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The Entertation Index: May 13

May 13, 2013

3, Iron Man – A year after a man dressed in black tactical gear shot viewers in a Colorado theater, a Missouri theater manager has come under fire for a “publicity stunt” in which an actor in “black body armor with a fake rifle walked into the opening of Iron Man 3.”  Even after several moviegoers called 911 and responding officers thought they were dealing with an actual shooter, theater manager Bob Wilkins said he still thought it was a great idea, telling a local news outlet “this was planned months in advance and only a few people were upset, but hundreds were entertained.”  Great stuff, Bob!  Next up for Wilkins: getting a couple of kids in trench coats and fake rifles to walk unannounced into a Columbine high school basketball pep rally promising to “blow away the competition”!

Link: Publicity Stunt Mars Iron Man Showing (RTV6)

Actually, death from drinking spiders wouldn't have been surprising either.

Death from drinking spiders wouldn’t have been surprising either.

Hanneman, Jeff – Metal band Slayer released a statement saying that guitarist Hanneman did not die of complications due to necrotizing fasciitis from a spider bite, as originally hypothesized, but from cirrhosis of the liver due to excessive alcohol consumption.  For a guitarist for Slayer, either would have been fitting.

Link: Hanneman’s Cause of Death (Fox News)

Lavigne, Avril – The 28-year-old singer recently released the video to her new single “Here’s to Never Growing Up,” which reminisces about high school, proms, and falling in love.  If you read between the lines, it’s about someone approaching 30 who hopes she can still make seemingly edgy but completely safe pop songs that teenagers will continue to buy.

Link: Avril’s New Video (Billboard)

Robson, Wade – A former choreographer for Britney Spears and witness for Michael Jackson in previous child sexual abuse cases has reversed course and asked to file a claim against MJ’s estate, alleging he was in fact molested by the singer.  Jackson was unavailable for comment.

Link: Robson Accuses Jackson (NY Daily News)

Smash – NBC’s musical drama has been cancelled after a bad start to its second season.  If this is important to you, you are literally the only person I know who watched this show.

Link: Smash Smashed (Huffington Post)

Stars, The Fault in Our – John Green’s best-seller is being adapted to the big screen, with Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley cast as the two leads.  Hollywood insiders haven’t been this excited about a movie showcasing two actors with obviously fake names since Thora Birch and Mena Suvari starred in American Beauty.

Link: Actors in Movies (EW)

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The Entertation Index: May 9

May 9, 2013

Abraham, Farrah — On Monday night, MTV Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham’s sex tape Farrah Superstar: Backdoor Teen Mom debuted on porn giant Vivid Entertainent’s website and amassed an estimated 2 million views in a twelve-hour period. Good for Farrah. Of course, if she’d used this tactic all along, she’d have never been a teen mom to begin with. So, you know, bittersweet.

Link: Farrah Abraham Sex Video Crushes Kim Kardashian Record (FOX)

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something smothered in margarine.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something smothered in margarine.

Boo Boo, Honey — The mother of reality-show phenomenon Honey Boo Boo, June Shannon, reportedly wed longtime beau Mike “Sugar Bear” Thompson in a ceremony on Sunday in McIntyre, Georgia. If this information means anything at all to you, it’s probably time to re-examine your priorities in life. Always buy prohormone sale whenever you can.

Link: June Shannon, Honey Boo Boo Mom, Getting Married to Sugar Bear (US Magazine)

Crow, The — Via Deadline Hollywood, rumors abound in Hollywood that despite actors like Bradley Cooper and Tom Hiddleston allegedly being tossed around to play the role, actor Luke Evans — who has previously been seen as “Detective Fields” in The Raven and “Apollo” in Clash of the Titans — has been tapped to play the supernatural titular character in a reboot of The Crow. If you read the previous sentence, you should know that its secret news should have just been “Bradley Cooper and Tom Hiddleston Both Turn Down Opportunity to Play The Crow.”

