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Tag: Movie (91-100 of 130)

Saruman from 'Lord of the Rings' to release concept album of 'symphonic metal'

I’m an absolute Christopher Lee fiend—an appropriate term given the veteran British thesp has portrayed the devilish likes of Dracula, Count Dooku in the Star Wars prequels and Saruman in the Lord of the Rings movies. However, I didn’t know that he has a sideline as a heavy metal vocalist. It turns out Lee has performed with both New York metallers Manowar and Italian rockers Rhapsody who recruited the great man to sing on their 2006 opus—and I think “opus” is probably the right word to use here—Symphony of Enchanted Lands II: The Dark Secret.

Now the 87-year-old Lee is striking out on his own. In the video clip you can see below the actor reveals that in March he will release a concept CD of “symphonic metal.” The album is called Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross and features Lee singing the part of the titular 8th century European leader. That’s right: Christopher Lee is about to get medieval on your a–!

You can listen to snippets from Charlemagne on MySpace. Personally, I’m a big fan of Lee’s performance on “Act III: The Bloody Verdict of Verden” and in particular his rousing cry of “I shed the blood of the Saxon men!” But, hey, I’ve never heard a song about Saxon men blood-shedding that I didn’t like.” I’ve also embedded below a video of Lee playing with Rhapsody which proves that Lee really is quite a good singer, and that Italians really are crazy as hell.

Check it all out and tell us what you think. Is Lee’s career curve ball an honorable departure or as horrifying as many of the parts he has played?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Photo credit: Pierre Vinet

The Chipettes' 'Single Ladies': Worst novelty song since Crazy Frog?

For reasons that lie somewhat beyond my comprehension, the soundtrack to the Alvin and the Chipmunks “Squeakquel” — including the monstrosity embedded above — looks set to enter the Top 10 this week (according to Hits). That’s more than Carrie Underwood, more than Rihanna, more than both Glee compilations. More than John Mayer. More than almost literally every listenable musical artist on the planet, a category in which I am generously including the Black Eyed Peas. If you have bought the soundtrack to the “Squeakquel,” I am obviously curious to know why…

…but I think I am more curious about the following poll:

If this were 1989, and you were the U.S. military, trying to end your standoff with deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, and you could only play one song on repeat at high volume outside the embassy where Noriega was seeking refuge, which would it be?

(Please feel free to nominate your own favorite intolerable song in the comments, if you feel that neither of these would have successfully brought Noriega to his knees.) READ FULL STORY

'Avatar' theme song: Does Leona Lewis' track sound just a touch too much like 'My Heart Will Go On'?

I’m old enough to remember a time when James Cameron made Guns N’ Roses-assisted movies about killer cyborgs (see video at bottom). These days he seems to be all about love stories and big ballads. You may recall that, for Titanic, the auteur recruited Celine Dion to sing a little ditty called “My Heart Will Go On.” And now Brit songbird Leona Lewis has provided some similarly big-lunged balladeering for his forthcoming sci fi extravaganza Avatar in the form of “I See You,” which you can hear below.

Actually, to my ears, it sounds at times like Lewis is going to break into “My Heart Will Go On.” Give “I See You” a listen, and see if you agree.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Daryl Hall on his surprise Grammy nomination
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Bryan Adams pens song for new movie 'Old Dogs': Listen to the exclusive stream here!

When Bryan Adams heard the folks at Disney were using his song “The Summer of ’69” in the new comedy Old Dogs, which is released tomorrow, he called the film company’s music chief to express his gratitude. “I said,’Thanks a lot for doing that,’  recalls the Canadian singer-songwriter, “He goes, ‘Hey, by the way, can you write me an original song?’ He told me a little bit about the movie, that Robin Williams and John Travolta are great friends, and then I sent him a song. Simple as that!” The track, which you can exclusively hear below, is a breezy number called “You’ve Been a Friend to Me.” Adams says that he was influenced by having spent most of the year doing acoustic shows: “The song’s got quite an acoustic swing to it, because that’s the instrument I’m using right now.”

