Tuesday, July 28, 2009

New Miley Cyrus song leaked: Party in the USA

Hollywood records pulled it off of YouTube before you could blink...but it's still popped up all over the web... begging the question---was it meant to be leaked?
Either way you can check it out here:

zSHARE - miley cyrus - party in the usa.mp3

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Monday, July 27, 2009

#MusicMonday: "Here We Go Again"

I NEVER would have thought I'd admit to downloading ANYTHING of Demi Lovato's... and yet, here I sit about to write an entire post about her sophomore album.
It started when I first heard "Here We Go Again" on the radio. The song, and title of the new album, made me do an immediate double take. That couldn't be Kelly Clarkson, could it? I have Kelly Clarkson's albums, I'd know if it were on there. So who could be responsible for the catchy pop/rock ballad blaring through my speakers?
I happen to be a proud owner of SHAZZAM, so I stuck my cell out an awaited the display...
Demi Lovato: "Here We Go Again". At first I thought it was broken. There's no way that the Disney starlet could be responsible for this sure-fire hit.
I knew Lovato could sing... you had to be living under a rock to ignore all the promotion that came during and following her Camp Rock debut. When you sing with the Jonas Brothers you tend to get noticed. I just didn't realize that Lovato would be able to so quickly shed her 16 year old skin for a more mature sound.
Now "Here We Go Again" isn't necessarily "mature". But it reminds me more of Kelly Clarkson than... Hilary Duff. It doesn't stray from it's core audience, but at the same time it reaches out to pull in a new, untapped audience.
I figured if "Here We Go Again" was the top seller on iTunes within its first five minutes of coming out, it was worth me checking out.
And here I give my kudos to Lovato. She nailed it. Instead of following in fellow Disney teen queen Miley Cyrus' footsteps, Lovato choose music meant to make her stand out from the crowd.
There's not a hint of country here (Cyrus' songs, on the other hand, reek of it---in a good way). Instead each song pulls from a seemingly different artistic place. For example, "Got Dynamite" sounds more like something you'd hear from Pink (minus all the yelling). "U Got Nothing" is more Mandy Moore and The Weepies, only pop infused. "Remember December" is Lady Gaga minus the techno beat. It's still catchy and a potential dance hit (I'm already anticipated a remix, as is it's just a good car jam).
There are certainly tracks on the album I could do without...the Sonny With a Chance theme song being one of them. "Gift of a Friend" feels like it should be the theme to a Disney princess movie (and maybe it is...). It feels rather out of place and sing-songy for the album.
Unlike her Disney counterparts (with the exception of Cyrus who comes by it naturally--and already with three albums out THIS YEAR, has proven she's a hit maker), this album proves that Demi Lovato can actually sing. In fact, having seen her act I'm fairly certain that her musical skills trump anything she can do on screen.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tolle Lege Thursday: Summer Musts and Movie Busts

You're thinking I've gone off the deep end right? Now this idiot is making up names just to keep the alliteration. Well... you're WRONG! Tolle lege is Latin for "take up and read". I talk a lot of TV, movies, and music on this site... but my real passion involves a good book. So I decided that once a week I should celebrate the written word... it is what got me started doing this stuff in the first place.
Today's is a two part topic: Summer Must Reads, and Movies Based On Books That are Much Better.
I start with the former.

1)Anything by Janet Evanovich (particularly her "Stephanie Plum" series.)
The best thing about these books is that you get an ab workout...while you're reading. Evanovich is a master at crafting her characters. With fifteen books in the Plum series you'll have plenty to get you through your days at the beach.
2) Anything by Patricia Cornwell
Again Cornwell writes a series of books (Dr. Kay Scarpetta)... and I have yet to find one I didn't like. Granted, I much prefer the books at the beginning of the series (they're less political and take a few more risks)... this is still a series that doesn't dwindle with age.
My favorite is "Black Notice" because in the first page Cornwell writes a letter that's addressed from Epworth Heights in Luddington (yes she spelled it wrong, in reality it only has one 'd'). Considering that is my hometown that book will always be near and dear to my heart.
3) G.M. Ford
The name sounds like a bad play on the auto industry... but GM Ford will undoubtedly rev up your engines in his Leo Waterman and Frank Corso series. This well tattooed artist has a magnificent imagination and balances enough action, adventure, and mystery to keep you on the edge of your seat. With book names like "Who in the Hell is Wanda Fuca?" you know that you'll also be getting a good laugh during these reads.
4) Finally I leave the mystery genre to pass on some historical fiction: Philippa Gregory
I'll touch on "The Other Boleyn Girl" later on... so instead I'll suggest you spend time with Gregory's other period pieces, including: "The Other Queen" and "The Boleyn Inheritance". These are well researched, and incredibly presented novels that weave together fact and fiction in a way that makes you wish you could be thrown back in time. If you like history, even a little, you'll love these books.

