S2E2: NBC did a nice job of packing three weeks worth of blind auditions on The Voice into two, back-to-back nights. It’s amazing how last night’s two-hour special quickly tripled the team members and brought the total to 13 singers. Every coach is pretty even at this point with three singers except Christina, who has four, and keeps displaying her need to show off a little too much cleavage (I’m not complaining). It was a “jam”-packed night that saw some ultra-creative song renditions of Adele’s “Someone Like You” to a coffee-house cover of Trey Songz “Say Aah.” Oh, and the judges threw in a mini Prince concert to kick it all off. Let’s get this party started!
“As soon as I heard the second voice kick in, I was really, really intrigued.” - Christina
Our first duo of the season, The Line (consisting of Hailey and Leland) hit the judges early with “American Girl,” a song I’m proud to say was inspired in Gainesville at the campus of my Florida Gators (just saying). The group got together after Leland approached this buxom blonde by offering her a shot of Jack Daniels (my kind of guy). Apparently this couple is not involved even though you can tell Leland is playing the long con. Keep at it man, it will happen someday. Blake jumped on The Line first, later followed by the trio of Christina, Cee-Lo and Adam, almost at the same time. Blake was not happy. He was even less pleased when they chose Christina, who laughed and gloated a little too much.
The next singer selected is one who will definitely use the show’s platform to spread his message. Jamar Rogers got off Crystal Meth six years ago only to find out he had HIV. Cee-Lo is his personal idol and after he made a bold choice by singing “Seven Nation Army,” it was kismet as Cee was the only coach to turn his chair around and select the young man. It was a goosebumps kind of moment. He actually kind of sounded like a mix of Cee and Adam during the performance. Rogers put it best when he said “There is beauty that does come from ashes.” Okay, I’m done being sentimental, let’s move on.
“If you look across this panel here, you’ll see spikes and you’ll see tattoos, and things like that. I’m your county guy, I’m your man.” - Blake
Oh Blake, you smooth talker you. That plea cajoled Gwen Sebastian, who is putting off having a family to pursue music, to join his team after everyone except Christina buzzed in. The girl had a wide range from the start singing country hit “Stay” and Cee-Lo mixed it up by getting in the action. That would have been an interesting pair! Adam felt left out, poor baby, so he buzzed in as well. Blake and Cee hit the nail on the head by calling her rendition kind, considerate and tender in all the right places. We know what Blake meant by this but lord only knows what Cee meant and that’s probably for the best.
In addition to our first duo of the season, we saw our first 50 year-old in Kim Yarbrough. No early bird special jokes here. This woman is as cool as the other side of the pillow, once having worked security for Dave Matthews Band. You kidding me? There was also the little detail of her working in a potato chip factory (I can’t make this stuff up). The woman doesn’t look a day over 49 and with deep soothing tones, she belted out “Tell Me Something Good” to the delight of Cee-Lo, who started to hump his chair (again, not kidding). After Adam used his best Willy Loman (look it up people), she gladly chose the rock star.
“But you’re beautiful obviously, so congrats on that.” - Adam
It was a bad day for the hotties as Pamela Rose, who Adam congratulated on her looks, and Dez Duron, a Yale football star, were sent packing. Christina took one look at Duron, who sang Backstreet Boys and said “How adorable are you?” Obviously not cute enough.
“I saw a woman in a military outfit singing an incredible Adele song. I was like look at this hot chick singing who’s defending our country.” - Carson
Air Force hottie Angie Johnson has been deployed to the Middle East seven times, and that alone should earn her a spot on the show, but her voice was a nice addition. Carson actually helped get Johnson on the show after seeing a YouTube video of her with over a million hits. Johnson busted out “Heartbreaker” to the delight of Cee-Lo, who was obviously smitten. Even Christina could not pry this war vet away from Cee’s strong, yet little hands. Mark one for Team Cee-Lo.
The highlight of the night for me was Lindsey Pavao who had the stones to sing an acoustic version of “Say Aah” by Trey Songz, who tweeted #LOVE right after her performance. Her Fiona Apple influence was apparent to Christina, Cee and Blake who all buzzed in. Despite Christina creepily saying she wanted to “play” and “experiment” with Pavao, she still got her aboard the Aguilera train.
