Thursday, January 31, 2008

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Hit the Road

Tom PettyThere are very few things in this day and age that shock The Blot, but the email I received today from Live Nation announcing Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ upcoming tour with Steve Winwood did just that. What shocked The Blot about Tom Petty’s 2008 tour is the ticket price…they’re charging $99.50! And this is before you add in the $40 charge for joining Petty’s fan club for the pre-pre-sale and all of the ridiculous service charges they tack on top of that.

Runnin' Down A Dream movie posterLet me preface this by saying I like Tom Petty and would love to go see him, but I’m sorry, did I miss something? Is Tom Petty a much bigger act than I realized? He hasn’t even released a new album, just a DVD/CD documentary. Maybe the fact that he’s performing at halftime of the Super Bowl went to his and Live Nation’s heads, but come on. I’ve already read numerous articles questioning whether Tom Petty is a big enough act to headline the Super Bowl. I’m assuming if people are questioning whether he can headline a Super Bowl, he probably isn’t in a place to be commanding $100 a ticket for his shows. I go to a ton of concerts and I can’t think of many artists, if any, that I’d be willing to shell out a hundred bucks to go see. I know for a fact I’ve only come close to that price once, maybe twice, and I’d have to think long and hard about how bad I wanted to see an artist before shelling out that kind of cash.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers logoIn fact, I can still remember when Petty and the Heartbreakers came to Austin while I was in college. A group of my friends wanted to see him and they ended up getting pretty good tickets for the show. Any idea how much those tickets were back in the latter half of 2000? If I had to guess, because my memory of that time period is a little fuzzy, I’d say they were $20-30 a ticket plus tax and a service charge which made them out to be $30-40 a ticket, max. Now here we are, less than 8 years later and they’re charging $100 for the same show?

Tom PettyI’d love to see Petty, but I have to imagine they’re pricing themselves out of a huge number of people who like Petty but would never spend that kind of money on a concert. I don’t care if they’re marketing the tour to baby boomers or not, if The Police and Genesis reunions, not to mention the never ending farewell tour of The Rolling Stones, can’t sell out with $100 ticket prices Petty doesn’t stand a chance. He’s not even on their level. It’s too bad they’ve set such a high price too, because all this does is keep Petty from reaching the real ticket consuming audience of today, 16-25 year olds who will have just watched him perform live at the Super Bowl.

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell PavilionIf by some chance you live in Houston and are willing to pay $100 for covered or uncovered seats (law seats are a more reasonable $37.50) to see Tom Petty at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Friday, August 29th, tickets go on pre-sale tomorrow, Friday, February 1st at 10:00 am. You’ll need the special password to access the pre-sale, but don’t worry, The Blot’s got your back. The Tom Petty pre-sale password is song. If you live in the DFW area and want to get pre-sale tickets for the Dallas tour stop the pre-sale password is SUPERBOWL.
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Kanye West Announces Upcoming Tour

Well, to be honest no dates, cities or venues have been announced yet but we do have confirmation of an upcoming tour and an official line-up (Kanye West, Rihanna, N.E.R.D. & Lupe Fiasco). The last time I saw Kanye perform was at Lollapalooza 2006 and he definitely stole the show, so I’m sure his up-coming Glow In The Dark tour will be sick. If nothing else, the tour poster is pretty awesome…you gotta love the Star Wars-esque font.

Kanye West - Glow In The Dark Tour
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Get Well Soon Wilbon

Michael Wilbon, columnist for The Washington Post and co-host of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, was rushed to the hospital early Monday morning after complaining of chest pains. It was determined Wilbon suffered a minor heart attack, and after “doctors found a minor blockage in one of his arteries” they performed angioplasty. (link) Wilbon’s ailment became somewhat public knowledge when he went missing from his PTI desk Monday afternoon and the procedure was then confirmed Tuesday by ESPN.com. According to reports on PTI Tuesday and Wednesday, Wilbon is recovering nicely and already doing much better.

Michael Wilbon on the set of Pardon the Interruption
Anytime a person suffers a sudden heart attack it’s upsetting for friends and family. It’s especially shocking for the general public when that person has come into millions of living rooms every day for the past 6 years. What can I say, I’m addicted to PTI and I can’t go more than a day without watching it. Trust me, its one of the few things I watch that Al can’t stand. With that being said, here’s a heartfelt "Feel Better Soon" for Mr. Michael Wilbon. Lord knows the world can only take so much of Dan Le Batard on TV - BAM!

