Sunday, September 11, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
- Artist: Beyoncé
- Label: Columbia, Music World Music
- Director: Hype Williams
- Album: I Am...Sasha Fierce
Legendary singer's impact continues to blossom in the two years since his death; MTV News breaks down the figures.
By Gil Kaufman
On the second anniversary of the King of Pop's passing, MTV News took a look at the enduring appeal of MJ's music, videos and imagery, which continue to fascinate and attract fans across the globe thanks to a series of posthumous albums, a movie, video games and two upcoming Cirque du Soleil live shows.
Where Were You Two Years Ago When You Heard the News? Tell Us on Facebook
$72 million: According to Box Office Mojo, Jackson's posthumous concert film, "This Is It," has grossed more than $72 million to date domestically and $189 million in foreign markets for a worldwide take over more than $261 million. It ranks as the #2 music documentary of all-time behind Justin Bieber's "Never Say Never." The film has also generated nearly $45 million in DVD sales in the U.S.
16: In May, Jackson lodged his first #1 on the Billboard magazine Dance/ Club Play Songs chart in 16 years with the latest single from his posthumous Michael album, "Hollywood Tonight."
2: Number of posthumous albums that have been released since Michael's death in June 2009. Last year's Michael has sold just over 510,000 copies to date, while the This Is It collection has moved nearly 1 million copies to date in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.
15,000: The number of videos submitted by fans since March for the crowdsourced video for "Behind the Mask." After they were edited down by a five-person team over two months, the resulting clip used submissions from more than 1,600 participants from 103 countries.
3 million: The amount of copies sold of the Ubisoft "Michael Jackson: The Experience" video game worldwide.
$57 million: The reported cost of Cirque du Soleil's traveling MJ show, "The Immortal World Tour, which is slated to kick off on October 2.
$1 billion: That gaudy figure is the reported amount the Jackson estate had generated by last June on the first anniversary of the singer's death. According to Billboard, the revenue was generated by a combination of music sales ($429 million), film/TV revenue ($392 million), music publishing ($130 million), licensing ($35 million) and a $31 million recording contract. (A spokesperson for Jackson's estate declined to provide updated figures for this story.)
$310 million: The amount of gross earnings reported by the executors of the estate in a December 2010 court filing detailing the progress made in paying off the $400 million in debt run up by the spendthrift singer during his lifetime.
16.1 million: MJ was always a big singles artist. Yes, Thriller is one of the best-selling albums of all time, but even in death, fans can't resist cherry-picking some of Michael's best songs. That explains why he's sold more than 16 million digital tracks since June 28, 2009, the first sales week following his passing, according to Nielsen SoundScan. To put that in perspective, from the time Nielsen began counting digital tracks in 2004 until the week before Jackson's death, the singer had sold just over 8.1 million digital tracks, a figure that has doubled in just the past two years.
2013: The projected launch for a second, non-touring Cirque show celebrating Jackson. The yet-untitled show is slated to open in the spring of 2013 at a new theater being built at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
$25 million to $50 million: That's how much Jackson's estate takes in on an annual basis thanks to his stake in the half-million-song Sony/ATV catalog, which includes titles by Elvis, Lady Gaga, Eminem, Beyoncé and Bob Dylan.
Share your memories of Michael Jackson in the comments.Related Photos
Official 'Hollywood Tonight' remix coming to Miami Music Week.
By Akshay Bhansali
Leaving the South by Southwest festival, Lavo New York and Las Vegas' Marquee in his wake, house DJ Chuckie has his sights set on the week ahead. With Miami Music Week now upon us, Chuckie plans to seize the opportunity to debut new material. Fans will be tickled to know the Dutch producer has tracks in the can with Kelly Rowland and T-Pain, but when MTV News caught up with him Friday in New York, Chuckie shared the achievement of which he's most proud.
