Jimmy Kimmel Live/YouTube
Jimmy Fallon might be revered as the late night kingpin after taking over The Tonight Show and boosting its ratings, but competitor Jimmy Kimmel is up for the challenge. His Jimmy Kimmel Live! has been on a roll since last fall, hitting the marks not just with late night ratings but on social media.
First, there was the viral video "Epic Twerking Fail," showing a girl accidentally setting her leg on fire while dancing… a story that appeared on several newscasts before it was revealed to be just a Kimmel prank using a stunt woman. Then, the host suckered an international audience when he got Olympic luger Kate Hansen to post a video of a wolf walking down a hotel hallway in Sochi, Russia. The "hotel," of course, was later revealed to be Kimmel's offices.
As funny as the pranks have been, Kimmel and his staff have gone into overdrive with their parody shorts, topping anything that Saturday Night Live has done since Andy Samberg and his Lonely Island cohorts were at the top of their game. Here's a sampling of the spoofs that have made Kimmel's late night show and YouTube channel such a hotbed of comedy.
True Detective 2
We all know that Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson aren't returning for another season of HBO's True Detective, but who knew that Kimmel and buddy Seth Rogen were in line to take their places? The duo's slap-fight turned… well, we're still not sure what it turned into but it was very uncomfortable… would be disturbing even for the most hardened premium cable aficionados.
In a multi-part series, Kimmel's loyal lackey Guillermo stars as the president in the Spanish-language telenovela version of Scandal. Women fight over him, men want to kill him, and he even gets to share a bed with the real Olivia Pope, Kerry Washington. Por qué? We don't know, but it's awfully funny.
Kimmel has been doing a post-Oscars show for a while now and had viral hits with Movie: The Movie and Movie: The Movie 2, where A-List celebrities mocked the trappings of Hollywood films. This year, however, Kimmel and his team outdid themselves, choosing to show what viral YouTube sensations would be like if they got the big screen treatment. There's one that features Queen Latifah as "Ain't nobody got time for that"-spouting Sweet Brown (and features the real Brown interrupting Kimmel's archenemy, Matt Damon). In Bitman, though, Chris Hemsworth agonizes over the search for his disgraced brother to their mother, Meryl Streep. What has the brother — played by his real-life sibling Liam Hemsworth — done that has wronged him? He bit him, of course. And, now the brother that Charlie bit wants revenge for his finger. It did really hurt, after all.
How do you get Kevin Spacey to dress up as a piano playing 19th century cat, Christoph Waltz to play his nemesis, the "hamster on a piano eating popcorn," and Ben Kingsley, Gary Oldman, and Mandy Patinkin to be the courtiers they are both trying to impress? No, seriously, we want to know how you manage to get so many great actors to play along with such a goofy premise. The result is hysterical but good luck getting the "Cat Playing Piano" music out of your head afterwards.
David After the Dentist Double Rainbow Oh My God! in 3D
It's a little creepy seeing Joseph Gordon-Levitt portraying a grown version of poor little painkiller affected David from the viral video… until Catherine Zeta-Jones arrives as a sexy tooth fairy singing Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." Amping up the weirdness, Samuel L. Jackson portrays the scariest dentist since Little Shop of Horrors and Rogen pops up as the overly effusive "Double Rainbow" guy. We're not sure that Kermit the Frog would approve of Jackson's new lyric for "Rainbow Connection," but we actually could envision Baz Luhrmann directing something like this.
After a rough start (jail questioning is really rough after a night of watching your ex-boyfriend get married, you guys. Not that I have any experience in either scenario that whatsoever. Nope no way!) for Dr. Mindy Lahiri's life-makeover quest, things continue to get tougher. But she's working through it, one day at a time!
Mindy wants control, you see! She wants to take on a more active role in her work environment--really be the partner she wants to be. No doubt success at work will beget success at home. This is all well and great, except that Dr. Danny Castellano (Danny Castellano is one of those names you can't just shorten to "Danny," right?) has taken serious issue with how many Mindy-types he can handle in one office. She will just hire an army of Bridget Joneses, you see. So when it comes time to hire a new nurse to replace soon-to-be-fired Beverly, things get a little...harried.
