THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE (and repeats):
First D.J.: "Rise and shine, campers and don't forget your booties 'cause it's cooooold out there today."
Second D.J.: "It's cold out there every day. What is this, Miami Beach?"
First D.J.: "Not hardly. So the big question on everybody's lips..."
Second D.J.: "On their chapped lips..."
First D.J.: "...their chapped lips is, 'Does Phil feel lucky?' Punxsatawney Phil! That's right, woodchuck chuckers, it's...
(IN UNISON): GROUNDHOG DAY!!!"
Saturday, Punxsutawney Phil --- the Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary will predict whether we will have six more weeks of winter. According to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, Phil has seen his shadow 103 times, and hasn't seen it (predicting an early spring) only 18 times. Phil's track record is hotly disputed, though he's has had a pretty good run recently. Nevertheless, thousands will await the sunrise and the groundhog at Gobbler's Knob in the tiny Pennsylvania hamlet that has become known as the "Weather Capital of the World," due in no small part to the movie that makes every day Groundhog Day.
This is one time where the Internet really fails to capture the true excitement of a movie about a large squirrel predicting the weather. However, you can see the trailer as a refresher (while BuzzFeed compiles trivia).
In 2005, Roger Ebert revisited Groundhog Day, declaring that the film "finds its note and purpose so precisely that its genius may not be immediately noticeable. It unfolds so inevitably, is so entertaining, so apparently effortless, that you have to stand back and slap yourself before you see how good it really is."
At the other end of the political spectrum, Jonah Goldberg's equally effusive movie meditation grabbed the cover of National Review: "When I set out to write this article, I thought it'd be fun to do a quirky homage to an offbeat flick, one I think is brilliant as both comedy and moral philosophy. But while doing what I intended to be cursory research -- how much reporting do you need for a review of a twelve-year-old movie that plays constantly on cable? -- I discovered that I wasn't alone in my interest. In the years since its release the film has been taken up by Jews, Catholics, Evangelicals, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, and followers of the oppressed Chinese Falun Gong movement."
Indeed, a 2004 article mentioned by Ebert (but not linked) from London's Independent observes that the Harold Ramis comedy has been hailed by some religious leaders as the most spiritual film of all time. More examples can be found at the NYT and the Christian Science Monitor.
As Phil Connors ultimately observed: "When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn't imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter."
ACCORDINGLY, we conclude:
...with Sonny & Cher on Hullabaloo and famously on Letterman years later, plus UB40 with Chrissie Hynde, not to mention The Cynics (from the Bonograph tribute CD), and David Bowie & Marianne Faithfull.
UPDATE: Punxsutawney Phil doesn't see his shadow and predicts an early spring.
CASS McCOMBS advance streams Tip of the Sphere.
JESSICA PRATT advance streams Quiet Signs.
ROMA: The movie soundtrack includes contributions from Beck, Patti Smith, Laura Marling and more.
DEER TICK shares a cover of Ben Vaughn's “Too Sensitive for This World,” and their own “Bluesboy.”
THE MEKONS share "Lawrence of California."
LUCY DACUS covers “La Vie En Rose.”
BOB MOULD shres a video for "Lost Faith."
BLACK SABBATH, ranked by The Guardian.
BEIRUT's Zach Condon on nine songs that inspire him.
THE SPECIALS' Terry Hall speaks of his depression after being kidnapped by a pedophile ring at age 12.
THE NUMBER ONES looks at Carole King's jazzy, nuanced breakup song "It's Too Late."
NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide debut is Miss Bala, scoring 35 percent on the ol' Tomatometer. And Peter Jackson's WWI documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old, featuring restored and colorized footage, expands wide at 98 percent.
JUSSIE SMOLLETT: Chicago Police are now looking for two persons of interest to question regarding the attack on the Empire star, though there are still no suspects.
THE OSCARS, in a reversal, will feature all five nominated songs on the telecast.
KEVIN SMITH reveals details on Zack Snyder's planned Justice League trilogy. Elsewhere, he delivered an emotional tribute to Stan Lee.
SUICIDE SQUAD: The sequel is likely a "relaunch" and likely directed by James Gunn.
STARDUST will be a film about the young David Bowie, starring Johnny Flynn, Marc Maron and Jena Malone.
CBS Entertainment president Kelly Kahl talks to Deadline about the network's culture and future.
BRADGELINA: "Despite their split, Pitt and Jolie remain committed to their winemaking and are even expanding their production line, with a new bottling commemorating their estate’s significant contribution to pop music."
DUCK vs DOG: Who you got?
A STARFISH-KILLING DISEASE is remaking the oceans.
A BRITISH ZOO is offering spurned lovers the chance to get back at their exes by naming cockroaches for them on Valentine's Day.
AN ORANGUTAN PATERNITY TEST delivered surprising results.