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Easing into 2019 with a few Things.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, January 02, 2019 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Aquaman repeats atop the chart 52.1MM on a 23 percent drop. The post-holiday drops will almost certainly be larger, but Momoa & Co. will easily crack 200MM domestic soon, likely zoom by Justice League and -- depending on how slow January is (and Jan can be a weak month for new releases) even take a run at Man of Steel's 291MM by the end of its run. It's already made more than both of those movies on a worldwide basis and probably saved the DCEU as well as Atlantis. Mary Poppins Returns places with 28.4MM on a 20 percent bump up from last weekend, in a likely relief for the House of Mouse. Bumblebee shows with 20.9MM on a 4 percent drop; despite good reviews and word-of-mouth, it's underperforming the last one, which means this franchise may be dead unless it does really well in China (as Transformers movies usually do). Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse takes the fourth slot with 18.8MM on a 14 percent bump, and breaks the 100MM mark in the process; if it breaks 150MM, it probably gets the sequel it so richly deserves. The Mule rounds out the Top Five with 12.2MM on a 28 percent bump that continues to exceed expectations. Below the fold, Christmas releases Vice and Holmes and Watson open in sixth and seventh with numbers that suggest a couple of flops.

HOLMES AND WATSON reportedly  tested so poorly that Netflix turned it down.

KEVIN SPACEY will have to attend his arraignment on sexual assault charges in Nantucket.

SCARLETT JOHANSSON speaks out against AI-generated fake pr0n using her face.

DWAYNE JOHNSON got his Mom a house for Christmas.

USHER has officially filed from divorce from his estranged wife, Grace Miguel.

KATIE HOLMES & JAMIE FOXX were caught canoodling on a private luxury yacht, just before the New Year's holiday. 

ANGELINA JOLIE is leaving the door open to politics.

DAME JUNE WHITFELD, celebrated for her comic roles in BBC sitcom Terry and June and cult favourite Absolutely Fabulous - has died aged 93.

More tomorrow, most likely.

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I want you to know that I will never want that wagon-wheel coffee table.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 28, 2018 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE NEW YEAR STARTS HERE:

...with THE BEAT FARMERS!  Making a tradition of this more sober than usual, professionally-shot, early BF gig recorded at Universal Studios, including "There She Goes Again" (VU); "Road to Ruin," "Bigger Fool," "Reason to Believe" (Springsteen), "Powderfinger" (N. Young), "Happy Boy," "Big Ugly Wheels," "Bigger Stones," "Gun Sale at the Church," "Dallas Blues," "I Wanna Be Free," "Lakeside Trailer Park," "Death Train," and "Seven Year Itch."  If you're new to the band, my picks would be "Bigger Stones," "Happy Boy" and the cover of your choice.  BONUS:  Now how much would you pay?  But wait... there's more!  If you really want to see someone put the "bar" in "bar band," watch these NSFW clips from Houston, TX of the late Country Dick Montana leading the band through "Lucille" (K. Rogers) -- complete with his favorite beer bottle stunts -- followed by "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Wino," "Are You Drinkin' With Me, Jesus?" and "Mondo."  SUPER-SPECIAL BONUS: Country Dick rolls out "California Kid" and "Anarchy in the UK" (Language warning).

WFUV'S HOLIDAY CHEER includes mini-sets from Shannon Shaw, The Lone Bellow, and John Prine (with a cameo from Nathaniel Rateliff).

ST VINCENT, CYNDI LAUPER, KELLY CLARKSON and more perform at the Kennedy Center Honors.

KURT VILE plays unplugged at The Current.

U2: Crushingly obvious, I know

NICK CAVE & SHANE MacGOWAN: "What a Wonderful World."

ABBA wishes you a "Happy New Year,"  but it doesn't sound anywhere as celebratory as "Take A Chance On Me." 

THE MOUNTAIN GOATS perform "This Year" at the M-Shop in Ames, IA.

OTIS & CARLA have a "New Year's Resolution."