Just kidding Dan!
Dan Le Batard on the set of PTI

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

OBEY Giant – A Vote For Obama Is A Vote For Progress

As most of you know Shepard Fairey is one of my favorite artists. I bring this up because OBEY Giant released the red, white and blue print Obama today, a portrait of Senator Barack Obama. While it might sound random, Fairey has often made portraits of other important, influential people in history. The print is very striking and of course includes the obligatory Giant face included somewhere in the picture. The print is 24” x 36” and only 350 were made. As with most OBEY Giant prints, each one is hand signed and numbered by Shepard Fairey.

OBEY Giant - Obama
Shepard included with the announcement of his latest print his ringing endorsement of Obama for President. On the OBEY Giant website Fairey stated:

I believe with great conviction that Barack Obama should be the next President. I have been paying close attention to him since the Democratic convention in 2004. I feel that he is more a statesman than a politician. He was against the war when it was an unpopular position (and Hillary was for the war at that time), Obama is for energy and environmental conservation. He is for healthcare reform. Check him out for yourself www.barackobama.com. Proceeds from this print go to produce prints for a large statewide poster campaign.

Thanks. - Shepard

Anyone interested in helping out please email info@obeygiant.com with OBAMA as the Subject Title for instructions.
President John F. Kennedy

Over the weekend Senator Obama received another more prominent endorsement from daughter of President John F. Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy. Ms. Kennedy came out in support of Mr. Obama stating that “he could inspire Americans in the same way her father once did.” (link) Ms. Kennedy wrote in an op-ed posted on The New York Times website January 27th that “Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wished they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president – not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.” (link)

Caroline Kennedy

What do all of you think, do you agree with Ms. Kennedy? Or, do you even care what Caroline Kennedy thinks? Why is her opinion given so much weight, because her father was a former U.S. President? It’s strange that because her last name is Kennedy this op-ed is given so much credence and publicity. Up until now the only three things I knew about her was who her parents were, who her brother was, and that the song “Sweet Caroline” was written about her.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Fistful Of Quarters

Today a documentary I’ve been waiting months to see finally came out on DVD. The documentary in question is The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters and from all of the reviews I’ve read it is going to be really, really good. The movie follows “a science teacher and a hot sauce mogul [as they] vie for the Guinness World Record on the arcade classic, Donkey Kong.” (link) There’s a certain nostalgia playing those old video arcade games like Ms. Pac-Man and Centipede that just can’t be replicated by the Wiis and PS3s of today.

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
I had been planning on seeing The King of Kong while it was still out in the movie theaters, but of course it was just my luck that the day before I was planning to go see it, it left the theaters. I was pretty annoyed at the time, so of course as soon as I could I ran to my local Blockbuster and rented the DVD. I should be watching it by the time you read this, and if I have some more time tonight I’ll give you guys a report. In the mean time here’s the official trailer for The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters:



If you can’t access YouTube or you just want additional info on the movie read on. According to www.billyvssteve.com:

In 1982, LIFE Magazine assembled the world’s greatest gamers for a photo shoot that would become the center spread of their 1982 Year-In-Photos edition. Billy Mitchell, who would later be named the “Gamer of the Century,” was one of the invitees.

Mitchell, the World Record holder on Centipede, had been tracking the score on Donkey Kong, and knew he would take that title as well. In front of the 20 best gamers in the world, Billy scored 874,300 points, a record many thought would never be broken.

In 2003, 35 year old family man Steve Wiebe, after losing his job at Boeing, found solace in Donkey Kong. Steve stumbled upon Billy Mitchell’s record online, and set out to break it. He began perfecting his game every night after his wife and kids went to bed, and not only surpassed Billy’s record, but ended up with a thought-to-be-impossible 1,000,000 points.

In the months that followed, Steve and Billy engaged in a cross-country duel to see who could set the high score that would be included in the 2007 Guinness World Records’ book and become The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.

