There's this one episode of Married With Children where Al Bundy fills his attractive ditz daughter's brain with all of his worldly information so she can compete on a local sports trivia show in his stead. Everything goes great until the final question: Who rushed for four touchdowns for the Polk High School Panthers in the 1966 championship game? The answer, of course, is Al Bundy — but Kelly only has a finite amount of information she can fit into her brain, and the answer, devastatingly, eludes her. The moral of this very important story is that, if we only have a finite amount of pop culture information we can squeeze into our brains, knowing who won what at the MTV Movie Awards is one thing we're probably safe skipping. That said: The MTV Movie Awards were last night, and some stuff happened.
Host Rebel Wilson and the cast of best movie ever Pitch Perfect opened the show. And the question on everyone's minds: Seriously, what the hell was Anna Kendrick doing that was more important than this?
At a certain point we don't even have to question why Anna Kendrick does the things she does, because the net profit of Annadorable Kendrickulousness leaves us with no complaints. Here is a video about Kendrick flying to Seoul to join K-Pop girl group f(x). Is Anna Kendrick a big f(x) fan IRL? Is f(x) member Krystal Jung really a big Up in the Air fan? Is there going to be a Korean remake of Pitch Perfect? (That would only be fair.) Stop asking questions. You know you want to see Kendrick dolled up in a pink wig "like [she's] in Cloud Atlas."
1. The Barden Bellas ft. The Treblemakers, "Riff Off: Mickey/Like A Virgin/Hit Me With Your Best Shot/S&M/Let's Talk About Sex/I'll Make Love To You/Feels Like The First Time/No Diggity" (Pitch Perfect)
Pitch Perfect, Kay Cannon's comedy about college a cappella groups, has quickly established itself as a cult hit worthy of sitting alongside slumber party classics like Bring It On, Empire Records, and Grease. Personally, even the best a capella rendition of a song just makes me want to listen to the actual song. Of the various medleys and covers in Pitch Perfect, the sex song medley from the "Riff Off" sequence is the clear standout. And let's all just agree to put Rebel Wilson in everything from now on, OK?
Best YouTube Comment: "idk about anyone, but I got really excited when Ester Dean (Cynthia Rose) sang S&M…considering it's her song that she wrote for Rihanna" — Kaylaa1DAllstar
I believe my esteemed colleague Mark Lisanti was the first person I heard refer to Pitch Perfect as Sing It On, which is at once an apt endorsement and an apt dismissal. Pitch Perfect is a well-executed, likable, and entertaining (unofficial) reboot of the 2000 film Bring It On, with a cappella choral performances in place of cheerleading. And I get it: If you're going to steal, you might as well steal from the best. The problem is that Bring It On is actually perfect, so as a ripoff, Pitch Perfect is merely a very good facsimile that will probably just make you want to watch Bring It On again.
30 Rock and New Girl writer Kay Cannon wrote the screenplay for Pitch Perfect, so there are lots of goofy jokes along the way that may remind you of either of those shows. Annas Kendrick and Camp star, and since we've already seen them playing real grown-ups — the former as a hot shot HR executive in Up in the Air, and the latter as a stay-at-home mom in her 30s on The Mindy Project — it's not quite believable to see them playing college students here (particularly Kendrick, who's supposed to be a freshman). But despite its deficits, Pitch Perfect is still worth seeing, if for no other reason than for its many a cappella renditions of recent pop hits to knock "I Dreamed a Dream" out of your head, where it's been since you saw Les MisÚrables last week.
Chris and I recorded this pod late on Monday afternoon, after a long day of transcribing, power-chugging caffeine, and dispatching snatch teams throughout the Middle East. So it’s somewhat understandably all over the map, starting with Rick Ross’s Black Bar Mitzvah (1:30) and ending with an apocalyptic plague of viral vampires (42:50). In the meantime, we found time to laud Pitch Perfect (6:24) (and spar over its perfectly fine star, Anna Kendrick, a.k.a. Millennial America’s Sweetheart) and debate the merits of Homeland Season 2’s surprising second episode (17:00). From there, we let the leaves turn in our hearts and minds: Chris wanted to wax lyrical about the energy-efficient hayride he went on in Griffith Park while I was stuck previewing the new season of The Walking Dead (32:45), which returns on Sunday. A far less bloody, but no less gross program is also returning this week — FX’s The League — and both Chris and I celebrated the fact that one of our favorite things about it is that it consistently provides us with absolutely nothing to say. Ah, silence. The rarest commodity in a podcast. And the best part of any bar mitzvah, no matter the color. L’chaim!
Writer Kay Cannon’s already had a career-making autumn. Pitch Perfect, the delightful-even-if-you-hate-human-beatboxing comedy she wrote, opened wide this weekend after an impressive start in limited release, and she’s about to begin work on the pilot script for her own series, a sitcom set behind the scenes of an NFL show, that she just sold to Fox. All of this comes on the heels of a cross-country move, which saw Cannon leaving the cozy confines of 30 Rock — where she’d been since the beginning, rising from story editor to Emmy-nominated executive producer — to a new day job on New Girl. Despite a 9 a.m. recording time last week, Kay came ready for a riff-off: We talked about her unlikely relationship to Pitch Perfect’s collegiate-singing source material (being from Chicago, she thought a capella was an East Coast fantasy, like chill lax bros or a rent-controlled apartment), what it’s like working with Tina Fey, and why she prefers Los Angeles to New York (hint: it has something to do with healthier food delivery options). Super funny — and super into all the sports memorabilia in the Grantland studio (she’s a die-hard Bears fan) — Kay was a fantastic guest. She was even gracious enough to sing us out.
Django Unchained - International Trailer (December 25)
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Dan Silver: I admire Quentin Tarantino for a great many reasons, but none more than his skillful employment of hyperbole. Not so much in his dialogue or set pieces, but as an overarching motif in all his films. Genre and time period aside, Q.T. has consistently played out the events of his film in a heightened reality. Where we, as audience members, have no choice but to accept that someone can fight 88 assassins solo and run up a banister, or that an exchange like ...
Honey Bunny: I love you, Pumkin. Pumkin: I love you, Honey Bunny.
... is anything but sincere and plausible. Call Inglourious Basterds a fairy tale or Death Proof a comic, it doesn’t matter.
Starz has renewed Boss — a political drama starring Kelsey Grammer as a powerful Chicago mayor with a troublesome secret that could bring him down — for a second season even before its October 10 debut. In explaining the bold move, Starz president Chris Albrecht said, “With each episode, the story grew richer, and the cast continued to turn in breakthrough performances ... For our viewers, we felt it important to start working on the next season as soon as possible.” “Also, nobody really watches Starz, so we’re pretty confident the ratings bump from people mistakenly thinking they’re watching a Frasier rerun will be significant,” he did not add. Grade: B+ [HR]
Andy Rooney is quitting 60 Minutes! The indefatigable curmudgeon has been with the show since 1968, has been delivering his trademark rant-essays since 1978, and has appeared in over 1,000 broadcasts. The 92-year-old will officially announce his departure himself on this Sunday’s 60 Minutes, probably with a rant about people who make too big of a deal about Andy Rooney leaving 60 Minutes. We’ll miss you, buddy. Grade: A [HR]