Archive for December 17, 2012

Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox becomes fastest selling solo album of 2012

Bruno Mars takes home the title of fastest selling solo album of the year with new release Unorthodox Jukebox


Bruno Mars brings home the fastest selling solo album of 2012 as second album Unorthodox Jukebox debuts at Number 1 on the Official Albums Chart with huge sales of 136,000.

Unorthodox Jukebox, which features the Mark Ronson-produced single Locked Out Of Heaven, is the follow-up to 2010’s chart-topping Doo-Wops & Hooligans, the third biggest selling album of last year.

Mars leads an all-male Top 3 this week, Olly Murs’s Right Place Right Time jumps two places since midweek to the Number 2 spot, while Michael Buble’s Christmas album rests at 3. The seasonal shopping effect is evident this week as, joined by Emeli Sande’s Our Version Of Events (4), all four of today’s Top 4 albums break the 100,000 sales barrier, amassing welcome festive sales of nearly half a million copies between them this week alone.

Rod Stewart’s Merry Christmas, Baby completes the albums Top 5.

New entries

In addition to Bruno Mars’ Unorthodox Jukebox (1), there is one other new entry on today’s Official Albums ChartTop 40.

Tre, the third instalment of Green Day’s new trilogy of albums is new in at Number 31. The previous two albums in the series, Uno and Dos, peaked earlier this autumn at Number 2 and 10, respectively.

The Official Albums Chart Top 10 is as follows. Click here to see the Top 100 in full after 7PM.


© 2012 The Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

(By Lauren Kreisler for photos taken from


Ken Jeong as Mr. Chow in ‘The Hangover Part III’


Merely the news that The Hangover Part III won’t have the plot format as its predecessors gives the threequel a heads-up on Part II (and The Wolfpack’s all-too-familiar shenanigans therein). Instead, Phil, Stu and Alan are hitting the road for a wild trip that includes pig-masked bandits, psychotic Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) dressed (disguised?) as an officer of the law – and the scene of their first booze-fueled crimes, Las Vegas.

New official images from Hangover 3.0 tease The Wolfpack heading back to Sin City, as well as the (even-more) armed and dangerous Mr. Chow. Meanwhile, director Todd Phillips has spilled some additional details about the film; including, whose funeral The Wolfpack was attending in previously-released set photos.

The Wolfpack in Las Vegas in ‘The Hangover Part III’


Here’s what Phillips offered EW about the third installment:

“The Hangover Part III is Alan’s story. He’s going through a crisis after the death of his father, [and] the Wolfpack is all he has.”

Those with good memories might remember Galifianakis mentioning last year thatHangover Part III sees Alan’s buddies freeing him from a mental institution. Until further notice, it remains possible that Alan could indeed suffer a breakdown – following his father’s passing – that lands him in confinement; not to mention, sees The Wolfpack on a crazy adventure that takes them to Los AngelesTijuana and eventually Vegas after (to quote the EW report) “something from the first movie comes back to haunt them.”

While the Vegas image from Hangover 3 isn’t exactly enlightening (Abbey Road reference aside), the latter photo reveals a Mr. Chow who’s “darker than ever,”according to Phillips. Jeong – who likewise went fully-insane on the third season ofCommunity – will appear alongside John Goodman as a new antagonist, with returning players Mike Tyson and Heather Graham as heart-of-gold stripper Jade from the first film. (Is she what “comes back to haunt” The Wolfpack?)

Lastly, Phillips describes the movie as ‘‘a fitting end to this three-part opera of mayhem and bad decisions.” Do you agree, based on what we’ve learned so far?

The Hangover Part III opens in theaters on May 24th, 2013.

Source: EW

Homeland‘: Farewell To Greatness


To remain a brilliant, top-tier show, Homeland needed a miracle in the Season 2 finale.

It didn’t get it.

What Homeland did accomplish in 70 minutes is hammer home the kind of show it will be going forward, which wasn’t what attracted most people to it in the first place. Homeland is now a full-blown love story between Brody (Damian Lewis) and Carrie (Claire Danes), a kind of “spy who loves me even if I’m crazy and maybe he’s reformed” kind of thing.

