CANNES - With screenings having wrapped here at the Cannes Film Festival, all eyes are on tomorrow's big awards. I'll preview those in the morning, but in the meantime, we received the first Competition bellwether in the form of the FIPRESCI Critics' prize, which went to Abdellatif Kechiche's three-hour lesbian romantic drama "Blue is the Warmest Color" -- currently the bookies' favorite for the Palme d'Or.
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James Gunn's "Guardians Of The Galaxy" promises to be one of the strangest of the Marvel movies so far, and that excites me.
Drew Pearce, who collaborated with Shane Black on the "Iron Man 3" script, was almost hired to work on the final polish for this film, but it looks like Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely will be doing the final polish on the script that Nicole Perlman and Chris McCoy wrote instead.
Quick side note… is Perlman the first female writer on a Marvel movie?
In a lot of ways, Marvel is treating "Guardians" as the beachhead for a new chapter of the universe, and they're seeding the film with archetypes that have worked well for them. Chris Pratt is onboard as Star-Lord, who is also known as Peter Quill, and they're looking to him to be the Robert Downey Jr. of this franchise. Fast, funny, able to play emotional while still getting big laughs.
CANNES - Spend a few days at a major film festival and it won't take long to run into someone who has an opinion on a movie. With the end of the 66th Cannes Film Festival drawing near, it's intriguing to look at some of the films that have generated a lot of buzz over the past week and a half.
Are people still talking about films from the beginning of the festival? Well, in the case of"Great Gatsby," "Jeune & Jolie" and "Bling Ring" they've almost been forgotten. "Jimmy P"? This year's consensus whipping boy (and for obvious reasons). "Only Lovers Left Alive"? The latest polarizing title that seems split down the middle. There haven't been a lot of god awful movies at this Cannes, but opinions certainly vary.
With that in mind, here are 10 other films everyone's been talking about and my quick opinions on each.
When I saw Alex Gibney's new documentary "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks" at Sundance, I was bowled over. My instant reaction was mostly admiration for Gibney, who has become "a beast at his craft," as my first blush Tweet noted. The film, opening in limited release this weekend, is a towering study of one of the most enigmatic figures of our time, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and it will surely be seen as the definitive documentary of the organization, which trades in leaked classified information that has had an impact on everything from the Arab Spring to perceptions of National Security here at home.
CANNES - A Jim Jarmusch vampire movie? Sure, why not? Much of "Only Lovers Left Alive" seems to have been made in this spontaneous, scarcely thought-through spirit, which is responsible for what is both most appealing and most enervating about it. It's a designer doodle of a dream, like much of Jarmusch's work, though it's clear some effort has gone into making it appear this cast-off. If the "Twilight" series has taught us anything, it's that vampires are natural poseurs, which creates a stronger creative bond between Stephenie Meyer and the bequiffed crown prince of American indie cinema then you might have expected.
Not surprisingly, Scott Weiland is none too pleased that his former Stone Temple Pilots band mates replaced him with Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington at a performance at the KROQ’s 21st annual Weenie Roast multi-artist concert in Irvine, Calif. last weekend.
But if he’s mad, the remaining members of Stone Temple Pilots are really angry. They filed a lawsuit on Friday in Los Angeles, demanding that Weiland stop using the name Stone Temple Pilots or, more dramatically, sing STP songs.
The lawsuit alleges that Weiland communicated with his former bandmates only through intermediaries and was chronically late. His alleged ongoing substance abuse issues caused the band financial harm, according to the Associated Press (h/t Billboard). Furthermore, the suit claims that Weiland has strong-armed radio not to play “Out of Time,” the new single with Bennington as singer.
Weiland’s Facebook statement doesn’t address the lawsuit directly, but stresses that the remaining members also have no right to use the name. Below is his statement in full.
“A letter to my fans,
Like everybody else out there, I read about my band, Stone Temple Pilots, and their recent performance this past weekend with a new singer. To tell you the truth, it took me by surprise. And it hurt.
