A&E NEWS: June 26 – July2, 2011
CHARLIE SHEEN: I think I’ve been up front with my feelings about actor-turned-lunatic Charlie Sheen. His debacle with CBS, his mad ravings during interviews, and his curious “My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not An Option” tour have all forever confirmed the truth that wealth and celebrity status does not a happy person make…or even a successful person make…or…hell, it doesn’t even make you a fun guy to be around. And so when news broke that Ashton Kutcher would be replacing Sheen on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men, we all knew that Sheen’s days of “Winning” were over. Now, however, comes news/rumours that Sheen’s character isn’t simply being replaced, but is actually being killed off. Word on the street is that Sheen’s character will drive off a cliff (off screen, of course). I don’t know about you, friends, but to me that spells hilarious. Oh, CBS—looks like there’s a new “Winner” in town.
JAMES FRANCO: I’ll say this much—James Franco is talented. He’s an actor, a director, an author, a painter, and the list goes on. Needless to say, Franco has his bases covered. But he’s also a hell of a weird guy—part stoner, part I-Don’t-Give-A-Damn James Dean wannabe. And now, to our delight or puzzlement, he’s putting out an EP with musical partner Kalup Linzy. The duo, known as Kalup & Franco, have just released a new music video for their song “Rising,” which will be included on the EP, Turn It Up. But just what exactly Franco contributes to the song is uncertain. In the video he’s not much more than a spectral backdrop. As a matter of fact, the whole thing seems like a joke, but if it is it isn’t funny. It’s just weird. But like I said, Franco’s a weird guy. You can view the video below:
BOOK BURNING: In days of yore, book burning was effective because books were hard to come by—a book burned was a book likely never read again. Not so today. Indeed, in today’s world, a lost or stolen (or burned) book can be easily replaced at Chapters or Coles or on Amazon.ca (my personal favourite). This makes the act of book burning a solely symbolic and mostly useless gesture, and yet it continues nonetheless. Apparently, the Dutch group Federation for Honour and Reparation of Slavery in Surinam has developed a serious distaste for Toronto author Lawrence Hill’s award-winning novel The Book of Negroes. As an act of protest, the group has begun burning copies of the book…or, rather, burning the covers. As you might guess, they’ve taken offence at the title’s use of the word “Negro.” I guess they don’t mind the rest of the book (for more info, click here). To all of this I say, “Really? A book burning? Is that the only thing you could think of?” But seriously, folks, The Book of Negroes is a great read and well worth your time—pay no attention to these hooligans from the Middle Ages.
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: Like Charlie Sheen, Tom Cruise is insane. I know it, and you know it. But unlike Charlie Sheen, Tom cruise doesn’t look like a coke addict and doesn’t live with porn stars, and so I feel less dirty watching him on film. Add to those accolades the fact that I just really like seeing Cruise in action films. He has the athleticism, the looks, the charisma…and he’s short, which means my masculinity and sense of self goes unchallenged. And so I don’t mind saying that I’m looking forward to the fourth instalment in the Mission Impossible franchise, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Not only does the film look sexy and fun, but it also marks director Brad Bird’s first go at directing a live action film (you’d likely know him best as having directed Pixar’s The Incredibles and Ratatouille). The film’s first trailer, released earlier this week, can be viewed below.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Carp Attack
I don’t fish, and for good reason. Sometimes I worry that fish will exact their revenge for our mass slaughter of their species (the slaughter was delicious, but it was slaughter nonetheless). If this video is any indication, the fishocalypse may already be upon us.
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.