accusing Michel Hazanavicius of “rape” (referring to the director's use of Bernard Herrmann's love theme from “Vertigo”). But a story on NPR’s “All Things Considered” about the art of the modern movie trailer reminded me of just how common, and in many cases effective, re-purposing is.

The reporter points to the use of a particular section of the score from the (not so widely seen) 2003 drama “The Life of David Gale” in trailers for “The Iron Lady,” “Munich,” “Milk” and, interestingly enough, “The Artist.”

“It works every time," John Long, co-founder of Buddha Jones, an LA-based trailer production house said in the interview. "Sometimes in the back of your mind you know, 'I'm not going to use that cue. That cue's been used to death,'" Lee Harry, Long's partner added. "But I want to evoke a feeling. And this piece does it perfectly."

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"David Blaine: What Is Magic?"

 "David Blaine: What Is Magic?"

Credit: TLC

Watch: David Blaine catches a bullet in his mouth for new TLC special

Twenty people have died doing this stunt, but Blaine does it anyway

David Blaine is technically a magician, but mostly he seems to like trying to get himself killed. Whether it's burying himself alive, sticking himself into a block of ice, or his latest trick of catching a bullet in his mouth, he appears to be more interested in proving he can survive insane feats of endurance than conning us into believing he can float (though he does that, too). As part of his new TLC special, "David Blaine: What Is Magic?" (Thurs. Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. ET), Blaine finds out exactly how many people have died doing the same trick (about 20) and then proceeds to do it anyway. In the video below, see exactly how many people it takes to shoot a magician in the mouth (a lot). Devoted fans will be happy to know Blaine also does his more traditional street magic and card tricks in the special, which will be part of a series of specials for the network. As long as he survives this bullet trick, of course. 

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<p>Do you own a copy of Adele's '21'?</p>

Do you own a copy of Adele's '21'?

Adele's '21' comes closer to setting the big record on the Billboard 200

What album stands in her way?

Adele’s “21” continues to blaze a trail on the Billboard 200. This week the British singer’s sophomore set spends its 17th week at No. 1 and moves another 95,000 copies.  That means only two albums have logged more time at the top during the Nielsen SoundScan era:  “The Bodyguard” soundtrack holds the record at 20 weeks, according to Billboard. Standing between "21" and that soundtrack is Garth Brooks' "Ropin' The Wind." 

So what are Adele’s chances to set the record? She has some heavy competition for next week’s top spot with Tim McGraw’s “Emotional Traffic” and the new 2012 Grammy nominations CD, but she could tie Brooks.

Back to this week’s chart,  “Kidz Bop 21” debuts at No. 2, marking the 14th album in the series to hit the top 10.  The other premiere in the top 10 is “Identity” from gospel act James Fortune & FIYA, which bows at No. 7.

The Black Keys’ “El Camino” and Drake’s “Take Care” hold at No. 3 and No. 4.  Rihanna’s “Talk That Talk” climbs 7-5 and Young Jeezy’s “TM 103: Hustlerz Ambition” stays at No. 6.

Toby Keith’s “Clancy’s Tavern” zooms 22-8 based on a promotion with Target. Coldplay’s “Mylo Xyloto”  drops 8-9 and Nickelback’s “Here And Now” also slides one spot, 9-10.

Overall sales are down 4% over the same week last year. The good news is year-to-date album sales are up 3% over the same period in 2011.

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<p>Anne Seibel and H&eacute;l&egrave;ne Dubreuil were nominated for their work on Woody&nbsp;Allen's &quot;Midnight in Paris.&quot;</p>

Anne Seibel and Hélène Dubreuil were nominated for their work on Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris."

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

Oscar Guide 2011: Best Art Direction

'The Artist,' 'Harry Potter,' 'Hugo,' 'Midnight in Paris' and 'War Horse' square off

(The Oscar Guide will be your chaperone through the Academy's 24 categories awarding excellence in film. A new installment will hit every weekday in the run-up to the Oscars on February 26, with the Best Picture finale on Saturday, February 25.)

