Pop Culture Roundup 03 (UPDATED)

(updates throughout post)

It’s been awhile since we’ve done a Pop Culture Roundup. So here we go, a lot of geeky stuff to catch up on.

First up, HBO releases the teaser (below) for the highly-anticipated continuation of the immaculate episodic adaptation of the A Song of Ice and Fire books, Game of Thrones: Season 2 “Cold Winds”. Narrated by Ser Jorah Mormont, we’re given glimpses of (in order of appearance) Jon SnowDaenerys TargaryenJaime LannisterCersei Lannister and Tyrion LannisterArya StarkCatelyn StarkRobb StarkJoffrey Baratheon and Sansa Stark. It starts back up with another ten-episode arc on April 2012. A manageable respite, but still, we enthusiastically await the return of this efficacious and virtuoso production. Color me anxious.

If you haven’t heard, King of Comedy, Louis C.K., in true do-it-yourself ethos, recently released his stand-up comedy special Louis C.K. Live at the Beacon Theater  via his own website, eliminating the middle man and superfluous corporate distribution. For just $5, you can download the raw file and do anything with it. C.K. relies on people’s honor and good graces to pay for it and urges assholes to abstain from posting it on torrent sites. So far, this Internet and distribution experiment/trial has been a rousing success.

Louis C.K. on The B.S. Report with Bill Simmons (click links below for the two-part podcast interview):

PART 1
PART 2

Louis C.K. on releasing his comedy special online via NPR: Louis C.K. Reflects On ‘Louie,’ Loss, Love And Life:

If I make a profit, that’s terrific. If I don’t and I’m outraced by the Internet thieving or whatever it is, it’s not that big a loss to me. It’s OK — a lot of people saw the video, and it was interesting. This has been such an education for me. … And I’ve got the money back already. I broke even — and then some.

Click the pic below to download or play the NPR: Fresh Air with Terry Gross Louis C.K. interview. Terry Gross does her best Barbara Walters impression and the room gets a little dusty for the man; Louis displays some rare vulnerability and sheds a tear of recently departed friend, Bostonian, and comedy colleague, Patrice O’Neal. (podcast) via

UPDATE – Louis CK announces that his special has hit the $1M mark on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon:

Check out this funny outtake from the special:

Paramount has released the first full trailer for The Dictator, the new absurdist comedy by Sacha Baron Cohen. He plays a ruthless Middle Eastern dictator based on the likes of Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. The (hopefully culturally offensive and politically incorrect) comedy also features Anna Faris, Ben Kingsley, Megan Fox, John C. Reilly, and J.B. Smoove. The comedy tells the heroic story of a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy will never come to the country he so lovingly oppresses. The Dictator was directed by Baron Cohen collaborator, Larry Charles, and opens on theaters on May 11, 2012.

Midsummer, we featured the first one-sheet poster and thrilling, tantalizing teaser for the final installment of Christopher Nolan‘s Batman trilogy. With the visceral, gravitas-filled comic book adaptation coming to a conclusion, Warner Brothers releases the second official movie poster for The Dark Knight Rises. Click HERE to check out and download the high resolution poster. It displays the striking image of villain and genius brute, Bane walking away, with the shattered cowl of the Dark Knight in the foreground; setting up a tone of foreboding doom. The text: “THE LEGEND ENDS”. Chilly. Is this the literal end of Bruce Wayne and the Bat? Will they dare end this prestigious trilogy with the demise of the Dark Knight? The film comes out July 20, 2012. Also, check out this piece from The Los Angeles Times: Hero Complex: ‘Dark Knight Rises’: Christopher Nolan opens up about Bane choice.

UPDATE – The official HD trailer of The Dark Knight Rises. Hey, we can’t get enough. Okay, you’ve convinced me, Nolan, I’ll go out and see this film. Check it above at the header.

We recently featured the release of some teaser images from Ridley Scott’s science fiction epic Prometheus. Here is the official teaser poster that was released this week. The film is currently in production and slated to be released this coming summer on June 8, 2012. The poster is in high resolution HERE.

