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The Priority Report: A Look at Entertainment in February

By Jeannine Stanley

jeannine@nobomagazine.com

Looking for something to help fill in your entertainment calendar? Learn what to follow in television, film, music, and books with this week’s edition of The Priority Report.

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The Grammy Awards on CBS on February 12, 2012

For all intents and purposes, this year’s Grammy Awards is Adele’s to sweep.  Adele is nominated for 6 of the coveted awards, and slated to perform for the first time in the US after cancelling her tour due to throat surgery, successfully completed at Boston’s very own MGH. Bruce Springsteen, Katy Perry, Foo Fighters, Coldplay and Nicki Minaj are also slated to perform.

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The Walking Dead on AMC on February 12, 2012

After reading and hearing all of the hype surrounding Season 1 of The Walking Dead (and being a huge fan of AMC’s equally interesting and original shows Mad Men and Breaking Bad), I Netflix’d the first season and devoured it quickly, much like some tasty brains.  The first half of season two of TWD ended shortly after Thanksgiving, when (spoiler alert) zombified Sophia came staggering out of the barn.  This show has taken so many twists and turns, I’m dying to see what happens next!

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The River on ABC on February 7, 2012

Are you lost without Lost?  Steven Spielberg’s production company Amblin, and the producer of Paranormal Activity bring you the story of a son restarting the search for his father deep into the Amazon, where he’s been missing for 6 months.

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Cougar Town on ABC on February 14, 2012

The Penny Can crew is back!  How this show (with the terrible name and the amazing…everything else) got delayed, or cancelled, or whatever happened is beyond me.  Courtney Cox and Co are amazing, and you get the feeling (and if you follow them on twitter like I do, you know) that they are really friends in real life, and this show was just the thing they did in between being cool celebrity friends.

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Eastbound and Dawn on HBO on February 19, 2012

There are many people out there who will not want to watch a show about a washed up, vulgar and dimwitted baseball player and his ridiculous family and the hijinx that ensue.  However, those of you don’t know Kenny Powers.  Follow him on twitter @KFUCKINGP to see what he’s up to before the Feb 19th career.

The 84th annual Academy Awards on ABC on February 26, 2012

Stay tuned to an article from NoBo looking at the films nominated for this year’s Academy Awards as well as our predictions for this year’s top honor in Hollywood.

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Project Nim available on DVD on February 7, 2012

In 1973, a baby chimpanzee was taken from it’s mother and given a new one; a grad student in Columbia University’s psych program.  The mission: to raise baby Nim like a human baby.  Nim communicates via sign language and grows to be playful and affectionate, but bites those who he considers weak.  After 5 years, Nim is returned to a primate research center in Oklahoma, and then to a medical research company in upstate New York.  This is the story of the people whose lives he has touched and those who strive to save his life.

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The Vow in theaters February 10, 2012

Channing Tatum and Rachael McAdams star as Paige and Leo, a newly married couple that get into a horrific car accident.  Leo emerges unharmed, but Paige suffers amnesia and forgets the previous 5 years of their storybook relationship, leaving Leo to get Paige to fall in love all over again.

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The Rum Diary available on DVD on February 14, 2012

What better way to celebrate the month of love than to climb into the wacky and wonderful world of Hunter S. Thompson and watch a relationship explode ?  One of this authors favorite book’s has been turned into a movie, with non other than personal friend Johnny Depp as the penultimate Thompson (as in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and…any other Thompson doc).  If this movie is a tenth as good as the book is, your valentine’s day will be complete!

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J Edgar available on DVD February 19, 2012

Time will tell us more about the enigmatic J. Edgar Hoover and the secrets he kept, both in his personal life and as longtime head of the FBI.  Leonardo DiCaprio gives a wonderful performance and was nominated for many awards this season but this movie, and its director Clint Eastwood were shut out of the Oscar race.  See it anyway to see what everyone is talking about!

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Martha Marcy May Marlene available on DVD on February 21, 2012

There is another Olsen besides the ubiquitious Mary Kate and Ashley, and 2011-2012 seems to be her time to shine.  In this well made and fascinating film, the title tells us all of the women she is assimilated into over her lifetime.  When the film introduces her, she is in the process of fleeing a cult and reuniting with the family she hasn’t seen in years.

