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RPW Can’t Miss This List 2014 – Music

Ready for 2014 Rock Paper Watchers? To celebrate the new year, we are releasing our “Can’t Miss This List” so you know our picks for upcoming shows, movies, albums, and books.  Check out our lists for the 2014 movies, books, and television.

“Out Among the Stars” by Johnny Cash

March 25, 2014

I can admit that I’m not a huge country fan, but boy do I love me some Johnny Cash. I was thrilled when it was announced last year that John Carter Cash, son of the late Johnny and June, discovered 12 songs recorded by Johnny Cash in 1981 and 1984. The tracks, which include duets with June Carter Cash and Waylon Jennings, have been sitting in a vault forgotten for the past thirty years and have never been released to the public.

Pharrell Williams

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In 2013, Pharrell simultaneously held the #1 and #2 song on Billboard’s Top 100, was nominated for seven Grammy Awards, and released the first-ever 24 hour music video. All of that was done without releasing a new album. But America heard plenty of the Man Who Never Ages in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” and on the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack. Can you imagine what will happen in 2014 when Pharrell releases his own album from Columbia Records? The new album will drop later this year and will include “Happy,” the single from Despicable Me 2.

Betty Who

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When her single ‘Somebody Loves You’ was featured in the viral Home Depot Proposal, her song took off at a rapid pace. Once released, it debuted at #44 on iTunes and at #4 on Spotify. She was quickly signed to RCA records in September and has been tour and in the studio ever since. In the meantime, her EP ‘The Movement’ is available on Spotify and for download on iTunes.

Adele

TBA

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It was recently confirmed by Adele’s publicist that she has been working on her third album, a follow up to 2011’s 21, which is officially the first album to sell over 3 million digital copies. Naturally, expectations are high for this next album. Adele is reportedly working with Kid Harpoon, James Ford, William Orbit, and Ryan Tedder.

Honorable Mentions

The Fray

Foo Fighters

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RPW Can’t Miss This List 2014 – Books

Ready for 2014 Rock Paper Watchers? To celebrate the new year, we are releasing our “Can’t Miss This List” so you know our picks for upcoming shows, movies, albums, and books.  Check back tomorrow for our top 2014 music picks! And click here for our movie and television picks.

Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore

May 13, 2014

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Named one of the 14 Rising Stars of 2014 by Entertainment Weekly, Bittersweet is Beverly-Whittemore’s third novel. The novel tells the story of a young co-ed named Mabel who is invited to Bittersweet, a cottage in Vermont owned by her roommate’s blue-blooded family. As she falls in love with the atmosphere and the lifestyle, Mabel discovers the family’s dark secrets and must choose whether to expose them or stay quiet. With promises of twists and turns, this is a perfect read for those who loved Gone Girl and prefer soapy TV like Revenge or Scandal.

The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair by Joël Dicker

May 27, 2014

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This literary thriller has already sold almost a million copies in France, as well as topped bestseller lists in Italy and Spain, will finally be published in the US in May. This literary thriller is a book within a book. It tells the story of a 15-year-old New Hampshire girl who disappears and then picks up 30 years later when a young American writer, Marcus Goldman, turns to her disappearance for inspiration when her body shows up in the backyard of his mentor’s home.

Memoir of Neil Patrick Harris (Not yet titled)

Spring 2014

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After completing a creative history course on memoirs at Penn last semester, the genre has slowly grown on me. I even found myself reaching for a memoir and not fiction when I finally had the chance to read for fun again last month. But I’m not just going to read any old memoir. I want one with captivating and emotional stories, great characters, and mini-life lessons, both big and small. I believe NPH is going to deliver in those categories. It helps that he references one of my favorite memoirs, Tina Fey’s Bossypants, in his news release. You have to admit, the man knows how to catch the attention of his target audience.

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

October 2014

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Confession Time – I am a sucker for all things Jodi Picoult. I have yet to read a novel written by her that I didn’t absolutely love. I’m a fan of her character development, her use of characters across stories, her gut-wrenching plot lines, and her epic twists. No one can punch you in the literary gut quite like my girl, Jodi. Don’t believe me? Just read My Sister’s Keeper or Nineteen Minutes. But I digress.

