Saturday, April 24, 2021

Around the Tubes: April 24, 2021


I have gotten a plethora of cool press releases have been flooding my inbox recently that you may find interesting. This post will include blurbs on Unbreakable, Homeroom, Cream, The Weeknd, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, Def Leppard, and Taylor Swift

Fuse is premiering its newest series, Unbreakable, on May 4 at 11 PM ET/PT.  The show follows the lives of young adults with disabilities as they overcome extraordinary obstacles to reach their dreams. According to a soon to be released study from Fuse Media, people with disabilities ranked #1in regards to needing the most representation of all under-represented groups in media.  An inspiring cast of people with disabilities set out to achieve ambitious life milestones. Whether it's breaking into modeling, inventing a revolutionary mountain bike, launching a craft beer or starting a family, these individuals with dreams face challenges and overcome extraordinary obstacles. They must find the power within themselves to reach their personal goals.

Hulu has acquired the U.S. distribution rights to Emmy Award–winning director/cinematographer Peter Nicks’ 2021 Sundance Film Festival official selection HOMEROOM.  HOMEROOM is Peter Nicks’ final chapter in a trilogy of films examining the relationship between health care, criminal justice, and education in Oakland, CA over the past decade. Hulu is thrilled to also have the U.S. streaming rights to THE WAITING ROOM (2012) and THE FORCE (2017) so audiences can experience all three projects of this groundbreaking trilogy together. 

UMe/Polydor is delighted to release the limited edition, blue, 2LP release of Cream's show Live at the Forum, recorded at the Los Angeles Forum during their Goodbye Tour of 1968. Taken from the 2020 full version of the 4-CD set of the Goodbye Tour 1968 and produced by Bill Levenson, this sumptuous 2LP set is the first authorized release of the full concert on vinyl and is available today, April 23, HERE. It captures Cream at their virtuosic best, at the end, and at the height of their career.

The Weeknd unveils the much anticipated “Save Your Tears Remix” with Ariana Grande via XO/Republic Records. Listen to “Save Your Tears (Remix)” HERE.  Watch the official animated video with both stars directed by Jack Brown and produced by Blinkink HERE.  The diamond-selling icon paired with Grammy winner Grande, continuing a tradition of epic collaborations together such as “Love Me Harder” and “off the table.”

Capitol Records/UMe is pleased to announce Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band’s Live’ Bullet will be reissued in its original 2LP format celebrating the 45th anniversary of this classic album.  Hailed by critics as one of the best live records of all time, including the June 1976 review from The New York Times,  “This music roars on and on until at the very end of the performance, Seger—still raring to go—bellows: ‘I’m going to rock and roll all night long.’ He means it and ‘Live Bullet’ is proof positive that he’s a living dynamo.”  ‘Live’ Bullet will be offered in two versions: a 2LP album in a standard version 150 gram black vinyl with a lithograph, and 2LP translucent orange and red swirl vinyl only available at independent record stores, Bob Seger’s Official store, and Capitol/UMe store. The lithograph is a reproduction of the Live Bullet cover of Seger onstage from the show taken by well-known Detroit photographer Robert Markliwitz. The album has been remastered by GRAMMY®-nominated mastering engineer Robert Vosgien.

On June 11, 2021, legendary British rock ‘n’ roll icons and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame®inductees Def Leppard will release Def Leppard – Volume Three, a new limited edition box set UMe/Virgin.  This set marks the third of four volumes of the band’s complete recorded output in both 180gm vinyl and limited-edition CD box sets. They contain all the recordings from the band in the 2000’s and features the original packaging on both formats. To date, X, Yeah! and Songs from the Sparkle Lounge have never been available on vinyl before.

