You know that sadness you feel every January when you realize you have to say goodbye to your beautifully decorated Christmas tree? Well, every Olympics enthusiast should be currently nursing a broken heart knowing they have to say goodbye to our beautifully decorated (22 medals!) Michael Phelps, who finished his final Olympic race before retirement Saturday night. Of course, it's misleading to say Phelps merely "finished" the 4x100-meter medley — along with Matt Grevers, Brendan Hansen, and Nathan Adrian, Phelps picked up the gold medal, finishing the race in three minutes and 29.35 seconds, two seconds ahead of Japan's silver medalists. The win marked his 18th gold medal — twice as many as any other Olympian in history. (Take that, Mark Spitz!) That's quite the bling to match with his tracksuit in Boca. Happy retirement! So, though it was difficult to upstage Phelps' legendary career, what were Saturday's other notable, golden moments? Read on!
Missy Hits Her Mark: Olympic breakout and adorable human being Missy Franklin helped the Americans secure the gold during the women's medley relay Saturday. The 17-year-old and teammates Rebecca Soni, Dana Vollmer, and Allison Schmitt locked in a world record to boot, finishing in three minutes and 52.05 seconds, two seconds ahead of the Australian silver medalists. Franklin will be returning to her senior year in high school this fall with five medals. Remember when you thought owning five gelly roll pens granted you bragging rights? Yeah.
Play Misty For Me: In the beach volleyball quarterfinals, that is. Power volleyball couple Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings have advanced after beating the Netherlands' Marleen van Iersel and Sanne Keizer 21-13, 21-12 in less than 30 minutes. Continue their domination, and the duo could soon be misty-eyed on the Olympic podium.
Maria Sharapova Not so Sharp: Of course, that was to the benefit of Serena Williams, who bested the No. 3-seeded Sharapova in straight sets to win the gold in women's tennis. The 6-0, 6-1 match was an impressive victory for the No. 4-seeded Williams, who has been enjoying an epic six-match run, losing just 17 games. Williams did, however, receive a surprise during her medal ceremony — wind blew the American flag off its pole while the tennis star stood on the podium. Too bad she didn't have a Canon PowerShot for that photo-friendly moment.
LeBron Gets LeLucky: LeBron James led the U.S. Basketball team to victory against the Lithuanian team... but just barely. The U.S. team, coached by Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, finished with 99 points, besting their Saturday night rivals by just five points. The team fought back from Lithuania's two-point lead in the final six minutes, winning redemption after a disappointing loss to the team eight years ago during the 2004 Olympics in Athens. James scored an impressive 20 points during the course of the game, while Kris Humphries tuned into a rerun of Khloe and Lamar.
Worth its Pryce in Gold: Jamaican runner Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce sprinted to victory during the women's 100-meter final Saturday, finishing in 10.75 seconds. Good news for her, bad news for America: U.S.'s Carmelita Jeter crossed the finish line just 0.03 seconds behind Fraser-Pryce. Of course, Fraser-Pryce's win was hardly unexpected: The sprinter became the first Jamaican female to win the gold in the same event in Beijing's 2008 Olympics. But, hey, let Team U.S.A. take solace in the childhood mantra: Second is the best!
More golden days ahead for Team U.S.A. — and more days spent indoors in front of our TV screens. Fresh air? What's that? Onto Day 9!
[Image Credit: WENN.com]
More: Unhappy Hour: 9 Reasons the Olympics Gave Us a Reason to Drink The Royal Olympics: A Pictorial Guide to the Royal Family's Athletic Attempts Olympics Spoiler Alert: The Thrill Is Gone?
Fear not, Fandy Sambergs, the former SNL cast member (that feels very weird to type!) has already gotten himself a new gig. Andy Samberg's departure from Saturday Night Live wasn't all that surprising, but fear about his career prospects certainly seemed to unnerve a few. Push that fear aside, though, and make room for Cuckoo, the new BBC Three show starring everyone's favorite Lonely Island member (for the record, my favorite member is totally Jorma, but I digress). BBC Three--which I imagine to be very similar to ESPN8, aka The Ocho--unveiled the new show earlier today, which places Samberg opposite comedian Greg Davies (from Anglophile favorite The Inbetweeners).
According to THR, the show is set-up as thus: "when Ken (Davies) and Lorna (Helen Baxendale) collect their daughter (Tamla Kari) from the airport, they are horrified when she promptly introduces them to Cuckoo (Samberg), her new husband they did not know about" and is "the squared-jawed, self-appointed spiritual ninja who is now their son-in-law."
