As movie fans all over the world mourn the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, executives at Lionsgate find themselves facing a potential calamity. With one of the most important actors in their massively successful 'Hunger Games' franchise no longer with us, how do they move forward?
Unless you had a personal stake in a film being released this weekend, movies were far from the most important thing happening to you these past couple of days. You can blame the weekend's mostly anemic box office on one thing: the Super Bowl. Everyone spent their money buying snacks and preparing their parties and not going to see 'That Awkward Moment' and 'Labor Day,' both of which opened soft.
The best of 'SNL''s commercial parodies are always those that make you cringe a little. Not because they're bad, but because you recognize just enough painful truth in them to dredge up a memory or two. With Valentine's Day around the corner, the most recent episode of everyone's favorite late night variety show tackled a subject that should be familiar to anyone who has ever been in a relationship: forgetting to get a gift for your loved one.
Race and comedy don't always mix, but with Black History Month upon us, 'SNL' decided to take no prisoners and create a music video that has the potential to be one of the most offensive things the show has ever done. It's a credit to the writers and to performers Keenan Thompson, Jay Pharoah and Sasheer Zamata that this thing works and that it's as funny as it is.
After years behind the Weekend Update desk, the terrific Seth Meyers is leaving 'SNL' to pursue other projects. And by pursue other projects, we mean "take over as host of 'Late Night' while Jimmy Fallon ascends to 'The Tonight Show.'" Of course, something as important, popular and prominent as Meyers doesn't depart without some kind of send-off and the show sent him off in style.
Although 'Taken 2' didn't live up to the glorious, trashy heights of the first film, its absurd box office meant that a 'Taken 3' was inevitable. Now, the gears are officially in motion. A director is attached, Liam Neeson is returning and Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker is reportedly being sought for a mysterious role.
Few people are as welcome on our televisions as Terry Crews and few felt creatures warm our hearts quite like the Muppets. In other words, if you want to sell us a Toyota, there are far worse spokespeople (and spokespuppets) to use. In the grand tradition of modern Super Bowl ads, the presumably very expensive spot starring these guys is online in advance of the big game, giving everyone who doesn't watch football a chance to remember how much they like the Muppets and that really funny guy who used to play sports-ball once upon a time.
And, of course, a chance to BUY TOYOTA BUY TOYOTA BUY TOYOTA.
Sometimes, 'SNL' is at its absolute best when it decides to go fully and truly off the rails. When the show does abandon reality, it often does so in the final sketch of the night, where things are allowed to get crazier and funkier since more easily unsettled audiences tend to be asleep. Of course, this is just a long-winded way of saying that no sketch has dominated the final segments in recent years quite like the "former porn stars," which pushes the weirdness to truly strange and amazing levels.
Ah, a week at the box office where the new release flies completely under the radar and everything else feels like it's just hanging out because there's nothing else to push it off the charts. Welcome to January. Welcome to the home of movies like 'I Frankenstein,' which was dead on arrival this weekend and will vanish into dollar theaters within the next week or so.
In the first truly busy weekend for new releases in 2014, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart took the competition, bent them over the knee and gave them a good spanking. Okay, you probably didn't want the image of those two spanking animated squirrels, demonic babies or Chris Pine in your head, but how else are we going to talk about the opening weekend for 'Ride Along'?
'SNL' always gets a lot of mileage out of celebrity impersonations, but it really shines when it take those impersonations and puts them into truly strange and unusual new circumstances, forcing you to look at your favorite (and least favorite) stars in a brand new light. Last night's mid-season premiere took the usual formula and milked it for all that it was worth, resulting in the best sketch of the night: a look back at the TV careers of various hop hop artists before they hit it big.
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