Thursday, August 27, 2009

Will Wizards of Waverly Place the Movie be Magical?

So it must be a pretty slow news day in Hollywood if I'm writing about a Disney Channel Original movie. I double checked the AP wire and all there was was Miley's stalker updates and Kate Gosselin hosting The View. Sorry but both of those topics make me nautious... so it's movie review time!
While I highly doubt I'll end up watching Wizards of Waverly Place the Movie... I don't think I'd discourage Disney fans from giving it a go. I have read multiple reviews and a USA Today preview and it sounds as though the movie will strike gold with its intended viewing audience. Thanks to Twitter, I was passed along the link to this clip featuring series star Selena Gomez. I'll be honest, out of all the Disney tween queens it appears she has the brightest acting future. I have a feeling if this film is at all a success, it'll be because of her incredible charm.
The movie is an extension of the popular TV series... which if you aren't aware already follows a family of wizards (yeah so the title pretty much says it all). The show is cute, quirky, and wholesome (Disney is a nutshell). While aimed at the younger crowd, I've seen it deliver a laugh or two to some twenty-somethings as well (you'd be surprised how many college kids watch the Disney Channel).
Like most Disney Channel originals, WOWP won't deliver amazing special effects, stellar acting, or a superb plot-driven feature. There is a reason the film didn't make it to the big screen... but remember neither did the first two High School Musicals. Don't knock a film just because it debuts on TV, but don't expect it to win any awards either.
So if you are bored this weekend WOWP may just be the two hour block of entertainment you were looking for... just don't blame me if it sucks... I warned you.

Monday, August 24, 2009

#MusicMonday: Miley Cyrus' new EP

The Miley Cyrus machine is out to steal the Disney spotlight AGAIN. Let's look at what she's accomplished already over the past few months:

a) Demi and Selena have a Disney channel original movie (Princess Protection Program) too bad Miley upstaged that with the big screen release of Hannah Montana: The Movie. She also makes headlines while finishing up shooting The Last Song...written just for her by famed author Nicklas Sparks.
b) Demi releases her sophomore album and goes on tour. Miley releases not only the HM Movie soundtrack (with tracks from Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift onboard too), but the Hannah Montana Season 3 soundtrack. Oh, and she performs at every award show under the sun, and is about to hit the stage at the Today Show Summer Concert Series before starting up a fall tour.
c) Selena Gomez releases the Wizards of Waverly Place Movie, and it's soundtrack... all timed perfectly with the September release of her debut solo album "Kiss and Tell". Miley decides to release a 7-track E.P. which, is the subject of this review.

"The Time of Our Lives" is NOT going to be the time of your life. It's 7 tracks were thrown together to coincide with Miley's new clothing line (did I forget to mention that in a-c above? Oh well, tack that onto the list). Miley and Max Azria's line for WalMart goes great with an E.P. being pimped by the major US retailer.
Out of the 7 songs you'll only hear 5 brand new tracks (I'm not counting "Party in the USA" because it's already been sold as a single.)
The E.P. features the following:
1. "Kicking And Screaming"
2. "Party In The USA"
3. "When I Look At You"
4. "Time Of Our Lives"
5. "Talk Is Cheap"
6. "Obsessed"
7. "Before The Storm (Live)"

Below is a sampling of all seven tracks. I'm not impressed. The only good thing I can say is that at least she didn't pull a Hilary Duff and release a "greatest hits" album to fill space (Hilary's "Most Wanted" was a waste of money and shelf space). Instead she's just going to leave fans spending too much on too little, and craving more.
Does Miley think her fans are going somewhere? Is that why she feels the need to put out as many albums as possible? Don't get me wrong, I love most of her stuff (MOST, her latter albums have come a long ways...I've ingnored anything with "Hannah Montana" attached to it), but I'd rather wait for a quality product that be subdued with this crap.
I just hope that when the full album finally drops these songs don't reappear on it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

BTS with Hilary Duff on the Gossip Girl Set

If you haven't voted in the latest EBUZZ poll already (shame on you if you haven't ;), here is some behind the scenes material that could help you make up your mind. Hilary Duff sat down with Access Hollywood to talk about her new role on the CW hit Gossip Girl. Here's what I've deciphered from the short interview:

* Hilary's character isn't too much of a stretch. She playes an uber famous actress who just wants to escape. I'm just Hilary has never felt as though SHE just wanted to fit in...

* It sounds like the character has potential... if the writers give her enough material to work with, and Hilary doesn't screw it up. I'm nervous about the cliche factor. This role has been played before. To be GG worthy it needs to be fresh and the storyline MUST contain a surprise now and then to keep fans interested.

* Duff's going to fit right in on the CW. It seems like the natural progression. Move from the tween market to the teen market BEFORE you make the jump to adult oriented works. Maybe this will be the launching pad she'll need for her NBC sitcom career to take off. As an actor you can't forget who your fan base is. The same people that grew up watching Lizze McGuire are now watching Gossip Girl.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Send It On

I don't care if you loathe the Disney Channel and all of its stars... you HAVE to watch this music video. Only an organization as powerful as the Mouse could pull all this talent together and create such a powerful piece of art.
The best part about the new Disney Channel star's single "Send it On": it was created as part of Disney's efforts to enhance environmental awareness and going green.
So kudos to all involved because the final project has literally given me goosebumps.
Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Selena Gomez, and Demi Lovato, make magic together. I'll join Perez Hilton in saying that as much as I hate to admit it... their combined talents are breathtaking.
So what ever you do today... SEND IT ON!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Another Miley "Controversy" and other stuff I want to Vent About

I write entertainment stories for the news every morning... which may be why I'm not as inclined to contribute to this blog with the same frequency as before. I hate seeing the same ridiculous headlines over and over again.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE entertainment related news and content. I love movies, music, and television. I love living vicariously through super star's incredible lives. But I don't love making mountains out of mole hills.
I know when something has run its course MICHAEL JACKSON I'M TALKING ABOUT YOU. Does anyone even care anymore? At least three M.J. related stories have been making the AP Entertainment wires everyday since his death. ENOUGH ALREADY.
And Miley Cyrus... oh Miley Cyrus. The critics ALWAYS find something to complain about. She doesn't do drugs, she isn't off getting impregnated, and she hasn't been caught heading into a club going commando. That being said, why must we tear this 16 year old apart? She danced with a pole ON TOP OF AN ICE CREAM CART, at the Teen Choice Awards. Wow. You mean to tell me she used a prop on stage that also doubles as an employment device for strippers? Poles can't possibly be used for something other than stripping... give me a break!
Accentuate the positives. Show off the celebrities that are doing GOOD things. You know, the ones visiting sick kids, raising money for charities, helping to save the environment, etc. People care about THOSE actions too. And Miley, for all the negative press she's gotten, participates in many of those positive endeavors.
I had planned on writing about Miley's pole dance in the #Whatwereyouthinking Wednesday column. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized then I'd have to write about myself in that same category.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Second Look: Show You Should Be Watching This Summe

I'm calling this article "second look" because two months ago I would not have (and in a couple of cases didn't) recommend watching some of the following summer series. Luckily, because there is nothing else on, I have been patient with the following series and many have come to thoroughly surprise me. Television, especially during it's pilot season, is like a may take a chapter or two to get into it, but once you find yourself in the middle you just can't put it down.

Summer hit: Royal Pains
USA has struck gold with this series. While the network is best known for Monk, Psych, and Burn Notice... I feel that the series most worth tuning in for started just over a month ago. The series follows a former surgeon who was fired after letting a billionaire hospital trustee die in favor of saving a kid's life. As a result, he and his brother move to the Hamptons where they start a concierge doctor service.
The series is like McGyver meets Desperate Housewives with a bit of House attached. You've got lots of character drama, but mostly great medical mysteries... and of course, a hot cast.
While this show draws from a number of previously successful series, it is entirely original. Mark Feurstein, or Dr. Hank Lawson, lights up the screen and steals every scene he's in.

Come From Behind Kid: Make it or Break It
I'll be the first to admit I royally bashed this show when it came out. The pilot episode was pathetic... then again so was the pilot episode of The Office, and we all know how that turned out. I thought this series would be a direct rip off of Stick It. The characters, the plot, it all seemed too eerily similar. BUT...and this is a big BUT...after four or five episodes (I know I'm shocked I gave it that long too) it really found its footing... and it's been on my 'must watch' list ever since.
There is now finally solid character development that has made the cookie-cutter elite gymnasts into people I actually care about. The cast is made up of entirely fresh faces (minus Candace Cameron Bure who is making a major post-Full House comeback), but they are showing they can hold their own. I'm impressed with the delicate mix of gymnastics and drama. You get enough of both that the scenario is believable. While the show may be stuck on ABC Family... I think it's one of the brightest stars in their lineup.

Hate to Admit I Like It: 10 Things I Hate About You
I wish they'd call this show something else. I like it, I really do. But the fact that it pretends to reflect one of my all time favorite movies is a royal slap in the face to what Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger were once able to accomplish on the big screen.
The characters names may be the same, but their purpose and attitudes are entirely different.
Kat is still your feminist misfit, but instead of Patrick going after her, she is going after HIM. Bianca is still the cheery blonde who's obsessed with her looks, but instead of already being popular, her character's mission is to BECOME popular. Chastity serves as the bitch in the TV version too, but Gabrielle Union the new version is not. And Mandella has gone from a Shakespearean crazed sidekick to a gothic girlfriend for Kat. The only solid cross-over has been Larry Miller who shines again as the girls dad and resident OBGYN. The fact that there's no "Ms. Perky" or awesome rapping English teacher makes me cry inside.
So as a stand alone series I am a fan. But as a spin-off of the film I am not impressed.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Trailer Tuesday: Jennifer's Body

Let me start by saying that I am normally not a fan of scary movies. When I was in my early teens I went through the prerequisite scary movie slumber party stage (you HAD to see I Know What you Did Last Summer, Final Destination, Scream, and Urban Legends). Now I have a harder time renting scary flicks, let alone dragging myself to theaters to see them. To me they are generally too predictable, or over-the-top gory. The last scary film I saw was Prom Night, and that was only because a friend had rented it.
All that being said... I may just actually fork over the money needed to catch Jennifer's Body in theaters. I have been hearing the buzz surrounding this film for months. The fact that it stars two very hot young female leads has made Hollywood pay more attention than usual. Megan Fox is coming off the Transformers sequel, and thus her stock in only on the rise. Guys could care less whether or not she can act... they'll enjoy just looking at her for 90 minutes. And, from the looks of this trailer it appears that they get all sorts of extra sexual tension from the title character.
Amanda Seyfried, on the other hand, is still riding the coat tails of last summer's smash Mamma Mia... as well as her role in the Emmy nominated Big Love. I happen to be a fan of both and see a world full of potential for the young starlet. If she can hold her own on screen next to Megan Fox then she'll have more than one door open for her in Tinseltown.
So mark your calendars, because if the trailer is any indication Jennifer's Body will be a "killer" success.