1) The Other Boleyn Girl
I love the movie. Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana, and Natalie Portman shine. But the movie doesn't hold a candle to Gregory's book. The movie cuts out a large chunk of the timeline... and isn't able to fully flesh out the characters in a way that does them total justice.

2) The DaVinci Code and Angels and Demons
Again, I loved both of these films... but Dan Brown's books have so much more to offer. They're seeping with details and woven with multiple story lines that the movies had to ignore in order to make. They are the type of books that make you think... and even if they are historical fiction does it hurt to question the status quo once in a while?

3) The Kite Runner
I'm upset that they even tried to make a movie out of this book. Every page is wrought with emotion. The story is raw, the characters incredibly well crafted. The movie got the message right... but it didn't capture nearly the emotion that the novel did. It failed to touch audiences in nearly the same way. And it melted down the culture that had made the book so unique because it didn't want to offend an American audience.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What Were They Thinking Wednesday: Lindsay Lohan

Sticking with my alliteration themed days I've decided to give "What Were They Thinking Wednesday" a go.
I hate to start with the obvious, but a recent ABC Family original film has inspired me to bring this one up once again: Lindsay Lohan.
Dear Lindsay,
You had EVERYTHING going for you. You had the backing of the Disney franchise thanks to your adorable role in The Parent Trap and then your remake of the classic Freaky Friday. Even your part in Herbie Fully Loaded was given the golden treatment by the network. Despite the fact that you really can't sing... a studio actually gave you the tools necessary to sell thousands of albums and attempt to de-throne then reigning teen queen Hilary Duff. Forget the love triangle with you, Duff, and Aaron Carter... you had moved on to bigger and better things and could have gotten just about any guy in Hollywood. That is, before you took a giant plunge off the deep end.
Instead of riding the success of Mean Girls and using the star vehicle as an opportunity for real success... you managed to f-up a number of truly incredible opportunities. You had the chance to work with Jane Fonda and Felicity Huffman in Georgia Rule. Garry Marshal directs hits... yet he called you out for basically destroying what could have been a great film.
You blew it again in Bobby. The ensemble cast in Emilio Estevez's film was as superb as any every collected. You had the chance to get in on the project and once again showed why you were headed up sh*t creek without a paddle. When you get to work with the best you should try and LEARN from the best. Pay attention to their work habits, how they behave both on, and off screen, and how they manage their careers. You were so busy getting drunk and snorting coke you forgot that Hollywood waits around for no one.
As a result Linds, you are now making straight to TV movies. Your crazy girlfriend has dumped you, no guy in Hollywood would touch you with a ten foot pole, and every movie director cringes at the thought of having you on board (can you say liability much?).
While Hilary Duff may not have a blockbuster under her belt... she won the teen queen battle against you just by keeping her shit together. Sad, but true.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Trailer Tuesday: The Time Traveler's Wife

I've decided to temporarily call today "Trailer Tuesday" because a) I like alliteration, and b) movie trailers can make or break a film... so why not pick them apart here before they even make it to the big screen?!

