Welcome back to another installment of the Monday Morning Critic. In this space each week, I’ll be looking at the week that was in addition to the week ahead in television. The format will shift each week, as the world of TV will dictate the form and content of each piece. In this week’s installment: what the cinematic version of ‘The Hunger Games’ has to do with the future of television.
Cameron Diaz has almost sneakily hosted 'SNl" enough times that, after last night, she’s only one away from the vaulted Five-Timers Club. Diaz first hosted back in 1998, a show that featured one of the funniest sketches of all time, ‘Jingleheimer Junction.’ This is all to say that it shouldn’t be too surprising that last night’s ‘SNL’ came off so, let’s say, professional with one sketch that even rivals ‘Jingleheimer Junction.’ On to the Scorecard we go...
When I was a little kid, Bill Cosby was someone who I (and many others) looked at as a person to aspire to be. He was the epitome of “good.” Looking back, I should have just stuck with Spider-Man and Han Solo—fictional characters have a way of not turning out to be alleged serial rapists—but this was the reality for many children of the ‘80s. I realize how stupid this sounds now. Human being are flawed (or much, much worse), but eight year olds don’t really think like that.
The penultimate entry into the sprawling and blood-stained 'Hunger Games' franchise takes a decidedly hip and totally en vogue approach to its final two movies—splitting one (relatively slim) novel into two feature films, all the better to dive deeper into the burning revolution headed up by a reluctant Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), further explore the various districts that make up Panem, and just make piles of cash in the process. ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I’ might be half a story (and our review says as much), but it's pretty remarkable that screenwriters Danny Strong and Peter Craig were able to squeeze out an entire 123-minute feature film from 187 pages of a single novel (yes, we counted).
ScreenCrush’s WookieeLeaks is a weekly roundup of everything ‘Star Wars’! From ‘Star Wars: Episode 7,’ to the upcoming spinoffs and the TV shows, if it pertains to that long ago, far away galaxy, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, the ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ trailer inspires a bunch of rumors, a few huge spoilers appear online, and details about this year’s ‘Star Wars’ Celebration are revealed.
‘Mockingjay’ is the latest example of perhaps the single most frustrating trend in modern Hollywood: The part-ification of franchise finales. It’s no longer enough to make a successful movie, or even a successful series of movies; Hollywood now extends—or dilutes, really—these cash cows even further, by breaking their concluding installments in half. You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you absolutely can judge a movie by its title, at least when that title includes the phrase “Part 1.” If it does, get ready for a languid, uneventful film full of set-up and absolutely zero payoff.
ScreenCrush’s Comic Strip is a weekly roundup of the hottest superhero movie/TV news items. From Marvel to DC and points in between, if it pertains to costumed comic book heroes, we’re covering it here, bringing you our expert analysis. This week, ‘Wonder Woman’ goes after an incredible director, ‘Captain America: Civil War’ casts an incredible actor, and ‘Suicide Squad’ finds a Harley Quinn who may be (you guessed it) incredible.
The Marvel superhero Quicksilver is not a big deal. I say that as someone who counts the guy among his favorite characters. What can I say? His snotty superiority has always spoken to me on a profound level. Yet I concede that the mutant speedster is not a marquee name. He's not even as popular as his nearest DC equivalent, the Flash. Calling him "B-list" may be a little generous. Despite this he's going to appear in two separate movie blockbuster franchises played by two different actors in a single year -- a feat that Superman, Spider-Man, Batman and the Hulk can't match. None of this is because of public demand. So what is it about the character that landed him in this unique position?
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 what could be the new Best Picture frontrunner, Ava DuVernay's Martin Luther King Jr. biopic, ‘Selma.’
Monday night’s episode of ‘Gotham,’ ‘Harvey Dent,’ as advertised, introduced us to a new assistant DA named Harvey Dent. At this point, at least Harvey Dent isn’t a little kid. ‘Gotham’ is slowly improving, but it’s still caught in that awkward space between being a serious drama and a campy farce. I truly think the reason I laugh so much while watching ‘Gotham’ is that it will be in the middle of taking itself so seriously, then something stupid will happen. Anyway, here are the 14 times that I laughed out loud during last night’s episode of ‘Gotham.’