Category Archives: Film

The Pop Bitez PopCast for 9/23/2011

Fall is FINALLY here Popsters and the new releases are flooding in! This week’s PopCast is a jam packed hour of wall to wall new music that I’m certain you’re really going to dig. As always, it’s a fun, odd and eclectic mix!      

Check out the PopCast Now!                                                                                                         

As for me, I’m slammed these days and there are clearly not enough hours, in the day or night, to do everything that needs to get done. It would be fair to say I’m going to be sitting in front of this computer for the next several days. Mind you, I’m not really complaining, I love what I do!

Have a great weekend Popsters, be good to each other and enjoy the falling temps and leaves! Cheers!- Scott

The Pop Brief for 9/9/2011

Welcome to the weekend Popsters! It’s been a SUPER busy week and the next few are going to be even busier so, the Pop Blitz is a Pop Brief today! 

I saw an amazing concert last night and you’ll want to check back tomorrow for my full review, somedays it’s good to be the Popster King!

Alright, let’s get this party started!

• Hot Toxic Love, Oozing Soon on Broadway!


The Toxic Avenger, the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway musical about an unlikely superhero in New Jersey that played over 300 performances at Off-Broadway’s New World Stages, may be headed to Broadway.
A casting notice for the upcoming run at Houston’s Alley Theater (Jan. 20-Feb. 12, 2012) says that Broadway rehearsals will begin in early March 2012 with an opening at the end of March/early April. The same cast, according to the notice, will be used for both the Houston and Broadway runs.

When asked about the possibility of a Broadway production of the musical, its Tony-winning co-creator, Joe DiPietro, told Playbill.com, “With New York being hit by hurricanes, earthquakes and heat waves worthy of subterranean Africa, The Toxic Avenger is feeling that the glittering theaters of Broadway may need him now more than ever. He is currently in preliminary talks with his people to explore a return to the city he loves — to kill the polluters he hates.”

The Toxic Avenger, based on the 1985 classic cult film from Lloyd Kaufman, features music and lyrics by David Bryan (keyboardist and founding member of Bon Jovi) and book and lyrics by DiPietro (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change). Bryan and DiPietro are currently represented on Broadway by the Tony-winning musical Memphis at the Shubert Theatre.

The Toxic Avenger was directed Off-Broadway by Tony Award winner John Rando, who will also helm the Houston engagement.
The closing cast Off-Broadway included “American Idol” Season 3 runner up Diana DeGarmo, Nick Cordero, Demond Green, Jonathan Root and Nancy Opel.

The show had its world premiere at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ, where it broke box-office records before transferring Off-Broadway, beginning previews on March 18, 2009, and officially opening on April 6, 2009. A cast album preserves the score.

The Toxic Avenger won the 2009 Best Off Broadway Musical Award by the Outer Critics Circle.

The new musical is billed as “both a charming love story and laugh-out-loud musical — complete with an unlikely hero, his beautiful blind girlfriend, a corrupt New Jersey mayor and the most memorable and unbelievable duet you’ll see on any New York stage!

[Source: Playbill.com]

And now, enjoy a little “Hot Toxic Love” from the soon-to-be Broadway musical, The Toxic Avenger!

• Contagion vs. Warrior: the Social Experiment

So, Popsters, we’ve got two big flicks opening this weekend, which one do you think you’ll be going to see?

First, we have Contagion, starring Matt Damon (it’s always more fun if you read/ say his name with your best Team America impression). For those that don’t know, Contagion is basically an “end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it” flick and a perfect nightmare for any of you germ-a-phobes out there. A virus takes over the planet and pretty much thins our herd which, depending on how you look at it, could be as much of a blessing as a curse. The reviews are, surprisingly, very good. Given we are what I believe is a self-hating species (we LOVE movies featuring our own destruction, right?), the film should do well at the box office this weekend.

The Second film is Warrior, which I had the pleasure of seeing last weekend, (you can read my review below). Warrior is the best film I’ve seen this year, by a long shot. It’s the story of a broken family, two underdog brothers and their recovering alcoholic father, fighting to maintain and reconcile in our extremely challenging world. It’s as timely as it is timeless in it’s subject matter and features some of the best performances you’re likely to see on the big screen in 2011.

