Friday, July 1, 2011

Thanks -- and Farewell



Repeating what I first reported last month -- thanks to all of you who have followed me here on the blog and on Twitter @Entertainment2u. It's been a pleasure keeping you updated on the latest movies, television, music, online and other entertainment news over the past couple of years. I started all of this back in March 2009 as a hobby -- and it quickly became a passion. But due to a real full-time job and mounting pressures on my time, I can no longer do it all!

You may have s
een hints that this was coming -- as my movie reviews ended earlier this year, the weekly music blog posts become monthly, etc. So today, I have ended the Twitter entertainment feed and the blog altogether. I do hope you were able to celebrate this milestone with the special contest I ran over the past month -- just my way of thanking you for all your support.

Thanks again, and farewell -- for now!


(PS: links to iRazoo, SuperPoints and other earning sites remain valid)

Farewell Contest Winner Revealed!



Congrats go out to Ali K. -- aka @GeekChic21. Ali had the winning random tweet entry in the Entertainment2u Farewell Contest -- and will receive her iPod Nano and iTunes gift card next week. Click here for more details on the Twitter contest!

Thanks to the hundreds of you who entered during the contest period -- resulting in thousands of valid entries. During the contest, @Entertainment2u reached 1735 followers!

And thank you all for following the blog and @Entertainment2u on Twitter. You've all been great.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

SuperPoints -- Another Easy Way to Win Free Prizes!




If you're looking for an easy way to earn more free rewards online, check out the SuperPoints Network. The site has actually been around for several years -- and in the past, offered rewards for things such as searching and shopping. Then the site took a hiatus last year and relaunched with different features.

For a limited-time only, you can join SuperPoints for FREE! That's right, it's free to join and free to use. And it's VERY easy to win points that you can then trade in for rewards. Recently, the site added many prizes to its rewards catalog -- from gift cards to popular electronics.

You earn points by:
  • clicking a button and getting 0-300 points on each click
  • watching short videos for 1-5 point(s) each
  • completing special offers for mega points
  • completing surveys for additional points


Join here.



Keep in mind:

  • The site is adding more ways to earn SOON -- so get in now while it's still free -- that's a limited-time offer!
  • The site matches your friends' button wins -- with NO cap! So, refer some of your friends to join, too! Similar to the search and win sites like iRazoo, you'll earn more if you have active referrals under you.
  • You can increase the number of button clicks you get by increasing your membership level (easy and free to do; just click the link to the left of the button once you're on the site).
  • You must live in the US, CA or UK to be a member of the site.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Win Free Amazon
Gift Cards on iRazoo!



The search and win site iRazoo recently instituted a new point policy -- making it easier to win! Use iRazoo just like you use non-win search engines like Google and Bing. Each search will give you a random chance to win varied points -- from 10-100. And you can win between 5-10 times during the day!

Once you reach 3000 points, you can cash out to receive a $5 Amazon gift card -- totally free! Within one to four weeks of cashing out, you'll receive your gift card code and can add it to your Amazon account balance. Amazon codes never expire -- and are stackable! You can also exchange your iRazoo points for other exciting prizes such as mp3 players, cameras, memory sticks and video game systems -- but the Amazon prize is the BEST bang for your buck.

The key to these sites is to join, get comfortable with how things work and then get some of your friends in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom to join under you as well. You will automatically earn matching points each time your friend earns points. For example, if your friend wins 20 points while searching, you will also get 20 points added to your account as well -- up to a cap of 3000 points per friend.

iRazoo recently added more chances to earn by completing special offers. To learn more, just click on the EARN POINTS tab at the top of the home page and then click on OFFERS. Just by clicking that link, you'll receive 5 points daily! And there are many videos to watch and other offers to add to your tally.



It's free to register and free to play -- so don't delay! Register here and start winning today -- you'll even get 50 points to start you off just for joining!


BONUS TREASURE CODE

Bonus codes are given out frequently via iRazoo's Facebook and Twitter accounts. After you've registered via the link above, go to the site's top menu bar, click on EARN POINTS and drop down to TREASURE CODES. Add the following codes in the field before their expiration times for easy additional points! Codes are case-sensitive -- so it's best to copy and paste!




Monday, June 20, 2011

Win Free Money from Instant Cash Sweepstakes!


Looking for an EASY way to build your PayPal account? Luckily there is a site where you can actually earn quick money JUST for answering 3- to 5-question surveys -- Instant Cash Sweepstakes. After you win enough money (just $2 or more), you simply cash out and the money is sent directly to your PayPal account within HOURS!

You can even write surveys -- and each month, the writer of the survey rated the best wins $100! And to top that, there is a daily $50 drawing -- and you gain entries ("lottery tickets") each time you complete or write a survey! You can win multiple times -- and EntertainmentBlogger is living proof -- winning the daily prize three times!

