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.
If you think the past few weeks have seen an absurd number of '300: Rise of an Empire' promotional materials, you'd be thinking right. Now, there's another new trailer. After years of development and a lengthy, delay-filled post-production, the sequel to Zack Snyder's '300' is finally seeing the light of day in a few weeks, and Warner Bros. is doing everything in their power to make sure that you and your mother and your next door neighbor are aware that it is a thing that exists and can be seen in theaters. But are any of these clips and posters and TV spots actually doing anything to get people excited?
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.
Few jokes are as tired as "New Year's resolutions are hard!", but at least the latest episode of 'SNL' presented a joke as creaky as this in the form of a music video, which gives it far more life than it deserves. We don't know if "Resolution Revolution" will be a viral sensation like some of the show's past video sketches (probably not), but it's pretty funny and pretty darn catchy.
The 'Cesar Chavez' trailer shows off a template that should prove familiar to anyone who goes to the movies with any regularity. It takes an important person with an incredible life story, makes his name the title of the film and casts a recognizable face in the lead, painting a portrait that screams, "This is the definitive story of our subject and, yes, we would appreciate all of the critical attention you could throw our way.' While it's easy to be cynical about biopics like this, 'Cesar Chavez' has one thing going for it beyond the vital subject matters: star Michael Pena.
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