CLAUDE PATE: Don't forget you can stream "New Year" on the Tube, with comments from a member of The Eclectics and Friend of Pate Ken King.

JOE JACKSON: Pate frequently attempted "One More Time" to often hilarious effect, so today I stick with Joe's early material, including "Sunday Papers" live on the OGWT, "Kinda Kute" on the Kenny Everett Video Show, and a Beat Crazy-era run of "On Your Radio."  The Rock Goes To College show provides live takes on "It's Different For Girls,"  "I'm The Man," and this pulsing version of his signature "Is She Really Going Out With Him?"  BONUS: The appropos finale, "Got The Time?

FLUXBLOG's epic 2018 Survey Mix.

THE 25 STRANGEST NME Stories of 2018.

THE 51 BEST ALBUMS of 2018, according to SPIN.

THE 100 BEST SONGS of 2018, according to NPR.

THE BEST REISSUES of 2018, according to NPR.

THE TOP 5 ROLLING STONES-EY SONGS of 2018, according to Stereogum.

IN MEMORIAM 2018: The Musicians We Lost.

THE PITCHFORK READERS' POLL results for 2018 are announced.

THE SUNDAY LONGREADS of 2018.

THE ZOMBIES: "This Will Be Our Year."

THE BEST MOVIES of 2018, according to the New York Times' critics.

THE BEST MOVIES of 2018, according to Uproxx's critics.

THE BEST FILMS of 2018, according to the Sub-Beacon podcast.

KEVIN SPACEY's Bizarre Video Racked Up 4.5M Views in 24 Hours.

VAN HALEN's original lineup are rumored to be reuniting for a 2019 stadium tour, which would be their first tour together in 35 years.

FRANK ADONIS, best known for his roles in some of Martin Scorsese's most famous films, died at 83 after a long battle with various health issues.

FIONA THE HIPPO breaks the 1000 pound milestone.

A FESTIVE FOX, overjoyed with a dog's toy.

UNDER MARITIME LAW, your vessel may be subject to safety inspection at any time.

MOST FEARSOME BORK in history.

NO JURY would convict this cat.

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The post-Christmas "news" continues at a trickle...   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Thursday, December 27, 2018 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

... but THINGS:

KEVIN SPACEY's sex assault case reportedly has video.

LEAH REMINI still gets threats from Scientologists.

TAYLOR SWIFT and her new beau, Joe Alwyn, are chill in London.

KATY PERRY & ORLANDO BLOOM remain an item.

RITA ORA & ANDREW GARFIELD were caught on camera.

FRIENDS: The ol' gang makes 20MM a year apiece in syndication and Netflix.

More on Friday, I hope.

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The Day After, and there's a post.   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Wednesday, December 26, 2018 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

BUT LET'S EASE INTO THE POST-HOLIDAY, PRE-NEW YEAR INTERREGNUM:

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE: Aquaman tops the chart with 67.4MM (72.7MM domestic since opening), which is great news for the WB and surprisisng to anyone living, say, six months ago. People were looking for big, dumb fun in a Christmas Without a Star Wars Movie. Disney is probably kicking itself again for releasing Solo for Memorial Day -- but probably not too much, as Mary Poppins Returns places with 23.5MM (32.3MM since opening). It might not have the legs of The Greatest Showman, but should probably do much better than a decades-later follow-up normally would (a tribute to how the House of Mouse back catalog still resonates with generation after generation). Bumblebee shows with 21.6MM, which is not bad given the plunge the Transformers franchise was taking; good reviews and word-of-mouth may mean legs for the big robot. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse takes the fourth slot with 16.6MM on a 53 percent drop -- which saddens me a bit (because it's terrific), but doesn't shock me given the competition.  The interesting thing for me will be how much (if any) it drops next weekend. Indeed, the same goes for Aquaman. Spidey might also benefit as the other animated features drop down the chart. The Mule rounds out the Top Five with 9.7MM on a 44 percent drop and looks like it could hang onto its adult drama niche for a while.