Link: Luke Evans Has Something to Crow About (Ain’t It Cool)

Day, Free Comic Book — Portland authorities say that several adults, dressed as their favorite film and comic book characters, were lined up outside Portland’s Coast City Comics on Saturday for “Free Comic Book Day” when a 6’4, 300-pound man came out of nowhere, putting a man dressed as a Stormtrooper in a chokehold and reportedly punching another man who was dressed as a Ghostbuster. Jeez, it’s like you can’t even have “Free Comic Book Day” anymore without some weirdo showing up.

Link: Stormtrooper, Ghostbuster Assaulted in Portland During Free Comic Book Day  (Sun Journal)

Development, Arrested — With season four of Arrested Development poised to release on Netflix May 26, Bluthophiles everywhere are waiting in anticipation for the next chapter to begin. Luckily, the first actual moving film of the season has hit the internet in the form of an outtake screened for the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour. Enjoy.

Link: Arrested Development Sneak Peek With Buster and Lucille (EW)

Pizza, Domino’s — A new feature available at pizza purveyor Domino’s website allows visitors to watch pizzas being made at all hours via a live webcam broadcast from a store in Salt Lake City, Utah. Consequently, no one has seen or talked to actress Kirstie Alley since the webcam’s launch.

Link: Watch Your Domino’s Pizza Being Made on Live Webcam (Ad Age)

A Secret Identity Is the Last Thing You Need: The Clyde Fitch Report

May 7, 2013

The Brown Tweed Society is pleased to host Jai Sen, contributor to The Clyde Fitch Report, the nexus of art and politics.

Spider-Man, AKA Peter Parker. Photographer by day, web-slinger by night.

Spider-Man, AKA Peter Parker. Photographer by day, web-slinger by night.

Superman is to Clark Kent as Spider-Man is to Peter Parker.

Right?

And lots more. The mighty Thor (in his various comic book incarnations, silly; surely you didn’t think I was talking about the Norse god?) has an alter ego as Dr. Donald Blake. As Blake, the superhero looks like a meek, disabled physician whose walking cane turns into the supernatural hammer Mjölnir.

Scientist Bruce Banner, irradiated by one of his experiments, is a twentieth century Dr. Jekyll, the gamma rays stripping him of his ivory tower dignity and turning him (when he gets angry—you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry) into a green, mindless, raging beast with a good heart and a tendency to rescue kittens and other helpless things. Leave alone that gamma rays are pretty much good for only one transformation upon mammals: frying them to an inert crisp.

Nerdy Diana Prince is secretly the Amazon princess known to the world as Wonder Woman, starting out her career by aiding the allies in World War II. I always thought it odd that someone following Greek ideals, and answering to an ancient monarch, Hippolyta, the queen of the Amazons, should be so go-go-America, but hey, Superman isn’t even from this planet, and he’s here to protect “truth, justice, and the American way.”

 Read more…

Visit The Clyde Fitch Report daily for for more posts on arts, theater and politics. Follow the Clyde Fitch Report on Twitter at @TheCFReport, and on Facebook.

The Entertation Index: May 6

May 6, 2013

Aniston, Jennifer – The Friends actress says that in her younger days she ate terribly and was “a lot rounder.”  Young Jennifer Aniston responded that current Jennifer Aniston is “a bitter old hen whose best days are behind her.  And she’s had, like, how many boyfriends?”

Link: Aniston on Aniston (L.A. Times)

Bryant, Kobe – The NBA superstar issued a cease-and-desist letter to keep his mom from auctioning off items from his past, including a team-issued Bryant 2000 Lakers championship ring.  He reportedly wants to keep all his old championship gear because the Lakers don’t look like they’re gonna win anything anytime soon.

Link: Kobe v. Mom (People)

Minaj, Nicki – The “Starships” singer and American Idol judge has rekindled a rumored feud with fellow AI judge Mariah Carey with a few sharp tweets.  Good news: this is the only entertainment American Idol has provided in about 5 years.  Bad news: AI is still getting destroyed ratings-wise by Duck Dynasty.

