Showing posts with label Best of the Week. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Best of the Week. Show all posts

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Best of the Week: 8/2/14

Quote of the Week: He does other things for me: he takes me seriously. (Virginia Johnson, Masters of Sex)

Song of the Week: What Child Is This – The Rosewood High School Choir (Pretty Little Liars)

Big News of the Week: Your Next Peter Pan Is…: When NBC announced the casting of Christopher Walken as the first addition to their Peter Pan musical instead of the titular character, it singled to me, do not get excited to have a big name star put on the green leotard (granted I did get excited thinking that a capable though not big draw Brie Larson would have a chance). NBC finally filled the role and the announcement was a bit underwhelming. The role went to Allison Williams who stars on Girls, but that pretty much makes up her whole IDMB page (it should also be mentioned she is the spawn of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams who gave a tongue in check announcement on the Nightly News saying, “family members confirm she has been rehearsing for this role since the age of three” which was accompanying the younger Williams in costume at the age). Again, not that this matters because unless she bombs worse than Carrie Underwood, most people will be talking about Christopher Walken performance the next day anyway. There is a reason why his name was announced first, he will be the star and the face of the show. Since NBC did not take my suggestion for Peter Pan or Captain Hook (I would have tried for Jack Black for the latter), maybe they will take my advice and cast Ramona Flowers as Tigerlily.

Preview Picture of the Week:

“It’s Not For Everyone” The Strain, Sunday at 10:00 on FX

Free Download of the Week: Keys - Hooray for Earth (Amazon Digital Music)

New Album Release of the Week: They Want My Soul - Spoon

New DVD Release of the Week: Community: Season 5

Video of the Week: In a story I broke a couple lines ago that Allison Williams will star in the upcoming adaptation of Peter Pan. Her acting resume is not very long, it is basically Girls and a bunch of web stuff, but her musical resume is actually smaller. But Williams did get her role on Girls when producer Judd Apatow saw her singing Nature Boy while being backed by musicians playing A Beautiful Mine (aka the Mad Men theme song) so she apparently has the pipes. There is also a scene from Girls where her character does a hilariously over the top version of Stronger and hilariously over the top is exactly what I look for in my musical theater actors. Really I did not know much about Williams prior to her casting but after watching these two and a half minutes I am one hundred percent all in on Williams as Peter Pan and really in general. Unfortunately, that video is un-embeddable (watch it here) so here is the A Beautiful Mind / Mad Men mash-up, but seriously, click the link to hear her singing stronger too.

Next Week Pick of the Week: L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin: Friday at 9:00 on Showtime: Showtime ® gives viewers a look inside the daily struggles of a dynamic group of Southern lesbians in L Word Mississippi: Hate the Sin, a 90-minute documentary executive produced by filmmaker Ilene Chaiken (The L Word®, The Real L Word®) and the award-winning Magical Elves directing and production team of Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz (Top Chef, Katy Perry: Part of Me). The film spotlights the unique challenges of being lesbians in between the “coasts” in the religious, conservative deep South. Directed by Oscar® and Emmy® nominee Lauren Lazin (Tupac: Resurrection), the documentary looks at life outside more progressive metropolitan areas in America today where gay women endure hardships, bigotry, bullying, sexism and racism while trying to live among their predominantly straight neighbors. Featured stories include a newly out-and-proud former pastor banished from her church, but who later regains her self-esteem by launching a program to support her local LGBTQ community; a white mother who would accept her daughter’s black lover, if only she were a man; a couple grappling with both infertility and female-to-male gender transitioning; and a former life-long lesbian struggling to “pray the gay away,” and hoping to do the same for her openly gay son. The documentary is a continuation of Chaiken’s exploration of modern-day lesbian life: her groundbreaking Showtime drama series The L Word ran for six seasons on the network and followed a group of Los Angeles-based friends as they navigated careers, families, friendships, inner-struggles and romantic entanglements.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Best of the Week: 7/26/14

Quote of the Week: I don’t know. You believe that (expletive deleted)? I got ripped by a bunch of taco venders on bikes. (Ray Burton, The Bridge)