One lucky registered user won $1099 in the site's Tax Cut Sweepstakes in 2009! And there's always something new at ICS. Last fall, the site also implemented a $2 drawing held EVERY four hours. But even with ongoing changes, the site remains free to register -- and free to use!

Click here to join now!


Monday, June 13, 2011

MusicMonday: Final Column


I hope you've enjoyed the occasional list of free downloads -- and other music updates that have appeared on the blog. Here's one more set of freebies below.


Free download of your choice
  • Compliments of Land O'Frost, complete a short 9-question survey and receive a free download of your choice! Offer expires July 31. Click here.


List of free singles
  • Are you fans of internet sensation Karmin? You can get free downloads including "Written in the Stars" and "Taken Away" via their site here -- or by clicking the image at right.
  • The Black Lips' "Modern Art" can be downloaded via SPIN here.
  • Also from SPIN, download "Bloody Poetry" from rapper Grieves here.
  • Smashing Pumpkins now has ten free downloads on its site -- with the latest being "Owata." Download them all here.


Free compilations

  • Compliments of SPIN, download 20 tracks from Bonnaroo performers here. Artists include Robert Plant, My Morning Jacket and Florence + the Machine!
  • From SPIN and iTunes comes 15 free singles here -- including one from the Meat Puppets. Offer expires June 30.
  • Is country more your style? Compliments of PEOPLE and iTunes is a set of six songs -- including one from Reba McEntire -- here. Offer expires July 31.


Great sites to bookmark

Want more free downloads? Well, don't forget to continually check the following sources -- new songs covering all genres are added frequently. Just click on the links below and enjoy some new tunes.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Review Archived Posts

Don't forget to click on the "older posts" link below to read more entertainment updates. Here are just a few highlights:

  • A recap of my trip to New Orleans for Jazz fest (click here)
  • A recap/review of a trip to see a Saturday Night Live rehearsal (click here)
  • Past movie reviews.
  • Past MusicMonday columns with music news and free download links

You can also access these posts by clicking on the archived listings found on the upper left area of the blog.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Final Contest -- Farewell to Twitter, The Blog


JUNE 30 UPDATE: THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED. Winner was selected, notified and announced on July 1 -- see
here.

The Farewell


Thanks to all of you who have followed me here on the blog and on Twitter @Entertainment2u. It's been a pleasure
keeping you updated on the latest movies, television, music, online and other entertainment news over the past couple of years. I started all of this back in March 2009 as a hobby -- and it quickly became a passion. But due to a real full-time job and mounting pressures on my time, I can no longer do it all!

You may have s
een hints that this was coming -- as my movie reviews ended earlier this year, the weekly music blog posts become monthly, etc. Well, at the end of this month, I'll be ending the Twitter entertainment feed and the blog altogether. And what better way to celebrate this milestone and to thank you for all your support by holding a farewell contest!


The Contest

The Prizes:

One lucky follower will win a prize package with an ARV of $164 -- an Apple iPod Nano 8 GB Graphite (6th generation; newest model; ARV of $149.00) and one Apple iTunes gift card in the amount of $15 (ARV of $15.00).


How to Enter:

1) If you're not already following @Entertainment2u on Twitter -- do so, by clicking here:




2) Then copy and paste the following message into the "What's happening" field on your Twitter account:


Just entered to win an iPod Nano and iTunes Gift Card in the @Entertainment2u Farewell #Contest. #Giveaway info @ http://bit.ly/E2uFarewell


3) Only one entry per account is counted per day through June 29! So please, only ONE tweet per day (otherwise, you're spamming!). ONE random winner will be chosen from all valid entries. Read notes below and full detailed rules here.



Notes:
  • Contest ends Wednesday, June 29 at 11:59pm ET.
  • Only one main contest tweet entry allowed per Twitter account per contest day.
  • Entries are only valid if you are following @Entertainment2u on Twitter from point of entry through duration of contest.
  • Read full detailed rules here.
  • Please note that you do NOT need to comment below about your tweet entries. All tweets are tracked on Twitter -- and each tweet has an equal chance of being the random winner!
  • Click here to return to the EntertainmentBlogger home page.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Twitter Contest: Five Giveaways Behind Us -- The BIG One Coming Up!



We did it -- @Entertainment2u hit 1500 Twitter followers today!


June 2 Contest Update: The new contest has been announced here.



