Oklahoma City-based alternative rockers The Flaming Lips unleashed their new studio album, “The Terror,” today.
Along with the digital and CD versions of the album, “The Terror” is available as a special Direct-To-Consumer, Limited-Edition Silver Vinyl double-LP set, housed in a two-pocket gatefold jacket with printed sleeves.
Edmond punk-rock-pop duo Skating Polly – stepsisters Kelli Mayo, 13, and Peyton Bighorse, 17 – recently released their sophomore album “Lost Wonderfuls” on iTunes. The album debuted today CD from the SQE label.
“Lost Wonderfuls” was produced by Exene Cervenka of the seminal Los Angeles punk band X and mixed by Kliph Scurlock, drummer for The Flaming Lips.
And Oklahoma country singer Krystal Keith dropped today her self-titled debut EP, which features her emotional single “Daddy Dance With Me,” which she co-wrote to surprise her famous father, Toby Keith, at her wedding. Her full-length debut album, “Whiskey & Lace,” is expected out in a few months.
Here is a list of new albums, DVD/Blu-rays and books out this week, from Amazon.com and VideoETA.com:
The Flaming Lips, “The Terror.”
Skating Polly, “Lost Wonderfuls.”
Krystal Keith, “Krystal Keith” (EP).
Willie Nelson, “Let’s Face The Music and Dance.”
Fall Out Boy, “Save Rock N Roll.”
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Mosquito.”
Steve Earle, “The Low Highway.”
Sarah Brightman, “Dreamchaser.”
Iron & Wine, “Ghost on Ghost.”
David Bowie, “Aladdin Sane (40th Anniversary Edition).”
Jane Monheit, “The Heart of the Matter.”
Michael Feinstein and Andre Previn, “Change of Heart: The Songs of Andre Previn.”
Skid Row, “United World Rebellion: Chapter One.”
Carla Bruni, “Little French Songs.”
Angels of Sex
Disneynature: Wings of Life
The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia
Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore
A Monster In Paris
Not Suitable for Children
Save the Date
My Foot Is Too Big for the Glass Slipper: A Guide to the Less Than Perfect Life by Gabrielle Reece, Karen Karbo
Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts
The Good Nurse: A True Story of Medicine, Madness, and Murder by Charles Graeber
The Catalyst Leader: 8 Essentials for Becoming a Change Maker by Brad Lomenick
Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker, Tom Lichtenheld
Dreams Come True… All They Need Is You! by Mike Dooley, Virginia Allyn
The Jackie Robinson biopic “42″ took in $27.3 million to claim the weekend box-office championship domestically, according to the Associated Press.
Released by Warner Bros., “42″ easily beat the domestic start of an established franchise in “Scary Movie 5.” The Weinstein Co. sequel opened in second-place with $15.2 million, the smallest debut for the horror-comedy series.
Three of the previous four “Scary Movie” installments had debuts of $40 million or more, according to the AP.
On the other hand, “42″ outdid the usual expectations for baseball movies, which usually do modest business at best. Box-office trackers had expected “42″ to pull in less than $20 million.
The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey, who brought No. 42 onto the team in 1947 as Major Leagues Baseball’s first black player. Choctaw native Ryan Merriman co-stars as Dodgers right fielder Dixie Walker, who opposed Robinson joining the team.
The success of the film was even sweeter since today was Jackie Robinson Day, when all big-leaguers wear No. 42 in his honor to mark his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.
The previous weekend’s top draw, Sony’s horror remake “Evil Dead,” tumbled to No. 5 with $9.5 million, raising its domestic haul to $41.5 million.
In limited release, Bartlesville-bred director Terrence Malick’s drama “To the Wonder” had a modest start, taking in $130,000 in 18 theaters for an average of $7,222 a cinema. That compares to a $9,074 average in 3,003 theaters for “42.”
Filmed in Bartlesville, Pawhuska, Tulsa and France, “To the Wonder” stars Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem in a dreamlike, poetic musing on love.
To read my review of “The the Wonder,” click here.
The film opens April 26 at Tulsa’s Circle Cinema, 10 S Lewis Ave, and May 9 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive.
1. “42,” $27.3 million.
2. “Scary Movie 5,” $15.2 million ($3.5 million international).
3. “The Croods,” $13.2 million ($25.5 million international).
4. “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” $10.8 million ($15.6 million international).
5. “Evil Dead,” $9.5 million ($2.9 million international).
