Notable new releases and events
The symbol indicates titles of unusual interest, quality, and/or critical acclaim.
The calendar may still say April as we write this, but 2013's summer movie season officially kicks off this week with one of the year's biggest titles: Iron Man 3. With good reviews already rolling in, it looks like the third Iron Man film will be another critical and box office success for Marvel. Their gamble to hire Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black to direct only his second feature (the first being the Robert Downey Jr.-starring Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) seems to have paid off, with most critics considering the new film a step up from Iron Man 2. Picking up after the events of The Avengers, this third installment has Tony Stark/Iron Man face off against Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin and Guy Pearce as Aldrich Killian. Returning to aid in the proceedings are Gwyneth Paltrow (Pepper Potts), Don Cheadle (James Rhodes/War Machine), and Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan).
With the other studios staying well clear of Iron Man 3 during its opening weekend, there are no other wide releases debuting this week. Friday's most notable limited release is Something in the Air, the latest critically acclaimed film from French director Olivier Assayas (Carlos, Summer Hours). The drama focuses on a pair of young French activists in 1971 as they riot on the outskirts of Paris and then flee to the Italian countryside.
Watch the entire second episode of Maron now at IFC.com.
The next few weeks will be fairly slow for new show premieres, but the coming week does bring the debut of Maron (Friday at 10p on IFC), a new comedy series from stand-up comedian-turned-podcaster Marc Maron. The show blends interview segments (similar to those on his popular WTF podcast) with scripted scenes in which Maron plays a character based on himself. Judd Hirsch and Andy Kindler co-star as Maron's father and best friend, respectively, while folks like Aubrey Plaza, Adam Scott, Denis Leary, Dave Foley, Mark Duplass, Bobcat Goldthwait, and Illeana Douglas will make guest appearances throughout the season.
Fans of alternative comedy can also check out Inside Amy Schumer (Tuesday at 10:30p on Comedy Central), which finds the Delocated co-star blending her edgy stand-up with sketches and on-the-street interviews. The new sitcom Family Tools (Wednesday at 8:30p on ABC) is far more conventional in nature, following Kyle Bornheimer (Perfect Couples) as he takes over the family handyman business from his father (J.K. Simmons). ABC has expressed little confidence in the show, delaying it until the end of the season and cutting its order, and the British series on which it's based (White Van Man) was short-lived as well.
A pair of cable shows also make their returns this week. Warehouse 13 (Monday at 10p on Syfy) is back with the first of 10 new episodes which will wrap up last season's cliffhanger; later episodes will introduce new cast members (played by The Scorpion King's Kelly Hu and Caprica's Polly Walker). And The Big C (Monday at 10p on Showtime) will switch to an hourlong format for its final four episodes that will conclude the story of Laura Linney's Cathy Jamison and her battle with cancer.
Listen to Ready to Die in its entirety prior to its Tuesday release at NPR.
Six years ago, rock legend Iggy Pop reunited with some—though definitely not all—of his one-time bandmates in The Stooges to record the band's first album in 34 years. That effort, The Weirdness, was a mixed bag at best, and it clearly didn't live up to the band's legacy. This Tuesday, however, they give it one more try with Ready to Die, and the results seem to be greatly improved, thanks in part to the return of original Stooges guitarist James Williamson, who hasn't been heard on record since 1973's Raw Power. Filling in on bass for the late Ron Asheton is Minutemen founder Mike Watt.
Also out Tuesday is Praxis Makes Perfect, the second album from Neon Neon, a collaboration between Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys and producer Boom Bip. While the pair's terrific debut was a concept album about carmaker John DeLorean, the new disc focuses on the life of Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, an Italian communist, avant-garde publisher, and revolutionary. Also on tap Tuesday is Sub Verses , the latest from indie-folkies Akron/Family. Veteran hip-hop star LL Cool J releases Authentic, featuring collaborations with Chuck D, Seal, Eddie Van Halen, Snoop Dogg, Travis Barker, and Brad Paisley (the latter, of course, having already worked with LL Cool J on the year's most infamous track, "Accidental Racist"). And dance-rock outfit !!! returns this week with Thr!!!er, the band's first release in three years.
Closing the book on last week
|Most Popular Title on Metacritic|
|Star Trek (360) 45||Week of 4/21-4/27|
|Weekend Box Office Champion (Estimated, U.S. only; source: Boxofficemojo.com)|
|Pain & Gain 45||$20.0 million; 1st week at #1|
|#1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: Billboard.com/Nielsen SoundScan)|
|Fall Out Boy: Save Rock and Roll 76||1st week at #1|
|Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)|
|The Voice (NBC) [Mon]||14.4 million viewers; week of 4/15-4/21|