Previous Winners

For the past few months, there have been several giveaways of $5 Amazon.com gift cards to random tweeters who helped promote the contest. Those winners were:


1250 followers -- winner announced February 23 -- @kzarr
1300 followers -- winner announced March 3 -- @goochin
1350 followers -- winner announced March 13 -- @kevin072492
1400 followers -- winner announced March 29 -- @textiff
1450 followers -- winner announced May 1 -- @bomar97

Sunday, May 1, 2011

More Ways to Earn Free Prizes
on Swagbucks


By now, you've probably heard of search and win sites that offer free rewards for searching. Many of these sites have come and gone over the past several years. Only a few remain (see left menu). Well, the king of them all remains strong -- and continues to find new ways to grow. So the big question remains -- why are you still using Google or Bing when you can search and WIN free prizes with Swagbucks instead? Swagbucks is an online portal where you earn digital dollars. These 'bucks' can then be redeemed for exclusive FREE merchandise including:
  • Gift cards from Amazon, iTunes, Target, Barnes & Noble, Starbucks and many others
  • Sports memorabilia from MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL
  • Music memorabilia from your favorite bands/solo artists
  • Electronics from iPods to video game consoles


Besides winning on random searches, there are many other ways to earn bucks:

  • Use links in the Shop & Earn section to gain bucks from completing purchases on 100s of reputable sites
  • Trade in your old cell phones, mp3 players, video games and game consoles
  • Redeem special swag codes that are given out periodically on the site's blog and downloadable toolbar -- as well as its Twitter feed and Facebook fan page
  • Complete special offers from the site's partners
  • Complete surveys covering varied areas of interest
  • Watch videos in the Swagbucks TV section -- earn bucks as you watch!
  • Now you can download coupons for your local stores -- and when they are redeemed, you'll earn bucks
  • NEW! -- Play games and win bucks!
  • You'll even get 50 extra birthday bucks on your special day

You can earn enough swag bucks for your first prize on the very first day you start using the site -- so what are you waiting for? It's free to join and use -- and you get 30 bucks to start you off!


So have fun -- and happy searching! The site remains free to join -- and free to use -- so register via the link or banner ad below today!



Click here to register now!


Monday, April 18, 2011

MusicMonday: April's Free Music!


Free Downloads


Here's a list of free downloads compiled since last month:
  • The annual Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival was held this past weekend, but the fun didn't end there. Thanks to SPIN Magazine, you can get a free downloadable album of songs by 10 of the festival's bands. Click here or the image above.
  • Also from SPIN Magazine, 18 additional tracks can be downloaded via iTunes here. Offer expires May 31.
  • Thanks to People Magazine and iTunes, download six songs from top new Country artists here. Offer expires June 1.
  • From Urban Outfitters and iTunes comes a sampler of 23 songs here. Offer expires June 30.
  • The Spring 2011 edition of the Landmark Digital Sampler is available via Filter here. Download the 10 individual tracks or click the "download" button for a zipped folder of the entire sampler.
  • Missed the SXSW Festival this year? Compliments of WXRT radio, you can download 140 songs from festival artists here.
  • Also, Amazon offers an SXSW sampler of 12 songs here.
  • Dirty Vegas has downloads available on its Facebook page here. Just "Like" the page to see the list.
  • Download Michele Branch's "Long Goodbye" here. The song also features Dwight Yoakam.
  • Smashing Pumpkins now has nine free downloads on its site --with the latest being "Lightning Strikes." Download them all here.
  • Thanks to SPIN Magazine, you can download The Wombats' "A Robot Like You" here.
  • Looking for a way to occupy your kids? There's a download section on the Sprout site here.


Want more free downloads? Well, don't forget to continually check the following sources -- new songs covering all genres are added frequently. Just click on the links below and enjoy some new tunes.

Monday, March 7, 2011

MusicMonday: March's Free Music!


Free Music Offers
  • If you have an American Express credit card, you can get FIVE free songs from iTunes! Just register your card here, purchase five songs on iTunes and AMEX will reimburse you. Offer expires March 15.
  • Rhapsody is offering a free 60-day trial membership here. I never used the service, so cannot vouch for it -- but free is good!

Free Downloads
  • Scissor Sisters has five songs for download via their Website here.
  • Download 19 tracks via iTunes from SPIN Magazine here; offer expires March 31.
  • Download 20 tracks via iTunes from Southwest Airlines here; offer also expires March 31.


Want more free downloads? Well, don't forget to continually check the following sources -- new songs covering all genres are added frequently. Just click on the links below and enjoy some new tunes.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 Oscar Predictions!


The 83rd Academy Awards begin tonight at 8pm ET on ABC -- and will honor the best in film for 2010. Having seen all the movies in the top categories and all the nominated performances, I offer up my predictions with some level of confidence.

Like I said last year, I'd love to be right -- but I also love to be surprised. The most memorable Oscar shows have always been the ones with some upsets. With that said, here are my predictions (in purple)...