Today's trailer is from The Time Traveler's Wife.
The movie is based on the best-selling book and stars Rachel McAdams (The Notebook, Mean Girls) and Eric Bana. In the two minutes you get to see those stars on screen you know that the film is going to be magical. The chemistry is undeniable... and the storyline is magical.
The trailer did a great job of not giving too much of the story away. In two minutes you already love the characters enough to want to know what happens to them.
Eric Bana is incredibly sexy, and Rachel McAdams is beautiful...which makes even the brief glimpses you get of their love scenes here look super-steamy.
Rachel McAdams is an incredibly gifted actress. We already know she can carry an emotional drama... she did it with Ryan Gossling in The Notebook. We also know she can carry a comedy (The Family Stone, Mean Girls) and thus I expect when the script calls for it, she'll deliever on those one timers that are meant to break the emotional ice.
Finally the music at the end of this trailer is superb. It reminds me of the effect Snow Patrol's "Run" had when used in The Guardian trailer...emotional and uplifting.
All in all I give The Time Traveler's Wife four out of five stars.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Music Monday: Philos

I've decided to take a page out of the Twitter book and develop themed days... hence EBUZZ will also adhere to #MusicMonday. If you have suggestions for the other days of the week please let me know.
Today I want to introduce you to a band I found thanks to Twitter...Philos. I was quoting lyrics from "Defying Gravity" the title song from one of my all-time favorite musicals (Wicked) and the group sent me a message telling me that they did a cover of that very song.
An iTunes download later and I was officially in love. I now am the proud owner of the bands latest EP and have included most of it in my current favorite iTunes play-list. I highly suggest you do the same.
The band has shared with me links to their website and YouTube videos of live performances of some of their songs. Below is the video for "Defying Gravity"... if you like it as much as I do you'll for sure want to check out the other links below!
Philos on YouTube

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Inside the New "10 Things"

For the record I've given the new 10 Things I Hate About You a try. I have a rule that pilot's are a poor judge of a show's quality (e.g. the pilot of The Office really sucked), so it'll hold my attention for at least one more episode before I make the firm decision weather to become a fan or hold it forever in contempt.
As much as I've bitched about it in the past, I really WANT to like the new ABC Family series. Mostly, as a HUGE fan of the original film, I don't want it to ruin the franchise.
When I think 10 Things I'll always think Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles...but I have to come to terms with the fact that there is a new generation out there who will likely relate the franchise to its new stars: Meaghan Jette Martin and Ethan Peck.
TV Guide recently did an interview with Meaghan Jette Martin... I've included the "high lights" and my commentary below.

TVGuide.com: A lot of die-hard fans of the movie feel there shouldn't be a TV show, especially now that Heath has died. What do you think about that?
That's such an interesting thing because the movie is an adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew and Shakespeare passed away. Was the movie disrespecting Shakespeare? And Kiss Me Kate is a musical based off of Taming of the Shrew, [just like] 10 Things I Hate About You. Just because we're using the same title and character names doesn't mean we're trying to take away from the movie, because it's still an awesome movie. And obviously [director] Gil Junger and Larry Miller wouldn't be behind it if they didn't think it was worth it. And if people remember correctly, Heath Ledger actually wasn't so proud of the movie. He did not want to do a teen comedy.

I don't think Ledger ever said he wasn't proud of the MOVIE... I think he just wasn't a fan of sticking himself in the teen genre. That's why he turned down subsequent teen film roles to take on more adult characters. Also, as a fan the reason I don't want a remake is because I liked the original characters so much.

TVGuide.com: Larry Miller, who was in the 10 Things movie, is also on the TV show. Have you heard from any of the movie's other stars?
Meaghan Jette Martin:
Unfortunately, I didn't get to go to the premiere party because I was working! [Laughs] But there were a lot of the original cast at the premiere party and all of our cast members who got to go said they were very encouraging. And a couple of them want to guest on the show, which I think would be super-cool. They could play our teachers or something.

It's probably a good sign that some of the movie's cast members showed up to the premiere and support the show. I doubt they would if it totally sucked. I'm just curious to see WHICH cast members attended. I would LOVE to see Allison Janney, Joseph Gordan Levvitt, or Daryl "the Chill" Mitchell back in the series. Better yet, there could be a NUMBERS-10 Things crossover episode where David Krumholtz reprises his role as the nerd and gives a math lecture to the 10 Things crowd (he plays a prof on the hit CBS show anyways!).

TVGuide.com: Kat goes to prom for Bianca in the movie. Are we going to see any of those sisterly favors?
There's going to be a dance in Episode 8. It's a true and honest relationship between Kat and Bianca. I have an older sister and we fight and bicker, but in the end we love each other and we make sacrifices for each other and help each other out.

