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“Neil Peart had the hands of God.”

Dave Grohl on Rush Drummer Neil Peart: ‘We All Learned From Him’

Dave Grohl, a Neil Peart acolyte who inducted Rush into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, penned a tribute to the drummer following news of Peart’s death Friday.

“Today, the world lost a true giant in the history of rock & roll,” Grohl said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “An inspiration to millions with an unmistakable sound who spawned generations of musicians (like myself) to pick up two sticks and chase a dream. A kind, thoughtful, brilliant man who ruled our radios and turntables not only with his drumming, but also his beautiful words.”

Grohl continued, “I still vividly remember my first listen of 2112 when I was young. It was the first time I really listened to a drummer. And since that day, music has never been the same. His power, precision, and composition was incomparable. He was called ‘The Professor’ for a reason: We all learned from him.”

As Grohl told Rolling Stone in 2013, ahead of Rush’s Rock Hall induction, it was Peart’s work that inspired him to pick up the drumsticks. “When I got 2112 when I was eight years old, it fucking changed the direction of my life. I heard the drums. It made me want to become a drummer,” Grohl said.

The Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer also reminisced about meeting Peart for the first time during rehearsals for the Rock Hall ceremony. “I was coming to rehearsal and I was meeting Neil for the first time, and this man was as influential as any religion or any hero or any person in someone’s life. He said, ‘So nice to meet you. Can I make you a coffee?’ And he made me a coffee, man,” Grohl said in 2013. “And later on that night, I went to dinner and had a couple glasses of wine, and I started fucking crying because my hero made me a fucking coffee. It was unbelievable, man. So that’s kind of how this whole experience has been.”

Both Peart and Grohl landed in the upper echelon of Rolling Stone‘s list of the 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time. Grohl, like many drummers in rock, paid tribute to one of the greatest to ever play the instrument. “Thank you, Neil, for making our lives a better place with your music. You will be forever remembered and sorely missed by all of us. And my heartfelt condolences to the Rush family,” he wrote. “God bless Neil Peart.”

Grohl’s Foo Fighters bandmate Taylor Hawkins had a more succinct, yet equally poignant, statement. “Neil Peart had the hands of God,” he tells Rolling Stone. “End of story.”

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I am beyond shock and heartbreak. Thank you for everything, Professor. #RIPNeilPeart

Neil Peart, Rush Drummer Who Set a New Standard for Rock Virtuosity, Dead at 67

Neil Peart, the virtuoso drummer and lyricist for Rush, died Tuesday, January 7th, in Santa Monica, California, at age 67, according to Elliot Mintz, a family spokesperson. The cause was brain cancer, which Peart had been quietly battling for three-and-a-half years. A representative for the band confirmed the news to Rolling Stone.

Peart was one of rock’s greatest drummers, with a flamboyant yet precise style that paid homage to his hero, the Who’s Keith Moon, while expanding the technical and imaginative possibilities of his instrument. He joined singer-bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson in Rush in 1974, and his musicianship and literate, philosophical lyrics – which initially drew on Ayn Rand and science fiction, and later became more personal and emotive – helped make the trio one of the classic-rock era’s essential bands. His drum fills on songs like “Tom Sawyer” were pop hooks in their own right, each one an indelible mini-composition; his lengthy drum solos, carefully constructed and packed with drama, were highlights of every Rush concert.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, Lee and Lifeson called Peart their “friend, soul brother and bandmate over 45 years,” and said he had been “incredibly brave” in his battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. “We ask that friends, fans, and media alike understandably respect the family’s need for privacy and peace at this extremely painful and difficult time,” Lee and Lifeson wrote. “Those wishing to express their condolences can choose a cancer research group or charity of their choice and make a donation in Neil Peart’s name. Rest in peace, brother.”

A rigorous autodidact, Peart was also the author of numerous books, beginning with 1996’s The Masked Rider: Cycling in West Africa, which chronicled a 1988 bicycle tour in Cameroon – in that memoir, he recalled an impromptu hand-drum performance that drew an entire village to watch.

