This week, Big K.R.I.T. gets intimate on his latest mixtape; Metallica and Katy Perry go 3-D; a Kerouac classic finally hits the big screen; HBO’s latest show runs out of luck; and a Lithuanian company takes the mineral water market by storm.
Big K.R.I.T. — “Red Eye”
In a recent interview with XXL, Big K.R.I.T. mentioned that 4Eva N A Day—the Mississippi native’s final mixtape release before his debut album drops later this year—was an opportunity for him to be “more personal, more honest.” The tape, while certainly solid, falls short of the high bar set by last year’s Return of 4Eva, and is uneven in its attempts at intimacy.
On “Red Eye,” however, the emcee delivers on that objective wholeheartedly. Over a stark, stripped-down beat, K.R.I.T. lays down a two-and-a-half minute stream of consciousness that paints a vivid portrait of a relationship gone awry. “I’m wasting your time, to say I’m straight I’d be lying,” he raps. “It’s either you or this music, but I can’t make up my mind.” It’s a brief yet potent effort that captures the pressures and difficulties that arise in attempting monogamy as a touring musician, and its candor is a welcome respite from the bombast that comprises so much of Southern rap.
K.R.I.T. remarked in the same interview that Live from the Underground, his debut, will be on a far “broader spectrum.” One can only hope that there’s an emotional moment or two like this to keep the album’s grandiose ambitions grounded.
— Yang-Yi Goh
Metallica, Katy Perry announce 3-D concert films
How can one headbang and still keep a bowl of popcorn from spilling? These are the questions metalheads have to answer since Metallica’s announcement last week of a new 3-D concert movie due in 2013. The filming will begin this summer with a Razzie-baiting crew of producer Charlotte Huggins, whose previous 3-D films include Journey To The Center of the Earth and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, and director Nimrod Antal from 2010’s Predators. Sure, the band’s website claims Antal was chosen for his award-winning writing and direction of the Hungarian comedy-thriller “Kontroll,” but everyone knows it’s really for the shots of neon green blood he contributed to the hallmark sci-fi franchise.
The thrashers aren’t the only ones that will be popping off the silver screen in a cinema near you. Pop queen Katy Perry announced via Twitter the same day that her own 3-D film, Katy Perry: Part of Me, is set for release this summer. Finally, fans can have the full experience of getting their eyes burned out by the pop star’s vibrant getups, and a fuller view of why “Sesame Street” refused to put her—particularly the “neck down” part of her—on the air.
By no means are either Metallica or Perry pioneers of the 3-D concert movie concept. Instead, these artists will be following in the revered, distinguished steps of, um…Justin Bieber and the Jonas Brothers. Despite that rather unfortunate connection, though, the films should prove to be a win-win for both the artists and their fans: both movies will likely pull in huge numbers at the box office, while the cost of a movie ticket and a bag of Twizzlers is a whole lot cheaper than trying to see either act live.
— Michael Ronan
On the Road
When you consider that a film adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s classic On The Road has been languishing in developmental hell for half a century, this trailer actually looks pretty good. Sam Riley stars as Sal Paradise, a young writer who undertakes America’s inaugural road trip in search of personal and professional inspiration. He gradually gets drawn into the web of the self-destructive, yet magnetic Dean Moriarty (Tron’s Garrett Hedlund)—universally admired, even by the women he scorns and the friends he wrongs.
On The Road has all the characteristics of a project that actors drool over. The novel’s candid inclusion of drug use, intense personal struggles, and love triangles are perfect fodder for today’s movie audience. So if this project is so great, why are we staring at Kristen Stewart’s overbite? Stewart and Kirsten Dunst landed the roles of Dean’s competing love interests and continue to show no regard for the perils of typecasting. Despite the presence of the two polarizing (read: terrible) actresses, the cast (Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams) is talented and will benefit from Kerouac’s memorable characters. If nothing else, you’ll get to see a bunch of young adults drive around the country and act irresponsibly; I think we can all relate to that.
— Tom Barrabi
Luck cancelled after third horse dies on set
Earlier this week, HBO announced that the network would be cancelling further production on its new series Luck. The show followed the exploits of ex-con Chester Bernstein, played by Dustin Hoffman, as he schemed his way back to a position of power fresh out of prison. Horseracing dominated the show’s storylines, its lecherous (and often unseen) culture of gambling and drinking providing the perfect backdrop for the series’ criminal bent.
Although Luck wasn’t pulling a ton of viewers, it was well received by critics and featured a heavyweight cast led by Hoffman and Nick Nolte. It was surprising, then, to hear that the cancellation of the program was actually due to the death of three horses contracted by the network for use in filming.
Regarding the incidents and subsequent cancellation of Luck, HBO released the following statement:
“While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won’t in the future. Accordingly, we have reached this difficult decision.”
So close to the brutal injuries and high profile deaths of superstar racehorses Barbaro and Eight Belles, any negative press about the treatment of animals on set was bound to sink Luck’s ship. And with the death of not one, not two, but three horses during filming, it appears that in spite of its title, Luck just never had any.
— Jeremy Wolf
Video of the Week
I’ll be the first to admit that I know absolutely nothing about Lithuania, but if this is the kind of water that they’re drinking then we are going to have some serious problems at the Olympics. Somebody needs to alert 50 Cent and the folks over at VitaminWater that “Formula 50″ just isn’t going to cut it anymore. And enough with Gatorade— Vytautas needs to be on every Team USA bench this summer in London. The last thing we need is an army of Lithuanian Ivan Dragos hopped up on Earth Juice completely dominating our ragtag group of poorly hydrated Rocky Balboas.
— Justin Earley