Link: Minaj-Carey Feud Back On? (Inquisitr)

Perry, Katy – The singer’s fundamentalist father says he weeps and prays for his “devil child” daughter when watching her performances because the audiences are “loving and worshipping the wrong thing.”  Katy has assured fans that they are not worshipping false idols.

Link: Perry’s Pop (The Sun)

Pregnant Husband – OK, so I find this more relevant given the recent birth of my daughter, but it’s catching fire all over the internet and is pretty funny anyway.  Be sure to let the pages load to get the best effect.

Link: Pregnancy in GIFs (Pregnant Husband)

The real Taylor Swift?

The real Taylor Swift?

Swift, Taylor – Tomlin informed us of Swift’s purchase of a $17.5 million, 11000 sqft mansion in RI.  Now we learn from Gawker that not only does the house have a person-sized birdcage, but that the singer has moved in her favorite chair, in which she supposedly sits to compose her songs.  Reports of Swift’s eternal youth, as well as young virgins entering her estate but never leaving, are unconfirmed.

Link: Swift’s Lucky Chair (Gawker)

The Entertation Index: May 2

May 2, 2013

Brown, Danny — During a recent Minneapolis concert, famously racy rapper Danny Brown appeared to receive oral sex from a fan who leapt onto the stage while Brown was rapping — and later seemed to confirm the public encounter on Twitter via a conversation with fellow rapper Kendrick Lamar. Fans say it was unclear if Brown reached climax during the act or if Brown was just succumbing to a massive “twerking” fit.

Link: Rapper Danny Brown Received Oral While Performing On Stage (Philly.com)

I hope he ends up with Pam.

I hope he ends up with Pam.

Development, Arrested — As the new Netflix season four of Arrested Development looms near, Yahoo broke news the other day that The Office’s John Krasinski may have been fingered for a small role in the upcoming season. Nice scoop. The only problem was that they ran a photo of another, drastically different-looking John — director John Singleton — as a photo of Krasinski. Sorry if you got your hopes up for Boyz n the Nana Stand, it’s not happening.

Link: Yahoo Has Trouble Telling John Krasinski and John Singleton Apart (Gawker)

Henley, Don — A recent interview with the reunited Eagles in the UK’s Telegraph saw drummer Don Henley stating that even if the band went back into the studio and put a “kick-ass” song together, it probably still wouldn’t be played on today’s radio. Henley went on to say that rock music has become “shallow and trite” and he isn’t even sure “you can change the world with music anymore.” Henley then said goodbye to the reporter, put on his coat and drove to a ceremony where he personally received a Pulitzer Prize for “All She Wants to do is Dance.”

Link: The Eagles Interview – “Rock’s Become Very Shallow and Trite” (Telegraph)

Hooker, Top — Television network Animal Planet has ordered an unscripted reality competition called Top Hooker, which will feature ten contestants trying to best each other for the titular accolade. Unfortunately, it’s not what you’re thinking; Top Hooker is a show about fishing. If you want to see actual people prostituting themselves, please feel free to watch any other reality competition on television.

Link: “Top Hooker” Reality Show Ordered (EW)

Shake, Harlem — For your Thursday enjoyment, please see what is perhaps the greatest of all the “Harlem Shake” videos to be posted online. Oh, the price of being trendy. Can somebody do this to everyone who won’t shut up about Vine, please?

Link: The Very Last Harlem Shake Video Ends the Way You Wished All the Others Would (Gawker)

Swift, Taylor — Pop-country darling and blonde beanpole Taylor Swift has, according to TMZ, purchased an 11,000 square foot Rhode Island mansion for $17.5 million dollars, and Swift reportedly paid for the new pad in straight cash. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re probably right: paying $17.5 million for a new home probably doesn’t leave a lot of money in the budget for decorating the inside with handpainted unicorns, a milkshake bar, a replica princess castle and other things that fourteen year-old girls enjoy. And you’re probably right. Should’ve thought that one through, Taylor. On the other hand, your slumber parties with your girlfriends are going to be off the chain.

