You've surely seen the trailers for '47 Ronin,' which feature Keanu Reeves teaming up with a bunch of masterless samurai to take on a bunch of supernatural threats. If you saw them and wondered what the heck was going on, you're not alone. Story, at least in the marketing for the film, seems to have taken a back seat to CGI beasties. Thankfully, a new animated prequel to the feature film has arrived to give us a glimpse of what everyone is actually up to in this movie.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Say what you want about the franchise as a whole, but the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies really do have a knack for casting. Incredible actors (and serviceable movie stars) have filled virtually every role in the series' large ensemble, so it's no surprise that the upcoming fifth film is looking to cast a beloved thespian. Two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz is reportedly in negotiations to join 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5' as the latest villain to cross swords with Johnny Depp's Captain Jack Sparrow.
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.
If there's one thing that we're reminded of a few times a year here at the Weekend Box Office Report, it's that films targeted at black audiences are always ignored by many mainstream movie websites ... until they open huge at the box office. 'The Best Man Holiday' is the latest film to prove that there's an entire group of moviegoers who aren't being given the films they obviously want to see, and hopefully its success will spur Hollywood into action, allowing for the production of more movies with black casts and filmmakers. Maybe. This is Hollywood, after all.
The business of adapting bestselling young-adult books into movies can result in untold riches (see 'The Hunger Games' and 'Harry Potter') or it can result in something instantly and completely forgettable (does anyone remember 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones'?). The upcoming adaptation of Veronica Roth's novel is certainly hoping for the former, and unlike so much of the competition, the new 'Divergent' trailer makes it look like the film may have the pedigree to pull it off.
While the first film set the bar awfully high for the rest of the franchise -- telling a rich, brutal and exciting science-fiction story with genuine gravitas -- the sequel didn't always look like a sure thing. Original director Gary Ross dropped the project and the production was rushed to meet a release date, leaving many fans worried that the tale of Katniss Everdeen was in less than sure hands. But the first wave of critiques have washed ashore, and the verdict is ...
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