Welcome to Reality TV Roundup -- a quick look at some of the reality TV-centric stories that have recently popped up across the fine, old Interwebs. Click away, my couch potato friends. But before you do...
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! One more time: SPOILER ALERT. If you watch any competition shows, the latest elimination for each show is probably revealed in the text below. The hope is that, if you missed this week's program and would rather clear out your DVR than watch the episode, you can get a quick hit here. But don't come crying to me if you find out something you didn't want to know. You've been warned. Also note: lots of non-competition reality info lurks below, too.
AUSTIN - Okay, now it feels like an Austin film festival.
It seems fitting that as Sam Raimi does a victory lap around Hollywood this weekend to celebrate the mammoth opening for "Oz The Great and Powerful," his original partners-in-crime Bob Tapert and Bruce Campbell are in Austin, where they premiered the new "Evil Dead" for the first time tonight.
Fede Alvarez made a short film a few years ago called "Panic Attack," and that ended up landing him an overall deal with Ghost House Pictures, the company that Tapert and Raimi started to produce genre movies. The film he first tried to develop with them fell apart, so they asked him if there was anything else he might be interested in doing, and he pitched them his take on the classic that launched all of them in the first place. It was a bold move, especially considering how often Raimi and Campbell continued to talk about the possibility of making an "Evil Dead 4" that would return Ash, their iconic main character, to the big screen.
In "Survivor" lore, you don't really want your name to end up next to Colton Cumbie, but that may be where Shamar Thomas' name is going to go.
Granted that fan opinions on Shamar have been far more varied than the near-universal malice directed at Colton, but both Shamar and Colton go in that very tiny "Survivor" chapter dedicated to contestants who dominated screentime in the early stages of a season only to be medically evacuated and leave the game without making a lasting impact.
For three weeks, the 27-year-old Iraq War veteran rubbed most of the other "Survivor: Caramoan" Fans tribe the wrong way with his aggressive personality but sometimes passive camp behavior. Each week it seemed like logic dictated that Shamar would be heading home, but he was part of an alliance that was determined to remain strong, even with him as an integral part.
Shamar, unhappy in the game from the opening moments, contemplated quitting earlier and then chose to depart during Wednesday's (March 6) episode at the doctor's recommendation after irritating his eye and being diagnosed with a divot in his cornea.
I tried to get Shamar to discuss his behavior in the game, as well as his image problem in one of this week's two "Survivor" exit interviews. You can read his answers however you choose. Click through for the full Q&A.
[Note that this week's two exit interviews -- the second will post tomorrow -- are a little shorter than normal. That's what comes from attempting to fit two bootees into a standard interview time. As a completist, I'm just grateful I got to chat with both of them.]
Country artist Luke Bryan scores his first Billboard 200 No. 1 next week as “Spring Break... Here To Party” looks like a lock for the top spot. However, the big news is who comes in at No. 2: Jimi Hendrix.
Bryan’s set will sell up to 130,000, while Hendrix’s “People, Hell & Angels,” a new set of unreleased studio tracks, will likely sell up to 70,000 copies, more than 40 years after the guitar legend’s death.
Those are the only two debuts in the Top 10: Last week’s No. 1, Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” drops to No. 3, while Mumford & Sons’ “Babel” is No. 4. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “Heist” will be No. 5 with sales of up to 30,000.
Rihanna’s “Unapologetic looks good for No. 6. However, after that--and with three days left before the chart closes--it’s too close to call for Nos 7-10: Florida Georgia Line’s “Here’s To The Good Times,” Now 45, Imagine Dragons’ “Night Visions” and Andrea Bocelli’s “Passione” are all slated to sell between 22,000 and 25,000, according to Hits Daily Double.
AUSTIN - I am fascinated by the world of stage magic. Always have been. It was hard not to become interested when I was growing up in the '70s because it was the age of the big prime time magic specials. During that era, there were two guys who always seemed to be in the lead, the ones who were turning out the most theatrical and the most entertaining specials, Doug Henning and David Copperfield. The idea that there was a rivalry between them over who was the best magician was part of what kept my friends and I so engaged from special to special, from year to year.
In recent years, I've been far less interested in the magic you see on TV, and part of that is because of the almost anti-theatricality that guys like David Blaine and Kriss Angel depend on for their performance personas. It feels to me like magic has evolved into something I don't particularly enjoy, or at least it does until I go to a place like the Magic Castle in LA and see somebody doing close-up magic that once again blows my mind and rekindles my sense of wonder. Intellectually, I understand how most tricks work, and I know misdirection is being used to help steer the illusions, but when someone pulls it off, there will always be that delicious feeling that something truly remarkable has just happened right in front of my eyes.
One of the things that is an undeniable pleasure about "Oz The Great and Powerful" is that Sam Raimi ended up casting three beautiful and talented ladies as the witches, and each of them brings a very different energy to the picture.