That’s not the show I’m really interested in watching. Primarily because, in the second season, I just never bought the Carrie-Brody connection. I never felt it. Probably because it made such little sense. Listen, Brody and Carrie playing a game of cat-and-mouse between spy and agent? Sure, that’s good. And this, apparently, is where Homeland has been heading all along. Now, I had always believed – and most of the people I’ve heard from believed – that Homeland worked best as a spy thriller. Had anyone said, “Oh, by the way, it’ll turn into a love story between these two” then I wouldn’t have invested the time.

My worry for Homeland is that it’s now precisely where the creators and Showtime want it to be – the spy who loved me thing, with the intricacies of making Carrie and Brody’s doomed love ever find peace and happiness. Ugh. I’m utterly convinced, from talks with people near the show, that this was the long term plan.

Unfortunately, what mucks the whole thing up is that setting the stage to get there was what made Homeland a great show. Having those two at odds – the cat and the mouse – was what moved Homeland. First it was “is he or isn’t he” a spy? Then it was, “will he or won’t he” perpetrate an act of terrorism on the United States? A quarter of that was Carrie having screwed up feelings about Brody because, well, Carrie is screwed up.

To have the finale be this elaborate, incredibly complicated plan by Abu Nazir – that needed an untold number of coincidences to be successful – wherein he exacts maximum revenge from the grave and still pins it on Brody is a step too far. That might have elicited some high-fives in the writers’ room (we pulled it all together!) but I fear it will be met with disappointment and cynicism from a large contingent of fans. Because to have that plan work out perfectly — flaws and all — just to set up a scenario where Carrie works to free an innocent Brody from a worldwide manhunt in the name of love is, let’s be really straight about this, an incredible letdown.

Now, just to clear up a couple of important factors. No, I don’t think Brody was playing Carrie so he can complete his ultimate mission. Create as many theories as you’d like, but the primary emphasis of this finale was to put the Abu Nazir storyline in the past while also having the after-effect be that Brody is a fugitive and Carrie will be tracking him (because, in the logic of Homeland, she knows him best, so you can’t take her off the case). But in the course of trying to bring him in, she will be working to clear his name. Maybe somewhere in Season 5 the doomed lovers can go back to that cottage in the woods, get a good night’s sleep and put their feet in the lake and exhale, growing old together.

That’s not the show I’m particularly keen to watch.  However, I’d be foolish to say at this point that I won’t watch Season 3. By then I may have put aside my disappointment for what Homeland could have been and for what I wanted it to be, and proceed only slightly begrudgingly with this new idea of fugitive and savior, with love at the core.

In the latter half of Season 2, Homeland got incredibly preposterous and lost its way. It was implausible. That implausibility undercut all the hard-earned praise from Season 1. And the show crept ever closer to 24, the comparison nobody wants (if you’re trying to make a great series).

In Season 3, it looks like Saul will be in command. Against all logic, Carrie will be retained. As a team, they will try to track down Brody (but for different reasons). I would watch that show for one reason – an increased role for Mandy Patinkin, who completely and utterly anchors the show. Maybe Brody will go all Jason Bourne on us – those movies are pretty great, you know. He will elude capture even though pretty much everyone in the world knows what he looks like. It could be a fun and entertaining show.

But here’s what it won’t be – Homeland, Season 1. That was a truly superb series. That’s the show I loved. Hey, it was great while it lasted. Most of Season 2 fell far short of the bar set the prior season. And now maybe Season 3 will have different expectations. Because it will be a different show.

(by Tim Goodman for


President Obama Makes a Statement on the Shooting in Newtown, Connecticut

The Rolling Stones and Lady GagaGimme Shelter

performance in HD


African-American Film Critics name ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ best film

1134604 - Zero Dark Thirty
“Zero Dark Thirty,” Kathryn Bigelow‘s chronicle of the search for terrorist Osama bin-Laden, continued its winning ways Sunday evening when it was named best film of 2012 by the African-American Film Critics Association.

The film, which opens Wednesday, has already won best film honors from the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review, and it received best film nominations last week for the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the Golden Globes.