6. “Jurassic Park” in 3-D, $8.8 million ($1.3 million international).
7. “Olympus Has Fallen,” $7.3 million.
8. “Oz the Great and Powerful,” $4.9 million ($5.2 million international).
9. “Tyler Perry’s Temptation,” $4.5 million.
10. “The Place Beyond the Pines,” $4.1 million ($2.2 million international).
What to do in Oklahoma on April 15, 2013: Watch the Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Sacramento Kings
Today’s featured event:
Watch the Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Sacramento Kings at 7 tonight at Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno.
The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Oklahoma.
Tonight’s matchup is the penultimate regular season game for the Thunder. The team will play its final regular season game at home Wednesday night vs. the Milwaukee Bucks.
For more information, go to www.nba.com/thunder.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
A version of this column appears in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. To read my review of “42,” click here.
Ryan Merriman hits a home run with role in ‘42’
The Choctaw native plays Dixie Walker, one of Brooklyn Dodgers players who opposed Jackie Robinson joining the team, in the new film.
For the Choctaw native, the film offered a chance to play a challenging role in a movie that would not just be the biggest of his career to date but also the most important. After all, “42” has been endorsed by none other than Barack and Michelle Obama.
“It really is a great story. You know, Jackie’s story, it needed to be a feature film: what he went through and the things he accomplished. Every ballplayer who played with him, in the end, just through his character on and off the field, they all grew to respect him. And the color barrier was broken,” Merriman said in a phone interview from Los Angeles, where he now lives and works.
Taking its title from Robinson’s number, which has been retired by every Major League Baseball team, “42” chronicles Robinson’s historic 1947 rookie season with the Brooklyn Dodgers, which blazed the trail for other black players.
In the process, though, the ballplayer faced terrible prejudice. from death threats against his family to appalling slurs hurled by spectators, opponents and even from his own teammates. Merriman, who turned 30 on Wednesday, portrays one of Robinson’s primary antagonists on the Dodgers, right fielder Dixie Walker.
“It’s tough to watch, but I also think it’s important to show how hard it was on him, how hard it was for him to play in that era. But to be honest, what Jackie went through and what we show in the movie, it was even worse for him (in reality),” he said. adding the movie had to work within the confines of a PG-13 rating.
“That’s what made him such a great athlete and such a great a man is for him to be surrounded by all that hatred and everyone wanting him to fail and to have all that riding on his shoulders every time he was at the plate and to still come out with class and integrity.”
Although Robinson played himself in 1950’s “The Jackie Robinson Story,” he has been written about far more often than he has been depicted on the big screen. Spike Lee tried to make a biopic back in 1995 with Denzel Washington, according to IMDB, but the project never made it to bat.
Brian Helgeland, whose credits include “A Knight’s Tale,” “Payback” and the Oscar-winning screenplay for “L.A. Confidential,” wrote and directed “42,” with Chadwick Boseman playing Robinson, Nicole Beharie portraying the player’s wife, Rachel, and Harrison Ford in the role of Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey, who deliberately sought out a black player to integrate the sport he loved.
Merriman, who started acting when he was 8 years old, was thrilled to act opposite Ford in one scene, which unfortunately was cut from the final film.
“He was such a nice guy. I think he’s one of those guys that he kind of shows up and does his job. You’ll see when you watch the movie how deep he was into the character,” You know, he became Branch Rickey and I would definitely say he’s going to get some sort of award action off of this,” he said.
“Once he works with you and sees that you’re serious and not some just young punk trying to get famous, he respects you. And he told me, he said, ‘You’re a great young actor.’ And it was just like, ‘Oh my God, thank you, sir. Thank you.’ It’s not every day you get to hear that, so that was quite the amazing thing to hear.”
The Oklahoma native, who turned 30 on Wednesday, also got the opportunity to meet Robinson’s widow on the set.
“I think it added more weight to the situation. I don’t think it was pressure. You know, obviously, we want to make her proud, but I wouldn’t say pressure. But “You definitely wanted to honor her husband’s story when you met her and (learned about) what they went through,” he said.
Merriman had to set aside his own moral code when it came to portraying Walker, who is depicted helping other players circulate a petition vowing not to play with Robinson. The popular player owned a hardware store in Alabama and feared losing business because of his association with Robinson, Merriman said.