I've already run my interviews with Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams, and I've saved Rachel Weisz for last. I think Weisz is a classic beauty, and I love the way she's chosen roles over the years. She's not someone who seems like they're busy chasing the perfect career move or the giant blockbuster role. It still seems surreal when I see her show up in something like "The Bourne Legacy" or "Oz" because of how rarely she seems drawn to this type of material.
That was one of the things I discussed with her when we sat down to talk, and I think there's something very appropriate about her playing Evanora, older sister to Kunis's Theodora in the movie. They certainly look like they share a joint heritage, but more than that, I think Weisz has an authority that makes her a convincing choice to rule the kingdom of Oz while waiting for the arrival of the Wizard who is supposed to take the throne. She never telegraphs Evanora's intentions, and even once she begins to reveal her true agenda, she never ends up playing the obvious choice.
Perhaps even more so than his last couple of films, Martin Scorsese's contributions to film preservation and education in recent years have marked him as one of the medium's greatest guardians. From his "A Personal Journey Through American Movies" to the cineaste evangelising of "Hugo," he's taken on the status of a vastly informed, infectiously enthusiastic film history professor -- sometimes those who can do indeed teach.
Scorsese's most heartfelt, engaged tributes tend to be of the American films of his youth, so you know to expect a treat from his lengthy Hollywood Reporter guest piece on John Ford's "The Searchers," in which he discusses both the film itself and Glenn Frankel's new book on it.
B.B. King has his Lucille, John Mayer wants his Olivia. In Mayer’s new video for the gently swaying “Something Like Olivia,” it’s never clear if he’s longing for a woman or a guitar (or perhaps both). Should Katy Perry be jealous?
Snoop Dogg has released a new track that laments all the people he has lost in his life over the years. “Heaven,” which opens with a calliope organ before giving way to Snoop’s very autotuned vocals, is a tribute to his No Limit Records buddy Mr. Magic, as well as to Nate Dogg and Tupac Shakur. Mr. Magic, (a.k.a. Atwood Johnson) and his wife, Chastity, died in a car accident over the weekend.
One of the films I'm most looking forward to this summer is "The Bling Ring" -- partly because I'm intrigued by the true-life story of teen burglars preying on celebrity homes in the Hollywood Hills, but mostly because Sofia Coppola is a filmmaker I'm still happy to follow anywhere.
I know a lot of viewers haven't been on board with her since "Lost in Translation," for which she won an Oscar almost 10 years ago, but I maintain that "Marie Antoinette" is a pretty rapturous remix of the historical biopic template, while the beguilingly low-key "Somewhere" was worthy of its much-questioned Golden Lion at Venice in 2010. Her privileged background and high-fashion aesthetic may make her an easy target, but she has yet to put a foot wrong in my book.
Daft Punk released a 15-second commercial, a teaser trailer to their new album last weekend during "Saturday Night Live" with a blippy guitar-led groove. That groove seems to belong to "Dance to the Beat" a song that has successfully "leaked" from the French duo's new album.
And I say "leaked" because unlike other promotions and actual leaks, Columbia hasn't pulled the full-length, high-quality audio track down from YouTube yet, even as it sports the new Daft Punk signature, their performance helmets split and merged together.
Not only is "Dance to the Beat" making the rounds, but similarly so is "Future Is Now," a house anthem if there ever was one. It sports the same image plus an audio frequency bar and the Columbia logo.
The future is, indeed, now: the wait is... over? Producers have tried to scam fans into believing their own work was the work of Daft Punk, but there would undoubtedly have been quicker, swifter retribution (er, C&Ds) misusing the name, logos and sounds of the band if this were the case. Sneaky leaks seem to be in their wheelhouse in the promotional game at this point anyway.
Perhaps more will be revealed over the weekend, since that seems to be Thomas Bangalter and Guy Manual De Homem Christo's preferred promo time period.
The album -- as yet untitled -- was initially rumored to arrive next week on March 12. We'll be busy at SXSW. We can only dream that Daft Punk would be too.
If you've been following Christopher Nolan's post-'Dark Knight' trilogy moves, then you know he has a lot going on. In addition to producing Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" for Warner Bros., it has also been reported that he will be brought into the fold to help spearhead the DC Universe on film as the studio tries to figure out how to get a "Justice League" film off the ground and compete with Marvel's "The Avengers."
Meanwhile, he jumped on board "Interstellar," which was written by his brother Jonathan for Steven Spielberg to direct. But like so many Spielberg projects, it was back-burnered, and now with Nolan at the helm, merging one of his own ideas with his brother's ambitious project, "Intersteller" will be a blend and a new production entirely. Today, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. announced that it will be a co-production jointly distributed by the two entities. Paramount will handle domestic, Warner Bros. the surely more lucrative international.