Ewan McGregor is “The Ghost”

I’m always happy to find a new Ewan McGregor project and even happier to spread the word about it.

McGregor’s latest film, “The Ghost Writer,” directed by Roman Polanski, is a tale of politics, intrigue and suspense.

McGregor plays a ghost writer hired to pen the memoirs of former British Prime Minister Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan).  Shortly after the Ghost starts his job, he discovers that his predecessor died in some sort of tragic accident and Lang is accused of committing a war crime.  As Lang is being investigated, reporters flock to his seaside home, harassing Lang, his wife and his personal assistant.  The further he gets into his work, the Ghost discovers more and more things that don’t add up.  He begins to suspect that Lang’s former ghost writer unearthed a connection between Lang and the CIA.  The Ghost begins to question whether the writer’s death truly was an accident, or whether Lang had him killed for discovering his secret.

The film is based on Robert Harris’ novel, “The Ghost,” and co-stars Olivia Williams, Kim Cattrall and Timothy Hutton.

“The Ghost Writer” is set for a limited release on Feb. 19 and will be expanded in March.  For now, check out the trailer here:

Salinger and Caulfield, untouchables

There are many reasons why “The Catcher in the Rye” has never been made into a movie, and it certainly shouldn’t happen against the wishes of recently deceased author J.D. Salinger.

Take a look at this letter written from Salinger to an admirer in 1957.  In the letter, written six years after the book’s release, Salinger explains that no actor is fit to play Holden Caulfield.

In his own words:  “And Holden Caulfield himself, in my undoubtedly super-biased opinion, is essentially unactable.  A sensitive, intelligent, talented young actor in a reversible coat wouldn’t be nearly enough.”

Of course now, a mere two days after Salinger’s death, message boards are filled with suggestions of who should play Holden in a movie adaptation.

The first three suggestions I read?  Justin Timberlake, Zac Efron and Taylor Lautner.  I immediately died a little inside, then became filled with rage.  Sure, JT provides a good laugh on SNL every once in a while, but that’s just the point. If you’ve been a member of a boy band and/or sung about genitalia in a box, you are not suited to play such a role.  And Zac Efron?? I sincerely hope that was not a serious suggestion. Same for the Twilight kid.

I honestly believe that this novel would not translate well to film.  I don’t think anyone would necessarily be able to capture the characters and the storyline the way Salinger did in writing.  Certain things get lost in translation, and I sincerely hope it doesn’t happen in this case.  Some things are better left to the imagination, and I truly believe that “The Catcher in the Rye” is one of them.

What are your thoughts?

Wakey!Wakey! unveils “Twenty Two”

My day just got infinitely better.  Why, you ask?

Wakey!Wakey!, an amazingly talented indie band from Brooklyn, has just released the first track off its second album, “Almost Everything I Wish I’d Said The Last Time I Saw You.”  The LP is to be released on Feb. 2.

According to frontman Mike Grubbs, fans can expect the band’s signature sound, as well as topics that delve a little deeper on songs like “Twenty Two.”

In case you’re in the dark and don’t know who Wakey!Wakey! is, check out Grubbs’ mad piano skills in the following video.  It pretty much speaks for itself.

In addition to “Twenty Two,” the album features 11 more brand spankin’ new songs. Here’s the full track list:

  1. Almost Everything
  2. The Oh Song
  3. Twenty Two
  4. Square Peg Round Hole
  5. Dance So Good
  6. 1876 – The Brooklyn Theatre Fire
  7. Feral Love
  8. Got It Wrong
  9. Light Outside
  10. Car Crash
  11. Take It Like A Man

For now, enjoy “Twenty Two,” and be sure to check back at the end of next week for a review of the entire album!

Wilco and Radiohead Rally for Haiti

Alternative rockers Wilco and Radiohead have both come up with creative ways to help the earthquake victims of Haiti.

The Chicago based members of Wilco are giving away a free album of songs recorded from two previous concerts.  All the band asks for in return is that after downloading, fans donate $15 or more to Doctors Without Borders or Oxfam.

In other news, Thom Yorke and his bandmates performed a benefit concert last night in Los Angeles, where tickets were auctioned off to the highest bidder. According to “Rolling Stone,” Radiohead’s show reportedly raked in $572,754 for Oxfam.  The highest price a fan paid for a single ticket?  $2,000.

Check out a video from Radiohead’s performance at the Henry Fonda Theatre here:

What do you think about celebrity donations to relief efforts?  Should we be supporting the Haitian people any way we can, or should we be attempting to fix problems in our own country first?

“In The Sun”: A She & Him Preview

Attention, She & Him fans!

Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward have released a track off their upcoming sophomore album, “Volume 2” two months early.

One of thirteen songs on the album,  “In The Sun” does not disappoint.  The track provides fans with a taste of what to expect:  the same raw talent the duo displayed on “Volume 1.”

“Volume 2” drops March 23, but for now, check out “In The Sun” here.