But it was Ava DuVernay‘s drama about how a marriage is affected when the husband goes to prison, “Middle of Nowhere,” that was the big winner Sunday, receiving four awards: actress for Emayatzy Corinealdi, screenplay for DuVernay, independent film and music for Kathryn Bostic & Morgan Rhodes.


Ben Affleck was named best director for “Argo,” while actor honors went to Denzel Washington for “Flight.” Sally Fieldwas named best supporting actress for “Lincoln,” and Nate Parker earned the supporting actor award for “Arbitrage.”

France’s “The Intouchables” was named best foreign film, while young Quvenzhane Wallis received breakout performance for “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

Animation honors went to “Rise of the Guardians.” There was a tie for documentary between “The House I Live In” and “Versailles ’73.”

The organization also selected 10 films of distinction for 2012: “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Argo,” “Lincoln,” “Middle of Nowhere,” “Life of Pi,” “Les Miserables,” Django Unchained,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Think Like a Man.”

Billy Dee WilliamsCicely Tyson, Clint Culpepper and Rainforest Films were Special Achievement Award recipients.

The African-American Film Critics Assn. will present the awards in a private ceremony Feb. 8 at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood.

(By Susan King for


“Homeland” and “The Big Bang Theory” top the list of TV winners.


David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook was the big winner at the 17th annual Satellite Awards, which were held this evening at the Intercontinental Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Presented by the International Press Academy, which includes the European Critics Association, the ceremony saw Playbook take home five awards, including best motion picture. Russell was named best director and the movie’s stars Bradley Cooper andJennifer Lawrence were hailed as best actor and actress, respectively. The film also picked up a trophy for editing by Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers.

On the television side, Homeland and The Big Bang Theory claimed three awards each, including best drama series and best comedy series respectively.

PHOTOS: Hollywood’s 19 Most Dramatic Big-Screen Transformations

Anne Hathaway received the best supporting actress award for Les Miserables, which also was awarded prizes for best song, “Suddenly,” and best sound. The best supporting actor award went to Javier Bardem for Skyfall.

The award for best international film resulted in a tie, with France’s The Intouchables and South Korea’s Pieta sharing in the honors. Rise of the Guardians was named best animated film, and Chasing Ice, best documentary.

Mark Boal received the award for best original screenplay for Zero Dark Thirty, whileDavid Magee received the award for best adapted screenplay for Life of Pi.

PHOTOS: Golden Globe Awards 2013: The Complete List of Nominees

Other film winners included: Alexandre DesplatArgo, score; Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi, cinematography; Michael LantieriKevin BaillieRyan TudhopeJim Gibbs,Flight, visual effects; Rick CarterCurt BeechDavid CrankLeslie McDonald, art direction & production design, LincolnManon Rasmussen, costume design, A Royal Affair.

The television winners were:

Hatfields & McCoys, miniseries/motion picture made for television.

Julianne MooreGame Change, actress in a miniseries/motion picture made for tv.

Benedict CumberbatchSherlock, actor in a miniseries/motion picture made for TV.

Maggie SmithDownton Abbey, supporting actress in a miniseries/motion picture made for TV.

Neal McDonoughJustified, supporting actor in a miniseries/motion picture made for TV.

Homeland, drama.

Walking Dead, genre.

Claire DanesHomeland, actress, drama.

Damian LewisHomeland, actor, drama.

The Big Bang Theory, comedy.

Kaley CuocoThe Big Bang Theory, actress, comedy.

Johnny GaleckiThe Big Bang Theory, actor, comedy.

Special Achievement Awards were given to:

Terence Stamp, outstanding contribution to the entertainment industry.

Walter Murch, Nikola Tesla Award.

Paul Williams, Auteur Award.

Bruce Davison, Honorary Satellite Award.

Quvenzhane WallisBeasts of the Southern Wild, Newcomer Award

Benh ZeitlinBeasts of the Southern Wild, Humanitarian Award.

Les Miserables, best ensemble, motion picture.

Walking Dead, best ensemble, television.