 Returning to #1 around the world and breaking numerous records, Taylor Swift has made history yet again with Fearless (Taylor’s Version). Notably, she's the first woman with three new No. 1 albums in less than a year. Moving over 1 million units worldwide, Fearless (Taylor’s Version) logged the “biggest first week debut of any album this year,” “the biggest first week debut for a country album since 2015” and “the biggest female country streaming week ever. Fearless (Taylor’s Version) is the only No. 1 album of its kind: a re-recording of an artist’s (own or another’s) previously released album.  Generating 50 million-plus streams on release day, it also achieved “the biggest first day streaming debut for any album on Spotify this year” and marked her fourth consecutive album to exceed 50 million Spotify streams in 24 hoursFearless (Taylor’s Version) also becomes the first country album by a female artist to reach #1 on Apple Music’s US Albums chart.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Previewing Cinema Toast


I am a simple man with simple pleasure, so when I see Alison Brie’s name, my brain goes, sure, I will check that out.  Maybe I should have paid more attention to the Cinema Toast press release than just seeing Alison Brie.  When I skimmed the non- Alison Brie parts of the press release that said the show was a reimagining of movies in the public domain, I was under the assumption they would be re-filming the scripts.  But it turns out the actors are coming up with new dialogue to put over the action of old films.  Other voices include those of Nick Offerman, Fred Armisen, John Early, Christina Ricci, Megan Mullally, Chloe Fineman and Chris Meloni.


But all you really need to know is that all ten episodes are being released on Showtime’s streaming service and On Demand page today.  Today as in 4/20, the most celebrated day for stoners.  You have to be pretty high to enjoy this show and unfortunately recreational legalization has not come to my state yet.  It probably also hurt that I am not much of a cinephile of movies older than I am so of the ten episodes, the only movie I recognized was Night of the Living Dead.


That movie gets turned into Attack of the Karen’s where the zombies are repurposed of whiney while ladies.  There are a couple episodes that reappropriate these movies into modern tales; the first episode features a family that reluctantly invited a Qanon believer to Thanksgiving.  Others stick to their times like the one where gay marriages comes to town where one brave straight dude tries to protest it by… sacrificing straight people off a giant ladder.


Another episode turns John Wayne into a gay cowboy… I think.  Is it gay if the actors are both dudes, but one is voiced by a woman?  You probably have to be high to properly answer that question.  But the strangest of all the episodes (which there is plenty of stiff competition for) features Ronald Reagan watching a film with Ronald Reagan where he watches a film that features… Ronald Regan.  My brain hurts now.  Maybe I can get my doctor to prescribe some medical marijuana to dull the pain.  At least that is legal here.


All episodes of Cinema Toast are now available on the Showtime streaming app or their On Demand page.


Sunday, April 18, 2021

57 Channels and Only This Is On: April 18, 2021


Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist:  For the third week in a row I have to say this episode is now the best episode of the season.  Since last season’s glitch was the best of the first season, they really need to figure more ways to make Zoey’s powers glitch.  It was a pretty big missed opportunity earlier this season when Zoey got high but only sang the one song.


I thought for sure that it was the physic that was the one that was supposed to be singing Max’s really sad song.  Simon was the first thought but there was no reason for him to be that sad, even if Zoey canceled on him.  But she also blew off Emily that should have been the big tip off. 


But as great as everyone singing someone else’s songs and trying to figure out which song went to which person, I kind of want to see how that songs should have gone.  Like the programmers doing the Anything song to each other.  Or Rose singing a song about drinking to a server instead of some kiss off song.  Also a shame they could not work her having a naughty word being cut off by the title card.  But I guess that is the price to pay to hear Simon sing the stupid Fox song.  I have not laughed that hard in a long time.


The Nevers:  Something felt off with this show, and not because the writer/director/creator got canceled.  Actually it seems more like it did not feel like one of his shows more.  The show was missing his usual witty banter.  Hopefully things pick up and soon.  But some of these powers seem pretty lame.  They are like the D-List X-Women so far.


Shameless:  So they actually went and killed off Frank.  I was actually expecting that after they shut the door on the cremation, Frank was going to start knocking on the door.  Instead they went for he was filled with too much alcohol to light on fire gag.  I guess he will not be back for the inevitable reboot… unless Frank had a twin brother no one knew about.  Frank did not know about that daughter that showed up for a season or two before disappearing without anyone noticing and did not even get a mention in the letter. 


