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Ralph Macchio: Guitar Hero or Karate Kid?

I was looking at our 25 Movie Endings We Love gallery and was especially taken with the finale to Karate Kid, which ends with — SPOILER ALERT! — Ralph Macchio’s Danny Larusso crane-kicking that blond putz into oblivion. In case you forgot, here it is:

Of course, I completely don’t buy Ralph Macchio as a karate savant. He’s just too…pear-shaped for that. (Not to beat up on the Macch; he was great on that episode of Entourage where he and Drama battle to get into the Playboy Mansion.) Then I got to thinking: "Is the Macch more unbelievable in Karate Kid or Crossroads?" You remember that one, right? He plays Eugene Martone, classical guitar prodigy who loves the blues, falls in with Joe Seneca’s sage mentor, and faces off against Steve Vai in a guitar showdown for his immortal soul. Here’s the end of that one:

Come to think of it, aren’t they, essentially, the same movie? Dumpywhite kid finds confidence and the love of a good woman through themastery of an ethnic art form, aided in his quest by a small person ofcolor, culminating in a face-off with the very embodiment of theperversion of that art form. Which do you think is harder to swallow, Karate Kid or Crossroads?

Did Coldplay rip off Joe Satriani?

Coldplay have been called many things, but Joe Satriani wannabes? That’s a new one, and it’s apparently what the chrome-domed axe man himself is claiming in a new lawsuit. Satriani accuses Coldplay of ganking the riff from his 2004 instrumental "If I Could Fly" for their hit single "Viva La Vida." (A representative for the band hasn’t replied to our request for a comment.) Anyway, let’s go to the tapes….

I’m no intellectual property lawyer, and I don’t really believe in suing people over melodic similarities, but I’ll be damned if Satriani’s screamin’ riff starting around 00:50 in the first clip doesn’t sound extremely familiar. That said, this is a pretty elementary combination of notes. If anything, I think Coldplay’s members are most likely guilty of writing a boring major-chord tune in an attempt to make a hit. But you tell me — do you think Satriani has a point?

(Meanwhile, if this whole thing feels like déjà vu, you’re not crazy. As Wook recalled yesterday, Coldplay were previously accused of stealing the "Viva La Vida" tune from a random indie act called Creaky Boards back in June; Coldplay vehemently denied that charge at the time.)

More on Coldplay and suspiciously similar music:
Coldplay is one of EW’s 2008 Entertainers of the Year
They gave EW a sneak preview of Viva La Vida back in May
EW.com got an exclusive glimpse of one of bassist Guy Berryman’s sketches
2002’s A Rush of Blood to the Head is one of EW’s New Music Classics
EW took a look at a few other soundalike songs in 2006

Is Steve Carell's beaver named Mr. Hat?

Mrhat_lAccording to The Hollywood Reporter, The Office‘s Steve Carell is attached to The Beaver, "a script fromfirst-time writer Kyle Killen about a man who walks around with abeaver puppet on his hand, treating it as something close to ahuman creature with human feelings." The film is currently shopping for a director, and we’d like to suggest South Park‘s Trey Parker for three reasons: (1) Reading the movie’s synopsis made us think of Mr. Hat, Mr. Garrison’s hand puppet (pictured). (2) After Team America: World Police, we’re confident Parker could make us feel for felt. (3) We think he would enjoy having "The Beaver" on his résumé.

Is Parker your pick?

addCredit(“Carrell: Nancy Ostertag/Getty Images; Garrison: Co”)

'Stylista' premiere: 'I take my lattes iced.'

Stylista_lOh, do you, Elle editor-in-chief Anne Slowey? Should they be chillier than your heart but not as frosted as your hair? Excellent. Last night’s series premiere of The CW’s Stylista introduced us to an already-trying-too-hard-just-by-showing-up crew of young wannabe journalists whose "lifelong dream" is to become a Junior Editor. Um, some free advice: THAT IS THE WORST LIFELONG DREAM I’VE EVER HEARD. The underlings spent most of the hour fetching breakfast for Slowey (pictured), shopping at H&M so that she wouldn’t find them as heinous as she did when they wore their own, non-TV-sponsored clothes, and lolling around the fake Elle office/blatant TV set mocking each other’s appearances moments after barely being introduced. We’ve got some real winners here, like Megan, who was "given a chunk of money" to open her own boutique at 22, and Kate, who spent most of the episode in tears because no one wanted to look at her giant boobs. No, literally that’s all that happened until Sideshow Bob got eliminated for wearing a big-ass scarf but otherwise looking "boring."