So, the question is; on this, the 10th anniversary weekend of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, will you choose the film that focuses on our sudden and quick demise at the hands of forces beyond our control or the movie that celebrates our underdog spirit and our will to survive and fight?

This should be interesting.

 • The Pop Bitez New Music PopCast!

That’s right Popsters, it’s that time again! I’ve got a brand new Pop Bitez PopCast for you this week covering all the new releases that are fit to POP! Fall is here, the kids are off to college and, as a result, the indie releases are coming so fast and furious it’s hard to keep up. Never fear, that’s why I’m here, sussing it all out for you!

So? What are you waiting for, Pop On!

That’ll do it for this week’s Pop Brief, check back tomorrow for my review of the first show of Blue October’s 2011 tour! Cheers!- Scott

 

Warrior: a Review

 

Warrior

(Lionsgate) Opening 9/9/2011

Starring Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy and Nick Nolte. Written and Directed by Gavin O’Connor

Five out of Five Stars


It was 1976, gas prices were high, the Middle East was a mess, a crippling inflation had the nation in it’s grip and public confidence in both government leadership and the economy were at an all time low. Sitting in the darkened movie theater the sound of triumphant horns filled the room and, with giant white letters, the name ROCKY chased across the screen. Two hours later Sylvester Stallone was a movie star and Rocky Balboa was instantly and forever a part of our pop culture history. Given the obvious similarities between 1976 and 2011 is it any wonder that the best boxing movie (this time around it’s actually a mixed martial arts competition) in 35 years has finally arrived? Rocky was about an underdog rising to the biggest challenge of his life, Warrior is about two brothers, also underdogs, rising to the biggest challenges of their lives. That’s right it’s Rocky X 2! In an age when many Americans are feeling a bit like underdogs themselves, Warrior is one of those perfect films that is arriving at the perfect time.

Tommy Riordan, an ex-Marine troubled by a tragic past, played to haunting perfection by Tom Hardy, returns to his hometown of Pittsburgh and enlists his recovering alcoholic father, (Nick Nolte) to train him for an MMA tournament awarding the biggest purse in the history of the sport. As Tommy blazes a violent path towards the title prize, his brother, Brendan (Joel Edgerton), a former MMA fighter unable to make ends meet as a public school teacher, returns to the amateur ring to provide for his family. Even though years have passed, recriminations and past betrayals keep Brendan bitterly estranged from both Tommy and his father. But when Brendan’s unlikely rise as an underdog sets him on a collision course with Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront the forces that tore them apart, all the while waging the most intense, winner-takes-all battle of their lives.

I don’t often like to gauge performances by referencing “awards season” but Nick Nolte, without a doubt, is almost guaranteed a Best Supporting Actor nomination (if not a win) for his heartbreaking performance as the brothers emotionally crippled father. Tortured by the ghosts of his past and the deep regret for his wrongs that can never be righted, Nolte, a consistently solid actor, hasn’t been this excellent in over a decade. To be fair, this would be due in large part to the fact that Nolte really hasn’t had a role that fit his talents, as perfectly as this one does, in a very long time. There simply is no other actor of his generation that could have played this character nearly as well.

Tom Hardy, a brit actor known in the states mostly for his co-starring work in last summers Inception, is a movie star by this time next week. Though Tommy Riordan is a man of few words, Hardy’s energy and very presence say more than any other character in the film. As played by Hardy, Tommy is at once terrifying and, in a matter of seconds, heartbreaking. Put simply, you haven’t seen a better performance on screen this year. By the time The Dark Night Rises, (in which Hardy plays the lead villain Bane), hits screens next summer, the expectations are going to be through the roof. Here’s hoping both he and Christopher Nolan can live up to them.

Joel Edgerton, as Tommy’s equally conflicted brother Brendan, is also perfectly poised for movie stardom. Hailing from Australia, Edgerton has been working consistently in film for over a decade and is best known to international audiences as “Uncle Owen” in the second Star Wars trilogy. Indie fans will remember him from the British comedy Kinky Boots and, one of my favorite films from last year, Animal Kingdom. Like the other male roles in Warrior, Edgerton’s job is not an easy one but he is more than up to the challenge. Brendan, as written, is definitely the more sensitive of the two brothers, (at least on the surface) and, in the hands of Edgerton, is impossible not to love and cheer for. With his starring roles in the remakes of The Thing and Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby waiting in the wings, Joel Edgerton, by the end of 2011, will be a household name.

