We're down to the top eight (the finale is just three weeks away) and it's getting harder and harder to see some of these dancers go. But go they must. The good news? With the herd having been thinned, we get to see a little more about each dancer -- and a little more dancing, too. Best news? Superfan Jesse Tyler Ferguson of "Modern Family" is back at the judges' table, and he's both funny AND a good judge. Good times!
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The winners of the MTV Video Music Awards always take a back seat to the stage antics and performances at the annual show, but there are a number of notable entries in this year’s contenders.
Drake and Rihanna lead the pack with five nominations each; Katy Perry has four, while Coldplay, M.I.A. and Watch The Throne (Jay-Z and Kanye West) have three nods each.
Though all eyes will be on Chris Brown and Drake to see if they have an on-air altercation over Rihanna, there will also be performances from Frank Ocean, Rihanna, Pink, Green Day, Alicia Keys, Taylor Swift, and One Direction.
Winners are selected by the fans, who can vote as many times as they’d like during the eligibility period, so our predictions took that into account.
This year’s VMAs, hosted by Kevin Hart, will air live Sept. 6 on MTV.
So, as we head into yet another labyrinthine maze of backstabbing and trash talking, the game stands at Dan and Danielle perched precariously on the block, with Dan being Frank's main target. This should be pretty cut and dried, right? I mean, the whole game can't be turned upside down in a matter of days, can it? Like, Dan should just pack his stuff and look for his hair gel. Or not. This season seems to be a lot twistier than any other in recent memory, and alliances come together and crumble in the space of a single episode. Heck, we've had alliances on top of secret alliances, which is making "Big Brother" feel a little like a low I.Q. Roman play. Et tu, Dan?
Billboard is reporting, according to sources, that the Stones will play two shows in November: two at London’s O2 Arena and two at the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The paycheck for the four gigs: a whopping $25 million.
Richard Branson and Australian promoter Paul Dainty will promote the shows. If that is true, that means that Michael Cohl, the Rolling Stones’ longtime promoter, would not be involved. He told Billboard in late June that he had no information about 50th anniversary shows; however, that was two months ago.
The Stones have been seen going into a Paris studio and Mick Jagger tweeted how much fun the band is having. What's not clear is if they are recording new material or rehearsing for a tour.
VENICE - Bar this morning's review of "The Reluctant Fundamentalist," which christened the 69th Venice Film Festival (and the first under new director Alberto Barbera's rule) this evening, I'm afraid I haven't offered much in the way of festival foreplay.
I had meant to write up some form of preview piece, but travel preparations were more manic than usual, and Venice itself always offers its fair share of practical obstacles. Since arriving yesterday afternoon at the otherwise delightful flat I'm sharing with two colleagues, we've been trying to solve the riddle of how to run electricity, wi-fi and air conditioning simultaneously without short-circuiting the building's entire switchboard. I'm not going steal Jeff Wells' schtick with a diary of technical woes, but suffice to say we're still working on it.
Anyway, offering up a "preview" after the opening film would be more than a little redundant -- and anyway, yesterday's combined HitFix gallery of our most anticipated titles of the fall festival season, to which Kris and I both contributed, set the festival mood rather nicely. The long and short of it is that I'm here and, with the programme's prime offerings still under wraps -- well, mostly -- I'm excited.
Radiohead, the Shins and the Civil Wars are among the acts on tap for season 38 of “Austin City Limits,” the long-running live music show that runs on PBS stations.
Radiohead will kick off the season on Oct. 6 with a full-hour performance.
Below is the broadcast schedule. Seven additional episodes/artists are still to be announced.
[More after the jump...]
As noted in the updates of Monday's Best Animated Feature Film ponderings (which revealed the acquisition of Cannes hit "Ernest & Celestine" for a 2013 release), the indie distributor GKIDS will be qualifying four films for Oscar contention this year: "From Up on Poppy Hill," "Le Tableau," "The Rabbi's Cat" and "Zarafa." Added to Disney's "Secret of the Wings" and "Arjun: The Warrior Prince" (which were confirmed to me as well), that puts us at 17 titles officially in the running thus far, one more than the 16 necessary for a full slate of five nominees. And I don't see any eligibility concerns being raised for any of them on the horizon, so we should be good to go.
I assume many readers would like to know more about these films, which could ultimately shake up the race much like the studio's efforts did last year. So below, read through the official GKIDS synopses of each and start your speculating: which, if any, could end up on the eventual slate of nominees? My bet is currently on "Poppy Hill," but each film has a shot and each, most importantly, could really connect with animators -- you know, the folks who have the ultimate say on the matter.
Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” spends its second week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 as the song gains in airplay, but drops in sales.
Following a record-setting digital download week with 623,000 copies sold, sales of “Never” drop to 307,000, according to Billboard, but that monster sum is still enough to keep the tune at No. 1 on the Digital Songs chart as well.
Interestingly, the song, which does not have a hint of country in it, drops 13-19 on Billboard Country Songs chart, while gaining on both the ADult Pop Songs (21-18) and Pop Songs (18-16) charts. In a move clearly designed to court country fans (and her original fan base), who may be feeling little left out on this one, Swift will debut the video for “Never” on CMT on Thursday.