Song of the Week: Night Moves – Bob Segar (as sung by Ed Cochran, Ray Donovan)

Big News of the Week: Comic Con ’14: It is nerd Christmas when the meek who have inherited the cinema which is now 90% comic book adaption (and is quickly conquering the small screen numerous adoptions premiering this fall). Except Comic Con is all teases and trailers making it more like Christmas Eve where you can look at your wrapped gifts and shake them, but you do not actually get to unwrap and play with them for another couple months, or years in the case of many of the movies (coming in 2018: The Amazing Spider-Man 3, a sequel to a movie that no one liked a couple months ago!). No news that has come out of the Con has really piqued my interests yet, but still two more days to come.

Preview Picture of the Week:

“Bolero” Perception, Tuesday at 10:00 on TNT

Free Download of the Week: Break the Fall – Laura Welsh (iTunes)

New Album Release of the Week: Hypnotic Eye - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

New DVD Release of the Week: Noah

Video of the Week: Last fall ABC’s soapy new drama Betrayal failed miserably. Many people theorized that maybe it would have done better on a premium channel where they could show “the good stuff.” Well we may actually see if that is true when the similarly themed The Affair premieres October on Showtime. Instead of the big city, The Affair takes place in the vacation spot of the Hamptons and though the first trailer focus mainly on the titular deed, it does seem like there is a murder that is tied into the show (again like Betrayal). The big difference between the two shows is that, even though it is not explicitly expressed in the trailer, The Affair “will be told separately from the male and female perspectives – using the distinct memory biases to both misdirect and intrigue.” Oh yeah, and Showtime can show “the good stuff.”

Next Week Pick of the Week: Crossbones, Next Saturday at 8:00 on NBC: For those that watched the NBC mini-series, you will get to see the conclusion a little sooner than expected as the network is going to burn off the final two episodes next Saturday. Personally I found the show hard to get into because the lead on the show not named John Malkovich looked way too much like Kenny Powers to take seriously.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Best of the Week: 7/19/14

Quote of the Week: I don’t wear pink. It’s for (expletive deleted) and little girls who want to grow up and be princesses. (Eleanor Nacht, The Bridge)

Song of the Week: Who'll Stop the Rain – Dwight Yoakam (Under the Dome)

Big News of the Week: Christopher Walken Is Your New Captain Hook: After the success of The Sound of Music Live!, NBC was quick to announce that the live musical would happen this year (and probably for the foreseeable future) and it was eventually announce that Peter Pan would be the next one. We finally got our first casting news and surprisingly it was not for the titular character. Instead we learned this week that Christopher Walken would be the antagonist. Awesome. Sure the seventy-one year old actor may be two decades too old for the role, but thanks to Fatboy Slim we do know he can dance. And he will definitely be a better Captain Hook than the Abercrombie model they have on Once Upon A Time.

Back when Peter Pan was announced I suggested Jack Black whom probably would have been a better fit age wise, but that the Walken casting does is bring star power to the show and do not have to reach for the lead with name recognition like they did with Carrie Underwood and instead can cast someone who is competent and does not have to be a household name. So let me again suggest Brie Larson who may not be a big a name as Underwood, but we know she can act (see the critically acclaimed Short Term 12), that she can sing (see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World); and this week we learned she is even a passable as a boy when she popped up in Jenny Lewis’ video for Just One of the Guys (which sadly is not the theme song for a reboot of the awesomely bad eighties movie of the same name).

Preview Picture of the Week:

“Hail Mary” Tyrant, Tuesday at 10:00 on FX

Free Download of the Week: Busy Earnin' – Jungle (iTunes)

New Album Release of the Week: Nobody's Smiling - Common

New DVD Release of the Week: Godzilla Vs. Megalon [Blu-ray]

Video of the Week: It was just a couple weeks ago when I suggested we needed more Keira Knightley in our live. And just when that film who trailer made me make that declaration is hitting theaters, here is yet another Keira Knightley film trailer which is yet another indie film set in modern terms with Keira doing a surprisingly good American accent. Now that the Keira Knightley revival it is time to get her into a superhero movie or one of those super high quality miniseries that are all the rage lately. Oooh, since she is so good at period pieces and the character would need a sidekick, how about getting Keira Knightley into the upcoming Agent Carter television show. That would have the potential of being the greatest show ever in the history of the medium.

