Paramount via Everett Collection
Apparently, friends that launder money together, stay together. Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio enjoyed working with each other so much on The Wolf of Wall Street that they've signed on to star in another film together. The project, based on the 1997 Vanity Fair article "American Nightmare: The Ballad Of Richard Jewell," follows the security guard who was lauded as a national hero before being falsely accused of bombing the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Hill will play Richard Jewell while DiCaprio will take on the role of a lawyer who befriended Jewell and helped him cope with his public ordeal and clear his name. As of yet, there's no director or screenwriter attached to the project, but but we're sure with a story this interesting and two Oscar nominees attached, it's only a matter of time before someone signs on.
Between this film, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Hill's recent Saturday Night Live appearance, it seems like these two have become inseparable. Therefore, it seemed only right for us to help find them more projects that they could possibly star in together, so that both their personal friendship and professional relationship can continue for years.
A Nicholas Sparks Romance First comes a movie, then comes friendship, then comes Hill and DiCaprio playing opposite each other in a tender love story written, as all great love stories are, by Nicholas Sparks. The two will play friends who have always been inexplicably drawn to one another, but after DiCaprio returns home from fighting overseas, they decide to throw caution to the wind and listen to their hearts. Unfortunately, their love will face greater hurdles when Hill's character is diagnosed with a terminal illness. The film will either be based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks, or will be turned into a novel by Nicholas Sparks.
A Superhero and His Sidekick There may be many superhero sequels and reboots in theaters, but none of them have featured any sidekicks, which gives DiCaprio and Hill the perfect opportunity to front their own franchise. And if there are any actors who can finally make the Aquaman film a reality, it's these two. DiCaprio will play Aquaman, the Defender of the Seas, who can communicate with marine life, and Hill can play Aqualad, his sidekick and the founder of the Teen Titans. Alternatively, if Hill is deemed too old to play a teenage superhero, or if they just want to move things in a more comedic direction, Hill can voice Storm, Aquaman's noble steed. Everybody loves a wisecracking horse, right?
A Live Action and Animation HybridAlthough DiCaprio has starred in films that span a multitude of genres, he's never lent his voice to an animated film once over the course of his career. What better way to ease himself into the voice-over game than by taking part in a live action/animation crossover with his good friend? Hill can play an every day, mild-mannered detective who discovers one day that there is a giant, talking rabbit in his kitchen (voiced by DiCaprio), and the two solve crimes together. Add in some vulgar language, since everyone likes watching cartoons curse and behave badly, and you're got yourself a hit.
A Period PieceSure, The Wolf of Wall Street took place in the late eighties, and this film will take place in the mid-nineties, but we'd like to see these two really show off their dramatic chops and star in an epic historical drama. Nobody's made a film about Napoleon yet, and Hill would make a perfect 19th century French dictator. DiCaprio can take on the role of the Duke of Wellington, who helped defeat Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, although they were once friends, and a horrible betrayal has forced Wellington to defeat his former ally in battle. Sure, parts of it might not be historically accurate, but that's what happens in Hollywood.
An Experimental Film About HollywoodWhat better way for these two to pay tribute to the director who brought them together than by making a film all about him? In this low-budget, experimental film, Hill will step into Martin Scorsese's glasses, while DiCaprio will take on the role of Christopher Nolan, in a movie all about the conversations that directors when they're in between projects. They will discuss everything from their work to their personal life, and when they run out of conversation topics, there will be 5 minutes of awkward silence while they wait for their meals to arrive. Think My Dinner With Andre, but someone will probably get shot at the end.
A Gritty Cop DramaOne of Hill's most celebrated roles is as a police officer in 21 Jump Street, so it would be nice to see him play a corrupt cop with mob ties in a dark, sinister drama. DiCaprio, on the other hand, will take a break from playing so many serious roles, and will play a rookie cop who has been assigned as Hill's partner, with a tendency to goof off and an inability to take anything seriously. Over the course of the film, they learn to work together, and maybe even learn a few things about themselves. Andre Braugher will also star as the no-nonsense police captain tasked with keeping them both in line.
An Low Budget, High Gore Horror Film They might not be proud of it, but every actor needs at least one horror film on their resume. Hill and DiCaprio will play two good friends and business partners who escape to Hill's great uncle's cabin in the woods to get some work done ahead of a major deadline. Unfortunately, when they get there, it seems like there's something weird going on with the locals, who keep warning them not to spend the night in the woods. Of course, later that night, a young woman arrives on their doorstep, covered in blood and claiming that someone is coming after her. Without cell service, help from the local authorities or even knowing what's hunting them, the three must attempt to make it through the night alive. Actually, that sounds like a film we'd watch.
Seth Meyers announced his new Weekend Update co-host this week, and we're feeling pretty good about this choice. Cecily Strong joined the Saturday Night Live cast just last year, and this high-profile gig surely came her way because of the huge impact she's made in her short tenure on the show. She excels at creating memorable characters; the common element in most of the successful recurring sketches that were established in the '12-'13 season was Cecily. She's already visited the Update desk as several characters; and no matter who she's playing, she and Seth have great comic chemistry.