Sounds like a great fit for the goofy funnyman, and we've compiled what we imagine to be the perfect traits of his former SNL characters for Samberg to take with him in order to make this the ultimate role for Samberg. Plus he'll totally look straight-up cuckoo if he takes our advice.
The Hair of Shy Ronnie
Shy Ronnie's wiry ginger locks are aggressive in that I-am-erratic-and-don't-care-about-personal-hygiene sort of way. Surely a spiritual know-it-all type has a mane like this, yeah? Bonus points if he can make those glasses somehow work:
Danny Hoover's Enthusiasm
The lovable--if dopey--basketball commentator from this skit has all the heart, but none of the knowledge when it comes to talking about basketball. If Samberg's Cuckoo has this same level of excitement with him, it will make him totally endearing (and explain why someone would marry anyone described as a spiritual ninja.
The Chest Hair (and "The Admiral") of Mark Spitz
Samberg's hilarious impression of the former Olympian is hysterical, and made all the more amazing by his follicle features: namely those on his chest and upper lip. If Cuckoo was a real man, he would definitely be sporting BOTH, all the time.
The Voice of Nic Cage
The authority that is held in the cadence of Samberg's Nicholas Cage impression is both terrifying and authoritative. We say Cuckoo could use a bit of both. Plus who doesn't want to take part of Nicholas Cage with them wherever they go? BBC Three needs to get in the cage.
The Wardrobe from D**k In A Box
Because it was so friggen SWEET, am I right?
[Image via Getty]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
Andy Samberg: Yes, I'm Leaving 'SNL'
Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg Talk 'That's My Boy' — VIDEO
Who Can Replace Kristen Wiig, Andy Samberg, & Jason Sudeikis on 'SNL'?
WHAT IT’S ABOUT?
The uber-anticipated sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen picks up shortly after the events of the blockbuster first film. With evil Megatron’s carcass buried at the bottom of the ocean Optimus Prime and his Autobot comrades working together with an elite group of human soldiers are now focused on hunting the remaining Decepticons scattered across the globe. Sam Witwicky hero of the 2007 movie is busy preparing for his first year at college while his unlikely girlfriend Mikaela Barnes stays behind to tend to her father’s auto-repair shop. Little do they know however that back on Cybertron a Decepticon elder known as “The Fallen” is hatching a scheme to invade Earth where hidden somewhere on the planet is the last known source of energon the life-blood of all Transformers. If he succeeds the devastation left in his wake will no doubt spell the end of the human race. With the fate of Earth hanging in the balance Sam and Mikaela must once again have to team up with Optimus and the Autobots to defeat this powerful new foe.
WHO’S IN IT?
All the major human players from the first Transformers film are back for the sequel including Shia LaBeouf Megan Fox Tyrese Gibson Josh Duhamel and John Turturro. Newcomers include Ramon Rodriguez who plays Sam’s conspiracy-obsessed college roommate Leo and The Office’s Rainn Wilson who enjoys a notable cameo as a pompous physics professor.
Of course the actors merely serve as background filler for the real stars of the show: those titular talking-alien robots. And director Michael Bay fills up the screen with enough mechanical eye candy to dazzle even the most skeptical gearhead. Returning characters include Optimus Prime Bumblebee Ratchet Ironhide Barricade Jazz (don’t act surprised) Starscream Frenzy and Megatron (again don’t act surprised).
Several new Autobots are introduced to the mix: Mudflap and Skids a pair of jive-talking ceaselessly annoying hatchbacks; Jolt a Chevy Volt; Sideswipe a silver Corvette; and Jetfire an elderly Decepticon turncoat who walks with a cane speaks with an English accent and transforms into an SR-71 Blackbird. Additions to Decepticon side include: The Fallen who we learn is the Decepticons’ real head honcho (consider him the Emperor Palpatine to Megatron’s Darth Vader); Soundwave a communications specialist who sinks his tentacles into a satellite and spies on us from above; Ravage a panther-like creature; Wheelie a radio-controlled truck who talks like Joe Pesci; “the Doctor ” a sort of mad scientist who speaks with a German accent (naturally); and the Constructicons a group of construction vehicles that fuse together to form a massive four-legged beast.