UPDATE – A brief preview of Prometheus:

IGN tracks down the release for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, the film adaptation of the fictional biography and epistolary-style book, history mashup of the same name by Seth Grahame-Smith. Lincoln releases on June 22, 2012.

Check out this Extra interview with Robert Downey Jr. where he raves about Iron Man 3, “Iron Man 3 is probably the best script I’ve read in 5 years.” Emphatic words. RDJ reunites with his director from Kiss Kiss Bang BangShane Black. I’m always dubious of the third installment of a franchise. Who knows, maybe Dark Knight and Iron Man can break that barrier.

Speaking of surprises, after the debacle that was G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, never in a million years would I think I would be looking forward to a sequel. I thought wrong. My antipathy has flourished into genuine anticipation after viewing the teaser.

The trailer for the follow-up has me pumped. Dare I say, G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation looks fucking positively badass. They’ve revamped and juiced up the cast, adding Bruce Willis, fan-favorite and underrated action hero, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Roadblock, the alluring Adrianne Palicki (Tyra Collette from Friday Night Lights!) as Lady JayeChanning Tatum as Duke, and badass Ray Stevenson as Firefly. The Rock adds some much needed machismo, substantial charisma and personality to the franchise.

Looks like they’ve also finally got Snake Eyes‘ ensemble right, finally getting rid of those stupid and inexplicable lips on his mask from the first movie (Nerd rage!). We finally get full-on domed helmet Cobra Commander; not to mention the appearance of chameleon and master of disguise, Zartan, y’all. Most of all, we look forward to an onslaught of ninja action.

All of this comes from Jon M. Chu, the director that brought you the Bieber doc. I mean, what the fuck? I have so many questions. Regardless, where the first Joe movie was a morass bordering on self-parody, this sequel seems to celebrate the Joe universe and has a fun and action-packed atmosphere. It has a feral and ferocious attitude about it. I will be definitely seeing it this summer; I might even bring my Tunnel Rat action figure. I am a grown man. I am an adult. I am a grown man. I am an adult. The movie comes out June 29, 2012. Yo Joe!

We’re a bit late on this. Here is the teaser trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man directed by Marc Webb, starring Andrew GarfieldEmma StoneRhys Ifans, and Martin Sheen.

Did you order a film adaptation of the violent British folktale, Jack the Giant Killer (not to be confused with Jack and the Beanstalk which is closely related)? Of course you did. Well here you go. Jack the Giant Killer tells the story of an ancient war that is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants. Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack, into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom, its people, and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend–and gets the chance to become a legend himself. Jack opens June 15, 2012.

Here’s Men In Black 3 with the Fresh Prince and the charmingly irascible Tommy Lee JonesBarry Sonnenfeld returns as director, with the addition of actors, Alice EveJosh BrolinEmma Thompson, and Bill Hader. The first film was an original and entertaining romp which was followed by an impotent sequel.  Can this movie, which had problems during its production, rescue a faltering franchise? The third pop in the alien franchise premiers May 25, 2012, which opens the summer blockbuster season.

Exhale.

We’ll end it with a look back on 2011, with three four nicely-edited compilations of this past year’s releases. Check ‘em out. Aside from surprises such as Drive (really good, hyper-masculine story, but also somewhat overrated), Rise of the Planet of the ApesThe Muppets, upcoming films Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo2011 has been largely forgettable. Not a relevant year for film, in my opinion. 2012 looks to be fun and promising after a less-than-stellar year.

Let your geek-flag fly. Later, Peeps.

-@teemunny

UPDATE – Matt Shapiro brings us this well-crafted montage of the year in film. Shapiro creates a meticulous and cohesive edit that manages to make a forgettable year appear compelling. The list of the 250 films included in the compilation is HERE.

Prologue: Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Music (in order):
Ceremony by New Order
Ma L’amore No by Ennio Morricone
Ghost of Love by David Lynch
Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Remix) by Deadmau5

This video is an attempt to use the remarkably diverse selection of films released over the course of a year’s time to construct a broad narrative encompassing the many different elements that comprise the cinematic medium we love so dearly.

 

UPDATE – Achtung: The German trailer for The Avengers. Guten tag: