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Sound on Film: 'Desolation of Smaug,' 'Nebraska'

Hello brave listener and welcome to WFPL’s Sound on Film.On this week’s episode, our thoughts on "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug," as well as "Nebraska," the latest from “The Descendents” and “Sideways” director Alexander Payne. But first it’s news from around the filmosphere, with a discussion of the recently announced Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild nominations, a new project bringing together three of 2013’s best young actors, and surprisingly, a little Childish Gambino. Subscribe to Sound on Film using this link. Find us on Facebook here. Questions? Feedback? Story or guest interview ideas? Contact us at film@wfpl.org. Special thanks to house band Discount Guns. Listen below: Childish Gambino Screenplay? (00:50) Donald Glover, perhaps best known as Troy from NBC's "Community," has released his second studio album under the pseudonym “Childish Gambino”—entitled “Because the Internet.”  And the surprising news here is that along with the album, Glover also released a 75-page multimedia screenplay.   Available at becauseTheInter.NET, the screenplay includes gifs of scenes from the screenplay and the entire album embedded.  Glover has said the screenplay is meant to be read with the album playing.  The film and the album are a common narrative, following a character known only by “The Boy” who feels abstracted from reality because...the internet.   And the accompanying short film, titled "Clapping for the Wrong Reasons." Ejiofor, Michael B Jordan and Casey Affleck for Triple Nine (08:15) We heard word this week that three of 2013’s most promising young actors will soon be sharing the same screen, in the form of a new film for director John Hillcoat. The actors in question are Chiwetel Ejiofor ("12 Years a Slave"), Michael B. Jordan ("Fruitvale Station"), and Casey Affleck ("Ain’t Them Bodies Saints," "Out of the Furnace)",  who are all set to join the previously announced Christoph Waltz and Cate Blanchett in Hillcoat’s crime drama "Triple Nine." The addition of the three provides Hillcoat with a cast to rival his star-studded but ultimately disappointing bootlegging pic "Lawless." And that’s saying a lot in itself, given that that film brought together the likes of Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Dane DeHaan, and Guy Pearce and Gary Oldman. Hillcoat (who also director 2009’s adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel "The Road"), has been prepping "Triple Nine" for several years now. The script centers on a group of crooked cops who plan to kill one of their own so they can cover up a major heist, with the titular numerals referring to the police code for an officer in need of assistance. As reported on Slashfilm.com:

Affleck is negotiating to replace Charlie Hunnam in the lead role of the targeted cop. Ejiofor will play the criminal who masterminds the heist, while Jordan will play a cop in his gang who helps set Affleck up. Waltz was reported over the summer as being in talks to play Affleck’s uncle, a cop who’s investigating the criminals. Blanchett’s involvement hinges on scheduling, but if she’s able to sign on she’ll portray the Lady Macbeth-esque wife of a mobster.

Ejiofor last starred in "12 Years a Slave" and is already considered a strong contender for the 2014 Best Actor Oscar. We’ll soon see him return to science fiction with Craig Zobel’s "Z for Zachariah," co-starring Amanda Seyfried and Chris Pine. For his part, Michael B. Jordan has he’s been mentioned recently for everything from "Fantastic Four: to the Rocky prequel "Creed," while Affleck recently wrapped Christopher Nolan’s "Interstellar," opening next fall, and for which we also saw a very cryptic teaser trailer this week. Golden Globe & Screen Actor Guild Nominations (13:40) We share our thoughts on the newly announced Golden Globe and SAG nominations, and how they may or may not change the Academy Awards landscape. As first glance the lists seem to solidify “12 Years a Slave” as the frontrunner for best picture, while the equally incredible “Fruitvale Station” is nowhere to be seen. Golden Globe Nominations full list. SAG Nominations full list. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (25:20) Continuing where 2012’s “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” left off, “The Desolation of Smaug” sees hobbit Bilbo Baggins, Wizard Gandalf the Grey and a whole gaggle of dwarves continue their quest towards winning back the dwarves’ lost kingdom of Erebor and snuffing out the dragon who has stolen it from them. Returning are Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Ian McKellan as Gandalf, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, king of the dwarves of the iron hills, among others, while "Desolation" also adds “Lost” actress Evangeline Lilly as a female elf warrior in the house of the nearby wood elves, Luke Evans as Bard the barrel man, Stephen Fry as the lord of Laketown, the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular dragon Smaug, and sees the return of Orlando Bloom, who reprises his role of Legolas the wood elf from the original Lord of the Rings trilogy. The latest from director Alexander Payne (of fame for films like “Sideways," and “The Descendents”) "Nebraska" introduces actor Bruce Dern as an elderly and very possibly alcoholic man who gets an advertisement in the mail telling him he has won $1 million. Dern’s character Woody is the only one around convinced the notice is real, and takes it upon himself to walk from Billings, Mont., to Lincoln, Neb., in order to claim his prize. His son David, played by Will Forte (formerly of "Saturday Night Live") is at first adverse to his father’s intentions, but ultimately decides to embrace the fantasy and drive him to Nebraska himself. The cast also includes Breaking Bad’s Bob Odenkirk as older brother Russ, June Squibb (About Schmidt)  as Woody’s wife Kate, and a cameo by Stacy Keach as an old business associate of Woody’s.