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blast-o-rama. Posts

HBO’s THE LAST OF US Adaptation Casts Their Joel and Ellie

‘Last of Us’: ‘Game of Thrones’ Breakout Bella Ramsey to Star as Ellie (Exclusive) | Hollywood Reporter:

Bella Ramsey, perhaps best known for her breakout role as the fierce Lyanna Mormont in HBO’s Game of Thrones, is reuniting with the cabler to star in The Last of Us, the company’s adaptation of the hit video game.

Ramsey will play Ellie, a 14-year-old orphan who has never known anything but a ravaged planet and who struggles to balance her instinct for anger and defiance with her need for connection and belonging … as well as the newfound reality that she may be the key to saving the world.

Pedro Pascal Joins Bella Ramsey to Star in HBO’s ‘Last of Us’ | Hollywood Reporter:

Pedro Pascal is joining his former Game of Thrones co-star Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us, HBO’s adaptation of the hit video game, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.

The story set 20 years after modern civilization has been destroyed and centers on the relationship between Joel, a smuggler in this new world, and Ellie, a teenager who may be key to a cure for a deadly pandemic. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle the 14-year-old girl out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey as they traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.

The Mandalorian star is playing Joel.

Sounds awesome to me.

Lucasfilm Drops Gina Carano From All Future Projects

‘The Mandalorian’ Star Gina Carano Fired Amid Social Media Controversy | Hollywood Reporter:

Gina Carano will not be returning to The Mandalorian or the Star Wars galaxy after sharing a post on social media implying that being a Republican today is like being Jewish during the Holocaust.

“Gina Carano is not currently employed by Lucasfilm and there are no plans for her to be in the future,” a Lucasfilm spokesperson said in a statement. “Nevertheless, her social media posts denigrating people based on their cultural and religious identities are abhorrent and unacceptable.”

Carano has also been dropped as a client by UTA, an agency spokesperson confirms.

This is not the first time Carano, who played former Rebel Alliance soldier Cara Dune on The Mandalorian, has been the focus of social media ire for her political comments. Last November, she issued contentious tweets, one in which she mocked mask-wearing amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and another in which she falsely suggested voter fraud occurred during the 2020 presidential election.

“They have been looking for a reason to fire her for two months, and today was the final straw,” a source with knowledge of Lucasfilm’s thinking tells THR.

According to sources, Lucasfilm planned to unveil Carano as the star of her own Disney+ series during a December investor’s day presentation but scrapped those plans following her November tweets. Multiple Mandalorian spinoffs are in the works from executive producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, including Rangers of the New Republic, which could have potentially starred Carano.

You know, I was really rooting for Carano. Following her MMA run in Strikeforce (where I was a fan), I was excited to see her launch a pretty decent acting career in movies like DeadpoolHaywire and Fast Five.

But, I guess like fellow MMA fighter Tito Ortiz, those punches to the head really did a number on her.

It’s so wild to me to see a situation which, honestly, could’ve been solved by just not posting.

By no means do I support her views (though I admit its her right to have them, as dumbass as I believe them to be), but really, she had A PRIMARY ROLE IN THE STAR WARS UNIVERSE which she pissed away here by way of Twitter/Instagram.

Sure, I guess a future of being a butt-hurt “cancelled” commentator for Fox News and similar outlets is in her future, but…Jesus Christ. It’s amazing to see someone light a match, pour gasoline and burn a bridge in real time.

SOUND THE KLAXONS, CLONE HIGH to Return for HBO Max (Also, An Adult VELMA Show?)

‘Clone High’ Reboot, ‘Scooby Doo’ Spinoff & Pete Davidson Comedy Set At HBO Max – Deadline:

HBO Max is doubling down on adult animation, ordering three series and setting a bustling development slate.

The streamer has handed a two-season order to Clone High, the reboot of the classic MTV series with Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Bill Lawrence, and ordered Scooby-Doo spinoff Velma with Mindy Kaling set as lead voice star and exec producer and Fired on Mars from Pete Davidson.

TWO SEASONS!

For those who did not watch Clone High, it was an amazing show which gave us the rise of Lord and Miller. I think it’s only available for purchase digitally now.

It was the perfect encapsulation of early 00’s angst, colliding with surreal humor. Their interpretation of JFK is an all-timer.

Now, as for that Velma show…

Velma tells the origin story of Velma Dinkley, the unsung and underappreciated brains of the Scooby-Doo Mystery Inc. gang. Voiced and exec produced by Kaling, the series from Warner Bros. Animation has has Charlie Grandy, Howard Klein and Sam Register as executive producers.

I’m thinking / hoping this is basically Harley Quinn but for Velma?

Any way you slice it, I’m very excited for HBO Max’s focus on cartoons!

Whoa! A Super High Quality Capture of Daft Punk’s 2007 Lollapalooza Performance

love Daft Punk. And because of that, Alive 2007 is one of my favorite live albums of all time, an incredible mashup of all their music recorded prior.

