Joe Hill is a tremendous writer.
It's funny… I know why he chose to write as Joe Hill and not use his dad's last name, and I think he's more than proven that he has his own voice and his own talent and he doesn't need to play off of who he is to get published or build a fan base. He deserves every reader he's got, and more.
Even so, i was with Devin Faraci this summer at Comic-Con, and as we were walking through downtown San Diego to get somewhere and pick up passes to something, we walked by Joe Hill at one point, and it was sort of stunning how much he looked like his dad in the late '70s or early '80s. I'm not sure how anyone who was ever face to face with him would have had any question about his relationship to Stephen King, because it's downright spooky.
Recently, Fox TV flirted with an adaptation of his comic series "Locke & Key," and I'd love to get a look at the pilot episode that Mark Romanek directed. That didn't get picked up, though, and the film version of "Heart-Shaped Box" hasn't been able to get off the ground, either. His most recent novel was "Horns," a disturbing piece about a guy who wakes up one morning with actual devil horns starting to grow out of his head and no memory of how or why. It is a visceral, emotional ride and a big step forward for him as a novelist, even though his first few books were also very strong. Although there's quite a bit of the book that deals with the inner journey of the main character, I suspect it will translate well to film and could be a very smart mainstream horror movie for grown-ups.
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Joe Hill is a tremendous writer.
I've crowned Melanie Amaro as my "Probably Not Going To Be Eliminated" recap picture of the night. I feel somewhat confident in that. But after last week's shocking Drew/Astro eliminations? Anything truly can happen...
Click through for the results...
While I would never claim that "The Sitter" was the worst film I saw in 2011, I think it is the film that most bitterly disappointed me this year. I've written at length about the work of Jonah Hill, as well as director David Gordon Green, and I consider the production company Rough House to be one of the most interesting working in comedy today. Perhaps because of the regard I have for their collective work, I am baffled by how completely I disliked "The Sitter," and I find myself unable to work up the spleen that normally goes into a really strongly negative review. More than anything, I just feel deflated by the whole thing.
More than anything, I'm puzzled by the movie. Keep in mind, I liked the last two comedies that David Gordon Green directed, "Your Highness" and "Pineapple Express." I am willing to acknowledge that "Your Highness" is deranged, one of the strangest mainstream films I've ever seen, but I like that it has such a strong sense of itself and it's so willing to try anything. If you're part of the 99.9% of all audiences who seemed to despise "Your Highness" completely, then I would advise you don't even attempt to see "The Sitter," because it doesn't even have the ragged, whacked out personality that made that film interesting.
Tonight we'll be treated to another episode of "Project Accessory," which is likely being met by a tepid sigh of not-quite-anticipation by those who bother to tune in. Admittedly, Lifetime has done its level best to copy every element of "Project Runway" to ensure the spin-off's success. The judges, the challenges and even the hostess are eerily similar to the original hit. So why doesn't it work better than it does?
On a breezy afternoon in Santa Monica last June Universal pictures invited HitFix and handful of journalists to visit the edit bay of next summer's tent pole movie "Battleship" to see the films' progress and talk to director Peter Berg.
Pearl Jam will kick off a series of European headlining gigs on June 20 and include a show at the Isle of Wight Festival in the U.K. on June 23.
The headliners for Isle of Wight this year are the top of vintage American rock acts with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers playing June 22 and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performing June 24.
Pearl Jam, who celebrated their 20th anniversary all year long this year, including with the fine documentary “Pearl Jam 20,” will spend three weeks touring Europe. No word on a new U.S. tour yet.
Los Angeles punk band X, who has toured with the band before, will serve as the opener. For a fun interview with X’s Exene Cervenka about touring with Eddie Vedder and the boys, as well as some other illuminated comments, go here.
Pearl Jam's European tour dates:
June 20: Manchester, U.K. (MEN Arena) ?
June 23: Isle of Wright, U.K. (Isle of Wight Festival) ?
