Monday, February 16, 2015

Best of SNL 40

Saturday Night Live celebrated 40 Years with a Sunday Night special...live from New York, of course. Overall it was an enjoyable show, and quite amazing to the crew that pulled it all together in what was probably a pretty crazy week. The show was big on nostalgia with plenty of clips from 1975 to the present.

My one gripe is that there weren't quite enough sketches, yet there were three musical performances. And one of them was Kanye West and his Auto-Tune...yawn. So if you tuned in expecting to see 3 hours full of new versions of your favorite sketches from the 1970's to now, you were kind of out of luck. Here are the best moments:

1. Wayne's World. Possibly the most famous recurring sketch was thankfully brought back to life towards the end of the special to deliver one of their always fun Top 10 lists. The best was when they ran through the list of musical performers. Three of The Beatles, U2, Nirvana, Beyonce & Beck were some named. And of course, Garth mentioned how he thought Beck was a better performer than Beyonce. Cue Kanye West jokes, which he was in on, having "security" hold him down.

2. Weekend Update. Tina Fey, Amy Poehler & Jane Curtin came together for a funny and entertaining version of the SNL staple. It featured some tributes to classic SNL characters portrayed by former stars who have since passed away (such as Emma Stone playing Gilda Radner's "Roseanne Roseannadanna"). Stefon made an appearance, and he and Seth Meyers are parents now! But the highlight goes to Curtin: "I used to be the only pretty blonde reading fake news. Now there's a whole network devoted to that." Then the Fox News logo pops up.

3. Jim Carrey. This was technically before the show, but Carrey asked Matt Lauer & Savannah Guthrie if he could ask them something. His question: "Where are you hiding Brian Williams?" Lauer awkwardly responded, "Oh, look at the time." Carrey followed with, "In his defense, if the helicopter in front of me gets hit, I'm taking the story." Perfect!

 

4. Celebrity Jeopardy. Will Ferrell & Darrell Hammond did battle again as Alex Trebek & Sean Connery and it was just as good as it always was. Kate McKinnon also did her perfect Justin Bieber impression, and Norm Macdonald brought back Burt Reynolds.

5. Martin Short & Maya Rudolph (as Beyonce). They paid tribute to the musical sketches of SNL, with perfect use of a fan on Maya-Beyonce. It featured Will Ferrell & Ana Gasteyer as their desperately trying to be hip church singers, The Culps. Adam Sandler brought back Operaman and the Blues Brothers showed up.

6. Justin Timberlake & Jimmy Fallon Opening. The dynamic duo did a musical rundown of the most memorable characters in SNL history. Molly Shannon showed up as Mary Katherine Gallagher and then Rachel Dratch appeared as Debbie Downer to bring down the mood just a little bit as only she can. Always remember - Feline Aids is the number one killer of domestic cats.

7. Ellen Cleghorne. Jerry Seinfeld did a segment which we see a lot of on SNL, taking questions from cast members & others sitting in the audience. He called Sarah Palin Tina which provided an amusing skit between the two. But, Larry David and former cast member Cleghorne were the best, with it going something like this:
Cleghorne - "Why aren't there more black women?"
Seinfeld - "On the show?"
Cleghorne - "No just in general. There should be black women popping out of drawers." Jerry agreed that there should be more, and then she asked where they were on his show Seinfeld. Burn!

8. Betty White & Bradley Cooper Kiss. The Californians went way too long, and there were so many other sketches they probably could have done instead. It did however feature a fun performance from original cast member, Laraine Newman. And it also had a long kiss between Betty White and Bradley Cooper, which wasn't just a peck on the lips. That's something you might never see again!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Kanye West: Douche

Kanye West was at it again at the Grammy Awards, a few years after interrupting his first victim (Taylor Swift). He ran on stage after Beck won for Best Album, only to run back down to his seat. It seemed like a joke at first, by poking fun at himself. Great. Then he goes on E! and starts ranting that it wasn't a joke, saying Beck should give his award to Beyonce and to "respect artistry". Beck responded by saying he thinks Kanye is great and talented. I don't really listen to Beck much, but its nice to see someone so humble & naturally talented win.

Even his wife Kim Kardashian was incredibly uncomfortable during the whole ordeal, forcing a smile. I mean, he made Kim Kardashian uncomfortable on camera. And she did a porn!