“Dixie Walker was in this situation because of how good he was. “He was the team captain, he was ‘The People’s Choice’ before Jackie showed up, so I think that raised a lot of his questions to having Jackie on the team. In the movie, I say ‘I’m a ballplayer, I’m here to play ball,’ and it seems like as soon as Jackie shows up, we’re having to deal with fights during games and we’re having to deal with not getting into hotels. … So I think it was more the change in baseball that Dixie hated. He never really says racial slurs. He was a very educated man and he was an amazing ballplayer. I don’t think his racism came from ignorance; I think it came from being scared of the change,” he said.
“But you can either go with it, or say ‘You know what, this is wrong and I’m gonna change it.’”
While many of their teammates grew to respect and support Robinson during his rookie season, Walker opposed the future legend until much later in life.
“He did change his tune later on and apologized and said, ‘I wish I’d never signed that damn thing. … I wish I’d never been a part of it. Jackie was an amazing baseball player and an amazing man.’ So they all learned their lesson in the end, I guess you could say,” Merriman said.
“It truly is a beautiful story. They really made it fun. There’s a lot of comic relief in it. It’s a nice balance. It’s a great film and it’s an important film for everyone. … It’s a good way to show what people went through, what Jackie went through, what people in that crucible of time went through, and where we are now.”
A version of this review appears in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. 3 of 4 stars. To read my interview with “42″ actor Ryan Merriman, click here.
Movie review: “42”
It may not rewrite the rulebook, but the earnest biopic does right by groundbreaking baseball player Jackie Robinson, which makes it a solid win.
Taking its name from Robinson’s number, which has been retired by every Major League Baseball team, the inspirational sports drama carefully and colorfully documents Robinson’s historic breaking of the sport’s color line when he made his Dodgers debut on April 15, 1947, blazing a trail for other black players.
Writer-director Brian Helgeland, whose credits include “A Knight’s Tale,” “Payback” and the Oscar-winning screenplay for “L.A. Confidential,” follows the conventions of one of my favorite cinematic subgenres straight down the line, but the fact-based story is so uplifting and cheer-worthy, it works even if it doesn’t break any new ground in the storytelling arena.
Helgeland and his lead actor, Chadwick Boseman , who had a supporting role in 2008’s fact-based Civil Rights Era football drama “The Express,” rightly portray Robinson as a talented, likeable young man rather than lionizing him as a icon.
The filmmaker chronicles Robinson’s historic rookie season through the eyes of his chronicler, now-legendary black sports journalist Wendell Smith (Andre Holland), who sets the segregated post-World War II scene. as young men like Robinson return home from fighting for freedom to the harsh reality that Jim Crow still has their own liberty in a firm stranglehold.
To the shock of his staff, canny Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford, who takes a go-for-broke attitude, with his portrayal, adopting a whole new look, voice and bearing) decides that the time is right for racial integration in baseball and begins the hunt for a black player to break the color line. He is looking for a youngster with a bright future, loads of talent, an affable but not-too-nice demeanor and, most importantly, the toughness to take the coming abuse without wilting or striking back.
And he finds all that, although with a bit of a hotheaded attitude, in Robinson, who also has a faithful young wife, Rachel (Nicole Beharie), willing to back his play.
The film tracks Robinson’s progress from the Dodgers’ minor league Montreal affiliate to his call up to the bigs, where a group of his teammates, led by hard-case right-fielder Dixie Walker (Choctaw native Ryan Merriman), sign a petition vowing they won’t play with him.
To Helgeland’s credit, “42” doesn’t shy away from depicting the era’s rampant racism to the extent the PG-13 rating allows. Robinson and Smith have to flee towns in the middle of the night because of lynch mob rumors, a small-town sheriff threatens to arrest the player if he doesn’t leave the field, and in a particularly stomach-churning sequence, Phillies manager Ben Chapman (Alan Tudyk) hurls vile insults like fastballs every time Robinson is at bat.
Still, Robinson endures, his wife and Rickey sustain him, and with the exception of Dixie and a few other holdouts, his teammates grow to respect and support him.
With the exception of Ford, Helgeland depends not on stars but on stalwart utility players like Christopher Meloni, T.R. Knight and Lucas Black to tell Robinson’s story. For the most part, they deliver the goods, with John C. McGinley darn near stealing the show with his turn as dry-witted sportscaster Red Barber.
It may not be a cinematic grand slam, but “42” does a fine job sharing and celebrating Robinson’s legacy, which makes it a solid win.
Happy birthday to Choctaw-born and bred actor Ryan Merriman, who is celebrating his 30th birthday today!