I was thrilled to learn that Picoult is releasing a new novel in October 2014. The book is entitled “Leaving Time” and it tells the story of a girl named Jenna whose mother went missing when she was 3 years old and the family was living and working on an elephant sanctuary. The book follows Jenna’s search for her mother as Jenna believes her mother would never have left her intentionally. The best part = Picoult promises that the story features a “fabulous twist” that rivals My Sister’s Keeper.


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RPW Can’t Miss This List 2014 – Movies

Ready for 2014 Rock Paper Watchers? To celebrate the new year, we are releasing our “Can’t Miss This List” so you know our picks for upcoming shows, movies, albums, and books.  Check back Monday for our top 2014 book picks!

Labor Day

January 30, 2014

“A story of love, passion, and betrayal as seen through the eyes of a teenage boy and the man he later becomes. Henry looks back on his fateful 13th year, when he lived with his reclusive divorced mother. At the start of Labor Day weekend, while on a rare excursion to town, Henry and his mother encounter an injured man who asks for refuge in their home. Over the course of the next four days, they’re taken ‘hostage’ by a man who ultimately captures them, body and soul.” Source: Google

Reasons to Watch: Sometimes there is something so right about something being so wrong. And can we talk about that chemistry? It’s just oozing between Winslet and Brolin. The scene with the peach pie? Every southern girls dream…..

The Normal Heart

May 2014 on HBO

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Based on the Tony award-winning 1985 play, The Normal Heart details the spread of HIV/AIDS among a group of gay men living in 1980s New York City. The film adaptation, airing on HBO in the spring, was directed by American Horror Story and Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy.  Murphy describes the film as his “biggest labor of love,” and it features a star-studded cast including Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Taylor Kitsch (be still my heart), and Jonathan Groff.

Reasons to Watch: That cast. The Normal Heart includes some of the finest men Hollywood has to offer all in one movie and under the direction of Ryan Murphy, who is known for pushing his actors out of their comfort zone. The film promises to be powerful, and the performances promise to be spectacular.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

May 23, 2014

Calling all X-Men!

X-Men: Days of Future Past features both the original cast of X-Men and the younger versions of themselves from the X-Men: First Class film.  In the latest installment, Wolverine is sent back in time to help the younger mutants prevent an event from occurring, which will ultimately change the future and save mutants and humans alike from war and destruction.

Reasons to Watch:  With an ensemble cast that features fan-favorites Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, and Halle Berry (just to name a few!), this movie is bound to be an unforgettable adventure.  And if that wasn’t reason enough for you, in addition to the phenomenal cast of good guys, Peter Dinklage stars in the film as villain, Bolivar Trask.  That’s right people.  Tyrion Lannister in X-Men.  I couldn’t be more thrilled to see my favorite Game of Thrones star on the big screen [no pun intended].

Maleficent

May 30, 2014

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You guys, I’m not going to lie, I am so so excited for this Disney movie!!   Angelina Jolie stars as the evil Maleficent in this modern remake of Sleeping Beauty.  The story we have come to know and love from the 1959 classic is retold from Maleficent’s perspective.  We learn about her past and the things that happened to her that drove her to become the evil villain that bewitches Princess Aurora (Elle Fanning).

Reasons to Watch:  As if Angelina Jolie as Maleficent isn’t enough for you…  Seriously though, the trailer for the film looks fantastic.  And I’m excited about the fact that Jolie is not only starring in the movie, but served as executive producer.  She played a major role in designing her character’s costume and, despite execs pushing back who wanted to take advantage of her beauty, created a menacing and frightening look for Maleficent.  In fact, Jolie in costume was so scary on set that the only child who could play toddler Princess Aurora was her own daughter, Vivienne Jolie-Pitt.

