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Archive | March, 2013

Weekly Movie News Rundown

March 30, 2013

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Time for your weekly movie news update!  Below you’ll find a slew of sentences meant to provide a brief glimpse of what’s been going on over the past week in movieland.  If something leaves you desperate for more info, then my advice is to do a little extra research on one or all of the following fantastic sites:  Latino Review, Dark Horizons, Ain’t It Cool News, CHUD and/or JoBlo.  Read on!

Steve Carell and Tina Fey’s comedy Mail Order Groom has been pushed back a year due to scheduling issues.

Matthew McConaughey has reportedly been offered the lead role in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

Judy Greer (The Descendants) will play Cornelia in the upcoming Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes.

Anne Hathaway, Chloe Moretz, and Sam Rockwell have joined the cast of Laggies.  The dark comedy is said to revolve around a woman who runs away with her younger sister after her boyfriend asks her to marry him.

MGM has picked up the rights to reboot the Tomb Raider film franchise.

Kate Mara (House Of Cards) has joined the cast of Wally Phister’s Transcendence.  Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, and Rebecca Hall are already set to star.

Producer Adi Shankaar said there’s currently no possibility of a sequel to Dredd 3D.

Nicola Peltz (Bates Motel) has been confirmed as the female lead in Transformers 4.

Tom Hardy and Jason Statham are rumored to be the preferred choices for the lead role in the Escape From New York remake.

Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo will reportedly make an appearance in the Vacation reboot.

Clint Eastwood is reportedly in talks to direct an adaptation of Jersey Boys.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

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Movie Breakdown: G.I. Joe Retaliation (Noah)

March 29, 2013

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People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing lead us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

It’s a strange thing how curious I’ve always been about the original Stephen Sommers-helmed G.I. Joe film because it doesn’t look particularly good and didn’t, for its time, have a very reliable team behind it. Chalk it up to my father’s stern refusal to never purchase the much coveted action figures I wanted as a child, but the film has lodged itself in my “want” pile and this, this second possible G.I. Joe masterpiece, has wedged itself right next to it. Will it be good? I doubt it. Do I or any of the other 40-year old teenagers who will be dressed like Storm Shadow or Snake Eyes care? No.

The Reality:

G.I. Joe: Retaliation is like a giant bong hit of super sticky-icky weed. As soon as it pile drives in to your lungs the room gets kind of fuzzy and you might cough a couple times and feel a little squinty but then that sweet sweet THC starts a dank parade through your bloodstream and everything is looking up. The Rock and the dude from Magic Mike totes hanging out with guns? Yes! Super-secret underground prison besieged by explosive motorcycles and tiny boom-boom flies? Better believes. Ninjas, ninjas, ninjas, ninjas, ninjas and then a few more ninjas (all dressed in the most rainbow of outfits)? Fo’seriously. At this point, in being stoned allegory world, the Bob Hope (that’s weed) starts plateauing a bit and you might be feeling paranoid, might be thinking, “Weird, that this ninja storyline is just glued on to all the rest because clearly director John Chu loves himself a ninja,” or maybe, “Why does Adrienne Padlecki look like she herself might have been chiefing a few from the old Bongzilla?” or possibly “Ray Stephenson is a badass but Ray Stephenson with a Southern accent sounds like a cabaret dancer” or maybe even “Why did they show the end of this movie in the trailers?” And then that deep dark stick-ick is making a concentrated effort to escape pod it from your blood stream and you’re lethargic and even a little bored and you just want to grab a hot dog and hit the snooze button a couple times. Which in G.I. Joe Retaliation land means the plot unravels, things makes less sense, and when the ending lands, it does so with little grace or interest. G.I. Joeeeeeeeeeeeee!

The Lesson:

This movie was just about everything I wanted in a film with characters named Firefly and Storm Shadow.

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Hip Hop Hooray (Leah)

March 29, 2013

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I’m so happy we all survived SXSW. I made us a playlist because we’re such troopers, and there are some artists on there that I got to see live during SXSW, like Open Mike Eagle (amazing), Willie Green (phenomenal and has a new album out called We Live In The Future), Psalm One (awesome and with an album forthcoming this fall from Rhymesayers). But I’m just here to bring you a mix of some nice tracks for your Friday, maybe introduce you to some artists or tracks you haven’t heard before, and get you a pleasant soundtrack for your Friday. How’m I doing, John? Can I get a raise? Or, like, anything?

