Latest Blog Posts

<p>Mike McCready</p>

Mike McCready

Pearl Jam and Guns N' Roses members form new rock supergroup

Mike McCready, Duff McKagen and Screaming Trees' Martin also roped a Killing Joke

Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready has formed a new group with former Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan and ex-Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin.

The unnamed band is working on a set that will incorporate a revolving number of vocalists, among them Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman.

McCready and Martin, who were in the mid-90s’ side-project Mad Season, began writing with McKagan,  and “we took some of those old Mad Season demos from that [unreleased] second ‘Disinformation’ record,” McCready tells Billboard. “We’re talking to Jaz...and I’ve been trying to find some singer to work on some of that stuff.” McCready plans to release the project on his own Hockeytalkter Records.

Mad Season’s 1995 album, “Above,” which also featured the late Layne Staley, will be reissued on April 2 with a new participation from R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and new lyrics from former Screaming Trees vocalist Mark Lanegan.

Additionally, McCready is prepping to go back into the studio with Pearl Jam.

Read Full Post
<p>Pedro Almod&oacute;var on the set of &quot;I'm&nbsp;So Excited&quot;</p>

Pedro Almodóvar on the set of "I'm So Excited"

Credit: Sony Classics

Seatbacks and tray tables up as the trailer for Pedro Almodóvar's 'I'm So Excited' hits

Film is set for June 28 arrival, with a potential layover in Cannes

We mentioned a few weeks ago that Sony Classics has lined up release dates for its summer slate, consisting of Richard Linklater's Sundance hit "Before Midnight," Woody Allen's latest, "Blue Jasmine," and Pedro Almodóvar's "I'm So Excited." The latter in particular looks to be a wild romp akin to the director's earlier work.

We might expect to see the film, which hits theaters on June 28, at the Cannes Film Festival. Almodóvar's last film, "The Skin I Live In," premiered on the Croisette and news of his latest emanated from the fest in 2012.

A new trailer has been released, courtesy of Total Film. Take a look below.

Read Full Post
<p>Travis Fimmel is the leader of the &quot;Vikings.&quot;</p>

Travis Fimmel is the leader of the "Vikings."

Credit: History

Review: History's 'Vikings' a bloody good time

Travis Fimmel and Gabriel Byrne come from the land of the ice and snow
There are more ambitious dramas on television right now, but few that deliver as consistently on what is promised than “Vikings” (Sunday at 10 p.m.), History’s first scripted drama series. The show is exactly what you might expect from the title — unless, that is, you’re from Minnesota and expecting a fictionalized account of the career of the Purple People Eaters, or perhaps a dramatization of the sex boat scandal — presented with plenty of style.
 
So there are many tall men with axes and shields and interesting beards. There are longboats and debates over whether any lands exist to the west of Scandinavia — making our westward-looking hero, Ragnar (Travis Fimmel), a bold thinker for his era — and battles on green hills and sandy beaches. There’s abundant pillaging, talk of Valhalla and how to get there.
 
It’s called “Vikings.” It’s about Vikings. And it’s quite good in the early going.
Read Full Post
<p>Empire readers love &quot;The Avengers.&quot; Don't look so surprised, fellas.</p>

Empire readers love "The Avengers." Don't look so surprised, fellas.

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

'Skyfall,' 'The Avengers,' 'The Hobbit' lead nominations for Jameson Empire Awards

But what films were Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway nominated for?

While two-thirds of this year's Best Picture Oscar nominees grossed over $100 million, there are still those who think blockbuster cinema is shortchanged by the Academy -- franchise films, in particular, struggle to get much respect beyond the technical categories, however well-executed. We can argue back and forth about the rights and wrongs of that, but for more populist-minded viewers, the Jameson Empire Awards should come as a relief.

Read Full Post
<p>Nicholas Hoult is front and center as the star of 'Jack The Giant Slayer'</p>

Nicholas Hoult is front and center as the star of 'Jack The Giant Slayer'

Credit: Warner Bros

Review: Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, This 'Giant Slayer' is not much fun

it's a swing and a miss

I try not to pay too much attention to the reactions of others before I write a review, but sometimes it's hard to avoid.  I saw Devin Faraci refer to the film as "an atrocity" on Twitter, and I saw Harry Knowles argue that Devin's the wrong audience and that it's a kid's film so Devin's reaction isn't fair.  I've seen more reactions as negative as Devin's, and something I read actually compared the film to "The Princess Bride," which strikes me as something akin to blasphemy.  

I was surprised by the vehemence of Devin's reaction, but equally disappointed that Harry seems to dismiss some very real issues with the film by simply excusing it as a kid's film.  I think the frustrations I have stem from seeing things in the movie that suggest they could have pulled this one off.  I think they got more right than wrong, but it's unable to come together as a cohesive experience, and I'd love to know how the choices were made that ultimately make it feel like it missed the target.

Read Full Post
Ewan McGregor compares his 'Jack the Giant Slayer' character to Hong Kong Phooey

Ewan McGregor compares his 'Jack the Giant Slayer' character to Hong Kong Phooey

And Stanley Tucci talks about villainy
RICHMOND, ENGLAND - File under "When perfectly fine questions go bad," but not really.
 
