New releases for March 30, 2010: “Sherlock Holmes,” Alan Jackson, and a chance to win Usher’s new CD
Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law’s entertaining and action-packed cinematic take on “Sherlock Holmes” is new to DVD today, along with the Oscar-nominated film “An Education.”
Among the new CDs this week are hip-hop star Usher’s “Raymond v. Raymond,” country stalwart Alan Jackson’s “Freight Train” and Barenaked Ladies’ “All in Good Time,” the first album for the Canadian band since the departure of founding member Steve Page.
My colleague Tim Henley is giving away a copy of “Raymond vs. Raymond” Friday on his Celebrity Gossip blog. Find out how you can enter the contest by clicking here.
In other music and movie news, Tulsa band Stars Go Dim are featured on the soundtrack to the upcoming film “Letters to God,” out today. Based on a true story about a young cancer patient writing letters to God, the film opens April 9. Stars Go Dim contributed their song “Come Around” to the soundtrack.
On the bookshelves, foodies have several new titles to choose from, “Atonement” author Ian McEwan has a new novel out, and there’s a promising title for frazzled super-moms like me: “Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom.”
Here is a list of the week’s new CDs, DVDs and books, from Amazon.com, VideoETA.com and The Oklahoman’s Renee Lawrence:
Usher, “Raymond v. Raymond.”
Alan Jackson, “Freight Train.”
Barenaked Ladies, “All In Good Time.”
Erykah Badu, “New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh.”
Amy Grant, “Somewhere Down the Road.”
Gretchen Wilson, “I Got Your Country Right Here.”
Original cast recording, “Memphis: A New Musical.”
Lady GaGa featuring Beyonce, “Telephone: The Remixes” (EP).
Various artists, “Letters to God Soundtrack.”
Alice In Wonderland
Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
The Baader Meinhof Complex
iCarly: iFight Shelby Marx
The Real Housewives of New Jersey: Season 1
Under the Sea (IMAX)
“Silver Borne” (Mercy Thompson Series, No. 5) by Patricia Briggs.
“Deception” by Jonathan Kellerman.
“Giada at Home: Family Recipes From Italy and California” by Giada De Laurentiis.
“Hungry Girl 1-2-3: The Easiest, Most Delicious, Guilt-Free Recipes on the Planet” by Lisa Lillien.
“Without Mercy” by Lisa Jackson.
“What’s New, Cupcake?: Ingeniously Simple Designs for Every Occasion” by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson.
“Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts” by Martha Stewart Living Magazine.
“Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently” by John C. Maxwell.
“Solar” by Ian McEwan.
“North by Northwestern: A Sea-Faring Family in Deadly Alaskan Waters” by Sig Hansen and Mark Sundeen.
“Whiter Than Snow” by Sandra Dallas.
“This Is Not the Story You Think It Is …: A Season of Unlikely Happiness” by Laura Munson.
“Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom” by Kristin van Ogtrop.
“The Barbary Pirates: An Ethan Gage Adventure” by William Dietrich.
“Pearl of China” by Anchee Min.
“Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage” by Richard Stengel, preface by Nelson Mandela.
“Dead End Gene Pool: A Memoir” by Wendy Burden.
“The Christian Atheist: Believing in God But Living as if He Doesn’t Exist” by Craig Groeschel.
Reba McEntire (Associated Press photo)
Oklahoma native Reba McEntire and fellow country music star Wynonna are among eight new members appointed to the American Red Cross’ 2010 national celebrity cabinet, reports CMT.com.
Other new additions to the celebrity cabinet include actress Alyssa Milano, actors Penn Badgley and Josh Duhamel, actor-rapper LL Cool J, actor-comedian David Spade and TV personality Giselle Blondet.
Other members of the cabinet include Rascal Flatts (which includes Joe Don Rooney of Picher), Sara Evans, Pat Green, Julianne Hough, Miley Cyrus and Amy Grant.
