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Week In Review

The 168 Turnaround: Gonna Skin Me Some Rabbits

A&E NEWS: July 3 – July 9, 2011

CAPTAIN CENSORED: The United States is its own biggest fan.  Ask any American which country is the best country, and they’ll likely respond, “why, America, of course.”  Ask anyone else, and America is likely low on the list.  Which might explain why Russia, Ukraine, and South Korea have decided to release Paramount and Marvel’s film Captain America: The First Avenger as simply The First Avenger.  All three countries have a history of conflict with the U.S., so I’m not surprised that they might be a little irked at such an outward pouring of patriotic fantasy.  With that said, however, I don’t really see the point in the change of title.  It’s just a movie—it has no more power than what you give it.  That, in fact, may explain why China has decided not to release the film at all.  In any event, head over to The Hollywood Reporter for more.

BIEBER BLUES: It’s easy to hate on pop sensation Justin Bieber.  His music is fairly bland, his image is considerably processed, and he often comes off as a tool.  Mind you, when I was a teenager, I too was a tool.  It goes with the territory, I think.  And so I feel bad for Bieber when I hear the news that the issue of Vanity Fair with his face on the cover is one of the poorest selling issues for the magazine in over twenty years.  Apparently, there have been similar results for his Teen Vogue and People magazine covers.  Does this mean that his popularity is on the down curve?  Maybe.  Though his record sales are still up, I do wonder if the general public is about ready to ditch the kid.  Personally, I think Bieber is talented, and I’d like to see what he might create if he wasn’t guaranteed success, if he had to really sweat over a song, and wasn’t afraid to give it his own personal flourishes.  So maybe these magazine flops will be good for his creativity.  Here’s hoping.

CUBAN HORROR: The love of the zombie genre is beginning to fade, though it will never completely die.  Of course, if it does, I’m sure it will stay true to character and rise from the grave, more furious and ferocious than ever.  Fading aside, I can’t help but smile when I watch this new trailer for Juan de los Muertos (Juan of the Dead), Cuba’s first horror movie.  Despite its obviously modest budget, this story of zombie apocalypse (written and directed by Alejandro Brugués) looks like the right mix of horror and humour.  Whether this film ever sees a North American release is anyone’s guess.  I’m hoping that it does.  If enough movie geeks get behind this, then anything could happen.  But we’ll see.

RABBIT SKINNING: When most people think of William Shakespeare, they think “Literature,” “Stuffy,” and maybe “Hard To Understand.”  Rarely does the average person think of the old Bard and reflect on the guy’s love of violence and sex, of murder and mayhem.  And so when a theatre company produces one of Shakespeare’s plays, it’s not unusual for them to sometimes place emphasis on the more bloody side of things, hoping to attract new patrons.  But not everyone appreciates the gesture.  While performing As You Like It in the U.K., one of The Royal Shakespeare Company’s actors would skin a dead rabbit during a dinner scene from the play.  Apparently, however, following an outcry from animal rights activists, the Company has decided against skinning a rabbit while performing the same play in in New York.  I guess America isn’t too cool with that kind of thing–silly Americans.  For more info, click here.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: The Hobbit Production Diary #2
I dare you to tell me that you’re not excited for the new Hobbit movies.  You know as well as I do that these two films are going to be epic.  Perhaps not masterful, but undoubtedly epic.  And to whet your appetite: the second production diary for the films.

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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