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Week In Review

The 168 Turnaround: Lunatics, Pale Kids, And The Masterful Marsden

THIS WEEK: May 8 – May 14, 2011

TWO AND A HALF MEN: Warner Bros. actually did it—they replaced actor and all around lunatic Charlie Sheen on their popular sitcom Two and A Half Men.  Recently, we’ve heard rumours that such actors as John Stamos and Hugh Grant were under consideration to replace Sheen.  The studio, however, decided to aim younger, and has chosen none other than Ashton Kutcher.  Though specifics regarding Kutcher’s role are still under wraps, I’d assume he’ll be playing a new character.  Whatever the case may be, the show is returning to production this summer, and will be aired on CBS in the fall.  Personally, as far as talent goes, I think Sheen is the better actor; then again, he’s also barking mad.  For more info, head over to CBC News.

REAL STEAL: For every good movie, there are at least a dozen bad ones.  For most bad films, you can blame the actors, the directors, the producers, and so on.  However, in the case of Real Steel, a new sci-fi flick starring High Jackman, I’m placing the blame entirely on the story’s premise: boxing robots.  The problem is that, with the surge in popularity for UFC, the sport of boxing is no longer relevant to mainstream blockbuster audiences.  A film like The Fighter works, in part, because it’s a period piece and therefore doesn’t need to be in sync with current sporting culture.  But to suggest that boxing will once again rise in popularity is ridiculous—throwing in robots doesn’t make the claim any more believable.  Robots fighting, sure, but not robots boxing.  And yet here we are.  At the very least, Jackman seems to be giving an energetic performance, though why he’s so committed I have no idea.  The film’s trailer, which debuted this week, can be viewed below.

GAGA/TARANTINO: When it comes to filmmaking, there’s no one quite like Inglourious Basterds director Quentin Tarantino; the same is equally true for pop phenomenon Lady Gaga and the music industry.  Is it really all that surprising, then, that the two might be working together in the near future?  According to the Daily Mirror, Tarantino is looking to cast Gaga in one of his future films, and has been chatting her up at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.  With news that Tarantino has recently finished the script for his next film, Django Unchained, many are now wondering just how soon Gaga will be hitting the big screen.  Could the story of a slave’s revenge on his former master be the right fit for Gaga?  I personally doubt it, but am more than willing to be proven wrong.

STRAW DOGS: I’ll just come out and say it—I’m a sucker for James Marsden.  Many of you know him as Scott Summers/Cyclops from the first three X-Men movies.  Others might remember him as the handsome Prince Edward from Disney’s Enchanted.  And still others might fondly remember him as the homophobic older brother from Sex Drive.  Whatever the case may be, Marsden’s involvement in any film is often reason enough for me to watch a movie I wouldn’t have otherwise bothered with (such as 27 Dresses).  And so with the debut of the trailer for the remake of the 1971 horror film, Straw Dogs, I was initially hesitant.  After all, horror remakes are almost always abysmal.  But then I caught sight of Marsden, and my worries lessened considerably.  Suddenly, I was interested.  I guess this qualifies as a man crush, but, goshdarnit, I can’t help but love me my Marsden.  And so I’m sharing the love—enjoy:

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Watsky Interview
If you’ve read my piece on YouTube, than you know that I believe the popular video sharing site has a lot of potential for exploring different ways of presenting art in all of its various forms.  Turns out the fine folks over at Source Fed are of the same opinion, and are looking to showcase some of the best personalities, musicians, and artists on YouTube.  Here is their first interview with none other than the Pale Kid Who Raps Fast, George Watsky.  Be warned, the below video does contain some coarse language.

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.

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