Tonight's episode is really just ABC's attempt to milk a little more ratings juice out of this season of "The Bachelor," though it does promise a welcome dose of drama. Courtney, aka Widdle Baybee Cowdney, the creepily childlike black widow who has somehow ended up in the final two, will be facing the rest of the women she shoved out of the way in her merciless pursuit of Ben. While these "Women Tell All" episodes can get catty, this is the first one I can think of that might actually end in gunplay. Although this season also featured the most milquetoast and homely bachelor in recent memory (and possibly ever), a lot of women seemed to dig him, and their resentment toward Courtney for being a two-faced monster is palpable. If nothing else, I'm expecting screaming and insults, and we'll see how it goes from there.
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"John Carter" comes out this weekend, so you know what that means? If you answered "Lots of 'John Carter' interviews," then you win, and as your prize, you get… well, lots of "John Carter" interviews, actually.
What better way to kick off our coverage of the film than with John Carter himself? I went to Carefree, Arizona to not only see the film but to talk to the team who made it, and obviously, part of that day consisted of sitting down with Taylor Kitsch, on whose shoulders much of the film rests. This is a major year for Kitsch, and if anyone's being given a shot at new movie stardom this year, it's him. After all, he's the star of this, then he's the star of "Battleship," which will be one of the summer's biggest films in terms of scale if nothing else, and then later in the summer, he's one of the stars of Oliver Stone's adaptation of Don Winslow's "Savages." That's a pretty big line-up, and I'm curious to see where Kitsch stands at the end of the year.
I am not what you would call a Disney nerd. At least, not compared to the truly hardcore. However, I think it's safe to say that Disney's various parks have always been part of my life.
I grew up in Florida, and many of my formative memories come from time spent at Walt Disney World. I remember spending the Bicentennial there, I have crazy stories to tell about my Grad Nite, and I probably went to the park somewhere between 50 and 100 times between the ages of 3 and 20.
When I left Florida, I also left behind the Disney habit. I know adults who adore Disney and who spend a lot of time and money there each year, and I don't begrudge anyone the pure enjoyment of it. I admit I had a really snotty attitude about Disneyland when I moved to California, so that made it easy to break the habit. After all, you could take every square inch of the property in California and put it in the parking lot of Florida's Magic Kingdom. The scale of the Florida property is amazing, and that's what I was used to. Over time, I've come to really love Disneyland for the history and for the charm of the place. It's a very different experience than the Florida version, and I appreciate that.
Around this time of year, music news is dominated by South By Southwest, Coachella and Record Store Day news, all of which help drive the visibility of participating artists. For acts like Arcade Fire, Metallica, the Black Keys and Feist, today is just one of those days, for the RSD retail holiday on April 21. Merge Records and Warner Bros. have announced their current crop of exclusive, deluxe and rare releases.
Last week, the news broke that Jason Segel was not one of the writers hired to develop a sequel to "The Muppets."
True, it was his frequent collaborator Nicholas Stoller who was hired, but just the notion that Segel might not be a driving force on a sequel seemed to upset some people. I thought it was probably not as big a deal as it was made out to be, and I said so, but I thought it would make sense to talk directly to Segel about it.
So on Saturday, one of the two press days I was at was for "Jeff, Who Lives At Home," the marvelous new comedy from Jay and Mark Duplass, and one of the interviews I had scheduled was Jason Segel. Why not kick things off by asking him to directly address the situation?
"I did what I set out to do." That's really all the answer he needs to give, and I think it's important to note just how happy he is with the film and what a miracle the film is at all. There were many points during development when it easily could have died, and there were most likely points where Segel must have felt worn down by it. Even after they filmed it, when they were in post and I spoke to him about it on the set of "The Five-Year Engagement," he was cautiously optimistic, thinking that they'd done something he liked but still unsure what was going to happen with people accepting what they'd done.
Think Bruce Springsteen likes how things are going? Here are a few lines from his new album, “Wrecking Ball,” out March 6.
*“I got a Smith & Wesson 38/I got a hellfire burning and I got me a date”
*“Gambling man rolls the dice/working man pays the price/It’s still fat and easy up on banker’s hill”
*“If I had me a gun, I’d find the bastards and shoot ‘em on sight”
*“Send the robber barons straight to hell”
*“The bottom’s dropping out/Where you once had faith, there’s only doubt”
He’s mad as hell about America, our America, his America, and his anger fills every crevice of “Wrecking Ball,” his 17th studio album. (Stream it live here or listen at the bottom of the page.)
So, we're entering the battle rounds, which should be exciting and possibly traumatizing. I'll admit, I think some of the judges threw in some stinkers just to make their job of eliminating half their roster a little easier (it's the only way to explain the tuneless Shields brothers), but there's no denying some strong talents are going to get punted.
While "The Godfather" is busy celebrating its 40th anniversary this year (and got a re-release courtesy of Cinemark Theatres), another American celluloid treasure will be turning 70 and getting it's own fresh look on screens later this month.
Michael Curtiz's undeniable classic, "Casablanca," premiered in November of 1942 before being released into theaters in early 1943. The film won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay and was nominated for Best Actor (Humphrey Bogart, who lost to Paul Lukas in "Watch on the Rhine"), Best Supporting Actor (Claude Rains, who lost to Charles Coburn in "The More the Merrier"), Best Black-and-White Cinematography (lost to "The Song of Bernadette"), Best Film Editing (lost to "Air Force") and Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture (lost to "The Song of Bernadette").
Big K.R.I.T. has released a new mixtape, “4evaNaDay,” in advance of a slew of activity coming for the rapper. Out today, tt includes the single “Boobie Miles,” which is actually names after a player from "Friday Night Lights." We swear. Or it's an amazing coincidence. You can download the 17-track mixtape for free here.
Big K.R.I.T. , who was part of HitFix's Hip-Hop's New Class gallery, will celebrate the release of the “4evaNaDay” on March 8 at New York’s Highline Ballroom, to be followed by his appearance at SXSW in Austin on March 15.
[More after the jump...]
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
I don't think the new "Men In Black III" trailer looks any worse than many big anonymous blockbusters, but I'll be honest… word on this one has been troubling so far, and this new trailer doesn't really assuage those fears.
I've heard some remarkable figures tossed around as the final budget for this film, while I'm also hearing it runs under 90 minutes. I'd love to know if this is the new winner for "most expensive film per minute," but I'm guessing we'll never really get an official figure on how much it's going to cost Sony to get it into theaters. What I'm curious about is who the audience is. Sure, the first two films were blockbusters, but the second one was not particularly well-liked, and I haven't sensed any real anticipation from anyone I've spoken with.
It's Monday, which means you get a brand-new, hour-plus edition of the Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, with a lot of time spent on FOX comedies, plus HBO's McCain/Palin movie "Game Change"(*), some mail, and even a bit on the Grantland "Wire" March Madness bracket.
(*) Traditionally, my blog has had a pretty staunch No Politics rule, which I implemented after everyone on the old blog melted down and couldn't behave during the run-up to the presidential election that "Game Change" depicts. There's obviously no way to discuss "Game Change" (which I'll also have a written review of later in the week) without politics entering into it on some level, so I'm going to trust you all and hope that everyone manages to be more civil this time around. And, if not, I'll simply shut down comments on this post (and/or the written review, depending on where the bad behavior is). You can disagree with each other without attacking each other — or, for that matter, politicians with whom you don't agree — and if you can't do that, discussion shuts down. Period.