Again, there’s no word yet on if Hellboy 3 might get a second chance at life following the reboot’s failure, although it’s not hard to imagine Hollywood wanting to distance itself from the Dark Horse property for at least several years, if even return to it at all. That being said, if Hellboy 3 were to get off the ground, this wouldn’t be the first time the original continuity of a film series is re-explored following a reboot or two. 2018’s Halloween was a direct sequel to the 1978 original, and the same approach is being taken with upcoming features Ghostbusters: Afterlife and RoboCop Returns.
By Carson Mlnarik
Surprise — again! After dropping her record-breaking eighth album, Folklore, on a whim back in July, Taylor Swift repeated her antics today (December 11) with the release of her Evermore. Folklore’s sister record further mines Swift’s whimsical storytelling perspective alongside producers Jack Antonoff and The National’s Aaron Dessner, two great minds who helped hone her folksy alt-pop sound the last go-around.
Evermore is an equally experimental sequel, as the pop singer weaves scenes of heartbreak and outlaws on the run. “Champagne Problems” depicts the aftermath of turning down a proposal over sparse piano keys, while the Haim-assisted “No Body, No Crime” is a contemporary riff on a vintage murder ballad boasting plenty harmonicas. Even in her most escapist moments, Swift still finds ways to craft relatable lyrics and captivating characters, perhaps none more compelling than herself. “Gold Rush” calls back her signature color for boyfriend Joe Alwyn — also known as William Bowery, a co-writer on three of Evermore’s tracks — to espouse the jealousy and insecurity that come with falling hard. And “Long Story Short” announces a place of peace after years of “petty things” and “nemeses” in the limelight.
It’s clear Evermore is a continuation of the Folklore era, with the visual for “Willow” finding Swift descending into the same piano from the “Cardigan” music video. Fans will find that not only does Taylor still have a song for every mood, but by straddling the lines of fact and fiction, she’s charting new emotional territory. Wondering where to start? Don’t worry, we’re breaking it down track-by-track.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: hopelessly romantic.
Key lyric: “Life was a willow and it bent right to your wind / But I come back stronger than a ’90s trend”
Spoiler alert: Taylor is a bit of a romantic. As the song’s accompanying video shows, she’s still a heartfelt believer in true love, and she’s crafted the perfect soundtrack to underscore any slow dance, intimate car ride home, or huge reminder that you’re single.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: like you’re just not built to be in a relationship.
Key lyric: “One for the money, two for the show / I never was ready so I let you go”
While this song, written by Swift and Bowery, tells the tale of two college sweethearts who had very different visions of where their relationship was going, it’ll strike a chord with anyone who’s had their heart — or their expectations — broken. You think you’re in distress? Just wait until the expletive-heavy bridge when things get completely unhinged.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: just a teensy bit jealous.
Key lyric: “I don’t like that falling feels like flying ’til the bone crush”
Jealousy may be a green-eyed monster, but Taylor is seeing a gold rush in this upbeat daydream of a tune detailing her insecurities about having a lover whom everyone else is attracted to. Her attempts at level-headedness come with an air of desperation as she can’t help but imagine “padding across your wooden floors / With my Eagles T-shirt hanging from the door.” If you’ve got a guarded heart that’s afraid to take a relationship to the next level, you’ll feel this one.
“’Tis The Damn Season”
Listen to it when you’re feeling: like making the same old mistakes.
Key lyric: “I’m staying at my parents’ house / And the road not taken looks real good now”
With a title like “’Tis the Damn Season,” Taylor’s not exactly setting the table for a cheery Christmas soirée. Through the story of aspiring actress Dorothea — more on her later — returning home, Swift crafts a fitting ode to indulging in a holiday fling with the one that got away. We’re not advising you to send any “Are you back in town?” texts, but if you do, here’s a primer.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: underappreciated, especially for your table-setting skills.
Key lyric: “I know my love should be celebrated / But you tolerate it”
Every Swiftie knows that Taylor reserves track No. 5 for her most exhaustively raw and confessional moments (see “All Too Well,” “My Tears Ricochet,” and “The Archer”) and she continues to deliver the emotional punches here, whether setting the table with “fancy shit” to “begging for footnotes” in her lover’s life. When you’re feeling gaslit or ignored in a relationship, this one is here with a nice warm hug and soul-crushing bridge.
“No Body, No Crime (ft. Haim)”
Listen to it when you’re feeling: like taking vengeance into your own hands.
