Nov 2011 18

Happy Feet Two PosterGoing into a film like Happy Feet Two, you pretty much know what you can expect. It is not uncommon for sequels to kid’s animated movies to be lackluster in comparison to their predecessors, and in this case that is exactly what this film does. When a movie about singing and dancing penguins doesn’t have enough singing or dancing – you know you are in trouble.

Happy Feet Two takes place in the not-so-distant future after the first film ends. Mumble (Elijah Wood) and Gloria (Alecia Moore, AKA P!nk) are all grown up, and are married with a son of their own named Erik (Ava Acres). Like his father, Erik is awkward compared to his peers, and doesn’t sing or dance. Luckily for the young outcast, he has a couple of close friends named Atticus (Benjamin “Lil P-Nut” Flores Jr.) and Bo (Meibh Campbell) who stick with him through thick and thin. When the three run away with serial troublemaker Ramon (Robin Williams), they stumble upon a gathering of penguins who are worshiping a “flying penguin” named Sven (Hank Azaria). Erik gets the idea stuck in his head that he too can fly, and the penguins are forced to try when they get into trouble with icebergs shifting and trapping them without food.

The original Happy Feet movie was a great kid’s film, and was the kind that could keep parents pretty well entertained.  Their was great music, a fun story, and of course it was pretty original. Learning about the culture of penguins who sing and dance is a fun concept.  But when it comes to the sequel, it just seemed lackluster.  The songs were ok; there were some pretty clever lyrics like “we’re bringing fluffy back” parodying Justin Timberlake – but most of the good ones were seen in the trailer.  Basically there just wasn’t enough going on to keep the interest of most adults or their kids (my 2-year-old can attest to that, and he LOVES the first one).

The best part of the entire movie, by far, is the side story of Will the Krill (Brad Pitt) and Bill the Krill (Matt Damon).  Will discovers one day that him and his fellow krill are nothing more than food. Eventually, they will all be eaten and that is their purpose in life.  So he gets the idea that he is meant for so much more, and he and Bill leave their swarm to pursue bigger and better things.  Without the break that these two characters provide from the monotony of the main story-line, the movie would have been a complete disaster.

I will say that the 3D animation in this film has improved tenfold from the original, and the attention to detail is magnificent.  Everything down to each tiny feather is captured on-screen and the movie looks great.

If you are a fan of the first movie, I won’t say that you will completely hate Happy Feet Two.  Kids are sure to enjoy the visuals, and there are some fairly fun songs. But the problem is there just weren’t enough of them. The movie seems to crawl along at a pretty slow pace, and there just isn’t enough going on.  It’s probably safe to wait for this one until you can watch it on DVD or Blu-ray, and leave it on in the background while you can escape and do other things during the slow parts.

Happy Feet Two is a C-

Feb 2010 03

We Are the World Re-recorded 2010 for Haiti ReliefQuincy Jones, who produced the charity recording of “We Are the World” 25 years ago, announced last week that he would re-record the song.  Profits raised from the new song will benefit Hait’s recovery from the deadly earthquake from last month.

Two days ago, over 75 celebrities gathered to record a 2010 version of the song – including: Akon, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Jeff Bridges, Jennifer Hudson, the Jonas Brothers, Kanye West, Natalie Cole, Pink, Tony Bennett, Usher, Vince Vaughn, Will I Am and many others. It has been reported that Lil’ Wayne was chosen to cover Bob Dylan’s part in the original recording.  His response was, “…are you kidding?” and “…I don’t know how to sing.” The rapper says that he had Haitian friends who lost relatives in the disaster.

The original charity recording, written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie,  raised over $30 million help raise awareness and fight poverty in Africa.

The song is set for release at the Winter Olympics coming up, but be on the lookout for a leak that is sure to surface.

Feb 2010 01

Album Of The Year
I Am…Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé
The E.N.D., The Black Eyed Peas
The Fame, Lady Gaga
Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King, Dave Matthews Band
WINNER: Fearless, Taylor Swift

Best Female Pop Vocal
“Hometown Glory,” Adele
WINNER: “Halo,” Beyonce
“Hot N Cold,” Katy Perry
“Sober,” Pink
“You Belong With Me,” Taylor Swift

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration
“Ego,” Beyonce and Kanye West
“Knock You Down,” Keri Hilson, Kanye West, Ne-Yo
WINNER: “Run This Town,” Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Rihanna
“I’m on a Boat,” The Lonely Island and T-Pain
“Dead and Gone,” T.I. and Justin Timberlake

Best Rock Album
Black Ice, AC/DC
Live From Madison Square Garden, Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood
WINNER: 21st Century Breakdown, Green Day
Big Whiskey And The GrooGrux King, Dave Matthews Band
No Line On The Horizon, U2

