When Shakira, Adam Levine, Usher and Blake Sheldon get together in a room, it doesn't seem to matter if there's a video camera rolling. The group, joined by executive producer Mark Burnett, host Carson Daly and "social media correspondent" Christina Milian, quickly settled into a grove of ribbing one another. When asked about scripted versus unscripted content, Burnett shrugged, "It just matters that it's good," which inspired Daly to start the joking around.
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One thing seems very clear at this point: Bryan Singer is excited to be back in the world of the X-Men.
Little by little, Singer's been using social media to release sneak peeks behind the scenes as he's been preparing to begin production on "X-Men: Days Of Future Past," the latest chapter in an increasingly odd franchise that features plenty of digressions and a semi-reboot right in the middle of things. When Singer left the series, it was a difficult professional moment for him, and it also left Fox in the lurch unexpectedly. When it happened, I would have bet that there was no chance Singer would ever return to the series.
What makes this return especially exciting is how it looks like he's enjoying himself so much. I feel like Singer has been struggling to define himself more often than not over the course of his career. He made such a huge splash with "The Usual Suspects," and his first "X-Men" may have helped kick off the current new wave of superhero cinema, but he has still managed to evade any particular directorial voice, and it's actually somewhat frustrating. I don't think every filmmaker has to have a particular unique voice, but Singer is a guy who seems to want to be thought of as an auteur of sorts, and it doesn't feel like he's ever really figured out what it is that matters to him about the films he makes.
Though many of the panels at the NBC Summer Press Day have been sedate to the point of sleepy (with the exception of an annoying squeaking chicken for the Sprout kids' network), things became much more lively when the judges of "America's Got Talent" took the stage. When the initial questions were aimed at new judge Heidi Klum, returning judge Howard Stern had no problem making his opinion about that known.
When Klum explained how she was juggling "AGT" with her existing schedule, Stern said, "You're gonna judge, but you're gonna be neglecting your children." When Klum countered that wouldn't be the case, he kept gleefully hammering away. "You're gonna bring the kids while we're doing the show? All, like, ten of them? That's gonna be fun."
The slate for next month's Cannes Film Festival is just about complete: the Official Selection was announced on Thursday, Ari Folman's "The Congress" was announced as the opening film for the Directors' Fortnight section on Friday, and the rest of the fortnight lineup will be revealed tomorrow. Today, meanwhile, came the announcement of the films selected for the Critics' Week sidebar -- a parallel independent strand focusing on new filmmakers.
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
While some of the music we’ve heard for “The Great Gatsby” sounds like way too much of a stretch, even by Baz Luhrmann’s admittedly broad, genre-busting/time-busting standards, Lana Del Rey’s aching “Young and Beautiful” fits in perfectly.
[More after the jump...]
After last week's longest-ever Firewall & Iceberg Podcast episode, Dan and I were back to a more normal length — and the new normal apparently means 90+ minutes — in what would have been a light week if Amazon hadn't suddenly decided to crowdsource 80-billion new TV pilots. So we talked about those, and "Rectify," and "Mad Men" as usual, and also found time to post-mortem "Suburgatory" season 2 and answer a few letters.
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
At the NBC Summer Press Day, Betsey Johnson and Lulu Johnson were on hand to discuss their new Style network show, "XOX Betsey Johnson." Fashionistas quickly recognized the Mutt-and-Jeff mother-daughter pair, who, while both blonde, couldn't be more different. That disparity is, in part, what drives the show, which follows the pair as Lulu launches her own brand separate from her mother's -- but with her mom on board as an investor.
On Friday, developments in Boston were so crazy and fast-moving that it was unclear throughout the day which, if any, network primetime shows would actually air that night. For a brief window, it looked like "Happy Endings" was going to air another of its Friday double-features, and I posted a sneak preview clip (embedded again at the top of this post), but of course all the networks wound up pre-empting their primetime schedules to focus on what had happened in Watertown.
With the "Happy Endings" finale tentatively scheduled for this coming Friday, it was unclear what would happen to those two episodes set for last week. For a few days, the episodes were available on Hulu, iTunes, etc., and it looked like ABC might just skip airing them altogether. Today, though, it was decided to just slide the scheduling a week. So last week's episodes will now air this Friday at 8 & 8:30, and the season's final two episodes will air at the same time on Friday, May 3. Because of this, the episodes are no longer available online (though if you already bought them off of iTunes, score.)
"I hate to say it," Daniel Holden's stepbrother admits, by way of explaining why they've never gotten to know each other, "but we all thought he'd be dead by now, anyway."
This is the story of Daniel's life, and non-death, as depicted in the beautiful new Sundance Channel series "Rectify" (it debuts tonight at 9 with back-to-back episodes; the first three hours are already available On Demand). Convicted as a teenager for the rape and murder of his high school girlfriend, Daniel (played by Aden Young) has spent the last 19 years on Death Row, retreating further and further inward, preparing for the moment when he departs the earth once and for all.
HBO will telecast the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies on May 18, but you can get a snippet of what you’ll see then—and what you missed when the class of 2013 was inducted on April 18 in Los Angeles—in our wrap-up of the evening’s proceedings. This year's inductees were Albert King, Heart, Rush, Donna Summer, Randy Newman, Public Enemy, Lou Adler, and Quincy Jones.
The actual program lasted nearly 4 1/2 hours, some of it glorious, some of it painful:
Among the glorious to watch for on the HBO special:
*Gary Clark Jr./John Mayer/Booker T Jones salute to Albert King, including their performance of Jones’ “Born Under a Bad Sign,” which he co-wrote for King when he was 19.
*Heart’s ferocious performance of “Crazy On You,” including Ann Wilson’s vocals, which only seem to get stronger.
*Foo Fighters Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins’ hilarious salute to Rush
*Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” performance: if for nothing else, the great aerial shots of Neil Peart’s drum set up.
Not so glorious:
*Flavor Flav’s 15-minute rambling speech that had everyone in the room started to wish an extremely patient Chuck D would point to Flav’s clock and tell him his time is up
*Quincy Jones’s similarly rambling speech--although he has earned the right to drift and sail through his speech however he sees fit.
*Usher’s strangely lounge-like performance of Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You” (although he makes up for it with his dance moves
The "Veronica Mars" movie's reunions won't only take place in front of the camera. Rob Thomas needed help writing the script, so he recruited one of the show's original — and best — writers in Diane Ruggiero to do it with him.