The art directors ended up with a slate packed with Best Picture-contending films this year, the one outlier being the closing installment of a franchise that has been a perennial fixture of the category. Nostalgia rules the field, reflective of the thematic undercurrent at play throughout the season.

Lavish productions like "Anonymous" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and more finely-tuned, thematically relevant work like that seen in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and "Drive" were left off the final tally after scoring with the guild. What remains is an understandable quintet and a brawl between two films for the win that will be evident throughout a number of categories this season.

The nominees are…

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<p>&quot;For a Good Time, Call...&quot;</p>
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"For a Good Time, Call..."

Credit: Sundance

Sundance Review: 'For a Good Time, Call...'

Raunchy phone sex comedy has big laughs and real commercial potential
Five minutes into the Sundance comedy "For a Good Time, Call..." I was cringing.
 
My notes read like this:
 
"Wow. This is... broad."
 
"Geez. REALLY broad."
 
"Neither leading lady introduced with any subtlety."
 
"Guess we're not downplaying the coarseness, eh?"
 
[Yes. My notes are often designed to be read with a slight Canadian accent.]
 
It was not an encouraging start for the Sundance Premieres entry from director Jamie Travis and writers Lauren Anne Miller and Katie Anne Naylon.
 
Then a funny thing started happening. Or, more literally, funny things started happening. "For a Good Time, Call..." never exactly became subtle, but under what circumstances is a story of two college enemies who bond and become friends when they start a phone sex line designed to be understated?
 
Yes, "For a Good Time, Call..." is broad. And yes, it's coarse. It also produced more laugh-out-loud moments than any comedy I've seen at Sundance thus far.
 
Driven by stars Ari Graynor and Miller, plus a slew of memorable supporting performances and a handful of exceptional cameos I'd hate to spoil, "For a Good Time, Call..." is unapologetically raunchy and rude, which should only be an asset in our post-"Bridesmaids" era.
 
Full review after the break...
 
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<p>Nick Nolte in HBO's &quot;Luck.&quot;</p>

Nick Nolte in HBO's "Luck."

Credit: HBO

Review: Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte head to the track in HBO's 'Luck'

David Milch/Michael Mann drama brings the world of horseracing to life
One of the great things about art, if you're good at what you do — and few in TV history have been better at it than David Milch and Michael Mann, the chief writer and director, respectively, behind HBO's horseracing drama "Luck" — is that you can use your art to take something you care deeply about and make other people care deeply too, even if they never expected to.
 
I have no sentimental attachment to horseracing and could only vaguely follow many of the show's early storylines about Pick Six line-ups and claiming races. Yet I became caught up in the world of the track, and the passions of the people who gravitate towards it, thanks to the artistry of Milch ("Deadwood," "NYPD Blue"), Mann ("Miami Vice," "Crime Story") and their many gifted collaborators, including a cast headed by Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte.
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<p>Thomas Horn in &quot;Extremely Loud &amp; Incredibly Close.&quot;</p>

Thomas Horn in "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Round-up: The incredible comeback of 'Extremely Loud'

Also: R.I.P. Theo Angelopoulos, and Oscar nomination post-mortem

Usually, post-nomination Oscar talk is dominated by the frontrunners. Yet the film on everyone's lips yesterday wasn't either of the nomination hogs, "The Artist" or "Hugo," but one with no chance whatsoever of winning: "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" pulled off arguably the most surprising Best Picture nod of at least the last decade (even if Kris was one of the few pundits tuned into the possibility), and its buzz took a 180-degree turn. Tim Robey ruminates on how the film, in the space of a single minute, went from being this year's "The Lovely Bones" -- failed bait, both Academy-tailored and critically massacred -- to this year's, well, "The Reader," and wonders how Stephen Daldry keeps pulling off this unlikely trick, where similar prestige filmmakers like Sam Mendes keep missing the mark. [The Telegraph]  

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<p>Jon Heder and Paul Dano</p>

Jon Heder and Paul Dano

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Paul Dano and Jon Heder bring the noise to 'For Ellen'

The art of White Snake: getting drunk in a motel in order to dance

PARK CITY -- Look closely at actor Paul Dano. You might see a little Sabbath in there.