Members of the celebrity cabinet support the Red Cross by calling attention to the organization’s initiatives and response efforts, according to CMT.com.
Oklahoma superstar Carrie Underwood has notched the 12th No. 1 single of her career, taking the spiritual tearjerker “Temporary Home” to the top of both the Billboard and the Mediabase/Country Aircheck country charts.
“Temporary Home” is the second chart-topper from her platinum-certified 2009 “Play On” album, following the sassy first single “Cowboy Casanova.” Sprinting to the top of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs in just 18 weeks, the song hit the chart summit faster than any other single this year, according to a news release.
One of seven tracks that Underwood co-wrote for “Play On” – and her fifth co-written single to top the charts – “Temporary Home” may portray poignant life moments, but the message is one that the Checotah native has always seen as uplifting.
“It’s hopeful, and each person in each story, in each different place in their life, knows that things are going to be OK,” Underwood says in the news release.
Underwood co-wrote “Temporary Home” with Nashville songsmith Luke Laird and Zac Maloy, former front man of Oklahoma City band The Nixons. She chatted enthusiastically about working with Maloy at a news conference last September at her Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame induction in Muskogee.
“I had to be a fan,” she said of Maloy. “I was like, ‘I saw you when I was in high school.’ So, it was a lot of fun for me to work with him.”
In an interview with AOL’s The Boot, Underwood said she has known Laird for years, but just met Maloy the day before they wrote “Temporary Home.”
“(I) had gotten to know him enough to know that everything was right and all the pieces of the puzzle were there. It all came together, and it was definitely one of the first ones where we said this one is definitely going on the album,” she told The Boot.
The 2005 “American Idol” winner said the idea for the song came to her in a flash.
“It just hit me like a ton of bricks, just a flood of words and stories,” Underwood told The Boot. “And all of a sudden, I thought of a little boy in a foster situation, and he knows where he’s going. And the place where he is isn’t where he should be, but he’ll get there someday. So in the meantime, he’s just walking through this space. And then the next story was, of course, about a young mom who was in a halfway house situation, really struggling, really trying, still confident that she wasn’t where she belonged, but she was headed there.”
The third verse of the song is about a man who was preparing to die.
“He’s on the way to where he’s going, he’s on his way to heaven. He’s on the way to be with God, and everything that he’s lived through was wonderful, but this earth was just his temporary home,” she told The Boot. “And when I went in and started talking to (the co-writers) about it, they were all about it. So, it came together pretty quickly … three different situations, but still very positive that they’re confident where they’re headed and where they’ve been, and they’re happy about where they’re going.”
Her fiance, professional hockey player Mike Fisher, suggested the title for the song.
On the CMT Top Twenty Countdown episode that premiered last Friday, the heartfelt music video for “Temporary Home” topped the countdown for the fifth consecutive week. The video is posted above, but I warn viewers to have a hanky handy.
The only “American Idol” winner ever to score 12 No. 1 hits, Underwood’s collection of chart-toppers began with the instant success of her post-”Idol” single, “Inside Your Heaven,” which debuted atop Billboard’s Hot 100 chart in the summer of 2005. It was the first of five No. 1s to top the BDS or Mediabase charts from her seven times-platinum debut, “Some Hearts,” with the others including the Grammy-winning “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” “Before He Cheats,” “Don’t Forget to Remember Me” and “Wasted.”
The five-time Grammy winner, reigning Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year, and three-time Country Music Association and ACM Female Vocalist winner also became the first country artist in history to achieve 10 No. 1 singles on the strength of their first two albums when “I Told You So” became the fifth consecutive chart-topper from her second album – the triple-platinum “Carnival Ride” – which also included “Just a Dream” and three hits she co-wrote – “So Small,” “All-American Girl,” and “Last Name.”
Fans also can look for Underwood as she appears on the cover of the April issue of Allure magazine, on sale now.
