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At this point, there are several familiar stages in the life-cycle of a new film by Quentin Tarantino. There's the part the general public is part of, involving the trailers, the press screenings, and the eventual release. But well before that, another cycle has become somewhat set in stone, starting with the moment that each screenplay leaks.
It happened on "Kill Bill." It happened on "Inglorious Basterds." And it happened on "Django Unchained" at a speed that seemed to shock even Tarantino.
Now word has broken that the cycle was accelerated to a point that has infuriated the filmmaker, and as a result, it appears that "The Hateful Eight" will no longer be his next film. Right now, fingers are being pointed, and I can't wait to see how this story unfolds because someone is going to end up being blamed for this film going down in flames before it even set a cast in stone.
PARK CITY - I'm not entirely sure when I first met Justin Simien. Actually, correct that. It was four and a half years ago ( found the E-mail introducing him as the new online publicist for Paramount Pictures from 2009). Having worked for the venerable studio one time myself, we immediately had a number of similar acquaintances both socially and professionally. And in my position I ended up talking to him about work related items usually once week. But, as we chatted about more interesting topics than say the latest publicity opportunities for "The Last Airbender" (you poor child) I quickly realized something about this young twentysomething: He was way too smart for the room and he wouldn't be there long. And within two years, he'd moved on to bigger and better things.
A review of tonight's "Justified" coming up just as soon as I have curb appeal...
PARK CITY - No matter what the original intent, some movies inherently are made for a specific audience. And it's not the genre we're talking about, either. A horror movie can have broad appeal just as a comedy may only make a select few laugh. Instead, some films will just touch a nerve with a very small, specific audience. Kate Barker-Froyland's directorial debut, "Song One," is one of those films. And it's probably an audience of white-guy-with-a-guitar fans.
I sat down with the "Monuments Men" crew last week (more on that film in due time) and, like most bozos, figured a softball "Interstellar" question lobbed Matt Damon's way might produce something interesting. Christopher Nolan always keeps his cast and crew on lockdown when it comes to his projects so it's almost like you have to preface it with "I know you're sworn to secrecy," but you can get interesting nuggets early in the process sometimes. Matthew McConaughey, for instance, had some engrossing things to say about his trepidations going into the project.
As we get closer to the Sunday’s Grammy Awards, we’re making our predictions in the Big Four categories: Record, album, song of the year and best new artist.
Yesterday, we tackled Record of the Year. Today, we look at the award artists covet the most: Album of the Year.
This year’s nominees are:
“The Blessed Unrest,” Sara Bareilles
“Random Access Memories,” Daft Punk
“Good Kid, M.A.A.D City,” Kendrick Lamar
“The Heist,” Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
“Red,” Taylor Swift
It’s a weird grab bag competing in this category this year. No one, and I mean no one, predicted that Bareilles’ “The Blessed Unrest” would grab one of the 5 spots, and albums that seemed like good bets, such as Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience,” Kanye West’s “Yeezus” and Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox,” were left by the wayside. No rap album has ever won in this category, but if one were to grab the brass ring this year, I’d give the nod to “The Heist” over “Good Kid,” simply because of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ broader audience. Bareilles could come in and grab the award, especially if folks like the idea of voting for a total underdog, a talented one, but an underdog none the less. Daft Punk won’t win on the basis of one song, “Get Lucky.” Swift won before in 2010 for “Fearless.” Given that she will draw from both pop and country voters, I think she’ll win again.
Should Win: “The Heist”
Will Win: Taylor Swift
Who do you think will take home Album of the Year?
LOS ANGELES—To all the performers who justify lip-syncing because they are so breathless from dancing, we have one name for you: Justin Timberlake.
For nearly 3 hours last night at the re-opened Forum here, he proved he is a true song-and-dance man, as the agile entertainer was a perpetual man in motion for the entire show. While ably assisted by four strong back-up singers who did some of the heavy lifting during certain songs and some judiciously placed backing vocals, for the most part, Timberlake sang live throughout the evening. What a concept…
Dressed in a white tux, he spanned his entire post- ’N Sync career, but focused, as one would imagine, the bulk of the show on songs from both volumes of “The 20/20 Experience,” last year’s top selling release.
The issue with many of the songs on the two albums—the lack of identifiable hooky choruses —was amplified in concert as many of the songs indistinguishably segued from one into one another. Timberlake clearly designed a show to shift effortlessly between songs, but the absence of clearly defined melodies in some cases just meant masses of music that were no different from the song coming before it or after, unified by a repetitive throbbing beat.
Timberlake was also plagued by atrocious sound, especially for the first half of the concert. The Forum reopened last week after a $100 million renovation. The Eagles, who are playing six shows here as part of the rebranding, showed that for clear voices, harmonies, and acoustic instrumentation (with some electric guitar and bass thrown in), the acoustics are great. But the sound system was not prepared for what Timberlake’s band of 15, JT and the Tennessee Kids, threw at it and the bass-heavy beats echoed off the low ceiling throughout the evening in ways that were both earsplittingly painful and distracting. But worst of all, they often so overshadowed Timberlake’s vocals as to drown him out almost entirely. Even on songs that were meant to be softer and toned down, such as the excellent “Drink You Away,” which he performed surrounded in a semi-circle by his band, suffered from over amplification.
When he was audible, such as on “My Love” or a pumped-up “Cry Me A River,” he sounded great, ably shifting from his normal voice to his instantly-recognizable falsetto effortlessly.
The production values were state-of-the art. A huge white honeycomb-patterned screen filled the entire back of the stage, leaving no room for the jumbotrons that usually flank the stage). Throughout the night different images were projected on the screen, including close ups and video pieces for a constant barrage. About a third of the way into the second half, Timberlake and his four backup singers rose high above the audience on a plank from the stage that transported them to the back the arena. While artists flying over the crowds in buckets or bridges is almost commonplace in big arena shows now, the lighted up plank, with stairs reaching out on the sides, was far more elaborate than usual. Timberlake and the singers spent more than half an house on the plank dancing and singing before coming down to a stage in the back of the house where he performed a choice cover of “Heartbreak Hotel,” by fellow Memphis son Elvis Presley, and “Human Nature,” by his hero, Michael Jackson.
There’s nothing Timberlake doesn’t do well and to watch him sing full out after dancing a complicated routine time and time again was a tribute to his professionalism, talent, and hard work. And he seemingly did it all without ever breaking a sweat…and in a cummerbund.
By the time he closed the show with a gorgeous version of “Mirrors,” he still had enough gas in the tank to deliver a heart-felt energetic take on the best song from “The 20/20 Experience Vol 1.”
While all the bells and whistles may play to the back row, Timberlake is an artist who truly doesn’t need any of that, which is what makes him such an exceptional entertainer. It’s a shame that a muddy sound mix prevented him from being heard at his best.
Rashida Jones to star in "Tribeca," a TBS cop comedy pilot from Steve Carell
Carell and wife Nancy are co-writing and producing the police procedural in which Jones plays Angie Tribeca, the 10-year veteran of the LAPD's RHCU (Really Heinous Crimes Unit).
Amazon mulls launching an online pay TV service
The service would offer many of the cable channels currently available.
Jesse L. Martin joins "The Flash"
The "Law & Order" alum will play a detective on the CW superhero series.
Fox moves "Enlisted"
The freshman comedy will air after "Bones" at 9 pm, swapping timeslots with "Raising Hope."
"24: Live Another Day" adds Tate Donovan
He'll play the White House chief of staff who is married to Kim Raver's character.