For many viewers, the Oscars are are chance to snark and make fun of everything that happens on stage (and can you blame ‘em?). But then the “In Memoriam” segment comes around and reduces even the most cynical person to puddle of bubbling tears. The 2015 Oscars “In Memoriam” is no different, offering a whirlwind tour through a year’s worth of beloved people who passed away. Get ready ... it’s about to get a little dusty in here.
ScreenCrush wraps up the latest in movies and TV you might have missed. Today, Frozen finally makes its move to Broadway, a Space Invaders movie (!) gets a writer, and a ranking of all of Djimon Hounsou’s sidekick roles.
The first ‘Pitch Perfect’ was a sleeper success, doing surprisingly solid business at the box office and earning equally solid reviews from critics. But it was home video that transformed this little a cappella comedy into a genuine sensation, instantly becoming the favorite film of 12-year-old girls (and their initially reluctant parents) all over the world. So the new ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ trailer arrives with the air of an event film. The sequel is not an underdog, but the Bigger, Flashier, and Louder follow-up that has the confidence to suggest that there is an entire franchise to be found here.
Before he was a CGI creation, Jedi master Yoda was a puppet. Before green screens became the norm, the Dagobah set for ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ was built elevated off the ground to accommodate Yoda’s puppeteers. And before he brought Yoda to life, puppeteer and voice actor Frank Oz was best known as the man behind Miss Piggy. In a weird way, that makes the most wizened character in the ‘Star Wars’ universe a distant relative of the extended Muppet family.
‘Batman vs. Superman’ doesn’t open until 2016, but our first glimpse at footage from Zack Snyder’s ‘Man of Steel’ follow-up may be right around the corner. According to the latest internet buzz, the first teaser trailer for the film will arrive next month, attached to ‘Jupiter Ascending.’
The unfortunate and untimely death of the great Jan Hooks this past week sent the comedy world into mourning, with countless writers and comics stepping forward to pay tribute to the late 'SNL' star. It could have been easy for this week's new episode to gloss over the passing of one of their own (it is a comedy show, after all), but 'SNL' has always been a slightly class institution -- it remembers those who came before.
A few weeks ago, this column was skeptical that Marvel's 'Guardians of the Galaxy' could reach $300 million. Now, it seems impossible that it won't. Thanks to ecstatic word of mouth, killer marketing and only one genuinely successful box office challenger (that would be 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'), Marvel's oddball space opera has managed to spend three of the past four weekends at the number one spot at the box office, giving it enough momentum to officially become the highest grossing film of 2014.
Fans of Seth Meyers from 'Saturday Night Live' and his still-young stint as host of 'Late Night' know that this is a performer perfectly suited for hosting the Emmys. Capable of leaping between sweet and sarcastic at a moment's notice while barely changing his signature dry delivery, Seth Meyers opened the 2014 Emmys ceremony with a monologue that could have come straight from one of his own shows.
Ruby Dee, the legendary actress of stage and screen, has died at the age of 91. Her 60-year career is nothing short of remarkable and her work helped open the door for countless other African American actors and actresses.
When Paul Walker tragically died last November, the world mourned an actor who was not only a welcome screen presence, but a genuinely well-liked and respected guy. It was especially hard to hear the reactions of his 'Fast and Furious' franchise co-stars. This is a series all about friendship and family, so the loss of a key member of that crew hits hard. 'Fast and Furious 7' recently resumed shooting after an extended hiatus to rework the film and fans have been wondering how the production will work around the loss of a major character. Now, Universal hinted at a strange but touching solution.
Every Oscar night has its fair share of dramatic and moving moments, but nothing ever comes close to the "In Memoriam" segment, which honors the actors, actresses, writers, directors, producers and technicians who passed away in the past year. Just when you think you've gotten over the death of a talent who truly mattered to you, this portion of the show rears its head and tears your heart open all over again.
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