Let's look back at Cecily's greatest hits from Season 38 and know that our fake news fate is in good hands.
The Girlfriends Talk Show
Cecily taps into our childhood insecurities with this one. She plays peppy Kyra, who hosts a teen talk show with her less-cool best friend Morgan (Aidy Bryant). She and her new, "awesome" girlfriend (Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway, so far) continually undermine poor Morgan until she's practically seething. Remember high school? That was fun.
"We're not porn stars anymore!"
The former-porn-stars-do-a-commercial sketch never fails, mostly because Strong and Vanessa Bayer have perfectly the ladies' signature garbled delivery ("Aff-lence. lux-ry. Mo-ey Chamben.") and blank-eyed stares. It's also an opportunity for the writers to trot out their best one-liners ("One time I did a weird shoot in Mexico. Two of the girls died, but I'm alive. Thanks, champagne!") and for hosts like Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck to put on some short-shorts and tap into their Boogie Nights fantasies.
Dana and Niff
Dana (Strong) and Niff (Bobby Moynihan) are sure that they're getting fired (from McDonald's or Barnes and Noble, depending on the episode), so they take that opportunity to air their personal greivances with all their co-workers. ("I know you copied those Mad Libs, Beverly. Ain't nobody that funny.") It kills, because the two deliver every insult with panache and committment and because we all, especially on our worst days, daydream about doing the same.
The Girl You Wish You Hadn't Started a Conversation With at a Party
The one and only downside to having Cecily as a Weekend Update co-host is that we will likely say goodbye to her most popular character, who cares too much about humankind's greatest problems to even find out what they are. Who will remind Seth to "learn a book" or ask the tough questions like, "What are we even doing? And like, don't"? Our world will be a much poorer, less socially-conscious place, but it's the price we'll have to pay.
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A decade-long gap between sequels could leave a franchise stale but in the case of Men in Black 3 it's the launch pad for an unexpectedly great blockbuster. The kooky antics of Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) don't stray far from their 1997 and 2002 adventures but without a bombardment of follow-ups to keep the series in mind the wonderfully weird sensibilities of Men in Black feel fresh Smith's natural charisma once again on full display. Barry Sonnenfeld returns for the threequel another space alien romp with a time travel twist — which turns out to be Pandora's Box for the director's deranged imagination.
As time passed in the real world so did it for the timeline in the world of Men in Black. Picking up ten years after MIB 2 J and K are continuing to protect the Earth from alien threats and enforce the law on those who live incognito. While dealing with their own personal issues — K is at his all-time crabbiest for seemingly no reason — the suited duo encounter an old enemy Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) a prickly assassin seeking revenge on K who blew his arm off back in the '60s. Their street fight is more of a warning; Boris' real plan is to head back in time to save his arm and kill off K. He's successful prompting J to take his own leap through the time-space continuum — and team up with a younger K (Josh Brolin) to put an end to Boris plans for world domination.
Men in Black 3 is the Will Smith show. Splitting his time between the brick personalities of Jones and Brolin's K Smith struts his stuff with all the fast-talking comedic style that made him a star in yesteryears. In present day he's still the laid back normal guy in a world of oddities — J raises an eyebrow as new head honcho O (Emma Thompson) delivers a eulogy in a screeching alien tongue but coming up with real world explanations for flying saucer crashes comes a little easier. But back in 1969 he's an even bigger fish out water. Surprisingly director Barry Sonnenfeld and writer Etan Cohen dabble in the inherent issues that would spring up if a black gentlemen decked out in a slick suit paraded around New York in the late '60s. A star of Smith's caliber may stray away from that type of racy humor but the hook of Men in Black 3 is the actor's readiness for anything. He turns J's jokey anachronisms into genuine laughs and doesn't mind letting the special effect artists stretch him into an unrecognizable Twizzler for the movie's epic time jump sequence.
Unlike other summer blockbusters Men in Black 3 is light on the action Sonnenfeld utilizing his effects budget and dazzling creature work (by the legendary Rick Baker) to push the comedy forward. J's fight with an oversized extraterrestrial fish won't keep you on the edge of your seat but his slapstick escape and the marine animal's eventual demise are genuinely amusing. Sonnenfeld carries over the twisted sensibilities he displayed in small screen work like Pushing Daisies favoring bizarre banter and elaborating on the kookiness of the alien underworld than battle scenes. MIB3's chase scene is passable but the movie in its prime when Smith is sparring with Brolin and newcomer Michael Stuhlbarg who steals the show as a being capable of seeing the future. His twitchy character keeps Smith and the audience on their toes.
Men in Black 3 digs up nostalgia I wasn't aware I had. Smith's the golden boy of summer and even with modern ingenuity keeping it fresh — Sonnenfeld uses the mandatory 3D to full and fun effect — there's an element to the film that feels plucked from another era. The movie is economical and slight with plenty of lapses in logic that will provoke head scratching on the walk out of the theater but it's also perfectly executed. After ten years of cinematic neutralizing the folks behind Men in Black haven't forgotten what made the first movie work so well. After al these years Smith continues to make the goofy plot wild spectacle and crazed alien antics look good.
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.