Personally, I think Kanye West should heed his own advice to respect artistry and creativity. Its 2015 and he is still overusing Auto-Tune (since he can't sing) 17 years after it was first used by Cher as a gimmick in 1998. Real artistic & original there, Kanye. And what is his obsession with Beyonce? I'm surprised more people don't find it odd, especially Jay Z and Beyonce.

I think Shirley Manson of the band Garbage said it best by writing to him, You are making yourself look like a complete twat. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Patriots Caught Cheating (Again)

As everyone has heard by now, the NFL is investigating the New England Patriots for deflating 11 footballs used by their offense before their AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. Nicknamed "Deflategate" and "Ballghazi" by some, its quite the distraction heading into Super Bowl XLIX, which also features the Seattle Seahawks.

Some have brought up that other teams may have done it before. They haven't been caught though so there is no proof of it, and I really doubt anyone has done it before an AFC or NFC Championship Game like the Patriots did. This also isn't the first time the Patriots have been caught cheating, and we all know Bill Belichick is no stranger to controversy. Should the Patriots really have broken the rules again after Spygate where they got caught illegally taping opponents?

People can bring up how the Patriots dominated the Colts, so it didn't matter. Its not about the result, we all expected them to win. Yet, they still broke the rules, and deflated the balls before the game. One also has to wonder just how many times they've done this before, and did they do it against the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round, a game they only won by 4 points? There is almost no way this was the first time the Patriots have tried this.

Bill Belichick lacks the integrity to get any benefit of the doubt. As a coach who once cut a player (Tiquan Underwood) the night before a Super Bowl, this really couldn't have happened to a better candidate.

At the end of the day, it doesn't seem like such a huge deal overall, but then again, why would they deflate them if it didn't make a difference?

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015 Anniversaries

How has it been 20 Years since 'Toy Story'?
Can you believe we are already halfway through the 2010's? 2015 unbelievably kicks off the second half of this decade, even though many of those Back To The Future II predictions didn't come true (although some did, like big flat screen TV's and video chatting).  There are also some hard to believe anniversaries this year.

2010, 5 Years Since... Lebron James joined the Miami Heat and oddly became a media "villain". Cavs fans burned his jersey, but now that he's made his return to Cleveland, love him again. Funny how sports work. The Chilean miners were freed and one famously kissed his mistress. The double rainbow also became a hit viral video, and now everyone searches for one.

2005, 10 Years Since... YouTube debuted. Before 2005 it was harder to find shareable videos where you can watch people make fools of themselves. You could still find them, though you had to search a bit more depending on which site people used. YouTube made it easy for everyone to use one site. Xbox 360 was launched, and its still going strong today despite the updated generation of video game consoles being released recently. August will see the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, one of the most devastating natural disasters in American history.

2000, 15 Years Since... The last Subway Series. I mean the real Subway Series, during the World Series, not that interleague stuff. The Mets and Yankees squared off in the first Subway(All New York) World Series since the 1950's. Looking back, this was also New York in the final year before 9/11, and America as a whole was a different place in 2000. People also said "The Year..." before 2000. Why did so many people say "The Year 2000" again?

1995: 20 Years Since... Toy Story. That's right, this fall will mark 20 years since Toy Story hit theaters and launched Pixar into the huge studio it is today. Feels like yesterday when it came out and jaws dropped at the sight of the first fully computer animated movie. Clueless also came out, and perfectly encapsulates the style and lingo of the time. It was also the year of the OJ Simpson trial, one of the first times a trial became a television phenomenon thanks to cable news, and people are still obsessed with these today.

1990: 25 Years Since... Home Alone. The Christmas favorite will be a quarter of a century old. I wonder what Buzz's girlfriend looks like now? East & West Germany finally reunited. And now we get Angela Merkel pantsuits. "U Can't Touch This" was released and popularized parachute pants. Thankfully those have not stood the test of time.

1985: 30 Years Since... Live Aid took place on July 13, 1985, simultaneously from London and Philadelphia, becoming one of the biggest TV broadcasts and satellite link-ups ever. Bono sported quite the show stealing mullet when he moved down to the crowd during U2's 14-minute performance of "Bad".  The Breakfast Club and The Goonies came out. It has really been 30 years since the Truffle Shuffle.

1980: 35 Years Since... John Lennon was sadly shot in December 1980, but his timeless music and memory live on today. The Empire Strikes Back took over the world and had people waiting in long lines for tickets, which is a rare thing now thanks to the internet and apps.