Next Week Pick of the Week: The Lottery, Sunday (tomorrow) at 10:00 on Lifetime: A year or two ago I was offered access to Lifetime screeners despite being a dude (I was also granted access to History which is more aligned with my idea of gender roles). Since they were nice enough to think of me I occasional check what is available and every that I watch I came away thinking, I am just too male to enjoy this. I check out their latest project The Lottery because who does not need more Marley Shelton in their life? Sure the women in the dystopian future all being infernal really preys on women’s emotion but I came away thinking it is the best thing they have ever produced and could actually appeal to the less fair sex. You can check out my full review here: Previewing The Lottery: A Dude's Review of Lifetime vol. VIII.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Best of the Week: 7/12/14

Quote of the Week: Eclectic car: I care about the polar bears. (Eleanor Nacht, The Bridge)

Song of the Week: Every Breath You Take – Denmark and Winters (Pretty Little Liars)

Big News of the Week: Apparently You Can Go Home Again: There is an old adage that you can never go home again, which of course is silly in the most literal since, but in reality that heart of the saying is that you should not go home again. Especially if you are LeBron James. But he announced his return to Cleveland and not surprisingly those who burned his Jersey and lionized owner Dan Gilbert’s open letter are welcoming him back. But to me it is like an abused wife taking back her husband who went on a very public four year affair that produced two children and is only asking to return because the mistress got old and ugly quick. And a returning LeBron is in no way an instant championship, which would be a first in my lifetime and the vast majority of Northeast Ohio. Sure the Cavs have an easy path to the finals with a now depleted Miami, and question marks for the two biggest challenges in Indiana and Chicago, but if Cleveland was in the West they probably would not even get home court advantage for just the first round of the playoffs. Of course if Kevin Love comes the Cleveland, go ahead and start measuring the banner then and get his Uncle Mike to perform at the championship parade. Oh wait, this Cleveland, someone undoubtably will get hurt first.

Preview Picture of the Week:

"Pilot" The Strain, Sunday at 10:00 on FX

Free Download of the Week: Wild One - Nikki Lane (Amazon Digital Music)

New Album Release of the Week: Mandatory Fun - “Weird Al” Yankovic

New DVD Release of the Week: Orphan Black: Season 2

Video of the Week: There is a show premiering Thursday called Dating Naked. For some reason it is on Video Hits One. The link to the video claims it is “uncensored” but any frontal shots are pixilated, but for the faint of heart, any backside shots are not. I am too much of a prude to embed the video, but you can watch it here. Yes it was a slow news week.

Next Week Pick of the Week: The Strain, Sunday (tomorrow) at 10:00 on FX: I was a big fan of the Buffyverse back in the early 00’s but by the end of Angel I was already starting to have vampire fatigue. Since then the only vampire themed entertainment I partook in was Let Me In. That all changes tomorrow when FX debuts The Strain. First off I am in on most anything the cable channel does (it landed three show on my list of the Ten Best Shows of 2013-14 for the second straight year). Add to that the show is created by Guillermo del Toro who know creepy (see Pan's Labyrinth). Sure the show is also being overseen by Carlton Cuse one of the guys behind Lost, but if a show must have a guy behind Lost on it, I would rather it be the guy who also did The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. than the dude behind Crossing Jordan. Plus Eli “Weevil” Navarro makes an appearance on the show.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Best of the Week: 7/5/14

Quote of the Week: I have a daughter. (Sir Malcolm Murray, Penny Dreadful)

Song of the Week: God's Gonna Cut You Down – Johnny Cash (Dominion)

Big News of the Week: America Goes Down: Le sigh. We should just be happy to survive the Group of Death and tie in regulation the team the traveled the least in the World Cup when we traveled the most, but being that close to the final eight still hurts. Oh well, there is always the Women’s World Cup next year in Canada. But it may be hard to remember since we have won every Olympic Gold medal in the sport except one silver medal in 2000; the American women have not raised the World Cup since 1999 coming in second last time and third the two before that.

