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The most frequent question I heard from those of you who stopped me at WonderCon or who sent me e-mails in the days after the event was "Why didn't Warner Bros. show new 'Man Of Steel' footage during the panel?"
Obviously, Warner Bros. marketing doesn't run their decision-making by me for approval, so I can't answer that question conclusively. I can, however, guess based on the reactions I've heard from people who have seen Zack Snyder's Superman movie, and it seems to me that Warner Bros. didn't bring new footage to screen because, frankly, they don't have to.
The most dangerous thing to do with a giant blockbuster in today's media landscape is to jam it down the throat of the audience to the point where they learn to hate the film before they ever lay eyes on it. Sometimes, it's the only option that the studio has, and when they know a movie doesn't work, that's when they kick into overdrive. When a movie has a pre-release awareness as automatic as a new Superman movie and they feel like the film completely works, that's when they get to lay back a bit and let the actual anticipation of the audience do the work for them.
The MTV Movie Awards are coming up this weekend (April 14), and the slate of nominees wasn't as terrible as it has been in recent years, so it might actually be a fun watch. Last year I went back in time for a retrospective on the inaugural edition from 1992, and I plan to go back to the 1993 awards in an upcoming piece. In the meantime, here's something different.
Sony Pictures held an event today in Hollywood to introduce new footage from Neill Blomkamp's "Elysium," the first film from the acclaimed science-fiction director since his breakthrough debut, "District 9." Ralph Garman moderated the event, which featured in-theater appearances by Blomkamp, actor Sharlto Copley, and producer Simon Kinberg. The star of the film, Matt Damon, is in Germany right now shooting the movie "Monuments Men," and so he was patched in via satellite from a theater in Berlin. The new trailer, which arrives online tomorrow, was the first thing shown, and then there was a ten-minute reel prepared specifically for the event. At the end of the footage, Garman asked Damon what he thought of what he saw. Damon waited for the satellite delay, then answered, "Well, we're in Berlin watching it, so I have to say that I'm impressed. My German was flawless."
It's fitting that the event was staged on an international scale, since the movie was an international affair. The film is a very immediate science-fiction metaphor that deals with the real-world divisions between the haves and the have-nots right now, and in order to create a stark difference between the perfect world of the Elysium space station and the left-behind slum that is the Earth, Blomkamp shot the Earth footage in Mexico City, and everything on Elysium in Vancouver. He did his best two treat the two parts of the production as totally independent units, and it pays off in the visual contrast we saw even in the ten minutes of footage they showed us.
Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 176: 'Mad Men,' 'Da Vinci's Demons,' 'Nurse Jackie,' 'Veep & more
I had to rush out on the end of today's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, and yet we still wound up talking for over 90 minutes, thanks to a dense "Mad Men" premiere, a pair of notable finales and three premieres. And we didn't even talk at all about Roger Ebert, which was a giant failure on our parts, and something we can hopefully rectify in next week's podcast — though it's not clear what day that will be published on, depending on Dan's travel schedule. The lineup:
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.
Queens Of The Stoneage will release their first album in six years on June 4. Judging from first single "My God Is the Sun," it will be worth the wait.
Just listen to those crunchy guitars. You could spread butter on them and a sell 'em at Whole Foods but, like, the hard rock version of Whole Foods, which I think may be opening in Norway later this year. Anyway. Every part is exacted and I feel an amphitheatrical rising in my chest when the bass takes the lead in those first few bars. Josh Homme -- who now goes by Joshua Homme, apparently -- keeps his operatic tenor in the same wheelhouse as ever, but the mix is all gnarls and groove.
Brad Paisley is country music’s consummate artist: he writes, sings, plays guitar, and entertains at a higher level in all four areas than most acts do in just one. On his ninth studio album, “Wheelhouse,” out Tuesday (9), he adds producer to the list.
“Wheelhouse” opens with a few seconds of the WW1 chestnut, “How Ya Gonna Keep ‘Em Down on the Farm,” which segues into “Southern Comfort Zone,” Paisley’s No. 1 hit about exploring the rest of the world, while still feeling there’s no place like home.
[More after the jump...]
True dance fans, rejoice. You no longer have to slog through amateur hour on "Dancing with the Stars," as Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance" is set to return for its tenth season with a two-night premiere on Tues. May 14 at 8:00 p.m. and Wed. May 15 at 9:00 p.m.
Check out the Disney star's full-throated singing on "Come & Get It," rife with tablas and adages that are most definitely not about Justin Bieber, according to her interview with Ryan Seacrest. The pop personality was the first to present Gomez' single this morning, and among the first to hear that harmlessly bitter-sweet bridge on the "death of me." It's backed by synths that sound like really little race cars racing.
Dust off your na na na nas and eh eh eh eh eh ehs: this is like Rihanna Lite and will undoubtedly be on all summer long. Is the the first of the 2013 Certified Summer Jams?
"Come & Get It" is off of Gomez' next, as-yet-untitled album, due this summer. The song goes on sale tonight.
Lots of rumblings from the lab over at the Academy these days. Details have surfaced on what to really expect from that big May 4 membership meeting and today the organization has announced that entertainment industry magnate David Geffen has donated $25 million to the Academy's ongoing Museum of Motion Pictures project, which is enough to land his name on the big theater planned for the space. Hawk Koch sure is making a lot of waves on his watch.
The lineup for next month's Cannes Film Festival is announced next week, and while much of it is still shrouded in mystery, at least one title we're certain will show up (and one of those we're most eagerly anticipating) is Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi's "The Past."
The Iranian director of the Oscar-winning "A Separation" has never played the Croisette before; "A Separation" and his 2009 breakout "About Elly" were both Berlinale premieres, but it's time for a move up the hierarchical festival ladder. And given that Farhadi's latest is a French production, Cannes is the obvious place to unveil it -- most likely in Competition. (It opens in France on May 15, presumably simultaneously with its festival premiere.)