Song of the Day: “Give Me Strength”

Track: “Give Me Strength”

Artist: Snow Patrol

Disclaimer: I love, and will always love, Snow Patrol.

This song is off of their most recent album, “Up to Now,” released last November.  It’s supposed to be a “Greatest Hits” disc, but falls under the category of “Their Most Well Known Songs” rather than their best.

However, “Give Me Strength” is one of three new songs, and it’s been stuck in my head.

So give it a listen:

“You dragged me up and out/out of the darkest place/there’s not a single doubt/when I can see your faces”


MSU’s Wharton Center Announces 2010-2011 Lineup

On March 27th, the Wharton Center at Michigan State University unveiled its Broadway show lineup for the 2010-2011 season.

The series includes “Mary Poppins,” “9 to 5,” “Shrek,” “Jersey Boys,” “Stomp” and “Chicago.”

If you’re a geek like myself, you probably don’t need me to give you a synopsis of each of the shows, so I’ll refrain.

However, I will take the time to personally recommend “Mary Poppins.”  I saw the Broadway show in Chicago last year and it was phenomenal.  Tickets start at $22, so you can’t go wrong!

If you are looking for a synopsis of any of the shows, or information on dates and ticket prices, click here for the Wharton Center’s brochure.

Song of the day: “Chasing Pirates”

Alright, so this track was released last October, but I just recently acquired it and wanted to share.

“Chasing Pirates” was the first single off Norah Jones’ fourth studio album, “The Fall.”  While some critics have called it “overproduced” and accused Jones of changing her style, in my eyes, it just shows her growth as an artist.

What hasn’t changed is the quality and purity of Jones’ voice.  If you’re looking for a musician who actually has talent, give this a listen.

Wright here, right now: “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”

“Have you ever met someone you love so much it hurts?”

This is the question Scott Pilgrim faces after meeting Ramona Flowers, the girl of his dreams.

In the highly anticipated film, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” Scott must defeat Ramona’s seven evil exes in order for them to be together.

The movie is based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s comic book series and stars Michael Cera (“Arrested Development,” “Juno”) as the title character.

I can honestly say I would have no interest in this movie whatsoever if Edgar Wright (“Hot Fuzz,” “Shawn of the Dead”) had not directed it.  However, he did, and come August 13, my butt will be in the theatre watching it.

“Cemetery Junction” Trailer

The trailer for Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s latest film, “Cemetery Junction,” has finally been released.

Gervais (left) and Merchant (right) with the cast

The duo (of “Extras” and “The Office” fame) co-wrote and co-directed the film, which is set in London during the 1970s.  Freddie (Christian Cooke) is looking to get out of his tiny town, while his friends Bruce (Tom Hughes) and Snork (Jack Doolan) are perfectly content with what they’ve got.  While he dreams of escaping, Freddie finds a new job as a door-to-door salesman and reunites with a girl from his past.

The film doesn’t have a U.S. release date yet, but it will be in theaters in the U.K. on April 14.

Check out the trailer here:

Neon Trees is quickly becoming one of my favorite “Habits”

Get ready to add a new album to your iPod, folks.

Neon Trees released their debut album, “Habits,” on March 16, and I haven’t been able to stop listening to it since.

The group hails from Utah and is made up of Tyler Glenn (lead vocals), Chris Allen (guitars), Branden Campbell (bass) and Elaine Bradley (drums/vocals). Although they aren’t very well known (yet!), Neon Trees opened for several shows The Killers played back in 2008.

If I had to categorize them, I guess I would say that their sound is somewhat alternative, but it definitely makes you want to get up and dance.

If you’ve heard any of their songs, chances are it was “Animal,” the band’s debut single.  It is also currently free on iTunes, so hurry and get it before it’s gone!

