THIS WEEK: Feb 13 – Feb 19, 2011
DEAD ISLAND: If you read my Jan. 24th opinion piece, then you know that I love movie trailers, especially when they’re done well. Of course, trailers aren’t made only for upcoming films, but for video games as well. Mind you, I’m rarely impressed by the promo work for most video games—there’s often strong imagery, but without any real emotional underpinnings. Such is not the case, however, with the trailer for Techland’s forthcoming Dead Island, a game set (you guessed it) on a zombie-infested island. The trailer’s concept is simple, but executed incredibly well—a stunning bit of artistry that is not to be missed (even if you’re not a gamer). Click here to see the trailer, though be warned, it contains graphic violence.
ARCADE FIRE: I’d be lying if I said that I’ve been an Arcade Fire fan from the beginning. In fact, it wasn’t until after their sophomore release, Neon Bible, that I finally gave them a listen. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but smile when the Montreal band snagged the album of the year award during the Grammy Awards this past Sunday. Beating out such high fliers as Eminem and Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire took home the award show’s most coveted award for their third studio effort, The Suburbs. With no disrespect to Justin Bieber or Drake (who both went home empty handed), I’m glad Canada is increasingly getting attention for music acts with real substance. Click here for more.
MARIA ARAGON: Speaking of Justin Bieber, I’m finding myself continually surprised at how much of a role the Internet is playing in the making of young pop starlets. And who’s next in line to take up the pop baton? Sights have been set on ten-year-old Winnipegger Maria Aragon. Apparently, Lady Gaga got wind of a YouTube video of Aragon covering Gaga’s song, “Born This Way.” Shortly thereafter, Gaga tweeted, “Can’t stop crying watching this. This is why I make music. She is the future.” With that endorsement, the number of views for Aragon’s video went from 3,100 to more than two million in less than twenty-four hours. Personally, I’m hoping Aragon doesn’t rush into things—God knows, with Gaga singing her praises, many bigwig producers will be knocking on the ten-year-old’s door, looking to make her the next Bieber.
SPIDER-MAN: TURN OFF THE DARK: I’ll just come out and say it. The idea of a Spiderman musical is a strange one; the idea of a Spiderman musical directed by Julie Taymore is downright dismaying (I find that most of her work commits the most heinous of sins: being weird solely for the sake of being weird). With that said, I have been captivated by the hullabaloo surrounding the musical’s development and production. Not only is Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark the most expensive Broadway production in history, but it has been plagued with constant setbacks, from numerous technical difficulties to cast members suffering injuries during rehearsals and preview performances. Now comes news that playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has been brought in to rewrite the script for the production, which has been pushed back to a March 15 opening night (need I mention that this is the fifth time the opening night has been pushed back). For a sneak peak at Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, click here.
WIN OF THE WEEK: Failing Art Win
I like this because it’s something anyone could do. The end result is stunning.
FAIL OF THE WEEK: Fireworks Fail
I know. I do. Someone could have been hurt. Still—this is pretty awesome, perhaps even epic.
The 168 Turnaround is a week-in-review column, a place for me to reflect on the week’s most interesting pop culture news items. If it mattered to me or I think it might matter to you, then it will be here. If I’ve overlooked an important news item, or if you have a comment or question, please leave a response below. Thank you for reading.