Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

New Woody Harrelson film looks at LAPD Rampart corruption scandal

The trailer is out for Woody Harrelson's new movie "Rampart," which comes out in January. In it, Harrelson plays a corrupt cop in a fictionalized take on LAPD's Rampart Division during the 1990s. The film itself is set in 1999.

The trailer shows Harrelson's Officer Dave Brown beating suspects and getting caught on video.

"I am not a racist. The fact is I hate all people equally," Harrelson tells Ice Cube's Kyle Timkins.

"Woody Harrelson is the most corrupt cop you've ever seen on screen," the trailer tells us, giving almost a mission statement for the film.

It's written by someone who's no stranger to L.A.'s history — James Ellroy, who wrote the book "L.A. Confidential" which became the 1997 hit film, set in 1950s L.A.

It'll be interesting to see Ellroy's take, particularly given his comments arguing that the real-life Rampart scandal was overblown.


The Muppets take Los Angeles in new movie

Premiere Of Walt Disney Pictures' "The Muppets" - Arrivals

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

"The Muppets" arrive at the premier of their film at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.

The Muppets have already taken Manhattan, so why not take Hollywood?

With Amy Adams and Jason Segel leading the human charge in the film, the newest Muppet movie looks to be as sing-songy and feel-good as ever, with a few emotional moments scattered in.

In "The Muppets," Kermit, Miss Piggy, Beaker, Fozzie Bear and the rest are reuniting in Hollywood when they decide to make a comeback by putting on a live extravaganza. Self-references abound as the Muppets, in reality, make their first appearance in a movie since "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz" in 2005.

In the new film, the singing puppets must overcome their hasbeen status to put on the Greatest Muppet Telethon Ever. A cutthroat executive (Rashida Jones) tells an office full of excited Muppets, "I'm gonna shoot straight, you guys aren't famous anymore."


Concert review: Checking into the W Hotel with Toro Y Moi

Toro Y Moi greets fans after his show at the W Hotel

Scott Sterling / KPCC

Toro Y Moi poses with fans after his W performance

Toro Y Moi delivering at the W

Scott Sterling / KPCC

Toro Y Moi performs at the W Hotel in Westwood, CA

Tyler The Creator with fans after the show

Scott Sterling / KPCC

Tyler The Creator causes a scene with fans after the Toro Y Moi performance at the W Hotel

Courtesy Carpark Records

Toro Y Moi

South Carolina artist Toro Y Moi (known to his mom as Chazwick Bundick) emerged in 2010 with full-length Causers of This, a shimmering collection of blurry dream-pop sound that played like modern shoe-gazing given the chopped and screwed treatment. Hastily coined “chillwave” by over-caffeinated bloggers and lumped in with the likes of Georgia’s Washed Out, Toro Y Moi separated himself from the pack in a major way with his second album.

On 2011 release Underneath The Pine, Bundick blew open his sound with heavy doses of fresh musical knowledge. Incorporating ‘60s psychedelia, heavy ‘70s funk & even disco, it still stands as one of the most impressive albums of this year.

As a live entity, however, progress has been slower going. The first L.A. Toro Y Moi show in 2010 at the Echo found Bundick performing as a one-man band that didn’t come very close to replicating the dynamics of Causers Of This. A live band of friends from home and a slew of dates around the globe found TYM’s show at the Troubadour earlier this year a much-improved affair. By the time they packed the El Rey this past October, they sounded even better and came with the added bonus of a much-needed longer set (the show at the Troubadour clocked in at a scant 45 minutes).


Can Wonder Woman appeal to a modern audience?

In her 70 year history, Wonder Woman has never made it to the big screen. Wonder Woman almost made it to television this fall, with legendary TV producer David E. Kelley behind it. A pilot was produced for NBC, but in the end, NBC decided not to go with it.

DC Comics recently redesigned Wonder Woman, giving her pants and a jacket to cover up her rather bare classic look. Once the show was dropped, the pants dropped too (no, not like that), with DC having no need of coordinating a look across media properties.

The pilot's leaked out online, so there are reviews available. The consensus seems to be that it was cheesy and not quite there, but that there are the sparks of something, particularly in the actress portraying Wonder Woman (also known for her work on "Friday Night Lights"), Adrianne Palicki. This generation apparently won't get the chance to watch a Wonder Woman TV show of their own.


Concert review: Frank Ocean reveals the softer side of Odd Future

Scott Sterling/KPCC

Scott Sterling/KPCC

This is all Kanye West’s fault.

When he ran off to Hawaii with a clutch of old new wave records to nurse a broken heart only to return two weeks later with his polarizing 2008 release, 808s & Heartbreak, the rap game had changed – dramatically.

By exploding the concept of “emo-rap” into an Autotuned lost love lament fueled on lush synthesizers and Tears For Fears samples, the hip-hop nation took it as a green light to get in touch with their own feelings. Soon, artists like Kid Cudi and Drake were living out grandiose emotional dramas on record and in the tabloids, much to the delight of the buying public.

Now on the edge of 2012, we have rapidly emerging artists like Odd Future MVP, Frank Ocean. While the OF crew have built a controversial reputation on an explosive miasma of punk rock nihilism and sacred cow slaughtering, Frank Ocean comes at you as a hardcore lover, not a fighter.