Peart never stopped believing in the possibilities of rock (“a gift beyond price,” he called it in Rush’s 1980 track “The Spirit of Radio”) and despised what he saw as over-commercialization of the music industry and dumbed-down artists he saw as “panderers.” “It’s about being your own hero,” he told Rolling Stone in 2015. “I set out to never betray the values that 16-year-old had, to never sell out, to never bow to the man. A compromise is what I can never accept.”

Peart was a drummer’s drummer, beloved by his peers; he won prizes in Modern Drummer’s annual readers’ poll 38 times, and was a formative influence on countless young players. “His power, precision, and composition was incomparable,” Dave Grohl said in a statement released Friday. “He was called ‘The Professor’ for a reason: We all learned from him.”

“Neil is the most air-drummed-to drummer of all time,” former Police drummer Stewart Copeland told Rolling Stone in 2015. “Neil pushes that band, which has a lot of musicality, a lot of ideas crammed into every eight bars — but he keeps the throb, which is the important thing. And he can do that while doing all kinds of cool shit.”

Rush finished their final tour in August of 2015, after releasing their last album, Clockwork Angels, in 2012. Peart was done with the road. He questioned whether he could stay physically capable of playing his demanding parts, and was eager to spend more time with his wife, Carrie Nuttal, and daughter Olivia.

On August 10th, 1997, Peart’s 19-year-old daughter, Selena, died in a single-car accident on the long drive to her university in Toronto. Five months later, Selena’s mother — Peart’s common-law wife of 23 years, Jackie Taylor – was diagnosed with terminal cancer, quickly succumbing. Shattered, Peart told his bandmates to consider him retired, and embarked on a solitary motorcycle trip across the United States. He remarried in 2000, and found his way back to Rush by 2001.

Peart grew up in Port Dalhousie, a middle-class Canadian suburb 70 miles from Toronto, where he took his first drum lessons at age 13. As a teen, he permed his hair, took to wearing a cape and purple boots on the city bus, and scrawled “God is dead” on his bedroom wall. At one point, he got in trouble for pounding out beats on his desk during class. His teacher’s idea of punishment was to insist that he bang on his desk nonstop for an hour’s worth of detention, time he happily spent re-creating Keith Moon’s parts from Tommy.

Peart joined Rush just after the recording of their first album, replacing original drummer John Rutsey. His breakthrough with the band came with 1976’s 2112 — the first side of the album was a rock opera set in that far-future year, combining Peart’s sci-fi vision and Rand-ian ideology (which he later disavowed, calling himself a “bleeding-heart libertarian”) with explosive prog theatrics. A later milestone came with the 1982 “Subdivisions,” an autobiographical tale of suburban misery (“The suburbs have no charms to soothe the restless dreams of youth”).

“A lot of the early fantasy stuff was just for fun,” Peart told Rolling Stone. “Because I didn’t believe yet that I could put something real into a song. ‘Subdivisions’ happened to be an anthem for a lot of people who grew up under those circumstances, and from then on, I realized what I most wanted to put in a song was human experience.”

Around then, Rush’s music become more concise, without losing its complexity. “When punk and New Wave came,” Peart told Rolling Stone, “we were young enough to gently incorporate it into our music, rather than getting reactionary about it — like other musicians who I heard saying, ‘What are we supposed to do now, forget how to play?’ We were fans enough to go, ‘Oh, we want that too.’ And by [1981’s] Moving Pictures, we nailed it, learning how to be seamlessly complex and to compact a large arrangement into a concise statement.”

Always suspicious of showbiz, Peart spent much of his downtime on the road in Rush’s early days buried in a stack of books. In the final years, he avoided the usual touring routine by traveling from gig to gig via motorcycle, taking off shortly after each show’s conclusion.

In the Nineties, he produced two tribute albums to jazz legend Buddy Rich, and at a moment when many of his fans already considered him the world’s best rock drummer, Peart began taking lessons with Freddie Gruber, a jazz player and noted drum instructor. Peart credited Gruber (and another teacher, Peter Erskine) with helping him re-create his technique and sense of time from scratch, leading him to a more fluid approach and a deeper groove. “What is a master but a master student?” Peart told Rolling Stone in 2012. “There’s a responsibility on you to keep getting better.”

