This Week in Pop Culture Roundup (18 Dec. 2011)

In case you were too busy planning and then canceling a debate because nobody was going to show up, here are some of the pop culture stories you might have missed. This week’s roundup features some “Best of 2011” lists.

—– Best of 2011 —–

Salon listed its 10 Best Movies from 2011.

Chicago Tribune critic Michael Phillips selected his top 10 films of 2011.

Slate listed the best jazz albums of 2011.

The African-American Film Critics Association named Tree of Life the best film of 2011.

Time Magazine
‘s “Person of the Year” is. . . The Protester.

Here are 10 movies from 2011 that you may not have seen but should have.

The Americana Music Association listed its 2011 Top 10 Most Played Albums.


—– Movies —–

Where’s the Batsuit when you need it? Christian Bale got a little roughed up in China while trying to visit a dissident in the country.

Cuban horror spoof Juan of the Dead, satirizes socialism using zombies.

Poptimal has a review of Tinker Tailor Solder Spy.

The first trailer for Men in Black III has been released.

Orsen Welles’s 1942 screenplay Oscar for Citizen Kane went up for auction.

Here’s an interesting video essay about “the Spielberg face” used in the director’s movies:

The Screen Actors Guild Award nominations may change predictions for the Oscars.

Say it ain’t so! Daniel Ruettiger, who inspired the film Rudy, settled w/ the SEC regarding allegations against him.

Paramount Pictures is tweaking its logo.


—– Music —–

No Depression featured a review of a Ryan Adams show in Baltimore.

Questlove from the Roots listed his top five hip-hop concept albums.

On Monday, Billy Joel became the first nonclassical musician to be inducted into Steinway Hall.

In January, Ani DiFranco will release her first album in three years.

Hasidic Jewish reggae musician Matisyahu announced upcoming changes and shaved.

The Los Angeles Times reviewed one of Aimee Mann’s annual holiday shows.

Etta James is terminally ill with chronic leukemia. Since we posted recently Rachel Crow’s version of “I’d Rather Go Blind,” let’s give a listen to James singing her great song.


—– Television —–

The FCC ordered TV stations to regulate the volume of loud TV commercials, taking effect Dec. 2012.

Howard Stern is replacing Piers Morgan on America’s Got Talent.

Steve Carrell of The Office got snubbed in the Golden Globe nominations. That’s what she said.

After interviewing the Kardashians and others on her special, Barbara Walters revealed that her “Most Fascinating Person” for 2011 is the late Steve Jobs.

—– Other Pop Culture News —–

Joe Simon, the co-creator of Captain America, passed away Wednesday night. Vanity Fair has a nice tribute to Christopher Hitchens, who also passed away in the last week. RIP.

Ho Ho Ho! Check out these photos from Life magazine of Santa making kids cry. We hope that your wishes come true without any crying in the upcoming holiday weeks.

What were your favorite pop culture stories of the week? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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  • What Song Does the Sergeant Sing About a Sparrow in “Hostiles”?
  • Who Was Poor Old Johnnie Ray?
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    One thought on “This Week in Pop Culture Roundup (18 Dec. 2011)”

    1. Interesting video about the Spielberg face. On the one hand, I suspect that one could do something similar for other directors by taking 3-second clips from movies. But on the other hand, it does a good job of highlighting the element of wonder in Spielberg’s films.

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