According to Wikipedia (we all know how reliable that is, so take this with a grain of salt), “a scripted movie adaptation is already in the works. Director Seth Gordon has said that the movie might be a sequel instead of a remake, telling the story of how the documentary changed both men's lives, as well as their continuing rivalry.” (link)

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Pop-Up Lost

As we inch ever closer and closer to Thursday’s season premier of Lost, The Futon Critic has some exciting news for all us Losties. In preparation for Season 4, ABC will be airing Lost’s Season 3 two-hour finale, “Through the Looking Glass,” this Wednesday. Not only that but it will be “enhanced with on-screen facts and back story.” (link)

Lost
ABCI’m imagining something like VH1’s Pop-Up Video, one of my all time favorite TV guilty pleasures, but I don’t think it will be all that similar from the description of the event in ABC’s press release. According to ABC, “the enhanced version of Lost will include text on the lower third of the screen and will ‘let viewers in’ on clues in the show, as well as give back story to catch new viewers up for Season Four.” (link) While I usually don’t like watching repeats, I’m pretty intrigued to see what new information, if any, will be shared as to these so-called clues in Season 3’s finale.
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How Many Of Our Favorite TV Shows Are Left?

Michael Ausiello, TV Guide senior writer, has updated his Strike Chart: How Long Before Your Shows Go Dark? In it Ausiello lists how many episodes of this fall’s shows were completed pre-WGA strike and how many of those episodes have yet to air. Unfortunately the number of shows left keeps shrinking and shrinking, with only a handful of shows have 7 or more episodes left which means it’s going to be a very boring, reality filled spring. I know many of you are always wondering if your favorite show is new this week or not, so I’ve gone ahead and included some of Ausiello’s Strike Chart below to help out readers of The Blot Says…

TV Guide's Michael Ausiello
For more spoilers and hints of what’s to come on the small screen, check out The Ausiello Report every Wednesday at TVGuide.com.

Strike Chart
30 Rock:
Ten episodes have been produced. Ten episodes have aired, so there are zero left.

The Big Bang Theory:
Eight episodes have been produced. Eight episodes have aired, so there are zero left.

Bones:
Twelve episodes have been produced. Nine episodes have aired, so there are three left.

Brothers & Sisters:
Twelve episodes have been produced. Ten episodes have aired, so there are two left.

Carpoolers:
Thirteen episodes have been produced. Eight episodes have aired, so there are five left.

CSI:
Eleven episodes have been produced. Eleven episodes have aired, so there are zero left.

CSI: Miami:
Thirteen episodes have been produced. Thirteen episodes have aired, so there are zero left.

CSI: NY:
Fourteen episodes have been produced. Thirteen episodes have aired, so there is one left.

Desperate Housewives:
Ten episodes have been produced. Ten episodes have aired, so there are zero left.

Dirty Sexy Money:
Thirteen episodes have been produced. Ten episodes have aired, so there are three left.

ER:
Thirteen episodes have been produced. Thirteen episodes have aired, so there are zero left.

Gossip Girl:
Thirteen episodes have been produced. Thirteen episodes have aired, so there are zero left.

Grey's Anatomy:
Eleven episodes have been produced. Eleven episodes have aired, so there are zero left.

Heroes:
Eleven episodes have been produced. Eleven episodes have aired, so there are zero left.

House:
Twelve episodes have been produced. Nine episodes have aired, so there are three left.

How I Met Your Mother:
Eleven episodes have been produced. Eleven episodes have aired, so there are zero left.

Jericho:
Seven episodes have been produced. None have aired yet, so there are seven episodes left.

Law & Order: SVU:
Fourteen episodes have been produced. Fourteen episodes have aired, so there are zero left.

Lost:
Eight episodes have been produced. None have aired yet, so there are eight episodes left.

Men in Trees:
Nineteen episodes have been produced. Eight episodes have aired, so there are 11 left.

My Name is Earl:
Thirteen episodes have been produced. Thirteen episodes have aired, so there are zero left.

NCIS:
Eleven episodes have been produced. Eleven episodes have aired, so there are zero left.

Numbers:
Twelve episodes have been produced. Twelve have aired, so there are zero left.

The Office:
Twelve half-hour episodes have been produced. Twelve half-hour episodes have aired, so there are zero half-hour episodes left.

Private Practice:
Nine episodes have been produced. Nine episodes have aired, so there are zero left.

Pushing Daisies:
Nine episodes have been produced. Nine episodes have aired, so there are zero left.

