Six Picks: Previewing the Week Ahead in Entertainment

Our weekly column brings you everything you need to know about the six biggest entertainment stories that are on our radar this week:

Ridley Scott's Robin Hood arrives in theaters (Fri.)

Economy-battered cinephiles anticipating a soothing wish fulfillment tale of taking from the corrupt rich and giving to the poor may be somewhat flummoxed by Robin Hood’s entrenchment in English history, but flaming arrows and lush cinematography should placate them. This Ridley Scott-helmed prequel has led some to refer to it as Gladiator 64 in Sherwood Forest, as merriment takes a back seat to politics. Russell Crowe is back in thespian action mode as Robin, while Cate Blanchett wields both wit and a sword as Lady Marion.

Metacritic users predicted that Robin Hood would wind up with a Metascore of 65. Check their predictions for summer's biggest films.

The National's High Violet (Tue.)

ImageThe "Violet" hour is near

This Brooklyn quintet has a tendency for anthemic self-absorption, and High Violet is as moody and melodic as its predecessor, 2007’s Boxer 86, with a touch more orchestration. This fifth album’s gorgeously morose songs are given surprising energy by Brian Devendorf’s muscular drumming, and Matt Berninger’s assured baritone invites comparisons to Interpol and Ian Curtis (Joy Division) but has a beautiful gloom all of its own. Reviews for the Tuesday release are overwhelmingly positive, though Hot Press “can’t get behind the voice.” Their loss.

Listen to High Violet in its entirety at NPR (until May 11th), download track “Bloodbuzz Ohio,” or view tour dates to find out when The National is coming to a city near you.

Check It Out! with Dr. Steve Brule series premiere (Sun.)

Image Brule rules

This new series hosted by unconventional Channel 5 health specialist Dr. Steve Brule premieres Sunday night at 12:30am on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. Check It Out!, a spinoff from Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, features the inimitable improv genius John C. Reilly (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story), who gives Dr. Brule an innocence and enthusiasm that lend whimsy to his inadvertent quackery. And that quackery is on full display in this expanded 15-minute showcase, a masterful homage to local television at its low-budget finest.

See what Dr. Brule has to say about telepathy and bullies and more on the Adult Swim website.

The Cannes Film Festival begins (Wed.)

ImageLa 63e édition

This year’s Cannes Film Festival (which kicks off Wednesday and runs through May 23rd) is dominated by auteurs. Contenders for the Palme d’Or include Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy, Takeshi Kitano’s yakuza flick Outrage, and Mike Leigh’s marital drama Another Year, his follow-up to 2008’s Happy-Go-Lucky. The only American film in competition this year is Doug Liman's thriller about outed CIA operative Valerie Plame, Fair Game, though audiences will also be treated to screenings of Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger and sex/sci-fi/horror comedy Kaboom from Gregg Araki (Mysterious Skin). The festival includes two high-profile premieres of films not in competition: Robin Hood and Oliver Stone's Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps.

You can find images, press, and more about the featured films at the official Cannes website.

The Dead Weather's Sea of Cowards (Tue.)

ImageWhite changes his stripes

Clocking in at about 35 minutes, the psych-blues jam of Sea of Cowards is a hard-rocking take on Southern Gothic. Jack White (The White Stripes) plays fierce drums, relinquishing primary vocal duties to the sexy swagger of The Kills’ Alison Mosshart. The Dead Weather also includes Jack Lawrence (the Raconteurs) on bass and Dean Fertita (Raconteurs, Queens of the Stone Age) on guitar/keyboards. The band’s first album, Horehound 75, came out less than a year ago, and early reviews for Sea of Cowards are also mostly positive, though its unfinished quality is not for everyone.

Listen to Sea of Cowards in its entirety at NPR (until May 11th) or view the band's tour dates, which include illustrious venues such as Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, and the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Daria: The Complete Animated Series on DVD (Tue.)

ImageMore real than today's MTV reality stars?

It’s hard to imagine someone like Daria Morgendorffer on today’s MTV: snarky, morose, and sarcastic, social outcast Daria navigates suburban high school with the help of her arty best friend Jayne, occasionally beset by her cheerleader nemesis of a sister, Quinn. Daria first premiered in 1997 as a spinoff of Beavis and Butt-head and ran until 2002, and Tuesday’s DVD release features all five seasons, two movies, and extras. Unfortunately, due to licensing issues, the original music was replaced -- a major bummer, especially when it comes to a video countdown with no videos.

Explore suburban Lawndale with Daria and friends at the official MTV Daria website.

Closing the book on last week

Most Popular Title on Metacritic.com
Iron Man 2 57 Week ending 5/8/2010
#1 Weekend Box Office (Estimated, U.S. only; source: Boxofficemojo.com)
Iron Man 2 57 $133.6 million; 1st week at #1
#1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: Billboard.com/Nielsen SoundScan)
B.o.B.: The Adventures Of Bobby Ray 70 1st week at #1
Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)
Dancing with the Stars [Mon] (ABC) 20.4 million viewers

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Comments (8)

  • PR Newswire Helpdesk  

    great bruel breakdown; will DVR right now. I wonder tho if is appeal will be diluted by a longer segment. he really shines in those 90 second "to your health" reports. my favorite is when they hired the real-life infomerical lady for his griddleman panini-maker infomerical; what's a panini? it's a sandwich. it's italian, I think. what's italian?

  • Sticks  

    I am definitely considering investing in both "Sea of Cowards" and Daria (especially since, to my horror, many of my friends have never even heard of Daria).

  • Dylan  

    Interesting how they didn't mention the release of 2 highly anticipated video games...Alan Wake and Red Dead Redemption.

  • Brett  

    All it takes is a listen at the provided NPR link to show that The Dead Weather's "Sea of Cowards" is an absolutely amazing album and superior to the first in just about every way.

  • Jer  

    Woo! Daria! Perhaps the greatest song ever, courtesy of Mystik Spiral.

    "Betrayal! Yeah, you ruined my life.
    Betrayal! Yeah, you're twisting the knife."

    Or something like that.

  • Anya  

    Sleigh Bells definitely has a lot of hype behind it. Wish Daria had all the cool music I remembered from my youth.

  • Christopher  

    High Violet is already my AOTY. Its absolutely amazing!

  • Max  

    I'm most looking forward to the Sleigh Bells album!

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