Wait… is this actually going to happen?
I'm kidding, but only because it seems like Edgar Wright has been attached to "Ant-Man" for a while now. That's the thing about the Marvel Studios game plan. They are willing to spend years developing something if they feel like the payoff will be worth it, and "Ant-Man" may have seemed like an unlikely pick at first.
The truth is that the character is a lynchpin to the Marvel Universe, and introducing him to the continuity is going to allow them to do all sorts of things. It'll make it easier to bring in The Wasp, it will give Tony Stark an intellectual sparring partner, and it will open up a number of classic "Avengers" storylines.
By now, it's clear that Joss Whedon's plans for Ultron in "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" will introduce that character in a way that will break from his classic origin, where he was the creation of Hank Pym, who is the brilliant scientist also known as Ant-Man. After all, even though "Ant-Man" is currently scheduled for a summer 2015 release, it's going to be after "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" opens.
So what, then, is Edgar Wright doing this week in Los Angeles?
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Wait… is this actually going to happen?
As you may have already read, I got a tease of the new "X Factor" round known as the Four-Chair Challenge on Monday evening and had a chance to discuss the format shift and the season as a whole (plus the possibility of a One Direction guest appearance) with judges Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato.
And check out my full live-blog recap of Wednesday's (Oct. 2) debut of the Four-Chair Challenge after the break...
A quick review of "The Bridge" season finale coming up just as soon as we pretend people missed me...
There's a Fiona Apple lyric I tend to think of -- and yes, I know it's not the first I've quoted in relation to the Oscar race -- at the outset of any awards season these days, a wistful description of a broken relationship that seems oddly applicable to the many films that are about to get tossed aside at various intervals over the next five months. "It ended bad," she croons with pained acceptance, "but I love where it started."
I briefly reviewed NBC's "Ironside" this morning. Now it's your turn. For those of you who tuned in to watch Blair Underwood in the very loose remake of the Raymond Burr cop show, what did you think? Too much like "House" or not enough? Do you find Ironside an interesting character, and/or do you think Underwood is giving an interesting lead performance? Do you care about any of his sidekicks? (And do you miss Pablo Schreiber's "Orange Is the New Black" 'stache?) Do you want more of Brent Sexton, whether in the present or in flashbacks to an able-bodied Ironside? Did the case itself interest you at all? And will you watch again?
Have at it.
I briefly reviewed ABC's "Super Fun Night" this morning. Now it's your turn. For those of you who tuned in tonight, what did you think? Did you love all the Spanx jokes? Did you find Rebel Wilson's American accent convincing and/or amusing? Did you enjoy her interplay with either her legal co-workers or nerdy best friends? Did you laugh? And will you watch again?
Have at it, and keep in mind that this is at least the show's third attempt at a premiere, including the failed development at CBS and the pilot that ABC decided not to air for now.
Sinead O' Connor posted an open letter to Miley Cyrus on her website today and she has some strong advice for the "Wrecking Ball" singer.
First off, she tells Cyrus that the whole reason she showed only her face in her groundbreaking video for "Nothing Compares 2 U," a video that Cyrus emulates in the director's cut of the "Wrecking Ball" clip, was because her label wanted to exploit her sexuality and she said no. As she acknowledges, that train has left the station and arrived at its next destination in Cyrus's case.
Below is the letter in full:
OPEN LETTER TO MILEY CYRUS
I wasn’t going to write this letter, but today i’ve been dodging phone calls from various newspapers who wished me to remark upon your having said in Rolling Stone your Wrecking Ball video was designed to be similar to the one for Nothing Compares… So this is what I need to say… And it is said in the spirit of motherliness and with love.
I am extremely concerned for you that those around you have led you to believe, or encouraged you in your own belief, that it is in any way ‘cool’ to be naked and licking sledgehammers in your videos. It is in fact the case that you will obscure your talent by allowing yourself to be pimped, whether its the music business or yourself doing the pimping.
Nothing but harm will come in the long run, from allowing yourself to be exploited, and it is absolutely NOT in ANY way an empowerment of yourself or any other young women, for you to send across the message that you are to be valued (even by you) more for your sexual appeal than your obvious talent.
I am happy to hear I am somewhat of a role model for you and I hope that because of that you will pay close attention to what I am telling you.
The music business doesn’t give a shit about you, or any of us. They will prostitute you for all you are worth, and cleverly make you think its what YOU wanted.. and when you end up in rehab as a result of being prostituted, ‘they’ will be sunning themselves on their yachts in Antigua, which they bought by selling your body and you will find yourself very alone.