2/28 update -- winners in red


Best Picture

Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids are All Right
The King's Speech - winner
The Social Network
127 Hours
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter's Bone

For the second year in a row, we have a staggering 10 best picture noms -- after 5 was the norm for decades. But even with the added films, the race is down to just two -- The King's Speech and The Social Network. The latter was the early favorite, but was released in October -- losing steam as the awards season kicked into high gear. So, watch for the very worthy The King's Speech to take the top prize. The Oscar voters skew older, so the WWII-timed story should strike a chord more than the one about the relatively new Facebook creation. Meanwhile, my favorite movie of 2010, Toy Story 3, will have to settle for the best animated feature award (see below).


Best Director

Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
David O. Russell (The Fighter)
Tom Hooper (The King's Speech)
- winner
David Fincher (The Social Network)
Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit)


This race is down to the same two movies -- and it's even a tighter race. Second-time nominee Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) may squeak out a win over relative newcomer Hooper -- even though the latter took the Directors Guild prize. But again, some years a sweep occurs -- so don't be surprised if Hooper walks home with trophy. Either way, both men are very deserving.


Best Actor

Javier Bardem (Biutiful)
Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
Colin Firth (The King's Speech)
- winner
James Franco (127 Hours)
Jeff Bridges (True Grit)


Bridges (Crazy Heart) beat Firth (A Single Man) in the same category last year, so it's time for Firth to get his sweet revenge. No contest this year. Firth turned in a great performance as the stuttering British monarch in The King's Speech -- and will hold that trophy high late in the evening.


Best Actress

Annette Bening (The Kids are All Right)
Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone)
Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
- winner
Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)


This race is closer than you think. The Black Swan's Portman has received most of the attention for her harrowing turn as a ballerina suffering from a mental collapse. But Bening was amazing in her role as a lesbian mother trying to keep her family together. When I left the theater after seeing The Kids Are All Right, I turned to my friend and said, "I forgot how great an actress Bening is!" She's come close to winning this award before -- so the Academy may honor her here. But I think Portman still maintains the edge.


Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale (The Fighter) - winner
John Hawkes (Winter's Bone)
Jeremy Renner (The Town)
Mark Ruffalo (The Kids are All Right)
Geoffrey Rush (The King's Speech)


Bale totally transformed himself to play a crack-addicted former boxing hero in The Fighter -- a truly mesmerizing performance. He should win over Rush who was excellent as the speech therapist in The King's Speech. Once again, though -- a strong tide for The King's Speech could reverse the results.


Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams (The Fighter)
Helena Bonham Carter (The King's Speech)
Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
- winner
Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)
Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)


Much talk has been made that Leo has turned off voters with her shameless self-campaigning. Others suggest that she and Fighter co-star Adams will split the vote. But I still think she'll ride the wave of her previous wins at the other award shows and capture the Oscar. It will be a well-deserved win for her excellent portrayal of a head-strong mother. But this category is notorious for being the one with the most surprises on the big night. So, don't be shocked if 14-year-old newcomer Steinfeld wins for her gritty performance in True Grit.


Best Original Screenplay


Another Year (Mike Leigh)
The Fighter (Paul Attanasio, Lewis Colich, Eric Johnson, Scott Silverand Paul Tamasy)
Inception (Christopher Nolan)
The Kids are All Right (Stuart Blumberg and Lisa Cholodenko)
The King's Speech (David Seidler)
- winner

Look for The King's Speech to add to its trophy case here. It's a great historical story intertwined with one of true friendship -- the type of uplifting film that the Academy loves. I thought the writing in Another Year was equally exceptional -- but Inception is the dark horse with its truly unique story.


Best Adapted Screenplay

127 Hours (Simon Beaufoy and Danny Boyle)
The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin)
- winner
Toy Story 3 (Michael Arndt, story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich)
True Grit (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen)
Winter's Bone (Debra Granik and Anne Rossellini)


Famed TV writer Sorkin (The West Wing) stepped up his game for the intriguing Social Network -- and the film's win here will be a nice consolation prize for losing in the Best Picture category. How could the Academy pass on such brilliant, quickfire dialogue? I must say that is a shame that the absorbing 127 Hours will be shutout in the main categories tonight.


Best Animated Feature


How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
Toy Story 3
- winner

No contest here. How to Train Your Dragon was good, not great. And The Illusionist was beautiful to look at, but a bit short on story. With its equally great story and top-notch animation, Toy Story 3 was my favorite movie of the year -- and those geniuses at Pixar/Disney will deservedly win here.



Notes:
  • A complete list of the 83rd Academy Award nominations can be found here. -- winners list updated at same link!
  • My reviews of the Oscar-nominated films can be found here and at the Film Reviews icon at left.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oscar Catch-up and
Final Reviews


If you're a movie lover like me, then this is a big weekend with tomorrow night's 83rd Annual Academy Awards (8pm ET/5pm ET on ABC). My predictions in leading categories will be posted here by tomorrow morning.

