Thursday, December 31, 2009
Have a great rest of 2009 and a very happy new year!
Have a great rest of 2009 and a very happy new year!
Roger Ebert has released his list of the best films of the decade and he includes Almost Famous, (one of my all-time favorite movies) Juno, and The Hurt Locker all of which I couldn't agree more were excellent movies. Read the rest of his list here. What were some of your favorite movies of the past 10 years?
According to Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt, Jay Z's and Alicia Keys' Empire State of Mind, Green Day's 21 Guns and Miley Cyrus' Party in the USA are among the best singles of 2009. Do you agree? Check out the rest of the list.
As the new year (and decade) is upon us, lots of thoughts have been put out there about the top entertainment news of the decade. From reality shows, to DVRs, to the ubiquitous paparazzi, it's been quite a decade. Check out this list.
The winner and runner-up of this past season of Top Chef, brothers Michael and Brian Voltaggio respectively, will appear in a web series together featuring their favorite ingredients, techniques and gadgets. Sounds pretty intriguing.
Top Chef head judge Tom Colicchio will be closing his New York restaurant, Craftsteak, and reopen it as Colicchio & Sons in January. It will not feature the $100 steak dinners that it did before but will continue to focus on "farm-to-table" food. Check it out.
Vince Vaughn, who has been seen at many Blackhawks games this year and even went to Patrick Kane's (no. 88 on the Blackhawks) birthday party, was once again at the game last night. He was on the ice before the game started -- pretty cool. The crowd gave him a huge round of applause.
So I did not know this word until a few days ago. A cruciverbalist is a person who constructs crossword puzzles. The wildest thing is how I became familiar with the word: the movie All About Steve. How random, right? Sandra Bullock's one movie this year that did not do huge business at the box office, as silly as it is, is actually full of all sorts of trivia as she plays a cruciverbalist who knows everything about everything.
Great movie. Just saw it over the weekend. Julia Child is so fascinating and Meryl Streep's portrayal of her is phenomenal. I enjoy shows like Top Chef and just watching how chefs do their thing and this movie makes me want to be adventurous and just cook anything and everything.
Just saw Law Abiding Citizen with Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx. Wild movie. Fun fact: the movie is based in Philadelphia and in a scene where the mayor (played by Viola Davis) is swearing in the new D.A, the actual Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, is standing right next to her holding the Bible.
Huge weekend for movies. Avatar was the number 1 movie for the second week in a row with $75 million. Have you seen it? Sherlock Holmes was no. 2 with $65 million. Alvin and the Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel (that word cracks me up every time- so clever) also did very well in the number 3 slot.
Two movies that I would not normally see in the theatre were great rentals.
500 Days of Summer was quirky and filmed in a cool way with great acting.
The Proposal was ridiculous in every way but funny with a great role by Betty White.
On the same day (today) it was announced that long time couple Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon split up after 23 years together, Jeopardy (which is pre-taped) has a question/answer about the movie, Bull Durham, which just happens to be where Robbins and Sarandon met. Wacky timing.
For the fourth week in a row, Susan Boyle's album is number 1. Wow, is she performing well - just under 2.5 million in sales in a month and in that short amount of time she has the top selling album of 2009. Alicia Keys came in at number 2, with 417,000 in sales, for the debut of her new album, The Element of Freedom.
Steven Tyler is working hard to rejoin Aerosmith, as he stated to Rolling Stone: “I wish to set the record straight and say that I have read reports of a rumored two-year hiatus and want to be clear that this is completely false and I will enthusiastically be writing, recording and performing with Aerosmith as soon as things are handled,”. According to Rolling Stone, Tyler has entered rehab for an addiction to prescription painkillers.
So if you watched Survivor this season, or at the very least, the finale Sunday night, it was clear that Russell in many ways took control of the game. He made huge move after huge move, usually determining who would be voted off week after week. He was also one of the finalists, yet the jury did not vote for him to win. He was very upset when the results were revealed and Survivor host Jeff Probst agrees that the jury did not make the right call in voting for Natalie to win. Check out Jeff's blog about the finale. Very interesting.