Please enjoy the mix below, and I’ll be at the Rollergirls bout tomorrow showing up for my girl Sarah St. John if you want to come and eat pizza and talk about hip hop.

:Open Mike Eagle – Cobra Commander (Featuring Danny Brown):
:Shlohmo – Bo Peep (Do U Right) (Featuring Jeremih):
:Big K.R.I.T. – Shine On (Featurting Bun B):
:More Or Les – Brunch Again:
:Chance The Rapper – Juice:
:DXT – Black Hole Universe:
:Zuzuka Poderosa – Seda (Jubilee Burt Fox Remix):
:Psalm One – Macaronu And Cheese (Featuring Ka Di):
:S.A. Smash – Devil In The Hole:
:Canibus – 2000 BC:
:Blue Scholars – Seijun Suzuki:
:Wes Felton – Queasy (Featuring The LB Fantastic 4):
:Greydon Square – War Porn (Featuring Canibus):
:Schooly D – It’s Krak:
:Milk – Blunted (Featuring SelphConscious):

Bonus Track:

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Stream This

March 29, 2013

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The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Charles Bradley – Victim Of Love
Cold War Kids – Dear Miss Lonelyhearts
Generationals – Heza
Olafur Arnalds – For Now I Am Winter
IO ECHO – Ministry Of Love
Luxury Liners – They’re Flowers
Vondelpark – Seabed
Dutch Uncles – Out Of Touch In The Wild
The Black Angels – Indigo Meadow
Chvrches – Recover EP
Wax Idols – Discipline And Desire
Mudhoney – Vanishing Point
Wire – Change Becomes Us
Warm Soda – Someone For You
Niagara – Otto
Tartufi – These Factory Days

VIDEOS

Yeah Yeah Yeahs are all set to release Mosquito on April 16 through Interscope.

Phosphorescent just put out Muchacho on Dead Oceans.

Marnie Stern’s The Chronicles Of Marnia is out now on Kill Rock Stars.

Big Deal is set to release June Gloom on June 18 via Mute.

Wavves recently put out Afraid Of Heights on Mom + Pop.

Tricky will release False Idols on May 28 via his own label.

Shellshag will put out Shellshag Forever on April 20 through Don Giovanni.

Barbarossa’s The Load 7″ is out now on Memphis Industries.

Team Spirit will release a self titled EP on April 9 via Vice Records.

Toro Y Moi’s Anything In Return is out now on Carpark Records.

The Coathangers are about to head out on a tour in Europe with And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead.

Inc. recently put out No World on 4AD.

Thee Oh Sees will release Floating Coffins on April 16 via Castle Face.

Cold Cave put out this song in September of last year, but the video is new.

Passion Pit’s Gossamer is out now.

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Quickdraw: Club 8, Majical Cloudz, Savages, Sir Sly, Junip

March 28, 2013

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Today you get a rare Thursday Quickdraw.  Enjoy.

:Club 8 – Stop Taking My Time:  I knew this Swedish duo had been around for a while, but I didn’t realize that they had put out so many albums.  The upcoming Above The City (out May 21 via Labrador) will be their eighth release!  And they still sound so young and energetic!  It’s crazy.

:Majical Cloudz – Childhood’s End:  I think a lot of you are really going to like this track.  Devon Welsh has just an absolutely enchanting voice, and the minimalistic arrangement here does everything in its power to highlight that.  I recommend headphones.  Impersonator is out May 21 via Matador.  Catch the band at the Mohawk with Youth Lagoon on April 24.

:Savages – She Will:  All I’ve heard since SXSW wrapped is that Savages were rad.  I honestly don’t even know much about the band, but I can believe all the talk.  I mean, just listen to this attention commanding track – it seriously rocks.  Silence Yourself is expected May 7 via Matador.

:Sir Sly – Gold:  This song is totally a guilty pleasure for me.  It’s a largely cheesy effort from top to bottom and, as you’d probably expect, it’s really good at getting lodged in your head.  The Ghost 7″ single is currently available.  Sir Sly will play the Mohawk on April 27.

:Junip – Your Life, Your Call:  In case you don’t know, Junip is made up of Jose Gonzalez, Elias Araya, and Tobias Winterkorn.  On April 23 they’ll release their new self titled full length via Mute, and I imagine that it will end up being one of the best sounding efforts of 2013.

