SNL Mid-Season Report Card

SNL Mid-Season Report Card

This season of Saturday Night Live can at best be described as unremarkable. While we’re used to perhaps only have one or two sketches hit per episode, this season has seen multi-episode stretches go on before anything memorable is presented.

They’ve fumbled the ball when they have strong hosts such as Steve Carell, Matt Damon and Jonah Hill. They couldn’t save first time hosts from flubbing(Halsey, Clair Foy). And if you’ve grown tired of the political takes on the show, this season has put you to sleep.

The only two highlights of this season have been the John Mulaney(which is what happens when a former SNL writer is the host) and the fact that the hosting duties have been given to a bunch of people of color(six as of now).

But it’s going to take some strong shows to salvage my opinion of this season. Let’s check in to see how the cast is doing.

Safe

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OnScreen Review: "Captain Marvel"

OnScreen Review: "Captain Marvel"

21 movies into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and we have our first one with a female lead. This has been a dividing issue for many, for some it is an empowering moment about representation and for others (idiots, in my opinion) it’s a chance to show their trollishness and insecurity. I think it’s great that Captain Marvel, like Black Panther before it, serves a demographic that hasn’t been served by previous films in the MCU and potentially grows the market for Marvel. But ultimately, what matters is whether the content is good and worth coming back to for more, so let’s delve into that, and maybe a bit into the female empowerment for good measure.

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Fantasy Box Office – 2019 Summer Draft

Fantasy Box Office – 2019 Summer Draft

Well, it’s that that time of year again, on the cusp of spring we start to look forward to the summer months and the summer movie slate. And with that comes the long-running Fantasy Box Office league that myself, Chris, Greg, Tim, and Paula participate in. After a dominant 2018, I’m looking to stay on the mountaintop, but I have to admit that it will be very difficult this year. This summer is incredibly stacked, so much so that we decided to extend the summer rosters from 7 to 8 and our auction budgets from $70 to $80. It made for an interesting draft and some unique rosters and calculations on everyone’s part, which should make for a fun summer. Let’s take a look at the rosters, going in order from last season’s last place to first.

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OnScreen Review: "Artic"

OnScreen Review: "Artic"

I love a good survival movie. I thoroughly enjoyed movies like The Edge and Cast Away when I was a teen. In the past few years there have been a few good ones, too; in particular Gravity and All Is Lost.  Man’s struggle to survive either in extreme conditions or on the edge of existence is enthralling to me. As such, I was very interested when I saw a poster and eventually a trailer for Arctic, starring Mads Mikkelsen.

Arctic places Mikkelsen‘s Overgård in the middle of a snowy nowhere, somewhere in the Arctic Circle, following him through his daily routine. His routine is set to the timer on his watch, and it quickly becomes apparent that he has been there for some time in a downed plane. He has a giant SOS message dug out of the snow and permafrost, fishing lines that he checks, and a daily hike that involves mapping his location and running a hand-cranked distress signal for a few minutes each day.

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OnScreen Review: "How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World"

OnScreen Review: "How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World"

If you had told me at the beginning of the decade that an animated film would spawn a trilogy that nailed all three movies that came out this decade, I would probably have been very curious to see what Pixar had planned. While Pixar has never worked at that pace on their sequels, DreamWorks Animation has had a few very successful franchises that they have kept going. Arguably, the best in overall quality has been the two How To Train Your Dragon movies, and How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is a satisfying cap on the trilogy.

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OnScreen Review: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

OnScreen Review: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part

Coming five years after the wildly successful original, Warner Bros has released The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. Nearly everyone is back from the first film in some capacity. The prolific duo of Chris Lord and Phil Miller, who wrote and directed the first film, remain as screenwriters but have handed off the directorial reins to Mike Mitchell.

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Fantasy Box Office – Final Results

Fantasy Box Office – Final Results

It’s all over except for the tears. And I plan on exacting tears. The fall 2018 season of the Fantasy Box Office concluded on January 31. After winning the summer league, I successfully defended my title in the fall league with a dominant performance at the box office. This makes it 3 in four seasons. Like my freshly crowned champion New England Patriots in the NFL, yes, it’s a dynasty!

All of the rosters can be found below along with the final totals. Coming out of the draft, I thought I had a good roster. As it turned out, some pieces (Bohemian Rhapsody) were strong than I expected while others (The Grinch, Mary Poppins Returns) didn’t quite live up to my expectations. However, I still managed to eclipse the $500 million mark.

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Please Stop Blaming the Cast Of "Bohemian Rhapsody" for Bryan Singer

Please Stop Blaming the Cast Of "Bohemian Rhapsody" for Bryan Singer

Out of all the movies that came out of 2018 no movie (in my opinion) has had more of the underdog story than Bohemian Rhapsody. Based on the life and times of Freddie Mercury and Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody tells the story of Freddie through moments in time leading up to the legendary Live Aid Concert in 1985. 

The film opened to mixed reviews from the critics but the audience and the fans came through showing their immense support. 

However reports of Bryan Singer "Director" of the film, being very unprofessional on set to the point of barely showing up. And when he did show up he would argue with everyone. Reports even state that he threw things at Rami Malek who stars as Freddie Mercury. This report Singer vehemently denies.

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10 Biggest Oscar Snubs of 2019

10 Biggest Oscar Snubs of 2019

Yesterday morning I got really excited at about 7:45am when I was on Twitter and remembered, “Oh, it’s Oscar nomination day!” Almost immediately after this, I also got slightly bummed out because I knew that there were bound to be disappointments with the nominations. Cinephiles have a love/hate relationship with movie award ceremonies like the Oscars because so often truly great gems get overlooked, the Academy always gets something wrong, what resonates now might be lost in the shuffle in five or ten years, and yet we always hold out hope that the films we champion will somehow win out and be rewarded for their greatness and it will validate everything we believe about the movies we love. Or maybe that’s just me. Suffice to say, there were a few nominations I loved, but quite a few snubs I hated.