By the way, I am very excited about the upcoming all stars season, Survivor: Heroes v Villains. Should be quite intriguing.
Mary J. Blige's Stronger with each Tear
Nine's Movie Soundtrack
Eminem's Relapse: Refill
Dave Matthews Band's Europe 2009
Out on DVD...
(500) Days of Summer
-Zooey Deschanel. 'nuff said ;)
-A must see!! Simply awesome!
Family Guy Presents: Something Something Something Dark Side
-This is a retelling of Empire Strikes Back - should be hilarious!
It Might Get Loud
-With Jimmy Page and The Edge
Kyle XY: The Complete Third And Final Season
-I watched the first season and liked it, but didn't continue watching - I may go back and watch the series as it's only 3 seasons!
Just saw Avatar on IMAX - all I can say is WOW! Whether you are into sci-fi fantasy or not the visuals are amazing/striking to say the least. It took a few minutes for my eyes to asjust to the 3-D environment, but then you felt like you were literally immersed in the movie. It's not like any 3-D movie you've seen before. Run (don't walk) to see it!
Quite a show. Among the highlights: Boyz II Men singing a medley including End of the Road and Yesterday, Natasha Bedingfield rockin' out with Voices of Lee singing Pocketful of Sunshine, Nicole singing You Don't Own Me amazingly with the Beelzebubs, Smokey Robinson beautifully singing Tracks of My Tears with Nota, and Bobby McFerrin leading the 3 finalists in improv acapella. Lots of great music. And the winner...Nota! I am so happy for them - they are so incredibly talented and seem like such good guys. I can't wait to hear the music they come out with. Did you watch?
The top 2 vote getters for fan favorite were Kevin and Brian, but Kevin emerged as the winner of the $10,000 bringing his total won throughout the season to $55,000. Pretty sweet.
Such sad news. Actress Brittany Murphy, only 32 years old, passed away this morning. She broke out as a star in the 1995 film Clueless and has been in many movies since such as 8 Mile and Just Married and voiced the character Luanne Platter in the animated series King of the Hill. Her co-star and former boyfriend, Ashton Kutcher, twittered: "2day the world lost a little piece of sunshine. My deepest condolences go out 2 Brittany's family, her husband, & her amazing mother, Sharon."
Remember 1985's Vision Quest starring Matthew Modine and Linda Fiorentino? I totally remember watching it in a friend's basement on the VCR, but I digress. A remake is in the works with none other than New Moon's Taylor Lautner to star. He was the host of SNL last week and actually showed quite a range of acting skills. I have to say, I would not have guessed that there would be an updated version of this movie being done.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers' guitarist John Frusciante has quit the group for the second time. As the word is that they are working on a new album, he has been replaced by guitarist Josh Klinghoffer. Thoughts on the departure?
Are you a fan of USA's series, White Collar? Well, it has just been picked up for a second season. I have heard lots of great things about it and have been meaning to watch it. Tiffani Thiessen of Beverly Hills, 90210 and Saved by the Bell fame stars on the show with Sex and the City's Willie Garson and Matthew Bomer. It will be returning for the rest of its first season in January. Perhaps it's time to set the DVR!
Just saw Up in the Air today starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Jason Bateman and Anna Kendrick. It's been getting lots of buzz and awards nominations and I can see why. It's a mixture of serious recession related topics with comedy, family and drama mixed in. It's certainly not the typical Hollywood movie and the acting is phenomenal. Have you seen it?
Kathy Griffin will be joining Anderson Cooper again to host New Year's Eve live on CNN from New York's Time Square. Last year was the height of hilarity as Kathy inadvertently said all kinds of wrong things live and the clip of her slip was a YouTube favorite at the beginning of this year. I am sure there will be all sorts of fun to be had this year.