NOW SHOWING: The Christmas wide releases are Vice, which is currently scoring 66 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; and Holmes and Watson, which was not advance screened.

KEVIN SPACEY faces a felony charge for allegedly sexually assaulting the teenage son of former Boston WCVB-TV news anchor Heather Unruh at a Nantucket bar in July 2016. Spacey responded with... a video?

TERRENCE HOWARD proposed to his ex-wife.

MILEY CYRUS & LIAM HEMSWORTH might be married. Maybe.

US: The next film from Jordan Peele has a trailer online.

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Pretty lights on the tree, I'm watchin' 'em shine   Printer-friendly page   Send this story to someone
Friday, December 21, 2018 - 08:00 AM
Posted by: Karl

Karl

THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY STARTS HERE:

... with CHRIS ISAAK, live at Universal Studios. Your holiday-themed numbers include "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," "Hey, Santa," "Last Month of the Year," "Blue Christmas," and "Christmas on TV." Bonus: Dreidel banter!

A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS:  Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.  Mental Floss has "The Real Story Behind A Charlie Brown Christmas (and why it almost wasn't shown)." The WaPo has reflections from producer-director Lee Mendelson.

DARLENE LOVE & RONNIE SPECTOR duet on "Sleigh Ride" and "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree."

THE POGUES:  It's not Christmas Eve in the drunk tank (or even St. Patrick's Day) without a "Fairytale of New York."  From 2012, here's the backstory. And at The Week, Michael B. Dougherty argues that it's the greatest Christmas song of all time. NME has 25 Things you didn't know about the tale.

ANTON BARBEAU, an occasional collaborator of the late Scott Miller, crafted his own "Xmas Song."

THE ALL SONGS CONSIDERED Holiday Extravaganza.

THE 10 BEST PUNK CHRISTMAS SONGS, according to L.A. Weekly.

35 ALTERNATIVE HOLIDAY SONGS, courtesy of NME.

THE BEST AND WORST CHRISTMAS COVERS of 2018, according to NME.

NORAD will be tracking Santa, per usual. CNET has a history and behind-the scenes story.

THE 25 BEST CHRISTMAS ALBUMS, according to Complex. BONUS: The L.A. Times rounds up the Merry and the Meh, including the evolving Christmas Time Again, by The dB's and Friends.

15 BIZARRE CHRISTMAS ALBUMS, courtesy of Mental Floss.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY of Christmas Songs.

BILLY MACK: Because "Christmas Is All Around."  ALSO: Is Love Actually is an awful movie? PLUS: We now know for sure what happened to Harry and Karen.

THE FLAMING LIPS perform "White Christmas" as only they can.

WHITE CHRISTMAS: A Snapshot Of The Most Successful Song In Music History.

SUPER FURRY ANIMALS: "The Keep That Keeps Giving."  Not to be confused with "The Gift," which is not Christmasey at all.

THE COURTEENEERS drop a video for "Winter Wonderland" that's not that Winter Wonderland.

CALEXICO: Speaking of presents, here's their "Gift X-Change."

THE MUPPETS: "Ringing of the Bells." Not to be confused with Super Furry Animals.

MICHAEL CAINE looks back at The Muppet Christmas Carol.

EMMET OTTER's JUG BAND CHRISTMAS Soundtrack.

AN XMAS FLASH MOB from the Berklee College of Music broke out into an impromptu performance of the classic Christmas carol “O Holy Night” at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

GLAM XMAS:  I started the month with Wizzard's awesome "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day" and Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody" (1973's UK Xmas No. 1). The circle is now complete.

HALL & OATES: "Jingle Bell Rock," reduced to its molten kitchy essense.

THE MOST COVERED CHRISTMAS SONGS, according to FiveThirtyEight.

16 WEIRD FACTS About Big Christmas Hits.

MARIAH CAREY's “All I Want For Christmas Is You” just hit the top 10 for the first time ever.

HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, online. Also, a 5-year-old called 911 on the Grinch.