"I did a Michael Jackson remix, which was really scary — to touch Michael Jackson vocals," Chuckie said. "I did this remix for this track 'Hollywood Tonight.' I couldn't say it for a minute: The label called me, and they said, 'You can't say nothing about this. It's kind of a secret project.' It's gonna come out anytime now."
"Hollywood Tonight" was originally produced by Teddy Riley for Jackson's posthumous Michael album, and Chuckie's mix of the song will be the sole official remix of the track.
"I will play it Miami," Chuckie revealed. "I told them this is the best week to launch the remix. So it feels really good. I'm the only one remixing that Michael Jackson track, and they are considering it a single. For me, especially, it's an honor to remix the King of Pop because he died on my birthday."
So, will the mix be a thundering Chuckie Dutch house banger or will it have a melodic progressive house feel, like his Marquee remix of Diddy-Dirty Money's "I Hate That You Love Me"? Well, according to the "Let the Bass Kick" producer, fans will be getting a healthy dose of both.
"I had to bring in the raucous," Chuckie confessed. "Yeah, I did the Chuckie flavor, but then again, I wanted to make it really musical, so I went progressive (house) on it."
Chuckie will be performing twice at Miami Music Week: at the Cr2 Records Party at Wall Lounge on Wednesday, and then headlining "No Sugar Added" at Nikki Beach on Friday.
Are you excited to hear Chuckie's remix of Michael Jackson's "Hollywood Tonight"? Let us know in the comments below!Related Artists
Friday, September 9, 2011
'That would've been so G, if he would've done all the swearing,' Drake tells MTV News of Bieber's remix.
By Rob Markman
LOS ANGELES — When Justin Bieber dropped his remix of Drake's "Trust Issues" over the weekend, many wondered whether the 17-year-old pop star would keep the lyrics intact and throw out F-bombs and the track's other profanities. The baby-faced singer most certainly did not, trading Drake's "F--- it, I'm on one" line for "You know I'm on one."
"I wish he would've left all the cuss words in it. I feel like that would've been so G, if he would've done all the swearing," Drake told MTV News from Lil Wayne's Tha Carter IV release party on Sunday. "I was excited when I heard he remixed it, because there was like a gang of swearing in that song. I was like, 'Oh, we're about to hear the transformation of Bieber.' "
Despite its sweet and serene melody, the lyrics to Drizzy's "Trust Issues" are quite filthy at times. As the YMCMB soldier sings about contempt for manipulative woman, he belts out, "You know what I'm sippin'/ I teach you how to mix it/ But you're the only one, 'cause I don't trust these bitches."
On his version, Bieber doesn't condone drinking nor does he refer to the song's subjects as bitches. Instead, the Biebs tweaks the line and sings, "You just need to listen/ Teach you how to fix it/ 'Cause you're the only one, because I don't trust these women."
JB, however, did keep Drake's dirty original rap verse on his version of the song.
All in all, Drake was pretty excited about the remake. "He's like a talented kid ... from Canada, so to hear him even remix that song is crazy," he said. "That's incredible."
Would you have liked to hear Bieber leave the profanity in his "Trust Issues," or did he make the right call? Let us know in the comments!Related Artists
From 'guyliner' to American delicacies like Uncrustables, Kathy Griffin, Mike Posner and more tell us what they'd get Will and Kate.
By Terri Schwartz
What kind of wedding gift do you give the royal couple who has everything?
The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is on Friday (April 29), so MTV News reached out to some of our favorite Hollywood celebrities — from Ke$ha to Adam Lambert. Fortunately, they had some solid ideas!
"I haven't met them, so it would be kind of awkward," the "Tik Tok" singer admitted to MTV News. "I might paint them something. Maybe I'll paint them a guitar."
Like Ke$ha, other celebs had suggestions that were from the heart, even if they weren't the most practical.
"I will go out on a limb and say these two individuals maybe haven't had Uncrustables before in their life. I would get them a strawberry Uncrustable," Mike Posner said about the pastry.