This photo from the exhibit “Journey Stories” shows a girl with her family during a migration from Florida to New Jersey in 1940. Black families traveled north during the Great Migration any way they could: on foot, by car, by train and even by packet boat. If by car, it was important to know safe places to stop along the way. (Library of Congress/ Smithsonian photo)
Today’s featured event:’
CHANDLER – See the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit “Journey Stories” at the Museum of Pioneer History, 717 Manvel Ave.
The exhibit uses images, audio and artifact replicas to explore something considered central to the American identity: the freedom to move. Included are numerous individual journey stories, from the migration of Europeans to the forced movement of slaves and the Trail of Tears to the development of railways, interstate systems and the passenger air industry.
Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. The exhibit will be on view at the Chandler museum through April 11.
For more information, go to www.pioneermuseumok.org.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Tim McGraw, Dwight Yoakam, Milla Jovovich, William H. Macy cast in Oklahoma-set indie film “Dirty Girl”
Tim McGraw (Associated Press file photos)
Country music stars/actors Tim McGraw (“The Blind Side”) and Dwight Yoakam (“The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada”) will join Milla Jovovich, William H. Macy and Mary Steenburgen in the cast of the indie drama “Dirty Girl,” according to MonstersandCritics.com.
The film is set in 1987 in Oklahoma. It follows a promiscuous high school student (Juno Temple) looking for the father she never knew who runs away with a closeted gay boy (newcomer Jeremy Dozier) who wants to escape going to military school.
Production is underway in Los Angeles, according to MonstersandCritics.com.
First-time writer-director Abe Sylvia’s script was on the Black List, a list of the best unproduced screenplays in Hollywood, according to Collider.com.
Country music star Jimmy Wayne, right, is on his Meet Me Halfway charity walk across half the U.S. to raise awareness of the plight of homeless youth. He is accompanied by Army Lt. Col. Jason Garkey on March 11 as they walk westward from McLoud toward Oklahoma City. (Photo By Paul Hellstern/The Oklahoman)
Country music star Jimmy Wayne finished the Oklahoma leg of his Meet Me Halfway walk on Saturday.
“I CANNOT BELIEVE I’VE WALKED TO TEXAS from NASHVILLE TN. (Arrived @ exactly 6 pm on 03-27-10),” Wayne posted Saturday on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/JimmyWayne), along with a photo of of himself with the “Welcome to Texas” sign.
Wayne currently is walking the nearly 1,700 miles from Nashville, Tenn., to Phoenix, Ariz., to raise awareness of the plight of homeless youths, especially those who age out of the foster care system. He started the project on Jan. 1.
He crossed the Arkansas state line into Oklahoma on Feb. 16. He generally walks 15 to 20 miles a day, but occasionally has to halt the walk for concerts, Grand Ole Opry appearances and interviews, including a one-on-one with me at the OPUBCO studios here in Oklahoma City.
Tennessee telecommunications company Hiscall has donated a support RV, car and driver for the project, and when Wayne must pause his marching mission, the driver, Josh Lewis, takes him where he needs to go and later returns him to the exact spot where he left off to resume the walk.
“It’s incredible, the hospitality that I’ve encountered from Nashville to here: folks coming out on the side of the road giving me coffee, letting me stay in their houses,” he said.
“It’s just been amazing. When I hear someone say, man, this is a cruel world, it’s really not. People just need to know where to funnel the help.”
Supporters even turned a negative like having all his clothes stolen into a positive.
“It really brought the goodness out in people when they found out that my bag had been stolen with all my clothes in it,” he said. “I didn’t even have a coat, and I was walking in 20-degree weather. And it was tough … but folks were so kind to me.”
Wayne paid a Twitter tribute to the Oklahomans he encountered on his walk Friday, Tweeting “I love Oklahoma people.”
Judging from the reactions I’ve received to the features I posted on Wayne and his walk, I’d say the feeling is mutual.
Good luck, Jimmy, on the rest of your walk.
