Weekly Round-Up: 4/21/19-4/27/19
Bruce Springsteen announces new album
It’s been five years since Bruce Springsteen put out a new album, and after three cryptic Tweets this week he has finally confirmed their meaning: The Boss is finally giving the world some new music. Titled Western Stars, Springsteen released a statement saying that this new album will be ” a return to [his] solo recordings featuring character driven songs and sweeping, cinematic orchestral arrangements.” Going further, he characterized the album as “a jewel box of a record.” As a huge Springsteen fan the announcement of any new music is exciting, but his description makes me all the more excited because it suggests a project along the lines of his previous albums Nebraska and The Ghost of Tom Joad. For anyone saddened that he’ll be without his trusty E Street Band, Rolling Stone reports that band members David Sancious, Soozie Tyrell, Charlie Giordano, and Patti Scialfa (who is also married to Springsteen) will feature in some of the songs. Wester Stars is due out June 14th.
Men in Black: International (2019) releases new trailer
When it was originally announced that the Men in Black series was to be rebooted as Men in Black: International (2019), I couldn’t help but wonder why? The charm of the original was the odd couple chemistry that Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones perfected, making even the most absurd parts of the movies palatable because they were both so good. I was skeptical that a new movie would find a pairing that would work as well, and then they went and cast Tessa Thompson and Chris Hemsworth and I ate all of my words. Coming off of their stupidly good action-comedy chemistry in Thor: Ragnarok (2017), I could not be more excited to see Hemsworth and Thompson once again grace the screen together. They are both performers who have shown an impressive comic range, and with the new trailer released this week I have faith that even without our Lord and savior Taika Waititi at the helm the two of them will make Men in Black: International a must-see for me this year. The world-premiere is set for June 14th, incidentally the same day that Springsteen’s album comes out.
Game of Thrones: “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” sets the stage for the Battle of Winterfell
I was a late adopter of Game of Thrones (2011-2019). I didn’t start watching it until it reached season three. At that point, I binged the first three seasons with my friend Monica during our first semester of college so I could catch up before season four premiered. The show immediately hooked me, and I have stayed a loyal fan ever since because of the impressive blend of character-based drama and the life-or-death stakes of Westerosi battles and politics alike. It’s a hard fact to face that Thrones will air the final episode of the series on May 19th, but with the second episode of the final season, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” the show delivered on what makes it so good. There is no question that this Sunday’s episode will feature the long-teased Battle of Winterfell between our human protagonists and the White Walkers with their undead army. “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” took time to slow down and linger with most of the remaining characters, all this with the knowledge that many of them will die in episode three. The episode featured some of the best dialogue the show has had in ages, and gave us a blend of humor, pathos, and arguably one of the most touching moments of the series. It was a masterful piece of filmmaking that reminded us why we kept coming back to Westeros season after season.
Details of new James Bond movie announced in Jamaica
There was a time when it seemed doubtful we would get another James Bond movie starring Daniel Craig in the titular role. What with Craig stating in an interview that he it would “rather slash his wrists” than make another bond film after Spectre (2015) it seemed the decision was made. And yet, after years of tumult including a massive paycheck promised to Craig, Danny Boyle coming on to direct and then leaving, and a push for a female Bond, we now know of concrete plans to make the yet untitled 25th Bond movie. Longtime Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson held a press conference in Jamaica, where the first Bond film, Dr. No (1962), was set, and where Bond creates Ian Fleming had an estate. They confirmed the previously reporter news that True Detective season one helmer Cary Joji Fukanaga will direct a script written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Scott Z. Burns. Craig will be joined by previous Bond actors Jeffrey Wright, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, and Naomie Harris among others. The marquee news however was that recent Oscar winner Rami Malek will board the film as a villainous character. The movie starts principal photography this week, and has a premiere date set for April 8, 2020. Read more about it here.