Perhaps Stylista should be called High School Yearbook instead — did anyone else start gagging at Group 2’s puke-yellow mockup of a "contributors page defining your personal style"? My colleague, Tanner Stransky, and I were so inspired by its heinoustry, we created our own page that’s even more lame and immature. Tell us which magazine you’d rather read, after the jump. WARNING: There will be jazz hands…


Henson's 'Happytime' reminds us of Angel's 'Smile Time'

Anyone else get a flashback to the season 5 Angel episode "Smile Time" (clip below) when you read about Happytime Murders, "the film noir puppet comedy aimed at adults" that the Jim Henson Co. is developing?

According to Variety, "The pic will be populated by a mix of human characters and puppets in the Henson style of irreverence and parody. Story centers on a puppet detective forced to solve a string of murders around the Happytime Gang, the cast of a popular children’s show."

I miss Puppet Angel. Luckily, "Smile Time" repeats on TNT Oct. 24, at 7 a.m. ET. (You’re welcome.)

Send us your pop culture Halloween costumes!

Halloweencostumelisabritney_l For the average Halloween lover, October 31 is the perfect opportunity to channel an inner witch, vampire, or lingerie-wearing animal. But for me, Halloween is all about getting in touch with my inner Britney Spears. Yep, I’ve gone as the many stages of the troubled-yet-fascinating pop tart over the years, but my 2007 costume (pictured) was by far my crowning achievement. I knew people would go as bald, umbrella-wielding Brit or lethargic VMAs Brit, so I went a different direction, funneling all of 2007’s tabloid fodder into my best costume ever: Britney as Perez Hilton post! How will I beat it this year? Especially with Spears’ quiet recent history? Only my local art-supply shop knows for sure.

Now, it’s your turn to wow us with your pop-culture-inspired Halloween costumes. Send us photos of what you’re planning to wear for Halloween 2008, and you might be featured on the Feedback page of the Entertainment Weekly issue that hits newsstands October 31, or a related photo gallery on EW.com. And if you have photos of a fabulous "vintage" costume from years past, you can send those, too. E-mail your picture(s) (a jpeg, with a minimum of 600 pixels at the longest edge and a maximum file size of 1 Mb) to popwatch@ew.com. In your e-mail, please include your name and a short description of your costume. Submit your costume photos from 12:01 p.m. on October 15, 2008 to 11:59 p.m. on October 22, 2008. U.S. entries only.  All photo entries will be judged by EW editors equally on creativity and quality. By sending your picture, you are representing and warranting that you took this photograph and giving us permission to print it in the magazine or post it on our web site(s) without compensation. 

Whew! And now that we’ve got those rules out of the way, get your photos scanned or downloaded and start sending! Looking forward to seeing what you guys cook up.

'My Own Worst Enemy' premiere: Shockingly, we prefer the Christian Slater that's good in bed

Myownworstenemy_lWatching the premiere of My Own Worst Enemy — NBC’s Christian-Slater-has-a-split-personality drama — I finally understood how audience testing could screw a pilot: If I were holding a dial that measured how much I liked each moment of the hour, the results would look hillier than San Francisco. (Read EW TV critic Ken Tucker’s official C+ review of the show here.) First episodes are always tricky because large amounts of exposition can be tiresome. Make it a high-concept show that can’t actually tell you anything (at least not until the final minutes), and it can be even more frustrating because you’re constantly wondering if the payoff will be worth the wait… Without someone like Slater in the lead(s), I wouldn’t have had the patience. But I’m glad he got me to stick around. And he’ll keep me coming back.