The actor -- who also happens to be an active musician -- looked to artists like Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Ozzy for his role as touring musician Joby in Sundance pick "For Ellen." Joby is more of a modern radio rock guy in a band still "making it," so Dano also listened to those brand of bands while driving around L.A.

"Not my cup of tea," he told me during our interview at the film festival. But, after driving the Strip, "I kinda got it."

"For Ellen" focuses its lens on the other side of the cutthroat industry, the quiet moments in homes with a daughter without a dad, when the money doesn't come in for support. It gently extrapolates on what happens when a rocker isn't rocking.

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<p>Joe Trapanese and Mike Shinoda</p>

Joe Trapanese and Mike Shinoda

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda talks 'The Raid' and band's new album

'Tron' co-composer Joseph Trapanese rounds out phenomenal martial arts film score

PARK CITY -- The fluidity and close-action shots of martial arts in "The Raid" can enable even the most pacifistic viewer to feel like they can fight. Some of the most impressive combat sequences were delivered by actors and martial artists who were slight in stature, or "ordinary" building dwellers shakily foisting automatic weaponry in their under-sculpted arms. Most of the Indonesian film is shot in a single building, in crappy apartments or littered hallways.

Director Gareth Evans' movie was shot with an extraordinarily small budget with exceptional result, so much so that Sony Pictures picked it up after it bowed at the Toronto Film Festival last year. Among the biggest revamps in time for the Sundance Film Festival was a brand new score, helmed by Linkin Park frontman Mike Shinoda and film composer Joseph Trapanese, who linked up with Daft Punk to complete the music to "Tron" just a couple years ago.

I didn't see the TIFF version, but from what I can tell from here, "The Raid" only benefits from these guys, due to the power of the audio and the added visibility of big-name artists.

Shinoda thought the pair-up was so good, Linkin Park may be absorbing a new member: he joked that Trapanese will be the "seventh guy in the band. We're gonna have dueling bass solos. It's like watching KISS, this guy."

Both of the musicians sat down with me during the festival this week, to discuss the pressure of trying to improve upon a film that was already beloved.

"It'd be difficult to handle this first score on my own," Shinoda said, explaining his inaugural endeavor into composing for what Trapanese called a "bold yet really classic action film."

There's nothing cheap about the sound of the film, and it's overall beefy and confrontational, with bubbling electronica during the quiet, creeping moments, and aggressively rock-like during the fight sequences. Evans' dark humor was met with playful musical themes, like thudding dance rhythms as bodies hit the floor or as faces met dry wall. Shinoda and Trapanese said they actively avoided trying to make it sound generically Asian or specifically Indonesian, but instead melded what they knew with what I'd describe as the apocalypse on a small scale.

"Linkin park music always has been a mashup of many different things we love that we listened to growing mixed with stuff that we made ourselves," Shinoda said, mentioning that the process here was the same. He'd like to work on scores again, but still has the band as his priority. "I still have to put Linkin Park as the number one thing in my life, but there are times that I can work at other things and as long as I know that I know I can give it one hundred percent of the energy that it needs to get done and it be great, then I'll be happy to work on something else."

Linkin Park is about to announce 2012 tour dates, and Shinoda says fans can expect the active rock band's fifth full-length album "mid-year." LP's last LP was 2010's critically praised "A Thousand Suns."

Check out the video above for more on the composing process, Shinoda's feelings on writing for film and more.

Here is HitFix's Drew McWeeny's TIFF review of "The Raid."

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