Last week, we saw Kenya and Walter end their tortured (and possibly fictitious) relationship in dramatic fashion, a tragic (or, depending on your perspective, richly deserved) car wreck to wrap up the gals' trip to Anguilla. Or maybe we just thought we saw that, because apparently, it ain't over 'til it's over, and the fat lady has yet to sing. Oh, she's gotten naked and flapped her flabby nether regions at a strip bar with many of her toothless friends, but we'll get to that later. Anyway, no singing.
Latest Blog Posts
Last December I took inspiration from Mr. Tapley and listed some of the notable achievements in music and television for 2011. And, of course, some year-end movie "awards." Let's try this one more time for 2012, shall we?
You can review my top 10 films of 2012 here. And, for year-end picks from the rest of HitFix's editorial team, click on the related tabs within this post.
NEW YORK - No matter what your opinion of Tom Hooper's "Les Miserables" there is one thing everyone can agree on: it's great to hear Amanda Seyfried singing again.
Even the most banal phrases have their uses, and when it came to Bart Layton's documentary “The Imposter” earlier this year, it's easy to understand why so many critics reached for that fusty standby: “The truth is stranger than fiction.” Then again, “The Imposter” – one of 15 shortlisted films vying for an Oscar nod in the Best Documentary Feature category – tells a story that is stranger even than most truths.
Centered on the charismatic, frightening figure of Frédéric Bourdin a shapeshifting con artist and serial identity thief who claim to have masqueraded as over 500 people in his lifetime, the film peels back the covers on the Frenchman's most infamous and improbable stunt. In 1997, aged 23, he seemingly duped a Texan family into accepting him as their teenaged son who had gone missing three years previously – despite not sharing his accent, appearance or even eye color. Turning up in Spain and claiming to have been kidnapped by a military-run child prostitution ring, Bourdin sold his outlandish tale not only to the Barclay family but to the US authorities, and maintained the charade for five months before the FBI caught wise.
David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" isn't the frontrunner for best picture many of us thought it would be, but don't tell that to the one time best director nominee. The passion project has given Russell much to be thankful for including audience awards at Toronto, Austin and the Hamptons film festivals, five Independent Spirit Awards nods, four Golden Globe Awards nominations and an impressive four SAG Awards nominations including best ensemble. "Playbook" star Jennifer Lawrence won best actress from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and Russell snagged best adapted screenplay honors from the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association. Now, after coming close to winning best director with his semi-comeback "The Fighter" almost two years ago you'd assume Russell was intent on sealing the deal with "Playbook." That doesn't appear to be the case.
While sales figures are sketchy because of the holidays, look for Taylor Swift’s “Red” to top the Billboard 200 next week.
Early estimates have the superstar’s fourth studio album spending a seventh non-consecutive week at No. 1 with sales of up to 225,000, according to Billboard. The tally will include Amazon’s Christmas Eve sales price of $1.99 (Nielsen SoundScan counts the discounted sales because the album has been out more than four weeks).
“Red” stands atop the leader board this week as well, with sales of 276,000. If “Red” does remain in the top spot, Swift will have registered 24 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, tying Adele as the female artist with the most weeks at No. 1 since the launch of SoundScan in 1991. Swift’s feat spans three albums: 2008’s “Fearless,” 2010’s “Speak Now” and “Red,” while all of Adele’s 24 weeks come from “21.”
In other chart news, look for the soundtrack to “Les Miserables” to possibly vault into the top 10. The title, which is No. 1 on iTunes following the movie’s Dec. 25 opening, debuted at No. 33 this week.
Billboard also expects Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” and One Direction’s “Take Me Home” to remain in the top 10.
The New Year’s Day holiday will delay the chart results until Thursday, Jan. 3 instead of Wednesday, Jan. 2.
I know I'm way behind the curve in reporting on these, but the weeks before Christmas kept us so busy with wall-to-wall US critics' awards that certain things passed me by -- particularly awards away from the Oscar trail. This afternoon, I suddenly remembered the Prix Louis-Delluc, arguably the most prestigious award in French cinema, and wondered if I'd missed their nominations. As it turned out, I'd missed the entire thing.
