Monday, March 31, 2014

New Michael Jackson Album: 'Xscape'

Eight previously unreleased Michael Jackson songs will be released as a new album, titled 'Xscape', on May 13. This is the second album being released after his death in 2009. The first, called 'Michael', came out in 2010. Some songs were well received, but others were questioned as to their legitimacy of if Jackson was even singing, and the suspicions were quite valid as a few songs sounded a bit odd. Timbaland will be the main producer of the album.

The lead single will be "Love Never Felt So Good" and will feature Justin Timberlake. The songs have been "contemporized"...I hope that doesn't mean they've been auto-tuned and turned into EDM songs. Just in case the "contemporized" versions suck, a deluxe edition will be released with the songs in their original forms. This is the current track listing:

"Slave To The Rhythm"
"Blue Gansgta"
"A Place With No Name"
"Love Never Felt So Good"
"Do You Know Where Your Children Are"
"She Was Lovin' Me"

Sunday, March 30, 2014

'The Walking Dead' Season 4 Ends on a High Note

The Walking Dead had seemed to get a bit of a lukewarm response from some in recent episodes. Any doubts should have all went out the window with the Season 4 finale. The episode was a thrilling nail biter throughout, and ended with the return of bad-ass Rick (Andrew Lincoln) after the group gets locked in a old train car by those at the Terminus. Good news main character died! I'm glad they flipped the switch, as it seems before each season or mid-season finale people wonder who will die, since they've pretty much killed someone each time.

We still don't know much about the Terminus yet, except that they almost make the Governor (David Morrissey) look nice in comparison. The people look very robotic. The creepy room of candles seemed to suggest they no longer trust outsiders, so something obviously happened before. People will also be wondering why they wouldn't just kill Rick & Company, instead shooting at their feet. Maybe they're a cult of cannibals? Hence why they lure people towards the Terminus and then trap people instead of killing them. The new slogan should be "Those who arrive survive...until they become next week's dinner." The whole idea of Terminus furthers the message of the show that we've come to expect, which is you need to fear the living as much as the zombies.

Many questions have been answered recently, such as how Michonne's (Danai Gurira) son died and why Rick became a farmer at the prison. The finale left more questions to be answered in regards to the Terminus, setting us up nicely for Season 5. Also...where the fuckity fuck is Beth (Emily Kinney)?! When she was kidnapped in that car, maybe it was someone from Terminus? I assume we'll find that out come October, as well as what will happen to Carol (Melissa McBride) & Tyreese (Chad Coleman) as they make their way towards Terminus.

Monday, March 24, 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past Trailer Hits

After being teased for a while, the new full trailer for the most anticipated movie of the summer, X-Men: Days of Future Past is now available. It lives up to the hype of course, and shows the future sentinels in action for the first time, with one appearing behind Storm (Halle Berry) and another shot being of one shooting something out of its face. May 23 can't get here soon enough!

A good look is given to most of the characters in the film, including the new Blink (Fan Bingbing), Quicksilver (Evan Peters) & Sunspot (Adam Canto). A striking image of the future world shows New York City in shambles, with a big hole in the Empire State Building, furthering New York's distinction as the most destroyed city on film. This is the seventh X-Men based film, and the third directed by Bryan Singer who started it off with X-Men (2000) and X2: X-Men United (2003).

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Courtney Love Claimed To Find the Missing Plane

The story of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 took another odd turn when Courtney Love claimed to have found it. Wait, what?

Love, rocker and widow of late Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain, posted a picture with a Microsoft word type drawing to her Facebook and Twitter accounts claiming to have spotted oil slicks and a possible spot for the plane. Of course, its hard to actually see anything in the picture and it turned out to be nothing. Her post was accompanied by some pretty funny comments. My favorite: "swear to god if courtney love finds the fucking plane."

Love has been known for doing crazy thing, but this is not totally crazy. She was using the website TOMNOD, which is encouraging people to use their website to look through satellite images of the Ocean to see if they spot anything. So hey, at least Love brought some attention to that. Maybe someone out there will actually spot something in this bizarre case of the missing airplane.

But, how fucking great would it have been if Courtney Love had actually spotted a piece of debris?