Really, for me, one of the biggest bummers was that they didn’t also do a proper DVD or Blu-Ray release of the set.

On the tour for Alive 2007, the robots made a stop at Lollapalooza, in Chicago, IL. Earlier this month, someone (YouTube user Johnny Airbag) uploaded the RAW satellite footage from the show, which was used on the screens inside the venue.

Who would’ve thought this would ever surface, let alone 14 years later?

This source was shared w/ me by a tape trader friend after they saw the amateur 3-cam video of Daft Punk’s Vegoose 2007 set I made for this channel. In passing they mentioned they’d recorded a raw Daft Punk “webcast” feed at some point and offered to look for the disc. The video was captured via satellite during the event in 2007.

Amazing stuff.

Enjoy, I know I will.

Some early thoughts on Weezer’s OK HUMAN

Something which is interesting about whenever you discuss Weezer is the innate need to speak about their work as a whole. For others — especially those who revere the band — it’s sort of an establishing point of your taste for the band and their work.

Weezer’s first two albums, their self-titled debut (or, The Blue Album as its better known) and Pinkerton are considered by many to be stone cold classics, even if the former’s gender politics have aged early and the latter was very reviled in its time, leading to Weezer taking a five year hiatus.

Since their return in 2001 with Weezer (yes, another self-titled album, but this one better known as The Green Album), all debate and discussion about the band has kind of been a total mess, as best summarized in an absolutely surreal Saturday Night Live sketch.

Personally?

Well — Blue and Pinkerton are all time favorites. Green is an album which plays it far too safe. Maladroit is an album which isn’t as good as its demos (which Weezer shared all across their website while working on the album). Make Believe has a few killer songs (hello, “Perfect Situation”), but is harmed by being the album which gave us “Beverly Hills”, their biggest song, but a poor encapsulation of what makes the band great. The albums after Make Believe have some strong singles (“(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To”, “Pork and Beans”) but are generally worth ignoring. Hell, they even made a cover of the State Farm song which was better than most of their post-Green output.

But then there was hope. Two back to back albums which absolutely blew me away: 2014’s Everything Will Be Alright In The End and 2016’s Weezer (yes, again, but this one is called The White Album). They found a way to thread the needle and make albums which united Weezer fans new and old, even if some of the lyrics are a bit cringy (looking at you Rosetta Stone and Ancestry.com references in “Da Vinci”).

…and then we had another slue of weak albums which really was only notable for the band having their biggest hit with a half-assed cover of Toto’s “Africa”.

Suffice to say, being a fan of Weezer is frustrating. Especially when their lead singer/songwriter Rivers Cuomo does podcast interviews about how he writes songs using spreadsheets now instead of feeling them, and releases hundreds of demos which blow away most songs released officially.


Today, January 29th, Weezer’s 14th album, OK Human has been released. The release is a fraught one, as OK Human (yes, the title is a Radiohead homage – Rivers loves that band) was originally supposed to come out in 2020.

The album is a more focused, intimate release for the band, so when they signed up to be a part of the “Hella Mega Tour” with Green Day and Fall Out Boy, the album’s release was kicked down the road, the release delayed for another album to be written and released, the stadium rock homage Van Weezer.

And then COVID happened, and the stadium tour? That was postponed too. So Van Weezer awaits for a world where rocking out is encouraged, and OK Human drops in its place, an album about feeling isolated, alone, and sad. It’s sort of a perfect album for the moment.

And as to how it sounds? Honestly, it’s their best work since The White Album. Yes, I rolled my eyes at certain lyrics, with their mentions of Zombie Hordes and Zoom meetings, but the album — which doesn’t outstay its welcome at a brisk 33 minutes and change — is absolutely brilliant.

Filled with hooks for days, Weezer took the interesting step of replacing their standard lead guitar with a Beatles-esque orchestra. These lush arrangements make OK Human stand out enough in Weezer’s discography as is, but also add a baroque vibe to the album which adds to the emotional weight of the songs.

Lead single “All My Favorite Songs” is a great introduction to the album as a whole, but what is most fascinating is how the album plays as if its an uninterrupted recording, which each song leading directly into the next. If Weezer really does do the OK Human with Orchestra theater tour they hinted at in a recent Apple Music interview, I may need to get tickets as soon as possible.

It’s fascinating that in 2021, 27 years (yikes!) after their debut record, Weezer still sounds as interested in the art of music as ever. It’s not many times you say that the 14th time is the charm, but with OK Human, the praise is earned. I cannot wait to revisit this album throughout the year and for some time to come.


Favorite Tracks

  • “All My Favorite Songs”
  • “Numbers”
  • “Bird with a Broken Wing”

Weezer’s OK Human is out now. Check it out on your preferred streaming service here, or via the Apple Music embed below.