Adams has contributed songs to numerous movies. Notably, his single “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” became a global smash in large part thanks to its appearance in the 1991 Kevin Costner action-romp Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. According to the Music Mix’s records, the song was a number one in Britain for seven years straight. “It’s still number one!” laughs Adams. “Actually, it was 16 weeks. I can remember my record company saying to me, ‘Listen, we have to pull the single, because we want to focus on the album. I said, ‘Just leave it’. I mean people were buying that record that never buy records. It struck a chord with people out there in the world that in some cases didn’t even speak English!”

Can you speak English? And, if not, how are you understanding this? Regardless, give a listen to Mr Adams’ newie, and tell us what you think.

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Charlotte Gainsbourg's new video with Beck, 'Heaven Can Wait': Welcome to the Crazydome

The video for Charlotte Gainsbourg’s new single “Heaven Can Wait,” with duet partner/producer Beck, shows that the French singer/actress might be nursing some surrealist scars from her lead role in Lars Von Trier’s latest film, Antichrist.

Nothing in this clip smacks of the dizzying, disturbing sexual violence in that controversial work, but it is full of cheeky visual non sequiturs that take you to that slow-motion “I just drank a bottle of cough syrup” world. The song itself is a low-key, Sunday afternoon pop song, not unlike Kill the Moonlight-era Spoon, but with more of a hangover:

Alt iconolast Beck keeps Charlotte company throughout the video and shows off a new clean-cut look: he is finally the kind of indie weirdo you can bring home to mom. The two of them meander through a world of slo-mo tennis/target practice, sleepovers, swimming pools and shotguns, mouthing lyrics about “trying to drive that escalator into the ground.” They even encounter a spaceman with a pancake-stack head, clearly a regular customer at the Intergalactic House of Pancakes.

What do you think, readers—is it good Maya Deren-esque fun? Or is its weirdness a little too contrived?

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Solange covers the Dirty Projectors, delivers little bit of awesome

Miley Cyrus not a 'Twilight' fan: 'I've never seen it, nor will I ever'

It’s like the Easter bunny just pooped on a unicorn. Miley Cyrus, tween America’s pole-prancing, party-in-the-U.S.A.-ing overlord, wants nothing to do with Twilight—arguably the only pop cultural benchmark more important to her target demographic than her own multi-media empire.

“I’ve never seen [Twilight], and nor will I ever,” she tells Ohio radio station Q92 in a filmed backstage interview. “I don’t believe in it—I don’t believe in it. I don’t like vampires, I don’t like any of the stuff, like the wolf that pops out of the screen when I’m watching my TV at night. I don’t like it, I don’t want anything to do with it. I don’t like the shirts, any of it.”

Watch the clip after the jump, beginning just before the one-minute mark:


Robert Pattinson thinks 'Twilight' mania is 'perhaps close' to what the Beatles went through

Oh, there’s no business like quote business. Last night, swoopy-haired Twilight star Robert Pattinson spoke to EW’s Carrie Bell at the New Moon premiere in Los Angeles—and linked the name of his vampire franchise with arguably the biggest four-pronged pop landmark of the last 50 years: John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

“You can’t prepare for this. It is just insane,” he said of the well-documented, culture-saturating Twi-frenzy. “I don’t know how the Beatles felt, but I imagine it was perhaps close to this. I think very few human beings will ever get to experience the same feelings and love we feel at Twilight events.”

Though his undoubtedly innocent (and not without merit) comparison is guaranteed to be reduced to breathless “Rob P sayz Twilight = Beatles OMGEEE!!” pull quotes out there in the LOL-osphere, it’s good to remember that John Lennon himself once got into pretty hot soup (record burnings, show cancellations, even death threats) for his infamous “We’re more popular than Jesus” quote back in 1966, at the height of Beatlemania.

Like nearly all pop cultural phenomena, the reign of Edward and Bella et al. will surely wane eventually, though not before a few more sequels—and a few million references in press outlets (this one included). But does it saturate our media and engage young people in part because there’s a dearth of that kind of lightning-rod star power in music now, or even the type of pop-radio mono-culture to support it?