Every year, I have a goal to see all the Oscar-nominated films and performances before the Academy Awards telecast. And more recently, I have expanded that goal to include all the following:
  • 10 best picture nominees
  • 3 best animated feature film nominees
  • 5 best director nominees
  • 5 best original screenplay nominees
  • 5 best adapted screenplay nominees
  • 5 best actor nominees
  • 5 best actress nominees
  • 5 best supporting actor nominees
  • 5 best supporting actress nominees

When the nominations were made last month, I only needed to see these seven films to achieve my expanded goal:
  • Animal Kingdom - best supporting actress Jacki Weaver
  • Another Year - best original screenplay
  • Biutiful - best actor Javier Bardem -- and also best foreign film
  • Blue Valentine - best actress Michelle Williams
  • The Fighter - best picture, 3 best acting nods, best director, etc.
  • The Illusionist - best animated film
  • The King’s Speech - best picture, 3 best acting nods, best director, etc.

Well, I completed my goal last Sunday -- with a week to spare! Here are my quick reviews of these seven -- and three more films I saw that garnered some nominations (but that I hadn't previously reviewed). All other reviews for films nominated in these key categories can be found by clicking on the FILM REVIEWS archive icon at left.


Animal Kingdom


A crime family unravels in this Australian film that I found a bit too slow. Jacki Weaver is fine as the matriarch, but her nomination wrongly excluded some more worthy candidates (e.g., Mila Kunis in Black Swan). The main focus is centered around the matriarch's teenage grandson played by James Frecheville. The lead's performance is too wooden to be absorbing. Enough twists occur to hold your interest, but this was my least favorite of the bunch -- and I cannot recommend. Grade = C+


Another Year

There is something magical about director/writer Michael Leigh's movies. You feel like a fly on a wall watching real-life human interactions -- rather than actors on the screen. A married couple who have remained happy into their autumn years are surrounded over the course of the four seasons by family and friends who all suffer some degree of unhappiness. The movie has a great message about taking responsibility for your own life and your own happiness. Terrific performances by Lesley Manville, Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen -- all who were robbed of nominations.
Grade = A-



Biutiful


Javier Bardem turns in another amazing performance in this Mexican film set in Barcelona, Spain. Bardem is a street criminal with two children, a bipolar estranged wife, a guilty conscience and a terminal disease. This film is dark, gritty and most of all, depressing. But Bardem's performance is unforgettable. Grade = B+


Blue Valentine

Michelle Williams earned her second nomination as half of a young couple in a dissolving marriage. And Ryan Gosling was robbed of a nomination for playing Williams' husband. The movie escapes being a total downer by interspersing scenes of their meeting and courtship. Excellent performances in a raw drama. Grade = A-


The Fighter

Talk about excellent performances -- this movie is filled with them. It's about two brother boxers in a dysfunctional family. One whose career has passed (Christian Bale) and one who is out to make a name for himself (Mark Wahlberg). Melissa Leo plays the matriarch and Amy Adams plays Wahlberg's girlfriend -- and both prove once again why they are two of our top actresses (competing against each other for supporting actress this year). Oscar-nominee Bale is nearly unrecognizable as the drugged-out former star. Great story, great direction, great performances. Grade: A-


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1


Included here because of its visual effects and art direction nominations. But the magic of this first half of the series conclusion goes well beyond technical recognition. This time around, the story really concentrates on the three young wizard leads -- and boy, have they've grown into these roles. The captivating story and visuals combine to make this the best film in the series to date. Grade = A-


How to Train Your Dragon


Nominated for best animated feature, the film has no chance against the far-superior Toy Story 3. But it's still a fun film in its own right -- about a young teenager earning validation in a mythical Viking world. The animation is top-notch and the voice acting of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, T.J. Miller and Kristen Wiig are well cast. Grade = B


The Illusionist

Also nominated for best animated feature is this French film. Every scene is like watching an artist's masterpiece painting. The beautiful visuals help carry a sometimes slow and simple story about an aging magician who befriends an adoring young woman. Amazingly, there is hardly any dialogue -- but ultimately, you'll still find deep meaning in what is conveyed. Grade = B+


The King's Speech


If you're a lover of history, I cannot recommend this British movie enough. Colin Firth plays King George VI (father of current monarch Queen Elizabeth II), who works to overcome his stutter with the help of Lionel Logue, an unorthodox speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush. The two men become friends as they work together, and after his brother abdicates the throne, the new king relies on Logue to help him make a crucial radio broadcast at the beginning of World War II. Firth, Rush and Helena Bonham Carter (as George's wife -- who we all knew later as the Queen Mum) are at the top of their game. This beautiful film is more than just a history lesson though -- it's a rewarding exploration of true friendship. Grade = A-


Winter's Bone

Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence is a revelation as a teenager trying to keep her family together in a dirt poor Ozarks town -- while her mother remains in a catatonic state and her father is missing. It's one of those movies that will make you glad you have the life you live -- because there's always someone out there that has it worse off than you. Also earned nominations for best picture, best adapted screenplay and best supporting acting (John Hawkes). Depressing, but uplifting just the same. Grade = B


There you have it -- my final film reviews (more on that big news later). And a reminder to check back tomorrow morning for my predictions.