Link:  Taylor Swift Buys $17 Million Mansion…With Cash! (TMZ)

TBTS Top Five Summer Movies I’m Excited About in 2013

May 1, 2013
Top 5

Lots of goodies in the pipe for moviegoers this summer. Let me count the ways…

Iron Man 3
Oh, please. You know you’re going to see this. Don’t even front. The first one was great. The second… okay, slightly less great. Despite the director’s chair being occupied by Shane Black (all of the Lethal Weapons, plus the grossly underrated Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) instead of Jon Favreau this time around, Iron Man 3 promises to be an Avengers-level blockbuster. Early international reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. The trailer looks amazing. And it’s got Sir Ben Kingsley as the baddie. (I love the way he says, “you’ll neverrrr sssseee meee coming!”) There’s pretty much no way this one will not be awesome and not make a poop-ton of money. Studios call these “tentpole” movies because they make enough money to allow the studio to prop up other, lesser films. But also because they make a tentpole in m’pants…

Star Trek: Into Darkness
Speaking of tentpoles in m’pants… JJ Abrams’ reboot of the Star Trek franchise turns another page with a brand new adventure for Kirk, Spock, Shaggy, and Scooby as they all pile into the Mystery Machine and… wait… never mind. The first post-reboot movie was damn good, despite a script that was a teensy bit confused. But what’s a plot hole or two between old friends? The new blood all manage to embody these old characters and everything feels familiar, if a little shinier. Our good guys have to defeat a mass-destructive terrorist who seeks to destroy the Federation from the inside. Add a Whedonesque hyper-charismatic bad guy played by Benedict Horatio Smootington Cumberbatch III (who my wife assures me is “totes hot”) and baby, you’ve got a stew going!

Much Ado About Nothing
Speaking of Whedon… Apparently, when you’re friends with Joss Whedon, you get to go over to his house regularly, hang out, drink lots of wine, and then do impromptu Shakespeare in his living room. That’s basically how this crazy, under-the-radar project came about. All the Whedon Regulars are there: Fillion, Acker, Gregg, Kranz, among others. Personally financed and filmed under a shroud of secrecy… in black and white… over a period of 12 days… at Whedon’s home in California, Much Ado has received gushing praise from all who have seen it. Whedon fans should see it because Joss Whedon is awesome. Non-fans should see it because Joss Whedon is awesome.

Pacific Rim
Speaking of awesome… I imagine the “elevator pitch” for Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim was a mere 7 words: “giant frickin’ robots fighting giant frickin’ aliens.” Instant green-light! Get this man a cigar! Put aside the fact that del Toro’s production and directorial work is utterly above reproach, that his visual style and insistence on practical effects (as opposed to CGI) in films like Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth made those movies memorable, and that the trailer will make your nipples hard… it’s giant frickin’ robots fighting giant frickin’ aliens!

Man of Steel
Speaking of aliens… Ordinarily I would scoff at reboots of reboots. Even if the 2nd Ghost Rider movie had been any good (it wasn’t), I would still be leery of any attempt at a mulligan. And maybe this summer’s iteration of Superman, brought to us by the misunderstood king of slicker’n snot action movies, Zack Snyder, isn’t a reboot of 2006’s disappointing Superman Returns (cue The Price is Right failure music) per se. It certainly doesn’t look like one, and from what I’ve been able to glean of the story it doesn’t read like one either. This time around, ol’ Supes struggles with his identity as an actual alien on Earth. (Possible spoilers follow… Also I may be totally wrong, this is just how I interpret the few details I’ve read about the script. You have been warned!) It seems his Kryptonian father, Jor-El (Russell Crowe), and mother are somewhat radical and chose to conceive their son naturally, eschewing the genetic manipulations dictated by Kryptonian law. This effectively makes them heretics and social outcasts, and makes their offspring an abomination in the eyes of Krypton’s leaders who send General Zod to retrieve him, dead or alive. If I’m right, this is a narrative with all kinds of possibilities: Superman is special in a bad way on Krypton, but special in a good way on Earth; he has powers he’s discouraged from using because they’ll identify him as alien; how far will a society (in this case, Kryptonian society) go to erase that which offends their mores and sensibilities and which they see as a threat to their way of life? I’m not a Snyder-hater, but I see the potential pitfalls and, assuming the screenplay is of decent quality, I hope he handles everything properly. Regardless, I’ll be there opening weekend.