None of the men oggling you give a shit about you either, do not be fooled. Many’s the woman mistook lust for love. If they want you sexually that doesn’t mean they give a fuck about you. All the more true when you unwittingly give the impression you don’t give much of a fuck about yourself. And when you employ people who give the impression they don’t give much of a fuck about you either. No one who cares about you could support your being pimped.. and that includes you yourself.
Yes, I’m suggesting you don’t care for yourself. That has to change. You ought be protected as a precious young lady by anyone in your employ and anyone around you, including you. This is a dangerous world. We don’t encourage our daughters to walk around naked in it because it makes them prey for animals and less than animals, a distressing majority of whom work in the music industry and it’s associated media.
You are worth more than your body or your sexual appeal. The world of showbiz doesn’t see things that way, they like things to be seen the other way, whether they are magazines who want you on their cover, or whatever.. Don’t be under any illusions.. ALL of them want you because they’re making money off your youth and your beauty.. which they could not do except for the fact your youth makes you blind to the evils of show business. If you have an innocent heart you can’t recognize those who do not.
I repeat, you have enough talent that you don’t need to let the music business make a prostitute of you. You shouldn’t let them make a fool of you either. Don’t think for a moment that any of them give a flying fuck about you. They’re there for the money.. we’re there for the music. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. The sooner a young lady gets to know that, the sooner she can be REALLY in control.
You also said in Rolling Stone that your look is based on mine. The look I chose, I chose on purpose at a time when my record company were encouraging me to do what you have done. I felt I would rather be judged on my talent and not my looks. I am happy that I made that choice, not least because I do not find myself on the proverbial rag heap now that I am almost 47 yrs of age.. which unfortunately many female artists who have based their image around their sexuality, end up on when they reach middle age.
Real empowerment of yourself as a woman would be to in future refuse to exploit your body or your sexuality in order for men to make money from you. I needn’t even ask the question.. I’ve been in the business long enough to know that men are making more money than you are from you getting naked. Its really not at all cool. And its sending dangerous signals to other young women. Please in future say no when you are asked to prostitute yourself. Your body is for you and your boyfriend. It isn’t for every spunk-spewing dirtbag on the net, or every greedy record company executive to buy his mistresses diamonds with.
As for the shedding of the Hannah Montana image.. whoever is telling you getting naked is the way to do that does absolutely NOT respect your talent, or you as a young lady. Your records are good enough for you not to need any shedding of Hannah Montana. She’s waaaaaaay gone by now.. Not because you got naked but because you make great records.
Whether we like it or not, us females in the industry are role models and as such we have to be extremely careful what messages we send to other women. The message you keep sending is that its somehow cool to be prostituted.. its so not cool Miley.. its dangerous. Women are to be valued for so much more than their sexuality. we aren’t merely objects of desire. I would be encouraging you to send healthier messages to your peers.. that they and you are worth more than what is currently going on in your career. Kindly fire any motherfucker who hasn’t expressed alarm, because they don’t care about you.
What do you think of O'Connor's advice?
LOS ANGELES - Slash is known for his hats, and recently he's been wearing a good many of them -- specifically as a producer on new horror film "Nothing Left to Fear," the composer for that same soundtrack, the head of his own Slasher Films and a touring and recording musician. He, in fact, was touring to support his most recent solo outing as "Nothing Left..." was being shot.
The legendary guitarist spoke to HitFix this week about the film, but also took the time to take rock 'n' roll of recent days to task for its problem with mediocrity. Slash gave a hand to Black Sabbath, Alice in Chains and Queens of the Stone Age (plus a little backhand to Avenged Sevenfold) for their latest albums, but said, overall, "rock is in a really bad way."
"Everybody's conforming to the industry standards," he said in talking about the current state of his longstanding genre. He said the industry gives no room to development, and has an overemphasis on the creation of a hit off the bat. "Younger bands can't even get a record made... in order to make a hit record out of the box, you gotta copy everybody else that's making hit records."
He called pop artists like Katy Perry "genuinely good" but the domination of pop has given rock a formula problem.
Watch the excerpt from our interview above, and stay tuned later this week for the complete interview on "Nothing Left to Fear," horror films, Slash's next solo album with Myles Kennedy and more.
Lorde rules over the Billboard Hot 100 as her hit single, “Royals,” rises 3-1 to become her first chart topper.
The 16-year old New Zealander is the youngest solo artist to top the chart since Tiffany, who was also 16 when she did so in 1987. The overall record belongs to Stevie Wonder, who was 13 when he took “Fingertips — Part 2” to the top in 1963. Wonder whatever became of him?
