And here we are: five weeks into the new year and we already have our first major blockbuster of 2014. Early estimates had 'The LEGO Movie' opening big, but the animated adventure shattered all expectations this weekend, with universally positive reviews and word of mouth sending the film to a massive opening.
Philip Seymour Hoffman's tragic death occurred while he was nearing the end of his work on the two-part 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay' movies, and while he only had seven days of filming left, those days included at least one key scene. We initially thought that these final scenes would be rewritten to exclude the character of Plutarch Heavensbee, but according to the NY Post, the filmmakers are planning to recreate the late actor with special effects to keep his presence intact.
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.
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