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.)
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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.
We’re winding down Best Of 2014 Week here at ScreenCrush with today’s lists of the best TV shows and movie posters (to go along with our already completed lists of the best movies and trailers). But in this time of celebration, let’s not lose sight of what’s really important: Making jokes about terrible movies. 2014 was jammed with exceptional films, but those great movies were surrounded (and often crowded-out of multiplexes) by plenty of stinkers as well. As we bid a fond farewell to the year in movies, ScreenCrush Editor-In-Chief Mike Sampson and I decided to take one final look back at the flops that nearly destroyed us. But like that old expression says: That which does not kill us makes us write strongly-worded listicles.
I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: No one likes putting together a Top 10 list. Oh, don’t get me wrong; it’s fun at a party if someone asks you, “What were your favorite movies this year?” and you can just rattle off a list of titles in no particular order, not overly concerned if you accidentally left something off. But this list is formal. Published on the Internet. This will be my legacy. And that’s not something to take lightly.
Joss Whedon is tired. It’s just about halfway through the shoot for ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ in London, and Whedon doesn’t as much sit down for our interview as he does collapse into a chair. It’s a bright and sunny day in London, but he looks like he hasn’t seen the sunshine in weeks. He’s completely wiped out—”raggedy” as he puts it—by his schedule, which he describes thusly: “I do this, I go home, I rewrite, I go to sleep. I do this, I go home, I rewrite, I go to sleep.”
It wasn’t a great year for critics in movies—see ‘Birdman’ (or ‘Chef’ [or ‘Top Five’ (or ‘Big Eyes’)])—but it was a great year for critics at movies. 2014 offered an tremendous variety of fantastic films: big and small; foreign and domestic; mainstream and indie. To anyone who says the overall quality of movies has declined, I call B.S. There are more good movies now than ever before. If you can’t find one, you’re not looking very hard. Take, for instance, these ten instant classics:
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: two classic comedies wrap production, a TV-centric documentary provides a must-watch experience for fans of the medium, and I make some holiday bingewatching suggestions.
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...