But the band that played last weekend was not Stone Temple Pilots and it was wrong of them to present themselves as that. First of all they don’t have the legal right to call themselves STP because I’m still a member of the band. And more importantly, they don’t have the ethical right to call themselves Stone Temple Pilots because it’s misleading and dishonest to the millions of fans that have followed us for so many years.
When I tour on my own, it’s never as Stone Temple Pilots. It’s as Scott Weiland. The fans deserve to know what they’re getting. Like any band that’s stood the test of time and made music for more than two decades, STP had a special alchemy – the four of us together were greater than any one of us apart. So if my former bandmates want to tour with a new singer, that’s their prerogative.
I don’t give a fuck what they call themselves, but it’s not Stone Temple Pilots. ?And so I say to you, our fans, I’ll see you out there on the road this summer where I’m touring as ‘Scott Weiland’ with my band The Wildabouts. But don’t give up on STP. I know I haven’t.”
Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” will debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 by a wide margin next week. How wide, you ask? The title by the French duo is poised to sell up to 325,000 copies, more than four times The National’s “Trouble Will Find Me,” which is slated to come in at No. 2. Wide enough for you?
Half the Top 10 will be new titles. Joining Daft Punk and The National will be Darius Rucker’s “True Believers” and Thirty Seconds To Mars’ “Love Lust Faith + Dreams.” Going into the weekend, they are both predicted to sell between 60,000-65,000, making it too close to call for who will come in at No. 3 and who will settle for No. 4, according to Hits Daily Double. The other debut belongs to French Montana, who will see his “Excuse My French” come in at either No. 7 or 8 (right now, it’s in a dead heat with this week’s No. 1 title, Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires of the City” for the No. 7 spot.
Rounding out the top 10, “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack continues to be a top seller and will likely be at No. 5. George Strait’s “Love Is Everything” is at No. 6, Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” at No. 9 and Lady Antebellum’s “Golden” at No. 10.
Jaden Smith and his dad (or is he his best bud) Will Smith spent a good minute pretending they weren't about to do something zany on the Graham Norton's BBC show.
Then they got crazy, bopped around the stage with Jazzy Jeff and covered Smith's own "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" theme song. Then Alfonso Ribeiro -- aka Carlton -- shows up, and does the Carlton. It was the most delightful quasi-train-wreck of my 13-year-old ideals, and I couldn't stop watching.
Will Smith has apparently been in the studio with Kanye West recently. As previously reported, Smith said, “I’ve been messing around with Kanye. We were in the studio a couple of times... I might get the bug. I’m not going to do it unless I get truly inspired, but ‘Ye’s been pushing me a little bit.”
For the first time ever, CulturePop welcomes a guest! Steve Silverman, the director of the web series "The Inn" and "Pretty" was so much fun he'll be lucky if we don't try to drag him back every week. We think you'll be really interested in Steve's projects as well as his opinions on all things pop culture as well. Plus, he's funny, and you know we like funny.
We already know there’s nothing that Prince can’t play, but even so, his funky instrumental take on Pearl Jam’s “Even Flow” still put a new part in our hair.
His cover, which features some a nice guitar shoot out between him and Donna Grantis, dropped on drfunkenberry.com earlier today and the website says the Purple One plans to unveil it at his show Saturday night at The Myth in Minneapolis.
But that’s not the only goodie from Prince today. We also get a video for "FixUrLifeUp," his new jam that he played at the Billboard Music Awards Sunday night. The clip, a cross between a lyric video and a performance shoot, captures Prince and his all-girl band, 3rd Eye Girl, in all their glory.
Blake Shelton's NBC tornado relief concert will air on Wednesday
"Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert" will air live from Oklahoma City.
Watch a preview of Jimmy Fallon's "Game of Thrones" parody
Looks like "Game of Desks" was filmed partially on the roof of 30 Rock. UPDATE: Watch the full "Game of Desks."