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Wanderlust in theaters February 24, 2012

A movie staring Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd? Sign me up?  This story of a couple, who chose to explore alternative living situations after losing their jobs.  Directed by David Wain, of such underground gems as Wet Hot American Summer and Childrens Hospital (Adult Swim), this comedy is a timely (and humorous) take on the current (and rather not funny) economic recession.

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Air: Le Voyage Dans La Lune available on February 7, 2012

If you don’t know Air and its unique and ethereal sound of atomospheric pop, you should purchase this and play it at your Valentine’s Day dinner for some peaceful and relaxing background music.  The title translates to “A Trip to the Moon”, a 16 minute French film that is often and widely considered one of the most important works in film history (and the first to use science fiction) in the 19th century.  Air can get heady at times, but this CD is beautifully crafted and also includes a DVD.

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Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded by Nicki Minaj

Although the title makes it seem like this may be a rerelease, This is Minaj’s newest album.  She’s exploded with the success of her Pink Friday album and tour with Brittney Spears in 2011, and she just performed with both Madonna and M.I.A. at this years halftime show.  Miss Minaj is primed for Pop and Rap world-takeover, and this new album could do it.

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Now 41: That’s What I Call Music

Is the “Now” series, currently on its 41st rotation doing anything new and exciting?  I’m sure this is Katy Perry’s 13th or 14th time on the release, as is Lady Gaga, but this is a great compilation for what it is  (and if you listen to any pop radio station, you will hear all of these rotating every hour on the hour) but as a compilation for this year in pop music, it’s a wonderful mix.

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Reign of Terror by Sleigh Bells

Sleigh Bells’ previous album Treats is featured as a background track in almost  every MTV show, Urban Outfitters fitting room, and hipster Brooklyn bar serving PBR at a four-time markup.  With their lo-fi sound becoming a quick hit with both MIA and Major Lazer, this album promises to be just as amazing.

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Behind the Beautiful Flowers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo

Available on February 7, 2012

What is life really like in the slums of India?  Katherine Boo, past recepient of both a MacArthur Genius Grant and a Pulitzer Prize, spent three years trying to find out the inner-workings Annawadi, a 300 shack settlement less than a mile from Mumbai’s International Airport.  What she discovered, in this riveting, unflinching nonfiction narrative, was the depth of hope in some of the worlds’ poorest conditions.  This book will surely end up on your book club’s short list.

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The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Phillipp Sendker

Available in paperback on February 7, 2012

A time span of over 70 years (1950’s to present) is the backdrop of this story of a lawyer who suddenly disappears one day, and the daughter and wife he leaves behind.  Having no clue what happened, the abandoned pair follow the lead of a forgotten love letter from decades ago to a woman from Burma that neither wife or daughter have ever met.  The daughter travels to Burma to discover what her father left behind.

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A Good American by Alex George

Available on February 7, 2012

When a young couple flee to America, they mistakenly board a boat not for New York but New Orleans, and this begins the story of a “Good American Family” and how their paths grow and mirror the great events in American history (Prohibition, the Kennedy Assasination).

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Ali in Wonderland: And Other Tall Tales by Ali Wentworth

Available on February 7, 2012

Wentworth has a lot of titles: Oprah correspondent, comedianne, In Living Color star, wife of George Stephanopoulos, and the list continues.  This memoire is light and funny and insightful regarding the things that make Wentworth tick: her DC childhood, leaving it all behind to move to Hollywood, and most influentially her mother, Reagan White House social secretary Muffie Cabot.

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Flatscreen: A Novel by Adam Wilson

Available on February 21, 2012

What is the purpose of life?  Eli Schwartz: misanthrope, stoner, non-starter and slacker-everyman would love to answer this question.  Eli wanders through life with a smirk and a cast of characters that would make an fantastically watchable HBO comedy pilot.  Check it out!

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You’re Not Doing it Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death and Other Humiliations by Michael Ian Black

Available on February 28th

I’ve been a fan of Michael Ian Black for a long time over a variety of mediums.  Correspondent for VH1’s “I Love the…” series, indie classic movie Wet Hot American Summer, and his amazing deadpan twitter feed @MichaelIanBlack amongst others.  His brand of wounded man-boy dry humor will keep you laughing.

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