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Once again this year, especially in the case of ROCKETMAN, I wondered if the Hollywood Foreign Press Association had even seen some of the films they were giving awards to. Oh well, it was a mostly enjoyable night.

Streaming wins big at Golden Globes as host Ricky Gervais roasts Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Laura Dern won awards at Sunday’s Golden Globes, but they were all upstaged by the ceremony’s torched-earth opening by returning host Ricky Gervais.

Gervais opened the 77th Golden Globes by declaring movies irrelevant, pretending to confuse Joe Pesci for Baby Yoda, calling the Hollywood Foreign Press Association racist and declaring Netflix’s takeover of Hollywood complete.

Gervais, who has a series on Netflix, said he could summarize the three-hour award show with a simple phrase: “Well done, Netflix. You win.” The streaming giant came into the Globes with a commanding 34 nods: 17 in film categories and 17 in television categories.

Hosting the Globes for the fifth, and according to him last time, Gervais was perhaps even more cutting than before. He told executives in the room that journalist Ronan Farrow, who has exposed cases of sexual misconduct, was coming for them. He said something vulgar that got bleeped about Judi Dench’s part in Cats. And most of all, he mocked Hollywood hypocrisy, skewering stars for working for companies like Apple, Amazon and the Walt Disney Co. while giving speeches urging social change.

“If ISIS started a streaming service, you’d call your agent,” Gervais told the starry crowd Sunday at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.

“You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything,” he added. “You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg, so if you win, come up, accept your award, thank your agent and your god and [expletive] off.”

Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood began what was expected to be a good night for Tarantino’s Los Angeles fable with a win for best screenplay.

Best foreign language film went to Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, the Cannes Palme d’Or winning sensation from South Korea. Despite being an organization of foreign journalists, the HFPA doesn’t include foreign films in its top categories, thus ruling out Parasite, a likely best picture nominee at next month’s Oscars.

One of the night’s biggest surprises came in the best directing category. Sam Mendes won for his war film 1917, a First World War tale made to appear it was made in one long shot, besting Martin Scorsese (The Irishman) and Tarantino.

“There is not one director in the world that is not in the shadow of Martin Scorsese,” Mendes said.

1917 later claimed another major prize, taking the win for best dramatic film.

Laura Dern, the best supporting actress front-runner for her performance as a divorce attorney in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, won her fifth Globe. Her win denied Jennifer Lopez, the Hustlers star, her first major acting award.

Elton John and Bernie Taupin won the evening’s most heavyweight battle, besting Beyoncé and Taylor Swift. Their I’m Gonna Love Me Again won best song. “It’s the first time I’ve ever won an award with him,” said Elton of his song-writing partner. “Ever.”

Missing Link picked up an unexpected win for best animated feature film over films like Toy Story 4 and Lion King. No one was more surprised than its director, Chris Butler. “I’m flabbergasted,” he said.

The first award of the night went, fittingly, to a streaming service series. Ramy Youssef won best actor in a TV series comedy or musical for his Hulu show Ramy. Best actor in a limited series went to Russell Crowe for the Showtime series The Loudest Voice. He wasn’t in attendance because of raging wildfires in his native Australia.

“Make no mistake, the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate-changed based,” Crowe said in a statement read by presenters Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

Ahead of Sunday’s show, some wondered how much the rising tensions with Iran would be talked about following the U.S. targeted killing on Friday of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani. But in the show’s first hour, the fires in Australia were the most mentioned news event.

Waller-Bridge followed up her Emmy haul by winning best comedy series and best actress in a comedy series. She thanked former President Barack Obama for putting Fleabag on his best-of-2019 list. With a grin, she added: “As some of you may know, he’s always been on mine.”

Waller-Bridge’s co-star Andrew Scott missed out on the category’s supporting actor award, which Stellan Skarsgard took for HBO’s Chernobyl.

HBO was also triumphant in best TV drama, where the second season of Succession bested Netflix’s The Crown and Apple TV Plus’ first Globe nominee, The Morning Show. Brian Cox, the Rupert Murdoch-like patriarch of Succession, also won best actor in a drama series.

