A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I can hire a Mexican elf...
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A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as I can hire a Mexican elf...
I thought I had it all figured out last week. I assumed that unless Lazaro Arbos went home, anybody left would receive the Judges' Save and be kept around. What I didn't count on was Lazaro finishing so high -- Top 3 and the producers probably know exactly how far up -- that the judges couldn't afford to keep Burnell Taylor for another week for fear of losing one of the five women in a double-elimination this week.
Instead, Burnell went home and we were treated to Lazaro's cover of "Close To You," which stands as one of the worst performances ever by a Top 10 finalist on "American Idol." I guess we would have been treated to that performance either way, though. Never mind.
But anyway... I'm started tonight's episode with the exact same assumption as last week: The only person going home tonight will be Lazaro. Any of the five women would get the Save.
Let's see how things play out...
It's a big summer for superhero films. There is no film more important to the overall success of a studio's longterm plans than "Man Of Steel" is for Warner Bros, though. Marvel could survive it if "Iron Man 3" didn't work, and Fox has certainly weathered a terrible "Wolverine" movie already. For Warner, though, everything they have planned in the near-future depends on them proving that they can get their most significant icon right. Warner needs you to believe a man can fly.
The good news is that early buzz from people who have seen the film is very enthusiastic. It sounds like they've managed to ground Superman in the real world while also making sure that he does indeed feel… well, super. When we get 74 different superhero films every year, it's not easy to make us feel a sense of wonder anymore. It's a character thing more than it's about the effects at this point, and certainly everything we're hearing from Zack Snyder and David Goyer and Christopher Nolan sounds like they're at least starting with the right ideas.
This week we had a lot to talk about -- the furor over Brad Paisley's "Accidental Racist," the cancelation of "Buckwild," Alec Baldwin potentially taking over Carson Daly's late night spot, the return of "Mad Men" and so much more. But go ahead and listen, why don't you? Here's the rundown:
Beyonce has Pepsi, Taylor Swift has Diet Coke. Swift’s new commercial for Diet Coke premieres tonight on “American Idol.”
[More after the jump...]
Kelly Clarkson will be rocking around the Christmas tree this holiday season.
Clarkson told CMT Radio Live with Cody Allan that she is cutting the Christmas set. “I’ve been dying to make a Christmas record for more than a decade and I’m finally making one,” she says. She adds it will probably be her favorite record that she makes because she loves Christmas. No word on a release date yet.
In addition to producer Greg Kurstin, Clarkson will work with Brooks & Dunn’s Ronnie Dunn on the seasonal record, according to Idolator. The album follows her current greatest hits set.
Clarkson also revealed that she didn’t want to do the “From Justin to Kelly” movie, but was “legally obligated....I think Jimmy Fallon and I should do” a sequel. Oh, from your lips to God’s ears...
Clarkson will hit the road with Maroon 5 on the Honda Civic Tour, which starts Aug. 1 at St. Louis’s Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.
If you need your daily dose of Clarkson, she will appear on tonight's "American Idol," the show where, as you know, it all began for the Season One winner in 2002.
And, in case you were wondering, she also plans to have yellow roses at her wedding. “I’ll be drunk at the end,” she also added.
Back when the MTV Movie Awards first started, they had a Lifetime Achievement prize. But it was sort of a joke. The winners were Jason Voorhees from the "Friday the 13th" franchise, The Three Stooges, "Shaft" star Richard Roundtree, Jackie Chan (those last two being the most "legitimate" winners, I suppose), Godzilla, Chewbacca from the "Star Wars" franchise and Ron Howard's brother, Clint (who appears in all of Howard's films). In 1999 they discontinued it, thank God.
In 2005, it was brought back around with an undercurrent of sincerity and dubbed the "MTV Generation Award." The inaugural recipient was Tom Cruise and the winners since have been Jim Carrey, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Ben Stiller, Sandra Bullock (tied in nicely with her Oscar march in 2010), Reese Witherspoon and Johnny Depp. This year, the award goes to actor Jamie Foxx, nominated for his performance in "Django Unchained" and an honor nicely positioned as a boost to his upcoming summer blockbuster "White House Down."
"It's been a long wait," writer/director Jeff Nichols says about his upcoming film "Mud," and indeed it has, on so many levels.
The film first screened at the Cannes Film Festival nearly a year ago, where it was picked up by Roadside Attractions for domestic release. But rather than risk it being lost in the fray by trickling screenings throughout the fall festival circuit, the indie distributor held on to it. The film, which stars Matthew McConaughey (in the thick of a career renaissance), was brought back into the light at the Sundance Film Festival in January as Roadside primed it for a late-April release.