The first moment that got me to sit up in my seat, and do one of those surprised-me! coughs you always see in movies, was, of course, when Edward, Slater’s secret agent personality, shot (in the head) the woman he’d just bedded after she tried to kill the pillows him. I wrote "KINDA AWESOME" in my notes, but I think that’s just because I’m sick of seeing women in their bras and/or panties in pilots this fall (Fringe, Eleventh Hour), and because after Edward uttered a line like, "Don’t let an act of deception turn into an act of self-deception," I was craving violence. The moment I decided to give this series a serious chance, however, was when Mavis (Alfre Woodard), the boss of Edward’s LA-based super-secret agency, told his alter-ego Henry, the suburban dad, that Henry was the personality that had been manufactured. Now the mystery is (A) Why would Edward sign up for this "program" (and don’t feed me that bullcrap about doing it because you don’t want to, to prove free will), (B) why does this program even exist (I’m guessing it’s not because big bads, like this episode’s Uzi, are all so willing to accept that the man who’s been hunting them for 10 years is actually two people), and (C) why can’t Henry be erased from Edward’s mind (does Edward not want to let him go)?

addCredit(“Adam Taylor/NBC”)


Kim Kardashian begins gradual transformation into P. Diddy

Kimkardashian_lFinally, a political campaign that really speaks to me! NOT. The new Dancing With the Stars recruit’s inability to muster up excitement even within her lowly shopping entourage suggests that Kim Kardashian should have considered adding the ultimatum "OR DIE" to her latest line of tees. Just sayin’. And no, I won’t be voting. I’m a journalist! I must remain objective. That’s why I decided to begin my ongoing MISTY & MAKS 4-EVAH AND EVAH, AMEN collage behind my desk. Duh.

Anyway, that sad photo provides a great excuse for us to embed South Park‘s classic Vote or Die spoof! Its rampant swear words have been deleted for your office-bound pleasure. This is Must Watch Internet. Enjoy.

addCredit(“Kardashian: Chris Wolf/FilmMagic”)

Déjà vu: Last night's 'Gossip Girl' and 'The O.C.'

The_oc_gossip_girlLast night’s season premiere of Gossip Girl (read Tim Stack’s recap here) scored its best-ever total viewers (3.4 million, per the CW) since the 2007 series premiere. But here’s what’s really important: If you’re not tuning in but you ever enjoyed The O.C., just start watching Gossip Girl already because it’s turning into the same show. Not that I’m complaining! I loved how Blair and Serena’s bitchy summer’s-end chit chat (pictured, bottom) was so blatantly a carbon copy of The O.C.‘s season 2 and season 3 (pictured, top) openers. Plus, that deceptively "boring," "Lord" guy Blair’s dragging around the Hamptons is totally Summer’s post-summer fling Zach from The O.C.’s season 2. They’re just using them to make Chuck/Seth jealous!

WHATEVER. I wish Julie Cooper would come back already. Then this show would really rule.

'Rock Me Sexy Jesus': Too much like 'Little Shop of Horrors'?

After seeing the new comedy Hamlet 2, something was bugging me. The film, which depicts a high-school drama teacher’s attempt to stage a controversial sequel to Shakespeare’s tragedy, culminates with an energetic number called "Rock Me Sexy Jesus."

The song, which Focus Features is already hyping for Oscar consideration, is amusing in its politically incorrect telling of a time-traveling Jesus Christ. It features lyrics such as "He’s the son of God and I think that’s cool. But he’s got a swimmer’s bod like nobody do." All good and fun, except to my ears, the song’s chorus sounds disturbingly similar to the chorus for "Little Shop of Horrors," the title song from the 1982 off-Broadway musical and subsequent 1986 movie.

A rep for Focus Features says "Sexy Jesus" is an original song, and we’re in no position to question that. But what do you think, PopWatchers? Do the songs’ choruses sound different enough from each other? Or are they too close for comfort? Listen to these embedded clips of both songs — fast-forward to the 52-second mark of "Sexy Jesus" and the 35-second mark for "Little Shop" — then weigh in on our message board below.

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