Monday, March 25, 2013

Pick O' the Week - March 22

So in entertainment news this week, Lucasfilm has created the Star Wars March Madness bracket, which is useful if you're a nerd who always wanted to be into sports. News was released that Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) has been tapped to direct a remake of the incredible Rebecca.  Seriously, if you haven't seen it, check out the trailer (although this version makes it seem like a more of a romance instead of the thriller it actually turns out to be). And Ryan Gosling has announced a sabbatical from acting, which if he takes a page from Leonardo DiCaprio or Jay-Z means we'll have a six month break before his next project.

I've been TERRIBLY disappointed with the offerings in theatres of late, so much so that I'm finding it more and more difficult to make choices when it's my turn for Pick O the Week (hence the delays).  To that end, instead of making my picks this week (especially since the weekend is over), I'm going to point out a few things I find exciting about entertainment right now...

One of the wonderful things that has come from the internet revolution (other than the nerd renaissance) has been the continuing rise of the webseries.  Accessible, easily funded and often quite provocative (though perhaps some of the newer offerings cannot make this claim) the genre is finding more and more traction in the entertainment industry.  I've mentioned The Lizzie Bennet Diaries before as a great example of the immersive quality that a well tailored internet series like this can have (all the characters have twitter accounts and some even have their own adjacent series).  What I've noticed lately though is more and more celebrities hopping on the band wagon.  Most recently I discovered the webseries Wigs, which takes the stories of several characters, each with their own stream and each loosely interconnected.  The series features several stars of television and film, most notably America Ferrera and Julia Stiles and follows the women through some of their experiences.

Okay so this feels like a corporate choice but the reality is there's not a whole lot of great television or film out there right now (unless you dig) and if you're feeling lazy about the whole situation, which I often am, the ability to swiftly turn on an old TV show you love can be very comforting.  This year I've re-discovered some old favourites (re-watched Buffy and Angel), caught up on some things that others had been yapping about for years (Raising Hope) and discovered that there were several documentaries I should have checked out in Theatres.  In the end though, the service won me over with the gripping but somewhat antiseptic, House of Cards.  Check it out, the first month is free and it's only $8/mo after that, plus the Canadian content is getting better by the day.  Oh yeah, and thay"re also responsible for the Arrested Development reunion...

Comics having been an earlier adopter of this model, I've been familiar with it for some time but more recently, Hollywood and non-Hollywood types alike have been using kickstarter to demonstrate the value and per-existing audience for many of their projects.  Earlier this month, showrunner Rob Thomas and some of the people behind Veronica Mars released a kickstarter to fund the movie they've kept talking about for years.  Surprisingly the campaign made its 2 Million dollar goal within a few hours of launching and has since grown to just shy of $4 Million and counting.  Not only does this mean fans will be able to see how the show wraps up but they get to participate in the creation of something they love.  That's pretty sweet.

What are you excited about right now in entertainment?

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