Of course, the real star of Warrior is writer/ director Gavin O’Connor. Though this is, for all intents and purposes, a simple variation on the boxing film genre, both O’Connor’s screenplay and direction smartly and deftly avoids the one ingredient that often sinks a film of this type, cheese. In the hands of another director it’s all too easy to see how this story could have quickly fallen into the trap of melodrama and schmaltz. As I watched the film I was almost holding my breath, hoping that O’Connor would make it to the end credits without taking that fatal misstep that so often sinks this kind of movie. I am very happy to report, though you will feel yourself on the edge of your seat at times, you won’t ever feel manipulated in the process.

The final match up in Warrior is a real nail-biter but, unlike any boxing or fight film you’ve seen before, your feelings about who should win the contest will be as conflicted as the characters themselves and, in that respect, Warrior is a ground breaker and, easily, the best film I’ve seen so far this year.

The Pop Blitz for 9/3/11

Welcome to the last extended weekend of Summer and your first edition of Pop Bitez for September 2011! With any luck the temperatures will begin to drop in the next few weeks and that wonderful crisp Fall air will soon be wafting through our windows, for me it can’t come soon enough!

Today I’ve got everything from a new Disney animated special premiering on ABC this Christmas to a new tune that is a collaboration between Insane Clown Posse, Jack White and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart…..yeah, you read that last one right.

We’ve got a lot of Pop ground to cover today so, without further yada, yada, yada, let’s get this party started!

• 2011 Toronto International Film Festival 9/8-18

The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival is coming up next week and I thought today would be a perfect time to take a look at a few of the films premiering this year at the fest that will also be coming soon to a theatre near you in the not too distant future.

When it comes to film festivals, Toronto’s has really become one of the most important in the world. For industry insiders it is included in that very short list of “must attends” along with Sundance in Utah and Cannes in the South of France.

TIFF began in 1976 as the “Festival of Festivals”, collecting the best films from other film festivals around the world and showing them to eager audiences in Toronto. That first year, 35,000 enthusiasts watched 127 films from 30 countries. By 2009, those numbers have grown to feature 336 films from 64 countries, enjoyed by 500,000 people.

Here’s a brief look at a few of the titles in this year’s fest that have caught my attention.

♦ Killer Joe

Tracy Letts, playwright, screenwriter and company member of Chicago’s world renown Steppenwolf Theater Company and director William Friedkin (The Exorcist) have teamed up once again to bring another of Letts’ stage plays to the big screen. Their first collaboration was the haunting and dark indie Bug in 2006.

When a debt puts a young man’s life in danger, he turns to putting a hit out on his evil mother in order to collect the insurance.

Killer Joe stars Matthew McConaughey ( The Lincoln Lawyer), Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild) and Thomas Haden Church (Sideways).

The dark comedy is expected to open nationally this Fall.

Here’s a quick clip for you. I have to admit, I’m definitely intrigued.

♦ Twixt

Val Kilmer is back, albeit with a few extra pounds. I’m not really sure why Kilmer doesn’t work more often, I’m certain there’s a reason but, outside of the catty speculations, I haven’t heard a reasonable explanation. Could Twixt be his comeback? Maybe. It doesn’t hurt that the new thriller was written, produced and directed by another Hollywood legend who is also due for a return to form, Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, Apocalypse Now).

The breakdown is as follows: “A writer with a declining career arrives in a small town as part of his book tour and gets caught up in a murder mystery involving a young girl. That night in a dream, he is approached by a mysterious young ghost named V. He’s unsure of her connection to the murder in the town, but is grateful for the story being handed to him. Ultimately he is led to the truth of the story, surprised to find that the ending has more to do with his own life than he could ever have anticipated.

The trailer starts out mildly unimpressive but, at about the midway point, you might find your curiosity growing, mine sure did. Check it out.