But luckily, Mindy's had a cute date with a boy she met at a bookstore (played by the oh-so-charming Seth Meyers), so at least her love life isn't getting her down. Nothing can kill a gal's spirits after a real-life You've Got Mail moment, right?
So what lessons of love have we learned this week? Here are the dating Dos and Don'ts according to The Mindy Project this week.
1.) Do Go to Bookstores to Meet Cute Guys: You never know where your long-lost Tom Hanks could be waiting for you. Plus books are things smart people like.
2.) Don't Be Afraid to Take Pictures: That's what hair veils are for. Plus it totally looks vintage.
3.) Do Have Pluck: Outside from being just a really funny, old-timey word, having pluck means you're in charge! Men love a woman in charge!
4.) Don't Miss An Opportunity to Play Hostess: Men love a lady who know that people can't get enough of chocolate fountains and snacks.
5.) Do Watch Dateline Specials Before Your Dates: They should really bring back Stone Phillips. The man had great dating advice. Oh, and tips from To Catch a Predator are also great at weeding out regular creeps. Chris Hansen is such a beacon of truth. Time to up your game, Lester Holt!
6.) Don't EVER Pass Up An Architect: If you ever find one in real life that isn't just an imaginary person from a movie (it's sometimes tricky to tell the two apart, I know), scoop him up! You are well on your way to living the Nancy Meyers movie of your dreams that way.
7.) Do Wear That Power-Bustier!: A bold girl needs to make bold choices. Plus you'll look like a porno librarian.
8.) Do Take That Punch Like a Champ: A well-handled nosebleed is a sign of a powerful potential lifemate. Plus it gives you an opportunity to mix it up in the bedroom! (Missionary: bad for broken noses! Doggy Style: good for broken noses!)
9.) Don't Make Domestic Abuse Jokes About Someone in Public: Sorry, Mindy. According to you this one might be cool, but it's just a little too over the icky line for us. That said...
10.) Do Narrate The Lives of Other People on The Subway: I used to do this all the time when I lived in New York (just quietly in my head). It shows your creative spirit!
[Photo Credit: Beth Dubber/FOX]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
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While recent animated blockbusters have aimed to viewers of all ages starting with fantastical concepts and breathtaking visuals but tackling complex emotional issues along the way Ice Age: Continental Drift is crafted especially for the wee ones — and it works. Venturing back to prehistoric times once again the fourth Ice Age film paints broad strokes on the theme of familial relationships throwing in plenty of physical comedy along the way. The movie isn't that far off from one of the many Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels: not particularly innovative or necessary but harmless thrilling fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Unless they have a particular distaste for wooly mammoths the kids will love it.
Ice Age: Continental Drift continues to snowball its cartoon roster bringing back the original film's trio (Ray Romano as Manny the Mammoth Denis Leary as Diego the Sabertooth Tiger and John Leguizamo as Sid the Sloth) new faces acquired over the course of the franchise (Queen Latifah as Manny's wife Ellie) and a handful of new characters to spice things up everyone from Nicki Minaj as Manny's daughter Steffie to Wanda Sykes as Sid's wily grandma. The whole gang is living a pleasant existence as a herd with Manny's biggest problem being playing overbearing dad to the rebellious daughter. Teen mammoths they always want to go out and play by the waterfall! Whippersnappers.
The main thrust of the film comes when Scratch the Rat (whose silent comedy routines in the vein of Tex Avery/WB cartoons continue to be the series highlight) accidentally cracks the singular continent Pangea into the world we know today. Manny Diego and Sid find themselves stranded on an iceberg once again forced on a road trip journey of survival. The rest of the herd embarks to meet them giving Steffie time to realize the true meaning of friendship with help from her mole pal Louis (Josh Gad).
