Friday, June 26, 2009

Two Cents

YMB chimes in on what everyone else is already talking about

Truly shocking. Academy prez Sid Ganis announced Wednesday that, for the first time since 1943, there will be not five but TEN 2009 films vying for the Best Picture Oscar. Since I'm no longer speechless, I'll say this: I'm plenty curious to see which titles make the cut (more mainstream flicks? more art house pics?), but this move instantly lowers the value of being a Best Pic nominee. I can see the Blockbuster racks now: 'Top Ten new releases, Oscar nominees all!' There is one definite UPside, though (hehe).

"The Hangover"
This comedy, contrary to some idiotic theories, will not be among the ten nominees. As a giddy fan of "Road Trip" and "Old School," I was eager to throw back Todd Phillips' latest, especially since everyone from critics to high school kids can't shut up about it. I enjoyed it, particularly its work-backwards, solve-the-booze-soaked-mystery structure, but it surely isn't as hilarious or stupendous as the immense hype suggests.

Tim Burton's "Wonderland"
USA Today leaked some seriously beautiful and exciting photos from Tim Burton's upcoming "Alice in Wonderland," slated for March of 2010. Usual Burton collaborators Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter play the Mad Hatter and the Red Queen, while 19-year-old Mia Wasikowska ("In Treatment") takes on the role of Alice. My favorite casting/publicity still? The gorgeous Anne Hathaway as the White Queen (left).

Richard Kelly's "The Box"
James Marsden and Cameron Diaz talk in seemingly unconvincing southern accents while deciding whether or not to push a mysterious red button. Let's just hope it's more "Donnie Darko" than "Southland Tales."

Perez Hilton vs. The Black Eyed Peas
It was inevitable. Someone had to give Perez a black eye sooner or later; so, who better than the Peas? Perez and Will.I.Am's war of words -- apparently prompted by the celeb blogger's slandering of the group's new album -- eventually led to Perez getting sucker-punched by BEP's manager. The gossip guru then posted videos online, exhibiting bruises and tears. Who was moved by said video, I'd like to know. Sorry Perez, I'm not down with the Peas' new tunes either (empty and flat, even for trash-pop), but nobody cares that you got clocked. Also, who are you to call ANYONE "fugly?!?"

R.I.P. M.J.
Just when you thought Farrah Fawcett's passing was the biggest celebrity death news of the week, MICHEAL JACKSON DIES. Whew. If there's an upside to this "holy s**t!" announcement, it's the marathons of MJ's greatest hits being broadcast all over TV and the radio. There hasn't been this much quality mainstream music, it has been a long time. I wanted to include the video for "Bad," one of my favorite MJ singles and the first one I heard following news of his death, but YouTube seems to have disabled the embedding of all Jacko material. So, CLICK HERE instead.

And now for somebody everyone should be talking about:

Mirusia Louwerse
This Australian opera singer, often seen with renowned Dutch violinist Andre Rieu, really does look and sound like an angel. Winner of the 2006 Noosa Federation of the Arts Dame Joan Sutherland Award (and, breathe!), she moves listeners to tears with her silky soprano pipes. My beloved Brandon over at Brandon's Theory has a nice little piece about her, including a (surprisingly well-edited) video of one of her tear-jerking performances. Eat your heart out, Susan Boyle.

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