Its roots, however, stretch back so much farther, to Nichols' days as a film school student at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It was a girl breaking up with him in high school that got him thinking on the film's themes of romance. "It's one of the lamest reasons that you sit and write a movie," he admits, "but that level of heartbreak from your first love, even if it is puppy love, is pretty intense. Just because you're young I think people dismiss those emotions and those feelings, but I think that might be unfair. Look at Romeo and Juliet. They were in their teens."
Sounds like vacation is over for Jay-Z.
The rapper recently took a much-publicized trip to Cuba with his wife Beyonce, but it didn't take long for him to churn out a new track -- with a surprising subject matter.
In just a matter of days, Jay recorded and released what can only be called a diss track entitled "Open Letter."
Short, stripped down and to the point, there's no mistaking to whom this "Letter" is addressed. And, to paraphrase an earlier Jay-Z track, he don't need no hook for this sh*t.
"They wanna give me jail time and a fine/Fine/let me commit a real crime," Jay-Z threat-raps, no doubt responding directly to Rubio and co.'s letter-wrting and Twitter campaigns decrying the duo's Cuban vacation.
Later, "I'm in Cuba/I love Cubans" is followed by the sound of Jigga taking a puff on a cigar, "Scarface"-style.
In the song, Jay-Z claims he got "White House clearance" from his pal the president. He raps, "Obama said, 'Chill you're goinna get me impeached'/You don't need this shit anyway/Chill with me on the beach."
Earlier this week, the U.S. Treasury Department stated that the couple's trip was indeed legit, having been previously authorized as an "educational and cultural exchange."
However, just hours after the song was released today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney addressed the issue, saying that, while Jay-Z indeed followed proper protocol, he didn’t communicate directly with President Obama. Carney added, hilariously, "I guess nothing rhymes with Treasury. Because Treasury gives licenses for travel and the White House has nothing to do with it."
Hova also addresses the recent kerfuffle about the NBA team he co-owns, the Brooklyn Nets, saying "I would've moved the Nets to Brooklyn for free/Except I made millions off you f*cking dweebs/I still own the building/I'm still keeping my seats/You buy that bullshit/you'd better keep your receipts."
It's been a while since "dweeb" has been used with such venom, but somehow Jay-Z makes it work.
Listen to "Open Letter" here:
What do you think of "Open Letter"? And Jay-Z and Beyonce's trip to Cuba?
Sarah Brightman has an unusual and beautiful duet partner on the latest song to arrive from her new album. "Hawaii '78" features the late and great Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, who originally released "Hawai'i '78" for his 1993 album "Facing Future." That album also featured his most famous track, his cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," and coincidentally "Hawai'i '78" was another expression of hope and prayer.
Here, Brightman is joining in that vision with this interpretation, "Hawaii '78." A bonus track available only on Target's limited edition CD of "Dreamchaser," this version sends the roots-laden song space-bound, with the famed soprano's voice padded with harmony, synths and strings.
Listen to the exclusive premiere of "Hawaii '78" below, and then give a go at the original.
Brightman's interstellar sound here is part of the larger aesthetic on "Dreamchaser," which expresses the Broadway star's ultimate goal of traveling into space. And she may yet: last year, it was announced that Brightman is "anticipated to be the first musician to travel to the International Space Station." You can learn more about the voyage in the vid below.
This used to be a pretty simple job when I first became a TV critic. There were the Big Four networks, plus the WB and UPN (and when I started in the summer of '96, they were barely worthy of notice) and the occasional HBO or PBS production that demanded a write-up. It was easy to stay current with all the new shows, and all the returning ones — to feel, even if you weren't watching every episode of every show (because that wasn't possible even in the Clinton years), like you could see the whole picture of TV, even if some parts were more in focus than others.
Then HBO got more serious about original scripted programming, and the rest of cable followed, and suddenly there were new dramas and sitcoms popping up all over the place, even as the original broadcast networks were shifting more towards reality TV. There was more to watch, and more to write about, but it was exciting to see what the medium was capable of becoming (a.ka. the subject of my book).
Every now and then, someone would ask me if I felt there was too much good TV on TV, and I would always respond that more good TV is simply more good TV. What could possibly be the downside of that?
Well, this TV season is the first time I've began to feel like there may, in fact, be too much good TV.
A review of last night's "Southland" coming up just as soon as I need a haircut...