T-minus one week and counting until 2015 —and now that we’ve finally put our 2014 top-ten lists to bed, it’s time to turn our attention to the new year. From the looks of things so far, it should be a good one.
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January is imminent, and what better way to start off the new year than treating yourself to some (or all) of the fantastic films heading to DVD and Blu-ray? There’s plenty of awesomeness to take home to your small screen, including many 2014 favorites—gone girls, LEGO pals, killer houseguests, and even an ass-kicking Scarlett Johansson. From some of the past year’s biggest hits to smaller indie favorites, read on for your guide to January 2015’s new DVD and Blu-ray releases.
‘Saturday Night Live’ started 2014 as a show that was rebuilding; it ended the year in a noticeable groove that foreshadows, hopefully, many more great things to come. The following 10 sketches represent the calendar year of 2014—which includes the last half of the 39th season and the first half of this current 40th season. So, with that explanation out of the way, here are the 10 best ‘SNL’ sketches of 2014. Like all lists, you will like some choices and not like others.
There’s no consensus on what the best Christmas movie of all-time is, but ‘Elf‘ would have to be up there with the best of them. Released in 2003, the film has gone on to become a bonafide classic, watched as many times over the holidays as ‘A Christmas Story’ or ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. Do you share an affinity for elf culture? Now you can test your ‘Elf’ knowledge with the latest installment of You Think You Know Movies!
The Internet Movie Database is a fantastic website. It’s an invaluable, comprehensive resource; I use it almost every day of my life. But the IMDb is also an underrated source of comedy. Every film on the site contains what are called “Plot Keywords”—words or phrases that describe motifs, themes, character types, or plot details. Each plot keyword is searchable, so if you wanted a list of, say, every movie where a character gets hit with a hammer, you just need to go to the “Hit With A Hammer” IMDb keyword page. It’s that simple.
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: a holiday poem, a preview of ‘Justified,’ and five suggestions to help you enjoy TV more in 2015.
The narrative surrounding ‘SNL’ for the last year and a half is that it’s a show that’s “rebuilding.” And, yes, last season, that was true. But it’s weird: That narrative is still lingering even though, for people paying attention (I tend to pay attention), this 40th season has been very, very good. Last year, ‘SNL’ relied way too much on in-the-moment pop culture references (never a good sign). This season—including what we saw again during Saturday night’s Amy Adams-hosted episode—was all about great writing and great execution. It wasn’t quite as consistent as last week’s Martin Freeman-hosted show, but ‘SNL,’ right now, has a lot of momentum headed into its winter break. (When it returns with Kevin Hart, I really hope we see a sequel to ‘Z-Shirt.’ Please make this happen, Tim Robinson.)
I enjoy reading top ten lists, but I don’t particularly like making a top ten list—which does nothing as far as an explanation as to why I decided to do a Top 147 list (or Bottom 147 list, if that’s more your thing). I covered four film festivals in 2014, so I saw more than 147 movies, but these are the 147 movies I saw that came out in a theater this year. (I realize ‘The Interview’ is now not coming out, but, whatever, it’s on here too.) I am only one human being, so I didn’t see every movie that came out this year—Where’s ‘Noah’? I never saw ‘Noah’—but I think I saw quite a few! Anyway, here they all are. (I only wrote about a few of them because I am not a crazy person.)
Top 10 lists rank among the more unusual aspects of movie and TV criticism, and as my colleagues Ryan McGee, Matt Singer, and Mike Sampson’s own 2014 favorites will attest, the end-of-year celebration format brings with it a unique mixture of...
ScreenCrush’s WookieLeaks is a weekly roundup of everything ‘Star Wars’! From ‘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, ponder who Andy Serkis is playing, learn the possible identity of Captain Phasma, and watch a special video starring Chewbacca.