Tom Hanks, also a nominee for his supporting turn as Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, received the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award. The Carol Burnett Award, a similar honorary award given for television accomplishment, was given to Ellen DeGeneres. She was movingly introduced by Kate McKinnon who said DeGeneres’ example guided her in her own coming out.

“The only thing that made it less scary was seeing Ellen on TV,” said McKinnon.

Hanks’ speech had its own emotional moment. Just as he was beginning comments that would touch on the importance of actors being on time, Hanks caught sight of his wife and four children at a table near the stage and choked up.

“A man is blessed with the family’s sitting down front like that,” said Hanks.

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I used to think he was the funniest guy on the planet. While he did have some good jokes, mostly he was just a huge jerk.

Golden Globes 2020 Host Ricky Gervais’ 17 Meanest Jokes, From Jeffrey Epstein to Judi Dench

Ricky Gervais returned to the Beverly Hilton to host the 77th Golden Globe Awards on Sunday with his trademark take-no-prisoners approach.

Gervais’ opening monologue spared none of the celebrities in the room, roasting everything from Felicity Huffman’s recent jail sentence to the cast of “Cats.”

This year’s monologue was a stark left turn from the self-consciously nice approach taken by last year’s hosting duo, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star Andy Samberg and “Killing Eve’s” Sandra Oh, but it was a return to form for the Globes, which has favored Gervais’ acerbic style four times in the past.

Gervais has sworn that this year would be his last time as host, but did he go out on a high note? Here are some of this best jokes.

1. “You’ll be pleased to know this is the last time I’m hosting these awards, so I don’t care anymore. I’m joking, I never did. NBC clearly don’t care either. Kevin Hart was fired from the Oscars because of some offensive tweets. Hello? Lucky for me, the Hollywood Foreign Press barely speak English. They have no idea what Twitter is.”

2. “Let’s go out with a bang, let’s have a laugh. Remember, they’re just jokes, we’re all going to die soon and there’s no sequel.”

3. “I came here in a limo tonight and the license place was made by Felicity Huffman. No, it’s her daughter that I feel sorry for. That must be the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to her, and her dad was in Wild Hogs.”

4. “Lots of big celebrities here tonight. I mean, legends, icons. This table alone: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Baby Yoda. Oh no, that’s Joe Pesci. I love you, man. Don’t have me whacked.”

5. “But tonight isn’t just about the people in front of the camera. In this room are some of the most important film and tv executives in the world. People from every background, but they all have one thing in common. They’re all terrified of Ronan Farrow. He’s coming for you.”

6. “Many talented people of color were snubbed in major categories. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about that because the Hollywood Foreign Press are all very, very racist.”

7. “We were going to do an In Memoriam tonight but when I saw the list, it wasn’t diverse enough. It was mostly white people and I thought nah, not on my watch.”

8. “No one cares about movies anymore, no one goes to the cinema. Everyone’s watching Netflix. This show should just be me coming out going, ‘Well done, Netflix, you won. Everything.’”

9. “You could binge watch the entire first season of ‘Afterlife’ instead of watching this show. That’s a show about a man who wants to kill himself because his wife dies of cancer, and it’s still more fun than this.”

10. “Spoiler alert, Season 2 is on the way, so in the end he obviously didn’t kill himself. Just like Jeffrey Epstein. Shut up. I know he’s your friend, but I don’t care.”

11. “Martin Scorsese, the greatest living director, made the news for his controversial comments about the Marvel franchise. He said they’re not real cinema and they remind him of theme parks. I agree, although I don’t know what he’s doing hanging around theme parks. He’s not big enough to go on the rides, is he?”

12. “The Irishman was amazing … It wasn’t the only epic movie. ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ was nearly three hours long. Leonardo DiCaprio attended the premiere and by the end his date was too old for him.”

13. “The world got to see James Corden as a fat pussy. He was also in the movie ‘Cats.’ But no one saw that. and the reviews? Shocking. I saw one that said this is the worst thing to happen to cats since dogs.”

14. “Dame Judi Dench defended the film, saying it was the role she was born to play because she –” at this point Gervais giggled to himself — I can’t do this next joke. Because she loves nothing better than plunking her ass down on the carpet, lifting her legs and licking her own m-nge. She’s old school.”