David Cook followed up on the all-American food idea. "I feel like they have everything except maybe they probably don't have an Applebee's gift card. I'll go [with an] Applebee's gift card," the "American Idol" alum said.
Other stars said they'd gift the British prince and soon-to-be-princess with an item they were personally best known for.
"I'd probably buy William some eyeliner," Lambert said. "He could do that, he could rock that look. I think."
Ne-Yo was more empathetic, saying he would give gifts that could help shield them from photographers and blend in with everyday people. "Three years' supply of sunglasses. Yeah, put them on. A bunch of baseball caps, throw those on, and try to move around like regular people," the singer said. "I can't imagine what it would be like having to live under that big of a magnifying glass your whole life ... and fake mustaches, that's what I'd give them."
Brooke Burke went the more traditional route, saying she would get Will and Kate a journal to record the big event. "I would ask them to really take the time to write down thoughts and phrases and wishes," Burke said. "And not really to lose sight of how they feel about each other now and to really hold on to that feeling."
Kathy Griffin had good intentions but the comedian couldn't resist a puke joke.
"If I had to get the royal couple a gift, I would get them the Royal Couple Vomit Bag, which someone sent me a photo of," Griffin told us. "So you can actually buy vomit bags with their image on it, and I think that that is an honor and I hope that they see it as such."
What would you give to William and Kate? Share your ideas in the comments section!Related Photos
'Loiter Squad,' produced by 'Jackass' creators Dickhouse, is set to air on Adult Swim next year.
By James Montgomery
As anyone who's seen the video for Earl Sweatshirt's "Earl" or Tyler, the Creator's VMA-winning "Yonkers" can attest, Odd Future totally deserve their own "Jackass"-style TV show. And now, they've got one ... thanks to the guys behind "Jackass."
Called "Loiter Squad," the live-action series is set to air on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim next year and, according to a press release, will feature "sketches, man-on-the-street segments, pranks and music from Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All" (and, presumably, lots of loitering, too). Each episode will be 15 minutes long, and the show will be produced by Dickhouse Entertainment, the Johnny Knoxville, Jeff Tremaine and Spike Jonze partnership behind such fare as "Jackass," "Rob & Big," "Wildboyz" and "Nitro Circus."
"The Dickhouse sensibility provides a perfect match for the unique viewpoints, masterful pranking and artistic inclinations of the Odd Future crew," the press release rather dutifully adds.
Totally. "Loiter Squad" is just the latest addition to Odd Future's eternally expanding empire. Tyler, the Creator has his Best New Artist Moonman (he's also been collaborating with Pusha T as of late), and Frank Ocean's production work can be heard on both Beyoncé's 4 and the Jay-Z/Kanye West team-up Watch the Throne. The crew is gearing up for their first national tour, and they've chronicled their rather meteoric rise to fame with a prerequisite photo book — called "Golf Wang" — which will hit stores this November.Related Artists
Find out what happened backstage at the 2011 MTV VMAs.
By Kara Warner, with additional reporting by Matt Elias and Jim Cantiello
For all the unforgettable moments that occurred onstage during the VMAs on Sunday night, there were just as many equally amazing happenings that went down behind-the-scenes. Thanks to our VIP connections, MTV News had access to everything that happened before, after and during the live broadcast. Therefore, in no particular order, we are proud to present five moments you didn't get to see:
Gaga's Gentlemanly Behavior Leaves Celebs Starstruck
As is her M.O., Lady Gaga's presence at the VMAs was a highlight in and of itself, and every celeb who encountered her had a wide-eyed story to tell of his/her encounter. Particularly Foo Fighter Dave Grohl's first introduction to Gaga as her alter ego Jo Calderone.
"I got to meet her for the first time tonight [as Jo Calderone]," Grohl said of meeting Gaga when he went to say hello to Queen guitarist Brian May, who performed with her during the show. "I was like, 'Brian May, what's up!' and she was right next to him and I said, 'Hi, I'm Dave,' and she goes 'I know who the f--- you are!' Yeah, it was rad."
