Latest Blog Posts

<p>Shane Carruth and Amy Seimetz in &quot;Upstream Color.&quot;</p>

Shane Carruth and Amy Seimetz in "Upstream Color."

Credit: EPRB Films

Shane Carruth on swimming upriver (and self-distributing) in 'Upstream Color'

The filmmaker's fascinating second feature is in theaters now

Shane Carruth is more than happy to talk about his remarkable new film “Upstream Color” in substantial detail, poring over its staggered themes and elliptical construction with a discursive chattiness that suggests he, too, is still discovering further possibilities within it. Just don't ask him for a nutshell synopsis.

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<p>Yep, that's pretty much exactly how I felt when I saw this great new sneak peek at this summer's 'Man Of Steel'</p>

Yep, that's pretty much exactly how I felt when I saw this great new sneak peek at this summer's 'Man Of Steel'

Credit: Warner Bros

New 'Man Of Steel' trailer finally gives up the good stuff with a knockout punch

And there's oh so much good stuff to see

There he is.

Okay, Warner Bros, well-played. Right now, they're doing a full slate reveal at CinemaCon, complete with presentations on films like "Pacific Rim," "The Hangover Part III," and, of course, "Man Of Steel."

I wrote recently about how much reserve they were showing in the trailers thus far, and I wondered when they were going to finally start showing off the massive action in the film. It appears that the answer to that question is "Right now," and based on this trailer, I think it's safe to say Zack Snyder is going to turn out to be a positively inspired choice for director.

This doesn't look like every other superhero film. It doesn't really look like any other Superman film. Instead, it appears they've taken the recognizable story and design elements and they've used them to make something that is both new and yet instantly recognizable.

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Craig Zadan and Neil Meron
Craig Zadan and Neil Meron
Credit: AP Photo

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron back for more at the 2014 Oscars

Last year's producers ready for another dip

So I guess no one at the Academy got the memo that no one really liked the way the Oscars were put on back in February (I was mostly fine with them, mind you), and so they're bringing Craig Zadan and Neil Meron back for more. This last year featured high profile tributes to Zadan/Meron-produced musicals and specifically two big moments for the (granted, 10 years old at the time) "Chicago." What will we get in 2014? A tribute to television's "Smash?"

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Listen: Drake, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross feature on DJ Khaled's 'No New Friends'

Listen: Drake, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross feature on DJ Khaled's 'No New Friends'

Second Drizzy song in less than 24 hours

Muse these titles: "No New Friends." "Suffering From Success." It's the Young Money (and MMG) love-in, sponsored by Drake's fixation on success and sadness.

"No New Friends" is a new track from Drizzy, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and DJ Khaled, off of the latter's forthcoming "Suffering From Success." In it, the rappers extol their "day one" pals for helping them up to their current acclaim. Originally a "Started from the Bottom" remix, it's most prominent feature is Drake reporting on the fact these guys have no capacity for "fake" friends.

Drake quoth his own "Started from the Bottom" in his starting verse, despite the fact that song's still no good (and still makes no sense); but the chorus to this one's much easier to stomach, and Weezy even manages one slick pun ("They throw dirt on my name, well that's why they still dig me." Oh haha, OK dad).

Notably, this is Drake's second song in 24 hours, arriving around the same time his "Girls Love Beyonce," a lonely little number about looking for love... and disrespect of women?

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<p>&quot;Save Rock and Roll&quot;</p>

"Save Rock and Roll"

Credit: Island/Decaydance

Review: Fall Out Boy's 'Save Rock And Roll'

Can the reunited band save themselves at the same time?

A few months ago, Fall Out Boy, out of blue, announced the band was back together after taking a long hiatus. Not only were they back, they had recorded a new album and were releasing the first single from said album immediately. 

[More after the jump...]