Key lyric: “She says, ‘That ain’t my Merlot on his mouth / That ain’t my jewelry on our joint account’”
Any true-crime podcast or documentary fan is going to be all about Tay’s first team-up with her friends in Haim. Este has gone missing — she didn’t show up to her Tuesday night shift at Olive Garden — and her cheating husband is the prime suspect. Thankfully, Taylor knows enough about a crime scene to take justice into her own hands, à la The Chick’s “Goodbye Earl.” When you want a taste of revenge, give this one a spin.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: wistful about what you can’t change.
Key lyric: “And in the disbelief, I can’t face reinvention / I haven’t met the new me yet”
What, were you expecting a song called “Happiness” to be happy? Over haunting synths and delicate plucking, Swift struggles to maintain a sense of optimism navigating the complexities of a breakup, resolving that “there’ll be happiness after you” even though “there was happiness because of you, too.” Save this one for your rainy-day walks or late-night feels.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: like the lonely city lights might not be worth it.
Key lyric: “It’s never too late to come back to my side”
Move over, Betty! There’s a new girl in town. According to Evermore’s liner notes, Dorothea is a “girl who left her small town to chase down Hollywood dreams,” and this swinging slow jam is a reminder that she’s always got someone in her hometown. Here’s a shiny ditty to remind you that you’re never truly alone.
“Coney Island (ft. The National)”
Listen to it when you’re feeling: nostalgic.
Key lyric: “The fast times, the bright lights, the merry go / Sorry for not making you my centerfold”
After working with Aaron Dessner and his brother Bryce on Folklore, Taylor takes it to the next level in her first collaboration with their band The National. This one might be called “Coney Island,” but it’s a cloudy day at the theme park as Swift and Matt Berninger swap verses about a bitter romance where they both made mistakes. When you’re wondering what went wrong, this one will hit home.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: at a crossroads.
Key lyric: “Oh, goddamn / My pain fits in the palm of your freezing hand”
Infidelity has never sounded so sweet! In this breezy charmer, Swift imagines falling in love with someone who puts “roots in [her] dreamland” even though her heart’s been promised to another. When one option looks better than the other and you’re stuck, perhaps this will help make up your mind.
“Cowboy Like Me”
Listen to it when you’re feeling: ready for a risqué romance.
Key lyric: “We could be the way forward / And I know I’ll pay for it”
It’s official! Despite being the one to typically ride off into the sun, Taylor says she’s met her match in this slow, country-tinged swinger about a renegade romance. Throw in some not-so-sneaky background vocals from Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons, and like the narrator, we’re caught hook, line, and sinker.
“Long Story Short”
Listen to it when you’re feeling: at peace.
Key lyric: “If the shoe fits, walk in it ’til your high heels break”
Did Taylor Swift just explain 2020 in a nutshell with the lyric, “Long story short, it was a bad time?” This brisk, fast-paced tune recalls Swift’s ’80s-pop influences to sum up her fall from grace, resulting in public feuds, and how she’s come to terms with it, thanks to love. Play this one when you’re finally over the drama.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: reflective.
Key lyric: “I should’ve asked you questions / I should’ve asked you how to be / Asked you to write it down for me”
After paying tribute to her grandfather on Folklore’s “Epiphany,” Swift dedicates this song to her late grandmother Marjorie Finlay, an opera singer who encouraged her passion for music. When you’re trying to remember those you’ve lost, try this heavenly track — and make sure you’ve got Kleenex if you’re watching the archival footage in its accompanying lyric video.
Listen to it when you’re feeling: perfectly fine with being bitter, thank you very much.
Key lyric: “I’m fine with my spite / And my tears, and my beers and my candles”
A rogue drum machine leads this otherwise soft ballad astray as Taylor reflects on closure, which is never quite as clean as it sounds. Some ends are better left broken, especially when you’re still spiteful and “staying friends would iron it out so nice.” Here’s your soundtrack for no longer giving someone the time of day.
“Evermore (ft. Bon Iver)”
Listen to it when you’re feeling: like you need a little extra light.
Key lyric: “I rewind the tape but all it does is pause / On the very moment, all was lost”
In the album’s somber yet hopeful closer, Swift, Justin Vernon, and Bowery have penned a tune that speaks to the cycles of depression and anxiety, especially as they’ve affected people this year. If you’re looking for a breath of fresh air, let this be your reminder that “this pain wouldn’t be forevermore.”
Ovy on the Drums ft. Karol G & Danny Ocean: “Miedito o Que?”