This is a Top Five, but there are certainly to be more than 5 great summer blockbusters this year. For now I’ll merely give an “honorable mention” nod to ElysiumDespicable Me 2, and Kick-Ass 2. Elysium is Neill Blomkamp’s first directorial effort since 2009’s excellent District 9, and features Matt Damon kicking Jodie Foster’s ass… or something. 2010′ s Despicable Me is perhaps the best non-Pixar CGI animated feature in recent memory. It was hilarious and had a lot of heart. Here’s hoping its sequel will be equally entertaining. (Also, I like to walk around my house singing “POH-TAY-TOH-OH-OH!” at the top of my lungs. The wife loves it.) Kick-Ass 2 features a nearly-unrecognizable Jim Carrey. ‘Nuff said.

TBTS Reviews: Fitz and the Tantrums, “Out of My League/Spark” 10” single (Record Store Day limited edition)

April 30, 2013

fitz_oomlvinylsingleFitz and the Tantrums’ first album, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, was one of my favorite albums of 2010, and I’ve continued to play it consistently over the last three years. I also love that they’re a smoking hot live band that can whip a crowd into a frenzy, as evidenced in numerous Youtube clips and especially the beautifully done Live at the Metro show that pops up occasionally on Palladia.

For a while now, I’ve been looking forward to the May 7 release of the band’s second album, More Than Just a Dream. In advance of the album, a 10” vinyl pressing of the first single, “Out of My League” (b/w “Spark”), dropped first as a Record Store Day exclusive and is now available in the band’s Elektra web store. I was at a local shop for Record Store Day this year and decided to add “Out of My League/Spark” to my haul.

The item looks fabulous. Black front cover featuring only the pink neon heart graphic that seems to be a design motif for the new album and its marketing, which has been almost perfect thanks to the help provided by the team from the indexsy. Pink back cover with black and white text. Clear vinyl and the same pink/white/black color scheme on the label. It’s very nicely done in terms of design.

Unfortunately, I’m struggling to come up with many positive things to say about the two songs themselves. From the opening seconds of “Out of My League,” I hear a band that seems to have lost the warmth, groove, and swagger that made Pickin’ Up the Pieces an instant classic. The sound is now heavily synthetic and compressed to the extent that no single instrument is discernible. Forget about the delightful horn, flute, and organ work that once sizzled in every Fitz song. Perhaps worst of all, second vocalist Noelle Scaggs, such an integral presence on the first album, is inaudible except for a few “ooh-oohs” that just as easily could be coming from a manipulated version of lead singer Michael Fitzpatrick’s voice.

If anything, “Spark” is even worse because in a few spots, especially in the verses and the bridge, it feints at a bit of gritty soulfulness and tricks me into thinking that maybe not all is lost. But then that chorus and those “whoa-whoa-whoas” kick in, surely the most obnoxious things that Fitz and the Tantrums have yet committed to tape (or a hard drive), and it’s all I can do not to break my lovely clear vinyl single in half. That chorus and those whoas are such a lousy, pandering play to our particular Top 40 moment’s notion of catchiness, and both songs are a clear grab at some pop radio airplay and greater attention from general audiences. Read more…