Well, it sure is nice to see Helen Mirren win an award for once. It was announced today that the Oscar-winning actress will receive this year's European Achievement in World Cinema Award at December's European Film Awards ceremony -- "a very meaningful honor," she said, while clearing some shelf space. Of course, there's the possibility that this won't be the high point of her awards season, with Fox Searchlight planning a Best Actress Oscar campaign for her turn as Alma Reville opposite Anthony Hopkins's "Hitchcock." In other Mirren news, she's reprising her role as Queen Elizabeth II on the West End in a new Peter Morgan play, to be directed by Stephen Daldry. Seats will no doubt be in high demand, so I'll graciously sit this one out. [European Film Academy]
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Following the energetic “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” Taylor Swift returns to her dreamier, country side with “Begin Again.”
The well-crafted acoustic ballad, bolstered by a gentle pedal steel and mandolin, tells the tale of a starting over while the scars of a past love affair have barely scabbed over and remain brutally raw.
[More after the jump...]
Mumford & Sons helped usher in a new acoustic rock movement two years ago with the release of the multi-platinum “Sigh No More.”
Utilizing primarily acoustic instruments such as banjos, mandolins, guitars and upright bass, Mumford & Sons created a ferocious, layered racket on hits like “Little Lion Man” and “The Cave” that had more in common with the most urgent rock tunes than folk or bluegrass.
[More after the jump...]
For her new single "Die Young," Ke$ha taps back into the speak-singing power that launched her first big hit "Tik Tok," but some of the hungover trash-talking specificity of that old track is missing here.
The singer and songwriter now has both feet into the dance-pop tropes, as she hits the dance floor, ode-ing your heartbeat; however, I do applaud the superiority of verse 2, particularly the rhyming scheme "Young hunks, taking shots / Stripping down to dirty socks." 'Cause you know that ish actually happened at some point in Ke$ha's time on this earth -- if not every day -- and Lord knows the term "hunk" is vastly underused into today's common vernacular.
The late-night cable access vibe of the lyric video released today doesn't do much about "That magic in your pants," but there's some ghostly shots of der Ke$ha riding the subway with her raccoon eyes and penchant for trouble, with a hint of Tokyo futurism. The violent colors indicate another endeavor into the '80s neon fever-dream that dominated her stylistically aggressive "Cannibal."
A review of last night's "Revolution" coming up just as soon as there's a sale on heroin...
Fans of "The Matrix" trilogy surely remember Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity, a perpetually black-clad ass-kicker. But after that? Sure, she popped up in "Chocolat" and "Memento," but largely seemed to fall off the pop culture radar. But Moss is back in a big way with "Vegas," the new drama on CBS (premiering Tues. Sept. 25 at 10:00 p.m.). Set in the 1960s, the inspired-by-a-true story series will be focused on mobster Vincent Savino ("The Shield"'s Michael Chiklis) duking it out with an old-school cowboy sheriff, Ralph Lamb (Dennis Quaid). However, there will still be plenty of room for Moss' assistant district attorney Katherine O'Connell, an iconoclast who exists in a time when there weren't many women working, much less as lawyers. I spoke to Moss at the TCA press tour about the show, her recent low-profile (and the reasons for it) and why she won't be taking her three children -- Owen, Jaden and Frances -- to the set anytime soon.
“Looks like somebody wasn’t in on the joke.”
Pierce Gagnon is not a name most people know at this point, but after they see "Looper," it is a name they'll want to learn. Gagnon positively steals the film out from under the already-outstanding adult cast that includes Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Garret Dillahunt, and Emily Blunt, who plays Sara, mother to Gagnon's character, Cid.
Gagnon was five years old when they shot his part in the film, and it's an amazing performance for an actor of any age. I think Rian Johnson and his cast did something very special in capturing his work, and that was one of the things I really wanted to discuss with her when we sat down during Toronto.
It feels like I interview Blunt about four times a year now, which is a perfectly lovely arrangement as far as I'm concerned. She's a smart performer, and she's been making great choices for the last few years, starring in a number of films that I've enjoyed, racking up one strong performance after another.
Universal is, in many ways, the house that horror built, so it is little wonder they view their various famous monster properties as some of the key assets for them as a studio. I am not remotely shocked to learn that they are interested in rebooting "The Mummy." After all, the most recent incarnation has already spawned two sequels and at least two spinoff films, and at this point, it would be preposterously expensive for them to try to get Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz back to play their characters again.
Instead, it looks like they're headed in a very different direction with the film, and if they want to freak out film fans, they've certainly made the right choice. Len Wiseman is reportedly the choice the studio has made, and while I understand the reasoning on the level of "he's made films of a certain budget in the past and is capable of managing a big-budget movie," I would be hard-pressed to believe that there are any hardcore Wiseman fans. The "Underworld" series is profitable enough to support however many movies they've made so far, but I don't get the feeling they're particularly well-liked. A quick survey of audiences after the release of "Total Recall" this summer probably wouldn't yield many people able to mount more than a passing defense, and while I was kinder than most, I would also say that Wiseman has yet to really prove that he can develop a script to the point where it really lives and breathes. His movies feel like the description of a movie I should like, but there's something missing. He makes Real Doll movies. They're synthetic, and while they look like movies, they don't satisfy in the way a real film does. I'd love for him to prove me wrong, too.