Preview Picture of the Week:

“Young and Lesbian” Young and Hungry, Wednesday at 8:00 on ABC Family

Free Download of the Week: Sideways - Wrabel (iTunes)

New Album Release of the Week: Beautiful Goodbye - Richard Marx

New DVD Release of the Week: Bad Words

Video of the Week: The first Horrible Bosses was enjoyable enough like every other comedy, I am not sure we really needed a second one. Really, when was the last comedy sequel that was not a massive letdown? The Vacation movies is the first one that comes to mind and those were a quarter century ago. Instead of going The Hangover II route of making the exact same movie, the leads are not still trying to kill each other’s bosses, all who return except Colin Farrell (I had to check Wikipedia to be reminded that Kevin Spacey killed him, hence the prison brown in the new trailer), instead there are kidnapping Christoph Waltz for some unknown reason, maybe he is a new boss that is worse than the old ones combined. All I know is this is probably going to be bad and I will probably still see it anyway.

Next Week Pick of the Week: The Bridge, Wednesday at 10:00 on FX: With the single case season becoming a big trend, The Bridge did something very unexpected in its first season: it solved its case with multiple episodes to go, even arresting the culprit before the finale. Okay, it did not work completely, but at least they were trying. And almost as if they were advertising the new season, a new political hot potato broke out last week with thousands of kids detained at the border with no where to put them.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Best of the Week: 6/28/14

Quote of the Week: Talk to him, you mean like Oprah? How do you feel? You had a bad childhood? Oh me too, let’s hug it out. (Jamal al-Fayeed, Tyrant)

Song of the Week: Dream On – Aerosmith (Tyrant)

Big News of the Week: USA Loses and Advances: People were cautiously optimistic when America drew the “Group of Death” for the World Cup. But after a first game win against Ghana (who knocked them out of the last two World Cups) and a lead against Portugal people were thinking about more than advance, they could actually finish first in the group. And then came the equalizer and more certainly. Still the US controlled their own destiny, win or tie and they advance. A tie in the other game even meant advancement despite a loss. Things got a little murkier if a team won outright meaning Ghana could actually knockout the US a third straight time despite losing to them. Thankfully everything worked out despite a close lose. Now the USA has advanced to the Knockout Round in two consecutive World Cups for the first time ever and will face a formable Belgium team on Tuesday. Most importantly America managed to advance without biting any other player.

Preview Picture of the Week:

“Thrown From the Ride” Pretty Little Liars, Tuesday at 8:00 on ABC Family

Free Download of the Week: My Silver Lining – First Aid Kit (Amazon Digital Music)

New Album Release of the Week: Legend - 30th Anniversary Edition (CD + Blu-Ray Audio Disc) - Bob Marley

New DVD Release of the Week: Helix: Season 1

Video of the Week: Life After Beth features Aubrey Plaza as a sarcastic zombie? Awesome. Sign me up.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Under the Dome, Monday at 10:00 on CBS: The Tiffany Network usually plays things safe filling its schedule with police procedurals and Chuck Lorre laugh track sitcoms. One of their rare outside the box ideas came last summer when they commissioned a show based on the Stephan King book and safeguarded their investment by selling the streaming rights to Amazon Prime before it even aired. It paid off becoming the biggest summer hits in years. Sure there was some serious flaws in the execution and some iffy acting, but it still held my attention all summer and has brought me back for a second season.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Best of the Week: 6/21/14

Quote of the Week: Have you seen Dexter? Random scuba divers are finding everything Donnie. (Alison Hendrix, Orphan Black)

Song of the Week: Silver Springs – Fleetwood Mac (Californication)

Big News of the Week: I Hate the 00’s: When I heard VH1 was dusting off their I Love the… series for last decade, I said to my, Um, did they not already do that with I Love the New Millennium?” Apparently they would like us to forget they tried to do that before the decade even ended because we got a name change to I Love the 00’s pronounced the two thousands not like the oo’s as in Cheerios which was its first mistake. Actually the first mistake was the “Love” part because there were few things in pop culture to love about that decade.

