Six Picks for the Week Ahead in Entertainment

Inception (Fri.)

ImageSo dreamy

Christopher Nolan’s long-awaited follow-up to The Dark Knight finally hits theaters Friday riding a wave of unprecedented buzz. Leonardo DiCaprio plays dream expert Cobb, a man who steals dreams for a living. Not much more has been revealed about the film other than it co-stars Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, and Michael Caine -- and looks incredible. If you saw The Dark Knight in IMAX, you know that Inception will be worth seeking out in that format as well.

The early reviews for Inception are among the best for any film this year.

///Y/ by M.I.A. (Tue.)

ImageStreams of consciousness

Electro-hop artist M.I.A. returns Tuesday with her third album ///Y/ on the heels of a recent New York Times character assassination piece (apparently, giving birth in a hospital rather than a ditch precludes one from being authentic about third-world issues). While her previous album shot her into the pop stratosphere with The Clash-sampling “Paper Planes,” two leaked singles from the new disc -- the dance-friendly “XXXO” and the punky “Born Free” -- show an artist trying to negotiate her revolutionary ideals with the pop universe.

Check out M.I.A.'s headache-inducing website or stream most of the new tracks on her MySpace page.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Wed.)

Image Disney works its magic

As with Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion, Disney is trying yet again to capitalize on a curious corner of its vast empire. This time, it’s Wednesday release The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, a very loose, live-action adaptation of the finale of animated classic Fantasia (which in turn was based on a Goethe poem), starring Nicolas Cage as a master sorcerer in modern New York City. Jay Baruchel (Undeclared, She’s Out of My League) co-stars with Alfred Molina and a bunch of CGI.

Play games, get downloads, and watch clips at the official website.

Talking to Girls About Duran Duran by Rob Sheffield (Thur.)

ImageGirl talk

Omnipresent music scribe and VH1 talking head Rob Sheffield (Rolling Stone, Spin, Blender) follows up his first book Love Is a Mix Tape: Life and Loss, One Song at a Time with the more upbeat (in title at least) Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut. Expect more hopelessly romantic musings on music, love, and hairspray while growing up in the ’80s in this Thursday book release.

Read more about the author on the publisher’s website or check out his favorite music books at goodreads.

Pitchfork Music Festival (Fri. - Sun.)

ImagePavement cracks the lineup

Ultra-opinionated music site Pitchfork celebrates its fifth annual music festival in Chicago’s Union Park this weekend with yet another killer lineup that includes the newly reunited Pavement, Modest Mouse, Robyn, LCD Soundsystem, Panda Bear, Why?, Sleigh Bells and Sir Lucious Left Foot himself, Big Boi. The mostly sold-out all-weekend festival -- which will also include a comedy stage for the first time -- will release a few tickets for Friday only this Thursday.

Don't have tickets? Watch the entire festival streamed live here. You can also find news, venue information, and lineup details at the festival website.

Dark Night of the Soul by Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse (Tue.)

ImageSoul music

Over a year after it was first announced comes the official CD release of the Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse, and David Lynch collaboration Dark Night of the Soul 73. Get your gloom on Tuesday with this collection of lovely if generally downbeat songs that feature guest appearances by Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys, The Shins’ James Mercer, The Strokes’ Julian Casablancas, The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne, Iggy Pop, Frank Black, and more. A limited edition includes Lynch photographs inspired by the songs (he sings on the album, too).

Check out the frustratingly interactive official album website for more (or less) information, or stream the entire album live at NPR prior to its release.

Closing the book on last week

Most Popular Title on Metacritic.com
Inception 100 Week ending 7/10/2010
Weekend Box Office Champion (Estimated, U.S. only; source: Boxofficemojo.com)
Despicable Me 72 $60.1 million; 1st week at #1
#1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: Billboard.com/Nielsen SoundScan)
Eminem: Recovery 63 2nd week at #1
Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)
America's Got Talent [Wed.] (NBC) 12.9 million viewers; week of 6/28-7/4

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Comments (8)

  • Jordan  

    That MIA video was ridiculous. Im not sure whether I should call it artistic or just plain unnecessary but Im leaning toward the latter. Almost too violent IMO and thats saying a lot coming from me.

  • Max  

    As quoted from The Decemberists- Mia: "Glenn Beck of the Left"

  • Phil R.  

    Jesus Inception looks incredible. I so want to see this movie. Only hope it lives up to the hype. Last Nolan film had a lot of hype too, and though it was good it didnt meet my expectations. For Inception my expectations are even bigger.

  • Vincent  

    I understand having a weighted metascore. But with only four reviews, Inception shouldn't have a perfect 100. Even a 99 would suffice, however it seems biased to disregard The Hollywood Reporter's review and give a perfect overall average. Just my opinion.

  • Vincent  

    Again, I must nick-pick the disaster that is with your scoring system. First, you inflate the score of Inception from its real average and now you do the opposite. The original four reviews you included for Inception averaged out to be 97.5%. You guys bumped it up to 100% as its "weighted" score. ex. (100+100+100+90)/4= 97.5%

    Now a review from New York Magazine comes out which should drop the average of Inception to an 86%.

    ex. (100+100+100+90+40)/5= 86% But no, instead, you guys list it as a 75%. What the hell? I understand that the New York magazine is a large publication, but even if you counted the review as two sources, it still wouldn't equal 75%.

    ex. (100+100+100+90+40+40)/6= 78%

    And this isn't the first time you guys have seriously messed up. I remember you listed Black Tambourine's album as a 93 for a solid three weeks when the highest review score listed was a 90! Get your act together.

  • Iukimo  

    MIA is garbage, as a human and an artist... and the NYT article was much more revealing than the way the authors of the above excerpt portray it. She does have some very catchy tunes, and although her personal shortcomings should not disuade anyone from listening to her (youtube, radio,...) I wouldnt giver her dime.

  • brandon  

    Actually, Pitchfork will be releasing additional tickets for the entire festival at the box office on Thursday, not just tickets for Friday.

  • brandon  

    @Max: Your comment is its own commentary. You listen to the Decemberists. Ha!

    @lukimo: Strong words. Though neither elegant nor true.

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