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One of the films I'm most looking forward to seeing at Venice in a couple of weeks' time -- and I'm not pretending this is a particularly original choice -- is Hayao Miyazaki's "The Wind Rises." Miyazaki is the rare animation director who has ascended to A-list auteur status, but while his last feature, "Ponyo," arguably found him (literally) treading water, this ambitious new project represents an exciting creative leap for him. Dropping the fantasy that has dominated most of his features, the film is a fictionalized biopic of WWII fighter plane designer Jiro Horikoshi, as told in the work of renowned writer and poet Tatsuo Hori.
As much as I enjoy the "Kick-Ass" films, and I unapologetically do, what I enjoy more is watching the range of reactions that people have to the movies. The first film was embraced enthusiastically by one crowd I saw it with, and roundly rejected at another screening. I've seen people get spitting mad about these movies and what they mean, and I've heard people enthuse about some truly questionable things contained in the films.
As adaptations, both movies are fascinating exercises in pushing the envelope while also playing it safe regarding a rating. I don't think there was any danger that either one of the films would have gotten an NC-17, but if you were to just treat the original comics by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. as storyboards, the thing you'd get as a result would be an NC-17 no one would bother appealing because it would so obviously deserve it. Matthew Vaughn's movie streamlined relationships and also adjusted certain choices that made Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) a much more conventionally heroic figure. For the new film, writer/director Jeff Wadlow has taken material from the comic mini-series "Kick-Ass 2" as well as material from the spin-off series "Hit Girl" and he has built very carefully off of the end of the first "Kick-Ass" film to come up with something that I think does a good job of expressing the idea that the black and white notions of heroism and villainy that comic books sell to their readers are both ridiculous and dangerous.
Lady Gaga's "Applause" leaked over the past weekend, more than a week earlier than the pop singer was prepared to reveal the song and its music video. So you can see why the lyric video for "Applause" looks a little rushed: it was shot in a rush, to add some traction to a leaky reveal.
Mother Monster gathered up some Little Monsters and some drag queens and hit Micky's nightclub and gay bar in West Hollywood just last night (Aug. 13), coming up with a colorfully cable-access performance for the vid. Featured is Gaga in her some of her "Applause" single cover makeup, with several performers rocking a similar look. Fans partied in close quarters with the singer and her new recruits.
After the experience, Gaga felt a calling.
Watch the "Applause" lyric video below. The official "Applause" music video is still expected to arrive within the week, leading up to Gaga's performance at the MTV VMAs on Aug. 25. Her album "ARTPOP" is out Nov. 11.
Laura Prepon is leaving "Orange is the New Black"
Prepon isn't under contract for next season and she'll wrap up her Alex character at the start of Season 2, though the show is open to her returning.
Jimmy Fallon: My "Tonight Show" debut is set for the middle of the Winter Olympics
"I want to say it's the 17th of February," he tells Ryan Seacrest of his start date. Feb. 17 is the 2nd Monday of the Winter Olympics. He adds: "Of course, it's NBC. It's not the beginning or the end. It's like somewhere floating in the middle."
"The Bachelor" alums react to Gia Allemand's apparent suicide
"I had to pull over, I can't stop crying. We have lost an angel," tweeted Jake Pavelka, Gia's "Bachelor." PLUS: Gia reportedly hanged herself.
"Family Guy" snags Lauren Bacall
She'll voice Peter's mom's BFF who has a thing for Peter.
Teresa Giudice and her husband plead not guilty
The "Real Housewives" stars are facing a 39-count indictment.
"Parks and Rec" casts April Ludgate's doppelganger
June Diane Raphael from "NTSF:SD:SUV::" will play the Eagleton version of April.
Eminem dropped a new track today via a trailer for Activision’s “Call Of Duty: Ghosts” video game, which comes out in November.
“Survival” is an in-your-face track that opens with ringing, throbbing guitars. Lyrically, Eminem details his rise in music and his devotion to his craft in stark life-or-death terms: “If I don’t do this music shit/I lose my shit,” in his usual intense, matter of fact way, as his rhymes about "coming into battle" with him compete with the automatic weapons. He warns any newcomers that taking him on will be a lost cause. A chorus, sung by the New Royales’ Liz Rodrigues, reinforces the “Survival” theme, as she sings, “This is survival of the fittest...this is winner take it all.” (h/t to MTV on he Rodrigues info).
[More after the jump...]
As Anna Kendricks’ “Cups” from “Pitch Perfect” remains lodged in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, fans of the 2012 hit movie now have something else to look forward to: a holiday album from the Barden Bellas and the Treblemakers.
"Pitch Perfect's" Hana Mae Lee revealed the news to MTV at the Teen Choice Awards, adding that she believes the album will be a cappella, appropriately enough.
“There are Christmas classics,” she said of the project. “I’ll be singing ‘Silent Night.’ I’m pretty sure it’s going to be all a capella...It’s all us, so it’s going to be sweet though because it’s going to sound like there’s other things, but it’s all us.”
Universal confirmed the release of the set to MTV, but had no details on a release date. Christmas albums usually drop in October, so expect it then. A sequel to the movie is expected in 2015.
