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.
There are good days, there are bad days, and then there are days when you confuse Samuel L. Jackson with Laurence Fishburne and find yourself at the mercy of an actor whose voice can make even the strongest man whimper in terror. This sounds like a joke, but it actually happened on live television, and since this is the internet, it will never go away and the news anchor who made the tragic error will never live it down.
Philip Seymour Hoffman's tragic death occurred while he was nearing the end of his work on the two-part 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay' movies, and while he only had seven days of filming left, those days included at least one key scene. We initially thought that these final scenes would be rewritten to exclude the character of Plutarch Heavensbee, but according to the NY Post, the filmmakers are planning to recreate the late actor with special effects to keep his presence intact.
Although 'Taken 2' didn't live up to the glorious, trashy heights of the first film, its absurd box office meant that a 'Taken 3' was inevitable. Now, the gears are officially in motion. A director is attached, Liam Neeson is returning and Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker is reportedly being sought for a mysterious role.
If you think the past few weeks have seen an absurd number of '300: Rise of an Empire' promotional materials, you'd be thinking right. Now, there's another new trailer. After years of development and a lengthy, delay-filled post-production, the sequel to Zack Snyder's '300' is finally seeing the light of day in a few weeks, and Warner Bros. is doing everything in their power to make sure that you and your mother and your next door neighbor are aware that it is a thing that exists and can be seen in theaters. But are any of these clips and posters and TV spots actually doing anything to get people excited?
Over the past few years, the 'Paranormal Activity' series has established itself as one of the most inexpensive and reliable horror franchises around. Produced for (non-literal) pennies, they've consistently opened strong at the box office, ensuring a fast and efficient turnaround. The latest film, 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones,' has already accomplished that goal, but it did so without grabbing the number one spot. Sure, people may love found footage demons, but it turns out that they love animated singing princesses more.
The return of Ron Burgundy and his news team has been positioned as a big, huge deal. 'Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues' has been marketed more than any major release this month and everyone just assumed that the film would effortlessly snag massive box office numbers thanks purely to saturation (on top of the fact that the original is quite beloved). So it must sting a little for Paramount to see the film open in second place and it must sting even more once they compare the opening numbers to the opening of the first film from 2004.
The weekend following a major holiday is always a little slow. The boost from vacationing moviegoers is gone, so everyone tends to take a major dip. Some films end up okay. Some die on the vine. This weekend saw two films weather the storm perfectly fine and one new release collapse on the starting line.
In one of the biggest holiday weekends of all time, the combined might of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' and 'Frozen' proved that yes, ladies can star in major blockbuster movies. We'll see if this lesson sticks (it won't), but between those two and the surprisingly female-friendly 'Thor: The Dark World,' this was a great weekend if you were looking for quality family entertainment that didn't treat its woman characters like crap.
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