Jacob Hall Biography
With Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Adam Driver hosting 2016’s first episode of SNL, a Kylo Ren sketch of some kind was inevitable. After all, you don't get the actor who plays the villain in one of the biggest movies of all time to appear on your comedy variety show and not have him reprise that character. And we'll give the show this much: we never would have predicted a faux episode of Undercover Boss set on Starkiller Base, with the angry, murderous Kylo Ren going undercover amongst his troops as a radar technician named Matt.
We’re not entirely sure why SNL decided to riff on Disney’s Aladdin in this week’s episode. It’s not like the 1992 animated movie has entered the national conversation again for some reason. If anything, this feels like someone on the writing staff rewatched the movie with his or her family over the show’s holiday break and came back with an idea or two. The result: the least timely parody you’ve ever seen! Although it is pretty funny and will appeal directly to those click-happy millennials.
When Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant fades to black, you see a very unusual credit wedged between the familiar titles: “Based in part on the novel by Michael Punke.” Not “based on,” but “based in part.” And then it clicked. This was why...
Eventually, another movie will top Star Wars: The Force Awakens and end the incredible run that has transformed it into the highest grossing movie in the history of the American box office. That movie was almost The Revenant. This is no failure, though. The combined powers of Leonardo DiCaprio, stories of a harrowing shoot, and a strong marketing campaign actually gave this movie a fighting chance against a genuine cultural sensation. It may have only hit number two on the top 10, but this is a huge victory for a difficult movie.
It took Avatar two and half months to become the highest grossing movie of all time. Star Wars: The Force Awakens will surpass its domestic box office gross within the next day or two after less than three weeks in release. The big question now is when J.J. Abrams’ sequel will find its ceiling because as of right now, it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
At this point, we can officially start calling the box office for Star Wars: The Force Awakens astonishing. Last week’s record breaking opening was massively impressive, but the endurance showcased by the film’s second weekend is even more so. Not only is the film doing well, but word of mouth is strong enough to propel it to a sophomore weekend gross that most movies would kill to earn in their entire runs. However, the holiday weekend was kind to many movies, including most of the five new releases, making this one of the strongest top 10s we’ve seen in quite some time.
[Ed. note: ScreenCrush writer and Star Wars enthusiast Jacob Hall was going to be away on December 18 for the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in theaters. So in his absence, a few months ago after the final trailer debuted, we asked Jacob to...
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was always going to make enough money to make most blockbusters tremble in fear. That was inevitable. It’s a Star Wars movie. The big question lingering over this opening weekend concerned whether or not it’s surely enormous opening weekend would break the records set by Jurassic World earlier this year. And now, with the early estimates in, we can answer that question: yes and no.
What’s the point in letting former SNL cast members guest host if you aren’t going to resurrect sketches and characters from back when they were on the show? We saw this a few weeks ago when Tracy Morgan gently poked our nostalgia buttons with the return of Brian Fellows and it happened again last night with the return of Bronx Beat. However, this wasn’t just a showcase for co-guest host Amy Poehler — it also saw the return of the great Maya Rudolph to the SNL stage. And there was no way the evening’s other guest host, Tina Fey, was going to sit out this chance to reunite with her few fellow Studio 8H veterans.
It’s a testament to the staying power of certain public figures that they’ve been played by more than one SNL cast member over the years. People like Hillary Clinton, the former First Lady turned former Senator turned former Secretary of State turned current Democratic Presidential frontrunner, linger on long past Saturday Night Live cast rotations. So what is the show to do when one of its guest hosts used to play a vital and very much in the public eye politician back in the day? Put her on stage with the current version, of course.