Despite its seemingly low-key release, 2012's 'Pitch Perfect' was one of the year's biggest surprise hits and most pleasant surprises, grossing $115 million worldwide and winning over even the most cynical of audiences. A sequel was a no brainer, but we've already been thrown a curveball -- original director Jason Moore will not be back and will be replaced by producer and star Elizabeth Banks, making her directorial debut.
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.
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.
Andy Samberg's biggest contribution to the 'SNL' legacy were his digital shorts and music videos, where he took the show's format off the stage to create hilarious pre-recorded material that was primed to go viral all over the internet. With his departure, the show has continued to produce short films and recorded sketches, but Kyle Mooney and Beck Bennett’s work has consistently stood out from the rest of the pack, mainly because of how different it feels from the typical 'SNL' short.
'Her' may not be lighting the box office on fire, but it's undoubtedly one of the best films released in 2013 and a movie that will generate conversation and analysis for years to come. In other words, it's perfect fodder for 'SNL,' who took the film and transformed it into something far creepier and funnier than anything in the actual movie.
When Jonah Hill graced the 'SNL' stage last night, he wasn't just a very funny comic actor -- he was a two-time Oscar nominated thespian with Very Important Things to say. The only problem is that no one cared about Hill. They only cared about his 'The Wolf of Wall Street' co-star Leonardo DiCaprio and all of the cast members strategically placed in the audience made sure to let him know this.
If you think this opening monologue set-up is just an excuse to get Mr. DiCaprio himself to show up for a brief but unforgettable appearance ... you're right.
Before he went on to direct four entries in the lovably ludicrous 'Fast and Furious' series, Justin Lin was known for his small, personal film, 'Better Luck Tomorrow' (and, uh, 'Annapolis'). The latest project on his plate looks like it could be a return to the smaller, more character-driven films of his early work: producing a feature adaptation of the acclaimed documentary 'The Battered Bastards of Baseball.'
The 'Oculus' trailer isn't shy about who's behind the film's production. Producer Jason Blum and his Blumhouse Pictures have had tremendous success with the horror genre, crafting films like 'Paranormal Activity,' 'Insidious,' 'Sinister' and 'The Purge.' The company's latest film is 'Oculus,' which bears many of the same traits as other Blumhouse films. Domestic setting invaded by supernatural horror? Check. A decent cast of actors lending credibility to what should be genre absurdity? Check. A trailer that relies on surreal imagery and the innocent-yet-creepy voice of a child to sell the chills? Check!
Now that Disney has gobbled up everything that's important to you and your childhood, they're going to start doing what any corporation worth its salt would do: start squeezing every single possible dollar out of your bank account until your wallet cries uncle. The first step in their recent wave of corporate synergy was giving the 'Star Wars' comic license back to Marvel. Step two is an even bigger deal: giving Pixar a 'Star Wars' movie to make.
With 'Man of Steel 2'/'Batman vs. Superman'/'Justice League 1.0' delayed until 2016, we have an additional 12 months to sort through the rumor mill and try to piece together what the heck is going on in this increasingly bizarre production. The latest tidbit should prove interesting to hardcore DC superhero fans and possibly a little baffling to the comic book laymen. It seems that the 'Arrow' TV show may take place in the same universe as 'Man of Steel' since series star Stephen Amell says he's discussed the future 'Justice League' movie with Warner Bros.
After a tortured development, it looks like the much-talked-about 'Fantastic Four' reboot is finally starting to gain some real traction. The current word is that Simon Kinberg's rewrite of the script is finally finished and going out to actors, who will soon audition in various combinations to see who clicks. Longtime fans of Marvel's first family of superheroes may want to sit down before they see who is being eyed for Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman and the Human Torch...
A strange thing happened during the production of 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2.' Shailene Woodley was cast in the small role of Mary Jane Watson, AKA, the love of Peter Parker's life, but the part was completely excised in post-production for reasons that remain nebulous. Although she will not be appearing in the second film of the rebooted superhero franchise, some have wondered if she would be brought back for the inevitable third and fourth films ... and now we have an answer.
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