Wow. So the 3 groups I was hoping would make it into the finals did: Nota, the Beelzebubs, and Voices of Lee. I think Candace from Voices of Lee has arguably the best voice in the competition. She sounds like the amazingly talented Christina Aguilera and Alicia Keys at the same time. I also really liked what they did with Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror, even though 2 of the judges weren't as into it. I also thought Nota did an incredible job with Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer, especially considering they weren't familiar with the song. The Beelzebubs did a phenomenal job with their Who medley. Who do you want to win?
Monday's Live Finale sounds really cool with Boyz II Men performing a capella, Ben Folds performing, Smokey Robinson singing and many others.
The Good Wife, my favorite new show of the season, had its highest ratings ever so far last night with over 14 million viewers. It was particularly awesome last night, with twists, turns, mystery, thriller, drama and action all wrapped up into one. I wonder if Julianna Margulies' Golden Globe nomination announced yesterday morning had anything to do with the phenomenal ratings. The Sing-Off also continued to do very well. Check it out.
Another fun night of the a capella competition show. Each group did a popular song from the last 2 years and then a guilty pleasure. Nota and the Beelzebubs were particularly awesome with their guilty pleasure songs of Stayin Alive and Come Sail Away with Me, respectively. Another highlight was hearing judge Shawn Stockman from Boyz II Men sing a few notes with his amazing voice while critiquing one of the groups.
The Sing-Off also did very well in the ratings last night. The show performed the best in its Monday night time slot for NBC in the 18-49 demographic since September 28. Pretty cool.
The Golden Globe Nominations were announced this morning. Up in the Air and Nine were among the movies with the highest number of nominations. Glee and 30 Rock also did well. Personal highlights: Glenn Close and Rose Byrne were both nominated for Damages, Julianna Margulies was nominated for The Good Wife, Simon Baker was nominated for The Mentalist, Neil Patrick Harris was nominated for How I Met Your Mother and Entourage was nominated. Click here for the full list of nominees.
Well, just watched the first episode and have to say it's mundacity (is that a word?) is the most fascinating part of the series.
The "show" plods along without anything really happening except for showing the brothers argue over recording a new Jackson album.
The brothers are depicted as mama boys and are seen playing basketball - wholesome and clean fun.
It's cool to catch a glimpse of the Jackson family outside of Michael and Janet but something is missing from the series (besides holdout Randy), namely Michael and Janet (whom the brothers call to wish happy birthday at one point).
"We are family..." - sort of.
Out on DVD...
-- Post From My iPhone
Green Day will be getting their own Rock Band video game including music from their entire career. Awesome. Check this out: "the Green Day game will allow players to put themselves in venues and environments specific to the NoCal trio, and will feature key moments from the band’s three-decade career. " As I have mentioned previously, they are unbelievable in concert so this adds a whole other dimension to the Green Day experience. Click here to read more about it.
So I have mentioned how much I loved acapella in college. Well, tonight, the new competition, The Sing-Off debuted with 8 acapella groups doing their thing. It was really cool, especially since one of my favorite groups from my college years, the Beelzebubs, are in the show (with different people since it's a college group) and they advanced to the second round. I got their CD when they visited my school back in the day and played it over and over.
Ben Folds, a great musician and one of the judges, clearly knows his stuff as he analyzed each group's performance - pretty cool hearing him talk music. Boys 2 Men's Shawn Stockman is also one of the judges which is awesome considering how incredible Boyz II Men is -- all of the acapella groups covered at least one Boyz II Men song when I was in school. Very excited to see how the rest of these shows play out.
The Chicago and Toronto based Second City comedy troupe, which launched tons of careers including Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, John Belushi, Bill Murray and John Candy is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend. Pretty amazing. Check out this in-depth article detailing the history and origins of this incredible- and still thriving- business.
To hear about what went on at the weekend's festivities in Chicago - with tons of alumni - read this.
