Speaking of remakes…
Even though "Carrie" is considered a classic of the genre and was both a critical and commercial hit, there seems to me to be enough flexibility to allow for a new interpretation. That story can be retold in new ways to find new resonance. That's one sturdy central metaphor they're dealing with.
I'm not sure the same is true of "Evil Dead," which isn't particularly built on theme and subtext in the first place. "Evil Dead" was a purely visceral experience, terrifying because of how stark and ugly and isolated it was. Thanks to the much-larger success and visibility of "Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn," many people define the "Evil Dead" series with a sense of humor. "Army Of Darkness," the third film in the series, pushed it even further, and for many fans, that was their first "Evil Dead" in a theater, meaning there are many different groups of fans who have many different ideas of what "Evil Dead" even means.
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Speaking of remakes…
Unless you’ve been under a rock—and perhaps, even then— it will come as no surprise that Adele’s “21” is the best selling album of the year.
The British singer’s second set sold 5.82 million copies in the U.S. during 2011, according to Nielsen SoundScan, making it the best-selling album since Usher’s “Confessions” sold 7.98 million in 2004. The title is in its 14th non-consecutive week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week.
Adele is a double winner in that “Rolling In the Deep,” the biggest cross-format smash in two decades, sold 5.2 million copies, making it the top selling single of 2011.
Returning to albums, Michael Buble’s “Christmas,” which came out in mid-October, covered a lot of territory quickly to claim the No. 2 spot with sales of 2.45 million albums. It sprinted past Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” which sold 2.1 million.
Rounding out the diverse list of top five album sellers for 2011 were Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter IV” at 1.92 million units and Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party” at 1.58 million.
Overall, album sales were up 1.3% in 2011 over 2010, reported Billboard. Modest as it was, the growth marked the first annual uptick since 2004. Album sales tallied 330.6 million compared with 2010’s 326.2 million.
Though much was made of the demise of the physical CD, with many reports claiming that some major labels would quit manufacturing the discs in 2012, it looks like the CD has a little life left in it yet. Yes, digital sales continue to climb, and for the first time, digital album sales and digital track equivalents (when someone purchases 10 tracks from an album) surpassed the 50% mark for the first time this year, yet 49.7% of all album sales are still from physical goods. The industry isn’t about to walk away from those kinds of numbers any time soon. In fact, when the fan decided to purchase an entire album (excluding track equivalent albums), the physical CD percentage soared to 68.7%.
Digital track sales saw an 8.5% gain over 2010, with total numbers reaching 1.27 billion. Think we aren’t totally living in a singles world? In 2011, 112 tracks scanned more than 1 million units, compared with 80 in 2010. Only 13 albums sold more than 1 million copies last year, the same number as 2010.
Following “Rolling in the Deep,” the top digital single sellers were LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem” at No. 2 with 5.47 million copies, Katy Perry’s “E.T.” at 4.83 million, Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” featuring Christina Aguilera at 4.11 million and Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything” featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer at 3.87 million.
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Bundle up. It may be "July" in Youth Lagoon's world, but wherever you are tonight, i just got a little colder.
Youth Lagoon mastermind Trevor Powers' 2011 album "The Year of Hibernation" wasn't named for nothing. It hypnotizes on the whole as it warmly mellowed and "July's" no exception. Where it gets messed up is the pristine pacing as bodies seize with the ambiguous (and literal?) hurt of our least-favorite memories of the suburbs.
"For my whole life I've dealt with extreme anxiety," said Powers in a release, on "Hibernation." "I sometimes feel like I'm literally being eaten up inside. So I started writing these songs. Not just songs about my anxiety, but about my past and my present. Songs about memories, and all those feelings that those bring. I know that if I can be honest about what is inside my mind, there will be others that will be able to relate to it."
Since it was the first major thing he published, little wonder "Carrie" has had a longer and more robust multi-media life than almost any other Stephen King novel.
It was a novel, and then obviously a very well-liked Brian De Palma film with Sissy Spacek, and then a much-much later sequel that no one remembers, a huge terrible infamous Broadway musical bomb, a TV remake, and now, if MGM and Screen Gems have their way, another remake.
And oddly, I'm not opposed to the idea.
There is a reason "Carrie" keeps coming up, a reason people keep returning to the material. There is something potent about the idea of the outsider looking for acceptance and getting snubbed, something rich in the notion of the cruelty of teenagers, and something brilliant in the concept of budding sexuality tied to the unleashing of terrifying powers. King hit the jackpot with that book, and De Palma's film benefitted greatly from the collision of a hungry young filmmaker, the right material, and a cast that was loaded with budding movie and TV stars.