Check out Lee's interview and very weird head gear below:
Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” continues on its seemingly unstoppable path as it logs a 10th week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Last week, the song set the record for the largest listening audience (219.8 million) in Billboard’s Radio Songs’ 22-year history, topping Mariah Carey’s “We Belong Together.” This week, it builds on that record, reaching 227.5 million listeners.
“Blurred Lines,” featuring Pharrell and T.I., is the first song to lead the Billboard Hot 100 for ten weeks since “We Found Love” from Rihanna (featuring Calvin Harris) did so in November 2011.
The rest of the Top 10 remains exactly the same as last week... though the Top 10 will get a big shake up next week when both Katy Perry’s “Roar” and Lady Gaga’s “Applause” no doubt zoom into the Top 10 (if not the top spot). Perry’s “Roar” bows at No. 85 based on only four days of airplay, according to Billboard.
In addition to those two pop titans, Lana Del Rey could land her first Top 10 hit next week as “Summertime Sadness” rises 23-16 this week. Drake is also headed back into the Top 10, as “Hold On, We’re Going Home” (featuring Majid Jordan) bows at No. 21.
Back to this week, here’s how the Top 10 looks: After “Blurred Lines”: Miley Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop” remains at No. 2 for the third week, Imagine Dragons’ “Radioactive” is at No. 3, Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” featuring Pharrell, is at No. 4, and Jay Z’s “Holy Grail,” featuring Justin Timberlake, is at No. 5.
Rounding out the Top 10: Anna Kendrick’s “Cups” at No. 6, Bruno Mars’ “Treasure” at No. 7, Zedd’s “Clarity,” featuring Foxes, at No. 8, Capital Cities’ “Safe and Sound” at No. 9, and Maroon 5’s “Love Somebody” at No. 10.
With her own nuptials approaching, Kelly Clarkson clearly has weddings on her mind. In her video for “Tie It Up,” Clarkson performs in a barn during a wedding reception, as scenes from other weddings and happy brides and grooms roll.
The video for the country single features straight and gay couples, so we’ll see if she gets any push back from those who oppose same sex unions.
It’s a fluffy, fun song that may be a one-off as it doesn’t appear on her most recent greatest hits set and we haven’t heard word of a new album. Clarkson, who is getting ready to marry Reba McEntire’s step son (and artist manager), has already proven that she can have country hits via her duets with the likes of McEntire, Jason Aldean, and Vince Gill. Now we’ll see if she can have one on her own.
At the end, she catches the bouquet and winks in the camera. Sounds like she's ready for her fall wedding.
This week's report about Meryl Streep potentially being campaigned in the supporting actress category for her performance in John Wells' "August: Osage County" reminds of a slew of actors in a similar boat this year, dancing with category selection with arguments to be made on both sides.
"The Bachelor" star Gia Allemand dies suddenly at 29
The Season 14 "Bachelor" star had been hospitalized since Monday following a "serious emergency medical event." UPDATE: Allemand was found after an apparent suicide attempt.
Showtime prevented "Homeland" from killing off Brody last season
This was the 2nd time Brody's life has been saved. "We had sketched out this plan in the early parts of season two which called for Brody’s demise, which may have been premature, and they asked us to reconsider," says co-creator Howard Gordon, who adds of Brody, "That guy is like a bad penny, he keeps turning up." PLUS: Watch a new "Homeland" teaser.
Amazon is getting pilots from "The X Files" creator, Ice Cube and Jason Schwartzman
Chris Carter's "The After" would be set at the moment of the apocalypse.
"Duck Dynasty" star claims he was the victim of "facial profiling"
Jase Robertson says he was told to pee outside by the fancy hotel he was staying at. PLUS: Willie Robertson too busy to run for Congress.
Jimmy Fallon: "Jay Leno has just been awesome to me"
In the 2nd part of his "Today" interview, Fallon says of his "Tonight Show" predecessor, "He kept the franchise going for a long time, and I hope I make him proud."
"Portlandia" and "The Simpsons" win early Emmys
"Adventure Time" also took home an Emmy.
E! orders 6 more "Total Divas" episodes
That'll stretch the season to Nov. 17.
"The View" releases Jenny McCarthy pics
Check her out with Barbara Walters.
GSN orders game show "Mind of a Man"
The game show will incorporate answers from a survey of 100 men.
Reelz gets Adam West to voice "FanAddicts!"
The former "Batman" star will be featured in a new show about movie fandom.
"New Girl" books Dreama Walker
The "Don't Trust the B---" alum will guest as a "b----."
Happy 30th birthday to Spencer Pratt and Mila Kunis!
"The Hills" star and the "Family Guy" star were both born on the same day.
Okay, I'm just going to put this out there: I would really, really like Hans Zimmer to get an Oscar nomination for his tremendous score to "The Lone Ranger." The film may already be a punchline in industry circles -- undeservedly so, I think -- and the film's makers haven't done themselves any favors with their silly complaints of critical conspiracy. But it's one of the most remarkable crafts showcases Hollywood has produced this year (yes, the production budget is ludicrous, but at least it's evident), and Zimmer's elaborate orchestrations are among its foremost virtues.