August 24th, 2009
06:33 PM ET

Nine Inch Nails surprise audience

Nine Inch Nails kicked off the second show of their farewell tour Sunday night with a milestone in the band’s 20-year history: a live performance of their 1994 album “The Downward Spiral” in its entirety and sequence which stunned the audience of 1,400 at Webster Hall.   This is the first – and could possibly be the only – time they have done this.

The rest of the set featured selections from throughout the band’s career including “Head Like a Hole,” “The Hand That Feeds,” and a cover of new wave singer Gary Numan’s “Metal.”

The band is on its “Wave Goodbye” tour, which continues with shows in New York, Chicago, and Toronto before concluding in Los Angeles next month.

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Filed under: Music
August 24th, 2009
11:06 AM ET

'Entourage': Bob Saget remixed

As evidenced by last week's blog comments, many of you are growing restless with "Entourage." I am no exception. The many comments ran the gamut, from "the show is just alright", to "lose Ashley/she's terrible", to "I need more Ari" and finally, a personal favorite, "It's the only reason I have HBO". I agree with all of the above, and alas, the pressure for the show is on.

entourage

In this week's episode, Vince is awakened to the panic of some "thing" that went bump in the night, while Arnold, the boys' "guard dog" is un-phased by the disturbance. I'm unphased too, for now...

Elsewhere, Eric's first day at Murray Berenson is packed with stimulating dialogue, and I'm officially a fan of George Segal. He runs the place with a brash brand of unforgiving honesty and cynicism, yet he still seems to show genuine care for the business and for the people who make it successful.

Then, the show suddenly takes an interesting turn. Wait, is that Bob Saget?

Now, I don't know about you, but I was taken aback by THIS Bob Saget's personal mojometer. It was pretty much the size of a Cadillac Escalade and I like it! (cue my "Yeah Bob!" shout to the TV).

Saget is the man, and this is NOT "Full House" version either. This alter-ego is like Bob Saget "remixed". Let's call this guy "Bobby Saget". He's slick and a likable tad bit full of himself, laying down the law for exactly what HE sees as the benefit of having HIM for a client.

Meanwhile, another show newcomer, cocky agent/insecure hotshot Scotty Lavin (aka Scott Caan of the "Ocean's Eleven" franchise) tries to woo him and Bobby's not feeling him in the least.

Simply put: Wow. These two Entourage rookies actually bring new flavor to the episode. When you throw in a third new player with a solid contribution from studio exec Dan Coakley (Matt Letscher), his masterfully executed torture of Johnny Drama has me on-board with this new trifecta.

These three fresh faces look promising and I think the show got it right with these guys. I'm not certain exactly how much Bobby Saget we'll get, but Scotty Lavin's newly-minted rivalry with E should be entertaining. Drama's "fury-turned-groveling" unto Dan Coakley was a somewhat entertaining train wreck that shouldn't have cost me any Drama "respect" points, but it did and I'm not sure what side-effects I'll experience as I see Drama in future episodes.

Rounding the show out, Vince's need for security at the hands of a possible stalker made for a compelling lead-in to next week. As for me, I was happy with the show this week. I'm excited to see how things move from here, but wait a second...Where's all my underwear?

Loved, hated, or kinda liked the show? Let us know.

August 24th, 2009
10:05 AM ET

'True Blood': The god who comes to Bon Temps

Editor’s Note: This post contains spoilers for the Sunday, August 23 episode of HBO’s “True Blood.”

Religions based on the worship of space aliens, The Dude from “The Big Lebowski” and spaghetti monsters? Seen ‘em all - old news.

tb.samandandy.courtesy

But Jason Stackhouse in a gas mask with antlers made out of a tree branch? I think that’s a spiritual leader we can all believe in.

The segment with Jason, Sam Merlotte and Andy Bellefleur fighting their way through Sam’s bar in Sunday’s “True Blood” episode, “New World in My View,” was a highlight.

Basically, we were served up a short zombie movie in the middle of a vampire show. Sure, there was no gore-splattered hacking and slashing, but all the key elements were there.

Chainsaw? Check. Mindless horde of your former friends banging on the door? Check. Hapless buddies working their way through the mob in increasingly creative ways? Check.

And Jason’s shirtless appearance to fool the black-eyed horde was classic. Who didn’t laugh at a “god” who doesn’t know what the word “smite” means and serves up such eloquent pronouncements as, “I am the god who comes! I have come … and now I am here!” (We’ll step slowly away from the possible double entendre’ there as it applies to Jason, OK?)

Maryann haters, and indeed there are many, can take heart in the fact that Sam’s escape, combined with Sookie’s newfound face-zapping ability, suggest there are some chinks in the armor of Dionysus’s No. 1 gal – even if her decidedly non-tasty blood means Bill might not be much help.

Only two episodes left this season, which means there’s not much time left for Maryann to become this season's Rene Lenier (hopefully).

Who knows? If they’re lucky, they may make it out of this mess before Maryann’s meat tree goes bad.

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Filed under: Uncategorized
August 24th, 2009
09:13 AM ET

Brad Pitt's rise to fame

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are undeniably the golden couple of Hollywood. Pitt's drool-inducing good looks and charm have put him in the fantasy lives of thousands of women worldwide. But although it's hard to imagine, the A-lister wasn't always a movie star. Find out how Pitt made it big on the big screen in today's Movie Pass.


Filed under: Angelina Jolie • Brad Pitt • Celebrities
August 24th, 2009
08:49 AM ET

Your pop culture cheat sheet

Here's what's happening in the world of entertainment this morning:

  • The Hollywood Reporter is calling "Inglorious Basterds" the "first true success story" for Twitter at the box office: "After lukewarm tweets from Friday screenings caused weekend drops for pics like 'Bruno' and 'Funny People' earlier this summer, 'Inglourious Basterds' came along this weekend and rode a crest of tweeting goodwill." Positive reviews on Twitter may have played a role in the film's $37.6 million weekend take.
  • Lindsay Lohan is "okay, but upset," according to People, after an apparent burglary at her home. Lohan's representative said, "Lindsay and her sister Ali Lohan were fortunate [in] that they weren't in the home when this incident happened."
  • Variety says that Friday's sold-out 16-minute preview of James Cameron's 3-D "Avatar" was seen as important to the film's success when it is released on December 28: "Filmmakers are generally leery about showing clips so early in the game, but in this case, Cameron and (20th Century) Fox have decided it is more important to get the word out." Fox also wants to encourage more theater owners to install more 3-D screens.
  • Actress Milla Jovovich married "Resident Evil" director Paul W.S. Anderson on Saturday, according to People. The couple exchanged vows at an outdoor ceremony at their Beverly Hills home.
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