Merriman, who has been acting since he was 8 years old, also is marking the opening of what he told me last week is the biggest and most important film of his career. He portrays 1940s Brooklyn Dodgers right fielder Dixie Walker in “42,” the Jackie Robinson biopic opening Friday. The inspirational sports drama has been endorsed by none other than first lady Michelle Obama.
While his family is in Los Angeles for the “42″ premiere – to which Merriman planned to wear Dolce & Gabbana – they are celebrating another big milestone: his engagement to his girlfriend, Kristen. Merriman (TV’s “Pretty Little Liars,” “Final Destination 3″) told me in our phone interview that he popped the question on New Year’s Eve in New Zealand while fireworks light up the sky over Auckland Harbour.
“As soon as I put the ring on and kissed her, the fireworks started going off on the tower behind us. It was perfect,” said Merriman, who didn’t share any other details of the nuptials.
Look for more of my interview with Ryan on Friday!
Oklahoma City rockers Hinder played the halftime show during the Oklahoma City Thunder’s game Thursday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
But the best musical moment of the game came when Hinder guitarist Mark King delivered an excellent rendition of our national anthem on acoustic guitar.
As far as basketball goes, there were many memorable moments as the Thunder defeated the San Antonio Spurs 100-88. Then, our boys in blue quickly departed for Indiana, where they will be taking on the Pacers at 7 tonight. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Oklahoma.
The Thunder will be back at The ‘Peake for a noon tip-off Sunday vs. the New York Knicks. That game will be shown on ABC.
And you thought your weekend was busy!
To get you in the mood for this weekend’s Thunder games, check out the video of Kevin Durant’s emphatic dunk during Thursday night’s win!
Video: Thompson Square goes undercover for charity in Tip Cup clip, plays Oklahoma City tonight at RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo
Reigning Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Vocal Duo of the Year Thompson Square, which consists of Miami, OK, native Keifer Thompson and his wife Shawna, recently performed in disguise at the Chelsea Market in New York to raise money for a good cause.
The performance was part of CBS.com’s Tip Cup, a surprise music performance series capturing famous artists playing undercover in unexpected locations on a mission for good to support MusiCares. Artists in disguise play for tips, which Motorola multiplies to $10,000 for helping MusiCares provide a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need. Each episode showcases a different musician revealing their true identity at the end of the performance to the shock and delight of passersby. Tip Cup removes the barrier between artist and audience to show how music makes positive change.
Thompson Square last week released their highly-anticipated sophomore album, “Just Feels Good,” featuring the couple’s latest romantic smash “If I Didn’t Have You.”
On Sunday, Thompson Square will defend their ACM vocal duo of the year title as the 48th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas from 7 to 10 p.m. Sunday on CBS. To read my ACM Awards preview, click here, and look for my live blog of the show Sunday here at BAM’s Blog.
In addition, Thompson Square will perform tonight after the rodeo action at the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo at State Fair Park. The rodeo begins at 7:30 p.m., with the concert after.
Fellow country artist Chris Cagle, who lives in Marietta, will perform after the 7:30 p.m. rodeo action Saturday night. For more information on the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo, go to www.rncfr.com.
Video: Russell Westbrook hosts Third Annual Celebrity Bowl benefiting his Why Not? Foundation and Boys & Girls Club of Oklahoma County
Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Russell Westbrook on Monday night hosted his Third Annual Celebrity Bowl benefiting the Russell Westbrook Why Not? Foundation striving to inspire the lives of at-risk youth. Featuring open bowling, contests, and a silent auction, the event took place at AMF Boulevard Lanes in Edmond, with proceeds going to the Russell Westbrook Scholarship Fund at the Boys & Girls Club of Oklahoma County, according to a news release.
In this NewsOK video, Westbrook talks about the charity event, OKC fan support and his bowling skills.
The Oklahoma City Thunder take on the San Antonio Spurs at 8:30 tonight at Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno.
The game will air nationally on TNT.
For more information, go to www.nba.com/thunder.
Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant co-stars in a couple of fun commercials released in the past week or so.
In his new Degree ad, “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” sidekick Guillermo challenges KD to find out whether Degree is better than a homemade deodorant.
In their new Gatorade “Win From Within” commercial, Durant and Miami superstar Dwyane Wade swap nightmares about beating each other one-on-one.
The Thunder take on the San Antonio Spurs at 8:30 tonight at Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno.
The game will air nationally on TNT.
For more information, go to www.nba.com/thunder.