RANDALL KING / MOVIES
Hi-yo, investment, awa-a-ay!
At the box office this past weekend, The Lone Ranger was effectively spanked by the cartoon Despicable Me 2, an event that will be interpreted thus: A) The western is dead. Again; B) The Lone Ranger is a character that holds no engagement for young audiences ... or for the movie's screenwriters, for that matter; and C) Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski should have quit while they were ahead with the 2011 cartoon Rango, which grossed a respectable $245 million.
JILL WILSON Ñ MUSIC
Reason to worship
Louise Burns' sophomore album, The Midnight Mass, is aptly named. The Vancouver performer's new release on Light Organ Records is dark and beautiful, paying homage to the singer's musical loves of yore -- Depeche Mode, the Cure, Siouxie and the Banshees -- but giving the '80s electro-gothic sounds a modern vibe. It's not exactly sunny summer listening, but its haunting melodies and moody atmosphere will stick with you.
BRAD OSWALD / TV
Two decades later, Oscar-winning Piano partners reunite
It's been nearly 20 years since Holly Hunter, right, and Jane Campion took home Academy Awards for The Piano -- Hunter for best actress, for portraying a character in Campion's winning script -- but clearly, the two creative forces were destined to work together again. Hunter returned to New Zealand for a juicy role in the mystical, Campion-written/directed crime-drama miniseries Top of the Lake, which premi®res Saturday, July 13, at 8 p.m. on Bravo. Mad Men's Elisabeth Moss stars.
KEVIN PROKOSH / THEATRE
Former Winnipeg comics are playing leading roles in the new stage adaptation of the beloved 1977 hockey movie Slapshot currently on at The Second City in Toronto. Scott Montgomery, formerly of The Royal Liechtenstein Theatre Company, has penned Slap Shot Live!, a comedy said to focus more on slapstick than slapshots. Playing one of the Hanson Brothers, those hilarious hooligans, is Sandy Jobin-Bevans, once a member of the local comedy troupe The Brave New Weasels.
MORLEY WALKER / PUBLISHING
Penguin-Random House merger now a reality
Authors, booksellers and in fact everyone in the publishing world will be watching for change now that the English language's two largest publishers have officially acted on last their 2012 merger agreement. In New York, according to the Times, receptionists at Penguin and Random House now answer the phone, "Penguin Random House." The new company controls more than 25 per cent of the book business, the Times says, with more than 10,000 employees, 250 independent publishing imprints and about US$3.9 billion in annual revenues.