Reaper:
Thirteen episodes have been produced. Ten episodes have aired, so there are three left.

Scrubs:
Eleven episodes have been produced. Six episodes have aired, so there are five left.

The Shield:
All 13 season-seven episodes have been produced. None have aired (the final season gets underway in '08), so there are 13 left.

Smallville:
Fifteen episodes have been produced. Nine episodes have aired, so there are six left.

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles:
Nine episodes have been produced. Three episodes have aired, so there are six left.

Ugly Betty:
Thirteen episodes have been produced. Thirteen episodes have aired, so there are zero left.
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Monday, January 28, 2008

Smart People - New Movie Trailer

The next great quirky comedy Smart People hit the Sundance Film Festival last week and will be released nationwide April 11th. Until then you can check out the newly unveiled Smart People trailer below. It stars Dennis Quaid (The Rookie), Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City), Thomas Haden Church (Wings, Sideways, Spider-Man 3), and Oscar nominee Ellen Page (Juno, X-Men: The Last Stand). I don't know about you, but The Blot can't wait to see it.

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30 Rock – Werewolf Bar Mitzvah

“It’s boys becoming men, men becoming wolves!”

30 Rock

Ok, I know I'm a little late on posting this, but I just couldn't not talk about probably the best throw away line of the year. It is courtesy of Mr. Tracy Jordan, a.k.a. 30 Rock’s Tracy Morgan (Saturday Night Live, First Sunday) and I can't stop listening to it. In this particular 3o Rock episode Tracy, while going through a box of his possessions after being kicked out of the house by his wife, finds the gold record he was awarded for his novelty party song “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” (off the album An Evening with Tracy Jordan naturally).



I know what you’re thinking, it must have been a pretty good record if it sold over 500,000 copies and was awarded the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) gold record? Well now you can find out for yourself how good the song is by downloading the extended version of “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah!” Do yourself a favor and don’t pass up on this ridiculously funny novelty song. This is Tracy Morgan at his SNL best.

Tracy Jordan – Werewolf Bar Mitzvah {MP3}
(right click and choose Save Target As... to download this song)

While the song’s music video below is pretty third rate since it only took the 6 second clip from the television show and turned it into a full length music video, the song itself is fantastic. If you don’t want to download the MP3 then at least play the video below so you can listen to “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” and realize the greatness that is Tracy Morgan and 30 Rock.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

The Sex and the City Movie Poster – Get Carried Away

Here it is, the first Sex and the City: The Movie promotional poster. I know many readers of The Blot Says… don’t think May 30th can get here fast enough, but The Blot has no problem waiting…especially after seeing some of the photos leaking out of the movie’s set. I’m starting to think that at least one of the four Sex and the City women is a little past her prime, but you won’t be hearing which actress it is coming out of my mouth! Regardless, I’m sure the movie will be well worth the wait and Chris Noth will be as Big as ever.

Sex and the City: The Movie promotional poster
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Mighty Muggs - Welcome To The Trendy Side Of The Force

Ok, don’t blame me for the cheesy title of this post, blame Hasbro. For some reason they have the line on the back of the Star Wars Mighty Muggs packaging. I guess that’s their way of tying Mighty Muggs into the designer toy market. But I’m getting off topic, the real reason for the post is to announce that future Star Wars Mighty Muggs are already in the works!

Much to The Blot’s delight Hasbro is already planning the next wave of Star Wars Mighty Muggs to be released in 2008. (link) Not only that, but it appears that a certain card playing scoundrel, who also happened to be the previous owner of the Millennium Falcon before Han Solo, is going to be a part of the next wave of 6 inch figures. This is the one character I was holding out hope would be produced and Hasbro has not let The Blot down. Plus, if these preliminary sketches are any indication, the Lando Calrissian Mighty Mugg will be coming draped in his signature cape. What’s better than that!?! You can check out the very tiny concept sketches of future Star Wars Mighty Muggs figures below:

Concept Sketches of Future Star Wars Mighty Muggs Figures
Concept Sketches of Future Star Wars Mighty Muggs Figures
For more information on upcoming Star Wars toys check out ToyFare’s Star Wars Q & A with Hasbro.

Also, for those interested in the soon to be released Marvel Legends Mighty Muggs, here are some higher quality pictures of the first four figures in the toy line. From what I’ve read online, they should be hitting stores sometime in February.