O-O-Ovy on the Drums! The Latin Grammy-nominated reggaeton producer is back with a new single to round out another wildly successful year for the genre. “Miedito o Que?” can only be described as sonic sunshine, so tangible you can almost feel the warmth on your skin. On this perfect summertime hit, Ovy is accompanied by longtime collaborator Karol G, whose brings her signature style and flair, as well as Venezuelan artist Danny Ocean. “Miedito o Que?” transports you to an alternate reality of the summer that couldn’t be, reminding listeners of the good times yet to be had in swimming pools and under palm trees. There’s something interesting about listening to a summer bop in the dead of winter, but if anyone can convince you to play along, it’s Ovy, Karol, and Danny. —Sarina Bhutani
The Justice League? … No, I think that all of us DC directors tossed that out just as much as the fans did. But also, I felt that that version contradicted my first movie in many ways, and this current movie, which I was already in production on. So then, what are you going to do? I was like… you would have to play ball in both directions in order for that to work. The only thing I have done, and have always tried to do, is — I knew, when Zack was doing Justice League, where she sort of ends up. So I always tried… like, I didn’t change her suit, because I never want to… I don’t want to contradict his films, you know? But yet, I have to have my own films, and he’s been very supportive of that. And so, I think that that Justice League was kind of an outlier. They were trying to turn one thing into, kind of, another. And so then it becomes, ‘I don’t recognize half of these characters. I’m not sure what’s going on.’
James Purefoy has built a solid resume over the past few decades, as he’s taken on prominent roles in series like Rome, The Following and Sex Education. His career might have looked quite a bit different, though, if he’d taken a different path — one that was presented to him on two separate occasions.
And they won’t be around for long.
Everything is happening for Jennifer Lopez, and she’s even pretty fresh off of headlining the Super Bowl early this year. Yes, that happened in 2020. J-Lo clearly works hard on all her projects, but she’s also really doing the most to be in the best shape of her life at 51. Get excited for her new single “In The Morning” coming this Black Friday. And as always, keep checking in with CinemaBlend for more updates on her upcoming movies.
The Weeknd accepted the first award of the night at the AMAs 2020 on Sunday, November 22. And he did it in a surprising look: His face was completely covered in bandages.
Take a look for yourself, below, courtesy of a GIF that MTV posted:
Before you worry, no, The Weeknd didn’t get into a fight or anything. He’s totally fine. The bruised and bandaged look is actually part of his current album-era aesthetic—specifically for the song “Blinding Lights.”
“‘Blinding Lights’ [is about] how you want to see someone at night, and you’re intoxicated, and you’re driving to this person and you’re just blinded by streetlights,” The Weeknd told Esquire about the song. “But nothing could stop you from trying to go see that person, because you’re so lonely. I don’t want to ever promote drunk driving, but that’s what the dark undertone is.”
This isn’t the first time The Weeknd has done this look. He wore something similar at the 2020 MTV VMAs, as well as Saturday Night Live earlier this year. The Weeknd’s album cover for After Hours also features him with a bloody face.
The Weeknd was one of the most nominated artists at the AMAs 2020, with eight nods: artist of the year, favorite music video, favorite male artist—pop/rock, favorite male artist—soul/R&B, favorite song—pop/rock, favorite album—pop/rock, favorite song—soul/R&B, and favorite album—soul/R&B.
After Hours, released in March 2020, was critically acclaimed and a commercial smash. “Blinding Lights” has been a consistent chart-topper all year. The Grammy nominations haven’t been announced yet, but my guess is he’ll be racking up quite a few.
He’ll also be headlining the 2021 Super Bowl halftime show in February. That news was announced earlier this month. “Performing on the iconic stage. see you 02/07/21 @pepsi #pepsihalftime,” the singer tweeted.
Here is the responsibility of the pop artist: taking a complex yet universal emotion or experience — heartbreak, loneliness — and boiling it down to a savory stock of addictive hooks and simplified lyrical motifs. That recipe may seem easy enough to outsiders, but some topics, as vast and generative and difficult as love, need ample time to cook, then digest. Perhaps that’s why John K, an emerging singer from Orlando, Florida, has dedicated himself to exploring that feeling in all its delicious complexity.
The fruit of that work is Love + Everything Else, a collection of nine sweet songs and one delectable remix that K refers to as a “project,” a word that hints at the in-progress nature of his sound and a collaborative way of songwriting. Crafting tracks with a close-knit team of friends through candid recording sessions and thought-starting games, his break came in 2017 when “OT,” an electro-pop musing over a missed connection, amassed over 50 million streams despite its independent release. A debut EP, If We Never Met, followed, and he signed with Epic Records in 2019 with the support of Diplo and Ricky Remedy.
Now, with Love + Everything Else, K lays it all on the table, whether navigating the difficulties of moving on from a relationship (“Let Me Let You Go”), deploying clever metaphors for his own shortcomings as a partner (“Cheap Sunglasses”), or transposing vows into lyrics tailor-made for his wife (“I.L.Y.M.”). His soulful delivery feels at home over EDM basslines, and though he has often been compared to the crooners of yesteryear, many of his songs feel perfectly primed to capture the anxiety and isolation of the coronavirus era (“6 Months”). For MTV News, he breaks down the project track by track and mood by mood.
