Okay, so David Russell is probably most famous in more gossipy quarters for his fistfight with George Clooney and his verbal meltdown with Lily Tomlin. However, he’s actually a consistently intriguing, extremely talented writer-director. His latest film appears to be a major change of pace — an entirely non-ironic fact-based boxing tale about “Irish” Mickey Ward and his ne’er do well brother, who I admittedly had never heard of until just now — which will no doubt invite perhaps inaccurate comparisons as some kind of real-life “Rocky” or a Boston “Raging Bull.” Mark Wahlberg, Amy Adams and very different Christian Bale star. (I didn’t even recognize Bale, who I imagine got along famously with fellow video tantrum throwing Russell, until late in the trailer. Impressive.)
And, what is it with tough Bostonians in the movies lately? I mean, aren’t there any other cities full of tough guys with interesting accents? Next time, filmmakers, considering setting your tales of betrayal and redemption on the mean streets of, I don’t know, Tacoma or Milwaukee. Meanwhile, excuse while I paak the cah in Bastan yahd.
As Fox tries desperately to compete with NBC’s Winter Olympic coverage, they keep unveiling “first time in American Idol history” type stuff, which really is just a small break in format during Hollywood week.
But I’ll give them this…they are getting down to the final 24 quickly. Almost too quickly.
Last night’s two-hour episode began with the final 71 contestants being broken into three rooms. Two rooms would hold those advancing to the next round, and one room full of those heading home. This, after one final shot to impress the judges with a solo performance.
Fox’s “American Idol” returned last night for the start of its ninth season, and while they can rotate judges and air this show right after Simon Cowell announced he is leaving the show, they can’t change the fact that the talent or lack thereof ultimately drives this thing. Last night was no exception, as we had to endure the first of seven or eight episodes of those initial auditions, showing us the very polarizing best and worst of the lot.
The first auditions were in Boston, and along with Cowell, the other judges were the returning Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi, with Victoria Beckham, a.k.a. Posh Spice, as a guest judge. As we do each season at this time, we’ll try to briefly summarize by separating the best and the worst.