15. “Apple roared into the TV game with ‘The Morning Show,’ a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweatshops in China.”

16. “The companies you work for, unbelievable. Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS starting a streaming service, you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you?”

17. “So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use your platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. So if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your god and f— off.”

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I watched THE RISE OF SKYWALKER again this week – and loved it again!! I also watched FROZEN 2 – and was bored out of my mind!!

The Force is strong with Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker as film tops box office again with $34 million

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker remains at the top of the box office for a third week in a row. The final installment of the Skywalker Saga brought in an estimated $34 million this weekend, according to Comscore.

Also holding steady is Jumanji: The Next Level in second place with $27 million, followed by Little Women with estimated earnings of $14 million. The only newcomer in the top ten this week is the Sam Raimi-produced horror flick The Grudge, taking the fourth spot on the box office with $11.3 million during its debut in theaters.

Rounding out the top five is Disney’s Frozen 2 with an estimated $11.3 million.

Andrea Riseborough, Demián Bichir, John Cho, Betty Gilpin, and Jacki Weaver star in the latest release of The Grudge film franchise. Written and directed by Nicolas Pesce, the horror drama tells four different stories in non-chronological order. It’s centered on the investigation into a young mother who murders her family.

EW gave the film a B- saying, “The result is, deliberately, much less fun than one might expect from a wide release franchise horror sequel. But those who wish to kick off the year with a merciless slice of supernatural mayhem will not be holding a grudge against the filmmaker for that.”

Moviegoers weren’t as kind, however. Cinemascore reports an F rating from those who rushed to theaters during its debut weekend.

Overall, box office is up 7.2 percent year-to-date, according to Comscore. Check out the Jan. 3-5 numbers below:

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker—$34 million
Jumanji: The Next Level— $27 million
Little Women—$13.6 million
The Grudge—$11.3 million
Frozen 2— $11.29 million
Spies in Disguise—$10 million
Knives Out—$9 million
Uncut Gems—$7.8 million
Bombshell— $4 million
Cats— $3 million

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I’ll watch it, whenever he lets us.

Quentin Tarantino Says You’ll Probably See that 4-Hour ‘Once Upon a Time…’ Cut in a Year

Do you want to see a super-extended cut of Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood? Of course you do. Word of a potential four-hour cut hit the web earlier this year and cinephiles appropriately were overjoyed at the prospect of seeing more of Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio bromancing through the City of Angels in Quentin Tarantino‘s heartfelt ode to the Hollywood of yore. Well, good news. Tarantino seems to think it’s gonna happen… you’re just going to have to wait a little bit.

With Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood poised for a major awards season, Tarantino, Pitt, and DiCaprio joined Collider for a special FYC screening today at ArcLight Hollywood and asked about the potential extended cut, Tarantino was enthusiastic.

The theatrical release of the film sits at 161 minutes, and a subsequent re-release added another 10 minutes of deleted scenes, and Tarantino recalled turning to Sony boss Tom Rothman for guidance during the tough process of editing down.

“It’s all good. It’s all great. I don’t know if an audience would sit for it, but I love it. So we showed it to Tom Rothman and it was like, ‘OK, here this all is. We know that this is a movie, but maybe you can help us out because we like everything.’”

At which point Pitt interjected with the question on everyone’s mind: “The real question is are we going to get to see this one way or another?”

Tarantino didn’t give a hard confirmation or release date, but he certainly sounded inclined to get the extended version to audiences eventually. Answering the crow cheers to Pitt’s question, Tarantino replied.

“Hey look, it’s all good so once this whole thing is said and done, maybe in a year’s time, we probably will.”

The decision to release an extended cut isn’t exactly a shocker considering Tarantino’s past. The filmmaker famously had to split Kill Bill into two theatrical releases and edited them both into Kill Bill: The Whole Bloody Affair (though you can only see it at his movie theater the New Beverly for now). He released an extended cut of Death Proof. Earlier this year, he told /Film he has a longer director’s cut of Django Unchained to release down the line. And of course, there’s The Hateful Eight, which he re-cut into a four-part miniseries for Netflix.

Earlier this year, Pitt spoke about the possibility of a Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood series cut, noting the possibilities of the series format.

