Take 5: 'Wreck-It-Ralph' debuts and Taylor Swift's reign continues
The week’s biggest pop culture news comes in the form of high-profile album released from chart-topping musicians Taylor Swift and Aerosmith and the much-anticipated release of the film “Wreck-It-Ralph.”
Life’s a Game
A new animated film titled “Wreck-It-Ralph” will attract an unusual demographic when it opens on Nov. 2. Children will be drawn to this colorful Disney adventure while enthusiastic gamers will delight in numerous cameo appearances from some of the most popular video game characters of all time, including icons from “Super Mario Bros,” “Street Fighter,” “Pac-Man” and “Dig Dug,” among others.
This film also boasts strong early reviews and a robust voice cast including John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Mindy Kaling, Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer, Ed O’Neill and even dubstep DJ Skrillex.
After receiving copious criticism for his reliance on new motion-capture technologies in such films as “The Polar Express,” “Beowulf” and the reimagined “A Christmas Carol,” film director Robert Zemeckis (“Back to the Future”) returns Nov. 2 with “Flight,” his first live-action film since 2000’s “Cast Away.”
This mystery drama stars Denzel Washington (“Safe House”) as a pilot who pulls off a daring emergency landing under mysterious circumstances. In addition to praising Zemeckis’ decision to return to his live-action strengths, early reviews have singled out Washington’s performance as one of his most complex.
Not Going Away Anytime Soon
After storming the sales charts with her critically-praised fourth studio album “Red” last week, Taylor Swift dropped another high-profile, if not unexpected, announcement on a special edition of “20/20” last Friday night.
Swift will be embarking on an extensive tour next year to promote the new album and provide opportunities for girls (and guys!) of all ages to scream their heads off when they hear her songs of heartbreak and no-longer-a-teen angst.
British pop sensation Ed Sheeran, Swift’s duet partner on “Everything is Changed,” will be the opening act. The tour stops in D.C. on May 11 and 12.
Don’t Miss a Thing
In the past three years, the majority of headlines concerning legendary rock band Aerosmith have focused on frontman Steven Tyler, who made passes at women half his age and offered scintillating constructive criticism like “Beautiful!” and “Over the top!” during his loopy two-year stint as a judge on “American Idol.”
Having abandoned the “Idol” ship in a haze of disturbing facial expressions and high-pitched yowls, Tyler has returned to his band to helm the new album “Music From Another Dimension,” out next week. The success of this attempt to restore Aerosmith’s rock credibility remains to be seen.
Recent critical and fan buzz suggests that this columnist has been remiss in failing to watch a single episode of Showtime’s thrilling television series “Homeland,” which airs on Sundays at 10pm
The recent Emmy winner for Best Drama has attracted ecstatic reviews for everything from its stunning performances by Claire Danes (“Temple Grandin”), Damian Lewis (“The Sweeney”), Mandy Patinkin (“Jock the Hero Dog”); masterful suspense; and powerful writing from such TV heavyweights as Henry Bromell (“Rubicon”).
In its second season, this show seems to have evolved from a critical favorite to a genuine drama heavyweight. Catch a break from the hurricane cleanup and catch up on a riveting series.