1975: 40 Years Since... Saturday Night Live began, launching many careers and providing some late night laughs. Sonny and Cher divorced, which made "I Got You Babe" a bit awkward. Jaws started the summer blockbuster movie craze and scared tons of people from going in the water.

1970: 45 Years Since... The Beatles broke up and released their final album, Let It Be. I'm sure lots of people were sad, but they all went on to have successful solo careers anyway. Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin both dies at age 27, which gave rise to the "27 Club" of famous musicians who tragically passed away at the same young age.

1965: 50 Years Since... The Beatles performed at Shea Stadium and the New York World's Fair took place in Queens. The NY World's Fair was not a money maker, but still has become quite a famous event which is still talked about.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sony Releases 'The Interview'

When the major theater chains pulled Seth Rogen & James Franco's film The Interview, Sony took a lot of heat, including from me. They originally said they didn't have plans to release it in an alternate way. They've changed course, with a number of theaters around the country showing it starting on Christmas Day.

The chains who pulled it are: Bow Tie Cinemas, AMC, Regal, Cinemark, Cineplex and Carmike. However, if you live near a medium sized chain (such as Alamo Drafthouse) or a locally owned theater, you might be in luck. Click here for an updated list of all the theaters showing the comedy.

Though there is even better news for those of you who aren't near a theater showing it, or are just too lazy to leave the house this Christmas, the movie will now be streaming on the cheap online through various sources. Its just $5.99 through each of the available sites. Visit theinterview-movie.com to see how you can stream it through your computer, Xbox or TV. Go ahead, its your duty as anyone living in a free country! 

Suck it, North Korea!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

SONY Cancels 'The Interview'; North Korea Behind Hack?

The Interview, the new comedy poking fun at North Korea and leader Kim Jong-Un from Seth Rogen & James Franco, has been cancelled by Sony. This is following the Sony hack and 9/11-like threats against theaters showing the film. Major movie theaters dropped the film which caused Sony to just pull it altogether. Sony then announced they were not planning to release it on DVD or Streaming services.

Following news of the movie release being cancelled, an official from the US Government announced that the North Korean government was in some way behind the hack and threats to Sony. 

Am I the only one who finds it oddly amusing that two stoners have caused another international crisis between the United States and North Korea? And lets be real...what could North Korea really do to act on any threats? Launch a missile that would just break up in 3 seconds anyway?

One theater in Texas will be showing a screening of 2004's Team America: World Police, which also spoofed North Korea. The studio (Sony) and the theaters who caved in to the hackers/North Korea should be ashamed for allowing them to dicatate what we do in a free country. Sony is showing a clear lack of guts by not releasing the movie on DVD/VOD right away. I understood them pulling it from theaters once the movie theaters companies all pulled their support, but for the studio to not even release it digitally? That is a WEAK move by Sony. What a great message it would have been if Sony had just released the film for home viewing...but instead they've just backed out completely. We all know it'll leak eventually anyway, but still.

*Update* Team America has now been cancelled thanks to Paramount, because I guess these corporations are all scared and have no guts. Now, Sony has said they are looking at ways to distribute the movie. They've reversed their earlier stance which made it seem like they wouldn't release it in any formate once the theaters pulled it. But, now it looks as if they will be releasing the movie in some form, which is a smart decision. Hopefully they can get it out there soon.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Full 'Jurassic World' Trailer!

The park is open! Well as expected the first trailer for 'Jurassic World', the fourth Jurassic Park movie, was released to the Internet by Universal early. We get our first glimpses of Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Judy Greer with dialogue. The only original returning character, Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong), is absent from the first trailer. Laura Dern, Sam Neill & Jeff Goldblum will not be in the film barring cameos that have been kept under wraps. However, Steven Spielberg was once again involved with the film.


Jurassic Park IV has been in production in some form or another since Jurassic Park III came out in 2001. Several versions were discussed and then scrapped over the past 13 years before finally being settled on the current version titled Jurassic World. It deals with humans creating a brand new man-made dinosaur which is rumored to combine the DNA of a Velociraptor, Cuttlefish, T-Rex and Snake (and hopefully the DNA of Jeff Goldblum as well). That was obviously a terrible idea, and the dinosaur wreaks havoc on the Park. So how do you stop a hybrid dinosaur? Well, "life finds a way"...

Jurassic World is out on June 12, 2015.