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Movie Breakdown: Graceland (Noah)

March 28, 2013

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People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing lead us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

I haven’t loved everything that Drafthouse Films has released, but I’ve been challenged and entertained and shocked and generally interested by bits and pieces of all of them. The trailer for Graceland, a Filipino thriller by Ron Morales, is darkly beautiful and a I love a good kidnapping film, so expectations are high for this gem.

The Reality:

Graceland is a taut, uncomfortable thriller, that loses itself in the final act. Marlon Villar (Arnold Reyes) is the driver for political figure Manuel Chango (Menggie Cobarrubias), a rich, corrupt man who has a penchant for girls, young ones. While driving Chango’s daughter and her best friend (his own daughter) to school, a kidnapping occurs, someone dies, and because of circumstantial evidence, Marlon is pushed in to a precarious space between lies, truth, and just doing the right thing. For almost it’s entire running time, Graceland is a well made thriller that very handily uses the dirty locational aspects of the Philippines to the utmost advantage. Marlon, without giving anything away, gets put in hot water pretty quick, and the rest of the film follows Marlon trying to save his own ass while keeping the pieces of the puzzle from falling down around him. At the same time director Ron Morales manages to make it a film about the seedier sides of the sex trade in the Philippines. There are no good or bad characters in this film, just people pushed to the limits by the terrible things we do as human beings. If the film was just that, just the story of Marlon Villar and a very bad bad situation, this would be a great film, but in the final moments Morales makes a decision that dispels almost everything that’s come before it. It feels tacked on and in a damaging way, and it leaves what could a great little thriller, feeling empty and not thought out.

The Lesson:

If you have a great story with great characters, you don’t need to fall prey to a big ending.

Graceland is out on VOD today.

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Big Drag (Noah)

March 27, 2013

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Listening to Let You Know – one of the handful of Big Drag songs currently floating free form about the internet – is like that scene in every trippy Akira-like anime where a red-leather sporting character suddenly realizes his/her super mind-powers and the camera rushes in directly in to the character’s eye. The air starts whizzing past the camera getting those speed lines that you’ve come to expect, but then the camera GOES THROUGH THE CHARACTERS’S EYE and their might be some like visceral, juicy popping as the film metaphorically describes that this character has just had the curtain pulled away. And then we’re inside the character’s mind and the music (yes this post is about music) is just big, pulsing psych rock and the speed lines have turned in to crazy color squiggles and it feels like you’re being sucked down the rabbit hole of insanity and visions of fucking crazy monsters and fingers (those things are crazy!) are floating at the edge of the screen and the music is just this haze of dark (but sprightly) psych crunch. And then the character wakes up or loses his mind or something and the rest of the film is about giant teddy bears spraying milk from their chopped off arms.

Anyways, that’s what Big Drag sounds like.

:Big Drag – Let You Know:

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Foxing Quarterly, Sun Marquee, Growl (Jennifer)

March 27, 2013

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Tomorrow night you have the opportunity to support local literature and local music. Austin based literary journal Foxing Quarterly is holding a party at the Parish for the release of its 2nd edition. The show is free and open to those 18+.

Foxing Quarterly is a print only journal for writers and artists publishing short fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and comics. Since beginning last year, the journal has also been an avid supporter of Austin music featuring a variety of local bands at its own events. The release party will feature music from Good Field, The Loblolly Boy, and The Hereticks, and readings from the latest issue. Although the show is free, copies of the journal will be available for sale along with prints of the event poster by artist Kristian Anderson.

Now that spring has officially arrived, celebrate with some new music from Sun Marquee for your springtime soundtrack. Crush is a light as air, dreamy slice of tropicalia infused pop (“…like a wild patch of spring/keep it hidden underneath like you don’t know…”). Summer Fools is a soulful tale with its groovy organ swirls, bubbling bass lines, and seductive, falsetto vocals.

This Saturday night is an example of wishing I could be at six shows at once. The one I’m going with, though, features a new local favorite of mine, Growl. They’re playing Hotel Vegas with Bobby Jealousy, Sip Sip, and Sphynx. I attended their Gallery EP release show back in February and was won over by their infectious and upbeat grin-inducing indie rock. It should be a giddy, sweaty good time – bring your dancing shoes!

