BIG RELEASE: The Big Wedding (April 26)
THE BIG PICTURE: You could have call this one My Big Fat Paycheck Wedding. Screen legends Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon and Diane Keaton slum it up for this predictable family comedy about a divorced couple that fakes being together to smooth things over at a colourful family wedding. The foreboding three words "costarring Katherine Heigl" hang over this picture (they are essentially the Egyptian curse of the rom-com world). Topher Grace and Amanda Seyfried also get the casting invite to this nuptial.
FORECAST: Need to know more? Robin Williams plays a cheeky priest. I know what you're thinking: "OF. COURSE. HE. DOES." And why not, really? He's just icing on this sugary cinematic wedding cake. On a side note, De Niro gets punched in the face twice in the trailer alone -- an ancient art for comedy perfected by The Three Stooges. But I bet De Niro's making a lot more per face punch than Larry, Curly and Moe ever did.
HONOURABLE MENTION: Pain & Gain. Another foreboding three words in Hollywood: "directed by Michael Bay." Whether you agree with that statement will determine whether seeing this action flick -- about body builders caught up in an extortion ring, and starring Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg -- causes you more pain or gain. (On a side note, the cinematic mad scientist inside of me would like to watch a Katherine Heigl rom-com directed by Michael Bay. Maybe she can fall in love with a Transformer?).
BIG EVENT: Rookie Blue (May 23, Global/ABC, 10 p.m.
BIG PICTURE: Rookie Blue is the New Kids on the Block of cop shows. At what point do you stop being a kid (yes, I'm asking you Donnie Wahlberg?). And at what point do you stop being a rookie? Model-turned-actress Missy Peregrym is back as troubled cop Andy McNally, who starts the season on edge and more than a little heartbroken. Unlike the Law & Orders of the world, this Toronto-based police procedural spends time focusing on the toll the blue uniform takes on officer's friends and families. Of course, that also means the show packs as much heat off the job as on.
FORECAST: I don't care if most of the characters aren't rookies anymore. It won't be winning an Emmy any time soon, but Rookie Blue is solid sudsy fun. At least it doesn't co-star Robin Williams as a cheeky priest.
BIG RELEASE ON APRIL 23: Phoenix (Bankrupt!)
BIG PICTURE: It's ironic. The phoenix is a symbol of fiery rebirth, though this French indie rock band is hardly in need of renewal or reinvention. While fans have been waiting a long time since the group's acclaimed 2009 release, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, Bankrupt! hits musical pay dirt. Crank up the guitars, tune up the melodies, apply a touch of synthesizer and... voila: one of the best albums of 2013.
FORECAST: Unless buying this album will make you bankrupt, it's worth the investment just to hear this Phoenix sing its song.
DISHONOURABLE MENTION: Rob Zombie (Venomous Rat Regeneration Vendor). And the award for "worst album title of the year" goes to...
"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows," but these days, a guide through the seemingly endless flurry of pop culture offerings is just what we need. With that in mind, here is what's on the radar screen in TV, music and film for the coming week.