The new animated film “How to Train Your Dragon” breathed some box-office fire, debuting at No. 1 over the weekend with $43.3 million, according to the Associated Press.
Distributed by Paramount, the DreamWorks Animation adventure came in well behind the studio’s last cartoon comedy, “Monsters vs. Aliens,” which opened with $59.3 million over the same weekend last year.
With strong reviews and enthusiastic responses from viewers in exit polls, DreamWorks expects “How to Train Your Dragon” to have more staying power than “Monsters vs. Aliens” in subsequent weekends.
“People just love the film, so we’re really anticipating we’ll benefit from strong word of mouth going forward,” Anne Globe, head of marketing for DreamWorks, told the AP.
“How to Train Your Dragon,” featuring the voices of Jay Baruchel and America Ferrera in the tale of a Viking youth who tames a fire-breathing beast, outperformed some other recent animated movies, including Sony’s “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” which opened with $30.3 million last September.
Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland,” which had been No. 1 film the previous three weekends, slipped to second place with $17.3 million. It raised its domestic total to $293.1 million and its worldwide take to $656 million.
“How to Train Your Dragon” pulled in 68 percent of its revenue from 3-D presentation, another triumph for the digital technology that allows theaters to show movies in three dimensions.
But it also highlights the limits on how many 3-D films theaters are equipped to handle. “How to Train Your Dragon” took over the bulk of 3-D theaters at the expense of “Alice in Wonderland,” because the roughly 4,000 screens capable of showing digital 3-D movies is not enough to handle two full wide-release films at the same time.
“There’s no question there are not enough screens yet,” Chuck Viane, head of distribution for Disney, told the AP. “People who want to seek out ‘Alice’ in 3-D may have to travel a mile or two more than they used to. … It’s competition. I’m used to it.”
After a phenomenal 15-week run, James Cameron’s mega-blockbuster “Avatar” lost most of its remaining 3-D theaters to “How to Train Your Dragon.” The 20th Century Fox release finally fell out of the top 10, taking in $2 million to finish at No. 11, raising its domestic total to $740.4 million. Worldwide, the movie has taken in $2.7 billion.
Another new 3-D release, Warner Bros. action remake “Clash of the Titans,” arrives Friday. While the success of 3-D movies has driven theater chains to speed up their conversion to systems that can project digital 3-D films, a screen shortage will remain for the near future.
“There is a limited amount of shelf space. It’s like a traffic jam at the multiplex for these 3-D movies,” Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com, told the AP. “It’s a high-class problem to have, but it’s still a problem.”
Films playing in 3-D have topped the box office for nine of 13 weekends this year, Dergarabedian said.
John Cusack’s raunchy comedy “Hot Tub Time Machine” failed to fully boil, with a lukewarm No. 3 debut of $13.7 million. Released by MGM, the movie features Cusack as part of a group of losers hurled back by a time-traveling hot tub to the 1980s, where they have a chance to set their lives right.
In narrower release, Sony Pictures Classics’ sex thriller “Chloe” opened with $1 million in 350 theaters, averaging a weak $2,863 a cinema. That compared to an average of $10,678 in 4,055 theaters for “How to Train Your Dragon” and $4,956 in 2,754 theaters for “Hot Tub Time Machine,” according to the AP.
Directed by Atom Egoyan, “Chloe” stars Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson and Amanda Seyfried in a drama about a woman who hires a prostitute to tempt her husband and find out if he’s cheating on her.
Overall box-office revenues were down for the first time in a month, according to the AP. Domestic receipts totaled $127 million, off 13 percent from the same weekend last year.
For the year, revenues are at $2.6 billion, 8.8 percent ahead of last year.
Here are the top 10 movies, from the AP:
1. “How to Train Your Dragon,” $43.3 million.
2. “Alice in Wonderland,” $17.3 million.
3. “Hot Tub Time Machine,” $13.7 million.
4. “The Bounty Hunter,” $12.4 million.
5. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” $10 million.
6. “She’s Out of My League,” $3.5 million.