The Louis-Delluc, a single award handed to the year's best French film -- as determined by a jury headed by Cannes president Gilles Jacob -- was first presented in 1937, and the list of previous winners is a veritable who's who of classic French cinema: Renoir, Cocteau, Truffaut, Bresson, Malle, Chabrol, Rohmer, Godard, and so on.
Walton Goggins would be beloved if the only thing he'd ever done was his work on "The Shield." That was such a remarkable character, developed so carefully over the course of the series, that it set the bar very high for other roles for Goggins for the future.
Thankfully, the filmmakers who have worked with him since the end of that show seem to understand what a gift he can be to a production. He found another great role in a series in the form of "Justified," and this holiday season, he's in the new films from both Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino. Considering how long he's been working as an actor (his first credit was in 1990), it feels like things have finally come up roses for a guy whose work more than justifies the attention.
In our interview, we talked about the way his role in "Django Unchained" evolved over the course of the shoot, and I can't say I'm remotely surprised to hear that Tarantino flipped for him. Part of what makes Goggins so striking is the way he looks so dangerous, but when he speaks, there is a sly intelligence that you might not imagine at first. When he plays a character who is supposed to be a threat, it doesn't feel like acting. It feels like he's a genuine threat, someone you wouldn't want to cross.
It's a list of songs from 2012, kids. Let's just have fun.
To check out my 30 best albums of 2012 list, head here: it includes top distinctions to Fiona Apple, Swans, Matthew Dear, Kendrick Lamar, Swans and more.
Here is a list of 40 of my favorite songs from this year. Listen to the Spotify list of them here.
- Miguel, "Adorn"
- Icona Pop, "I Love It"
- Frank Ocean, "Sweet Life"
- Cold Specks, "Blank Maps"
- Shovels & Rope, "Birmingham"
- Nicki Minaj, "The Boys
- Taylor Swift, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
- Le1f, "Wut"
- Burial, "Kindred"
- David Byrne + St. Vincent, "Who"
- Grimes, "Oblivion"
- R. Kelly, "Share My Love"
- Holy Other, "Held"
- OneRepublic, "Feel Again"
- Nas - "Daughters"
- High on Fire, "Bloody Knuckles"
- Mumford & Sons, "I Will Wait"
- Emeli Sande, "Where I Sleep"
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, "Thrift Shop"
- Justin Townes Earle, "Am I That Lonely"
- Ke$ha - "Die Young"
- Maps & Atlases, "Old & Gray"
- Pallbearer, "Devoid of Redemption"
- Dope Body, "Road Dog"
- Miranda Lambert, "Fastest Girl In Town"
- Killer Mike, "Reagan"
- Dr. John, "Locked Down"
- Ellie Goulding, "Anything Can Happen"
- Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz, "Mercy"
- Walk the Moon, "Anna Sun"
- First Aid Kit, "Emmylou"
- Japandroids, "The House That Heaven Built"
- Father John Misty, "Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings"
- Hospitality, "Eighth Avenue"
- Mynabirds, "Generals"
- Alabama Shakes, "Hold On"
- Santigold, "The Keepers"
- Carly Rae Jepsen, "Call Me Maybe"
- A$AP Rocky, "Goldie"
- Charli XCX, "You're the One"
If you want to not only see the names, but hear the music from the top musicians who left us this year, this four-minute montage, "The Music They Made," posted by the New York Times last night is well worth your time.
[More after the jump...]
It turns out that eight isn’t enough. Justin Bieber’s “Believe:Acoustic” continues to expand. Originally slated as an 8-song EP, Bieber keeps adding new songs to the Jan. 29 release.
On Thursday night, he tweeted that he “had to write some new ones. Now I’m putting out 10 SONGS on #Believeacoustive. I’m telling u. PREORDER it now : ).”
In addition to the sales plug, the Biebs also gave more details: “Every song has a new guitar arrangement...1 w/ piano. Everything feels new.”
Idolator has speculated that Bieber may have been writing new material with “The A-Team” singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran.
As Hitfix previously reported, Bieber announced the EP earlier this month. Bieber released “My Worlds Acoustic” in 2010, which featured stripped-down versions of songs from “My World 2.0.”