The Maze Runner

September 19, 2014

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Based on James Dashner’s 2009 novel, The Maze Runner begins when Thomas, our narrator, wakes up trapped in “the Glade” with no memories other than his first name.  He is surrounded by a group of boys who live inside a seemingly unsolvable maze that is beyond the Glade.  Every 30 days another boy is delivered but things change dramatically when a girl, Teresa, is delivered with the message that she’s the last one.  From there, the book moves quickly as the boys try to figure out why they’re there and more importantly, how do they get out?

Reasons to watch:  Personally, I can’t wait to see the Maze depicted on screen.  As a reader, you have an idea of how something might look in your head.  When it actually comes to life, that changes everything.  Also, the cast features some of the greatest young actors in Hollywood today like Dylan O’Brien, Will Poulter, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.

Gone Girl

October 3, 2014

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It’s hard to write this summary without giving too much away, so I’m not going to. If you haven’t read Gillian Flynn’s runaway hit by the same name, stop whatever you’re doing right now and go read. Early into the book’s release, Reese Witherspoon bought the film rights and is putting it to use with David Fincher directing.  When Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) goes missing on her fifth wedding anniversary, it’s her husband Nick (Ben Affleck) who becomes the prime suspect.

Reason’s to Watch: The novel itself was full of twists and turns, and in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, David Fincher promises readers of the book will still be even more surprised by the movie’s curve balls.  If it is anything as shocking as the book I can’t wait.  Go read.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1

November 21, 2014

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Everyone LOVED Catching Fire,  and after the cliffhanger, where do we go next?  Without giving too many spoilers away, much of the first part of the book is about Katniss. Our Girl on Fire is pretty much a space case, lost in her own thoughts, scared for her family and Peeta, as well as getting use to a more contained life in District 13. However, during these first nine chapters, she agrees to become the Mockingjay, a symbol of rebellion for the districts which leads up into the rest of story, the Districts rising up in a rebellion.

At this point, here is what we know:

Hunger Games: People Die
Catching Fire: More people die
Mockingjay: A lot more people die.

Its safe to say, no one is safe. So get your tissues ready, its going to be a bumpy ride.

Reasons to Watch: It’s probably the most anticipated movie of 2014 and of course, we are all on the edge our seats wondering what the Girl on Fire will do next. Finally, we get outside of the arena and our characters begin to focus on the rebellion against the capital, not to mention we will get our first look at District 13, a District once thought to be destroyed. One of the big questions still looming is: Where are they going to split the book at? Mockingjay is divided into the three parts, The Ashes, The Assault and The Assassin. My bets are somewhere within The Assault. (Obviously)

Did I also mention one of our favorite girl crushes, Julianne Moore, is joining the cast as President Coin? *Squeals*

The Hobbit: There and Back Again

December 17, 2014

The third and final installment of Peter Jackson’s Hobbit prequel/trilogy is set to hit theaters at the end of 2014.  Great, we only have to wait one year to find out the fate of Bilbo and the dwarves, the elves, and Lake-town.  (Even though, let’s face it, we all know what’s going to happen).  The film is the final in Jackson’s Tolkien films and fans of the Lord of the Rings will have to say their final goodbyes to the series.  Let’s just hope that the last Hobbit movie doesn’t have as many endings as LOTR Return of the King.  I swear, I thought that movie ended 4 times before it actually did.

Reasons to Watch:  The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug was a fantastic cinematic thrill ride (those spiders gave me nightmares!) and I’m excited to see what Jackson has in store for his final Tolkien-based film. It also ended on a MAJOR, major cliffhanger.  Seriously, major!!  The third movie promises to be a wild and insane adventure as the battle with Smaug comes to a conclusion, the love triangle between Tauriel, Legolas, and Kili is decided, and the Necromancer comes into power as the evil Sauron.

Honorable Mentions

The Lone Survivor, January 10

That Awkward Moment, January 31

The Monuments Men, February 7

Godzilla, May 16

A Million Ways to Die in the West, May 30

The Fault in our Stars, June 6

Interstellar, November 7

Horrible Bosses 2, November 26

Into the Woods, December 25


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RPW Can’t Miss This List 2014 – TV

Ready for 2014 Rock Paper Watchers? To celebrate the new year, we are releasing our “Can’t Miss This List” so you know our picks for upcoming shows, movies, albums, and books.  Check back tomorrow for our top 2014 movie picks!