As awards season enters the last week and a half before Oscar nomination ballots are due, the "great settling," as its been called, isn't yet upon us. This magical few days or weeks when the collective Academy consciousness coalesces to determine one best picture winner (whether they know it or not) usually occurs before the nominations are announced, but not always. Yes, "The Artist" is clearly the frontrunner this time around, but its hardly the lock "Slumdog Millionaire" or "The King's Speech" were in recent years. That could easily change over the next few weeks as guilds such as SAG, PGA and DGA determine their own year end winners. What's much more intriguing this season, however, are the acting races.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the final 10 contenders for the Visual Effects Oscar today eliminating five previously announced candidates. The Visual Effects committee has decided that "Super 8," "Thor," "Sucker Punch," "Cowboys & Aliens" and "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows" are no longer eligible for a nomination. Instead, the following 10 films will provide 10-minute excerpts that will be screened by branch members on Thursday, January 19.
The Oscar race for Best Visual Effects currently seems to have more rounds of elimination than "American Idol": rarely has a nomination seemed more like the reward. Last month, a longlist of 15 titles was announced; today, that was cut down to 10, from which the eventual five nominees will be selected.
It's neat enough mathematically, I suppose, and seems less harsh than the previous bake-off system, which saw only seven films shortlisted, meaning a mere two got rather prominently ditched. At least this way, the losers have more company with which to commiserate.
Today's cull brings few surprises: all the long-predicted contenders are still in the running, from "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" to "Hugo" to "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" to "The Tree of Life" -- the latter still something of a lone arthouse wolf in a sea of multiplex fare.
Looking at the headlines today, it sounds like Universal threw a drink in Kristen Wiig's face in the middle of a restaurant.
I think the truth is probably a little more nuanced than what we're reading so far. No doubt Universal would like another helping of whatever just earned them almost $300 million worldwide. Basic studio math says "We paid $30 million, we made about $300 million. Yep. More, please." The film is not just a commercial success, but a genuine awards-season contender, a critical hit.
There's a fair degree of speculation in the Hollywood Reporter piece that kicked this off today, suggesting financial tensions between Wiig and Universal. If you read closely, Wiig did not speak to them for their story at all. I think the choices she's making indicate that she's not looking at immediate superstardom or purely financial factors in what she's signing on to do. She's been building towards this for a while, and things like "Friends With Kids" or "Clown Girl" or "The Comedian" all have personal, independent origins, and they sound like challenges, movies that won't be easily sold in 30-second spots.
Can the first crop of “X Factor” finalists strike sales gold (or platinum) for Sony Music? The record company certainly hopes so as it moves into final stages of negotiations with at least four of the contestants.
Both winner Melanie Amaro and finalist Chris Rene are in discussions with Sony’s Epic imprint, which is run by “X Factor” judge Antonio “L.A.” Reid, according to The Hollywood Reporter. However, Hits Daily Double says that Amaro’s deal is already done and that she will start in a Pepsi Super Bowl commercial in February as well.
Hip-hop didn't take this week -- the week after New Year's -- off. Raekwon, The Weeknd, Meek Mill, Rick Ross, T.I. and Das Racist's Kool A.D. all have new material from mixtapes to offer this week, some of which comes in advance of full-length studio sets.
Das Racist had some heads bobbing and others being scratched in 2011 with their set "Relax" which, retrospectively, was not all that relaxing. Kool A.D. (Victor Vasquez), one-third of DR, has palm wine on the mind for his solo 'tape. "The Palm Wine Drinkard" takes its name and general ideas from an African novel; it involves 1) drinking and 2) adventures with a wizard while drinking. The titles "Titties Out," "Fun" and "Flying Thru the Air inna Airplane" should give you some funky ideas.
All three of Das Racist's members are plotting solo sets for 2012.
Wu-Tang's Raekwon, as expected, has something "Unexpected" for you, with features and help from 9th Wonder, Mobb Deep, Styles P and more.
“Middle Finger” may be the cheeriest song about flipping the bird ever released.
Fans of Mac Miller and Cobra Starship (and whatever that seemingly small overlapping intersection may be) will surely already be familiar with the downright jaunty, toe-tapper about throwing your middle fingers up, “to the sky-y-y-y” since the promotional track surfaced on the internet months ago.
Now, however, the song will get its proper release as an official single from Cobra Starship’s 2011 album, “Night Shades,” according to The Boombox. Available on iTunes starting yesterday, it goes to radio next week.
[More after the jump...]