Another Gaga-centric highlight occurred during one of the commercial breaks, when Gaga as the confident ladies' man Jo Calderone (or Gago, as Twitter users tagged him last night) took a cigarette from behind his ear, lit it and smoothly passed it to Adele.
'Jersey Shore' Stars Make Friends Everywhere They Go
As part of the MTV family, the stars of "Jersey Shore" have become welcome additions to any and all of our awards shows. We witnessed the ladies of Seaside Heights — JWoww, Snooki and Deena — palling around with new BFF, none other than "High School Musical" star Vanessa Hudgens. Later on we spotted them crossing paths with Jared Leto, which produced the following exchange: JWoww to Jared Leto: "Wow. I'm a huge fan! 'The Kill' is my favorite!" Leto: "Thank you so much!" Snooki, once they had passed the 30 Seconds to Mars frontman: "Aah?" To which Jenni replied, "That was Jared Leto. Don't you know who Jared Leto is?!"
Tyler, The Creator's Accidental Stage Dive Sends Him Into Unlikely Arms
Immediately following their win for Best New Artist, the many members of Odd Future and their assorted entourage were trying to shuffle off the circular stage, when suddenly there was a loud noise and everyone in the audience in the right section gasped. It was clear from the commotion that a member from Future had fallen off the stage. When the dust finally settled, we saw two unexpected heroes holding frontman Tyler, the Creator up: Kanye West and Kid Cudi.
"It was really hard, but [the tears] came out when I fell offstage into Kanye's arms," Tyler half-joked as he processed the emotions surrounding his win and his almost fall.
Jay Z And Beyoncé Celebrate Baby News
Arguably the newsiest moment of the evening occurred when Beyoncé announced that she was pregnant, with a not-so-subtle rubbing of her belly at the end of her performance. Immediately following the big moment, Beyoncé and Jay-Z were enveloped backstage by ecstatic well-wishers including Kanye West, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. One of the sweeter of those moments was when Jay stepped outside Beyoncé's dressing room, to allow her some time with her female friends to gush and squeal over the news. The proud and sweet smile on his face when he did so made for our favorite VMA warm fuzzy moment.
BONUS: VMA Recap With MTV News' Jim Cantiello MTV News correspondent Jim Cantiello does many things well, but his 60-second recaps of important events in pop culture are a must-watch. Check out Cantiello's super-speedy recap that includes analysis of Gaga as Calderone, what gets a hard-to-impress Justin Bieber to applaud VMA performers and Beyoncé's big announcement.
The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards have wrapped, but the real action is just getting started! Stick with MTV News for winners, fashion pics, video and behind-the-scenes stories about everything that went down. Visit VMA.MTV.com for the latest.Related Videos
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Album art from Pink Floyd, Blur and David Bowie also included.
By James Montgomery
On Thursday (January 7), the U.K.'s Royal Mail unveiled a series of 10 new stamps, honoring the most iconic album covers of the past 40 years.
The albums featured in the new series are the Rolling Stones' Let It Bleed, Led Zeppelin's IV, David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars, Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, The Clash's London Calling, New Order's Power, Corruption and Lies, Primal Scream's Screamadelica, Pink Floyd's The Division Bell, Blur's Parklife and — the most recent album on to make the cut — Coldplay's A Rush of Blood to the Head.
Meant to honor "the most potent graphic images of modern times, many of which have provided a visual soundtrack to people's lives," the series is the end result of a lengthy research process by the Royal Mail, who looked through thousands of album covers by British artists before deciding on the final list. And, during a Wednesday night BBC Radio broadcast, it was revealed that the queen herself actually approved each design.
Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page — who helped design the cover for IV — was on hand to celebrate the release of the stamps and recalled the mysterious nature of the album's iconic imagery.