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The Postal Service

March 26, 2013

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I’ll be seeing The Postal Service while I’m in Las Vegas next month, and I can’t wait.  I never got to watch them play when they were “together” all those years ago, and college me is anxious to see how they are live.  Cross your fingers!  The 10th anniversary edition of Give Up is due out April 9 via Sub Pop.  Check out its two previously unreleased tracks below.  Enjoy.

:The Postal Service – Turn Around:  It’s sort of weird how this only partially sounds like The Postal Service.  Or maybe that’s just what to expect from a song that the band chose to never release?  Either way, I like it.

Bonus Video:

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Lost Country: Billy Joe Shaver (Scott)

March 25, 2013

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As the slick, overproduced country sounds of the 1980’s transitioned into the insufferable cubicle pop of the 1990’s and beyond, traditional country music was pushed to the AM radio fringes and then mostly forgotten by mainstream radio. LOST COUNTRY will take a look back at obscure and overlooked artists from country music’s heyday of the 1960’s through 1970’s.

The Old Five And Dimer, Billy Joe Shaver

Texas singer/songwriter Billy Joe Shaver has lived through enough tragedies to fill a milk crate’s worth of country albums. His run-ins and brushes with tragedy have been well documented elsewhere, but it would be remiss not to mention them. Shaver was born dirt poor in an East Texas oil town, picked cotton as a child, lost two fingers in a saw mill accident, learned to play guitar anyway, married and divorced the same woman three times, buried his wife, mother and son in the span of two years, survived a heart attack on stage, and oh yeah, shot a guy in the face and got away with it.

Shaver spent much of his aimless youth getting shuffled between Corsicana and Waco, Texas. Raised by his grandmother while his mother struggled to make ends meet, Shaver had minimal guidance and direction (he never met his father). After an unsuccessful stint in the Navy, the self-described “loser and low-life drifter” worked numerous go-nowhere jobs and grew restless. On a whim, he hitchhiked to Los Angeles with his guitar but somehow ended up in Memphis, Tennessee, with a truckload of songs written along the way.

Shaver’s blind determination, hard-headedness and general ignorance of the music business somehow worked in his favor. After beating down doors and sleeping on couches in Nashville, 35-year-old Shaver finally caught the ear of Kris Kristofferson, who promised to produce his first album. The result, Old Five And Dimers Like Me (1973), was a country masterpiece that helped create the “Outlaw” movement in the 1970’s. The album’s cover features a sly, smiling Shaver leaning against the door frame of a dive bar in who knows where, Texas with a sign next to him that reads “Do not stand in doorway.” It was the perfect image to compliment the wry charm of a perfect album.

Shaver is a songwriter’s songwriter if there ever was one. He possesses a gruff, distinct voice and an unmistakeable drawl, and there’s simply no matching his skills as a lyric writer. On what may be his best-known song, Georgia On A Fast Train, Shaver howls “Got a good Christian raisin’ and an eighth grade education/ain’t no need in ya’ll a treatin’ me this way” as a driving shuffle beat and train whistle push the track forward.

In 1973, songs about interracial relationships weren’t exactly tearing up the charts, but that’s exactly the ground Shaver covered on Black Rose, the wry, mischievous first track on Old Five And Dimers. “The Devil made me do it the first time/the second time I done it on my own/Lord put a handle on this simple-headed man/help me leave that Black Rose alone”

Old Five And Dimers is loaded front to back with classics, many of which later became hits once Waylon Jennings recorded them. Later in 1973, Jennings recorded Honky Tonk Heroes, an album of cuts completely written by Shaver (except for one). Notable songs included the title track, Ride Me Down Easy, Omaha, And Willie, and The Wandering Gypsy And Me, a song which nearly sparked a fistfight in the studio when Shaver accused Jennings of changing the lyrics without his permission.

Shaver never achieved the financial success or popular acclaim of fellow outlaws Jennings, Kristofferson, or Willie Nelson, but he was always a darling amongst his peers, who constantly covered him. Shaver’s biggest hit as a songwriter, I’m Just An Old Chunk Of Coal, didn’t make much of a splash when he recorded it, but John Anderson’s cover in 1981 rose to number four on the charts. Bob Dylan once called Shaver one of his favorite songwriters, and Elvis Presley even recorded a Shaver song, You Asked Me To, during his brief “country” phase in the late 1970’s.