Spider-Man Marvel Legends Mighty Muggs
Wolverine Marvel Legends Mighty Muggs
Venom Marvel Legends Mighty Muggs
Iron Man Marvel Legends Mighty Muggs
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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Family Guy Presents Blue Harvest Bobble Heads

As a Star Wars fan, I’m always pumped when I hear about a popular show putting together a Star Wars tribute episode. Robot Chicken on Adult Swim/Cartoon Network did one and it was pretty funny. But then Family Guy did one and it was even better. The FOX show’s Star Wars tribute, Blue Harvest, recently came out on DVD and is a must see for any Family Guy or Star Wars fan.

Family Guy presents Blue Harvest
What’s even better is Family Guy is now coming out with a line of Blue Harvest Wacky Wobbler bobble heads. (link) I’ve never been the biggest bobble head fan but I do love seeing how these types of toys turn out. A lot of times the toys aren’t an accurate representation of the 2D characters we love on TV, but these Wacky Wobblers turned out way better than expected. But don’t take my word for it, take a look at the pictures below.

Darth Stewie
ChewBrian
Quag-3P0
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Tom and Jerry

Tom CruiseBy now I’m sure you’ve all seen the crazy Tom Cruise video that Tom and all of Scientology does not want you to see! They’ve done a really poor job of keeping it out of America’s hands though, since the clip’s made its way to every In box in the country. Evidently, it was a Scientology indoctrination video that the higher ups in Scientology are very angry was released. In fact, they have threatened copyright infringement lawsuits to all those hosting the video. For those of you that haven’t seen it yet, take a trip to Gawker and you can watch the video in all its kooky glory. (link) Thankfully Gawker is taking the stand that the video is newsworthy and will not be taking it down to spur discussion on the video and Scientology.

I bring this all up because one of the funniest sites on the internet, funnyorDIE.com, has created a really funny spoof of the Tom Cruise Scientology indoctrination video entitled “The Parody Video Tom Cruise WANTS You To See!” It stars Jerry O’Connell (Stand By Me, Sliders, Jerry Maguire, Crossing Jordan) and is definitely funnier than his new comedy Carpoolers, which you can still watch every Tuesday night on ABC at 9:30/8:30 Central.



As for Carpoolers, it was going to be my next subject in “New TV Shows I’m Still Watching But Don’t Know Why” until the WGA strike hit. Al hates it but for some reason I keep going back and watching it every week. It’s a combination of really liking Jerry O’Connell’s character and loving the way they start every episode. It’s a clip of the carpoolers on their way of work singing to whatever random song is on the radio. It might not sound like much but its honestly the best 90 seconds of the show. If any one has seen the original promos for the show before it came out you know exactly what I mean. It’s so funny and simple, but it works. I’ve included two different YouTube clips of Carpoolers’ opening scenes below. You have to check them out!

Carpoolers
MarmadukeI also think the fact that the show named one of its characters Marmaduke is brilliant in a totally off-kilter type of way. There’s never been any explanation of the name or anything. Everyone just accepts that one of the main characters named his son after a giant, crazy Great Dane.



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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Chuck Returns This Thursday

Chuck
For all of you Chuck-fanatics out there, or just the average television audience dying for some new, entertaining scripted television, NBC has just the thing for you this Thursday, January 23rd. The peacock channel will be airing two brand new episodes of Chuck to lift you out of your reality TV doldrums. Unfortunately, the airing of these two episodes also marks the end of Chuck’s freshman season since no other episodes were produced before the start of the WGA strike.

Ellie Bartowski and Captain AwesomeFor some reason the two episodes aren’t being run back to back though. That means set your DVRs so we’re not all subjected to watching an episode of Celebrity Apprentice. The first new episode of Chuck airs at 8/7 Central, then a one hour Apprentice: Celebrity Edition, and then the second episode of Chuck comes on at 10/9 Central. I know the second episode has a pretty substantial secondary story centering around Chuck’s sister’s boyfriend Devon (a.k.a. Captain Awesome), so I’m especially excited for that episode. After that it’s anybody’s guess whether or not new episodes will be produced for any scripted shows this year or if we’ll all have to wait until the start of next season to see what’s in store for Chuck, Casey, Sarah and the Buy More crew.

