As if the big, incredible, unbelieveable, and totally predictable "twist" (the equivalent of Ryan Seacrest popping on stage to say "Oopsie, America!") on American Idol wasn't enough to elicit sighs strong enough to blow houses down, it was preceded by the "triumphant" return of one Lee DeWyze.
DeWyze won Season 9 of American Idol and was promptly flung into obscurity, never to be heard from again until this fateful April night. He burst back onto the Idol stage, with a video package in which he declared his success since the finale (even though Idol fans knew better). Then, as he approached the mic and began to sing his new single "Silver Lining" (already echoing the recent success of a certain Jennifer Lawrence movie), it became apparent that Lee wasn't doing his thing, but several other people's "things."
Being the detailed, judgemental Idol viewer that I am, I couldn't help but draft a full report of all the grievances DeWyze has taken against other artists, beards, and Ryan Cabrera. But first, some context:
Now, let us count the ways DeWyze has stolen every last piece of his new game:
Ripoff #1: Ryan Cabrera's Hair, Ashley Simpson EraDeWyze chose a toned down version of Cabrera's 'do, because while he may be unoriginal, he's not that much of a masochist. And it's no longer 2003.
Ripoff #2: Jonah Hill's NeckbeardThere are three kinds of people who can pull of neck beards: politicians from the 1860s, Sam the Eagle, and people who star on A&E reality shows. Clearly, DeWyze doesn't know that.
Ripoff #3: Marcus Mumford's Dapper English Lad Style I understand this one. Who wouldn't want to cash in on the ridiculous appeal of Mumford's boyish, delightful charms? The problem is, you kind of have to actually be Marcus Mumford to get any of the effect.
Ripoff #4: Phillip Phillips' "Home"DeWyze is in such dire straights that he needs a hit, and he needs it now. Rather than go back to drawing board to figure out which part of his own sound he could bring out of the Nickelback chasm it calls home in order to find success, he just looked to mildly successful Phillips, whose song "Home" blew up over the summer. Give the chorus of "Silver Lining" a listen and tell me it doesn't sound exactly like this:
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She died peacefully at her home in Northwood, London on Sunday (25Nov12).
The star, born Dinah Ginsburg, changed her surname while auditioning for the role of Wendy in a theatre production of Peter Pan, later making her film debut in 1937.
She is perhaps best known for her appearances in U.K. films The Railway Children and Genevieve, as well as in TV sitcoms Don't Wait Up and All Night Long. In 1983, Sheridan played Time Lady Chancellor Flavia in Doctor Who 20th anniversary special The Five Doctors.
The beauty was married four times - she was wed to former child star Jimmy Hanley for 10 years and she ended her 11-year union with business executive John Davis in 1965. She was also the wife of stage actor John Merivale and Aubrey Ison.
There's an allure to imperfection. With his latest drama Lawless director John Hillcoat taps directly into the side of human nature that draws us to it. Hillcoat finds it in Prohibition history a time when the regulations of alcohol consumption were subverted by most of the population; He finds it in the rural landscapes of Virginia: dingy raw and mesmerizing. And most importantly he finds it in his main character Jack Bondurant (Shia LaBeouf) the scrappy third brother of a moonshining family who is desperate to prove his worth. Jack forcefully injects himself into the family business only to discover there's an underbelly to the underbelly. Lawless is a beautiful film that's violent as hell striking in a way only unfiltered Americana could be.
Acting as the driver for his two outlaw brothers Forrest (Tom Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clarke) isn't enough for Jack. He's enticed by the power of the gangster figure and entranced by what moonshine money can buy. So like any fledgling entrepreneur Jack takes matters into his own hands. Recruiting crippled family friend/distillery mastermind Cricket (Dane DeHaan) the young whippersnapper sets out to brew his own batch sell it to top dog Floyd Banner and make the family rich. The plan works — but it puts the Bondurant boys in over their heads with a new threat: the corrupt law enforcers of Chicago.
Unlike many stories of crime life Lawless isn't about escalation. The movie drifts back and forth leisurely popping in moments like the beats of a great TV episode. One second the Bondurants could be talking shop with their female shopkeep Maggie Beauford (Jessica Chastain). The next Forrest is beating the bloody pulp out of a cop blackmailing their operation. The plot isn't thick; Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave preferring to bask in the landscapes the quiet moments the haunting terror that comes with a life on the other side of the tracks. A feature film doesn't offer enough time for Lawless to build — it recalls cinema-level TV currently playing on outlets like HBO and AMC that have truly spoiled us — but what the duo accomplish is engrossing.
Accompanying the glowing visuals and Cave's knockout workout on the music side (a toe-tapping mix of spirituals bluegrass and the writer/musician's spine-tingling violin) are muted performances from some of Hollywood's rising stars. Despite LaBeouf's off-screen antics he lights up Lawless and nails the in-deep whippersnapper. His playful relationship with a local religious girl (Mia Wasikowska) solidifies him as a leading man but like everything in the movie you want more. Tom Hardy is one of the few performers who can "uurrr" and "mmmnerm" his way through a scene and come out on top. His greatest sparring partner isn't a hulking thug but Chastain who brings out the heart of the impenetrable beast. The real gem of Lawless is Guy Pearce as the Bondurant trio's biggest threat. Shaved eyebrows pristine city clothes and a temper like a rabid wolverine Pearce's Charlie Rakes is the most frightening villain of 2012. He viciously chews up every moment he's on screen. That's even before he starts drawing blood.
Lawless is the perfect movie for the late August haze — not quite the Oscary prestige picture or the summertime shoot-'em-up. It's drama that has its moonshine and swigs it too. Just don't drink too much.