Few guest performers seem to get 'SNL' quite like Justin Timberlake, who has a wonderful habit of showing up on the stage and creating classic sketches and characters with seemingly no effort. In most cases, he would easily overshadow the actual guest host, but when that guest host is show alum (and current late night superstar) Jimmy Fallon, there is less overshadowing and more comedic awesomeness.
If it's set in Middle Earth, it's going to open at number one. That's common knowledge. The big question is always how big or how small it's going to open at number one. 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' did open at number one this weekend, but it's a number that's going to feel controversial for people who like to bicker about box office numbers. Is it good? Is it bad? Is it disappointing? Honestly, you could make a case for all of those.
It's not every day that an actor of John Goodman's caliber hosts 'SNL,' but whatever the odds, it's not nearly as uncommon as him being joined by Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro for a holiday-themed sketch that sees the three silver screen icons re-imagined as tough-talking guys on the way to visit the baby Jesus. Yep, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...
You don't have to be a foodie to know that Guy Fieri is one of the worst things to happen to televised cooking entertainment (and food in general), so the platinum-haired douche bag of the Food Network is the perfect guy to skewer on 'SNL' and the show doesn't pull its punches. Fieri isn't even the main target: his viewers and everything else they watch get torn to shreds.
NBC's live presentation of 'The Sound of Music' was one of the stranger and, depending on who you talk to, more disastrous television events of 2013, so it's only natural that 'SNL' went after it in last night's cold open. But this wasn't just an excuse to make fun of their parent network's weird programming decisions -- it was an opportunity to bring back one of the show's most beloved performers and characters.
Here's the weird thing about recurring 'SNL' characters and sketches: you may get tired or annoyed by them at the time, but ten years later, you'll just be longing for them. We didn't know how much we were missing the "Bill Brasky" sketches until last night, when the show brought the character back one more time. After all, when you have Will Ferrell in the house, you've got to revisit some of his classics.
The weekend following a major holiday is always a little slow. The boost from vacationing moviegoers is gone, so everyone tends to take a major dip. Some films end up okay. Some die on the vine. This weekend saw two films weather the storm perfectly fine and one new release collapse on the starting line.
For people who grew up reading in the '80s and '90s, the 'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark' series will always hold a special place in their nightmares. Over three volumes, writer Alvin Schwartz collected over 100 urban legends and tales of folklore, creating a library of creepy stories that were meant to be, as the title implies, told in the dark. There is still a great deal of well-earned nostalgia surrounding these books, so it should come as no surprise that a movie adaptation is in the works.
When someone guest hosts 'SNL,' it's usually because they have something to promote. Even the great Paul Rudd doesn't host the show for no reason. The man has 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' coming out soon and he's got to keep the promotional train a'moving. Call this week's opening monologue a commercial if you want, but man, it's one heck of a commercial. Anything that lets us see Ron Burgundy's news team reunite to perform "Afternoon Delight" is worth the effort. Oh, and there's also that band One Direction because the kids like 'em.
Some of the best 'SNL' parodies have been specific enough to invite confusion amongst some people and we imagine that their fake trailer for 'White Christmas' will go right over the heads of certain people. But who cares? This is the best fake 'SNL' movie trailer since, well, their Wes Anderson horror movie trailer. How can anyone hate this season when they have that going for them?
In one of the biggest holiday weekends of all time, the combined might of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' proved that yes, ladies can star in major blockbuster movies. We'll see if this lesson sticks (it won't), but between those two and the surprisingly female-friendly 'Thor: The Dark World,' this was a great weekend if you were looking for quality family entertainment that didn't treat its woman characters like crap.
Everyone knew that 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' was going to do well this weekend, but the lingering question was always whether or not it was going to do "really, really well" or "stupidly, gobsmackingly well." We should know by now that you always bet on Katniss Everdeen defying the odds, because it was the latter and everyone made it look easy.
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