(by by Gregg Kilday for


In this age of Internet searches and YouTube playlists, a great video can pluck a song from obscurity and make it a worldwide sensation. Music videos can also be political statements, emotional confessions, or even just lighthearted fare for established fans of the music. Here are the 25 music videos that brought humor, insight, opinions, and often just plain fun into the world of music this year.

–words taken from paste magazine. videos compiled from many sources

Box Office Results: The Hobbit Sets New December Opening Weekend Record

the hobbit

The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Clickhere for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office.

New Line Cinema and MGM’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey kicked off the holiday season with an estimated $84.8 million, a new December opening weekend record, surpassing the $77.2 million earned by Will Smith-starrer I Am Legend the same weekend in 2007. The Peter Jackson film debuted in 4,045 theaters in which it averaged a strong $20,958 per location.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey received an A CinemaScore from moviegoers which should help with word-of-mouth through the holidays. 58% of the audience was over the ages of 25 and males made up 57% of the audience.

$10.1 million of the domestic total came from the 326 IMAX theaters the film opened in this weekend. That’s an average of $31,000 per screen. Internationally, the picture broke an IMAX December record grossing $5 million in 126 IMAX locations (an average of $40,000). The IMAX locations which showed the film in 48 fps were quite strong, generating $44,000 per screen domestically and $57,000 per screen internationally. IMAX’s global weekend total for “The Hobbit” is an estimated $15+ million, which is a record for December.

In North America, DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians remained in second place with $7.4 million for a four-week total of $71.4 million. The animated family adventure cost about $145 million to make.

DreamWorks Pictures‘ Lincoln climbed a spot to third with $7.2 million. The $65 million Steven Spielberg film has earned $107.9 million after six weeks in theaters.

Dropping from first place to fourth, Sony and MGM’s Skyfall added $7 million domestically for a total of $272.4 million after six weeks. Internationally, the 23rd James Bond film grossed an estimated $12.2 million this weekend, bringing the overseas total to $678.7 million. Worldwide, the film has earned $951 million to date.

Ang Lee’s Life of Pi rounded out the top five with $5.4 million its fourth weekend. The Twentieth Century Fox Film release has collected $69.6 million after four weeks.

Also, Summit’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 earned $45.2 million its fifth weekend for a domestic total of $276.9 million.

Weekend Box Office

December 14, 2012 – December 16, 2012 

TW LW Title Studio Weekend Theaters Total Week
1 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey New Line Cinema (Warner Bros. Pictures)
2 2 Rise of the Guardians DreamWorks Animation
3 4 Lincoln DreamWorks Pictures
4 1 Skyfall Columbia Pictures (Sony), MGM
5 5 Life of Pi 20th Century Fox
6 3 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 Summit Entertainment
7 7 Wreck-It Ralph Walt Disney Pictures
8 6 Playing for Keeps FilmDistrict
9 8 Red Dawn FilmDistrict
10 11 Silver Linings Playbook The Weinstein Company
11 9 Flight Paramount Pictures
12 Argo Warner Bros. Pictures




The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ 48 FPS 3D – Good or Bad?


Most critics have weighed in with their thoughts about director Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (read our review), with the reactions varying accordingly. However, the most commonly-derided aspect is the film’s appearance when projected in its native format: 48 frames per second (fps) 3D, which is twice the standard for theater showings. The issue has hounded An Unexpected Journeysince Jackson premiered footage in 48 fps at CinemaCon 2012; lately, he seems to be spending more time discussing the format (or, rather, defending it) than other film elements, thematic and technical alike.

Warner Bros. is noticeably concerned about blowback, as evidenced by the limited rollout and lack of surcharge for 48 fps Hobbit screenings. Jackson is ready to embrace it as a new storytelling tool but for studios, the jury’s still out on whether 48 fps is the next ‘big thing’ (see: 3D and/or IMAX) or the latest in a line of failed attempts to shake up the viewing experience (Smell-o-vision, anyone?) – and by that we mean, something that audiences will pay for.

What the higher frame-rate does is remove that thin layer of graininess that allows viewers to distinguish between images projected on a theater screen (something artificial) and their surroundings in the real world, purely on the basis of sight. This results in camera and actors’ movements onscreen appearing faster than normal; not to mention, it makes it all the more obvious when practical effects (be it sets, props, makeup or costumes) and CGI have been manufactured on the cheap.