Shaver’s hard-living, gig-to-gig lifestyle often meant spending his money as soon as he made it. He never had any luck with record labels, as they often folded soon after he signed with them. From 1973-1981, Shaver released five albums on Monument and Capricorn, both of which promptly closed up shop and took Shaver’s money with them into bankruptcy. He released two more albums on Columbia Records in the late 1980’s before parting ways with yet another label.

In the early 1990’s he rebranded himself as “Shaver” after forming a band with his only son, guitar virtuoso Eddy Shaver. Their debut, 1993’s Tramp On Your Street was a surprise hit with the CMT crowd. The album featured a re-recording of Shaver’s classic Georgia On A Fast Train and introduced his most touching song yet, Live Forever, a somber ballad about parenthood that cuts straight to the heart. “Nobody here will ever find me/but I will always be around/Just like the songs I leave behind me/I’m gonna live forever now”

After Eddy’s sudden and tragic death of a heroin overdose in 2000, Shaver staggered forward and released Freedom’s Child, his strongest album in almost a decade. Day By Day is a standout track, as Shaver tells the true tale of his family’s struggle as a single acoustic guitar accompanies him. “Day by day his heart kept on breaking/and aching to go to his home in the sky/but now he’s arisen from the flames of the forest/with songs from the family that never will die.” Shaver claims he didn’t finish the song until the day he recorded it. It’s a soul-wrenching admission from a man who has been through it all.

Now 73, Shaver still writes, records and tours. If he comes through your town, you would be remiss not to seek him out.

Recommendations: For vinyl lovers, the best entry point is 1973’s Old Five And Dimers Like Me (Monument Records), a hard to find gem but worth it if you can. Razor & Tie released a quality compilation CD Restless Wind, 1973-1987, in 1995. It’s also out of print but can be found online. For later Shaver, Tramp On Your Street (1993/Volcano Records) is excellent, as is The Earth Rolls On (2001/New West Records) and Freedom’s Child (2002/Compadre Records).

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Quickdraw: Kurt Vile, Anamanaguchi, Good Graeff, White Fence, Black Milk

March 25, 2013

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Today’s music ain’t afraid of no ghosts.  Enjoy.

:Kurt Vile – Never Run Away:  This track served as the pleasant surprise of my weekend.  It’s light and as sing-a-long worthy as can be, and I don’t have issue at all with calling it my favorite Kurt Vile effort.  Walkin’ On A Pretty Daze is due out on April 9 via Matador.

:Anamanaguchi – Planet:  If you’ve ever thought of Anamanaguchi as a band that only makes nerdy video game songs, then this track will certainly change your mind.  Unless, of course, you happen to hate pretty dance numbers.  Endless Fantasy will be released on May 14.

:Good Graeff – Hold Me Fast:  Fellow blogger Jared Hoke (5 Acts) has started Echo Dive Music, and the first act he’s working with is Good Graeff.  The twin sisters have a super solid folk pop sound that I think you’ll like.  The duo hope to put out an EP later this year, but first they need to complete their Kickstarter.  Help?

:White Fence – Fragility:  I really dig this low key pop track, and I’m a little bummed that it’s not on White Fence’s upcoming album.  Oh well.  You can find this song as the b-side on the Pink Gorilla 7″.  Cyclops Reap is due out on April 9, and the band will play Austin Psych Fest on April 28.

:Black Milk – Sunday’s Best – Monday’s Worst:  I was really excited to see a new Black Milk track pop up last week.  The guy just always churns out some of the most interesting hip hop around.  A new full length is expected to be released at some point later this year.

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Weekly Movie News Rundown

March 24, 2013

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Time for your weekly movie news update!  Below you’ll find a slew of sentences meant to provide a brief glimpse of what’s been going on over the past week in movieland.  If something leaves you desperate for more info, then my advice is to do a little extra research on one or all of the following fantastic sites:  Latino Review, Dark Horizons, Ain’t It Cool News, CHUD and/or JoBlo.  Read on!

Alan Ritchson (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) has been cast as Raphael in the Michael Bay-produced Ninja Turtles.

Ryan Reynolds recently noted that Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, the duo who wrote Zombieland, have a completed Deadpool script.  It, however, is apparently borderline NC-17, and he doubts any studio will ever make it.