True Detective

Airs January 12, 2014 on HBO

True Detective is a new HBO drama about Louisiana State Police Detectives Martin Hart and and Rust Cohle.  In 2012, they are brought in for separate interrogations about a murder case they solved in 1995.  As they narrate their story, each detective is pulled back into the case as questions begin to arise about the outcome of the peculiar murder.

Reasons to Watch: Reason #1 = The cast.  The detectives are portrayed by Matthew McConaughey (Cohle) and Woody Harrelson (Hart). Enough said.  Michelle Monaghan also stars as Maggie, Detective Hart’s wife.  By the looks of the trailer, they all put on riveting and gut-wrenching performances.  Reason #2 = The writing.  True Detective was written and created entirely by Nic Pizzolatto.  Pizzolatto is best known for writing two episodes of AMC’s cop-drama The Killing, including Season 1’s shock-filled finale.  The Killing is one of my favorite television shows (and one of the most underrated IMO) so I was thrilled to learn of this connection.  After conducting a little research, I discovered that Pizzolatto actually quit working for the series because he didn’t like “serving someone else’s vision.”  With True Detective being his first major solo project, I’m thrilled to see what this young and innovative writer has to offer.

Klondike

Airs January 20, 2014 on Discovery Channel

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Klondike is an upcoming historical mini-series by the Discovery Channel.  The six episode long series is the network’s first-ever scripted drama.  It follows two childhood best friends, Bill (Game of Throne‘s Richard Madden) and Epstein (Augustus Prew), in the late 1890s as they flee west in pursuit of gold.  Their journey leads to a land full of undiscovered wealth, but surrounded by unpredictable weather and dangerous characters, including greedy businessmen and native tribes witnessing the destruction of their land.

Reasons to Watch:  Richard Madden, hello!  Also, the production details of the series hint at great action scenes.  For example, over the course of 55 days, the actors faced severe conditions.  From freezing temperatures, to high altitudes; Madden and Prew literally hung off the side of a mountain for 16 hours straight for one scene.  That’s dedication.

Orphan Black  – Season 2

Airs April 19, 2014 on BBC America

Season 1 was a whirlwind.  At the season’s end, all of our favorite clones were forced to choose sides after meeting Rachel, their fellow clone and child of Neolution. Cosima discovered that the clones are property, owned by Neolution leading to Sarah’s decision to ignore Rachel’s threats in the greatest diss of all time, “Up your’s ProClone!” Cosima followed suit, but her illness will be front and center in Season 2. Allison, on the other hand, agreed to cooperate with Neolution.  What does this mean for her relationship with the other clones? Viewers can look forward to getting to know Rachel and the world of Neolution, as she takes the place of Season’s 2 “Big Bad.”  Suit’s Patrick J. Adams will be joining the cast in a very secretive guest spot, as well as Nashville’s bad boy (and the new Daario Naharis in Game of Thrones) Michiel Huisman.

Reasons to Watch: More clones!  We’ve already seen Tatiana Maslany play seven (YES, SEVEN) clones and the creators promise there will be more.  Also, I’m going through Felix withdrawals.

Penny Dreadful

Airs Spring 2014 on Showtime

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Penny Dreadful is an upcoming pyschosexual horror series that will weave together the origin of literary horror characters, including Victor Frankenstein, Frankenstein’s monster, Dorian Gray, and Count Dracula, in Victorian London.

Reasons to Watch: Y’all, I have a confession to make. I used to be IN LOVE with Josh Hartnett. I remember seeing Pearl Harbor and The Faculty and thinking he was going to be my first kiss. Like seriously. So naturally with Hartnett cast as the lead in Penny Dreadful and perfectly positioned for a career comeback, I’m all in!