“I look at series where you can spend much more time on characters and story and explore angles you don’t always get to do in film. So much of these films end up on the cutting room floor because they just don’t fit in the box. That’s why I think it’s interesting that Tarantino took Hateful Eight and ostensibly repurposed it as a three-part series. It’s almost the best of both words: You have the cinema experience that exists, but you can’t actually put more content in the series format.”

What might we see in the extended cut? Well, there are some hints out there. In addition to the footage released in the extended theatrical cut (which included two fake ads and extended looks at the in-movie Lancer and Bounty Law series footage), Damon Herriman—who plays infamous cult leader Charles Manson in the film— told EW that a lot” of footage was cut from the film and confirmed one other Charmes Manson scene that “may make an appearance at some point.”

Herriman said: “[W]e did shoot a little more than what’s in the film. He did cut quite a lot out of the film. The stuff I got to do in that was lighter and more of a fun tone…”

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I’m excited about almost all of these films too…especially GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE!!

‘Wonder Woman 1984,’ ‘Black Widow’ most anticipated movies of 2020: Survey

Wonder Woman 1984 and Black Widow are the most anticipated films of 2020, according to a new Fandango survey.

The two women-led movies lead a list that also includes Marvel’s Eternals, Mulan, Bond film No Time to Die, and A Quiet Place Part II, while Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot beats Black Widow’s Scarlett Johansson to the top spot on the Most Anticipated Actress countdown.

Gadot’s Wonder Woman co-star Chris Pine beats out Ghostbusters: Afterlife’s Paul Rudd and Free Guy’s Ryan Reynolds to the number one spot on the Most Anticipated Actor list, while Kristen Wiig’s Cheetah from Wonder Woman 1984 is the Most Anticipated Villain, and Mulan is the Most Anticipated Family Film.

FULL SURVEY RESULTS

Most Anticipated Movie:
1. Wonder Woman 1984
2. Black Widow
3. Marvel’s Eternals
4. Mulan
5. No Time to Die
6. A Quiet Place Part II
7. Birds of Prey
8. In the Heights
9. Pixar’s Soul
10. Fast & Furious 9

Most Anticipated Actress:
1. Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman 1984)
2. Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow)
3. Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place Part II, Jungle Cruise)
4. Margot Robbie (Birds of Prey)
5. Zendaya (Dune)

Most Anticipated Actor:
1. Chris Pine (Wonder Woman 1984)
2. Paul Rudd (Ghostbusters: Afterlife)
3. Ryan Reynolds (Free Guy)
4. Daniel Craig (No Time to Die)
5. Robert Downey Jr. (Dolittle)

Most Anticipated Villain:
1. Kristen Wiig as Cheetah (Wonder Woman 1984)
2. Rami Malek as Safin (No Time to Die)
3. Ewan McGregor as Black Mask (Birds of Prey)
4. Jim Carrey as Dr. Ivo Robotnik (Sonic the Hedgehog)
5. Charlize Theron as Cipher (Fast & Furious 9)

Most Anticipated Family Film:
1. Mulan
2. Pixar’s Soul
3. Sonic the Hedgehog
4. Dolittle
5. Jungle Cruise

Most Anticipated Horror Film:
1. A Quiet Place Part II
2. Halloween Kills
3. The Invisible Man
4. The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
5. The Grudge

Most Anticipated Live-Action Comedy:
1. Ghostbusters: Afterlife
2. Bill & Ted Face the Music
3. Bad Boys For Life
4. Legally Blonde 3
5. The Lovebirds

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I just keep going to see THE RISE OF SKYWALKER over and over again!!

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker wins box office again, Jumanji: The Next Level holding strong

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has zoomed past the competition at the box office with an estimated $72 million, but the final installment of the Skywalker Saga took a hit in excess of 50 percent during its second week in theaters.

The J.J. Abrams-directed drama opened last weekend with a whopping $176 million, but it could not sustain that momentum. That does not take away from the film’s power, however. The production has made an estimated $361.8 million in ten days for Disney domestically, helping the overall box office cross $11 billion on Thursday, according to ComScore.

