The Must List: March 5 – March 11, 2010

3/04/2010 Posted by Admin

The Must List: March 5 – March 11, 2010

By our guest blogger, Spencer Morton


“Alice in Wonderland” – This Tim Burton re-imagination is one of the more anticipated films to be released thus far this year. How will Burton make an already dark book and cartoon even darker? His mainstay actors, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter, are on board. Depp will play the crazed, manic Mad Hatter and Bonham Carter will portray the maniacal, devious Queen of Hearts.

Many are anticipating the film because “Alice in Wonderland” is shot in 3D. The trailer looks visually amazing and 3D technology can only take this film to the next level. Action and adventure also seem to be at the forefront of this Burton picture. The trailer is never short on thrills and it is thoroughly enthralling.

If Tim Burton were to ever adapt a book/cartoon, “Alice in Wonderland” is it. His children’s films have always been dark, but at their core, they teach pretty good lessons. It’ll be interesting to see what he does with this. “Alice in Wonderland” will be the biggest film of the weekend. Don’t miss it when it hits theaters tomorrow (3/5).

*Runner-up: “Brooklyn’s Finest” – Director Antoine Fuqua impressed the heck out of a lot of people in 2001 with “Training Day.” It’s 2010 and he’s releasing another cop thriller, “Brooklyn’s Finest.” The film boasts a strong ensemble cast including: Ethan Hawke, Richard Gere, Don Cheadle and Wesley Snipes. Look for Hawke to turn in another gripping performance and watch as this is the return to Hollywood for Snipes.


“Precious” – This is the biggest little film of the year. “Precious” follows it’s larger than life star, Precious (Gabourey Sidibe), and her struggles with school, her mother, sexual assault and abuse. The film is powerful and uncommonly engaging thanks to dominant performances and subtle, beautiful direction by Lee Daniels.

Sidibe delivers one of the best performances of years but is upstaged by Mo’Nique. Yes, Mo’Nique. She plays Precious’ broken down, delusional, abusive mother, Mary. Her performance is in the ranks of best supporting roles of all time. Daniels’ direction is effortless and effective. He doesn’t force much on the viewer, the story itself carries enough weight of its own.

Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey also make appearances, and they shine as well. “Precious” is one of the most well-acted, emotionally powerful films in a while. It’s definitely worth a view. Check it out when it hits shelves on Tuesday (3/9).

*Runner-up: “Up in the Air” – It was either this or “Old Dogs.” While I wasn’t a huge fan of “Up in the Air,” it does deliver a fine performance from George Clooney. It’s a relevant movie in today’s society and it is pretty fun at times. While it didn’t blow me away, maybe you’ll feel differently about it. Watch it when it drops on Tuesday (3/9).


Gorillaz – “Plastic Beach”: Gorillaz was the hot band back in 2005. It was impossible to get away from the steady, playful hook of “Feel Good Inc.” It’s been five years since that release, and fans are begging for more. They’ll get it when Gorillaz releases its third album, “Plastic Beach,” on Tuesday (3/9).

Gorillaz is the brainchild of Damon Albarn. He classifies the group as being a virtual band. He and Jamie Hewlett are the only mainstay group members in Gorillaz. Gorillaz are known for their experimental sound and non-traditional song flow. “Plastic Beach” looks to continue the success, and judging from early reviews, this album is going to be huge.

The album is receiving rave reviews from major publications around the world. The first single, “Stylo,” released back in January, is definitely pleasing to the ears. Gorillaz pop sound is magnificently unique and their lyrics are always sincere. Listen in come Tuesday to see if “Plastic Beach” can rejuvenate this band that’s been out of the scene for too long.

Songs to download:
“To Binge”
“White Flag”

*Runner-up: There isn’t any clear-cut runner-up this week. Not too much else to recommend. I’ll take this space to promote a band that I just heard for the first time (sadly). Sigur Ros is an ethereal, ambient rock band from Iceland. Their music is beyond soothing and puts the listener completely at peace. I’m legitimately saddened that I caught on to their beautiful sounds so late. Do yourself a favor and listen to Sigur Ros. It may honestly change the way you listen to music.


“The 82nd Annual Academy Awards” – There will be many changes to this year’s Academy Awards. There are double the Best Picture nominees and double the hosts. “It’s Complicated” co-stars, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, will be sharing the load this weekend. They should be quality hosts and will provide a bounty of laughs.

Doubling the number of Best Picture nominees has sparked some controversy, and some of the nominees seem a lot less worthy than others. However, there is a nice variety of nominees and there should be some pretty close races.

Will “Avatar” continue its obliteration of Hollywood, or will “The Hurt Locker” dethrone it? Will Quentin Tarantino get any awards love? How about Kathryn Bigelow? She could be the first female to ever win the Best Director prize. See how it all plays out on Sunday (3/7) at 8/7c on ABC.

*Runner-up: “America’s Next Top Model” (Season 14) – For the past four years, “Top Model” has been the top show for The CW Television Network. The show is amazingly popular, and endless marathons can be seen multiple times per year. While there might not be any one person more annoying than Tyra Banks, the show can be fun and informative at times. Ladies, mark your calendars. The new cycle of “Top Model” kicks off on Wednesday (3/10) at 8/7c on The CW.

Music Video

The Rocket Summer – “Hills and Valleys”

A few weeks ago, I recommended The Rocket Summer as worthwhile listening. Well, here’s another recommendation. Check out the new video to the single, “Hills and Valleys.” It’s fun, upbeat and playful. While there isn’t anything mind-blowing going on, it’s still a good time.

The cardboard cutouts of the planets, birds, and other objects are pretty ingenious. It works much better than using cheap CGI and it gives the video a more artsy, down-to-earth feel. The clapping breakdowns are pretty cool and are portrayed well on camera. The song itself is catchy and beautifully sung. Enjoy!

Viral Video

Wind Scores Soccer Goal

Since when is soccer played in gale-force wind conditions? You know there’s too much wind when the goalie has to hold the soccer ball in place during a goal kick. So anyway, this is pretty amazing. I’ve heard of wind affecting golf matches, football games, and other outdoor sports, but not soccer. But hey, a goal is a goal. Good job orange team, you scored without even touching the ball.

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