The next two spots on the Billboard Hot 100 remain the same, with Flo Rida’s “Whistle” at No. 2 and Ellie Goulding’s “Lights” at No. 3.
Maroon 5 sees “One More Night,” the second single from “Overexposed,” leap 9-4, while Fun.s’ “Some Nights” rises 6-5.
Carly Rae Jepsen continues to be the girl of summer as “Call Me Maybe” remains ensconced in the Top 10 at No. 6, while her duet with Owl City, “Good Time,” bursts into the Top 10 at No. 9.
Rounding out the top 10, Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake” drops 5-7, Maroon 5’s “Payphone” featuring Wiz Khalifa slips 7-8, and Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” featuring Big Sean slides 8-10.
After raking in more than $115 million from her 34 shows overseas, Madonna brought her “MDNA” tour, guns blazing, to the U.S. Tuesday night. The show, at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center, did not start until 10:24 p.m., which added insult to injury to some who paid $355 top ticket, according to reports. The only explanation offered by Madge was “I want to apologize for being late. We had many changes to make from Europe to America, and I wanted the show to be perfect for you because my fans deserve it and quite frankly I deserve it.”
She also continued to voice support for Pussy Riot, as she did on stage in Russia, telling the Philly crowed, “We have freedom of expression. Never forget how lucky you are to live here.”
Watch very high quality video of the opening at the bottom of this post.
From most reports, all was forgiven once she took the stage in a spectacular that won’t soon be forgotten.
Here are some excerpts from opening night reviews:
[More after the jump...]
Cyrus Spencer, the 22-year-old animator/robotics dancer currently competing on "So You Think You Can Dance," has been a lightning rod for viewers this season. While some viewers have grumbled about his lack of dance skill, his adoring fan base continues to vote him through week after week. Tonight, fans will get a chance to speak (or not) for Cyrus again during the show's double-barreled competition/elimination episode starting at 8:00 p.m. on Fox. I had the chance to speak with Cyrus during the TCAs, and we hashed over why he doesn't read his own reviews, what he's hoping to convince the judges to say about him, and the good thing he wants to do once the show ends.
I'll admit it. I couldn't listen to the entirety of "Settle Down," No Doubt's first new single from their comeback album "Push and Shove." I endured it pieces, sort of like I would one of those "Underworld" movies: bits at a time, then relax and check out something that doesn't feel like an assault on the senses.
The title track from No Doubt's album arrived today via Ryan Seacrest's show, and hits much closer to the hit mark. Despite a Jamaican rap that seemed forced into the mix, it's got the patented Gwen Stefani whine-sing that excited fans in the first place. The chorus is gummy and it's well-produced on the whole with Diplo behind the decks. Feeling the cool Shakira-bop beat to carry it.
On the other hand, No Doubt member Tony Kanal called "Push and Shove" their "Bohemian Rhapsody." That statement makes no sense and should be stricken from history.
"Push and Shove" the album is due on Sept. 25.
I hope you guys are having fun with this week's posts. I'm probably at a museum with the boys this morning, and I always enjoy those moments when I help broaden their horizons in ways that aren't about movies. Sure, I consider Film Nerd 2.0 a major part of what I do here at HitFix, but if I've ever given you the impression that all I talk to them about is movies, that would be wrong.
Sports, for example, are a big part of Toshi's world right now, and we're just gearing up for the fall baseball season. Both of the kids also really love anything that has to do with science, and I love watching them attack a new topic, desperate to learn. That appetite for education is something that life tends to beat out of people at some point, but in kids, it is undimmed, vibrant, essential.
One of the things that Toshi is most curious about as we watch movies these days is the music that is created for films. I went to a scoring session last week, and I wish I'd been able to bring him along. He's fascinated by the scores that he owns, and he plays them every time we're in the car. The "Star Wars" scores are big ones, of course, and he's almost completely worn his "Empire Strikes Back" CD smooth from replaying "The Imperial March." As I've mentioned here before, he also loves "Grease" and "Singin' In The Rain" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas," and he has no trouble buying into the reality of a movie musical. I love that he and his little brother walk around the house singing the "Godzilla" theme, happy as can be. Movie music means something to them. It resonates with them.
But I know people who barely even hear movie music. My own parents often tell me that they can't "hear" a score. They're aware there is music in a film, but they don't hear it as a discrete part of the process. It's background. It's just wallpaper to them. And while I can't imagine that, I can't fault them for it, either. To them, discussion of movie music is like having a conversation about the color in a movie.
Here's my question for you today: how aware are you of movie music, and what movie music would you describe as important or essential to you? If you have specific memories of the music in films, I'd love to hear those memories. If you work in film composition, I'd love to know what inspired you and got you to pursue that as a craft. And if you're one of those people who barely register a film's score, can you explain to me what you hear when you're watching a film?
I look forward to reading your responses to this and all the other topics this week, and I'm thanking you in advance for participating, even if you don't normally participate. If you guys don't respond, this is going to be a very slow week here on the blog. I'm counting on you, and I hope that by the time I return next Monday, I'll know a lot more about you, and that I can use your answers to help make Motion/Captured even better.