Can a Beyonce or Lady Gaga, let alone a four-piece rock band, ever hope to be as culturally paramount as the Fab Four were (and one could argue, continue to be), and Twilight is today? And years from now, how will the Twi-team be judged by history—Pet Rock or Beatles-level monolith?

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

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Movie theme songs: What are the best and worst of all time?

The BBC reports today that Leona Lewis has been tapped to sing the theme song to James Cameron’s upcoming I-see-blue-people sci-fi epic Avatar, with the help of James Horner and Simon Franglen, the team who blessed/bedeviled the world with Celine Dion’s deathless chest-pounder “My Heart Will Go On” for Cameron’s Titanic back in 1997.

While Lewis prepares to bust her wing span on whatever the outer-space equivalent is of a ship’s prow, we’re compelled to take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly in movie theme songs, including—cue coyote flute— soundtrack king Ennio Morricone’s actual theme song for the 1966 Clint Eastwood spaghetti-western classic The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

There’s great schlock (Whitney’s Bodyguard epic “I Will Always Love You”; Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds,” for the 1984 movie of the same name; Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes’ Dirty Dancing duet, “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life”;), and schlock schlock (Aerosmith’s execrable Armageddon smash “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing,” Bryan Adams’ Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves mom-slayer “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”). READ FULL STORY

'Say Anything' turns 20: Cameron Crowe's crazy story behind 'In Your Eyes' and Lloyd Dobler's boom box

Prepare yourselves, hopeless romantics: To commemorate today’s 20th-anniversary edition Blu-ray and DVD re-release of Say Anything…, Twentieth Century Fox will be “Mobler”-izng (apparently “mob” + “Dobler” = “Mobler” — and yes, I agree it’s a stretch) a veritable army of Lloyd Dobler lookalikes to descend upon New York City’s Times Square later today, boom boxes outstretched and hearts worn proudly on their trench-coated sleeves. Clever? Yes. Original? Hardly!

In last week’s issue of EW, I wrote of my own life-imitating-Lloyd moment to get my high school girlfriend back, which coincided with the original release of the movie two decades ago.

Today’s publicity stunt will also have over-the-emo-top-named band the Lloyd Dobler Effect playing an acoustic version of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” What it will not have, but which I have here, is the full story from Say Anything‘s writer and director Cameron Crowe on how the scene and song came together to create the iconic John Cusack moment (and, um, eventual shameless PR stunt).

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did the scene come about? It’s something that could have gone terribly awry, but instead is incredibly endearing and iconic and lasting. Did you just write “lifts boom box overhead”?

CAMERON CROWE: Yeah, and the music wafts down the hillside, I think was what it was. I was supposed to, not that it’s such an epic event, but I just remember the day that I was waiting to go somewhere; we were in Seattle and Nancy [Wilson, Heart guitarist and Crowe's wife of 23 years ] and I were late to go someplace and I was ready to go and she needed some more time. I had been writing, and it’s that great thing of like, “Thank goodness I don’t have to work on this any longer and try and solve this problem because I’ve got to go.”


'Juno' director Jason Reitman's latest, 'Up in the Air': Hear his hand-picked soundtrack star here

According to my officemate Dave Karger, the George Clooney dramedy Up in the Air is set to be one of the major contenders in this year’s Oscar race. He’s thinking Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor, for sure.

Maybe he should add Best Song to that list: “Help Yourself,” an original composition by Chicago-based musician Sad Brad Smith, is featured during a pivotal wedding scene in the film. It’s not exactly the kind of upbeat anthem the Academy usually goes for, but the acoustic tune is a perfect fit for the movie’s melancholy mood.

Check out the song below, and let us know what you think.

Fun fact: Director Jason Reitman got a tip from his brother-in-law to check out Smith, who was playing in a Chicago coffee shop. Reitman liked what he heard and asked Smith to compose a song for the movie’s soundtrack (out Dec. 1, and also featuring Crosby, Stills and Nash and the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach). It begs the question: If he’s writing cool songs for A-list movies, why is Sad Brad still sad?

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