Ian McShane, Joseph Fiennes, John Hurt, and Rebecca Ferguson have joined the cast of Brett Ratner’s Hercules.  Dwayne Johnson is already set to star.

Dwayne Johnson’s Luke Hobbs character from Fast Five is expected to get its own spin-off movie.

Seth Rogen will produce, co-direct (with Evan Goldberg), and star in The Interview, which is about a talk show host who gets caught up in a plot to kill the North Korean Prime Minister.  James Franco may also sign on for a large role.

Antonie Fuqua may direct the long gestating big screen adaptation of the 1980s TV show The Equalizer.  Denzel Washington is still set to star.

Kiefer Sutherland is set to play the villain in Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii.

Christina Applegate may star opposite Ed Helms in the Vacation reboot.

Jane Got A Gun is having some issues.  Jude Law has left the film (a week after signing on), and director Lynne Ramsey (We Need To Talk About Kevin) reportedly didn’t show up for the first day of filming.  She has been replaced by Gavin O’Connor (Warrior).

Tom Cruise will star in The Man From U.N.C.L.E. for Guy Ritchie.

David Goyer (writer of Man Of Steel) is set to direct a remake of The Count Of Monte Cristo.

Hugh Jackman has reportedly signed on to star in an adaptation of Six Years.  The book follows a man who begins to question his memories of a former love.

Michael Gracey, a commercial director, has been hired to direct an Elton John biopic titled Rocketman.  The film is being made by Elton John’s Rocket Pictures.

Joel Silver is reportedly set to reboot Escape From New York.

Fred Savage may direct Charlize Theron in Ladies Night.  It’s said to be a Bridesmaids-esque comedy.

Mexican director Gerado Naranjo is set to replace Joe Carnahan on the Death Wish remake.  Carnahan reportedly left because of creative differences with MGM.

Robert Redford is said to be in talks to join the cast of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

The release of Edgar Wright’s The World’s End has been moved up.  It will now be out August 23.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters will more than likely get a sequel.

Ken Watanabe has joined the cast of Gareth Edward’s Godzilla.  The movie already features Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, and Bryan Cranston.

Kristen Wiig may star in Welcome To Me, which is said to center around a woman who uses her lotto winnings to create a TV show about her life.

Justin Timberlake may play Daddy Warbucks in the upcoming Annie remake.

Sarah Silverman is in talks to play a hooker in Seth McFarlane’s A Million Ways To Die In The West.

This Week’s Notable Trailers

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Zoe Knows Sleepy Songs

March 22, 2013

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I’m in college, so I just don’t sleep. I mean, technically I sleep. But it doesn’t happen often enough. I used to need complete silence to sleep, but a year and a half stint living in West Campus has made my ideal sleeping conditions involve the soft garbled sounds of partying. So I sometimes I fall asleep to songs, just to create some sound, but there’s an art to sleepy songs. They need to be appropriately soft and lovely.

See, you start off by brushing your teeth to a song that’s soft but still has some pump up moments so that you can stay awake for hygiene. WHY’s Against Me is the perfect track–plus it gives you intense life questions to ponder while you sleep. John Ralston transitions you into PJs–an upbeat song but still a sleepy vibe. Then, you’ll finally crawl into bed, so we enter into prime sleepy songs with ultra-dreamy Slipaway, all the twinkly bits encouraging you to turn the lights off.

Yo La Tengo covers Daniel Johnston’s Speeding Motorcycle = sleep heaven. The simple solo guitar is comfortable and the raw honesty of the song will put you at ease. I had to do a shout out to dearly departed Jason Molina, and surely his Two Blue Lights will bring you to REM sleep. The dual male-female vocals are soothing and the harmony is incredible.

Once you’re in the REM state, you want to ensure excellent dreams. So Rufus Wainright will remind you of your past loves. There’s an extremely soothing quality to piano that makes this song a shoo-in for sleepy playlists. But then maybe you’re having a bad dream, so you need Iron and Wine to calm you down. Sam Beam’s voice could probably stop wars with it’s rich qualities. And yet, no one could get more classic than The Only Living Boy In New York. By this time, you’re way asleep, so maybe you’re not consciously aware. But your subconscious will appreciate the chill vibes, and after all, you really DO get all the news you need from the weather report.