So the mini-series was not appointment for me like prerious installments. But I did check in during commercial breaks during other shows I was watching this week. One thing catch the opening to the 2004. The opening of each episode pretty much teases everything that they are going to talk about that episode and 2004 was just laughably bad: White Chicks, Pimp My Ride, Fat Joe, The Swan, Napoleon Dynamite, Howard Dean, George Bush getting reelected. What the frack? Bret Michaels (?) has a segment each year counting down the guiltiest pleasures of the year (oh yeah, Rock of Love); what could have possibly be the guilty pleasures of 2004 if those crap were in the In Love part of the show?

The only things that did not suck about the 2004 episode was a double bill of Rachel McAdams (isn’t time for a Rachel McAdams comeback?) So I had to look at my Greatest of the 00’s list to see what they missed or if 2004 was truly the worst year ever. It turns out 2004 was a really good year boasting the album that topped the Greatest Albums of the 00’s The College Dropout (other music they missed in included Hey Ya!, The Grey Album, American Idiot) and the Greatest Television Show of the 00’s Veronica Mars (also premiering that year were Deadwood, Rescue Me, Lost). Some movies worth mentioning include Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Shaun of the Dead, and the two biggest documentaries up until that point Fahrenheit 9/11 and Super Size Me. In video games two of the most successful games had sequels: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Halo 2. The Olympics happened that year, the first time since the first modern games it was held in Greece. Other firsts at those games included the first loss ever for NBA players at the Olympics, and Michael Phelps winning his first gold medal. He would go on to win the most medals at one Olympics in a non boycotted Game.

But still, I wish instead of the first I Love the 00’s VH1 would have just done a third I Love the 90’s (the 80’s have three installment). Since that looks like it will not be happening anytime soon, there is National Geographic’s The 90’s: The Last Great Decade? premiering in two weeks. It will certainly be better than I Love the 00’s as it will be a Fat Joe free mini-series.

Preview Picture of the Week:

“Pilot” Young and Hungry, Wednesday at 8:00 on ABC Family

Free Download of the Week: Stolen Dance – Milky Chance (iTunes)

New Album Release of the Week: x - Ed Sheeran

New DVD Release of the Week: Masters of Sex: Season One

Video of the Week: I had my issues with the first season Ray Donovan but the trailer for the second season has gotten me excited for it again. Sure whoever makes trailers these days have perfected the art and can make anything seem much better than it actually is. We do get a look at some new blood with Hank Azeria as the new FBI agent on the case, Wendell Peirce (who is one of those actors who is great in everything they are in even if what they are in are not great; see The Michael J. Fox Show as the most recent example) as a new parole officer, and Vinnessa Shaw who never quite lived up to the Next Big Thing label from the late nineties (40 Days and 40 Nights ruined a lot of up and coming stars just like her new channel mate Josh Hartnett). Ray Donovan returns Sunday, July 13 at 9:00 on Showtime.

Next Week Pick of the Week: Tyrant, Tuesday at 10:00 on FX: Last year FX essentially declared they were getting into the prestige business targeting the most talented creative minds even if just for a miniseries event. Those first announcements are starting to debut: The Coen Brothers Fargo small screen reboot just ended this week, The Strain, written directed, and produced by Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy) premieres next month. The other big name announced at this time was Ang Lee, coming off his Academy Award for Best Director, who was set to direct the Pilot for Tyrant from the producers of Homeland. Tyrant debuts this week but without Lee’s name on it. Instead he was eventually replayed by David Yates, best known for the last couple Harry Potter movies. And that was just the start of some behind the scenes turmoil surrounding its production (which was detailed at length in the Hollywood Reporter). So I am a bit weary of Tyrant (especially when you also consider Homeland’s last season and a half). But given FX’s track record, I will at least give it a try.