♦ The Flying Machine

The Flying Machine is a 3D live action/animation feature film about a stressed out business-woman, Georgie (played by Heather Graham), who takes her two children to see the animated film “Magic Piano“, which is being performed live by world famous pianist Lang Lang. A magical event occurs and Georgie’s kids get transported inside the animated world, and Georgie has to pursue them, with a little help from Maestro Lang Lang. The “Magic Piano” which is a stop-motion animation tells a story of Anna, a girl whose dad had to leave Poland to work in London. Anna and her cousin Chip Chip find a broken piano which magically transforms into a flying machine and takes them across the Europe. The girl hopes to meet her longing dad.

This one looks like it may be a nice respite from the usual, big studio 3D animated trash that’s been filling the multiplexes lately.

♦ Dark Horse

Here’s your obligatory, quirky romantic indie for Fall of 2011.

Romance blooms between two thirty-somethings in arrested development: an avid toy collector and a woman who is the dark horse of her family.

This teaser doesn’t offer much but, I have to admit, I appreciate the slow, quiet build up to the one line in this clip. I laughed therefore I hope.

♦ Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty is a haunting portrait of Lucy, a young university student drawn into a mysterious hidden world of unspoken desires.

Director Jane Campion (The Piano), mistress of the dark chick-flick, produced this one so, right out of the gate, you pretty much know what you should be expecting. Sensuality, female empowerment and a plot that will no doubt send you walking to your car in stunned silence shortly after the credits have rolled.

The trailer is kinda hot but it’s also equally disturbing. I’m not sure what to make of this one but it’s definitely got my attention.

♦ Think of Me

As things unravel for a struggling single mother in Las Vegas, she must decide what she’s willing to give up to get by.

I can’t tell you much about this one, the trailer does a pretty good job of keeping whatever deep, dark secret is lurking in this flick. I have my guesses, but I’m actually hoping I’m wrong.

One thing’s for sure, this is NOT going to be the feel-good family film of the holiday season.

Think of Me stars Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) and Dylan Baker (Happiness) and is the feature directorial debut of Bryan Wizemann

♦ A Monster in Paris

Here’s yet another promising 3D animated feature coming from outside the usual Hollywood loop. Since Pixar decided to take themselves out of the award season running by insulting and assaulting us all with the miserable Cars 2, it’s possible the Oscar for Best Animated Feature could go to one of these flicks premiering in Toronto next week.

This one takes place in Paris in 1910. Emile, a shy movie projectionist, and Raoul, a colorful inventor, find themselves on the hunt for a monster terrorizing citizens. They join forces with Lucille, the big-hearted star of the Bird of Paradise cabaret, an eccentric scientist and his irascible monkey to save the monster, who turns out to be an oversized but harmless flea.

♦ The Last Dogs of Winter

Ground breaking documentaries are an established staple of the film festival circuit. In truth, the best movies I saw at the last film festival I attended, earlier this year, were documentaries. This is one I’m anxious to check out.

One man, 150 Canadian Eskimo dogs, and lots of polar bears. All of them living on the edge, and the last of their kind.

• Prep and Landing: Naughty Vs. Nice

There really is no other time of the year I love as much as Christmas. I love the lights, the music, the food and the often frosty chill in the air. I also love the Christmas specials, particularly the animated classics.

It simply wouldn’t be Christmas without my private holiday film festival that includes the classics Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas and, of course, Dr. Suess’s The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

Through the years I’ve found it more than a little odd that, after all this time, no one had really been able to even come close to adding a new title to this short list of perennial favorites. Yes, the Claymation people gave it their best shot and, sure, Dreamworks choked out yet another 22 minutes of Shrek (ugh) but still, nothing had really tapped into that mysterious pop culture zeitgeist the way those earlier Christmas classics did. That was until 2009 and the premiere of Disney’s Prep and Landing.

It was about five minutes into my first viewing of Disney’s instant hit when I knew, without a doubt, a new holiday classic had finally arrived. One that I’m predicting will be televised, right along with Frosty, Rudolph and the Grinch, for many, many years to come.

If, like me, you’re a fan of Prep and Landing, you’ll be happy to know a brand new sequel will be premiering on ABC this holiday season and the buzz, from those that saw it at Disney’s D23 Convention last week, is very strong. I can’t wait to check this one out!

Here’s your first look at Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice, enjoy!

• Why the Chinese Suck #1

This week I’m adding a new feature to Pop Bitez titled, “Why the Chinese Suck“, because, let’s be honest, aside from the food, they really do.

