Pop Blitz for 5/27/2011

Happy Friday Popsters! If you’re in the states, you’re gearing up for the first holiday weekend of 2011 that will include bathing suits, barbecues and beers, can I get a “WooHoo!”? Alright lots of fun stuff in this week’s “Pop Blitz”, so, without further yada, yada, yada, let’s get this party started!

 The Big Lebowski Comes to Blu-Ray!

I can’t begin to tell you how freakin’ geeked I am over the news that The Big Lebowski is FINALLY coming to Blu-Ray on Aug. 16! The limited-edition package will include new bonus features and a collectible hardcover book.

I’ve owned it on LaserDisc, VHS and DVD, here’s hoping this is the LAST copy I will ever need or want to purchase. For the true Lebowski fans, this is the one we’ve been waiting for, to call it “definitive” would be a major understatement.

Here’s the breakdown of all that will be included.

BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE BONUS FEATURES:

U-CONTROL: Universal’s exclusive feature that lets the viewer access bonus materials without leaving the movie!

Scene Companion: Watch cast and crew interviews, behind the scenes footage and more during key scenes with this picture-in-picture companion.

Mark it Dude: This onscreen counter really ties the film together. Keep track of all the “F-Bombs,” “Dudes,” and “Dude-isms” in the film with this ultimate fan guide.

The Music of The Big Lebowski: Instantly identify the songs heard while watching the film, create a custom playlist of your favorites and even purchase them from iTunes!

WORTHY ADVERSARIES: WHAT’S MY LINE TRIVIA: Test your Lebowski knowledge by finishing lines of dialogue during the film. Play as Walter or The Dude or in two-player mode against friends.

ADDITIONAL BONUS FEATURES:

JEFF BRIDGES PHOTO BOOK: For more than 30 years, Jeff Bridges has been snapping pictures on movie sets. The accomplished photographer presents exclusive shots taken on the set of The Big Lebowski providing personal commentary on each photo.

THE DUDE’S LIFE: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi and John Turturro take a look back at their performances and their delivery of the Coen Brothers’ dialogue that became classic movie lines.

THE DUDE ABIDES: THE BIG LEBOWSKI TEN YEARS LATER: A freewheeling conversation with the cast about the film’s decade-long reign as a cult classic, including a discussion about what ever happened to the “little Lebowski” that the Dude and Maude made that fateful night!

THE LEBOWSKI FEST: AN ACHIEVER’S STORY: An in-depth look at the popular Lebowski Festival, formed by the legion of fans in honor of the film.

FLYING CARPETS & BOWLING PIN DREAMS: THE DREAM SEQUENCES OF THE DUDE: From aerial flights over Los Angeles with his bowling ball chasing Maude on a flying carpet, to the large scale “Busby Berkley” dance sequences as The Dude goes flying through the legs of all the bowling pin headed dancers, this piece examines how these “ahead of their time” scenes were constructed.

THE MAKING OF THE BIG LEBOWSKI: A behind the scenes look featuring interviews with Joel and Ethan Coen.

PHOTO GALLERY: Slideshow of Jeff Bridges‘ on-set photography.

INTERACTIVE MAP: Take a tour of the locations of The Big Lebowski, then and now.

AN INTRODUCTION: Featuring Mortimer Young, a practitioner of “non-uptight” film preservation. His restoration of the famous “toe scene” will blow your mind.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

♦ The Best of Netflix Instant Streaming

• S u c k

Vampires are everywhere these days, in every possible shape and form you can imagine. The history of vamp-comedies is a very hit-and-miss affair but Suck hits more often than it misses and you could do a lot worse with 90 minutes of your life (like watch any of the Twilight movies, The Vampire Diaries or True Blood, ugh.)

Singer Joey (Rob Stefaniuk) and his band, the Winners, will do anything for rock ‘n’ roll immortality. So when vampire Queeny (Dimitri Coats) bites into bassist Jennifer (Jessica Paré), the musical wannabes prove that vampires can rock, but stardom too often sucks. Malcolm McDowell stars as a vampire hunter, Henry Rollins as a radio show host, Iggy Pop as a producer, Alice Cooper as an evil bartender and Moby as a rock band’s lead singer.

• Bunny and the Bull

If Michel Gondry, director of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep,  were to film a remake of Dumb and Dumber, there’s a pretty good chance it would end up looking a lot like Bunny and the Bull. It’s funny, it’s weird and it isn’t for everyone but I have to admit, I really dug this incredibly original flick.

Stephen Turnbull (Edward Hogg) hasn’t left his flat in months. With so much time to think, his mind wanders back to a road trip he and his friend Bunny (Simon Farnaby) once took across Europe. As he revisits the journey, a psychedelic swirl of memories invades his living room. And since most of the trip was an utter disaster, Stephen’s apartment is in for a makeover. Paul King, the mad genius behind The Mighty Boosh,helms this comedy.

• Mad Monster Party

If, like me, you’re a fan of the Rankin and Bass holiday classics, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, The Little Drummer Boy, The Year Without a Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus is Coming to Town, you really should  check out Mad Monster Party. Is it as great as the above mentioned titles? No. Is it a fun and nostalgic trip? Hell yeah! I actually thought I’d seen all of the Rankin and Bass holiday specials but, somehow, I’d missed this Halloween treat. It obviously never caught on to the extent that Rudolph and Frosty did, but it’s definitely worth your time.

Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller lend their vocal talents to this bizarre stop-motion animated parody of horror films. Dr. Frankenstein makes plans for his retirement and convenes a meeting of all monsters to announce his replacement. As word spreads that the doctor is going to choose his young nephew for the position, the visiting creatures plot a coup d’état that would leave Dr. Frankenstein retired … permanently.