The Strokes aren’t usually known for being a sleepy band, but this demo of You Only Live Once, titled I’ll Try Anything Once, is an excellent sleepy song. Julian Casablancas’s voice has a really careless vibe that says “hey. you could sleep. you could not sleep. it’s cool. you do you.” But now, you’re getting close to the end of the night. The sun is rising, and waking up is nearing. Transition with a 12 minute Wilco track, because is there anything better to wake up to? While 12 minutes might seem indulgent, Tweedy and Co fill every minute with the most excellent of sounds. And finally, if you’re anything like me, you’ll wake up a little grumpy. Mornings are not my time. But mornings can become my time, when I wake up to the sweet sounds of d’Eon reconfiguring Blink-182. Variation V takes the main riff of What’s My Age again and somehow turns it into the prettiest classical music I have ever heard.

GOOD MORNING!

:Why? – Against Me:
:John Ralston – I Guess I Wasted My Summer Now:
:Some Say Leland – Slipaway:
:Yo La Tengo – Speeding Motorcycle:
:Songs Ohia – Two Blue Lights:
:Rufus Wainwright – The Art Teacher:
:Iron And Wine – God Made The Automobile:
:Simon And Garfunkel – The Only Living Boy In New York:
:The Strokes – I’ll Try Anything Once (You Only Live Once Demo):
:Wilco – One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend):
:d’Eon – Variation V:

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Movie Breakdown: Stoker (Noah)

March 22, 2013

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The Impression:

Stoker is the debut from Korean super-director Chan-wook Park (Old Boy, Thirst) and as much as I’m excited to see someone as interesting and depraved make the jump across the pond, the Hollywood grind is rough on foreign directors and I worry that Mr. Park will lose his voice in the process.

The Reality:

Stoker is a very strange, very atmospheric, very beautiful film that almost entirely works. India Stoker (Mia Wasikowska) has lost her father in a terrible car accident, leaving her to the machinations of her sex-pot mother (Nicole Kidman) and the recently arrived, and very creepy, Uncle Charles (Matthew Goode). From the get go, things aren’t right in the house of Stoker, Kidman’s Evelyn seems only barely affected by the death of her husband, and the father of her child, and has untoward interest in the deceased’s brother. Uncle Charles seems like a borderline sociopath with just a little too much interest in his blood relation. This is, for the most part, the coming-of-age story of India Stoker, and Park realizes this, teasing out the sexual awakening of Miss Stoker as a parallel to the other, more murderous urges she might discover. It’s a tangled web he weaves, all near-incest, and nearer-murder and at times it feels like the structure of the story gets lost in Park’s desire for beautiful shots and even more beautiful compositions. And on that front Stoker soars; this is a gorgeous film. Every piece of furniture, every outfit, every edit is chosen for utmost beauty and looking away for a moment is your loss. Does the soulless world of Hollywood dampen Park’s star? No. This is 100 percent the work of the director, for better or worse, and I wonder if American audiences will be able to gel with the loose narrative structure Park imposes on the film. Regardless, it’s a strong first outing for the director, and hopefully not his last.

The Lesson:

Hollywood doesn’t make automatons out of each and every director who makes there way from a foreign land. Phew.

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Stream This

March 22, 2013

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The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

The Strokes – Comedown Machine
In The Valley Below – Hymnal EP
Julian Lynch – Lines
Depeche Mode – Delta Machine
Wavves – Afraid Of Heights

VIDEOS

Sigur Ros will put out Kveikur on June 18 via XL Recordings.  Catch them at the Cedar Park Center on April 10.

The Thermals will release Desperate Ground on April 16 via Saddle Creek.

Rilo Kiley will release rkives on April 2 via Little Record Company.

Generationals will release Heza on April 2 via Polyvinyl.

S. Carey recently teamed up with Arco Sessions for this track.

Noah And The Whale will release Heart Of Nowhere on May 6.

The Holydrug Couple’s Nocturnal is out now Sacred Bones Records.

Golden Grrrls just released their self titled album via Slumberland Records.

My Jerusalem released Preachers last year.

Legs will release Pass The Ringo on April 23 via Loglady Records.

The Men’s New Moon is out now on Sacred Bones Records.

Feeding People’s Island Universe is available now.

British Sea Power will release Machineries Of Joy on April 2 via Rough Trade.

The Joy Formidable put out Wolf’s Law back in January.  They play Emo’s East on April 30.

Django Django put out their self titled album last year.

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