Financial Reform Cloture Votes: When Losing Is Good Politics

For the third time in as many days, Democratic senators failed to garner enough votes to bring a financial-regulator-reform bill to the floor of the Senate for debate (UPDATE: GOP senators have just decided to allow the bill to move to the floor and will attempt to change it in open debate). Both parties' blustering notwithstanding—GOP senators say they're concerned about preventing further "taxpayer-funded bailouts" of firms deemed too big to fail, while Democrats railed against the opposition for refusing even to allow a bill to come to the floor—the strategy of putting the legislation up for a cloture vote day after day only to see it fail every time seems, at first blush, like mere short-term political theater to force the GOP's hand. Will calling for a daily vote really put enough pressure on Republicans to get them to relent? It's certainly possible that Democrats are bashing their heads against that wall to try to force GOP senators to engage in...

Dance, Dance, Dance

This weekend, the Wayans brothers turn their satirical eye to a much-loved movie genre: the dance film. You know, Flashdance, Stomp the Yard, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers ... But before you head to the theater, watch our interview with four of the many, many Wayanses (above), check out our exploration of why dance movies have endured essentially unchanged for close to eight decades and see our rundown of the best dance flicks ever.

'Brüno' Trailer Hits the Web

It's pretty NSFW, unless your workplace is tolerant of nudity, profanity and sex toys wielded as weapons, but here's the first trailer for Sacha Baron Cohen's next flick. It comes across as "Borat"-lite, but Cohen's funny enough that it's probably worth a shot.

Early Version of 'Wolverine' Movie Leaked Online?

According to several sources, a "workprint version" of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" was leaked online and has been downloadable through bittorrent sites since sometime yesterday. While we certainly wouldn't encourage you to hunt around and download it (that would be illegal, or at least unethical, and besides, why would you want to see the unfinished version?), if you're not averse to spoilers, here's an alleged review.

Worst. Casting. Ever?

Sean Penn is on board to play Larry in the "Three Stooges" movie. Jim Carrey's in talks for the role of Curly, while producers for some reason think Benicio Del Toro might consider stooping low enough to play Moe. Apparently, it's not enough that studios defile our memories of beloved childhood icons; they have to defile the careers of three (largely) respectable actors as well.

'Where the Wild Things Are' Film Trailer: Lame or Nifty?

Here's the first trailer for the Spike Jonze adaptation of Maurice Sendak's awesome children's book "Where the Wild Things Are." It's got lots of CGI monsters, but somehow the cartoonishness seems fitting. Still, this one could be a big fat flop. Chime in with your thoughts in the comments.

Grunge at 18

As Pearl Jam re-releases its seminal debut album, "Ten," we revisit the musical era marked by stringy hair, threadbare jeans, angst and loud, distorted guitars.

Grunge Bands: Where Are They Now?

Torn jeans. Long underwear worn under cargo shorts with combat boots. Remember the early '90s? OK, so maybe it wasn't the best time of our lives fashionwise, but musically, it rocked. Yes, we're talking about the heyday of grunge, when a rainy city in the Pacific Northwest became the center of the musical universe, unkempt hair and clothing were the uniform of choice and angst reigned. With Pearl Jam re-releasing "Ten," one of the albums that helped to define the movement, here's a look back at the six biggest Seattle grunge bands and what they've been up to since flannel faded.(To see our full package on grunge, including an interview with Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, a look at growing up a Pearl Jam fan and a gallery of famous grunge bands, click here.)...

Don't Believe the 'Watchmen' Hype. Really. Don't.

To paraphrase a well-worn bumper sticker: Alan Moore, protect me from your followers.  A couple of weeks ago, a Time magazine blogger named Matt Selman bestowed upon the online world the gift of his impressions of the new "Watchmen" movie. "Sitting in that screening room and watching the visual world of the Watchmen movie unfold," he wrote, "was one of the most powerful experiences I've ever had. Not film experiences. Just EXPERIENCES." (The hyperbolic all-caps YELLING is sic.) If it strikes you as a little sad that a grown man would describe viewing a superhero movie, even one based on a graphic novel that Time earlier named one of the 100 best English-language novels since 1923, as among the most moving moments of his life, be assured that Selman is not alone. Another reviewer called the film "a profound work of art, a beautiful, deliriously weird, meditative spin on a genre that is as American as jazz." One Nate "Blunty" Burr...

Our Critics Call the Oscars: The Reckoning

Last week, our critics Devin Gordon and Ramin Setoodeh went head to head to pick the winners in the top categories at the Academy Awards. Now that Hollywood's big night has ended, here's the final tally. And the winner is ... drumroll, please ... Mr. Setoodeh! He correctly picked the winner in seven out of the eight categories, with Mr. Gordon a close second, at six out of eight. (Though, to be fair, Setoodeh hedged a little bit in his Best Picture pick.)

'TR2N'? What Hath Jeff Bridges Wrought?