Monday, March 10, 2014

USA Women's Soccer Hits a Losing Streak

For the first time since 2001, the United States Women's Soccer team has lost back-to-back games. They also finished last in their group at the Algarve Cup following a draw with Japan and then losses to both Sweden and Denmark. Their loss to Denmark saw them give up 5 goals, the first time ever the squad has given up more than 4 goals in a game. I believe this is also the first time the US both finished last in a group and failed to win a single group stage match in any tournament. The Algarve Cup is a yearly tournament held in Portugal bringing together 8 of the world's top teams along with 4 teams who are up and comers.

We're a year away from the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada, so in a way this makes that even more exciting. USA went from being the unbeatable force to now being on their heels, with an aura of vulnerability surrounding them. However when it comes to sports, there's nothing like a little adversity to give you that kick in the ass you may need. No doubt USA will use this as further motivation to rally around in the lead up to the Women's World Cup. This isn't the first time they have faced some. They famously lost to Mexico in 2011 Women's World Cup qualification, and needed to beat Italy in a playoff to qualify for the 2011 tournament. They did, and went on to the World Cup final for the first time since winning it in 1999, but lost to Japan in penalty kicks.

One thing to note is they were without star forward Alex Morgan for the tournament, and did some experimenting with the lineup, as Abby Wambach didn't enter the game against Denmark until the final minutes. The lineup was tinkered with through the 3 matches, so two losses is nothing to get too worried about.

Japan won the group and will face Germany for the 2014 Algarve Cup Championship.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Jared Leto Wins the 2014 Oscars

The 2014 Academy Awards have come and gone, and the clear winner of the night was Jared Leto (Who won the Oscar for Supporting Actor), for his outstanding speech which was given as a "thank you" to anyone who is struggling. First he thanked his mom, then went on to thank "all the dreamers out there around the world watching this tonight in places like the Ukraine and Venezuela, I want to say we are here and as you struggle to make your dreams happen, to live the impossible. We're thinking of you tonight."

He followed that up with, "This for the 36 million people who have lost the battle to AIDS and to those of you out there who have ever felt injustice because of who you are or who you love. Tonight I stand here in front of the world with you and for you." It will truly go down as one of the best Oscar speeches ever.

Ellen DeGeneres hosted for the second time and did a fantastic job. She was surprisingly edgy with some of her jokes, though of course with her friendly delivery, and it all came together so well. She also got pizza for everyone, which was delivered by a real pizza delivery person, not an actor. The place has delivered to The Ellen Show, hence the connection. Then took a picture (with the help of Bradley Cooper) that was the most re-tweeted photo on Twitter ever:
Gravity was the big winner of the night, taking home the most awards by owning all the technical awards as well as Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron. Sandra Bullock didn't get Best Actress, with that going to Cate Blanchett. Matthew McConaughey won Best Actor and gave an "Alright Alright Alright" reminiscent of David Wooderson during his speech, which fans of Dazed and Confused love of course. 12 Years a Slave took home Best Picture, and Lupita Nyong'o won Best Supporting Actress, and she also gave a beautiful speech much like Leto.

"Let it Go" from Frozen beat out "Happy" by Pharrell and "Ordinary Love" by U2 for best song. John Travolta mistakenly pronounced Idina Menzel's name as Adele Nazim. Talk about butchering a name. Maybe Adele Nazim is her Scientology name? Jennifer Lawrence fell again, tripping over a cone on the red carpet. She laughed about it of course, like a champ.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

After Sochi 2014, Russia Approves Use of Force in Ukraine

A quick serious note. There is political upheaval going on in Ukraine right now. The people wanting to join the European Union overthrew the government, with former pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovych being ousted. Russia has approved use of their military in Crimea, and Russian troops have taken over the region. Ukraine has since mobilized their military, seeing Russia's actions as an "act of war".

Crimea is semi-autonomous. It is part of Ukraine, but is self governed with many Russians living there. However, Ukraine was "gifted" Crimea by the Soviet Union in the 1950s. The location on the Black Sea makes it a desirable location and why Russia wants it in the first place.

This all has happened in the days after the close of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. The Olympic Charter states, "the goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity." Yet they have intervened in the Ukraine with force, instead of letting the Ukranian people make their own decision. Its not like this is the first time the Olympic Charter has been called into question with regards to Sochi hosting. Speaking of Sochi, after spending a record $51 Billion on the Olympics, one has to wonder how much use they'll actually get out of everything they built in Sochi. With mild/warm weather even during winter, how many winter sports events will Sochi attract?