Let’s get into some of the biggest Oscar snubs this year and who I would kick out to put them in.

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OnScreen Review: "Mary Poppins Returns"

OnScreen Review: "Mary Poppins Returns"

Pretty much everyone who loves movies as a kid gets exposed to Disney’s catalog, though there usually ends up being gaps here and there. My sister was obsessed with a handful of Disney animated movies, so those were on constantly in our house growing up, but a few slipped through the cracks, as did much of the older Disney live-action movies. Mary Poppins was one of those films I missed growing up, only to cause quite the consternation amongst my friends who adore it when I revealed that when Saving Mr. Banks came out a few years ago. Shortly after seeing that, I remedied the situation and did quite enjoy Mary Poppins, though I suspect not to the same degree I might have if I’d seen it when I was younger. Over 50 years later, Disney has returned to the character with Mary Poppins Returns.

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Top 20 Films of 2018

Top 20 Films of 2018

2018 has been a unique year. Typically, when I get to the end of the year, there are a handful of limited releases that haven’t expanded to where I live, and I don’t get to see them until mid-January. This year, there are only one that I want to see that I haven’t managed to get to yet: If Beale Street Could Talk. Because of that, I feel comfortable crafting my year-end list of the best films of 2018 now rather than waiting. I’m going to list twenty, but I’m only going to devote a sentence each to 11-20. Let’s just get right into it!

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OnScreen Review: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"

OnScreen Review: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"

We are living in a period where we’ve reached peak superhero. The market is saturated with movies as well as TV series that are based on comic books. As much as I enjoy most of them, even I am starting to feel a sense of superhero fatigue at the movie theater. However, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a nice antidote to that creeping fatigue, bursting with creativity, a rich animation palette, and a willingness to get weird.

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OnScreen Review: "Boy Erased"

OnScreen Review: "Boy Erased"

Hollywood has long had this habit of studios putting out twin movies, films that have a similar theme within the same year or months apart from each other. Armageddon and Deep Impact, Mission To Mars and Red Planet, Girls Trip and Rough Night, This Is the End and The World’s End, the list goes on and on. This year, we’ve gotten twin movies out of adaptations of stories about gay conversion therapy. The Miseducation of Cameron Post was released late this summer, an adaptation of a novel.

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OnScreen Review: "Creed 2"

OnScreen Review: "Creed 2"

2015’s Creed was a highly enjoyable and highly successful expansion of the Rocky franchise from director Ryan Coogler. It featured Michael B. Jordan in the role of Adonis Creed, son of Apollo Creed, and Sylvester Stallone’s iconic Rocky sliding into the Mickey for Adonis. Sticking with a familiar formula but also finding ways to be newer and fresh, Creed II is a welcome next chapter.

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Fantasy Box Office – November

Fantasy Box Office – November

I was pretty close. Currently, I’m actually in first place and Greg is in 2nd, but only about $15 million separates us. What accounts for that? Well, the big reason for that is likely Fantastic Beast: The Crimes of Grindewald. I didn’t expect glowing reviews, but I also did not expect a T-meter of 39% for it either. The first Fantastic Beasts was favorably reviewed at 74%. I expected a modest drop off, perhaps somewhere in the 60s or bottoming out in the mid-to-high 50s. 39% is a steep drop and that drop is impacting its revenue too, as it is lagging nearly $50 million compared to the first film at this point. That severely limits Greg’s chances to win.

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OnStream Review: “The Christmas Chronicles”

OnStream Review: “The Christmas Chronicles”

‘Tis the season for Christmas movies—but unless you’re up for cheesy one-liners, subpar child actors and a smooth-talking Santa who winds up in prison, you might want to stay away from Clay Kaytis’ “The Christmas Chronicles”.

This Netflix original takes place on Christmas Eve and follows young, optimistic Kate Pierce (Darby Camp) and her teen brother Teddy (Judah Lewis) as they plan to catch Santa Claus (Kurt Russell) on film but end up hitting a few obstacles along the way.

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OnScreen Review: "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald"

OnScreen Review: "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald"

I’m not a complete Potterhead, but I am a fan and owner of all the Harry Potter books and movies. I read the entire Deathly Hallows when it came out in one sitting, staying up all night to finish it because I’m a slow reader. I proffer my bona fides as a fan because after two installments of a planned five (FIVE!?!?!?) prequels, I am decidedly not a fan of this Fantastic Beasts franchise and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald may have convinced me that I am ok walking away from this franchise.

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My Top 10 Casting Wishes

My Top 10 Casting Wishes

Every lover of cinema pictures different actors in different roles. When we come to admire or enjoy performers, it’s hard not to think about what kind of part might maximize their talents. Throw in a general love of fiction and stories and it’s easy to start picking and choosing imagined roles for various actors. Basically, we all want to try our hand at casting in one way or another! 

Since I’m not exactly a Hollywood producer or casting director just yet, a list will have to suffice for now. But these are 10 casting wishes I’d love to see come true. 

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OnScreen Review: "Widows"

OnScreen Review: "Widows"

Widows is a film that joins the ranks of State of Play and Edge of Darkness as recent films that have been adapted from a British miniseries. Actually, it jumps to the front of the class of these adaptations. Like Edge of Darkness, Widows originated from the mid-80s and has been ported over to a modern-day American setting. However, whereas those other films were political thrillers, this film is more of a crime thriller with political tones. It is also director Steve McQueen’s first film since the 2013 Oscar-winning Best Picture 12 Years a Slave.

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