The Cast of Torchwood
Also, don’t forget that this Saturday, January 26th marks the Season 2 premier of Torchwood on BBC America at 9/8 Central. The new season kicks off with a bang with special guest star James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Spike).
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WGA Strike Nears Its End?

According to a few sources it looks like the WGA and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are going to start holding informal talks again today. This is great news and may save next season’s television season after all. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the WGA has agreed to drop their demand that Reality Show Writers and Animation Show Writers be unionized by the latest deal. (link) They have decided to try and organize those two groups of writers another way than including it in their collective bargaining agreement with the AMPTP.

The Writers Guild of America on Strike
What’s most shocking about this statement is the fact that both the WGA and AMPTP are both admitting that reality television has writers! Doesn’t this go against everything the term reality television stands for!?! I’m hoping this latest revelation will spark a movement to change the term from reality television to either: a partially scripted show, a quasi-reality show or a half-written show. These terms haven’t been perfected yet, so I’d be happy to take some suggestions for a new term for professionally written reality television shows.

The Cast of Heroes on the Picket Line
There have been some other reports that because the AMPTP and the Directors Guild of America (DGA) agreed upon a new collective bargaining agreement last week that the argument between the WGA and the AMPTP has effectively been settled. I can’t even begin to try and explain why this is the case, so instead I’ll direct to you to a recent blog post on a great blog I read quite often, Notes From A Hack by Irwin Handleman. Irwin Handleman is a professional comedy writer and also a pen name, I think. If not then he just happens to share his name with a character from one of my favorite television shows of all time, Skippy from Family Ties. You can read his explanation for why the strike will end soon here.
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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger Found Dead In His NYC Apartment

Heath LedgerHeath Ledger, the Oscar nominated Australian actor, was found dead today at 3:35 PM ET in his downtown Manhattan residence. The NYPD is stating that the death is possibly drug related. Ledger, best known for his work in A Knight’s Tale, Monster’s Ball, and Brokeback Mountain, was 28 and is survived by his 2 year old daughter Matilda with fellow actress Michelle Williams (Dawson’s Creek, Brokeback Mountain). (link, link)

Initially, the New York Times was reporting that the apartment Ledger was found dead in was owned by fellow celebrity Mary Kate Olsen, but that Heath had been living there. That erroneous report has since been denied by Olsen’s publicist. (link) For more details on how his death was discovered please click here, here or here.

Here are some interesting quotes from an AP article appearing on USA Today.com:

Curiosity about Ledger's final performance will likely stoke further interest in the summer blockbuster. Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan said this month that Ledger's Joker would be wildly different from Nicholson's. "It was a very great challenge for Heath," Nolan said. "He's extremely original, extremely frightening, tremendously edgy. A very young character, a very anarchic presence that taps into a lot of our basic fears and panic."

Ledger told The New York Times in a November interview that he "stressed out a little too much" during the Dylan film and had trouble sleeping while portraying the Joker, whom he called a "psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy."

"Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night," Ledger told the newspaper. "I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going." He said he took two Ambien pills, which worked for only an hour, the paper said. (link)


Heath Ledger as The Joker

What a sad, sad loss. I’m at a loss for words considering I’ve blogged so much about Ledger and his upcoming role as The Joker in The Dark Knight the past few months. He was a very talented actor and still had a long, distinguished career ahead of him. I have always enjoyed his work and was really looking forward to his latest performance. I really hope his death is not drug related, but as we’ve seen too many times before, for some reason drugs and young performers seem to go hand in hand. It's such a shame too, because we’ve already lost so many talented young artists to drugs and it doesn’t seem to be letting up any time soon. As details leak out, I’ll update this post with more information.

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To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before

Star Trek Teaser Poster
The Blot hasn't been able to find a version to include in this post yet, but the first teaser trailer for the upcoming Star Trek prequel (a.k.a. Star Trek XI) has been unleashed onto the internet by J.J. Abrams. If you want to watch it in all its futuristic glory, go here. And make sure you watch it all the way through so you can hear the extra special voice cameo by a certain pointy eared Star Trek legend.
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The 2008 Coachella Festival Lineup Is Unveiled

CoachellaCoachella, the three-day annual music and arts festival held in Indio, California typically held the last weekend in April or the first weekend in May, has announced the lineup for 2008. This year the music and arts festival takes place April 25-27 and Soundboard, the Los Angeles Times music blog, has the official scoop. Unfortunately, Coachella has decided to follow in the footsteps of fellow music festivals Bonnaroo and the Baltimore Virgin Festival, which both had 70’s/80’s rock band The Police headline last year, by announcing that former Pink Floyd member Roger Waters would be the closing act. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pink Floyd as much as the next guy, but I just don’t think getting Roger Waters to perform Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety is getting the blood pumping of 18-25 year olds around the country like it once did.