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Review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, 'Mosquito'
Credit: Interscope

Review: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, 'Mosquito'

Band's first album in four years puts you on a train, sends you to mars and wears you out

Karen O has a history of the most daring fashions when she takes the stage with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. It’s hard to say if they’re costumes, or part of a larger persona, or if it’s simply what she wore to the grocery right before sound check. But what she wears she doesn’t merely don, she takes up and owns.

That’s what, metaphorically, Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ latest effort “Mosquito” is like: to reduce a fully fleshy piece of performance art down to a pair of funny trousers and heart-halting stage banter would be to miss the point. Sonically, there’s a common string there, tensions between damage and invincibility, shaman-esque to inappropriate, blustering to succinct, a coherent complexity aided by longtime producers David Sitek and Nick Launay.
 
Like in “Subway”: In a moment, Karen O expresses a melancholy that resonates with anybody who’s ever heard the retreating clack of the J/M/Z train line in their own 3 a.m. local-time manner. Instrumentally, the reverb and keys are uplifting, letting the listener on and sends the car to space. “Despair” has a tingling rhythm section that tap out anxieties and guitars that pan around expectantly. “Don’t despair,” O sings in her mouthy response to the desperate melodies. “You’ve always been there / you ’re there through my wasted years… there’s nothing to fear.”
 
The title track has the band repeatedly promising to “suck your blood” and the singer role-playing as the mosquito, literally “bzzzzing” in the post-chorus and making this song, on paper, seem incredibly stupid (like, ahem, the album art). But, again, it’s about wearing it, and wearing it well: Nick Zinner let’s his six-string out on a little adventure, congas bleat in the background and all of a sudden you’re wearing wings too, oh godd*mn it. Similarly, “Area 52” – the YYYs version of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” but with, like, aliens -- demands some listener participation as the laser sounds, alarms, tribal drums, feedback and vocal warping send you on the trip or you stay stuck on Earth.
 
There are a few inclusions here that break up the band’s habits, good and bad. LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy produced “Buried Alive,” which also features the only guest spot on the album from Dr. Octagon: the rapper harms the consistency, sadly, though his verse is great and in-and-out before you have time to object (yeah yeah… no). There’s another other-ness to the gospel choir on standout single “Sacrilege,” adding a few thousand extra kilowatts to a band that seemingly generates its own energy. Intimate love song “Wedding Song,” the closer, is a stunning but surprising reminder that there’s actual human behind walking hyperbole Karen O, which may send you running in slow-motion for the Kleenex… or to “Fever to Tell.”
 
You go where they go, wear what they wear, smoke what they smoke: that’s the requirements to get as funky and dark as “Mosquito” gets, which may be a bit too much to ask listeners who are looking for the simple joys of “Maps” or straight-forward garage-punk that made up the bulk hits of “It’s Blitz!”.  Still, for most fans, “Mosquito” will have buzz long after the chart debut, the summer fest shows and the four years of anticipation. Put it on and wear it out.

 

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<p>Drake</p>

Drake

Listen: Drake's feeling lonely on new track 'Girls Love Beyonce'

Will girls love this song too?

Drake name drops Beyonce in his new song in his new song, “Girls Love Beyonce,” and then basically kicks her to the curb. He drew us in with her and then goes into a song about wishing he had someone to love.
The song’s hook is built around a slowed-down Destiny’s Child’s “Say My Name,” wistfully sung by James Fauntleroy, but Drake didn’t need to include Beyonce in the title for that.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Robert Downey&nbsp;Jr. with wife Susan at the Oscars in 2011</p>

Robert Downey Jr. with wife Susan at the Oscars in 2011

Credit: AP Photo

Robert Downey Jr. will win an Oscar says Robert Downey Jr.

Also: The actor confirms he pulled in $50 million for 'The Avengers'

Robert Downey Jr. sure is in a good way lately, no? Wind the clocks back, oh, seven years -- certainly less than a decade -- and you're talking about an uninsurable has been. Drugs, scandal, fall from grace, the whole thing. Then he married one of Hollywood's youngest and brightest, Susan Downey (née Levin), in 2005. She helped him get his act together and now he's the face of two major franchises. It's storybook, really, and a perfect awards narrative, by the way, should an awards project ever come along for the actor.