7. “Green Zone,” $3.3 million
8. “Shutter Island,” $3.2 million.
9. “Repo Men,” $3 million.
10. “Our Family Wedding,” $2.2 million.
With the fourth and final season of “Saving Grace” beginning tonight, star Holly Hunter says she has loved her experience on the spiritual/cop drama.
The final, nine-episode season of “Saving Grace” starts at 9 tonight on TNT.
Hunter told The Oklahoman’s TV Editor Penny Soldan that she still adores her often-controversial character, the gutsy, hard-living Detective Grace Hanadarko, an Oklahoma City cop who is visited by a last-chance angel (Leon Rippy) who tries to get her on the path of redemption.
“I’ve loved all the things I’ve gotten to do as Grace that I’ve never gotten to do before,” Hunter told Penny. “Some I don’t want to (reveal) because they’re in the last episodes. But the extremities of her physical life have been fun to play.
“Grace, as a whole, is a character who I adore.”
Counting Season 4’s nine episodes, which wrapped up filming two weeks ago, Hunter has 46 hours of screen time as Grace. She had two hours or less in all her other roles, including her Oscar-winning performance in “The Piano” and her Emmy wins for “Roe vs. Wade” and “The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom.”
For “Saving Grace,” Hunter has earned three Screen Actors Guild nominations, two Emmy nominations, a Gracie Allen Award and a Women in Film Lucy Award.
“I feel that four seasons of ‘Saving Grace’ is a real accomplishment that we are all very proud of,” Hunter told Penny. “And there is one episode right in the middle of the season that is kind of an homage to the entire series that I think fans are going to absolutely love.
“And then we have this finale that lasts perhaps the last four episodes which I think are unexpected and allow us to do interesting things. The ending is exciting for this character.”
In her feature, Penny details some of the storylines for the final season of “Saving Grace” and shares Hunter’s next order of business. To read more, click here.
The final nine episodes of the TNT drama “Saving Grace” begin airing at 9 tonight on the cable channel.
In the series, Oscar winner Holly Hunter (“The Piano”) plays a hard-living Oklahoma City cop regularly visited by an unconventional angel named Earl (Leon Rippy). Earl’s job is to give Hunter’s Detective Grace Hanadarko her last chance at redemption.
Hunter’s performance has earned her two Emmy nominations and three Screen Actors Guild Award nominations.
The show is set but not filmed in Oklahoma City and was created by Oklahoma City-bred writer/producer Nancy Miller.
Miller told The Oklahoman last summer that TNT wanted a new full-season order for the series, but Fox, the show’s studio, declined for budgetary reasons.
“It’s pretty uncommon — it is,” Miller said in an August 2009 phone interview with The Oklahoman’s George Lang. “From a business point of view, Fox feels like it has lost money on the show. The DVDs are not selling, they can’t sell it foreign, and they’ve already lost a lot of money, and they don’t see any of that changing. So to continue would just mean losing more money.”
Despite the negative ink on the show’s balance sheets, Miller said she was surprised by the decision: Generally, if a network requests a full order on a series, the producing studio delivers. But because Fox holds the rights to the series, which debuted in July 2007, there are no options for carrying it to another studio.
In a recent Reuters interview, Hunter talked about what she hopes viewers take away from the often-controversial series.
“I did the series predominantly to ask questions. I really wanted to ask great questions of what it means to be alive. I wanted to explore the confrontations and conflicts that people face in friendships, relationships of love and families and the relationship you have with yourself, and just how difficult that can be. And how hard it is to forgive yourself and how hard it is to forgive others. These are kind of the things I wanted to explore as Grace.”
A catchy quote from a movie, TV show or other source to brighten the beginning of your week.
Pleakley: Oh great! He’s loose!
Jumba: His destructive programming is taking effect. He will be irresistibly drawn to large cities, where he will back up sewers, reverse street signs, and steal everyone’s left shoe.
- Click here to learn the source.