Masters of Sex – Season 2

Airs Fall 2014 on Showtime

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We know that Masters of Sex Season 1 just finished wrapping up, but we can’t help but be excited for the shows sophomore season. In the season finale, Dr. Master’s entire professional and personal life begins to unravel and the only person he wants to turn to is Virginia (Lizzy Caplan). After a few drinks, Master’s show up at Virginia’s door soaked from the rain and finally lays his feelings on the line.

“I have nothing to offer you except maybe the truth: I finally realized that there is one thing that I can’t live without — it’s you. You.”

Reasons to Watch: In its freshman season, Masters of Sex racked up 2 Golden Globe nominations. One for best drama, and the second going to Michael Sheen for Best Actor in a Drama Series category. I’m still rolling my eyes at the fact that Lizzy Caplan got shafted (ha-ha) for her portrayal of Virginia Johnson in the Best Actress in a Drama Series category. Between the story, the acting, the costumes and that ending…that ending is enough to leave us yearning for more.

Homeland – Season 4

Airs Fall 2014 on Showtime

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I have a confession, my confession is I jumped onto the Homeland wagon a little late. In fact, I didn’t binge watch Season 1&2 until right before the Season 3 premiere. The worst part is, it’s literally filmed out behind my apartment. I mean, I could probably start my own “Homeland” set tour company at this point.

After binge watching of Season 1&2, my feelings towards all the characters were pretty cemented. I wanted Carrie and Brody to be together, to have that happy ending, but as Season 3 started up I realized thats not what needed to happen, this show is not about happy endings. The show is at its best when the storyline sticks to Carrie and her obsessive need for the chase with the CIA, which is what I hope Season 4 is going to set up for us. If you haven’t watched the season finale of Season 3, shame on you, I’m going to ruin it for you.

  • BRODY DIES
  • CARRIE IS MEGA PREGGO & MEGA DEPRESSED
  • SAUL IS MIA IN THE MEDITERRANEAN (NOT WITH THE CIA) EATING BAGUETTES
  • CARRIE IS MOVING TO ISTANBUL (MAYBE) WITH BRODY’S SOON TO BE GINGER BABY
  • QUINN IS STILL HOT
  • CARRIE HAS WICKED STAR DRAWING SKILLZ

Reasons to Watch: For obvious reasons, what Homeland needs in Season 4 is a Renaissance. With Carrie moving to Istanbul as a station leader, Quinn, Max and Virgil are sure to be in tow. Of course a big piece of the puzzle that will be missing in said gang will be Saul. Mandy Patinkin is a phenomenal actor and outside of Quinn (hot), my favorite part of the show. I do hope the writers find a way to incorporate him into show in a way that makes sense next year….or possibly just bring him back into the fold of the CIA. So why should we watch? No more Brody, no more complications. During the season finale, it became pretty clear that they are going back to the basics. Carrie and the gang, doing what they are good at, catching the bad guys.

Turn

Airs 2014 on AMC

“Turn” tells the story of Abe Woodhull (Jamie Bell), a New York farmer who bands together with a circle of childhood friends to form The Culper Ring,  George Washington’s ring of American spies who ultimately help America defeat the British in the Revolutionary War.  The show is based on the true story told in “Washington’s Spies” by Alexander Rose.

Reasons to Watch: Since my focus in college was Colonial America, I’m thrilled about the storyline and historical content.  But I’m also intrigued to see how non-history loving audiences will receive the show.  As much as I want it to be great, Turn has potential to be a train wreck.  It doesn’t help that the story is based on a war of which the outcome is already known.  So why should you watch?  It’s on AMC.  It’s potential to be bad is just as great as it’s potential to be phenomenal, considering the channel’s recent track record (i.e. Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Hell on Wheels).  And who knows, you might even enjoy getting a fun history lesson because, let’s admit it, you don’t remember learning about The Culper Ring in elementary school.

Honorable Mentions

House of Cards Season 2, Netflix available February 14th

Orange is the New Black Season 2, Netflix available TBD

Looking Season 1, HBO airing January 19 at 10:30pm

Boardwalk Empire Season 5, HBO airing Fall 2014

Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond Season 1, BBC America premieres January 19 at 10:00pm