Second place goes to Jumanji: The Next Level with $35.3 million, followed by Little Women that brought in an estimated $16.6 million. Fourth place goes to Frozen 2 with $16.5 million after 38 days in theaters.

Rounding out the top five is newcomer Spies in Disguise with an estimated $13.2 million.

Critics and moviegoers can’t get enough of Little Women, the seventh film adaptation of the popular Louisa May Alcott novel of the same name. The period drama follows the trials and tribulations of the March sisters: Meg (Emma Watson), Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Amy (Florence Pugh), and Beth (Eliza Scanlen), as they come of age during the American Civil War.

EW gave the film an A- saying, director Greta Gerwig’s “2019 take is less a faithful rendering of the text than a sort of joyful reimaging, a classic cleared of cobwebs (though it still keeps the crinolines).”

The film co-stars Timothee Chalamet, Laura Dern, Chris Cooper, and Bob Odenkirk.

Here’s how this year’s version did in comparison to previous versions of the film, not adjusting for inflation:

–2018’s Little Women opened with $705,000
–1994’s Little Women opened with $2.4 million

There are no numbers for any of the previous four versions, although the 1949 release starring Elizabeth Taylor and Janet Leigh in the first color adaptation of the novel earned a total of $3.4 million throughout its total run. The first version with sound opened in 1933 starring Katherine Hepburn made $2.1 million total at the box office.

Will Smith brings to life “the world’s most awesome spy” Lance Sterling in the animated Spies in Disguise, who is accidentally transformed into a pigeon by teen agent Walter Beckett (Tom Holland). Caught in a totally vulnerable position, Sterling will have to depend on Beckett to help him save the world…even though he’s only 15 years old.

EW gave the film a B saying, “it’s a proud piece of family entertainment with a good heart, an eye for inventive action, and a delightfully wacky sense of humor.” Moviegoers enjoyed the film a bit more, giving it an A-.

Adam Sandler‘s Uncut Gems made $9.6 million after expanding into more than 2,000 theaters during its third official week of release. The Josh and Benny Safdie-directed dramedy stars Sandler as Howard Ratner, a New York jeweler who is on the hunt for his next for his next big score.

Sandler has been garnering rave reviews from critics for his portrayal of a role he admits to he was “devastated” to say goodbye to. EW gave the film an A- saying, “Sandler is revelatory in the role. He exudes the self-lacerating melancholy familiar from his acclaimed dramatic work in Punch-Drunk Love and The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected). He’s also indulging all his go-big comedic instincts, somehow, letting you see how Howard’s huckster gladhanding is a shield against certain doom.”

Uncut Gems co-stars Lakeith Stanfield, Idina Menzel, Julia Fox, and Judd Hirsch.

Overall, box office is down -4.4% percent year-to-date, according to Comscore. Check out the Dec. 27-29 numbers below:

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker—$72 million
Jumanji: The Next Level— $35.3 million
Little Women—$16.6 million
Frozen 2— $16.5 million
Spies in Disguise—$13.2 million
Knives Out—$9.7 million
Uncut Gems—$9.6 million
Cats— $4.8 million
Bombshell— $5 million
Richard Jewell—$3 million

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Saw STAR WAS and loved it!! Can’t wait to see it again!! Also saw BOMBSHELL (An important movie, but you don’t need to see it right away. Stream it), UNCUT GEMS (Believe the Sandler hype!!), CATS (Completely ridiculous!!) and RICHARD JEWELL (So, so boring!!).

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker sends competition far, far away with $176 million box office debut

The final installment of the Star Wars nine-part Skywalker Saga slayed the box office during the film’s huge weekend opener with no other film getting close.

Reviews may have been mixed for The Rise of Skywalker, but it didn’t keep fans from rushing to theaters to the tune of $176 million, according to Comscore. Second place went to Jumanji: The Next Level who made an estimated $26 million during its second week in theaters.

Frozen 2 takes the third spot with $12.3 million, followed by Cats that earned a disappointing $7 million during its debut.

The final spot on the top five was earned by Knives Out, the whodunit that won’t quit with $6.1 million.