Monday, February 14, 2011

MusicMonday: Valentine's Day Edition



Amazon.com Credit

Just a reminder -- the FREE $2 mp3 credit from Amazon.com expires at 11:59 pm PT tonight! Steps to redeem:

  • Click here or the image at right
  • On the right-hand side call-out box, click "Redeem a gift card or promotion code"
  • Enter coupon code VDAYMP3S

You can buy individual songs (starting at 99 cents) or apply the credit toward full albums. Some album selections you may want to consider:
  • Songs For Swingin' Lovers! by Frank Sinatra is on sale today for only $3.99 -- click here to sample or purchase. It is Valentine's Day after all!
  • There are 100 albums for sale at $5 each here -- including last night's Grammy winner for best album, The Suburbs by Arcade Fire. Also included are other Grammy favorites Recovery by Eminem and Need You Now by Lady Antebellum.
  • 50 past Grammy-winning albums are also on sale for $5 each here.


Free Downloads
  • Is classical music your thing? Then download The 50 Most Essential Romantic Masterpieces here.
  • Or maybe you prefer jazz? Download Carol Welsman's "Be My Valentine" here.
  • Finally, Lady Gaga's new album Born this Way comes out May 23. If you're thinking of buying it, maybe you should consider Target's Deluxe Edition version which includes exclusive bonus tracks. And if you pre-order it by February 26, you can download the title track for free now. Details here.


Want more free downloads? Well, don't forget to continually check the following sources -- new songs covering all genres are added frequently. Just click on the links below and enjoy some new tunes.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Top 10 at the Weekend Box Office


Notes:
  • The race for the top spot at the weekend box office is so close -- it can't officially be called til Monday. According to estimates, Sony's Just Go With It opened to an estimated $31 million from 3,548 theaters. The poor reviews for the Jennifer Aniston/Adam Sandler comedy didn't keep audiences away -- as early Valentine's Day celebrators were looking for a rom-com. If the film hangs on to the top spot, the film will be the 11th Sandler film to open at #1 domestically.
  • Just behind, Paramount's Justin Bieber: Never Say Never far outpaced expectations in grossing an estimated $30.3 million from 3,105 locations, including 2,156 higher-priced 3D runs.
  • Never Say Never's cume is now $31 million when adding in the $740,000 grossed from special screenings last Wednesday.
  • In third place, Disney's 3D family entry Gnomeo & Juliet did strong business in debuting to an estimated $25.5 million -- the best February opening ever for an animated pic.
  • Focus Features' Roman epic The Eagle, the weekend's fourth new wide opener, came in on the high end of expectations. At #4, the Channing Tatum-starrer grossed an estimated $8.6 million.
  • Although it looks to be the best weekend so far in 2011, the domestic box office still couldn't catch up with last year, partly because Valentine's Day fell on a Sunday in 2010. Revenues were down more than 25%.
  • All figures are industry estimates. Final weekend figures will be released on Monday.
  • Reviews of True Grit and other movies not in the top 10 can be found by clicking on the Film Reviews archive icon at left.
  • Sources: Hollywood.com, Hollywood Reporter

Monday, February 7, 2011

MusicMonday: Free Music!


Amazon.com Credit

Amazon is offering a FREE $2 mp3 credit that expires next Monday, February 14. Steps to redeem:

  • Click here
  • On the right-hand side call-out box, click "Redeem a gift card or promotion code"
  • Enter coupon code VDAYMP3S

Free Downloads
  • Download a free track from Tres Mts.' forthcoming new album, "Three Mountains" here. The group features dUg Pinnick (King's X), Richard Stuvered (The Fastbacks) and Jeff Ament (Pearl Jam). The new album comes out next month.
  • Here are 14 Valentine's Day tracks from Amazon -- including one from Band of Horses.
  • Also from Amazon, download REM's newest single "Oh My Heart" here or by clicking the image above.
  • Through February 11, receive a free mp3 from Roger Baker's album “Nothing’s Changed.” Just go to www.bakerstreetmusic.com and in the contact form fill out your name, email address, in the comment section: “I would like the free mp3!” and your free mp3 will be emailed to you within 24 hours.


