A variety of intriguing, potentially problematic options are invading movie theaters this weekend.
The dubiously titled “The Last Exorcism Part II” raises questions of why a last exorcism needs two movies.
The raunchy comedy “21 and Over” evokes “The Hangover” and “Project X” in equal measure.
Elsewhere, “X-Men” director Bryan Singer tries to convince the world that it needs a CGI-laden action extravaganza adaptation of a classic fairytale in “Jack the Giant Slayer,” which features Nicholas Hoult (“Warm Bodies”) and Ewan McGregor (“The Impossible”).
YouTube, Your Music
Billboard Magazine announced a controversial change to its charts this week, fortuitous timing for a certain overnight dance sensation.
As of this week’s charts, the Billboard Hot 100 and its counterparts will take into account YouTube views in addition to digital download sales, radio airplay and online streaming.
Baauer reaped extraordinary benefits from this arrangement. His instant hit “Harlem Shake,” the pop charts’ most YouTube-oriented phenomenon yet, shot straight to the top.
Opponents argue that calculating YouTube views could be statistically problematic, while some see them as an instant measure of current popularity.
Wait, TV Shows Air on TV First?
Nielsen, the company that provides all-important ratings information to television networks for the purpose of gauging popularity, announced this week that it plans to incorporate online streaming into a show’s overall ratings report.
The online streaming data will be calculated for the seven days following the initial airing. This news indicates progress for a ratings system that has long been considered out of date.
Shows with critical acclaim or a tech-savvy fan base have deceptively low ratings scores because many people consume these shows online. Perhaps this problem is finally solved.
For a few years in the late 2000s, Shia LaBeouf (“Lawless”) seemed to be the ideal young movie star, a likable presence with a seal of approval from Steven Spielberg.
After a few years of success in summer blockbusters, though, LaBeouf’s attitude soured. In one interview, he insulted the most recent “Indiana Jones” installment.
He also vowed to gravitate toward independent projects for greater creative control.
Last week, LaBeouf’s career took another hit as he exited “Orphans,” what would have been his Broadway debut alongside Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock”). His reason for leaving? Creative differences.
Spending five years as Morrissey’s partner in The Smiths? A pipe dream for most; the start of a fruitful career for Johnny Marr.
After The Smiths disbanded in 1987, the revered guitarist went on to play in bands including Electronic, Modest Mouse and The Cribs.
More recently, Marr contributed the theme music for Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in “Inception.”
After years of contributing to other people’s work, Marr finally released his first solo album this week. “Messenger” includes 12 songs, with music and lyrics written exclusively by the prolific guitarist.