Friday, April 13, 2012

New Avengers clips showcases Captain America and Thor

New Avengers character posters

Pop culture roundup: Don't spoil Cabin in the Woods! DC Direct now DC Collectibles! Jack Kirby's son remembers! Jaw restored!

"The Cabin in the Woods," the long-awaited more-than-just-a-horror-flick from Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon opens this weekend in the U.S. and those wanting to be shocked and surprised would do well to avoid reading spoilerish reviews such as those in the New York Observer and Village Voice. Entertainment Weekly, meanwhile, gives the film a "B minus" without being too spoiling the works.


DC Direct, which for years has manufactured DC Comics action figures and other items available via the direct comic shop market, has re-branded itself as DC Collectibles and is now selling it's wares via a website, as well as retailers. According to a press release:
“Not all of our fans have access to comic book retail locations, so by expanding our website to offer the entire product line, we’re adding an element of convenience and the ability for fans to collect every single product they’re interested in,” stated Hank Kanalz, senior vice president of digital, DC Entertainment.

In a Los Angeles Times column, Jack Kirby's son, Neal recalls growing up watching his dad create the adventures of the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, X-Men others while growing up in the 1950s and 60s.

...what I remember most is my father’s studio. Buried in the basement, “The Dungeon” was tiny (just 10 feet across) and the walls that separated it from the rest of the cellar were covered in stained, tongue-and-groove knotty pine with a glossy varnish. Dad’s drawing table faced a beautiful cherry wood cabinet that housed a 10″ black-and-white television.
To the left of the cabinet was a beat-up, four-drawer file cabinet that was stuffed with Dad’s vast archive of picture references to, well, everything. I could sit for hours and just mull through musty old folders with bayonets, battleships, medieval armor, cowboy hats, skyscrapers, satellites — countless files on countless subjects. And — much out of character for my father — that metal cabinet sat beneath a stuffed and mounted deer’s head. I can’t remember where he said he got that damned thing, but it was always there.

A digitally restored version of "Jaws" is out Aug. 14. Apparently, sprucing up the film took a lot of work, as the original negatives were in bad shape, as evidenced in this account from Entertainment Weekly.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Release of George Harrison Early Takes confirmed

This album showed up listed on Amazon several weeks ago, prompted all sorts of speculation, dropped off of Amazon, but is now genuinely set for release, it seems.

It should be noted that this CD was packaged with the "Living in the Material World" book in the U.K., but we Yanks need to purchase it separately, for some reason.

Here's the skinny:
'Early Takes Volume 1' will be released on April 30th, and is intended as a companion piece of sorts to 'Living In A Material World'. Containing numerous unreleased demo recordings, the album boasts early takes on 'My Sweet Lord', 'Run Of The Mill' and 'I'd Have You Anytime' - all of which featured on Harrison's sublime 1970 album 'All Things Must Pass'.

Elsewhere, fans can find George Harrison performing Bob Dylan's 'Mama You've Been On My Mind' and an early take on 'Woman Don’t You Cry For Me'.

Producer Giles Martin supplies the sleeve notes, here's a quick quote:

In 2009 I was privileged to be invited by Olivia to listen to tapes that George had stored in his library at Friar Park. In the beautiful setting of George’s studio, overlooking the meticulous gardens that he had created, engineer Paul Hicks and I unboxed forgotten reels to hear the music George had left behind. This first collection provides a glimpse of what we found. From early multi-tracks of live takes of My Sweet Lord and All Things Must Pass to more recent tracks like Mama You’ve Been On My Mind, we hear an intimacy to George’s voice and guitar that can only be achieved with live performance devoid of production. I’d like to thank Olivia and Dhani for the honour of being invited into their home to share the work that George gave us all.

Due for release on April 30th, 'Early Takes Volume 1' will be available on CD as original and deluxe editions, while a vinyl pressing is planned on heavyweight 180gram wax.

1. My Sweet Lord (demo) (3.33)
2. Run Of The Mill (demo) (1.56)
3. I’d Have You Any Time (early take) (3.06)
4. Mama You’ve Been On My Mind (demo) (3.04)
5. Let It Be Me (demo) (2.56)
6. Woman Don’t You Cry For Me (early take) (2.44)
7. Awaiting On You All (early take) (2.40)
8. Behind That Locked Door (demo) (3.29)
9. All Things Must Pass (demo) (4.38)
10. The Light That Has Lighted The World (demo) (2.23)

New photos from Batman: The Dark Knight Rises

Vintage Marilyn Monroe pin-ups from Photoplay magazine

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Entertainment Weekly posts Batman: Dark Knight Rises cover with Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway

Picture: Best look at Anne Hathaway as Catwoman to date

A new pic of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman from "Batman: The Dark Knight Rises."

Graphic novel looks at original fifth Beatle Stu Sutcliffe

USA Today spotlights "Baby's in Black," by German cartoonist Arne Bellstorf. The book focuses on the love story of original Beatles bassist Stu Sutcliffe and his girlfriend, photographer Astrid Kircherr. The couple met during the Beatles' pre-fame days playing nightclubs in Hamburg.

Sutcliffe, a talented painter, elected to quit the group and stay in Hamburg, planning to marry Astrid, but tragically died of a brain hemorrhage a few months after his bandmates went back to Liverpool.

The book, featuring black-and-white, cartoon-style art, looks interesting and benefits from input from Kircherr, herself.

According to Bellstorf:
 "We both tend to think in pictures, she's a very visual person, and she basically liked the idea of seeing her story being told in little black-and-white panels.
"There was a kind of mutual confidence between Astrid and I from the very beginning, and I soon felt comfortable with telling 'her' story. I mean, love is such a universal thing, and of course I was touched by her tragic love story and could relate to this existential experience of losing someone so young."

Video: Beach Boys sing unplugged "Surfer Girl" at Dodger Stadium

The reunited Beach Boys and crew performed at a ball game this week. Here's a fan-shot video:

BBC Radio this week

Click the links to stream the following shows.

6 On 2: 6 Music Celebrates 10 Years Available on BBC iPlayer
Highlights of BBC Radio 6 Music's 10th birthday celebrations.

Frank Sinatra: Voice of the Century Available on BBC iPlayer
David Jacobs presents a 13-part series on the life and times of Francis Albert Sinatra

Never Miss An Angle - The Real Walt Disney Available on BBC iPlayer
Brian Sibley examines the differences between Walt Disney's private and public personas.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Available on BBC iPlayer
1968 classic tale of a world devastated by war and six rogue androids at large

Eoin Colfer - And Another Thing... Available on BBC iPlayer
Sequel to Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. With Stephen Mangan

Ray Bradbury - Bradbury 13 Available on BBC iPlayer
Adaptations of the classic short stories by Ray Bradbury

Terry Pratchett - Only You Can Save Mankind Available on BBC iPlayer
Sci-fi drama from Terry Pratchett

The Chronicles of Narnia Available on BBC iPlayer
CS Lewis's classic fantasy adventures.

Hitsville USA: The Story of Motown Available on BBC iPlayer
The story of the record label.

Vintage Dark Shadows TV show pics: Barnabas Collins

New DC Nationl Batgirl clip

A peek at an upcoming Batgirl short from Cartoon Network's Saturday morning "DC Nation" slot:

New TV spots for Marvel's The Avengers