Mike Ryan is currently the senior editor at ScreenCrush. Mike most recently served as Senior Entertainment Writer for The Huffington Post. Previously, Mr. Ryan was a frequent contributor at Vanity Fair and Wired magazine and wrote for Time, GQ, ELLE-UK, and New York magazine.
Mike Ryan Biography
It’s always an interesting thing when actors host ‘SNL.’ You know, actors in the sense that there’s just no way to know if his or her talent will translate to ‘SNL.’ They are true wild cards. Two years ago, Christoph Waltz hosted ‘SNL’ and it was one of the best shows of that season. Who knew? And now here comes Martin Freeman as yet another true wild card. No one knew what to expect—and, as it turns out, Freeman is so quirky as a host, sometimes he just felt like a member of the cast. These are the best kind of hosts. This might not have had an Internet friendly signature moment, but, top to bottom, this is one of the best ‘SNL’’s in the last five years. (Put it this way, there was only one sketch in the “bad” category and it’s the first time in the five years of ‘SNL’ Scorecard that there hasn’t been an “Ugly.” There just wasn’t one this show.) Here is your Scorecard...
Rumors are flying that even though Christoph Waltz’s character is technically named Franz Oberhauser in the next James Bond installment, ‘Spectre,’ he’s actually playing Bond’s arch-nemesis, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. The now two-time Oscar winner, Waltz, is currently promoting his Golden Globe nominated turn in Tim Burton’s ‘Big Eyes.’
It’s a weird thing, I can already tell that ‘Inherent Vice’ will grow on me after time. I can already tell I like it better as I type this than I did while watching it. People will compare ‘Inherent Vice’ to the Coen brothers’ 1998 movie ‘The Big Lebowski’ and that’s totally fair because I’m going to do just that right now. Both films feature protagonists – with an affinity for marijuana use – who experience a remarkable adventure while searching for something that doesn’t matter. Sixteen years later, Mickey Woolfman means about as much as the money for a urine-soaked rug. It matters to the character but it never really matters much to us and, in both of these cases, we wind up being right.
Tracey Ullman is starring in Disney’s adaptation of ‘Into the Woods’ as Jack’s Mother, (a play she has admired since her son played the role of Jack in middle school). ‘Into the Woods’ is the story of a baker (James Cordon; the new host of ‘The Late Late Show’ who was in the running against rumored names like Amy Schumer, who Ullman greatly admires) and his wife (Emily Blunt) who make a deal with a Witch (Meryl Streep) in an effort to have a child. Ullman admits her film options are limited because she wishes there were more roles for “women in their mid-50s”, which is (a) accurate and (b) infuriating that this is true. Ahead, Ullman shares her experiences of being in a music video with Paul McCartney (twice) and her opinions on the state of women in comedy today. (Spoiler alert: She thinks it’s ridiculous.)
When you meet Bobby Cannavale in person, he’s very friendly, but you quickly get the sense that he doesn’t put up with nonsense. Not that Cannavale doesn’t have a sense of humor—he uses this humor to great effect in the upcoming ‘Annie’ remake; playing a political strategist named Guy who is in charge of William Stacks’ (Jamie Foxx) New York City mayoral campaign; spoiler alert: they meet a little girl named Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis)—it’s more that he doesn’t really like to do the things that actors have to do when they are not acting … like putting up with someone like me while I ask him questions. (For the record: He is correct.)
Before interviewing Lee Pace—who returns to Middle-earth as the Elvenking, Thranduil, in the upcoming ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’—I conducted a completely scientific poll (it was not scientific at all, I randomly asked my friends), asking “Where do you think Lee Pace is from?” Of the seven people I asked, only one knew that Pace was born in the United States. (This particular person guessed Nebraska, the correct answer is Oklahoma and/or Texas.) What’s most remarkable about this is just how shocked people look when they find out that Pace went to high school in Houston. (Honestly, this all seems like a compliment. An “actor from England” seems to have more prestige than “an actor from Houston.”)
My propensity for not believing what George Lucas happened again when he was asked The New York Post about the new trailer for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ and he reportedly replied: “I don’t know anything about it. I haven’t seen it yet.” He then went on to say, “I plan to see [the movie] when it’s released." This is an odd thing to say and I’m not sure I believe him.
Set in St. Louis, the sketch starts with Beck Bennett as a news anchor for “News 4” (which is the CBS affiliate in St. Louis) relaying a serious presentation of current events, right before he hands it off to two morning show hosts (played by Kenan Thompson and Cecily Strong) who have an obnoxious show with an obnoxious theme song called ‘Rise and Smile.’ First, there’s no way this sketch should have been cut, but that’s a pretty obvious position to take.
James Franco returned to host ‘SNL’ for the third time (though, it seems like more) and for the first time since 2009 (which doesn’t seem quite right either). A lot has happened in the two weeks that ‘SNL’ has been gone and the show certainly didn’t ignore what has happened, but did they do enough? It’s a tough call. This is a comedy show after all and has never been an all-encompassing current events show like, say, ‘The Daily Show.’ Even though he was the host, Franco kind of felt like a non-factor. On one hand, he blended in with the cast, which is always welcome, but musical guest Nicki Minaj seemed to have more of a presence. Anyway, off we go to this week’s Scorecard…
People love watching famous people accept trophies. So, every so often, The Huffington Post’s Chris Rosen and ScreenCrush’s Mike Ryan will speculate about these trophies and which famous person might win one. It will be fun. Let’s talk some trophies! Today, we discuss Angelina Jolie's ‘Unbroken,’ Tim Burton's ‘Big Eyes,’ the recent critic awards results, and why there is STILL no Best Picture Frontrunner.