I feel no guilt because, through the years, they have more than earned our disrespect. The Chinese government have been telling their citizens why America sucks for the last 100 plus years and I simply believe it’s high time we start returning the favor. No, I’m not going to make fun of the way they talk and look, (that’s so 1972), instead I think it’s best if we just focus on their lame attempts to contribute, and often co-opt, our pop culture world.

Today’s example is worth a thousand words, thankfully none of which I need to type.

• Why George Lucas Sucks #111

As long as we’re talking suckage today, I couldn’t help but include the news about the new Blu-ray release of the Star Wars series.

How can I love the original Star Wars trilogy as much as I do and still, equally, hate George Lucas? That’s easy, it’s because I love the original films as much as I do that I find myself wishing Lucas would just……well, I’m not going to wish death on anyone but….is it too much to hope that he would be abducted by aliens, taken to another galaxy far, far away and spend the rest of his days being anally probed, sans lubrication? At the very least I might consider wishing Alzheimer’s on the man but, again, that might be taking this all a bit too far and besides, I’m not 100 % convinced he doesn’t already have it. Is it wrong for me to suspect the man is suffering from some kind of mental dysfunction? No, on the contrary, I actually think it’s wrong for any of us to assume, these days, the man is of a sound mind. The fact that his family has yet to have had him committed is not only disappointing, it seems sadly neglectful on their part. Seriously, Lucas clan, don’t you think it’s time you put crazy George away?

With every new format, VHS, Laser Disc, DVD, Blu-ray, Lucas has felt compelled in an almost compulsively devious way to fuck with the classics that made him a billionaire, despite the collective and unanimous negative reactions from those of us who built his legend and his empire with our precious and selective entertainment dollars. The man who taught us all about the power of “the force” surrendered to “the dark side” a long time ago and our only response, this time around, should be a loud and resounding “Noooooooooo!“, which brings me to George’s latest example of creative retardation, the insert of Darth’s bellowing as he throws the Emperor to his death. One would have to assume this is meant to mirror the awful Frankenstein moment from Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, when Vader is raised from his slab and offers an equally melodramatic and unconvincing exclamation. Here’s the clip from the new Blu-ray version, if it’s been awhile since you’ve seen it keep in mind, in the original film Vader committed this dramatic act in silence and it freakin’ WORKED!

The CGI added to the theatrical re-release of the original trilogy was a disgrace and for the last freakin’ time HAN SHOT FIRST!

It amazes me that, though his “updates” have NEVER been met with anything but a negative reaction, Lucas still feels compelled to make these useless changes. It’s more than clear, after all of these years, George Lucas has a deep contempt for his fans. If you are a true fan of the original Star Wars trilogy, and you have any self respect, you will leave this new Blu-ray collection on the shelf to collect dust at your local Best Buy.

And don’t even get me started on Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skulls…..

• Jack White + Insane Clown Posse + Mozart?

Here’s the press release from Third Man Records explaining this new collaboration: “Back in ’82, ahem, 1782, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote a piece that’s been left out of the spotlight ever since. The title of the piece is “Leck Mich Im Arsch” or literally translated to English as “Lick me in the arse”. Understandably this piece has figuratively been swept under the rug. So who better to give this piece it’s due respect than the wildly successful, much misunderstood, and divisive Southwest Detroit rappers Insane Clown Posse?

Leck mich im Arsch ( “Lick me in the arse”) is a canon in B-flat major composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with lyrics in German. It was one of a set of at least six canons probably written in Vienna in 1782.Sung by six voices as a three-part round, it is thought to be a party piece for his friends.

Jack White produces the track with musical backing from Nashville’s Jeff the Brotherhood.

The 7-inch single and iTunes download of the song will be available September 13. Though why you would actually want to own this crap is beyond me. For the record, I much prefer Nigel Tufnel’s far superior, “Lick My Love Pump“.

If you must, just click the pic to hear it.

• Captain Planet is Back!

The horribly awful animated series, Captain Planet, which featured the artistically challenged Tom Cruise voicing no ones favorite super hero, is rumored to be “in development” as a live action feature which, I can almost guarantee, will make no box office money outside of San Francisco and Portland.

Recently, Funny or Die and actor Don Cheadle got together to give us a brief taste of what we might expect from the big screen adaptation.