Lilith Fair is back and better than ever. The initial lineup has just been announced and it sounds pretty amazing. I went to Lilith Fair in the nineties and it was awesome. One tremendous act after another. Among the highlights for next summer are Sarah McLachlan, The Indigo Girls, Erykah Badu, Colbie Callait, Corinne Bailey Rae, Sheryl Crow, Mary J. Blige, Miranda Lambert, Jill Scott and Sara Bareilles. Check out the full list here.
Check out this interview with J.J. Abrams, the Gen X extraordinaire. I know we have mentioned this before --I just have to say it again - he truly is amazingly talented at so many things and so many genres from writing to directing to producing to science fiction (Star Trek), thriller/action (Alias) to drama/romance (Felicity). It's incredibly cool.
Wow. Throughout the season, I so thought Kevin was going to win. Who knew he would come in 3rd? He dominated almost every week and had a rough night in the finals. Then, when it was clear Kevin was out of the running, I was convinced Brian would pull out the win, since he had some dishes the judges loved. I felt really bad for him. He looked stunned and bummed when Michael, his younger and very competitive brother, got the win. It was pretty cool that their Moms were there to give them support. Also cool to see pictures of the brothers together when they were younger and Kevin as a teenager. Lots of people tuned in.
Sundance has a new program in which 8 films will be accompanied by their filmmakers to screen in art house theatres throughout the US and afterwards engage in a Q & A session with the audience. Among those films chosen are Philip Seymour Hoffman's, Jack Goes Boating, coming to Chicago and Adrian Grenier's, Teenage Paparazzo, coming to Los Angeles. The screenings will take place January 28. Sounds really cool.
For the second week in a row, Susan Boyle has the no. 1 album. And, in only 2 weeks in release, it has reached platinum status. Pretty unbelievable. She is quite the sensation. Check it out. Are you a fan?
Last night was the finale of the 8th season of the Biggest Loser and it did really well in the ratings. It's truly amazing to watch the transformations of the contestants. The winner, Danny, and runner up, Rudy, each lost over %50 of their starting weight - incredible. The at home winner, Rebecca, lost just under %50 and seemed like a new person with her new level of confidence. Danny said he changed so much people don't recognize him at all when he walks around.
Prince's art designer just released a number of limited editions prints of Prince!
The prints are officially sanctioned by Prince himself and are available online at The San Francisco Art Exchange:
The Art of Prince at The San Francisco Art Exchange
Peter Gabriel releases a new album in February, 2010 entitled, Scratch My Back. Peter has recorded 12 songs of other artists with the understanding that the artists will later record a Peter Gabriel song for a future album.
Just today Peter Gabriel announced a show, entitled New Blood, in March at the 02 Arena in the UK in support of the new album!
Peter Gabriel's Official Site
Peter Gabriel's Womad Shop for Tickets to New Blood
News about Peter Gabriel
Check out Lenny Kravitz's classy statement about the rumor he was joining Aerosmith as the lead singer: "“As much as I am flattered that Aerosmith’s camp would consider me to front the band, Steven Tyler is a family friend, and no voice could ever take the place of his,” Kravitz wrote. “I hope the band stays together. They are classic."
I actually saw Lenny Kravitz on tour opening for Aerosmith a few years back. It was awesome. Not only is he an amazing singer and performer, but he ran around the whole stadium high-fiving everyone during his set. Then Aerosmith came on and completely rocked their set.
As I have mentioned many times, I am a huge Green Day fan. Well, it turns out lots of people agree. Green Day topped many portions of Rolling Stone's decade-end reader's poll including best single, finest album (American Idiot) and most accomplished artist of the decade. Check it out.
Ray Romano's new show, Men of a Certain Age, debuted last night on TNT. It scored really big ratings. Did you catch the show last night? Were you an Everybody Love's Raymond fan?