In "Jack the Giant Slayer," the characters played by Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci bump heads several times. 
 
At one point in their climactic showdown, Tucci's weaselly Roderick looks at McGregor's noble Elmont and sneers, "You thought you were the hero of this story? Don't you know that we ALL think that?"
 
I liked that line, so when I sat down with McGregor and Tucci at Hampton Court Palace outside of London, I decided to start the interview by asking how each of their characters would explain that they're the real heroes of "Jack the Giant Slayer."
 
Ultimately, both men gave very good answers, but both answers began with, "I don't think my character *would* say that."
 
An interview that begins with a long and semi-awkward pause actually became a lot of fun, especially when McGregor describes the unlikely inspirations for his character, including "a Cockney Errol Flynn."
 
You can also check out my interviews with director Bryan Singer and "Jack the Giant Slayer" stars Nicholas Hoult & Eleanor Tomlinson, as well as this video of me singing in front of Hampton Court Palace
 
"Jack the Giant Slayer" opens on Friday, March 1.
 
Read Full Post
<p>David Bowie</p>

David Bowie

Listen to David Bowie's new album, 'The Next Day' in its entirety

First album in 10 years is streaming on iTunes

David Bowie’s “The Next Day” doesn’t come out until March 12, but people can stream the album starting today exclusively on iTunes Store until release day.

Bowie ended a 10-year hiatus in January, surprising fans by dropping a video to a new song, “Where Are We Now,” out of the blue, on his 66th birthday on Jan. 8.  The tune was followed this week by a second song and video for the much edgier “The Stars (Are Out Tonight).”

Bowie’s long-time collaborator Tony Visconti produced the album.

Click here to go to iTunes.
 

Read Full Post
<p>Gillian Jacobs and Alison Brie in &quot;Community.&quot;</p>

Gillian Jacobs and Alison Brie in "Community."

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Community' - 'An Alternative History of the German Invasion'

The study group battles the German exchange students for study room supremacy

A quick review of tonight's "Community" coming up just as soon as I take a provisional Lactaid...

Read Full Post
<p>Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller in &quot;The Spectacular Now.&quot;</p>

Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller in "The Spectacular Now."

Credit: A24

A24 sets summer releases for 'Spectacular Now' and 'The Bling Ring'

The new distributor is building a youthful slate

Independent distributor A24 may be less than a year old, but they're already building a clear brand image -- if it's stylish, name-heavy and young-skewing, they're interested.

Though they've been making their presence felt with high-profile festival purchases since last fall, but they're only just beginning to venture out into the real world. Roman Coppola's critically panned "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III," starring Charlie Sheen and Bill Murray, was their first theatrical release three weeks ago -- it's left them much room for improvement.

Read Full Post
<p>The Turbanator!&nbsp;</p>

The Turbanator! 

Credit: Michael Becker/FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' - Sudden Death, Part 4 - 10 More Guys Perform

The Turbanator leads the final group of 'Idol' semifinalists

I hated the way "American Idol" handled Hollywood Week this year, with the pointless gender splitting and subsequent elongation of an already dull slog.

But I've liked the Sudden Death approach to the Top 40. Let America actually see some full performances before they get to vote. Yes, it allows the judges to put an additional early imprint on contestants who are favorites due to talent -- Angela Miller, Curtis Finch Jr. etc -- and also contestants who are favorites due to narrative or personality -- Charlie Askew, Zoanette Johnson, etc. But I think it may make the electorate a bit more  informed when voting begins next week. Maybe.

The first week of Sudden Death, we saw the highs of the first group of girls and the lows of the first group of boys. And last night, we got a pretty representative group, with a few standouts, a few weak performances and whatever you want to say about Zoanette. 

How would the last group of men do? Click through...

Read Full Post
A goat that sounds like a person

 A goat that sounds like a person

Listen: CulturePop Podcast No. 3 - Elton John, Jack the Giant Slayer and goats

We have some opinions about Anne Hathaway, too

It's time for CulturePop #3, and here's the rundown:

Read Full Post
Thirty Seconds To Mars launches new tune 'Up In The Air' in space

Thirty Seconds To Mars launches new tune 'Up In The Air' in space

New single will travel on SpaceX cargo mission

Thirty Seconds To Mars is launching its new single, “Up In The Air,” literally.

On Friday (March 1), the Jared Leto-led band will be in Florida to watch the launch of SpaceX’s cargo mission to the International Space Station. The capsule will carry 1,200 pounds of cargo and a copy of the group’s new tune. 

On March 18, the band will travel to Houston to NASA’s Mission Control, to conduct a Q&A with Tom Marshburn, an astronaut on the flight, which will be broadcast live on the band’s website.  The song will premiere later that day and be for sale on March 19.

“Up In The Air” is the single from the band’s fourth studio album, which will come out later this year. It is the follow-up to 2009's  “This Is War.”  “Artifact,” a documentary about the making of “This Is War,” will screen at SXSW on March 13. The film won the People’s Choice documentary award at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

 photo 30seconds_640_zps2a9c8ad7.jpg
 

Read Full Post
BLOGS BY NAME