“I could hear the swag, it sounded like swag” - Cee-Lo
This was one of the more interesting pairings of the night. Jermaine Paul used to sing background vocals for Alicia Keys, but his audition piece was a soulful “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne and instead of going with the natural fit Cee-Lo, he went with Blake. That’s punk, R&B and county all rolled into one blind audition. Now, I think Paul made the right choice here and one that may catapult his career. Blake is not going to give Paul anything and he does not care one bit that he used to sing for Keys. You can just tell these two are going to push each other to their limits. Worse comes to worse, it will make for some entertaining TV.
I swear there must be some singers out there who had a normal life, but they are not on The Voice. Angel Taylor comes from an abusive father and used music as an escape. It was fitting that her audition was “Someone Like You” by Adele and prompted Adam, Blake and Cee-Lo to all fight for her. With a very smoky tone, this girl was absolutely nervous to start but even I could tell there was serious raw talent there. And even though she admitted to having a serious crush on Blake, she chose Adam who we all know has “Moves Like Jagger” (even thought Jagger is 70 and probably has a hip replacement).
After two intense nights, we get a well deserved week off from The Voice to marinate on the singers already chosen by the coaches. It’s time for everyone to pick a side and root for a team. So, the only question I have for you is what’s it going to be: Team Christina, Adam, Cee-Lo or Blake?
What did you think of the show last night? Do you like who was chosen for the teams? Do any of the backstories touch your heart? Let us know with some comments below and find me on Twitter @TheRealRothman.
After nearly a decade, last year we watched as House and Cuddy finally got together during Season Seven of House—and that turned out so well. Don’t bite the apple, Eve. This unholy union is what Tamala Jones, who plays Lanie on Castle desperately wants to avoid between Richard Castle and Kate Beckett. We recently chatted it up with this sweeter-than-life actress about the upcoming episode “The Blue Butterfly,” a 1940's film noir type episode with our dynamic duo thrust back in time to solve another riveting case. Gangsters, Castle and Tamala, what else could you ask for on a Monday night? (Don’t answer that).
Do you think it’s time for Castle and Beckett to finally hook up? I don’t think it’s time to hook them up. I think that both of them have some deep-rooted issues they need to work through. No, I think it will really ruin the whole mystic if you do it, honestly. Keep them chasing that moment. So tell us about “The Blue Butterfly.” This episode is amazing. I can say, it’s my favorite by far. This episode is when Castle and Beckett are investigating the killing of a treasure hunter that actually is linked to a mysterious homicide that happens in 1947. So, Castle figures the way to solve that particular treasure hunter’s murder is to go back and solve the other murder form the past. The flash back scenes are—oh my God—amazing! Your 1940's alter ego is a singer? Do you have a lyrical background? Her name is Betsy and she is a chanteuse. She is the best friend of Dempsey, the gangster’s girlfriend. She sings, she’s wonderful.. I discovered through this episode that I have a lyrical background [laughs]...I really never sang anywhere else except the shower and the car but they told me it was a Billie Holiday kind of song I’d be singing and I love Billie Holiday...ask me to do Aretha Franklin or Patti Labelle and that would have been trouble, Billie Holiday I can do [laughs]. What can we expect the rest of the season on Castle, any reconciliation with Esposito? I hope so, I felt like it looked like we would be in Ryan’s wedding episode but I don’t know. Those guys are real secretive in that writer’s room...so we’ll have to see. You play a medical examiner, any experience with that until now? Oh my God, it was so hard. I can tell you this season is the season I am the most comfortable playing Lanie and spewing those medical terms out. I am very grateful to the cast I work with because they have been extremely supportive and patient with me throughout the time that I wasn’t so comfortable. Mark Pellegrino guest stars tonight. He’s coming off LOST playing a key role in Jacob. He plays this bad gangster Tom Dempsey...The man is an amazing talent. I am a huge fan of his. I didn’t have any dialogue with him in “The Blue Butterfly,” but I was in scenes that he was there, and he’s just so strong, so handsome and so mean, but mysteriously mean. Other than Castle what are some of your favorite shows? I love Game of Thrones, I love True Blood and I love Boardwalk Empire...I love Dancing with the Stars, that’s one of my favorite reality-type shows to watch.. I love to dance and it just looks like they are having so much fun. The Oscar nominees just came out, who are some of your favorites? I hope that Octavia Spencer wins an Oscar as well as Viola Davis, but Octavia because we worked together in Blue Streak, she played my cousin and I’ve known her for years. I’m just so proud of her. And of course Meryl Streep. That’s my girl! Check out all your Castle dish at ABC. “The Blue Butterfly” airs tonight at 10 p.m. EST on ABC. You can find Mike Rothman on Twitter @TheRealRothman.