Lorde isn’t the only one with big chart news: Ylvis's“The Fox,” this year’s “Gangnam Style,” enters the Top 10, moving 13-8. Plus, Drake scores his first top 5 hit as a lead artist in more than 3 years as “Hold On, We’re Going Home” moves 7-4. The track, from Drake’s “Nothing Was The Same,” which hits No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week, is one of 12 songs by Drake on the Hot 100. That ties the record for the most songs charted simultaneously by a solo artist: Lil Wayne achieved the same feat in 2011. The record for all artists belongs to The Beatles who charted 14 songs at the same time in 1964.
Katy Perry’s former No. 1, “Roar,” holds at No. 2, while Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball, ends its two-week run at No. 1 and drops to No. 3. Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!” falls 4-5.
Rounding out the Top 10, Jay Z’s “Holy Grail” (featuring Justin Timberlake) stays at No. 6, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” falls 5-7, Lady Gaga’s “Applause” moves 8-9, despite a rise in airplay, and Lana Del Rey & Cedric Gervais’ “Summertime Sadness” also slips one to No. 10, and similarly gains in airplay.
Concert promoter AEG Live has been found not negligent by a Los Angeles jury for hiring Dr. Conrad Murray to treat Michael Jackson and keep him healthy in preparation for his 50-date run at London's O2 Arena. Jackson’s mother, Katherine Jackson, had sued AEG for up to $2 billion in a wrongful death trial following her son’s passing in 2009.
The jurors ruled that AEG did hire Murray, a point that AEG had contested despite evidence that the promoter was paying Murray’s $100,000/month, but that it was not negligent for his death and will have to pay no damages to Jackson’s family. That's the right decision.
The jurors also found that Murray was not “unfit or incompetent” to do the job he was hired to do. In a narrow reading of some of the evidence, this means that the jury agreed that AEG hired Murray, but only to treat dehydration and other issues to keep tour ready, and not to inject him with Propofol. Therefore, the promoter couldn’t be held responsible for the final result since Murray was acting outside of the scope for which AEG hired him. That ruling seemingly contradicts the criminal case verdict against Murray.
What the ruling means for several key parties:
What does it mean for Michael Jackson’s legacy? His most ardent fans will, undoubtedly, continue to blame Murray and AEG and anyone else for Jackson’s death, when the simple fact is that he was a drug addict, responsible for his own actions, and his death is a sad, almost inevitable, result of years of prescription drug abuse. His glorious music and legacy lives on and nothing can ever change that.
What does it mean for Conrad Murray: His reputation is restored to a certain extent. In a criminal case he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and has been in jail (he will be released in three weeks). He is fighting to overturn California’s decision to revoke his license. Murray has maintained that he did not inject Jackson with the fatal dose of Propofol.
What does it mean for AEG Live? The concert promoter will pay no damages to the Jackson family and will keep its reputation in tact, but the 21-week trial revealed to the world the extent to which a promoter will go to prepare/keep an act on the road when there is so much money involved. No, AEG did not tell Murray to give Jackson illegal drugs, but I believe they did turn a blind eye to Jackson’s health and whatever Murray was doing to make sure that Jackson showed up to rehearsals. Evidence presented in the case showed that Jackson was tremendously fragile-- he cried and wouldn’t come out of his dressing room to announce the London 02 Arena dates-- and his mental and physical state of health was a matter of constant concern and yet, no one suggested that maybe the concerts be postponed until he could get healthy.
What does it mean for the music industry? See above, re: AEG, but it’s really just more of the same. As record sales continue to decline, touring income will become an ever bigger slice of the income pie for both artists and the industry. Therefore, we can probably see more examples (perhaps not with as big names as Jackson) where promoters do whatever it takes to keep artists on the road and keep the money train rolling. This is nothing new, but the AEG trial illuminated that promoters (and anyone who has skin in the game) see artists as cash cows more than as humans.
What’s next? Jackson’s family will likely appeal, but given that Jackson’s estate is, from many reports I’ve seen, in much better financial shape than it was when he died, and many felt that this suit was a money grab more than a true belief that AEG was at fault, maybe Jackson’s family--secure in the knowledge that money from Jackson’s legacy will continue to roll in-- can finally let him rest in peace.
What do you think of the verdict?
So, "Top Chef" returns tonight for an 11th season, this time very slightly tweaked. If you got a chance to watch the web series "Padma's Picks," you probably already know one of the first twists. Padma Lakshmi, having traveled around New Orleans (where the show is based this season), has already hosted a mini version of the show, in which ten of the city's best chefs have battled to get a slot on the TV series. It's a small twist, however, and after so many seasons, the question isn't whether this twist will add something to the existing series -- it's whether the existing series needed a bigger revamp.