All right, so it's not breaking news that Hollywood is making a sequel to classic '80s flick "Tron"; it's been rumored and/or in the works for several years. Web pundits were skeptical when the idea was announced—in the 21st century, can you really make a sequel to a movie that was all about a guy literally going into a computer and battling the evil "Master Control Program" without being utterly laughable?—but suspended judgment....

Music News Roundup: Beyonce Burned, Springsteen a Sham

Them's Fightin' Words: Legend Etta James "can't stand" Beyoncé, warns bootylicious singer "she's going to get her a-- whipped" for singing James' "At Last" during Inauguration celebrationsIs That Supposed to Make Us Feel Better?: Miley Cyrus not mocking Asians with slant-eyed photo, just making "goofy" face, she saysIllusions Shattered: Springsteen, E-Street Band played to backing track during Super Bowl; only Boss's vocals were live Cash in Like the Wind: Spinal Tap to release new record for 25th anniversary of "This Is Spinal Tap"De-Lux-ed: Cramps lead singer Lux Interior dies of preexisting heart condition

Stephen King Hates on 'Twilight,' Stephenie Meyer

The horror-meister minced no words in an interview with USA Today: "Both ['Harry Potter' author J.K.] Rowling and ['Twilight' author Stephenie] Meyer, they're speaking directly to young people. ... The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can't write worth a darn. She's not very good."...

Christian Bale Freaks Out on Set

If you haven't yet heard, serious (really serious) actor Christian Bale has been caught on tape, totally spazzing on the set of "Terminator Salvation." Apparently, the director of photography was walking around in the background while Bale was trying to do a scene, which completely threw the intense thespian into a furious, furious rage. He proceeds to berate the hapless DP for about three minutes, dropping profanities right and left. If you want to listen, here's a link to the audio, but beware, it's totally NSFW, unless your workplace allows F-bombs. Also, here's the hilarious dance remix (also NSFW). Um, Chris? You're in "Terminator Salvation." Maybe you could take yourself a leeeetle less seriously?

'Music Is Another Form of News'

Shiny-toothed rapper Lil Wayne seems suitably cuh-raaazy in this preview of Katie Couric's Grammy interview with him (they go bowling!), but you've gotta love how he calls her "Miss Katie."

Variety Disses Springsteen, MP3s, Technology—Kittens, Rainbows, Electricity Up Next

Under the headline "Community losing its role in music?" Variety's Phil Gallo inveighs against Bruce Springsteen's new album, "Working on a Dream," blaming what he sees as the songs' weakness on The Boss's desire to cater to "the MP3 world that digests music one song at a time" rather than constructing a cohesive album.  It's a muddled piece of writing that finds Gallo going off on airy tangents about how music is "a communicative art" that becomes "flat or uninspiring" when artists don't try "out songs in live settings and then adjust them in the studio." And while rhapsodizing about "primal communion" and how the creation of music "for centuries" has "relied on the communication between creator and audience," he manages to ignore the fact that he's actually dead wrong: The kind of creative audience-artist interaction that Gallo yearns for didn't exist...

'Watchmen': Sometimes, Viral Marketing Can Be Pretty Nifty

Remember all that back and forth about how "Watchmen" would or wouldn't suck? The latest bit of viral marketing from the studio has the film firmly back in the "OMG this might actually be a great movie must watch it NOW" category. It's not filled with earth-shattering FX or anything, it's just subtle and pitch-perfect, which suggests that the filmmakers might actually have gotten the tone right.

Oscar's Snarky Cousin

You say you're not into the orgy of Hollywood self-congratulation that is the Academy Awards? Never fear: the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation has announced the nominees for the 2008 Razzies just for you. Some high-/lowlights: Mike Myers' atrocious stinker "The Love Guru" and M. Night Shyamalan's horror heap "The Happening" both racked up nominations for Worst Picture, Worst Director and Worst Actor, among others. Self-important German director and critic-boxer Uwe Böll was nominated for/given the Worst Career Achievement Razzie (he was the only candidate) Paris Hilton bomb "The Hottie & the Nottie" nabbed nominations in four categories (only four?!).  

Today in Rush News: You Can Go Home Now, Neil Peart

Remember this phenomenal video of a young girl drumming along like a fiend to Rush's prog classic "YYZ"?That's nothing.She's been bested by another young girl who plays the whole song on a synth. Mind. Blown.(Thanks, Metafilter)

Music News Roundup

Shark Jumped: Video for Neil Young song from new concept album about (wait for it) eco-friendly cars   It's Like "One," But Not the Same: New U2 single, "Get on Your Boots"   Ya think?: Music industry urged to embrace the Internet   MC Please Stop: A bearded Joaquin Phoenix raps   Didn't Van Halen Do This in '91?: Britney changes title of raunchy tune  

Happy 200th Birthday, Eddie

Today marks the big two-oh-oh for legendary horror/mystery writer Edgar Allan Poe. Good ol' EA would have loved Vincent Price in "The Tell-Tale Heart":