Jimmy Buffett's Buffet Hotel
Snoop Dogg's Malice N Wonderland
Chris Brown's Graffiti
Timbaland's Shock Value 2
Out on DVD Today...
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Widescreen Edition) (2009)
Julie & Julia (2009)
Lost: The Complete Fifth Season (2009)
Public Enemies (Two-Disc Special Edition) (2009)
Billy Corgan/Smashing Pumpkins released a new song, "A Song for a Son", on their official site and is available to be streamed right now! I'm a moderate fan of Smashing Pumpkins, but haven't cared for Billy Corgan's Zwan effort nor his recent solo marterial. However, this new song (which is the first of 44 new tracks to be released on the Pumpkins website over the weeks/months ahead) is very, very good.
Smashing Pumpkins Official Site
It is being reported that Alexa Ray Joel (Billy Joel & Christie Brinkley's daughter) overdosed, tried to commit suicide, etc. I don't believe it for one minute. Alex Ray seems to have risen above the "Hollywood scene" and appears mature and grounded.
It was reported (on Roger Friedman's blog at showbiz411.com) that she took some homeopathic medication and suffered a reaction to it. Here's to a full recovery!
Damages will start to air its next season on Monday, January 25! Yeah! I am so excited to see the new twists and turns coming our way.
The Foo Fighters will be back, according to Dave Grohl, who is also a drummer for Them Crooked Vultures. He also notes that his favorite Foo Fighters song is Aurora which the crowd goes wild for at concerts. Check it out.
As previously mentioned, Green Day recorded another version of 21 Guns, off of their most recent album 21st Century Breakdown, with the cast of the American Idiot musical and now it is out. It is one of the few songs not from Green Day's album American idiot to be included in the musical.
The Blind Side, in its third weekend out, took the no.1 spot with over $20 million in business. New Moon took the number 2 spot, with over $15 million, and new release, Brothers, starring Natalie Portman, Tobey Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal, came in at no. 3. Check out all the results.
Were you a big fan of Steven Seagal movies back in the day? Well, he is back with a new reality show which debuted to great ratings or network A & E. Steven Seagal: Lawman, which documents his involvement with the Parish Sheriff's office in Louisiana, is a hit. Did you watch?
BEST POP PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCALS
"Sara Smile," Daryl Hall & John Oates
Not sure what performance of this classic song the nomination is for, but it's cool nonetheless...
Also, check out this funny trailer for The Cleveland show with a guest appearance by Daryl Hall & John Oates! I missed the show itself, but it should be on you tube or hulu...
The Cleveland Show Trailer
Check out the list of Grammy nominees that was revealed tonight. Beyonce leads all nominees with 10 nominations. Some personal highlights: Green Day and Dave Matthews Band each had a few nominations. The performance of the classic song "Can't Find my Way Home" (one of my favorites) was nominated. Anyone or group you are excited to see on the list?
The fantastic show Lie to Me is going to have some special guests. Many cast members from the FX show, The Shield, will be guest starring on an episode of Lie to Me this spring. Sounds very cool.
Chicago native Vince Vaughn has been seen at a lot of Cubs game and has even worked Wrigley Field into his movies. This winter he has been seen at the United Center and tonight is no exception. He was interviewed during one of the intermissions and seemed really excited to be at the game and watching the Blackhawks do their thing. It was quite a game to be at: the Hawks won in an 11 round shoot-out!
R. Kelly's Untitled
Il Divo's An Evening With Il Divo
Enya's The Very Best of Enya
Out on DVD...
Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (Single-Disc Edition) (2009)
Terminator Salvation (Widescreen Edition) (2009)
Mystery Science Theater 3000: XVI [Limited Edition]
Born in the 70s, they grew up together. They are both fascinated by all things pop culture. They are into tv, movies and music from comedies to dramas to rock. She likes sports and he likes science fiction. He focuses on all things future while she harps on the past. Together they ponder it all on GenXReflects.com