THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE:
...with ELTON JOHN! Half of a live show captured by the OGWT on Christmas Eve, 1974. Your setlist includes: "Grimsby" (incomplete), "Rocket Man," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Daniel," Grey Seal," "Bennie And The Jets," "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," "I Saw Her Standing There," "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me," "Honky Cat," "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting," "Crocodile Rock," "The B^tch Is Back," "Your Song," and "White Christmas."
BLEACHED visits KEXP.
THE BLACK LIPS visit KUTX.
SON LITTLE visits WNYC Soundcheck.
KIM GORDON shares a video for "Earthquake."
PHOEBE BRIDGERS reflects on the decade.
THE TOP 25 Hannukah Songs?
THE TOP 100 PUNK & EMO LPs of the decade, according to Brooklyn Vegan.
THE TOP 20 ALBUMS of 2019, according to NPR listeners.
NOW SHOWING: This weekend's wide releases are Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which is currently scoring 57 percent on the ol' Tomatometer; Cats, scoring 19 percent; and Bombshell, scoring 65 percent.
THE RISE OF SKYWALKER is a movie that desperately wants you to like it and is very much aware of how much people soured on The Last Jedi. So it is as if those resposnible for this film went through all the other Star Wars movies (and Raiders of the Lost Ark and North By Northwest to boot) and every time they saw something audiences liked, they wrote it down and stuffed it into this movie. The Last Jedi was about subverting fan expectations; this one goes overboard in trying to meet them. At some point, the fan service turns this movie into Biff Loman, sweaty salesman. Where that point is reached will vary from viewer to viewer, but it will be reached. The overstuffing of the movie (and the death of Carrie Fisher) makes the plot more convoluted than it needs to be, though to be fair, the plot here is better than the slow-speed chase and casino excursion of the prior installment. The need to dig out of the hole created by The Last Jedi also forced JJ Abrams & Co into a lose/lose scenario in terms of how much to follow it or abandon it; viewers' reactions to those decisions will vary as well (I was mostly fine with their choices, ham-fisted as they occasionally were). And upon reflection, perhaps these issues and the sound-and-fury-signifying-litte quality of The Rise of Skywalker is all a function of the major weakness of these sequels, namely the failure to fully develop the new lead characters (with the arguable exception of Kylo Ren). As a Star Wars fanatic, this was on some level all a huge missed opportunity, though in fairness, I could argue that's been true since Return of the Jedi. I liked this one better than the last one, but that's a low bar. In a few years, maybe Kevin Feige will have a better idea of what to do with this franchise.
BILLY DEE WILLIAMS reflects on the long history of Lando Calrissian—and getting into the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon for one last ride.
CHRISTOPHER NOLAN's TENET has a trailer online.
THE BEST MOVIES of 2019, according to Uproxx.
CHARLIZE THERON's performances, ranked by Vulture.
MARVEL defined the 2010s; the plans for it were laid even before the decade began.
NICOLAS CAGE: Entertainment Weekly visits the set of his H.P. Lovecraft movie.
A DOG & PIG have a weekly playdate.
AN ESCAPED GATOR was spotted crossing the street in Montreal's Villeray neighborhood.
TENS OF COBRAS terrorize toilets in West Jakarta.