Chris Parnell should work at the Ringling Bros. Circus, because the man is a master juggler at all things funny. The former Saturday Night Live star has prominent roles on Archer, Suburgatory and his latest offering, Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice, which airs tonight at 8:30 p.m. EST on ABC. Walt Disney Animation Studios has put together an eclectic cast that in addition to Parnell includes Dave Foley and Rob Riggle in a story of two elves frantically rushing to reset the order of things after someone has hacked into their system (probably Mark Zuckerberg) and changed who is considered naughty and who is nice. I guess Lindsay Lohan might be getting a gift after all from Santa. Check out what Parnell had to say in this exclusive interview about the show.
Tell us a little about Prep & Landing.
It’s a sequel to the original Prep & Landing. It has some of the same characters, and there is a bit of a crisis when a naughty child steals what’s called “the fruitcake calculator,” and manages to rewire it in a way that changes the Naughty vs. Nice list.
Your character is Mr. Thistleton. What does he do in the show?
He runs what’s called the Database Tree Farm. What’s kept there is the information on what children have been naughty and which ones have been nice. Of course, that is integral in Santa knowing what to deliver to whom around the world. So, when this thing gets stolen, Wayne and Lanny, two of the elves, are tasked with going to recover it.
Seeing at the end of the taping the finished product was pretty awesome. [Thistleton’s] kind of a cocky, little full of himself, character. Takes himself pretty seriously. Definitely human, too. We see different sides to him. He’s kind of an impressive guy. He runs this massive server farm. The writing was fantastic, and I got to say a lot of ridiculous things.
What were some of the ridiculous things you got to say?
Oh boy. “Kringlebytes” was one of his expressions of consternation.
What attracted you to the project?
It’s a Disney animation project, and that right there does it. Getting to see the first one, how well that was done and how good the animation looks, then finding out what this character was and how well drawn he was. What’s not to love?
How is it different working with voiceovers, including Archer and this, instead of a live show? Do you act out the scene in the booth?
I get very animated in the booth! It’s part of what I enjoy about it, you don’t have to worry about what you’re doing physically or what you look like. You are focusing all your acting energy through your voice. It’s a different way of expressing yourself and of acting. You’re not limited at all by what you look like in real life—they can make you look like anything.
Whether it’s Archer or here with Naughty vs. Nice, they are so good at capturing these nuances of expression. To be honest, the animators add so much to the performance … it’s like, wow, I am part of something that is really freaking incredible.
You have a recurring role on Suburgatory. Where is your character heading on that show?
Only two of my episodes have aired, but I’ve shot seven or eight so far ... It’s with Ana Gasteyer, who I’ve known for I don’t know how many years. We worked together at the Groundlings ages ago, and Saturday Night Live, and we’ve been playing different versions of this uptight suburban couple since we were in our twenties. So it just feels really comfortable and fun. There’s a couple of episodes where my story and Ana’s are featured more heavily, and we get to learn more about Fred and Sheila. They are kind of weirdoes and hopefully lovable, and it’s a blast.
What can we look forward to on Archer this season? What else is coming from you?
Archer is coming back in January. We’ve already recorded quite a few of those. Adam Reed, who writes it, just keeps getting better and better. There’s one episode featuring the voice talents of Mr. Burt Reynolds that is fantastic.
I also did a little part in the movie 21 Jump Street which is coming out next year. I just shot another 30 Rock episode, hopefully more of those. Oh, and I did a thing for MTV called I Just Want My Pants Back coming out in January…It follows the adventures of this young man, this twenty-something guy in New York, not me surprisingly…I play a casting director, who is kind of a creepy, not cool casting director, but hopefully funny. He literally spends the night with a woman, she takes his pants, and he is trying to get them back.
You can find Michael Rothman on Twitter at @TheRealRothman.
I bet you thought that when James Cameron sunk the Titanic back in 1997, the story would be over. Well, the narrative is, but the film will rise from the depths of our nearly-forgotten memories 15 years after its initial release, because Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox have jointly announced today that they will re-release the Academy Award winning epic on April 6, 2012 in 3D. The significance of the date? It marks the 100 year anniversary of the ill-fated ship setting sail. Creepy, I know.
While I know the 3D upgrade will be a marvel to view, I can't help but see this as just another cash grab by the studios and Cameron. However, the only films currently scheduled to bow on that date are American Reunion, Think Like A Man and The Cold Light of Day, so Titanic, somehow, is actually is the most interesting release that week.