Roger WatersAs an aging music fan who has gone to his fair share of music festivals the past two years, I can attest that Waters performing a show that he’s already taken across America over the last year is not getting me out of my house and is definitely not getting my money. I already passed on seeing him the first time around when his latest tour brought him to Houston, so its definitely not getting me to buy a flight out to California. While the rest of the 2008 Coachella lineup is ok, it really just resembles most of the music lineups I’ve seen from other music festivals across the continent.

Coachella 2008 Lineup Poster
Here’s the official Coachella poster for this year’s festival courtesy of Soundboard, and for those of you who don't want to click here, I’ve gone ahead and included the list of artists performing below:

Friday’s Lineup
Jack Johnson
The Verve
The Raconteurs
The Breeders
Fatboy Slim
Tegan and Sara
Madness
The Swell Season
The National
Animal Collective
Slightly Stoopid
Mum
Pendulum
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Stars
Battles
Aesop Rock
Midnight Juggernauts
Does It Offend You, Yeah?
Minus the Bear
Spank Rock
Dan Le Sac Vs. Scoobius Pip
Diplo
Adam Freeland
Santo Gold
Jens Lekman
John butler Trio
Vampire Weekend
Dan Deacon
Architecture in Helsinki
Sandra Collins
Busy P
Cut Copy
Black Lips
Datarock
Professor Murder
Reverend and the Makers
The Bees
Porter
Rogue Wave
Modeselektor
American Bang
Lucky I Am

Saturday’s Lineup
Portishead
Kraftwerk
Death Cab for Cutie
Cafe Tacuba
Sasha & Digweed
Rilo Kiley
Dwight Yoakam
M.I.A.
Hot Chip
Cold War Kids
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
DeVotchka
Flogging Molly
Mark Ronson
Turbonegro
Scars on Broadway
Islands
Enter Shikari
Calvin Harris
Boyz Noise
Junkie XL
Cinematic Orchestra
Jamie T
The Teenagers
VHS or Beta
Carbon/Silicon
Erol Alkan
Yo Majesty!
Little Brother
Bonde Do Role
St. Vincent
Akron Family
MGMT
Institubes DJs
Surkin, Para One and Orgasmic
James Wabiela
Sebastian
Kavinsky
Dredg
The Bird and the Bee
Grand Ole Party
New Young Pony Club
120 Days
Yoav
Electric Touch
Uffie

Sunday’s Lineup
Roger Waters (”Dark Side of the Moon”)
Love and Rockets
My Morning Jacket
Spiritualized
Justice
Gogol Bordello
Chromeo
The Streets
Metric
Danny Tenaglia
Simian Mobile Disco
Booka Shade
Murs
Dmitri From Paris
Autolux
The Field
Linton Kwesi Johnson
Les Savy Fav
The Cool Kids
Sons & Daughters
Sia
Holy F—
Black Kids
Black Mountain
The Annuals
Kid Sister with A-Trak
Man Man
Duffy
I’m From Barcelona
Manchester Orchestra
Deadmau5
The Horrors
Austin TV
Shout Out Louds
Platiscenes
Brett Dennen
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Monday, January 21, 2008

The Dark Knight Villains Revealed

Some exciting news on the upcoming The Dark Knight broke last week and I’ve been really itching to blog about it. For those not interested in knowing some minor spoilers (characters appearing in the movie) for next summer’s Batman Begins sequel, stop reading today’s post immediately.

