If there were any lingering doubts about the popularity of Star Wars in the year 2015, Star Wars Celebration killed them. Ruthlessly. When the the live-streamed panel for Star Wars: The Force Awakens premiered the second trailer for J.J. Abrams’ wildly anticipated sequel, you could feel the internet quiver and shake underneath the weight of the hype. It was a staggering event that made the next few geek-friendly trailers released in the following days feel like small potatoes in comparison. And yes, this hyperbole is backed up by raw numbers: the second trailer for The Force Awakens shattered the record for most trailer views in 24 hours.
Something has survived ... and it’s been packaged, licensed and sold to an audience of millions! No, we’re not talking about the Jurassic Park franchise or the new Jurassic World trailer, but rather the dinosaurs on display in the film, who are the star attractions in a fully functioning prehistoric theme park where nothing ever goes wrong! Until it does. And when things go wrong at dinosaur theme parks, things go really wrong.
For the third week in a row, Furious 7 took the top spot at the box office and made it look easy. Not even a trio of newcomers could slow down the latest entry in the crowd-pleasing action series, which has become the fastest film to reach $1 billion worldwide. On the domestic box office, it’s equally impressive. It’s a juggernaut. A cultural event. At the end of the day, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 may make some money, but it’s making that money in the shadow of a genuine phenomenon.
It may not have a number in its title, but Mad Max: Fury Road is the fourth film in a series stretching back to 1979. And while original star Mel Gibson has been replaced by Tom Hardy, director George Miller is present and accounted for, still wrecking cars in the post-apocalypse for your amusement. The newest trailer for the Fury Road, labeled the “legacy trailer,” uses footage from the past films build up to the newest entry to remind potential viewers this isn’t just another action franchise. This is Mad freaking Max.
Without a great adversary, what good is a superhero? Without someone to punch in the face, Batman would just be some rich schmuck driving around in a weird-looking tank. Without someone on the receiving end of his shield, Captain America would just hang out at the V.F.W. all day. So let’s celebrate the villains. Let’s bring on the bad guys and give them their moment in the sun. With Avengers: Age of Ultron introducing another memorable baddie in the form of James Spader’s titular metallic menace, let’s take some time to run down the 10 greatest superhero movie villains of all time.
At some point in the SNL writer’s room, everyone must have realized that guest host Taraji P. Henson plays a monstrous character named Cookie on the smash hit Empire and, a few Cookie Monster jokes later, they were scrambling to call the producers of Sesame Street. Yes, SNL put Henson’s Cookie on the world’s most famous children’s program and the results are kind of spectacular.
Furious 7 had one of the biggest box office openings of all time last weekend, earning a jaw-dropping $392 million worldwide. Somehow, Universal’s silly car-racing franchise has officially grown up and has the monetary clout to stand alongside the biggest movies of all time. So yeah, of course everyone wants a Fast and Furious 8, but fans hoping for a quick turnaround need to get comfortable. The next film is stuck at a red light and it’s going to be a little while before it turns green.
When you are a known quantity, a famous face or maybe a guy well known for working on famous faces, you open yourself up to parody. That’s the number one rule of comedy: nothing and no one is off limits. And yet the news that infamous “celebrity dermatologist” Dr. Fredric Brandt has passed away so shortly after being ruthlessly (and let’s be brutally honest here, hilariously) mocked on Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is sad news ... especially since it is now being implied that the show’s take on him may have contributed to his death.
Mike O’Brien is one of SNL’s greatest secret weapons, a writer and performer whose truly unique voice shines through the show’s usual template. When he’s given total control of a digital short, it’s a genuine cause for celebration. His work feels less like just another sketch or parody, but more like an actual, full-fledged short film escaped into the show’s line-up.
Since The Walking Dead just ended its fifth season and it’s still one of the biggest shows in the history of television, it makes sense that SNL would pause to talk about it. After all, what good is the “Weekend Update” segment if the anchors don’t occasionally stop to talk about what’s big in popular culture? And what good is SNL if it can’t get one of the most popular actors from The Walking Dead to stop by for a minute-long cameo?
It was inevitable: Disney is making a live action Winnie the Pooh movie because of course Disney would make a live action Winnie the Pooh movie. The studio’s tactic of bringing their animated properties into the live action realm has already paid off with Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent and Cinderella, so why not pay another visit to the Hundred Acre Wood and let a live action Christopher Robin hang out with a CGI Piglet?
Vin Diesel, he of the bulging biceps, shiny scalp and low vocal register, has been making the press rounds for Furious 7 over the past few weeks. Considering just how crazy his new movie is, he sure has a lot to talk about. But even the unlimited number of potential conversation topics to mined from the insanity of the seventh film in the Fast and Furious saga couldn’t stop him from teasing the eighth film in the franchise, which may be set in New York City.
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