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<p>That is a car exploding out of the front end of an airplane. Is it any wonder the 'Fast &amp; Furious' franchise just keeps on growing?</p>

That is a car exploding out of the front end of an airplane. Is it any wonder the 'Fast & Furious' franchise just keeps on growing?

Credit: Universal Pictures

'Fast & Furious 7' stakes out a 2014 release date

A new director and no Dwayne Johnson doesn't slow the studio down at all

Universal is not fooling around.

I understand. They've been looking for their ATM, their cash machine that reliably spits out money every time they release a new film in the series, and it's been a struggle at times. They sort of backed into this one. I guarantee there was no one at the studio at the time that "The Fast and The Furious" was made who had a vision of the franchise that exists now.

Justin Lin deserves a lot of credit for turning this into what can legitimately be called a mega-franchise now. At this point, it's such a big series, and the scale of the mayhem in each film seems to be swelling. Now that Lin is leaving, it would be easy to imagine that the studio would be worried. If you drop the ball even once with a series like this, you risk burning it down, and that's the last thing Universal wants.

Now that James Wan is onboard to direct the seventh film in the series, Universal wants to make it clear that they are moving full speed ahead with a new movie, and today, as part of their CinemaCon presentation, they announced that July 11, 2014 is going belong to them.

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<p>Emma Stone is one of the stars of Alejandro Gonz&aacute;lez I&ntilde;&aacute;rritu&rsquo;s &quot;Birdman.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Emma Stone is one of the stars of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s "Birdman." 

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agostini

Iñárritu's 'Birdman' starts shooting with Keaton, Watts, Stone, Galifianakis and more

The film will be the Oscar-nominated director's first comedy

Add up the belly laughs in Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s first four features -- "Amores Perros," "21 Grams," "Babel" and "Biutiful" -- and, well, you'll find you have a lot of fingers going spare. Accomplished and sometimes exhilarating as his films (all of which have found favor with the Academy to some degree) have been, a change of pace wouldn't hurt him at this point.

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<p>Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is going to be humbled by the events of 'Star Trek Into Darkness'</p>

Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is going to be humbled by the events of 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

Credit: Paramount Pictures

Final 'Star Trek Into Darkness' trailer test Captain Kirk and the Enterprise

And even now, they're still keeping their secrets close

The moment I was hooked by the trailers for the 2009 "Star Trek" reboot was when Pike (Bruce Greenwood) challenged Jim Kirk (Chris Pine) to try to live up to the legacy of his father. The score, Greenwood's delivery, and the weight of what he was saying… all of that combined hit me dead center, and from that point on, they sort of had me on the hook.

I feel like it's a very smart choice, then, to bring this final trailer in the ad campaign for this summer's "Star Trek Into Darkness" back around to the two of them, Pike and Kirk, once again sitting together, once again discussing Kirk's potential as a leader. Pike is such a particular figure in "Trek" history, and perhaps the most significant refiguring in this new rebooted version of the "Trek" universe is the way he and Kirk deal with one another. You can't do much better in terms of mentor figures than Greenwood's Pike, and Kirk needs that voice in his ear, someone willing to push him and dare him to be a better person.

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Watch Steve Buscemi's extremely awkward Vampire Weekend promo video

Watch Steve Buscemi's extremely awkward Vampire Weekend promo video

... In advance of Amex Unstaged

Steve Buscemi wants to be in a band. Specifically Vampire Weekend only to, y'know, help them reach a broader audience.

The actor/director will be helming Vampire Weekend's Amex Unstaged concert, webcast live on April 28 at 9 p.m. EST. In a promo clip for the show, it is revealed that Buscemi and VW's Chris Baio are distantly related, and it's a riff on that: how would a weird act and behave toward somebody that they're supposedly blood-relative to?

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