Best Pop Vocal Album
WINNER: The E.N.D., The Black Eyed Peas
Breakthrough, Colbie Caillat
All I Ever Wanted, Kelly Clarkson
The Fray, The Fray
Funhouse, Pink

Record of the Year
“Halo,” Beyoncé
“I Gotta Feeling,” The Black Eyed Peas
WINNER: “Use Somebody,” Kings Of Leon
“Poker Face,” Lady Gaga
“You Belong With Me,” Taylor Swift

Best Comedy Album
Back From The Dead, Spinal Tap
WINNER: A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Gift Of All!, Stephen Colbert
Internet Leaks, ”Weird Al” Yankovic
My Weakness Is Strong, Patton Oswalt
Suckin’ It For The Holidays, Kathy Griffin
Tall, Dark & Chicano, George Lopez

Best New Artist
WINNER: Zac Brown Band
Keri Hilson
MGMT
Silversun Pickups
The Ting Tings

Best Dance Recording
“Boom Boom Pow,” The Black Eyed Peas
“When Love Takes Over,” David Guetta & Kelly Rowland
WINNER: “Poker Face,” Lady Gaga
“Celebration,” Madonna
“Womanizer,” Britney Spears

Best Electronic/Dance Album
WINNER: The Fame, Lady Gaga
Divided By Night, Crystal Method
One Love, David Guetta
Party Rock, LMFAO
Yes, Pet Shop Boys

Best Country Album
The Foundation, Zac Brown Band
Twang, George Strait
WINNER: Fearless, Taylor Swift
Defying Gravity, Keith Urban
Call Me Crazy, Lee Ann Womack

Song Of The Year
“Poker Face,” Lady Gaga & RedOne, songwriters
“Pretty Wings,” Hod David & Musze, Songwriters
WINNER: “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” Thaddis Harrell, Beyoncé Knowles, Terius Nash & Christopher Stewart, Songwriters
“Use Somebody,” Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill, songwriters
“You Belong With Me,” Liz Rose & Taylor Swift, songwriters

Best Alternative Music Album
Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, David Byrne & Brian Eno
The Open Door, Death Cab For Cutie
Sounds Of The Universe, Depeche Mode
WINNER: Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Phoenix
It’s Blitz!, Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Best R&B Album
WINNER: Blacksummer’s Night, Maxwell
The Point of It All, Anthony Hamilton
Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics, India.Arie
Turn Me Loose, Ledisi
Uncle Charlie, Charlie Wilson

Best Contemporary R&B Album
WINNER: I Am…Sasha Fierce, Beyoncé
Intuition, Jamie Foxx
The Introduction Of Marcus Cooper, Pleasure P
Ready, Trey Songz
Thr33 Ringz, T-Pain

Best Rap Album
Universal Mind Control, Common
WINNER: Relapse, Eminem
R.O.O.T.S., Flo Rida
The Ecstatic, Mos Def
The Renaissance, Q-Tip

Best Metal Performance
WINNER: “Dissident Aggressor,” Judas Priest
“Set to Fail,” Lamb of God
“Senior Peligro,” Ministry
“Hate Worldwide.” Slayer
“Head Crusher,” Megadeth

Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual Or Group
Quartet Live, Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow & Antonio Sanchez
Brother To Brother, Clayton Brothers
WINNER: Five Peace Band — Live, Chick Corea & John McLaughlin Five Peace Band
Remembrance, John Patitucci Trio
The Bright Mississippi, Allen Toussaint

Best Gospel Performance
”Free To Be Me,” Francesca Battistelli
”Jesus Is Love,” Heather Headley Featuring Smokie Norful
”I Believe,” Jonny Lang With Fisk Jubilee Singers
WINNER: ”Wait On The Lord,” Donnie McClurkin Featuring Karen Clark Sheard
”Born Again,” Third Day Featuring Lacey Moseley

Best Latin Pop Album
5to Piso, Ricardo Arjona
Te Acuerdas…, Francisco Céspedes
WINNER: Sin Frenos, La Quinta Estación
Hu Hu Hu, Natalia Lafourcade
Gran City Pop, Paulina Rubio

Best Contemporary Blues Album
This Time, The Robert Cray Band
The Truth According To Ruthie Foster, Ruthie Foster
Live: Hope At The Hideout, Mavis Staples
Back To The River, Susan Tedeschi
WINNER: Already Free, The Derek Trucks Band

Best Reggae Album
Rasta Got Soul, Buju Banton
Brand New Me, Gregory Isaacs
Awake, Julian Marley
WINNER: Mind Control — Acoustic, Stephen Marley
Imperial Blaze, Sean Paul

Best Americana Album
Together Through Life, Bob Dylan
WINNER: Electric Dirt, Levon Helm
Willie And The Wheel, Willie Nelson & Asleep At The Wheel
Wilco (The Album), Wilco
Little Honey, Lucinda Williams

