THIS WEEK: Apr 10 – Apr 16, 2011
AMERICAN IDIOT: I’ve been a fan of Green Day since their 1994 album, Dookie. Though many of their older fans make a point of dismissing the pop punk band’s last two studio efforts, American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown, I can honestly say that I enjoy both and listen to both with some regularity. But I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t raise an eyebrow upon hearing that American Idiot was being turned into a stage musical. And now, because of the success of the musical’s Broadway run, Universal Studios is in talks to bring the production to the silver screen. That’s right: American Idiot, the movie. To be honest, I’m not sure if I’d watch it. But maybe that’s just the old (pop) punk snob coming out in me: I’ll like something only so long as it doesn’t become too popular. For more info, head over to Deadline.
TIME TRAVEL BAN: China’s been known to ban one thing or another at the drop of a hat. No surprise, then, at the news that the Chinese government’s State Administration of Radio Film and Television has issued new, stricter guidelines for its television writers, producers, and directors. As of March 31, 2011, TV creators are strongly discouraged from creating plot lines that contain elements of “fantasy, time-travel, random compilations of mythical stories, bizarre plots, absurd techniques, even propagating feudal superstitions, fatalism and reincarnation, ambiguous moral lessons, and a lack of positive thinking.” If you ask me, the Chinese government has officially flipped its lid. How any of these plot lines could challenge Chinese heritage, as they claim, is downright confounding. For more info, click here.
YOUTUBE APOLOGY: Lessons are learned best when they’re learned the hard way. So here’s hoping former Florida Governor Charlie Crist has learned his. In 2010, while campaigning for a seat in the U.S. Senate, Crist ran an attack ad against his opponent, Marco Rubio. Problem was, the ad used the Talking Head’s song “Road to Nowhere” without the band’s prior authorization. Never one to take things lying down, Talking Head frontman David Byrne took Crist to court, asking for a million dollars in damages. While the exact details of the settlement were not made public, part of the terms included Crist making a public apology…on YouTube. Bad news for Crist, I guess, since this guarantees that more people than would be usually possible will see his apology. And so, to David Byrne I say, “Well played, my friend. Well played.” Below is the apology.
THE CROW: Every once in a while, an old movie will be successfully remade for a new generation. Every once in a while, but not often. And so news that 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo will be heading an effort to remake 1994’s The Crow (infamous for the on-set death of its lead, Brandon Lee) isn’t especially good to hear. But now comes news that the film’s producers have almost landed their lead—none other than The Hangover’s Bradley Cooper. This, too, isn’t reassuring, what with Cooper having starred mostly in comedies. Then again, it could be worse. Not too long ago, rumour had it that both Mark Wahlberg and Robert Pattinson were considered before sights were set on Cooper. To be honest, the story of a rock musician returning from the dead to seek revenge on the thugs who raped and killed his girlfriend is not a narrative in need of a 21st century makeover; the original (and its three lesser sequels) was quite enough. For the full story, click here.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Flula in Germany
Usually, I don’t like things that are weird for the sake of being weird. But this video, which details the kinds of things you might do in Germany, is strangely amusing. And, for those keeping track, this video has apparently gone viral.
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.
Let me guess…David Byrne wrote that apology for Charlie to read. Regardless, I’m sure Charlie learned his lesson and a costly one at that. What was he thinking!
And what is China thinking?? They most certainly don’t want to go down that subjective road…which will only lead to tighter controls. Talk about taking the pizazz out of the arts…and replacing it with dull and boring. Welcome to their free world!