If the dance scene features "Shout" or "Angels Fall" I may just have a heart attack. The dance scene from the film is one of my all-time favorite movie moments. Nothing beats the camera shot when Kat runs away from Patrick and down the stairs as the music in the background plays "God Knows Even Angels Fall". I get goosebumps just thinking about it.
And... on that note... if they dare have Kat recite a poem ANYWHERE in the TV serious I'll be uber-pissed off.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Leighton Meester OWNS "Good Girls Gone Bad"

I posted the link to this song when it first hit the airwaves, now I want to share with you the totally awesome music video. Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester is killer in this cameo she did with Cobra Starship.
I used to think Blake Lively was the "it girl" of the series...now I'm not so sure...

Hugh Jackman and Miley Cyrus Together on the Big Screen?

I had to check multiple sources on this one because seeing wasn't exactly believing. It appears, however, that Hugh Jackman REALLY IS teaming up with Miley Cyrus for a tween version of The Bodyguard.

Variety magazine is reporting that Jackman and Cyrus are to going to work together in a movie musical called Personal Security.

The muscle-bound Jackman is to play a tough New York police detective forced into bodyguard duty for a spoiled teen heiress (Cyrus) who is receiving kidnapping threats.

Wow big shocker: Miley Cyrus will be signing in a movie. Gee I wonder if she'll have original songs featured on the soundtrack?!

I'm not sure why Hugh needs to do tween films (when you've got the amount of serious hardware he already has and you've held leads in blockbuster films you don't usually have to revert to Disney level productions). Maybe he's channeling his inner Dwayne Johnson. It seems as though every once in a while A-list celebs like to lend themselves to films for younger audiences. It makes them feel relevant to all ages, not just the over thirty crowd.
Jackman should make this movie a sure hit. The "Sexiest Man Alive" will undoubtedly bring some female viewers who wouldn't otherwise have shelled out for a ticket.
I've made a list of other well known stars who took their acting down a peg in order to enlighten the teen audience.

Mark Harmon - Chasing Liberty
Michael Keaton - First Daughter/ Herbie Fully Loaded
Dennis Quaid - Yours, Mine and Ours
Jeff Bridges - Stick It
Vanessa Williams - Hannah Montana: The Movie

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

No More Need For the Promise Ring... Kevin Jonas is Getting Hitched!

I was just going to say "a Jonas is getting married" in the headline but I didn't want to cause any heart attacks. Luckily Kevin Jonas, 22, is the JoBro getting hitched (no offense to Kevin but it's obviously Nick and Joe who rule the roles of heart throbs in the group).
Kevin reportedly popped the question to 21 year old girlfriend Danielle Deleasa. I'm sure you heard of Deleasa (cough, cough) as she is a former hairdresser. Luckily her man is raking in the dough right now so job security probably won't be much of an issue.
So how'd Kevin do it?
Apparently he showed up with cushion-cut diamond ring he co-designed with Jacob & Co. at her New Jersey home this morning. How original (NOT).
Kevin had mentioned that his Tiffany's promise ring (the pop star told reporters he was saving his virginity until marriage and wore the ring as proof) was getting banged up on his guitar... I'm guessing he was sick of his ring being the only thing getting banged.
It scares me that Kevin, who is my age, is ready to tie the knot. It makes me feel like I'm moving at an exceptionally slow relationship rate.

Hilary Duff Joins Gossip Girl Cast

I did NOT see this one coming. Hilary Duff has made very few headlines since her Disney days... most recently she's been in the news for her production deal with NBC. Today, however, made Upper-East Siders look twice at her name as it was announced that she'll join the uber-popular CW show Gossip Girl.
Duff will take a page from Miley Cyrus' "Best of Both Worlds" routine when she plays Olivia Burke, a movie star who enrolls at NYU looking to lead a normal life (LIKE THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN!) Duff's character will be roomates with Vanessa.
I'm not sure if Hilary will play a good girl, or a vixen but either way I'm more than a little shocked at the announcement. Remember... Duff TURNED DOWN the lead role in the CW's 90210 because she wanted to do "more mature" projects. It sounds like maybe she's decided she just wants to do successful ones. I don't remember the last time Duff did ANYTHING worth watching.
Will this be a career booster for the former Disney Tween Queen, or will she sink faster than the Titanic in her new gig? VOTE in the new EBUZZ poll and then find out this fall when Gossip Girl returns to the CW.