"Scandal's" Kerry Washington appears on stage with the real First Lady
Michelle Obama didn't mention Olivia Pope's affair with the fake president, but she did call Washington a "a big-time star right now. Big time. I mean, there is no bigger star right now than Kerry. It’s just true. It’s a fact."
Fox losing its reality TV mastermind
Mike Darnell, who is responsible for everything from "American Idol" to "Does Someone Have to Go?" to "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?, is exiting after 18 years at Fox.
CW schedules unaired "Cult" episodes
The six remaining episodes will air in two-hour blocks, starting June 28.
Why "Game of Thrones" is TV's best show about politics
"One reason GoT is so bracingly different from other pop-culture fantasy stories," says James Poniewozik, "is how it combines the fantastical with the realistic—in this case, realistic attention to the way power is gained, maintained, and exercised." PLUS: Gwendoline Christie talks Brienne.
Mark Burnett: "The Voice's" kindness is the reason it beat "Idol" this season
"It's a kinder show" with coaches who are "very, very current," says the reality TV honcho.
How a former "Big Bang Theory" hater became a "Big Bang Theory" lover
Until a year and a half ago, Rob Hoerburger says he was guilty of "critical elitism."
"Duck Dynasty" merchandise coming to stores, in time for Father's Day
Greeting cards and cigars are among the "Duck" merchandise for sale.
Why Hustler's "Girls" porn film is an attack, not a parody
"Girls" already parodies and subverts the pornographic fantasy of context-free sex, says Amanda Marcotte.
Does "Mad Men" have a problem with its women?
This season, says Melissa Maerz, "the female characters fall a little too neatly into the mother/whore spectrum — and sometimes it’s hard to tell if that’s just the way Don sees them, or if that’s the vision of the show itself." PLUS: Elisabeth Moss addresses Jon Hamm's junk.
Check out '80s Amy Poehler in "Hart to Hart" remake
And here's the '80s Adam Scott from "The Greatest Event in Television History."
In praise of TV sex
Sex on TV is more complex than the sex you see in film.
Steven Soderbergh not retiring -- he's moving to TV
After his HBO Liberace movie, the acclaimed film director has several TV projects in the works.
Howard Stern demanded that Katie Couric wear a dress when she interviewed him
But Katie, whose one-hour interview with the shock jock airs Tuesday, refused to change from her pants.
Shonda Rhimes offers summer viewing suggestions for her "Gladiators"
She says to try "State of Play" (the UK miniseries, not the movie), plus "The West Wing."
The most impressive thing about "Behind the Candelabra" is that it's not campy
The Steven Soderbergh film about Liberace presents him and his lover as people, not stereotypes, says Willa Paskin. "The movie is not a sitcom," she says, "but even when the subjects are anal sex, plastic surgery or drugs it is intentionally domestic and grounded. Many more scenes than you would expect are calm, almost dull." PLUS: It's a frank and funny movie, "Candelabra" holds Liberace at arm's length with tongs, and how real is the story?
Mitch Hurwitz wanted to defy expectations with the Netflix "Arrested Development" episodes
That led to the idea of making the new season more character-based, rather than plot-based. "It really was a lot of effort to first figure out—I mean, it was fun effort—where these people would be, and then to try to find a way in which the stories could somehow relate to one another and have an effect on one another," he says. "The theme that kind of emerged is that this family has this invisible pull on each other, and they have a karma. There’s a cause and effect in the universe with this family. This is truly a comic conceit that I certainly didn’t invent, the idea that they’re their own worst enemies, that all of their misfortune is their own fault." PLUS: What if the new "Arrested" isn't good?, the most bizarre "Arrested" merchandise, will you binge or not binge?, why Buster is the best "Arrested" character, watch a chicken dance supercut, watch 4 clips from the new season, and read interviews with David Cross, Jessica Walter, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor, Tony Hale, Will Arnett, Alia Shawkat, Portia de Rossi and Jason Bateman.