Actually, come to think of it, if the adaptation were 90 minutes of this, I might be the first in line. If they’re dumb enough to try and do it with a straight face however, you’re going to see the biggest flop since George Lucas’ Howard the Duck (I’m still thinking about that last story, I hate you George!)

Enjoy, Captain Planet!

Alright Popsters that’ll do it for this week. What do you think? Was I more bitchy than usual this week?! Probably. What can I say? I live in Arizona, the average temperature for the last three weeks has been 113, it’s a miracle I haven’t become a serial killer at this point but, honestly, I haven’t got the energy to bury the bodies. Have a great holiday weekend, eat, drink and be safe! See ya next week with all the news that’s fit to POP! Cheers!- Scott

The Pop Bitez PopCast for 8/26/2011

Happy Friday Popsters! I’m here in the big AZ suffering through one of the worst heat waves in recent memory, with an average temperature of 112. Meanwhile, my Peeps and Popsters on the East Coast, who began their week with a little shake, rattle and roll, are preparing to meet a very ill tempered bitch named Irene this weekend. Seriously NYC, earthquakes AND hurricanes?! In the same week no less?! If this were 2012 I’d be more than a little freaked out about now. I’ll tell you what, when the frogs start falling from the sky onto the streets of Times Square, just cross your fingers and pray it’s because Jerry Bruckheimer is in town filming next summer’s blockbuster. That’s all I’m sayin’.

So, I’ve got a brand new PopCast for you all this week and it’s jammed packed with what I think is some of the best music you’re going to hear this month.

Today I thought it might be fun to feature a few music videos for some of the tunes featured in this week’s PopCast, I really think you’re going to dig ’em!

• Gotye- Somebody That I Used to Know

This is one of my favorites from this week’s collection. You’ll want to stay with this video, it’s a slow build but the payoff is very cool, as is the tune.

 

• Lenny Kravitz- Stand

Lenny’s back and his new album is a great addition to his ever growing catalog of excellent releases. Here’s one of my favs from Lenny Kravitz’s Black and White America which, no surprise, also happens to be the album’s first single.

This video takes me back to they way they used to make em in the 80s, you know, when the M in MTV actually stood for MUSIC!

 

• Fruit Bats- You’re Too Weird

And speaking of 80s style music videos, this one, by Chicago’s Fruit Bats, is as much a tribute as it is a hilarious spoof of those bygone days of “music television”. There’s also no denying the tune is straight up Poptastic! Enjoy!

And here’s your link for this week’s PopCast! Remember, the Pop Bitez PopCast is available as a FREE SUBSCRIPTION on iTunes! Sign up today and it’ll be delivered- as soon as it’s published- (every two weeks) directly into your iTunes account! Don’t miss out on all the Poptastic fun Popsters!

That’ll do it for this week, have a safe and happy weekend and, if you’re on the East Coast, trust there are lots of us sending good thoughts and prayers your way, hang tough and batten down the hatches! Cheers!- Scott

The Pop Blitz for 8/20/2011

Welcome to the weekend Popsters! It’s time once again to take a look at all the news that’s fit to POP for this week, so, without further yada, yada, yada, let’s get this party started!

• For Those About to Imbibe, We Salute You!

Everyone’s favorite veteran rockers, AC/DC, have entered into a partnership with the Australia-based winery Warburn Estate to produce four bottled varieties named after some of their biggest hits –  “Back in Black” Shiraz, “You Shook Me All Night Long” Moscato, “Highway to Hell” Cabernet Sauvignon and “Hells Bells” Sauvignon Blanc, and, no, I did not make this one up!

• The Dude Abides and Sings a Little Country!

The Big Lebowski finally made it to Blu-Ray this week and, in a perfectly timed bit of marketing, Jeff Bridges has released a brand new, shit kickin’ album of country tunes.

While it could be argued these tunes have a lot more in common with Bad Blake than they do Jeffrey Lebowski, the album is still a rare treat for Bridge’s fans. Hell, for my money, it’s a great week if Jeff shows up in a late night re-run of any one of his classic flicks. His two releases this week just made my month.

Here’s the music video for “What a Little Bit of Love Can Do” from Jeff Bridge’s new self-titled album.  Take it away Dude (or Your Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino… if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.)