The ham-handed lessons may drag for those who've passed Kindergarten but Ice Age: Continental Drift is a lot of fun when the main gang crosses paths with a group of villainous pirates. (Back then monkeys rabbits and seals were hitting the high seas together pillaging via boat-shaped icebergs. Obviously.) Quickly Ice Age becomes an old school pirate adventure complete with maritime navigation buried treasure and sword fights. Gut (Peter Dinklage) an evil ape with a deadly... fingernail leads the evil-doers who pose an entertaining threat for the familiar bunch. Jennifer Lopez pops by as Gut's second-in-command Shira the White Tiger and the film's two cats have a chase scene that should rouse even the most apathetic adults. Hearing Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) belt out a pirate shanty may be worth the price of admission alone.
With solid action (that doesn't need the 3D addition) cartoony animation and gags out the wazoo Ice Age: Continental Drift is entertainment to enjoy with the whole family. Revelatory? Not quite. Until we get a feature length silent film of Scratch's acorn pursuit we may never see a "classic" Ice Age film but Continental Drift keeps it together long enough to tell a simple story with delightful flare that should hold attention spans of any length. Massive amounts of sugar not even required.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
Theatrics slapstick and cheer are cinematic qualities you rarely find outside the realm of animation. Disney perfected it with their pantheon of cartoon classics mixing music humor spectacle and light-hearted drama that swept up children while still capturing the imaginations and hearts of their parents. But these days even reinterpretations of fairy tales get the gritty make-over leaving little room for silliness and unfiltered glee. Emerging through that dark cloud is Mirror Mirror a film that achieves every bit of imagination crafted by its two-dimensional predecessors and then some. Under the eye of master visualist Tarsem Singh (The Fall Immortals) Mirror Mirror's heightened realism imbues it with the power to pull off anything — and the movie never skimps on the anything.
Like its animated counterparts Mirror Mirror stays faithful to its source material but twists it just enough to feel unique. When Snow White (Lily Collins) was a little girl her father the King ventured into a nearby dark forest to do battle with an evil creature and was never seen or heard from again. The kingdom was inherited by The Queen (Julia Roberts) Snow's evil stepmother and the fair-skinned beauty lived locked up in the castle until her 18th birthday. Grown up and tired of her wicked parental substitute White sneaks out of the castle to the village for the first time. There she witnesses the economic horrors The Queen has imposed upon the people of her land all to fuel her expensive beautification. Along the way Snow also meets Prince Alcott (Armie Hammer) who is suffering from his own money troubles — mainly being robbed by a band of stilt-wearing dwarves. When the Queen catches wind of the secret excursion she casts Snow out of the castle to be murdered by her assistant Brighton (Nathan Lane).
Fairy tales take flack for rejecting the idea of women being capable but even with its flighty presentation and dedication to the old school Disney method Mirror Mirror empowers its Snow White in a genuine way thanks to Collins' snappy charming performance. After being set free by Brighton Snow crosses paths with the thieving dwarves and quickly takes a role on their pilfering team (which she helps turn in to a Robin Hooding business). Tarsem wisely mines a spectrum of personalities out of the seven dwarves instead of simply playing them for one note comedy. Sure there's plenty of slapstick and pun humor (purposefully and wonderfully corny) but each member of the septet stands out as a warm compassionate companion to Snow even in the fantasy world.
Mirror Mirror is richly designed and executed in true Tarsem-fashion with breathtaking costumes (everything from ball gowns to the dwarf expando-stilts to ridiculous pirate ship hats with working canons) whimsical sets and a pitch-perfect score by Disney-mainstay Alan Menken. The world is a storybook and even its monsters look like illustrations rather than photo-real creations. But what makes it all click is the actors. Collins holds her own against the legendary Julia Roberts who relishes in the fun she's having playing someone despicable. She delivers every word with playful bite and her rapport with Lane is off-the-wall fun. Armie Hammer riffs on his own Prince Charming physique as Alcott. The only real misgiving of the film is the undercooked relationship between him and Snow. We know they'll get together but the journey's half the fun and Mirror Mirror serves that portion undercooked.
Children will swoon for Mirror Mirror but there's plenty here for adults — dialogue peppered with sharp wisecracks and a visual style ripped from an elegant tapestry. The movie wears its heart on its sleeve and rarely do we get a picture where both the heart and the sleeve feel truly magical.