A lot of people are going to act like they didn’t see the enormous success of ‘American Sniper’ coming, but the signs were all there. On top of the promising limited release numbers, there was the awards buzz. On top of that, there were the names of director Clint Eastwood and star Bradley Cooper. On top of that, the subject matter of the film is inherently attractive to the same category of moviegoer that makes Christian-themed films into massive hits. ‘American Sniper’ had one doozy of a weekend, but it’s not that surprising.
You’d be surprised by how many beloved directors earn a little extra cash anonymously directing commercials, but when you hire the great Martin Scorsese to help sell your lavish new casino in Manilla Bay, Philippines, you end up with a full fledged Scorsese Picture. Which means that this is one of the most energetic and stylish advertisements you’ll see this year … and that it stars Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio.
After the jam-packed month of December, with its huge family-friendly blockbusters and awards season Oscar bait, we have arrived in the month of January. Formerly a dumping ground for mediocre films, the month has taken on a new identity in the past few years as a testing ground for unique genre films (think ‘Cloverfield’) and a solid place to release a horror movie, which seems to do quite well right around New Year’s for whatever reason. This year, we have ‘The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death,’ which had a fairly solid opening. Not solid enough to topple the Christmas Week champions, but no one is complaining too much.
The Sony hacking scandal has proven to be a massive headache for a company that’s already been having a rough few years. And now, this increasingly weird story has taken an even darker turn: the hackers are threatening to launch terrorist attacks against theaters showing ‘The Interview’ this Christmas. Seriously.
Appropriately, the Thanksgiving holiday box office was all about the leftovers. While two high profile new releases struggled to open, films from the past few weeks continued to do solid business. In fact, this was one of the most varied weekends at the box office in quite some time, with YA adaptations, animated family movies, epic blockbusters, and small independent films all performing better than expected.
‘Dumb and Dumber To’ arrives two decades after the first film was one of the bigger hits of 1994 and no one knew what to make of it ... until it topped the box office this weekend and made it look easy. Now, the idea of two middle-aged actors returning to two of the most idiotic characters in modern movie history doesn't seem so desperate and crazy. It seems canny.
When it was announced that the great Bill Hader would be returning to 'SNL' to host this week's episode, everyone crossed their fingers and hoped for one thing: the glorious return of Stefon. And lo and behold, the comedy gods answered and the greatest character in modern 'Saturday Night Live' graced 'Weekend Update' yet again.
No genre inspires as many cliches, both beloved and hated, as horror. Put on any random slasher movie while a horror buff is in the room and chances are strong that he'll be able to map out every moment, and every poor decision on the part of the main characters, a half hour in advance. However, that horror buff will also tell you that the predictability of it all can be a lot of fun.
If you went to some kind of comedy university, there would probably be an entire class available on the subject of how awkward white people rapping is inherently pretty funny but difficult to pull off without feeling too hacky. Whether or not 'SNL' pulled it off with last night's "Booty Rap" sketch is something we'll let you decide, but at least guest host Chris Pratt and the always reliable Aidy Bryant attack their material with gusto.
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