Best Contemporary World Music Album
Welcome To Mali, Amadou & Mariam
WINNER: Throw Down Your Heart: Tales From The Acoustic Planet, Vol. 3 — Africa Sessions, Béla Fleck
Day By Day, Femi Kuti
Seya, Oumou Sangare
Across The Divide: A Tale Of Rhythm & Ancestry, Omar Sosa

Best Musical Album For Children
American Heroes #3, Jonathan Sprout
Banjo To Beatbox, Cathy & Marcy With Special Guest Christylez Bacon
WINNER: Family Time, Ziggy Marley
Great Day, Milkshake
Jumpin’ & Jammin’, Greg & Steve
Pete Seeger Tribute — Ageless Kids’ Songs, Buck Howdy

Best Classical Album
Bernstein: Mass, Marin Alsop, conductor
WINNER: Mahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio From Symphony No. 10, Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
Ravel: Daphnis Et Chloé, James Levine, conductor
Ravel: L’Enfant Et Les Sortilèges, Alastair Willis, conductor
Shostakovich: The Nose, Valery Gergiev, conductor

Feb 2010 01

You want to see Pink’s acrobatic performance from last night’s Grammy Awards? Well we have the videos and photos for you right here! Let us know what you thought of the show in the comments below.

Jan 2010 31

Tonight is the biggest award show for the music industry. One of the highest viewed award broadcasts every year. Let’s take a look at the nominees:

Album of the Year

  • Beyoncé – I Am… Sasha Fierce
  • Black Eyed Peas – The E.N.D.
  • Lady Gaga – The Fame
  • Dave Matthews Band – Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King
  • Taylor Swift – Fearless

Record of the Year

  • Beyoncé – “Halo”
  • Black Eyed Peas – “I Gotta Feeling”
  • Kings of Leon – “Use Somebody”
  • Lady Gaga – “Poker Face”
  • Taylor Swift – “You Belong With Me”

Song of the Year

  • Beyoncé – “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”
  • Lady Gaga – “Poker Face”
  • Maxwell – “Pretty Wings”
  • Kings of Leon – “Use Somebody”
  • Taylor Swift – “You Belong With Me”

Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals

  • Black Eyed Peas – “I Gotta Feeling”
  • Bon Jovi – “We Weren’t Born to Follow”
  • The Fray – “Never Say Never”
  • Daryl Hall & John Oates – “Sara Smile”
  • MGMT – “Kids”

Best Rap Solo Performance

  • Drake – “Best I Ever Had”
  • Eminem – “Beautiful”
  • Jay-Z – “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)”
  • Kid Cudi – “Day ‘N’ Nite”
  • Mos Def – “Casa Bey”

Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals

  • Brooks & Dunn – “Cowgirls Don’t Cry”
  • Zac Brown Band – “Chicken Fried”
  • Lady Antebellum – “I Run To You”
  • Rascal Flatts – “Here Comes Goodbye”
  • Sugarland – “It Happens”

Best Rock Album

  • AC/DC – Black Ice
  • Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood – Live From Madison Square Garden
  • Green Day – 21st Century Breakdown
  • Dave Matthews Band – Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King
  • U2 – No Line on the Horizon

Best New Artist

  • Zac Brown Band
  • Keri Hilson
  • MGMT
  • Silversun Pickups
  • The Ting Tings

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance

  • Adele – “Hometown Glory”
  • Beyoncé – “Halo”
  • Katy Perry – “Hot N Cold”
  • Pink – “Sober”
  • Taylor Swift – “You Belong With Me”

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance

  • John Legend – “This Time”
  • Maxwell – “Love You”
  • Jason Mraz – “Make It Mine”
  • Seal – “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”
  • Stevie Wonder – “All About the Love Again”

Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals

  • Rosanne Cash & Bruce Springsteen – “Sea of Heartbreak”
  • Ciara & Justin Timberlake – “Love Sex Magic”
  • Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat – “Lucky”
  • Willie Nelson & Norah Jones – “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
  • Taylor Swift & Colbie Caillat – “Breathe”

Best Pop Vocal Album

  • Black Eyed Peas – The E.N.D.
  • Colbie Caillat – Breakthrough
  • Kelly Clarkson – All I Ever Wanted
  • The Fray – The Fray
  • Pink – Funhouse

Best Dance Recording

  • Black Eyed Peas – “Boom Boom Pow”
  • David Guetta & Kelly Rowland – “When Love Takes Over”
  • Lady Gaga – “Poker Face”
  • Madonna – “Celebration”
  • Britney Spears – “Womanizer”

Best Female R&B Vocal Performance

  • Beyoncé – “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)”
  • Melanie Fiona – “It Kills Me”
  • Lalah Hathaway – “That Was Then”
  • Ledisi – “Goin’ Thru Changes”
  • Jazmine Sullivan – “Lions, Tigers & Bears”