• The Man Who Would Be Polka King

This documentary is a true jaw-dropper. They’ve already made a successful Broadway musical out of the Maysles Brother’s Grey Gardens and there’s currently a musical based on Hands on a Hard Body in development but, even more than those flicks, this one is BEGGING to be musicalized, hell this one’s half way there! Imagine a male version of Evita with a Polka score! Heads up Andrew Lloyd Yankovich! ( True, that does sound awful but, could it be any worse than Bono’s singing super hero? I think not! ) I seriously loved this doc, as much as I was floored by the story. It really delivers some serious WTF(?) moments all the way to the end.

After defecting from Poland in the 1970s, Jan Lewan became a worldwide polka superstar, famous for his musical talent and dashing showmanship. Filmmakers Joshua von Brown and John Mikulak show that Lewan’s empire was built on a foundation of lies. This irreverent documentary reveals how the charming entertainer used his connections to bilk investors out of millions in a complicated investment scam that eventually landed the Polka King behind bars.

• Saxondale: The Series

I knew nothing about this series before I started watching it but finding this kind of stuff on Netflix is exactly why I’ll never surrender my subscription. It’s a bit like an English version of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.

This quirky Britcom profiles Tommy Saxondale (Steve Coogan), a former roadie stuck in his rockin’ glory days who isn’t afraid to speak his mind — loudly and offensively — despite the anger management sessions his friends hope will calm him. Tommy now has a sexually adventurous girlfriend, Magz (Ruth Jones), and his own pest control “empire,” which consists of hesitant assistant Raymond (Rasmus Hardiker) and annoying receptionist Vicky.

♦ Green With Envy 

Have you seen the new trailer for Disney’s new romantic comedy Green with Envy? If not you might want to watch it now. I’m not going to tell you anything about it, you just need to check it out for yourself…. I will give you one hint though, the title is a very cute and clever ruse. 

♦ Salvation Blvd.

I loved Greg Kinnear and Pierce Brosnan in The Matador (if you haven’t seen it, you need to add it to your list or queue ASAP), which is why I was psyched when I stumbled onto this new trailer recently. Will it be as great as their first team up? Probably not. Still, this looks like it might be good for a laugh of two. Check it out now!

♦ Wild Beasts- Albatross 

I’ve really been enjoying the new album Lion’s Share from the U.K. band Wild Beasts, released earlier this month. It’s actually been playing in my car, non-stop, for the last two weeks. Check it out and let me know what you think.

♦ Some F#cking Good David Mamet News!

David Mamet’s new book, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture, is sure to be ruffling some feathers on the left side of the political aisle next week. Having devoured everything the philosopher, playwright and film director has ever written, I will be downloading this one on my iPad 2 and reading it on my flight to L.A. next week! Love him or hate him, there’s no denying Mamet’s way with the pen. As far as “intellectuals” go, David has always been one of my favorites.

Next up for Mamet is the HBO film about the life and sordid times of pop record producer Phil Spector, which he will be writing and directing with a cast that includes Jeffrey Tambor, Bette Midler and Al Pacino as the notorious and legendary creator of the widely celebrated (and slightly overrated) “Wall of Sound”, (honestly, in my useless opinion, Spector’s heavy handed echo technique hasn’t aged all that well).

Mamet, Pacino and Barry Levinson are the executive producers. There is no ETA for this one as of yet so, stay tuned!

♦ “…..This One Goes to Eleven


I still haven’t decided what I’m going to be doing when my calendar flips to 11/11/11 this year. I’ve always joked that this specific date would be my wedding day but, alas, I haven’t met her yet. So, short of some kind of horrifying whirlwind romance that catches me by complete and utter surprise, I won’t be tying that particular knot this year. That being said, I am considering a trip to Vegas and, despite the commercial proclamations, what happens in Vegas doesn’t ALWAYS stay in Vegas, so, who knows? Maybe on 11/12/11 I’ll be having a conversation that includes the sentence, “Mom, I’d like you to meet your new daughter-in-law, Champagne…Mom, please, put down the knife….run, Champange, RUN!”

I’m not going to ramble today about the significance of the number 11 and the influence it’s had on my life for the last ten years but, let me put it to you this way, I was in the tattoo parlor again on 2/11/11 and I’m only giving you one guess as to what my new ink included.

One option for 11/11/11, first brought to my attention this week by an article in L.A. Weekly and also by one of my most loyal Popsters, (thanks T.J.!), is “Nigel Tufnel Day”. It would seem some very devoted fans of the cult classic mockumentary This is Spinal Tap have decided we should all mark and dedicate the date to Spinal Tap’s lead guitarist.

Apparently, this “movement” began last November 11th, when a group of Spinal Tap-heads started their year-long campaign to make Eleven-Eleven-Eleven internationally recognized as “Nigel Tufnel Day”

Since then, there have been websites and petitions making the rounds on Facebook and other social networks to immortalize the Christopher Guest character with his own holiday.

In case you’re completely out of the loop on this one, (though I don’t know HOW you possibly could be…ahem…Carrie!), here’s the clip that started it all!

♦ A New Pop Bitez PopCast for Memorial Day Weekend!

I’ve  got a fun new PopCast for you all this week that I think you’re really going to dig. This time around the theme is Chill, no vocals, 100 % instrumental and with the chat kept to a minimum. This one should be perfect for your post Memorial Day festivities as you wind down and chill with your friends and families. Just click the the PopCast link at the top of this page (on the right) and have at it! 

And that’s all the news that’s fit to POP for this week Popsters, thanks for dropping by, here’s wishing you and yours a very happy and safe Memorial Day Weekend! See you next time! Cheers!- Scott

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