DAVID BOWIE & BING CROSBY'S cross-generational duet o­n "Little Drummer Boy." This historic event was recreated by Will Farrell and John C. Reilly. Plus, Jack Black and Jason Segel have done a cartoon cover

NOW SHOWING:This weekend's wide releases include Aquaman, which is currently scoring 68 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Mary Poppins Returns, scoring 79 percent; Bumblebee, which is scoring 93 percent; Second Act, scoring 50 percent; Welcome to Marwen, scoring 24 percent; and They Shall Not Grow Old, scoring 97 percent. Mary Queen of Scots expands to 795 screens scoring 60 percent, while The Favourite expands to 788 screens scoring 94 percent.

THE YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS:  Many people believe human activity is causing global warming.  I blame Snow Miser and Heat Miser.

CHICAGO CHRISTMAS MEMORIES:  If you grew up in Chicago (and I suspect other places), the season is not complete without watching the short cartoons of "Hardrock, Coco & Joe" (a story fantastic, a story so queer), "Suzy Snowflake" and the jazzy version of "Frosty the Snowman."

THE BEATLES fan club messages for 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968 and 1969.

A CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR YOU...FROM PHIL SPECTOR: Essayed by Aquarium Drunkard and NME.

THE TRON 1982 HOLIDAY SPECIAL, courtesy of Funny Or Die.

THE SEX PISTOLS & THIN LIZZY played "A Merry Jingle" for Top of the Pops.  BONUS: The Pistols' final UK show was a Christmas benefit.

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Pate even had a song titled "Rope Around The Moon," so watch the whole thing. BONUS: Vintage Bailey backlash from warped, frustrated old people at the New York Times and Portfolio. DOUBLE-BONUS: 22 TV variations on It's A Wonderful Life.

RUDOLPH, THE RED-NOSED REINDEER:  Pull up an ice block and lend an ear!  Herbie wanted to be a dentistNTTAWWT.  BONUS:  The Rankin-Bass classic continues to inspire ads like 2009's Verizon ad, following 2008's Apple ad, even more so 2007's AFLAC commercial, and AT & T bringing in Rudolph, Bumble, and Santa for 2015.BONUS: NPR has a piece on the original manuscript.

FESTIVUS:  For the rest of us.  Technically already started, so I can be one of your grievances.

SCARY GHOST STORIES: I overheard Andy Williams crooning "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" in a store this month, and the lyric about "scary ghost stories" never really struck me before.  Took me a second, but I supposed he was referring to Dickens.  It turns out -- as noted by a coworker -- that this was a thing in Victorian England...  and the modern day. BONUS: Krampus, which has now inspired a major motion picture, and a Nativity set. DOUBLE BONUS: NME rounds up 10 Deliciously Scary Christmas Movies. TRIPLE BONUS: 18 Killer Santas From Film and TV.

LIAM NEESON auditions as a mall Santa.

TEN UNFORGETTABLE Musical Christmas Moments On Film.

THE 30 BEST CHRISTMAS MOVIES, according to Empire magazine.

FIVE REASONS Why Die Hard is a Christmas movie, not including the ornament.

HOME ALONE: Did Kevin McCallister grow up to become the Jigsaw Killer?

DRECK THE HALLS: A Holiday TV Specials Retrospective.

23 TV EPISODES based on "A Christmas Carol."

NAT KING COLE:  His chestnuts are roasting.

MAYMO THE BEAGLE gets 210 bottles for Christmas.

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, as told by cats.

27 DOGS That Do Christmas Better Than You Do Christmas.

29 CATS Trying To Figure Out This Whole Christmas Thing, and 29 CATS Who Just Want To Help You Decorate Your Tree.

A SHETLAND PONY in a Christmas foursie.

14 ANIMALS Who Tried to Ruin Christmas.

CHRISTMAS ON CHRISTMAS ISLAND involves millions of crabs.

AN AUSTRALIAN FAMILY shot into the Guinness Book of Records in 2011 after decorating their home with an astonishing 331038 Christmas lights. If the video at the link doesn't work, try this one.

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