Six Picks for the Week of January 24-30

Academy Award nominations announced (Tue.)

ImageAn important announcement

It seems anticlimactic at this point, but the 83rd annual Academy Award nominations will be announced Tuesday morning at 8:30am ET. You wanna bet that The Social Network, Black Swan, and The King’s Speech get a bunch of nominations? This is one of the more predictable years for awards; last year’s supporting actress winner for Precious, Mo’Nique, will be waking up early to announce nominations for the likes of Natalie Portman (Black Swan) and Christian Bale (The Fighter). For the second year in a row, ten movies will be nominated for Best Picture, and we're guessing there will be even more mediocre movies among that group this year after just one -- The Blind Side -- snuck in last year.

For more information about this year’s awards, check out the Oscar website, or see which movies and people have been winning all of the other awards announced so far.

Dead Space 2 (Tue.)

ImageYou'll want to make space for this one

You’ve no doubt seen one of the Dead Space 2 ads that say very little about the actual game, instead focusing on faux-maternal reactions to it. What the ads don’t tell you is that the new game (out Tuesday for PS3, 360 and PC) is said to be much better than its predecessor, and includes a great story wherein protagonist Isaac Clarke is grappling with past demons all while dismembering them in darkly lit, spooky space stations. A supposedly anemic multiplayer mode is also included for additional gameplay outside the single-player campaign. Let’s hope this M-rated game is scarier than the immature-gamer-sterotype-perpetuating ad campaign would imply.

Take a look at the new iteration at EA’s Dead Space website, rather than dignifying YourMomHatesThis.com with a click.

Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002-2010 by The Radio Dept. (Tue.)

Image Collection of Dept.

Last year, Swedish indie rock outfit The Radio Dept. finally had a breakout year, with their third album Clinging to a Scheme garnering critical attention and appearing on some year-end best-of lists. The band has a wealth of great songs, many of which aren’t featured on any of their full-length albums, but instead appear on a handful of EPs and singles. Coming out on Tuesday, Passive Aggressive: Singles 2002-2010 is a double CD collection of these EP, B-side, and rare tracks from the last decade that rank among the band’s best.

Find recent performances and more at the band's website.

Season 2 premiere of Archer (Thu.)

ImageYou can typically find him under cover(s)

The animated spy spoof Archer returns for a second season on FX Thursday night at 10pm. The 13-episode season kicks off at a winter resort and includes kidnapping threats and underage nymphomaniacs -- all in a day’s work for the suave member of the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS). H. Jon Benjamin, who voices Sterling Archer, is taking over the animation world lately; he also voices the lead character on Bob’s Burgers, currently airing over on Fox.  And if you haven’t seen his work on Home Movies, get on that pronto.

Become part of the action at the Archer website.

The Mechanic (Fri.)

ImageAnd that was just an oil change

Jason Statham was undoubtedly the best part of the very disappointing The Expendables, and he follows that film by taking center stage in a remake of the 1972 Charles Bronson vehicle The Mechanic, due Friday. The creepy and underrated Ben Foster takes over the Jan-Michael Vincent role as an apprentice hitman who wants to learn from the best. Directed by Simon West (Con Air, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider), the action film also stars scenery chewers Tony Goldwyn and Donald Sutherland. Have they started shooting Crank 3D yet?

Get Stathamed at the official website.

Mega Python vs. Gatoroid (Sat.)

ImageDebbie Gibson hasn't aged well

Syfy’s prolific output of schlocky, cheaply made science-fiction movies continues Saturday night at 9pm with the premiere of Mega Python vs. Gatoroid, starring late-’80s mall-touring pop-singer rivals Debbie (now Deborah) Gibson and Tiffany! Surely this pairing must mean that the space-time continuum has been altered in some way; the sneak peek would have you wondering which ex-popster’s the snake and which is the ’roided-out reptile. Music video (Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” and “Like a Prayer”) and film director (Pet Sematary) Mary Lambert has some fun with this cheesy CGI-fest, and your reaction to the title will probably determine whether you will too.

Check out more awesome original Syfy movies (though, sadly, not Croctopus 3D) at the network’s website.

Closing the book on last week

Weekend Box Office Champion (Estimated, U.S. only; source: Boxofficemojo.com)
No Strings Attached 53 $20.3 million; 1st week at #1
#1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: Billboard.com/Nielsen SoundScan)
Cake: Showroom of Compassion 74 1st week at #1
Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)
NFL Postgame (CBS) 31.2 million viewers; week of 1/10-1/16

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Comments (2)

  • conditionals  

    Holy crap, CAKE's 'Showroom of Compassion' went to #1? That's pretty unexpected, considering their 6 year absence and low-selling last album (which debuted at 11). Also, this latest album is an independent release.

  • Jordan Langer  

    Radio Dept. outtakes? That seems a little more desperate than this week would call for: Destroyer's "Kaputt" and Iron & Wine's "Kiss Each Other Clean" might be more worth noting.

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