"Almost 40 years after the album came out, nobody knows the old man who featured on the cover, nor the artist who painted him," he said. "That sort of sums up what we wanted to achieve with the album cover, which has remained both anonymous and enigmatic at the same time."
Of course, any great honor is befitting of an equally great contest, so, on the same day the stamps were made available to the general public, Coldplay decided to give one of their Rush of Blood stamps away. In a message on their official site, the band held a contest to send one lucky fan "a letter using a Coldplay stamp, postmarked with today's issue date."
"We visited our local post office earlier today and bought some of the Coldplay stamps," the message read. "Very nice they are too."Related Photos
Beyoncé's pregnancy and Lady Gaga's over-the-top fashion just a few of the Twitter Trends.
By Eric Ditzian
Lady Gaga tweeted about her Little Monsters. Kim Kardashian tweeted about Beyoncé's baby-bump secret. Those Twitter updates and millions more made the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards the most tweeted-about awards show ever.
In total, the VMA Pre-Show and main show drove 10 million tweets, according to newly released numbers for the social-networking site.
That awards-show record was just one that the VMAs shattered. Beyoncé set the record for the most mentions on Twitter per second with 8,868, helping make the show the most-watched broadcast in MTV history, pulling in 12.4 million viewers. Pre-show viewership also set a record, and MTV Digital saw its highest VMA day ever on Sunday with show content attracting 2 million unique visitors, an increase of 33 percent year over year.
Twitter helped make it all happen. As the black-carpet pre-show kicked off inside the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles, the trend #whatwillgagawear lit up the social-networking site and became one of the longest running of the night. During the show itself, over half of the worldwide Twitter Trends were connected to the VMAs — and at times they took over eight or nine of the top 10 trends. The trends also included shout-outs to Justin Bieber and Joe Jonas, and the two simple statements, #DemiYouAreBeautiful and BEYONCE IS PREGNANT.
All that attention had an added benefit for the pregnant pop star: Her song "Love on Top" leapt into the iTunes top five after she performed it onstage at the Nokia and revealed her baby bump to the world.
The 28th annual MTV Video Music Awards have wrapped, but the real action is just getting started! Stick with MTV News for winners, fashion pics, video and behind-the-scenes stories about everything that went down. Visit VMA.MTV.com for the latest.Related Videos
During band's rehearsal break for Sunday's Movie Awards, we put Foos to the test.
By Ryan J. Downey, with reporting by Jim Cantiello
UNIVERSAL CITY, California — Hard rock, heavy metal, hardcore and punk have long gone hand-in-hand with evil wizards, magic, vampires and werewolves. And with a collective sub-cultural pedigree that includes stints in the Germs, No Use for a Name, Sunny Day Real Estate, Scream and some band called Nirvana, you'd think the Foo Fighters — set to perform at Sunday's Movie Awards — would know their "Potter" from their Zeppelin. Certainly they can recognize a "wand" reference and pinpoint its origin?
Right? Before we put MTV News' magically crafted trivia to the band, it seemed safe to assume the Foos would accurately distinguish between the words of Harry Potter, a "Twilight" character and Led Zeppelin. But was their underground nerd cred blown to shreds? Read on — and click the video! — to see how the Foo Fighters fared when we caught up with them on the Universal Studios lot, shortly after they finished rehearsing their Movie Awards performance.
Our own Jim Cantiello played dungeon master as Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel, Taylor Hawkins, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear were given a series of semi-famous lines and asked whether they originated with "Harry Potter," the "Twilight Saga" or the lyrics of hard-rock pioneers Led Zeppelin.
Here's a sampling of a few of those one-liners:
» "The elder wand, the most powerful wand ever made."
» "Why don't you let me be yours ever truly? Can I make your garden grow?"
» "You're lying, Dolores! You mustn't tell lies!"
Can you guess whether the lines above came from the "Potter" flicks, "Twilight" or Robert Plant?
Watch as the Foos try their best to do exactly that. Then tune in to the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday to catch the Foo Fighters rock the stage with their new single, "Walk."