HD televisions and Blu-rays have a similar impact, revealing the imperfections and flaws in older titles (and newer ones, at that) which were previously masked by the haziness afforded from lower frame-rate projections. Similarly, motion onscreen in general is often perceived as sped-up and therefore blurrier, simply because so many longtime viewers are accustomed to the ‘slowdown’ effect of the traditional 24 frame-rate screening (going back to the early 20th century, that is).

the hobbit-unexpected-journey-reviews

An Unexpected Journey, by comparison, doesn’t suffer so much from those issuesbecause Jackson and his collaborators took added transparency into consideration while shooting at 48 fps; hence, viewers are actually meant to be able to see the finer details. As a result, the fine craftsmanship of film artists who work with their hands, basic machinery or state-of-the-art computers is easier to appreciate; not to mention, scenes where human and CGI players interact seem more believable (as both now look equally “real”).

Of course, this presents a philosophical dilemma: Should these things look “real?” Middle-earth, as presented in The Hobbit, is the sort of fairytale kingdom that one might conjure up from their imagination (as J.R.R. Tolkien did so many years ago). When you reduce artificiality and instill a heightened sense of realism, it dwindles the sensation of peering into a dreamworld; worse, it leaves some people with the same (bad) impression as a low-budget recording of a stage performance. That’s why some have dismissed Jackson’s Hobbit ’experiment’ as misguided at best, a gimmick with little artistic merit at worst.

the hobbit bilbo-rivendell-hobbit-trailer-570x244

Andrew Lesnie’s cinematography throughout An Unexpected Journey uses 3D to its advantage, combing subtle (but constant) camera motion with sweeping crane and aerial shots to generate an immersive visual design. Moreover, when viewed with the 48 fps format, the grandiose shots of environments both real (the New Zealand landscape) and fake (tunnels and mines in the Lonely Mountain) end up bearing a stronger resemblance to a model; that holds true for the individuals that populate them, be they computer-generated or genuine.

Again, this quality can be a distraction and jarring for those not prepared. However, it (arguably) allows cinematic visuals to better imitate what the real world looks like to the human eye, when perceived from either a great height or up close. This also makes the 3D viewing experience smoother and less cumbersome (ie. higher fps = fewer headaches). Moreover, it seems to reduce the frequency of 3D images that take on a pop-up book appearance and benefits certain camera techniques (like changing the depth of field). Indeed, that makes 3D and 48 fps a natural fit.


Jackson’s intention with these technical choices is quite apparent: the more real various components of Middle-earth look, the more moviegoers will feel as though they’ve been transported there (in theory). It’s not meant to distract from key storytelling elements (narrative structure, pacing); rather, it’s meant to enhance. Whether or not it inadvertently ends up serving the former rather that latter and intended purpose, is the basis for continuing debates about the subject.

Interestingly enough, the 48 fps format might be best-suited for films that aren’t reliant on heavy amounts of digital shots or big-budget panache; that is, smaller projects aiming for something closer to cinéma vérité would benefit more from the crystal-clear visual presentation. On the other hand (as mentioned before), that format does reduce physical stress from 3D viewing and helps to seamlessly blend practical/CGI components. Its storytelling value is flexible, depending on what the director is going for (similar to the partial use of IMAX in such films as The Dark Knight Rises).

the hobbit

Jackson perhaps put it best himself when he clarified that increased frame-rate projection is not meant to be an industry game-changer (a la color, sound, 3D). To quote:

“The big thing to realize is that it’s not an attempt to change the film industry. It’s another choice. The projectors that can run at 48 frames can run at 24 frames – it doesn’t have to be one thing or another. You can shoot a movie at 24 frames and have sequences at 48 or 60 frames within the body of the film. You can still do all the shutter-angle and strobing effects. It doesn’t necessarily change how films are going to be made. It’s just another choice that filmmakers have got and for me, it gives that sense of reality that I love in cinema.”

(reviewed by sandy schaefer. images taken from


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