June 26: Amsterdam, Netherlands (Ziggo Dome) ?
June 29: Werchter, Belgium (Rockwerchter Festival)
July 4: Berlin, Germany (O2 Arena)
July 7: Stockholm, Sweden (Ericsson Globe Arena) ?
July 9: Oslo, Norway (Spektrum) ?
July 10: Copenhagen, Denmark (Forum)
Tim McGraw got his Christmas present early when a judge decided that he could, indeed, get released from his record contract from Curb Records, with whom he has been feuding for years now.
So now, he’s spreading his joy with his fans via this free download of “Christmas All Over the World,” a rocking, twangy little tune written by Daniel Tashian and Troy Verges. The Beatlesque backing vocals and Glen Campbell-style guitar playing are a nice touch. And McGraw sounds great. It is available for free via AOL on Dec. 8 and then, starting Dec. 9, through timmcgraw.com. Hear it here.
McGraw, who embarks on a stadium tour with buddy Kenny Chesney next summer, released the song on his StyleSonic Records. He’ll have a new album out next year-- although it’s unclear if it will come out via StyleSonic or if he’s looking for another major label deal.
Fellow soon-to-be-ex-Curb artist Lyle Lovett also just released a Christmas EP, “Songs for the Season.” Produced by Lovett and Nathaniel Kunkel, the online release features the Vince Guaraldi/ “Peanuts” classic “Christmastime is Here,” as well as “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” a duet with Kat Edmonson,” and a few other treats. On other Lovett news, the four-time Grammy winner will release his last set for Curb on Feb. 28. Appropriately enough, the album is titled "Release Me,"
When Taylor Armstrong gave a teary-eyed plug for her new book on "Watch What Happens: Live" after this Monday's episode of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," I didn't give it much thought. Reality stars pump out fluffy, catty, ghost-written tomes at the same rate Michelle Duggar pops out babies, and this seemed to be just another unimpressive addition to the genre.
Jay Z will be headline two shows at New York’s Carnegie Hall on Feb. 6-7. The two concerts are benefits for the United Way and Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation (Carter is Jay Z’s real name).
“It’s every artists dream to play a venue as legendary as Carnegie Hall,” said Jay Z in a statement. “The fact that I can use the arts and my talent to benefit the education of the next generation of artist, entrepreneurs and great thinkers makes for a legendary night. I’m proud to be a part of the continuing work of United Way of New York City and expanding the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation.”
It's never too late to be recognized as a "breakthrough performer," apparently. 15 years after making her first big-screen appearance in "A Time to Kill," 39 year-old actress Octavia Spencer -- the chief source of comic relief in the ensemble of "The Help" -- has been honored with the Breakthrough Performance Award at the Palm Springs festival.
Like most of the awards dished out at Palm Springs and Santa Barbara next month, this honor acts chiefly as an Oscar nomination forecast: previous winners of the prize include Felicity Huffman, Jennifer Hudson, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Renner and Carey Mulligan. (Hard luck, Mariah Carey and Freida Pinto.) Not that one needs any such minor bellwethers to predict Spencer's nomination, which has been set in stone since "The Help" opened in August: the question is whether she can win in a field that still has no clear frontrunner.
Tech Support: Chris Cornell, Elton John, Madonna and 'The Muppets' throw down for Best Original Song
Tech Support inadvertently took a week off as I never did get around to writing up the Best Original Song category. No worries. Nothing has happened of note in the field all year long, really, and the contenders have pretty much laid themselves bare, for the most part.
Naturally there will be some other considerations when the official list of qualifying tunes is revealed soon enough. That announcement dropped on December 15 last year, so I imagine within the week we'll know what's in the running.
For now, though, it's time to run a comb through what we're aware of and see what makes sense as formidable in the field. There are a number of tracks worth considering, so as we close up shop on Tech Support's category analysis this season, let's see what they are.