• Rock and Roll All Night and Java Ev-er-ree Day!

Get ready Las Vegas, Kiss is coming to town and they’re bringing a big bag of Columbian with ’em… coffee beans that is, what did you think I was talking about?

Yes, it’s true, Gene Simmons, AKA: “The Rock and Roll Barnum”, is bringing his coffee house concept to Sin City. Simmons opened the first Kiss Coffeehouse in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina back in 2006 and is currently tossing around the idea of expanding to NYC, Orlando and Hollywood. You’ll be able to enjoy your Growler & Frozen Rockuccino™ in Vegas at the Kiss Coffeehouse sometime next year, not too long after the opening of the Kiss-themed, glow-in-the-dark, indoor miniature golf course, (it’s true, I can’t make this shit up.) Blood, fire and coffee? I’ll see you there!

• One for the Mac-Heads

If, like me, you’re a member of the iPad Cult you’re really going to appreciate this one, it’s trippy, enjoy!

• Brace Yourselves, Here Comes David Lynch’s Crazy Clown Time!

Legendary filmmaker/painter/furniture designer/ mind rapist David Lynch has finally announced the release of, Crazy Clown Time, his debut solo album, following the release of the singles “Good Day Today” and “I Know” last fall. the 14-track collection includes the previously released tunes as well as the perfectly Lynchian-titled tunes, “The Night Bell With Lightning,” “Strange and Unproductive Thinking,” and, of course, the title track “Crazy Clown Time“. The new album will also feature guest vocals from Yeah Yeah Yeah’s frontwoman Karen O. on the track “Pinky’s Dream“. In keeping with his almost obsessive work ethic, Lynch produced and wrote all of Crazy Clown Time, which is due out on November 8.

Today I’m including the track “I know” for your consideration but with a slight disclaimer: If you have ever in your life dropped acid or enjoyed the occasional mushroom, please proceed at your own risk, Dave’s about to really mess up your weekend, man.

• Blue Velvet: The Musical

Speaking of David Lynch, also coming in November of this year, is the new musical version of Lynch’s masterpiece of perversion, Blue Velvet. Yes, once again today, it sounds like I’m just making shit up but, I can assure you, I’m not! Honest!

TheatreNOW Productions of Wilmington, NC. has announced a musical workshop premiere of Blue Velvet during the Cucalorus Film Festival which runs the weekend of November 10-13, 2011

The creative team of Anthony Lawson, Bryan Putnam and producer, Alisa Harris, have “conspired to recreate the sadistic, seedy, sexy and sometimes silly goings on in the underbelly of Lumberton, USA“. The workshop of the musical-in-progress will feature the full score, songs and script in a bare bones presentation in order to garner feedback. Wilmington, NC. was actually the stand in city for Lumberton USA in Lynch’s iconic cult classic film. Click here for more info on the Musical Blue Velvet.

I don’t know Popsters, in my useless opinion, they’ve got a LONG way to go to try and top this moment of big screen bliss and weirdness!

• Hugh Jackman is Barnum

Hugh Jackman’s dance card has really been filling up lately. He’s currently in pre-production for the next Wolverine film, warming his voice up for the starring role of Jean Valjean in the big screen adaptation of the Broadway hit Les Miserables and, this week the Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Jackman has been signed to play P.T. Barnum in 20th Century Fox’s The Greatest Showman on Earth.

According to the industry paper, the film will focus on Barnum’s relationship with opera singer Jenny Lind. There’s no official word on who may be taking on the role of the “Swedish Nightingale”, Barnum’s extramarital love interest but, my sources are telling me the producers are talking to Anne Hathaway.

I’m almost disappointed at this news as I think Jackman making this particular film greatly decreases the chances of him starring in a Broadway revival of the musical Barnum– one of my all time favorites. I actually can’t imagine a remounting of that show without him in the lead role.

• Hysteria is Cuming Soon!

In the coming weeks I’m going to be showing you a lot of trailers for the films scheduled to premiere during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival . Today I’m featuring the trailer for Hysteria, which is being billed as “a romantic comedy about the invention of the vibrator“. The film is scheduled to open- no doubt wide- before the end of 2011.

And that’s all the news that’s fit to POP for this week! Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend Popsters! Cheers!-Scott