Give it a listen here…

… or watch the following video.  I’ve seen at least three different music videos for “Animal,” but the following is my favorite.  This version is a little slower than the one on the album, but check it out for yourself:

“Habits” is currently available on iTunes for the low price of $6.99.  Trust me when I say that this is some serious ear-candy… I promise it will be the best way you’ve spent $6.99 in a long time.

“One for the Money,” two for the NO!

You know how 99 times out of 100, the book is always better than the movie?

And you know how every time you face disappointment when you have high hopes for the film adaptation and it sucks?

This time, the movie hasn’t even begun FILMING yet, and I am already incredibly let down.

Firstly, I’m disappointed because I had planned on writing the screenplay and my friend Emily (shout-out!) was going to direct it.  Now, we’re forced to re-plan our lives because someone beat us to the punchline??

If you’re reading this and you’ve never read (or heard of) the Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich, I suggest you peel your eyes away from your screen and dart to the nearest Borders.  I read the entire series (“One for the Money” through “Finger Lickin’ Fifteen”) this past summer.  Within a span of, like, three weeks.

Once you start the first one, there’s no way you can put it down.  The series follows Stephanie Plum, a spunky woman from New Jersey who gets laid off from her job as a lingerie buyer.  After selling most of her possessions to help pay her rent, Stephanie turns to her cousin Vinnie, owner of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds, for a job as a bounty hunter.  There are some saucy love triangles, a crazy grandmother and a plus-sized hooker named Lula.  Interesting much?

Anyways, my friend and I had made it our life goal to bring this book series to the big screen in order to avoid the crippling disappointment when someone else did so and screwed it up.

Unfortunately, someone decided to do just that by casting Katherine Heigl as Stephanie Plum.  Anyone who has read the series can tell you that Heigl is not AT ALL right for this role.  Her past film credits include “Knocked Up” and “The Ugly Truth,” both of which, well, sucked.  In my (biased) opinion, Sandra Bullock would have been perfect for the role.  In fact, I just Googled “Stephanie Plum,” and Sandy’s smiling face popped right up.  Give the people what they want!

While the film doesn’t have a director yet, it’s screenwriters are Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith. Both women co-wrote “Legally Blonde,” “10 Things I Hate About You” and “The Ugly Truth.”  The fact that I am being beaten by these, clearly, Oscar worthy screenplays is killing me inside.

As if it’s not bad enough that TriStar claimed rights to the film when I was a mere four years old, now that they’re FINALLY getting around to making it, it’s being miscast.

All I can say at this point is Betty White better play Grandma Mazur or else…

Tim Burton brings “The Addams Family” to 3-D

Tim Burton is following up his recently released “Alice in Wonderland” with another 3-D film.  This time, he will direct a stop-motion animation adaptation of “The Addams Family” based on Charles Addams’ original drawings.

I think Burton is the perfect person to bring these characters to life.  Who would be able to take a sketch like this and translate it to film better than the man who brought us “Edward Scissorhands” and “Ed Wood”?  Not the people who made that ’90s adaptation starring Christina Ricci, that’s for sure.

Burton fans will recognize this animation style in some of his previous films including “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (which he produced) and “Corpse Bride” (which he directed and produced).

Stop-motion animation is a technique used to make an object appear as if it is moving on its own.  The object is moved in small increments between individually photographed frames and then put together. By combining these frames, the illusion of movement is created when they are played as a continuous sequence.

Check out an example here:

What do YOU think?  Is Burton the right man for the job?

Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman swap lives

Get ready for another comedy from the writers of “The Hangover,” Jon Lucas and Scott Moore.

In “The Change Up,” set to begin filming this September, Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman play best friends who (somehow) switch bodies.  Bateman’s role is that of a responsible parent, while his buddy, played by Reynolds, is somewhat of a slacker.

There’s not much information about the movie yet, but if it’s coming from the team that made the magic that is “The Hangover,” I’m sure it’ll provide a laugh or two.

The project will be directed by David Dobkin of “Wedding Crashers” fame.

It kind of sounds like a grown-up version of “Freaky Friday” to me.  What do you think?