Best Male R&B Vocal Performance

  • Anthony Hamilton – “The Point of It All”
  • Maxwell – “Pretty Wings”
  • Musiq Soulchild – “Sobeautiful”
  • Pleasure P – “Under”
  • Charlie Wilson – “There Goes My Baby”

Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals

  • Jamie Foxx & T-Pain – “Blame It”
  • India.Arie & Musiq Soulchild – “Chocolate High”
  • Musiq Soulchild & Mary J. Blige – “Ifuleave”
  • Robert Randolph & The Clark Sisters – “Higher Ground”
  • Calvin Richardson & Ann Nesby – “Love Has Finally Come At Last”

Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance

  • Beyoncé – “At Last”
  • Anthony Hamilton – “Soul Music”
  • Boney James & Quinn – “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight”
  • Ann Nesby – “Sow Love”
  • Calvin Richardson – “Woman Gotta Have It”

Best Electronic/Dance Album

  • The Crystal Method — Divided By Night
  • David Guetta — One Love
  • Lady GaGa — The Fame
  • LMFAO — Party Rock
  • Pet Shop Boys — Yes

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album

  • Tony Bennett — A Swingin’ Christmas
  • Michael Bublé — Michael Bublé Meets Madison Square Garden
  • Harry Connick, Jr. — Your Songs
  • Liza Minnelli — Liza’s At the Palace
  • Willie Nelson — American Classic

Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance

  • Bob Dylan — Beyond Here Lies Nothin’
  • John Fogerty — Change In The Weather
  • Prince — Dreamer
  • Bruce Springsteen — Working On A Dream
  • Neil Young — Fork In The Road

Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals

  • Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood — Can’t Fine My Way Home
  • Coldplay — Life In Technicolor II
  • Green Day — 21 Guns
  • Kings of Leon — Use Somebody
  • U2 — I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight

Best Hard Rock Performance

  • AC/DC — War Machine
  • Alice In Chains — Check My Brain
  • Linkin Park — What I’ve Done
  • Metallica — The Unforgiven III
  • Nickelback — Burn It To The Ground

Best Metal Performance

  • Judas Priest — Dissident Aggressor
  • Lamb Of God — Set To Fail
  • Megadeth — Head Crusher
  • Ministry — Señor Peligro
  • Slayer — Hate Worldwide

Best Rock Instrumental Performance

  • Jeff Beck — A Day In The Life
  • Booker T. Jones — Warped Sister
  • Brad Paisley — Playing With Fire
  • Brian Setzer Orchestra — Mr. Surfer Goes Jazzin’
  • Steve Val — Now We Run

Best Rock Song

  • Matt Cameron, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready & Eddie Vedder, songwriters (Pearl Jam) — The Fixer
  • Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge & Larry Mullen Jr., songwriters (U2) — I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight
  • Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt & Tré Cool, songwriters (Green Day) — 21 Guns
  • Caleb Followill, Jared Followill, Matthew Followill & Nathan Followill, songwriters (Kings Of Leon) — Use Somebody
  • Bruce Springsteen, songwriter (Bruce Springsteen) — Working On A Dream

Best Alternative Music Album

  • David Byrne & Brian Eno — Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
  • Death Cab For Cutie — The Open Door
  • Depeche Mode — Sounds Of The Universe
  • Phoenix — Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs — It’s Blitz!

Best Rap Solo Performance

  • Drake — Best I Ever Had
  • Eminem — Beautiful
  • Jay-Z — D.O.A. (Death Of Auto-Tune)
  • Kid Cudi — Day ‘N’ Nite
  • Mos Def — Casa Boy

Best Country Album

  • Zac Brown Band — The Foundation
  • George Strait — Twang
  • Taylor Swift — Fearless
  • Keith Urban — Defying Gravity
  • Lee Ann Womack — Call Me Crazy

Best Contemporary Jazz Album

  • Stefon Harris & Blackout — Urbanus
  • Julian Lage — Sounding Point
  • Phillippe Saisse — At World’s Edge
  • Mike Stern — Big Neighborhood
  • Joe Zawinul & The Zawinul Syndicate

Best Jazz Vocal Album

  • Randy Crawford (& Joe Sample) — No Regrets
  • Kurt Elling — Dedicated To You: Kurt Elling Sings The Music Of Coltrane And Hartman
  • Roberta Gambarini — So In Love
  • Luciana Souza — Tide
  • Tierny Sutton (Band) — Desire

Best Latin Jazz Album

  • Chembo Corniel — Things I Wanted To Do
  • Geoffrey Keezer — Áurea
  • Claudio Roditi — Brazilliance X 4
  • Bebo Valdés And Chucho Valdés — Juntos Para Siempre
  • Miguel Zenón — Esta Plena

Let us know what you think about the nominees, and the winners in the comments below!

Read full Topaz Movie Review