Will wizards, vampires or dream thieves steal the 2011 MTV Movie Awards? Find out June 5, when the 20th annual show airs live at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Tune in at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT that night for the "America's Best Dance Crew" finale and Movie Awards pre-show, loaded with live action from the red carpet, exclusive movie clips and a special edition of "After Hours."Related Videos
As part of our Fall Movie Preview, Shawn Levy reveals how he created the sci-fi sports drama's authentic boxing matches.
By Josh Wigler
Summer may be over, but the fall season still holds plenty of hot movies worth looking forward to. We're celebrating the coming months of fantastic films all week long with MTV News' Fall Movie Preview, starting with a sports drama mixed with a sci-fi twist: "Real Steel," the robot boxing movie starring "Wolverine" leading man Hugh Jackman and "Lost" babe Evangeline Lilly, which opens on October 7.
"Real Steel," which takes place in a future where robots have replaced human athletes in the boxing arena, marks a serious departure for director Shawn Levy, in more ways than one. The director of the "Night at the Museum" films and "Date Night" is most commonly associated with the comedy genre. In "Real Steel," he's stepping into the ring with significantly more dramatic fare. MTV News chatted with the director about his experiences exploring a new genre, how the giant robots of "Real Steel" were constructed (hint: they're more human than you realize) and much more.
MTV: This movie feels like a big departure for you in a lot of ways, Shawn. Your past work has focused mostly on comedy, but "Real Steel" takes on a decidedly different tone. Was that the appeal for you, trying on something new?
Shawn Levy: You know, comedy has been really good to me, but this was a deliberate departure. This is the kind of movie that I've been waiting to do. When I was editing "Date Night," the call came in from ["Real Steel" producers] Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider, and they said, "We've got this underdog sports movie with boxing robots." Already when you have [those two] on the other line, you're inclined to nudge towards "yes." But I've always loved sports movies, I've always loved that kind of iconic underdog story which sports movies tend to service so well. This was a deliberate step and an exciting chance to stretch some new muscles.
MTV: Well this definitely does fall into the sports drama category, but when you're throwing giant robots into the mix, you're getting something just a little bit different than what we've seen from the genre before. Was it tricky trying to service that sports drama audience while keeping the sci-fi elements in the forefront as well?
Levy: Honestly, it was an every day balancing act, from the six months of working on the script, the eight months of preparing the movie and the four months of shooting it, and another six editing it. It was every day, making sure you're servicing just the crazy, balls-out action of robots wailing on each other — and thankfully we had [boxing legend] Sugar Ray Leonard as our consultant for the fights, which was a really great guarantor [of quality].
I'll digress for a moment, but what's cool about this movie is that this isn't computer animation. This is motion capture with real fighters in a real ring, consulting in the ring with me and Sugar Ray, wailing on each other in full contact. We took that captured fight as data and we converted it into robot avatars. That was a big thing. To do the movie as mo-cap instead of animation was a big choice. Mo-cap allows the director to direct a performance; it's not left to the imagination of an animator that sometimes you don't even meet. It was huge. Every day we were making sure the robots were cool-looking in terms of design and full-contact fighting.
On the flip side, we could never forget that the movie is about Hugh Jackman's character, first, last and always. The movie is really only 30 to 35 percent robot-based fighting, but it's 100 percent anchored in Hugh Jackman playing this bot corner man and how he uses these machines to eventually get a shot at redemption.
MTV: Which is interesting, because when you see Hugh in these movies with huge action elements, he's usually very much at the center of those scenes. But that's not exactly the case in this film, is it?
Levy: Without giving too much away, he's at the center in that ... our hero robot, he ain't the biggest, he ain't the newest, he's not state of the art. What he has is this connection that I won't give away to Hugh's character, such that Hugh plays a former boxer [named Charlie] whose knowledge of the human sport that used to exist is the advantage that his robot has over the others. Every robot in the movie is built with one gear: full-on ground and pound. This robot fighter is informed more by Charlie's boxing history. So there's a nuanced human flair, resulting in this robot and his connection to Jackman, who's able to win fights he has no business winning.
