After it was announced that Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band would appear on NBC’s Saturday Night Live during the week of Christmas, it was a safe bet to predict that the band would be busting out its Christmas classic “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.” But who would have known that they would be joined onstage by Paul McCartney?
After performing “Meet Me in the City” and “The Ties That Bind” earlier in the evening to promote the new box-set release of The Ties That Bind: The River Collection, Springsteen and the E Street Band appeared at the end of the show for the goodbyes from the show’s hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Then, the whole cast danced while Springsteen sang “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” capturing the joy of what Christmas music should be, with a little help from Paul McCartney.
Although McCartney stays in the background on the singing, it is great to see two rock legends on stage together having fun. Check it out.
A new documentary I Am Chris Farley recalls the life and laughs of Chris Farley. The film examines Farley’s amazing talent as well as the demons that led to his death at the young age of 33 in 1997.
I Am Chris Farley features many of Farley’s colleagues and friends, including David Spade, Adam Sandler, Dan Aykroyd and Lorne Michaels. Check out the trailer for the film about the Saturday Night Live alum.
You will find I Am Chris Farley in theaters down by the river starting on July 31, 2015.
I recently finished listening to the hit podcast series Serial. Like many I was entertained by the examination of the case involving the murder of Hae Min Lee and the prosecution of her ex-boyfriend Adnan Syed. Even while Serial host Sarah Koenig did an excellent job entertaining me, I eventually felt that without any big reveal that the case was not that unique and probably similar to many other cases that depend on the testimony of one prosecution witness. Still, I will be looking forward to season two.
Koenig’s presentation was gripping, as the listener went along on her journey struggling with the case. But her style also made the show ripe for parody. Funny or Die addressed the pressure on Koenig to come up with a resolution for her final episode. Check out the video starring Michaela Watkins as Koenig.
But my favorite parody of Serial, and one of the funniest bits from this season’s Saturday Night Live, was the SNL version of Serial starring Cecily Strong as Koenig. The segment captures what is both engrossing about Serial and somewhat annoying, as she investigates the case of a man who reportedly visits every house in the world in one night.
What did you think of “Serial”? Leave your two cents in the comments.
Last night, The Replacements appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and performed the song “Alex Chilton” from their classic album Pleased To Meet Me (1987). The band features featuring founding members Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson with Josh Freese (drums) and David Minehan (guitar).
The Replacements, who recently launched a reunion tour, have not toured since 1991 so it was cool to see the great band playing together again. The performance on NBC on a show hosted by a Saturday Night Live alum is especially sweet considering that the band had been banned from the network’s Saturday Night Live show in 1986 after appearing drunk and destroying a dressing room. Reportedly, Fallon’s late-night show had been working for nearly a year to get “The Mats” to appear. Check it out.
The song “Alex Chilton” is a tribute to the leader of the band Big Star. To listen to a whole concert from the reunited Replacements, check out this story.
What is your favorite song by The Replacements? Leave your two cents in the comments.
Her, the new film starring Joaquin Phoenix and written and directed by Spike Jonze, is garnering very good reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes currently gives the film a 93% critics rating (and 87% audience rating). The movie was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. It does address an interesting concept and I enjoyed much of the story, but I was not as overwhelmed as the critics.
Her takes place in the not-to-distant future where we know it is the future because people do not wear belts but they do wear mustaches. Phoenix stars as a writer named Theodore Twombly going through a divorce who falls in love with the advanced operating system on his cell phone, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
I have admired movies by Jonze since Being John Malkovich (1999), and he does an excellent job here of capturing a world that is recognizable but slightly different from ours. The film also raises interesting questions about artificial intelligence and human relationships, addressing more immediate problems raised by computers than what we see in other science fiction films like Terminator. I enjoyed the characterization by Phoenix and the voice work by Johansson. And Amy Adams does a great job here too. But my one complaint about the film was that there was not enough there to keep me entertained for two hours. I never became invested in Phoenix’s character enough to stay entertained. For me, the movie could have told the same story in ninety minutes or less.
Conclusion? Most people are enjoying this film, so maybe you will too. For me, I enjoyed a lot of the movie but it could not keep me from looking at my watch several times. Still, Her raises some interesting issues that might lead you to further discussions with your friends.
Bonus Parody Video: This weekend on Saturday Night Live, host Jonah Hill (with a little help from Micheal Cera) did a funny parody with the preview for the movie Me. Check it out.
Did you like Her? Leave your two cents in the comments.