Heath Ledger as The Joker
Last week the Los Angeles Times published a really exciting article on the villains popping up in 2008’s The Dark Knight. (link) The secretive writer/director of the movie, Christopher Nolan, has been very tight lipped on what characters will be showing up and even what characters certain actors will be playing in the movie. As most are aware Heath Ledger is playing The Joker, but what most don’t know, according to the Nolan quote given to the LA Times, is that “The Joker, he sort of cuts through the film -- he's got no story arc, he's just a force of nature tearing through. Heath has given an amazing performance in the role, it's really extraordinary." (link)

Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent
Two-FaceIn fact, the real focus of the story is Aaron Eckhart’s (Thank You For Smoking, No Reservations) character Harvey Dent. Dent is a very tragic figure in the Batman mythology. As a former District Attorney and ally to Batman, Dent is horribly disfigured when a vile of acid is dumped on half of his face while conducting a trial. The incident leaves Dent with a dual personality and he subsequently adopts the alter-ego of Two-Face, becoming one of Batman’s biggest adversaries. The character’s trademark is choosing to do good or evil based upon the flipping of a coin.

Two-FaceThe character of Harvey Dent has showed up in the modern day Batman movies twice previously, once portrayed by Billy Dee Williams in 1989’s Batman and once by Tommy Lee Jones in 1995’s horrible Batman Forever. According to Nolan, "Harvey Dent is a tragic figure, and his story is the backbone of this film.” (link) While it’s been known for many months now that Eckhart would be playing Dent in The Dark Knight, there had been rumors that his role, similarly to Billy Dee Williams, would only be that of Harvey Dent. According to this report though, it can be confirmed that at some point in the movie Eckhart will make the transformation into feared villain Two-Face. This is pretty exciting news for me as the only other live incarnation of this great villain was in Batman Forever and Jones’ portrayal of this twisted psycho was played pretty much just for laughs. Then again all of Batman Forever was played for humor so Jones can’t really be faulted for his performance. But with Nolan’s realistic vision, I am expecting a much more faithful adaptation of this long time Batman villain.

Cillian Murphy as The ScarecrowAnother rumor that has been circulating for months is that Cillian Murphy, who played Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow in Batman Begins, was seen on The Dark Knight set. The LA Times article finally confirms that Murphy will be reprising his role as the Scarecrow. Cillian was really great in his portrayal of the unhinged psychiatrist and I’m glad to hear he’ll be returning to the role he originated on the big screen, even if it’s just in a limited cameo.

Batman on the new Batpod
The last line in the article really puts any fears and reservations I have about the upcoming movie at ease and pushes the memory of Batman Begins to the deepest recesses of my mind. The article states, “Don't expect a lot laughs in this summer's return to the cave. ‘It's a dark and complex story,’ Nolan said, ‘and the villains are dark and complex as well.’" Just as they should be! Sounds like music to my ears.
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Friday, January 18, 2008

The Wait Is Over

Well, we're less than two weeks away from the fourth season premier of LOST and I've already read enough predictions, theories and "spoilers" to make my head spin. There's only one thing I know for sure and I can't tell you how excited I am about it. But it's definitely a spoiler, so I think I'll wait until after it occurs on the show to talk about it.

Lost
In the mean time here is the Season 4 promo poster. I'm not exactly sure what the images in the water symbolize, but I've got a pretty good educated guess. I just wish the WGA strike would end already so we could have a glimmer of hope that the final 8 episodes of season 4 could be written, completed and air before 2009. You can click on the promo poster below to get a better/larger view of the cast and water for everyone to scrutinize.

Lost - Season 4
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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army Promotional Posters and Trailer

When The Blot first heard they were considering making a sequel to 2004’s Hellboy with director Guillermo del Toro (Mimic, Blade II, Pan’s Labyrinth) on board, I got very excited. While I’m not that into horror movies, even I can see that del Toro is quite the visionary and he did wonders adapting the Hellboy comic book to the big screen. Everything he touches is artistic gold and I have no doubt Hellboy II: The Golden Army will be equally as good, especially with the return of the entire principle cast. Here is the official trailer for Hellboy II due in theaters July 11, 2008.



Below are the first three teaser promotional posters for Hellboy II: The Golden Army. The online versions don’t really do the promo posters justice though. I saw gigantic wall tapestries of the posters at my local movie theater this past weekend and they looked even cooler blown up.

Here’s the Ron Perlman as Hellboy poster.

Ron Perlman as Hellboy in Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Here’s the Selma Blair as Liz Sherman poster.

Selma Blair as Liz Sherman in Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Here’s the Doug Jones as Abe Sapien poster.

Doug Jones as Abe Sapien in Hellboy II: The Golden Army
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