Welcome back to Cannes Check, In Contention's annual preview of the films in Competition at next month's Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off on May 14. Taking on different selections every day, we'll be examining what they're about, who's involved and what their chances are of snagging an award from Jane Campion's jury. Next up: David Cronenberg's "Maps to the Stars."
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Caterina Scorsone, who made Amelia Shepherd such an indelible part of "Private Practice," returned to "Grey's Anatomy" last week to supposedly check in on brother Derek -- but really test the waters of parenthood. Since Scorsone was doing press after last week's surprise visit, it was pretty clear that Amelia is going to be staying in Seattle for a while. Given that Hurricane Amelia tends to stir up drama wherever she goes, this could be interesting.
In honor of the 2014 summer movie season, Team HitFix will be delivering a mini-series of articles flashing back to key summers from years past. There will be one each month, diving into the marquee events of the era, their impact on the writer and their implications on today's multiplex culture. We start today with a look back at the summer of 1989.
The all-time record belongs to Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s “One Sweet Day,” which spent 16 weeks at No. 1 in 1996-1996, but Williams has an ace in his pocket: he was featured on the last song to top the chart for more than 10 weeks: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” featuring Williams and T.I.
The big question is if “Happy” will finally be toppled next week by John Legend’s “All of Me,” which has been stuck at No. 2 for six weeks. Legend’s song continues to gain steam at radio and via streaming.
As they have before, Jason Derulo’s “Talk Dirty,” featuring 2 Chainz, and Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” featuring Juicy J, trade places, with “Horse” rising 4-3 and “Dirty” retreating 3-4.
DJ Snake scores his first top 5 hit as “Turn Down For What,” featuring Lil Jon, move 7-5, pushing Idina Menzel’s “Let It Go” 5-6.
Like DJ Snake, Iggy Azalea scores her first top 10 hit, as “Fancy,” featuring Charli XCX, soars 18-7. That’s not the only good news for the Australian rapper: her debut album, “The New Classic,” enters the Billboard 200 at No. 3. Azalea is the first female rapper to have her debut single reach the top 10 since M.I.A. with “Paper Planes” in 2008, according to Billboard. Guest vocalist Charli XCX matches her previous Billboard Hot 100 high from when she guested on Icona Pop’s “I Love It” last year.
Bastille’s first Top 10 hit, “Pompeii,” slides 6-8, while Justin Timberlake’s “Not A Bad Thing” and Chris Brown’s “Loyal,” featuring Lil Wayne and French Montana or Too $hort or Tyga (there are two versions floating around), each fall one spot to No. 9 and No. 10, respectively.
“Pawn Stars” to star in “Pawnography" game show
The History channel stars will compete against contestants in various trivia.
CBS airing a “Judge Judy” primetime special
"Judge Judy Primetime” will explore Judy Sheindlin’s background amid all new court cases.
“The Mindy Project” losing its receptionist
Zoe Jarman is the latest cast member to exit Mindy Kaling’s comedy.
Louis CK: I’d never want to host a late-night talk show
"The only reason I would think of doing it would be just to see how badly it would go,” he says of talk of him replacing Letterman.
Syfy developing samurai comic book “Ronin”
Frank Miller’s DC Comics series is set to become a miniseries.
Bryan Cranston creating a comedy detective show for Crackle
“Tightrope” will use modern actors in old detective show formats.
“Top Chef” moving to Boston
Season 12 will premiere later this year.
Syfy developing reality shows “Adam + Eve,” “Twins,” Alive and Alone” and “Billion Dollar Club”
New unscripted series will involve romance, tech and survival and fraternal twins.
"Top Chef" will be cooking up a twelfth season for Bravo, this time taking the series to Boston, Massachusetts. The season will premiere in late 2014.
Oprah: L.A. Clippers co-owner?
ESPN reports that Oprah Winfrey is considering teaming up with David Geffen and Larry Ellison to buy the NBA team from the banned Donald Sterling.
HBO reviving “Project Greenlight” with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon
The filmmaker reality show originally aired on HBO from 2001 to 2003 and starred a young Shia LeBeouf in its 2nd season, before moving to Bravo in 2005 for a horror-themed 3rd season.
Syfy has already ordered a 3rd “Sharknado” movie
No details have been revealed, but Syfy greenlit the 3rd film ahead of the “The Second One’s” broadcast.
Hulu renews Tyler Labine’s “Deadbeat,” announces the return of Seth Meyers’ “The Awesomes”
"The Hotwives of Orlando” will premiere on July 15, while “The Awesomes” returns Aug. 4.
Watch the extended “I Wanna Marry Harry” promo
How will the bachelorettes react to being duped?
Earlier this month, some of Jackson Browne’s friends, including Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, Bonnie Raitt and many more, covered their favorite Browne tunes for “Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne.”
The release comes at a time when Browne is working on a new album and so he was a little wary of revisiting some of his biggest hits, especially delivered in such an appealing way.
“It’s funny because you tend to compete with your younger self anyway. You tend to always try to do something worthy of what you’ve done already,” he said, when we interviewed him last week at the ASCAP Pop Awards. He was presenting the Founders Award to Tom Petty. “[The tribute] comes at a time when I’m trying to make a new record and I didn’t really want to hear too much of that and it’s like ‘Damn, that’s good. That’s a great record.’ I’ve written a few songs, but who knew all this time that all these songs really needed was a singer.”