Want more free downloads? Well, don't forget to continually check the following sources -- new songs covering all genres are added frequently. Just click on the links below and enjoy some new tunes.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Top 10 at the Weekend Box Office


Notes:
  • Despite consistently poor reviews, Sony/Screen Gems' thriller The Roommate topped the weekend box office -- grossing an estimated $15.6 million in its debut.
  • Despite the extra bump from higher-priced 3D tickets and James Cameron as executive producer, Sanctum couldn't crack the $10 million mark in its debut. However, its $9.2 million opening gross was better than Universal anticipated -- and good enough for #2.
  • Last week's #1, New Line/Warner Bros.' The Rite, slipped to #6 in its second weekend -- a steep 62% decline.
  • Though a solid start for The Roommate, the overall box office was down more than 23% from 2010, when Screen Gems' Dear John opened to an especially good $30.5 million. Usually, Super Bowl weekend is hard for Hollywood, with theater traffic dropping substantially on game day.
  • All figures are industry estimates. Final weekend figures will be released on Monday.
  • Reviews of True Grit, Black Swan and other movies not in the top 10 can be found by clicking on the Film Reviews archive icon at left.
  • Sources: Hollywood.com, Hollywood Reporter

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Top 10 at the Weekend Box Office


Notes:
  • New Line/Warner Bros.' Anthony Hopkins exorcism pic The Rite opened on the lower end of expectations, but still won the weekend box office race with an estimated gross of $15 million.
  • Last week's #1, Paramount and Spyglass' No Strings Attached, held better than expected. The romantic comedy came in #2 while grossing an estimated $13.7 million -- and now has a cumulative total of $39.7 million in its first 10 days.
  • CBS Films' action remake The Mechanic, the weekend's other new entry, tied with Sony holdover The Green Hornet for #3 -- each grossing $11.5 million.
  • For award favorites, Oscar nominations resulted in a definite box office bump, led by the Weinstein Co.'s The King's Speech, which jumped the $70 million mark domestically and came in #5.
  • Paramount's True Grit (#6) showed a zero decline from the previous weekend, unusual for a film well into its run. The Western, receiving 10 Oscar nods, grossed an estimated $7.6 million for a cume of $148.4 million.
  • Coming in at #8, Fox Searchlight's awards front-runner Black Swan was down only 13% from the previous weekend to jump the $90 million mark on its way to $100 million.
  • Paramount's The Fighter also benefited from its top Oscar nods, coming in #9 and dipping just 5% from the previous weekend. The film grossed an estimated $4.1 million for a cume of $78.4 million.
  • Across the board, the box office was hurt Friday by yet another storm in the Northeast. But business rebounded on Saturday and doesn't have any football to compete with today. While box office revenues were down 13-15% over the same period last year, it's a narrower decline than recent weekends.
  • All figures are industry estimates. Final weekend figures will be released on Monday.
  • Reviews of True Grit, Black Swan and other movies not in the top 10 can be found by clicking on the Film Reviews archive icon at left.
  • Sources: Hollywood.com, Hollywood Reporter

Monday, January 24, 2011

MusicMonday: Hot Tunes for a Cold Day


Monday = Free Music Day!
Here's the latest list:
  • Compliments of SPIN Magazine comes 16 tracks from its "Best of 2010" issue. Click here to download via iTunes. Offer expires next Monday, January 31.
  • Also from SPIN, download a mix tape featuring one song from each of the albums the magazine deemed the "10 Best Albums You Might Have Missed in 2010." Click here.
  • Timbaland has kicked off Timbaland Thursdays on his site -- offering up a free download each week. Click here to get the latest -- "Take Ur Clothes Off" (with Missy Elliott) and "Round Da Way Tim."
  • Click here (or the image above) to download "Don't Shut 'Em Down," the first single off the forthcoming studio album from Flogging Molly.
  • Smashing Pumpkins now has eight free downloads on its site --with the latest being "The Fellowship." Download them all here.

Want more free downloads? Well, don't forget to continually check the following sources -- new songs covering all genres are added frequently. Just click on the links below and enjoy some new tunes.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Top 10 at the Weekend Box Office