MTV: As a director, how did you establish that connection between Hugh and his fighter? These are the two leads of the film, really, but only one of them is played by an actual person — unless you leaned on motion-capture for most of the robot's appearances?
Levy: Well, this is where it gets really cool. In my first meeting with Steven Spielberg, he said to me, " 'Jurassic Park' was a long time ago, before computers could do everything. We built real dinosaurs that moved. I know it's an old-fashioned notion, but consider building real, fully animated animatronic robots." So that's one big difference on this movie: We built real robots. In the fight scenes, it's me and Ray directing human boxers. But in every scene in the movie where Hugh is interacting with one of his robots, if that robot isn't walking or boxing, it was a real, big, massively tall robot in the room on set and in the movie. It's unreal.
What happens is, whether you're 10 or 40 years old, if you're a guy, and you're face to face with this robot that's literally shadowing everything you do — it's actually robotically operated from a remote feed — it's just unbelievably cool, and it affects the performances in a way that you just don't get ... if you're acting opposite a tennis ball on a stick. There's no comparison. That was really the co-star. ATOM in particular was in the room with us every day. I'd direct ATOM, his puppeteer, in much the same way that I'd direct Hugh. It was really cool to work with [something practical] in this day and age, where everything that can be computer-generated usually is computer-generated.
MTV: We've talked a lot about the technical side of making "Real Steel," but let's go back to the beginning: You wanted to carve out a different type of movie for yourself. How did you find the experience of going from the comedy world to something significantly more dramatic?
Levy: The irony is that though I've made thankfully a number of successful comedies, if I were to name my top 20 favorite movies, maybe you'd find one comedy on there. My career has gone one way, but my tastes have always run another. Those tend to be dramas, action, sports. So what was really amazing was to do a movie where the pacing, tone and, most importantly, the aesthetics and performances, where all those elements were not in the service of the almighty laugh. They were in service of themselves. When you do comedy, the laugh always comes first. Maybe you'll find a scene or sequence — and I can point to this in "Date Night" — where you'll bracket it off and slow down the movie with something a bit more poignant. But to do a whole movie that was not first and foremost in the service of laughs was very, very different, and very, very liberating.
From "Abduction" to "Muppets, "Moneyball" to "Breaking Dawn," the MTV Movies team is delving into the hottest upcoming flicks in our 2011 Fall Movie Preview. Check back daily for exclusive clips, photos and interviews with the films' biggest stars.
Check out everything we've got on "Real Steel."
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.Related Videos
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Every August I enjoy going to GoMemphis.com and reading John Beifuss’ annual report on movies that contain something, anything, about Elvis in them. For example, it could be Elvis jumpsuits, or his iconic sunglasses, or anything else associated with him. It can be an Elvis song, a picture of him, or a character trying to sound like him. And sometimes, his name is used in the dialog of the movie.
Unfortunately, the past twelve months have been pretty lean for Elvis allusions. There are only five that you might have seen. I have seen only two, and I had never heard of the other three. But, let’s take a look at what we’ve got.
Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil
I love how this film is characterized: computer-animated fairy-tale spoof sequel. I actually saw the original, which had no Elvis reference in it. However, it had the woodsman character named Kirk. In the sequel, Kirk has found fame and fortune as a yodeler. Guess what kind of outfit Kirk the Yodeler wears – a cross between Alpine lederhosen short pants and an Elvis jumpsuit.
Kirk the Woodsman
Kirk the Yodeler
You will be pleased to know Kirk the Yodeler turns out to be a big hero in the movie, but so do about fifteen other people (and animals).
In the picture below, on the left is a taciturn young man named Ronnie. The woman on the right is Mary, who is described as alcoholic, unhappy and middle-aged.
