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Two of the films that most frustrated me this year were "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Prometheus," and it's important to point out that I don't get frustrated when I see a film that is terrible from start to finish. Those are easy to dismiss.
I get frustrated when I see a film that has real potential but which falls short thanks to certain decision-making. "The Amazing Spider-Man," for example, is a film that has many of the pieces right. Casting is a big part of making these films work, and I think they cast the film incredibly well. It was the script that made me crazy with that one, and I knew that the film had been tinkered with repeatedly during production, with some major parts of the film dropped very late in the process.
In his clip for new single, “Locked Out Of Heaven,” Bruno Mars brings the party down to earth.
The intentionally grainy clip, has a great ‘70s soul feel, as Mars performs in small, crowded club where everyone’s sweat is mingling together and you can’t tell where your body ends and the next person’s begins. It’s hot as hell, but everyone is jumping and jiving and loving every minute.
[More after the jump...]
"Skyfall" has begun screening for US press on the eve of its UK release, and so far, the word on the film is nothing short of ecstatic. I am very excited by everything I've heard about it so far, and I'm having to work hard not to read some of the more detailed reviews. I want a chance to see this one fairly clean, and so far, I think the trailers have been good about not giving away too much of the movie.
In the meantime, if you are itching for some Bond and you don't want to wait, Activision has a solution for you and it's hitting stores tomorrow. "James Bond: Legends" was created as an homage to the 50-year history of the film franchise, and in the game, you'll be able to play your way through six of the films from the series.
Hey, it's OK that you didn't go to the 2012 Austin City Limits music festival. There were only, like, 70,000 people per day anyway, and a third of the artists were webcast through the official YouTube stream. And it's OK if you didn't see those either.
Here is some of what you missed:
+ ACL photos from Friday, of the Black Keys, M83, Florence + the Machine, Esperanza Spalding, Alabama Shakes and AVICII.
+ ACL photos from Saturday, of Jack White, Gotye, The Roots, Big K.R.I.T., Metric, Punch Brothers, Big Gigantic and Lee Fields and the Expressions.
+ ACL photos from Sunday, of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover), the Civil Wars, Die Antwoord, the Avett Brothers, Tennis, Iggy & the Stooges, Willis Earl Beal,
Here are some thoughts I had about Jack White and his schedule opposite of Neil Young, plus his all-female band. In short: sharp show, lashing the backlash, and at least we're getting a band of women in a headliner spot.
Not sure what the festival was all about? Check out the cheat sheet here.
The Black Keys stuck largely to the four-piece blues rock formula that have taken them throughout the summer festival circuit this year. They've started integrating in the jam "She's Long Gone," from "Brothers," in lieu of "I'll Be Your Man," but it's a fluid set no matter how it's cut. The oversized work lamps keep the stage show simple and with the appearance of raw power -- but the REAL "raw power" came during Iggy & the Stooges' set, as per usual.
"God Bless Neil Young."
Jack White didn't say much during his hour-and-a-half headlining set on Saturday night, but those were his last ones before departing, to probably hop on a golf cart and go watch the rest of Neil Young and Crazy Horse.
White and Young played at opposite ends of Zilker Park during the 2012 Austin City Limits music festival on Saturday night, a truly difficult scheduling quandary during this rock-centered fest. Whereas other major festivals will set up hip-hop versus album rock, or dance stage versus popular reunion, Saturday put rock legend versus growing rock legend up against one another, both starting at the same time, though Crazy Horse played 'til the bitter, bitter (10 p.m.) end of the night.
The Third Man Records man tore through most of his album "Blunderbuss" and cranked out the Raconteurs hit "Steady As She Goes," plus cuts from multiple eras of the White Stripes catalog including "Slowly Turning Into You," "Hotel Yorba," "Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground" and "We're Going to Be Friends."
It's on the latter two that White's genesis from slapdash guitar genius to nimble Everything, Every Time, Man is apparent, as he switched between electric guitar and organ sometimes in the same phrase, and transformed a simple childlike melody into a full-bodied glammy jam.
White has gotten guff before for this kind of behavior -- this Serious behavior. When White Stripes records sunk into to psych after three albums of workshopped garage echoes, when his band when from a two piece to a three or four, and now that six-piece full backing band and the crew is synchronized, styled and shined.
Furthermore: there have been complaints that the current backing band The Peacocks is all-female, after an apparent 21st-century eye-opening that novelty could infringe on Serious Art. I say it'd be a problem if White hasn't spent half his career championing, embracing and nurturing female artists, combining with them or collaborating so that they could stand alone: Loretta Lynn, the Black Belles, Wanda Jackson, Ruby Amanfu, Alicia Keys, Karen Elson, Norah Jones, The White Stripes...
I haven't started to look at the 2012 awards season in terms of "the year of" because it's a fool's errand. That kind of thing just bubbles up and hits you one day and it becomes clear that, however inadvertently, the season's awards product hovers around similar ideas and notions, or at least that they can be molded around same.
However, after taking in Robert Zemeckis's "Flight" for a second time last night as the 50th annual New York Film Festival drew to a close, I started to note some things. The spirituality of the film, which I was aware of initially but which really began to stand out a second time, remained intriguing. And it struck me as somewhat poignant that it served as a bookend to the fest with opening night presentation "Life of Pi," a film very much about the search for faith and its power when it takes hold, whatever one might put one's faith in.
"Flight" screenwriter John Gatins was quick to go into all of that at the Stone Rose Lounge closing night party overlooking Columbus Circle. He was working through a few things when he wrote the script and the notion of "there are no atheists in foxholes" led to "there are no atheists on crashing airplanes" and that took him on a whole other journey of reflecting his flawed protagonist's faith through a variety of prisms throughout the script.
With the greatest of respect to a beautiful country, Spain's box office doesn't usually rate much of a mention -- but it seem worth mentioning when it addresses at least one question mark hovering over one of this year's Oscar hopefuls. Juan Antonio Bayona's tsunami drama "The Impossible" didn't get quite the level of buzz some expected out of Toronto: many reviews were strong, but others took issue with the filmmakers' decision to turn the true-life story of a Spanish family, the Belons, into one about a fictional British brood, allowing for more Hollywood-friendly casting. As it turns out, Spanish audiences couldn't care less: the film has been a domestic smash, shattering local records with its opening four-day gross. Will it connect with audiences Stateside in a tough holiday release slot? [Variety]
It's the final installment of the three-part "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" reunion, and I'm really looking forward to this long, ugly rehashing of the season being wrapped up for good. I mean, this isn't the "Star Wars" or "Lord of the Rings" trilogy; this is a bunch of women screaming at each other for hours and hours on end. Given that the blood feud that started the reunion has shown no signs of being resolved, I guess this means another hour of insults. Yay, insults. But Andy Cohen declares that this episode will be "all out war," which makes me wonder what the previous two hours were -- war-ish? Skirmishes? What?
A quick review of tonight's "Tremé" coming up just as soon as I sacrifice a sock to the music gods...
A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I forget my jack...