Notes:
  • Paramount’s Natalie Portman/Ashton Kutcher R-rated romantic comedy No Strings Attached topped the weekend box office with a solid $20.3 million start -- on the higher end of expectations. The film obviously overcame mostly weak reviews with good word-of-mouth by a mostly female audience.
  • No Strings Attached proved a strong return for Ivan Reitman in the director’s chair. The $20.3 million opening beat the debuts of recent R-rated comedy hits I Love You, Man ($17.8 million) and Forgetting Sarah Marshall ($17.7 million).
  • Meanwhile, Portman is the darling of the box office -- with two films in the top ten. Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan is still doing strong business, coming in #6 for the weekend. Portman won the Golden Globe for best actress in a drama for her role in the psychological thriller. Jeff Bridges shares the two-fer feat -- starring in #5 True Grit and #10 Tron: Legacy.
  • Sony’s 3D The Green Hornet came in #2 in its second weekend, declining a respectable 46% to an estimated $18.1 million -- and a domestic cume of $63.4 million.
  • Colin Firth’s Golden Globe win a week ago for best actor in a drama likely boosted The King’s Speech, coming in #4 for the weekend. On Saturday, the filmed scored a surprise upset over The Social Network in winning the top award from the Producers Guild of America.
  • On the downside is the 11th consecutive down weekend vs. last year with the ghost of Avatar looming large and making comparisons tough.
  • The specialized fare of The King's Speech, True Grit and Black Swan should continue to do well next weekend -- not only because of good reviews, but due to the Oscar nominations they should garner come Tuesday morning.
  • All figures are industry estimates. Final weekend figures will be released on Monday.
  • Reviews of True Grit, Black Swan and other movies not in the top 10 can be found by clicking on the Film Reviews archive icon at left.
  • Sources: Hollywood.com, Hollywood Reporter

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Top 10 at the Weekend Box Office



Notes:
  • Sony's 3D The Green Hornet grossed an estimated $34 million over the weekend to nab the second-best opening ever for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Sony estimates the superhero pic will gross $40.5 million through Monday.
  • The only other film to gross more over the long King holiday weekend was Paramount's 2008 Cloverfield, which earned $40.1 million for the three days and $46.1 million for the four days. Hornet also is the third-highest January opener after Cloverfield and a reissue of Star Wars.
  • Ron Howard's Vince Vaughn/Kevin James comedy The Dilemma, from Universal, got off to a rough start due to bad reviews -- grossing an estimated $17.4 million through Sunday. Good enough for the #2 spot, but far lower than the usual opening for a Vaughn or James comedy.
  • The bright spot continued to be specialized fare -- as The King's Speech, True Grit and Black Swan continue to do well -- thanks to good reviews.
  • It is important to note that The Green Hornet came in on the lower end of expectations -- possibly due to poor reviews. The film couldn't help reverse a troubling downturn at the domestic box office for studio popcorn titles. Overall revenues for the weekend were down at least 25% from last year, as well as being the lowest since 2007.
  • All figures are industry estimates. Final weekend figures will be released on Monday.
  • Reviews of True Grit, Black Swan and other movies not in the top 10 can be found by clicking on the Film Reviews archive icon at left.
  • Sources: Hollywood.com, Hollywood Reporter

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Top 10 at the Weekend Box Office


Notes:
  • Paramount and Skydance Prods.' True Grit wrestled the weekend box office crown from Universal's Little Fockers for the first time, grossing an estimated $15 million and upping its overall take to $110.4 million.
  • True Grit and #2 Little Fockers (with $13.8 million) had no trouble beating Relativity Media newcomer Season of the Witch. The Nicholas Cage-starrer came in #3 with an estimated debut of $10.7 million.
  • Sony/Screen Gems' new nationwide entry starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Country Strong, grossed an estimated $7.3 million to come in #6 as it expanded from a limited two-city run.
  • It was a slow weekend overall compared to the same time frame a year ago, when Avatar lit up the domestic box office with a $50 million gross. Revenues this year were down a whopping 30%.
  • All figures are industry estimates. Final weekend figures will be released on Monday.
  • Reviews of True Grit, Black Swan and other movies not in the top 10 can be found by clicking on the Film Reviews archive icon at left.
  • Sources: Hollywood.com, Hollywood Reporter

Monday, January 3, 2011

MusicMonday: Free Downloads to Kick Off 2011


Happy 2011! Here are the first free downloads of the New Year -- which are actually some leftovers from late in 2010:

  • Head over to Facebook here to download "What the Hell" from Avril Lavigne.
  • Click here for 10 live tracks from Trey Anastasio and the Scorchio Quartet. The set from the Phish frontman was recorded last November in Richardson Auditorium at Princeton University.
  • Compliments of NPR comes The Best New Music of 2010. Download the 12 songs via iTunes here. Free offer expires February 28.
  • The Winter 2011 edition of the Landmark Digital Sampler is now out. Download 11 tunes here.
  • And sure, Christmas is over and you're so over the music. But if you like Country, you may want to download 8 holiday tunes from People Magazine -- and save for NEXT Christmas. Top stars Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts are included in the mix. Download here via iTunes. Offer expires this Friday.

Want more free downloads? Well, don't forget to continually check the following sources -- new songs covering all genres are added frequently. Just click on the links below and enjoy some new tunes.