In a surprise to no one, Star Wars: Episode IX cleaned house as moviegoers rushed to cinemas to discover the fate of their favorite characters in the J.J. Abrams-directed film. Its domestic debut is the 12th biggest all-time, the third biggest of 2019 (after only Avengers: Endgame and The Lion King), and the third biggest December opening ever.

The film sees the return of the surviving members of the Resistance face the First Order once more. Returning stars range from across the film’s franchise including Mark Hamill, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, Billy Dee Williams, John Boyega, Anthony Daniels, Joonas Suotamo, and Kelly Marie Tran. Fans were even treated to a final bow from the legendary actress Carrie Fisher via archival footage. Fisher died on Dec. 27, 2016, but had enough material in the can that she could make one more appearance as Leia Organa.

EW gave the film a C saying, “The best thing I can say about Rise of Skywalker is that it is sometimes incoherent on purpose.” Cinemascore participants found the film a bit better, giving it a B+.

Here’s a look back at the box office gross for each of the nine films from the franchise during opening weekend, not adjusting for inflation:

Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace (1999)— $65 million
Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones (2002)— $80 million
Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)— $108 million
Star Wars IV: A New Hope (1977)— $1.6 million
Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)— $5 million
Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)— $23 million
Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens (2015)— $248 million
Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)— $220 million
Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker— (2019) $176 million

Going up against a movie franchise like Star Wars is tough, but Cats came in dismally in fourth place. The latest film adaptation of the hit Broadway music failed to capture an audience this time around, with complaints from critics and fans about the CGI and lack of strong storyline dominating social media.

Cats tells the story of a tribe of cats called Jellicles who during a yearly ritual, decide which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life. The all-star cast includes Taylor Swift, Idris Elba, Rebel Wilson, Jennifer Hudson, Judi Dench, Ian McKellan, and Ray Winstone.

EW gave the big screen adaptation a C+ saying, “It’s as crazy as you thought it would be.” Moviegoers agreed with the assessment, Cinemascore reports a grade of C+ is appropriate.

Fox News drama Bombshell placed six at the box office, earning an estimated $5 million. The film shines a light on the real-life story of several women who accused Fox CEO Roger Ailes of sexual harassment. Charlize Theron portrayed Megyn Kelly, Nicole Kidman brought to life Gretchen Carlson, and Margot Robbie played Kayla Pospisil. Veteran actor John Lithgow was tasked with playing Ailes, and Connie Britton his wife Beth.

EW gave the film a B+ saying, “Bombshell is director Jay Roach’s imperfect but duly intriguing attempt to tell that story, and his primary weapon is the women themselves: Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson; Charlize Theron, nearly unrecognizable in feline, pointy-chinned prosthetics, as Megyn Kelly; and Margot Robbie as one of the movie’s rare fictions, an ambitious evangelical millennial (“I see myself as an influencer in the Jesus space”) named Kayla Pospisil.

Overall, box office is down -4.7% percent year-to-date, according to Comscore. Check out the Dec. 13-15 numbers below:

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker—$176 million
Jumanji: The Next Level— $26 million
Frozen 2— $12.3 million
Cats— $6.5 million
Knives Out—$6.1 million
Bombshell— $5 million
Richard Jewell—$2.6 million
Queen & Slim—$2 million
Black Christmas—$1.8 million
Ford v Ferrari—$1.8 million

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The show is taking a month off? This season has been so bad they don’t deserve that long a break. They should be at work even during Christmas to work, work, work and try and write some items that will save this season!!

Adam Driver to Host First New ‘Saturday Night Live’ of 2020

Adam Driver, the star of Oscar contender “Marriage Story” and the blockbuster “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” will host the first new episode of 2020.

The actor will host the Jan. 25 episode of the NBC comedy sketch series, with Halsey as musical guest.

Driver has hosted “SNL” two times before, in 2016 and 2018, which means he’ll be just two away from joining the five timer’s club. The club — of hosts who have (obviously) hosted “SNL” five times — includes a lot of luminaries, including Driver’s “Marriage Story” co-star Scarlett Johansson, who as of last week has hosted the show six times.

Previous members of the show’s five-timers club include Steve Martin, John Goodman, Tina Fey, Drew Barrymore, Chevy Chase, and Justin Timberlake, among several others.