It turns out that 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' didn't need the Sinister Six to bring it down. All that was required was Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and a very funny marketing campaign. 'Neighbors' not only opened at number one at the box office, it derailed its super-powered competition so dramatically that it may be difficult for it to fully recover.
If you're an avid consumer of modern popular culture, you've watched your fair share of behind the scenes featurettes that offer a look at the making of a movie or TV show. In fact, this particular slice of modern marketing has become such a specific medium that it has opened itself up to parody ... which makes us wonder why 'SNL' doesn't take it on more often. Last night's episode featured a sketch that was structured like an HBO First Look, giving us a glimpse of a new movie called 'Dragon Babies' that looks hilariously awful before we meet the hugely inappropriate lead voice actor.
'SNL' is frequently at its best when it decides to go full gonzo and last night's episode featured a sketch that represents the show at its weirdest. Presented as a screening of an old '60s surfer movie called 'Bikini Beach Party,' the sketch features Taran Killam and guest host Charlize Theron as young lovers in a campy musical who decide to share a romantic moment on the beach ... next to the methane-filled corpse of a dead whale.
Big names popping by 'SNL' for brief appearances stopped being surprising a long time ago, but there's something really special about Barbara Walters stopping by Weekend Update. Maybe it's because Walters (with her 50 year television career) is a much bigger deal than a flavor-of-the-minute celebrity. Maybe it's because she's obviously a really good sport about how 'SNL' has mocked her over the years. In any case, it's an oddly sweet and weird scene in a season of the celebrated variety program that's pulled out all of the stops when it comes to being sweet and weird.
Hugh Jackman has been playing Wolverine in the 'X-Men' movies for so long that it's hard to imagine anyone else in the role at this point. Heck, it's hard to believe that he wasn't even the first choice for the role and only nabbed it after Dougray Scott had to pull out at the last second. But before they ultimately cast a (at the time) relatively unknown Australian actor, the first 'X-Men' movie pursued one of the most famous Australian-born actors in Hollywood for the role.
Yep, Mel Gibson could have played Wolverine and concept art exists to prove it.
First and foremost, the Fantastic Four are a family. When they're not off saving the world from threats both cosmic and human, they're living together in the same building as a slightly dysfunctional but loving unit. However, director Josh Trank's upcoming reboot is looking to shake up the FF formula in some fascinating new ways, and the casting of Reg E. Cathey as the father of Johnny and Sue Storm is an interesting piece of the puzzle.
'Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day' may be on the most unwieldy titles of any film set for release in 2014, but that's pretty much the point. Based on Judith Viorst and Ray Cruz's celebrated children's book of the same name, the film takes a very simple premise (the title character has a really awful day) and extends it into a big family friendly comedy filled with names like Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner. The first trailer from the film has arrived and we'll let you decide whether or not it's an assault on your childhood.
It's hard to not find something to admire about the new 'A Million Ways to Die in the West' trailer. After all, director/star Seth MacFarlane could have rode the massive success of 'Ted' down far more accessible and surefire avenues, but nope, here he is, making an uber-violent western comedy. Even if you don't find his sense of humor humor amusing, you've got to cut him some slack for stepping far outside of Hollywood's comfort zone.
As expected, 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' opened the summer movie season in style, overcoming mixed reviews to dominate the top 10 and cause every other film's weekend gross to tumble. Coming weeks will see if it can do the business of the other films in the franchise, but this is a strong start to what looks to be a jam-packed summer.
Like so many 'SNL' scenes, the "Celebrity Family Feud" sketches are essentially an excuse to let a bunch of different cast members try out a variety of celebrity impersonations. But hey, we're not complaining, especially when they give guest host Andrew Garfield a chance to play a spot-on version of his 'The Social Network' co-star (and frequent 'SNL' host) Justin Timberlake.
This season of 'SNL' hasn't been shy about getting truly weird with its digital shorts, but it may have reached its weird zenith with the fake trailer for a thriller called 'The Beygency.' Both a parody of dystopic thrillers and a commentary on what it's like to not be totally in love with Beyonce's latest album, the video stars Andrew Garfield as a man who makes the tiniest of slights against the work of Mrs. Carter and finds his entire life ruined by a powerful and mysterious group.
If you get Andrew Garfield to host 'SNL' on the same weekend that 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' opens, you need to put him in the costume for at least one sketch. More importantly, you need to bring in his co-star Emma Stone, with whom he has incredible chemistry. But most importantly, you need to make sure that their sketch together is impossibly silly and makes fun of their on-screen romantic relationship. Yep, they've gone and done it: they've made kissing Spider-Man weird.
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