“Let Me Let You Go”
Listen to it when you’re feeling: “at a crossroads and have to make a decision.”
Key lyric: “Baby, let me love you / Oh baby, let me let you go”
“‘Let Me Let You Go’ was kind of a jam session. And it’s always going to be, until something takes its place, the song that we open every show with. So, I really want it to be true to that, and that is why I chose it to be the first song on the project.”
Listen to it when you’re feeling: like you “want to vibe out.”
Key lyric: “If that’s the consequence of lovin’ you / Then I will fall without a parachute”
“My favorite song we’ve ever worked on. We tapped into something different, something special. I’ll never forget the session. We were all just standing on our feet, just really all singing the same — it already felt like a chorus. Sometimes in creation, you get a glimpse of something and can see and feel and hear what the final needs to sound like. That song had so much personality in it, it was such a great collective effort, and everybody was just in the zone. It was a beautiful thing.”
“If We Never Met”
Listen to it when you’re feeling: “thankful.”
Key lyric: “I wouldn’t even know what love is / If we never met”
“‘If We Never Met’ is my anthem. It’s the love of my life, a nod to all the people that have made me better. ‘If We Never Met’ started this project. It’s truly my story, and it’s so special because the song that’s truly about the story of how we all met, ends up being the song that kind of takes off first. And it was a really nice full-circle moment.”
Listen to it when you’re feeling: “longing.”
Key lyric: “Feels like it’s been six months and seven days / When I’m without you”
“I spent a lot of time in Los Angeles last year, working on all this music. Sometimes, I was gone for three to four weeks at a time, and I had to go back to being in a long-distance relationship. So, 6 months was purely coming from a homesick, I-miss-my-girl place, and we just explored that.”
Listen to it when you’re feeling: “ready to make a TikTok dance.”
Key lyric: “This is why I can’t have nice things / ‘Cause I break ‘em”
“We started the session and one of the writers looked at the table and saw this pair of expensive sunglasses that the producer had. And he was like, ‘Dude, I was going to buy these. They were in my cart and I just couldn’t push the button because every time I buy a new pair of sunglasses, I always lose them.’ And then we just spit it out. We found this whole deeper side of it where we related it to how I always mess up relationships.”
“Learning How to Love”
Listen to it when you’re feeling: like “a work in progress. I’m always going to be a work in progress.”
Key lyric: “Baby, you’re perfect / But I can’t say the same for me”
“I feel like it might be the dark horse of the record. I take some time away from it and then I listen to it again and I’m just like, wow, this is pretty dope. There’s a lot of growth throughout the record. It starts off very stripped and really, really grows into something where in, that final chorus, we tried to really go somewhere.”
Listen to it when you’re feeling: “sad. It’s okay to not be okay.”
Key lyric: “I feel like my daydreams are nightmares / I feel like a prisoner in my head, yeah”
“We used to do this thing, a big group of friends, and we called it the song game. We would basically give each other homework and we had to turn in an idea, whether it be a voice note, a fully produced song, or calling them on the phone and just saying something into it. Just as long as you were creative in some way. We would set a theme on Monday and the next Sunday something was due. One week it was ‘happy.’ So that song came out of the song game.”
“Days Like This”
Listen to it when you’re feeling: “a hopeful, summer-day kind of mood.”
Key lyric: “’Cause days like this, make me wish / We had more days like this, oh yeah”
“We wrote that one in quarantine, so we were exploring how to write songs via Zoom. I got on with some friends and we were just talking about how we missed all the things we used to take for granted. We can’t be together. We can’t write. We can’t go to the beach. The only goal for that day was to write about better times. Let’s write about what we wish we could do and keep it super lighthearted and fun and upbeat.”
Listen to it when you’re feeling: “in love, just all things love.”
Key lyric: “I’m not sayin’ it’s a competition / All I’m saying is”
“The melody feels like it could be a wedding song… Once we made that connection, it was the chance to just truly dive into a message that I could give to my wife that she would have forever. If there’s ever a bad day or something that we go through, she can listen to a record that says everything that I wish I could say over and over again. It’s almost like a pact that you can listen to.”
Hmm… we are prepared to disagree, but the humbleness is appreciated. The actor characterized a “legend” as someone who accomplished something especially extraordinary that no one else could do. Let’s say, such as Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatma Gandhi or Albert Einstein. There are many ways to categorize a legend, and in each field has its own, but in terms of Hollywood, Samuel L. Jackson definitely has the right elements to make the short list.