I’ll just come out and say it: this year’s Super Bowl, commercials and all, was a snoozer. The Big Game, which pitted the Carolina Panthers against the Denver Broncos, was not a very exciting matchup to begin with and unfortunately the players on the field couldn’t manage to muster any memorable moments. Peyton Manning, backed by an impressive defensive unit, ended up beating Cam Newton and the Panthers, 24-10.
The hype, however, remained omnipresent throughout the game. Lady Gaga started things off on the right note with a strikingly beautiful rendition of our National Anthem (watch it here). At halftime, Coldplay stormed the field to play some tunes (new and old), with much needed assistance by Beyoncè and Bruno Mars. Don’t get me wrong–I’m a massive Coldplay fan; they simply didn’t own the night as Queen Bey and her “Formation” ladies and Mars and his “Uptown Funk” gang stole the spotlight. I was looking for Left Shark to make a reprise; turns out he did. Wah wahh.
Despite the relatively boring game and equally lackadaisical commercials (more on those in a moment), a whopping 111.9 million people tuned into the Super Bowl last night. As big as that number is, it’s not a record-breaker. Last year’s SB, in which the New England Patriots triumphed over the Seattle Seahawks, attracted 114.4 million and that game remains the most watched telecast in U.S. history.
Super Bowl 50 also couldn’t live up to last year’s Super Bowl ads. Instead of being funny and relevant, they were trying too hard to “go viral.” A prime example is the bizarre “puppymonkeybaby” as featured in Mountain Dew’s commercial that aired early in the game. It went instantly viral (it remained a top trending topic on Twitter all night), but ultimately failed to capture my imagination–it was just plain stupid. Across the board, this year’s ads simply did not live up to last year’s actually funny, emotional, and sometimes poignant clips. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at my favorite spots all the while keeping in mind that these companies paid $5 million for 30 seconds of fame! READ MORE ‘Super Bowl 50’ commercial & movie trailer round-up inside→
As is tradition for Nintendo now, the house that built Mario did not commit to a stage for its E3 briefing but instead hosted its very own “Digital Event” on YouTube. Every year Nintendo has an obscene amount of fun with their E3 events, and this year’s hour-long showcase was no different. The theme this go-around was puppets. That’s right–company President and CEO Satoru Iwata, Nintendo of America’s President and COO Reggie Fils-Amie, and influencial Ninty game producer Shigeru Miyamoto all took the form of puppets for the 2015 Digital Event. If you fancy yourself a Nintendo fanboy or fangirl, you cracked up along with me when Fils-Amie was introduced by performing (Nintendo) 64 push-ups and proclaiming, “My puppet body is ready!”
Are you a fan of psychological science fiction thrillers? Self/Less should whet your appetite plenty. Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3) stars as an extremely wealthy man dying from cancer. He doesn’t want his life to terminate earlier than expected, so he undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man, played by Ryan Reynolds (Green Lantern). It works, but it doesn’t take long for the dangerous side effects to kick in: Kingsley’s younger self starts to see glimpses of a life he does not know, experiences originating from Reynolds’ body.
It’s a very cool idea and it brings to mind the always interesting and up-for-debate conversation about who we are and what happens after death. Are we a soul and our bodies a receptacle for it? If so, do our souls move on to new bodies after dying? And do those new bodies having any sort of recollection of the soul’s past lives? I could go on and on… I’m hoping the movie explores these intriguing topics in a fun and entertaining way. We’ll find out when Self/Less hits theatres July 31.
Mike Judge’s hysterical tech-infused comedy Silicon Valley returns for a second season April 12 on HBO. If you’ve gotten through the first batch of episodes, this minute-long teaser will have you in stitches because it quickly reminds you all about how absurdly funny and crude the show can be.
Following cheeky ant-sized and human-sized previews, Marvel finally unleashed the first teaser trailer for its next standalone superhero movie: Ant-Man. Paul Rudd stars as Scott Lang, a thief, who will don a suit granting him the power to drastically decrease in size and increase in strength and making him the Ant-Man. The first trailer gives us a first look at Rudd in the aforementioned suit; we also get to see him get around on the back of a flying insect (honey, I shrunk the Anchorman actor!). Starring alongside Rudd are Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, and Corey Stoll. Ant-Man releases July 17.
When the first teaser for director Paul Feig’s adaptation of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts landed in March, I was lamenting the fact that his creative team decided to go with CG-animation as opposed to the classic hand-drawn style from the comic strips. But now, the more I watch this new trailer, I’m convinced a fun story can be told through the CG lens. I can appreciate the fact that Feig and co. opted to take Charlie Brown and Snoopy into new territory while still retaining some of the nostalgic squiggly lines there. What do you think?
Peanuts makes its big-screen debut November 6, 2015.
Pixar’s latest movie, Inside Out, will take audiences inside the mind. Emotions such as Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness serve as the film’s main characters. The first teaser trailer, embedded above, features mostly a look back at Pixar’s greatest hits but it is tagged with the following synopsis that provides more plot detail:
Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.
Looks like fun! Inside Out hits theatres in 3D on June 19, 2015.
Disney is adapting the Tony-winning original musical Into the Woods into a movie. Like the Broadway musical before it, the theatrical adaptation is inspired by classic Brothers Grimm fairytales such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel. The film is directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) and composer Stephen Sondheim provides the music and lyrics. Its synopsis and stars follow:
“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), and Rapunzel (MacKenzie Mauzy)—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife (James Corden & Emily Blunt), their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Meryl Streep) who has put a curse on them.
Terry Gilliam, the director behind 2009’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and classics like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Monty Python and the Holy Grail, is cooking up a new, trippy film called The Zero Theorem. Christoph Waltz stars as Qohen Leth, an eccentric and reclusive computer genius plagued with existential angst who works on a mysterious project aimed at discovering the purpose of existence—or the lack thereof—once and for all. It’s a movie that intends to explore the meaning of life and it hopes to address that lofty question with an acute sense of wit, imagination, some far-out visuals. The Zero Theorem releases September 19.
The 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo came and went this week and The Big Three–Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo–were all about games, games, and games. The Xbox maker’s show was literally a lineup of upcoming titles for Xbox One. Sony managed to squeeze some hardware and PSN news into theirs but like MSFT they mainly showcased games for PS4. And Nintendo did what they do best: stand out from the pack with a highly entertaining (not live) “digital event” featuring a fun lineup of games starring their famous mascots.