One of Browne’s new tunes already showed up on the internet, but, as he laughed about it in the video, it was hardly the version he wanted out there. It was during a performance when he “completely went blank” on the lyrics. Though he’s fine with it now, he mused over the fact that, for better or worse, seeing him sing it badly, as opposed to all the nights he’s sung it perfectly, is what people want to see. “That’s what people want. They want to see you stumble.”
In the above interview, Browne also talks about artists he never misses when they come to town.
NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI. If you greet biopics with a certain amount of trepidation, "Get On Up" director Tate Taylor is right there with you.
"I’ve never been a big fan of biopics," the well-dressed helmer of "The Help" tells a pair of visiting reporters, pausing between shots in mid-December, more than eight months before the scheduled August 1, 2014 release date.
"The last one I really loved was 'Coal Miner’s Daughter.' I loved that," Taylor continues.
"Coal Miner's Daughter," which won an Oscar for Sissy Spacek, opened in 1980.
"For me I think what makes them successful is I approached this as, 'This is a movie about an amazing man. And, oh yeah, he’s James Brown.' That’s how I approached this, is who he was and what made him the man he was," Taylor explains. "And what I honed in on, what I thought was special is you can usually do a movie about someone’s drive to succeed and how they got there but what I think’s interesting about James Brown, is he didn’t want to go backwards. And that’s a fear, I think, I have and a lot of people relate to. Everybody can relate to that and that’s what made me think it would be accessible for audiences regardless of the music, is that fear of, 'Oh my gosh, what if this all goes away?' Not, 'Oh, I’ve done enough and I can coast.' Some people, they don’t want it to go away. And that’s what I really wanted to focus in on what it takes to keep it where you are and then reinvent yourself over and over and over."
NATCHEZ, MISSISSIPPI. It's mid-December on the Mississippi set of "Get On Up" and it's possible that the hardest working man in show business is the young actor playing The Hardest Working Man in Show Business.
We're between shots in a scene recreating James Brown and The Famous Flames' iconic performance in the concert film "T.A.M.I. Show" and everything is resetting.
For Chadwick Boseman, though, there's no such thing as a reset. The cameras may not be rolling, but Boseman's feet keep shuffling across the shiny green linoleum of the Natchez Auditorium stage, which is standing in for the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. He only pauses to run over to the monitor to see how his footwork looks, but then he returns to the stage, dancing his way there and back.
Chadwick Boseman has become something of a perpetual motion machine, but if you watch old videos of James Brown, the rhythmic restlessness is one of the first things you'll notice about the Godfather of Soul as well.
When I mention this to the movie's choreographer Aakomon Jones, also playing one of the Flames, he's instantly gratified.
"That's literally where I start," Jones smiles. "Because we got into the cool slides and all that footwork and the spins and all that. It's just this thing that James Brown does when he's like driving the beat, he's clicking both heels, one into the other -- right-left, right-left, right-left. I worked with Chad on that for hours, maybe two days straight before we ever started trying to add flashes. I knew that if he got that, he had 60 percent of what James Brown is as a performer as far as quantity, because he does that throughout his entire performance. He'll flash here, he'll slip off to the fight and dance-break and he'll hit a spin or a split, but 75 percent of the time? He's right-left with the heels. That's what keeps the band locked in."
And Boseman is certainly locked in as well.
Director Tate Taylor, the man behind the Oscar-winning hit "The Help," is shooting James Brown's "T.A.M.I. Show" numbers as full, uninterrupted songs. [After editing, I highly doubt that's the approach Taylor will take, but I can assure you that at least in the moment, the performances are sustained.]
Boseman goes through the entirety of his "Out of Sight" performance, which includes spins, a split and ends with him on his knees as the crowd shrieks.
"Mr. Brown, would you like another?" Taylor asks. And every time, Boseman does, indeed, want another..
Fast National ratings for Tuesday, April 29, 2014.
With "NCIS" routing "The Voice" overall and closing the gap among young viewers to a minuscule 0.2 rating, CBS commandingly won Tuesday in total viewers and was able to eke out a victory in the key demo.
There were mixed returns all around on Tuesday night.
On the positive side, ABC got demo rises for "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." and "The Goldbergs," "Person of Interest" grew on CBS and NBC saw a bump for "Chicago Fire." The CW also got a good week for the nested "Supernatural" spinoff and also for "The Originals."
On the down side, NBC's "About a Boy" slipped and FOX's "Glee" hit a series low.
And on the neither-good-nor-bad-but-different front, FOX's "The Mindy Project" improved on its "New Girl" lead-in both overall and among young viewers.
On to the numbers.
It's customary for a few films to be added to the Cannes Film Festival lineup in the weeks following the initial announcement, raising cinephiles' hopes for whatever big-name prospect was left out to begin with -- and usually dashing them. A further six films were added today, the highest-profile of which is another French title: André Téchiné's "In the Name of My Daughter," starring Guillaume Canet and Catherine Deneuve. None of them, however, will play in Competition, which remains fixed at 18 features -- currently the lowest number since the 1990 festival.