Read on below for the full press release:
HOLLYWOOD, CA (May 19, 2011) - Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment jointly announced today that James Cameron’s “TITANIC” will be re-released worldwide on April 6, 2012.
The release, which marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic setting sail (April 10th), will present the film in 3D for the first time ever.
Written, directed and produced by Cameron, “TITANIC” is the second highest grossing movie of all time. It is one of only three films to have received a record 11 Academy AwardsÒ including Best Picture and Best Director; and launched the careers of stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.
Called “A spectacular demonstration of what modern technology can contribute to dramatic storytelling” by Variety upon its release in 1997, the long in the works 3D conversion is being overseen by Cameron and his Lightstorm producing partner Jon Landau who produced the hit movie.
Said Cameron, "There's a whole generation that's never seen ‘TITANIC’ as it was meant to be seen, on the big screen. And this will be ‘TITANIC’ as you've never seen it before, digitally re-mastered at 4K and painstakingly converted to 3D. With the emotional power intact and the images more powerful than ever, this will be an epic experience for fans and newcomers alike."
“This new presentation of Paramount’s top-grossing film is particularly special because 2012 is the 100th anniversary of our studio. Paramount has had the pleasure of introducing audiences to some of the all-time classics of cinema during that century of moviemaking and we cannot think of a better way to mark the occasion than with this re-release of ‘TITANIC’,” said Brad Grey, Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures.
Commented Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairmen and CEOs, Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman: “Our 30-plus year relationship with Jim Cameron and Lightstorm has been enormously rewarding, from ‘Aliens’ to ‘Avatar’, and the global phenomenon of ‘TITANIC’ remains one of the greatest sources of pride in our history. We are pleased to allow a new generation of audiences to experience the film in its brilliant digital restoration in 3D.”
Source: Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox
In his new film Due Date director Todd Phillips (Old School The Hangover) stages a rather audacious cinematic experiment placing two enormously talented actors Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis on a mostly deserted island handing them an assortment of blunt and broken tools and charging them with constructing a free-standing fully-functioning Hollywood comedy.
To his credit Phillips was at least considerate enough to supply his comic Crusoes with a detailed blueprint. An odd-couple/road trip movie hybrid Due Date unapologetically mimics Planes Trains and Automobiles one of the John Hughes' rare “grown-up” comedies in which Steve Martin starred as a straightlaced family man forced to travel cross-country with a gratingly affable slob played by John Candy in order to make it home for Thanksgiving. (Surely there have been other such films before and since but Hughes’ work is the one Due Date most vividly recalls.)
The film’s script co-written by Phillips and Adam Sztykiel adds a handful of 21st-century twists to the formula: A baggage snafu while boarding an airplane leads Peter Highman (Downey) a type-A architect with a history of anger-management issues into a confrontation with a Federal Air Marshal that subsequently lands him on Homeland Security’s no-fly list. Stranded without reliable transport lacking the means by which to procure any (he left his wallet on the plane) and desperate to be reunited in L.A. with his pregnant wife (Michelle Monaghan) in time for her scheduled c-section he reluctantly agrees to hitch a ride with the same tubby schmuck Ethan (Galifianakis) who moments earlier was the catalyst of his security debacle.
The unlikely travel companions embark on a calamitous road trip from Atlanta to L.A. during which Ethan proves to be something of a disaster magnet with Peter bearing the brunt of the damage that occurs. Their navigator Phillips lazily guides them through an uneven obstacle course of comic scenarios some of which are embarrassingly predictable (Ethan stores his beloved father’s ashes in a coffee can and they’re later accidentally used to make coffee!) all of which are designed to showcase Downey’s caustic wit and Galifianakis’ sublime daffiness.
Few actors today deliver choice insults better than Downey and even fewer absorb them better than Galifianakis. They make for a truly marvelous collision of opposites and their interplay is what elevates Due Date above its often puzzlingly flat material. (That along with Galifianakis’ gift for physical comedy; no actor outside of the Jackass crew can better sell a collision with a car door.) The film's supporting cast meanwhile criminally underachieves. Conspicuous cameos from the likes of Danny McBride Juliette Lewis and Jamie Foxx are either unfunny unnecessary or both. On this road trip they’re little more than baggage. Thankfully Downey and Galifianakis are more than capable of shouldering the burden.