It was a little surprising how the rest of the storylines ended kind of vaguely.  Lip and Kev had offers but neither sold the house or bar by the end credits.  Debbie got an offer to go to El Paso but did not commit.  Then it was weird the chick who raped Carl popped up last week pregnant, claimed it was not his but who knows if she was telling the truth, and was not brought up again. As finale as Frank’s storyline was, I do wonder if this was all left vague for the possibly of a reboot.


Fear the Walking Dead:  Wait, so Dakota is just as evil as her sister now?  That escalated quickly.  I still do not understand why she shot the dude.  He is no longer a ranger, he was not planning on going with her, what exactly did she think he would do?  And for someone who wanted to die, he sure held on for a while.  So does Morgan just turn Dakota over to her sister now as a punishment?


Good Girls:  Just how many evil businesses does Rio have?  And if he has a boss, how many Rio’s does the big boss have and how many evil businesses are they running?


City on a Hill:  Wait, did they not only recast Kevin Bacon’s daughter but also the husband?  It has been so long, I forgot if he was arrested or killed.  But at least the daughter almost looked the same.  This dude looked about a decade or two older, bigger, and had a shaved head.  Maybe they should have killed him off if this was the best replacement they could find.  Yet, they kill off the brother-in-law at the end of this episode.  Certainly did not see that coming.  Will the person the brother-in-law owes money to come after her now?  But I did like that speech Decourcy gave Jackie when Jackie confronted him.


Debris:  Watching the lame powers on The Never made me realize just how stupid this show is, all these different things the debris do are pretty stupid.  Did the aliens have plans for Earth?  Is this there plan?  Where there even aliens flying the ship?  Was the ship sentient?


But this episode featured one of the worst tropes.  Some evil person with mind control power has a bunch of people kill themselves except for no apparent reason they let the main character go unharmed.  The the one dude was apparently the first person to think; maybe I should just fight the urge to kill themselves.  Then out of nowhere his young niece just brutally murders him.  Alrighty.


Supergirl:  So the married gay vampire had three roommates?  Was the husband the breadwinner of the family?  Do gay vampires have harems that they call roommates?  I actually do not remember much else from this episode other than the gay vampire’s living situation.


Big Sky:  So this loner trucker who has to resort to kidnapping women for human contact was able to get a live in girlfriend who does not notice he is wearing a bad wig within three month.  But I do like this new family, they are weird.  Hopefully this case is more entertaining than the first one. 


The Challenge: Double Agents:  What a horrible place to put a cliffhanger.  Does it really matter that much who they choose?  And is it not obvious that they pick Kam and Corey who were in second place?  But the “Next Time On” pretty much spoils that Fessy and Casey are the ones eliminated as they are the only ones that are not featured in scenes past the eating contest.  Granted not much a spoiler than a confirmation of what everyone assumed after Casey heard a pop and Fessy refusing to eat.


But that could not have happened to a better team.  Fessy has been whining all season about his partners weighing him down even though he has not brought anything to his team.  Then finally gets the partner he wanted only to push her too hard and makes her get injured.  Then being the punk he is, gives up in the eating challenge even though the last person who won the checkpoint was able to pick a new partner.  Hopefully TJ views this as quitting and treats Fessy according and put him on the ban list.


The Challenge: All-Stars:  One of the things that has drug down the parent show (besides recruiting too many boring or annoying people) is that the actual challenges are not as fun.  The melt a block of ice with your body is one of the most iconic challenges ever and it took way too long for them to bring it back.  Unfortunately TJ just gave up halfway through and just gave everyone hammers.  But TJ makes up for that with just randomly pulling out a bag of peppers at elimination.  You knew those peppers were rough when TJ had to put on gloves just to handle them.


Manifest:  So now the 828ers are inadvertently helping the meth heads now?  So stupid.  As stupid as the cliffhanger.  Of course they are showing him the reconstructed plane.  They already showed us that in the trailer, why play coy now?


The Falcon and the Winter Soldier:  The introduction of Elaine was pretty cool.  It would have been cooler if I had a forking clue who that character was.  But she has to be the Power Broker, right?  So the only question is just what is Sharon up to.  Is she trying to get back at the American government for branding her a terrorist?  Is she just deep undercover?  Hopefully it is the latter because evil Sharon just does not feel right.