Related She & Him news: Coachella Music Festival

Cast your vote and they’ll sing it–I swear

Picture the following scenario:  You’re at a concert, waiting for the band to play your favorite song–and it never happens.  Pretty disappointing, huh?

Maybe more artists should consider what Bon Jovi is doing for their Grammy performance: holding an interactive fan vote where listeners cast their votes for one of six songs, ultimately choosing the winning number the band will perform.

Voting is open to fans here until Sunday, Jan. 24. The following day, the song list will be narrowed down to three and fans may resume voting until the band’s live Grammy performance on Sunday, Jan. 31.

Among the song choices are “Always,” “Bed of Roses,”Have a Nice Day,” “It’s My Life,” “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Wanted Dead or Alive.”

In addition to the band’s Grammy performance, the group is also nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals for “We Weren’t Born to Follow.”

Don’t forget to vote, and tune in to the 52nd Grammy Awards on Jan. 31 at 8 pm on CBS.

Send a $10 Donation via Text

Even if you’re a college student and can’t afford to donate $1 million to Doctors Without Borders like the Jolie-Pitts or Sandra Bullock did, there are still ways to help the earthquake victims of Haiti.

Numerous organizations, such as UNICEF and Grassroots International, are taking donations of any size.

It’s hard to go online and not see an advertisement for one organization or another.  As a matter of fact, I just received a text message on my cell phone asking me to “Text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10 to the American Red Cross Relief efforts in Haiti.”  The American Red Cross is sending money, supplies and staff to Haiti in order to help relief efforts.

Among other celebrity efforts: Wycleaf Jean, who was born in Haiti, has raised $2 million in aid via his foundation, Yele Haiti.  In addition, Jean, along with George Clooney, will host a telethon on Jan. 22 to raise more funds.  Supermodel Gisele Bunchen donated $1.5 to the American Red Cross; Madonna donated $250,000 to Partners In Health.

Take a moment to check out each of the above websites–or you can find a list of all of them here.  If you’re looking to donate online, you can fill out a secure form on UNICEF’s website, where 100 percent of profits will go to helping children in Haiti.

*UPDATE*

If you don’t have any dollars to spare, try signing a petition like this one, which asks that Haitian residents be given grants instead of loans–a way for residents to avoid future debt.

“Whataya Want From Me?” More music videos please…

Ah, what a great way to start the weekend.

“Whataya Want From Me,” Adam Lambert’s latest music video, has just been released.  While it’s a bit of a departure from the first one, “For Your Entertainment,” it definitely won’t leave fans disappointed.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

It seems appropriate that Lambert’s next move would involve a song with lyrics like “It messed me up, need a second to breathe,” shortly after his AMA scandal in November.

The video is a lot more laid back than the first one, but it’s still got his signature flair.

Don’t simply take my word for it though…check out the video for “Whataya Want From Me” above!

“Yeah, it’s plain to see/That baby you’re beautiful/And it’s nothing wrong with you.”

“Almost Alice” track list announced

What do 3OH!3, Wolfmother and Pete Wentz have in common?  Upon its release, all three will be featured on the soundtrack to Tim Burton’s latest feature film, “Alice in Wonderland.”

While the movie will be released on March 5, the movie’s soundtrack, “Almost Alice,” will be released a few days prior on March 2.

The track list was just published online, and in addition to the aforementioned few, the disc also features songs by Owl City, Metro Station and more.

While there aren’t any clips of any of the songs online yet, you can check out the song titles here…

  1. “Alice (Underground)” by Avril Lavigne
  2. “The Poison” by the All American Rejects
  3. “The Technicolor Phase” by Owl City
  4. “Her Name is Alice” by Shinedown
  5. “Painting Flowers” by All Time Low
  6. “Where’s My Angel” by Metro Station
  7. “Strange” by Tokio Hotel and Kerli
  8. “Follow Me Down” by 3OH!3 feat. Neon Hitch
  9. “Very Good Advice” by Robert Smith
  10. “In Transit” by Mark Hoppus and Pete Wentz
  11. “Welcome to Mystery” by the Plain White T’s
  12. “Tea Party” by Kerli
  13. “The Lobster Quadrille” by Franz Ferdinand
  14. “Running Out of Time” by Motion City Soundtrack
  15. “Fell Down a Hole” by Wolfmother
  16. “White Rabbit” by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

The first single off the album will be “Alice (Underground)” by Avril Lavigne.

Thoughts?  What do you think, are you more excited for the movie itself or the soundtrack??

Calling all Gleeks!

Not only has “Glee” been renewed for another season, but FOX is also holding an open casting call for the show’s second season.

The show will be featuring three new characters in the next season, and those between ages 16-26 are able to audition.  There is not much more information available at this point, but eventually those who audition will be asked to post their videos online.

Check out the embedded link above for more information.

Glee returns to FOX on Tuesday, April 3 at 9 pm!