In another scene, Mary is trying to make conversation with Ronnie
“Did you like the Beatles?”
“They were alright.”
“I was more Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis. Yeah, I’m all shook up.”
I haven’t been able to find out much about this movie. It seems to take place in Memphis, and John Beifuss says one scene has some of the cast members at the Elvis Candlelight Vigil at Graceland.
This was a low budget movie, and I’m pretty sure this scene wasn’t filmed on August 16. In fact, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t filmed in front of Graceland. These two people seem to be the only ones holding candles.
Somewhere: I never heard of this movie, which John Beifuss calls a portrait of movie-star angst. That’s the star and his daughter on the DVD cover. During a scene at the expensive Chateau Marmont, a hotel employee entertains with an acoustic guitar version of Elvis’ hit “Teddy Bear.” Nowhere Boy: I watched this one because it is about John Lennon in his early Liverpool days, and I’m a fan of the Beatles, too. I’m kind of think the producers were a little too cute with the title. It is a variation on the Beatle hit “Nowhere Man,” but that may be too obscure for casual fans to make the connection with John Lennon. That DVD photo is probably a mistake,too. He looks more like Buddy Holly. In the movie, John wears the glasses for just a short time. You all are familiar with the fact that Elvis was a big hero for young John Lennon. In the film, John sees a photo of Elvis in the paper and quickly adopts an Elvis coiffure. Two Elvis songs are performed in the film. John’s band plays “That’s Alright Mama” at their first show. Later, Paul sings “Love Me Tender” to John’s Aunt Mini. The other Elvis allusions in Nowhere Man were in the dialog at various points in the movie. Two good ones by John were, “I want to start a rock and roll group, be like Elvis.” “Why couldn’t God make me Elvis?” © 2011 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.
I never heard of this movie, which John Beifuss calls a portrait of movie-star angst. That’s the star and his daughter on the DVD cover. During a scene at the expensive Chateau Marmont, a hotel employee entertains with an acoustic guitar version of Elvis’ hit “Teddy Bear.”
Nowhere Boy: I watched this one because it is about John Lennon in his early Liverpool days, and I’m a fan of the Beatles, too. I’m kind of think the producers were a little too cute with the title. It is a variation on the Beatle hit “Nowhere Man,” but that may be too obscure for casual fans to make the connection with John Lennon. That DVD photo is probably a mistake,too. He looks more like Buddy Holly. In the movie, John wears the glasses for just a short time. You all are familiar with the fact that Elvis was a big hero for young John Lennon. In the film, John sees a photo of Elvis in the paper and quickly adopts an Elvis coiffure. Two Elvis songs are performed in the film. John’s band plays “That’s Alright Mama” at their first show. Later, Paul sings “Love Me Tender” to John’s Aunt Mini. The other Elvis allusions in Nowhere Man were in the dialog at various points in the movie. Two good ones by John were, “I want to start a rock and roll group, be like Elvis.” “Why couldn’t God make me Elvis?” © 2011 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.
I watched this one because it is about John Lennon in his early Liverpool days, and I’m a fan of the Beatles, too. I’m kind of think the producers were a little too cute with the title. It is a variation on the Beatle hit “Nowhere Man,” but that may be too obscure for casual fans to make the connection with John Lennon. That DVD photo is probably a mistake,too. He looks more like Buddy Holly. In the movie, John wears the glasses for just a short time.
You all are familiar with the fact that Elvis was a big hero for young John Lennon. In the film, John sees a photo of Elvis in the paper and quickly adopts an Elvis coiffure.
Two Elvis songs are performed in the film. John’s band plays “That’s Alright Mama” at their first show. Later, Paul sings “Love Me Tender” to John’s Aunt Mini.
The other Elvis allusions in Nowhere Man were in the dialog at various points in the movie. Two good ones by John were,
“I want to start a rock and roll group, be like Elvis.”
“Why couldn’t God make me Elvis?”
© 2011 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net
Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.