No director does over-the-top explosion-laded action better than Michael Bay and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen features several staggering set pieces. The CGI work on this film makes the last one look like it was designed on a Commodore 64.
Any scene in which people talk — and several of the ones in which robots talk too. Just as the action and visual effects are beefed up for the sequel the bad jokes and cringe-worthy dialogue are as well. Highlights include two dogs humping John Turturro in a thong a robot humping Megan Fox’s leg a sequence involving Sam’s stoned mom and a glimpse of a very large pair of testicles on one very large Decepticon. The latter will likely go down as the “nipples-on-the-Batsuit” moment for the Transformers franchise.
The show-stopping climax set in the Egyptian desert is one extended riotous battle royale packed with so much robot-on-robot action you’ll feel overwhelmed at times.
NETFLIX OR MULTIPLEX?
This big-budget spectacle begs to be seen at the multiplex — IMAX if possible. Just bring a pair of earplugs for the dialogue sequences. You might want to bring some Dramamine as well as Mr. Bay went a little overboard with his trademark circling-camera sequences this time around.
Tropic Thunder (Dreamworks/Paramount) is a hit, but it will come in with a five-day of less than Sony’s Pineapple Express, and it seems that the Beijing Olympics may be hurting the new R-rated comedy’s performance. Last week’s stoner comedy Pineapple Express, starring Seth Rogen and James Franco, got two solid days of business in before the start of the Beijing Olympics and registered just over $18M on Wednesday and Thursday, then scored $23.24M on its opening weekend. Tropic Thunder, on the other hand, registered only $11M in its first two days in theatres, followed by an estimated $8.25M on Friday. That should translate to a $26.5M three-day and an opening five days of $37.53M or so.
The Dreamworks comedy is skewing much older than Pineapple Express, and this satirical take on the movie business is decidedly more sophisticated, and the 25 Plus demo is far more likely to be following the Olympics. The Ben Stiller-directed movie-within-a-movie has received excellent reviews (83 percent Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and 72 percent Positive on MetaCritic), but that tends to drive those same grown-up movie fans. Robert Downey Jr., Ben Stiller, Jack Black and Tom Cruise are competing with the world’s biggest star at the moment, Michael Phelps, who tied the 36-year old Mark Spitz record of seven gold medals at a single Olympiad Friday night at the Water Cube in Beijing and will try to surpass that mark Saturday night in primetime on NBC.
With excellent word-of-mouth, the end of the Olympics next weekend and no major competition for the next month, I am still anticipating that Tropic Thunder can reach $100M, whereas I am projecting a still excellent $70M-$75M for Pineapple Express. The Judd Apatow-produced Pineapple Express, however, was budgeted at a very modest $27M compared to Thunder’s $100M+ budget.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Warner Bros), an animated LucasFilm spin-off, grabbed an estimated $6.65M on Friday, but this film will be very front-loaded as Star Wars junkies poured into theatres on opening day. The film could dip as much as 15 percent-20 percent on Saturday, leading to a three-day of $19.5M or so. That will probably mean a total domestic box office take in the $45M-$50M range.
Another solid hold for The Dark Knight (Warner Bros), which continues to soar to heights once thought impossible. The Christopher Nolan-directed comic book adaptation added an estimated $4.95M on Friday for an anticipated three-day of $17.17M, pushing the mega-hit to almost $472M. The Dark Knight seems destined for $515M-$520M domestic.
Mirrors (Fox) actually out-performed Pineapple Express on Friday with $3.7M in sales, but it will finish its opening weekend in fifth place with an estimated $10.12M. That makes it only the 7th-best opening for an R-rated horror movie in 2008.
TOP SEVEN 2008 HORROR FILM OPENINGS
1. The Strangers -$21M
2. Prom Night - $20.8M
3. The Eye - $12.42M
4. One Missed Call - $12.5M
5. Shutter - $10.4M
6. Mirrors - $10.12M
7. The Ruins - $8M
Meanwhile, The buzz is apparently wearing off for moviegoers as Pineapple Express slowed to $3.48M on Friday. The marijuana-fueled comedy is headed for an estimated $10.44M and a new cume just north of $63M, but that represents a 55 percent drop from its opening weekend.
EARLY THREE-DAY ESTIMATES
1. Tropic Thunder (Dreamworks/Paramount) - $26.5M, $7,984 PTA, $37.53M
2. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (Warner Bros) - $19.5M, $5,649 PTA, $19.5M cume
3. The Dark Knight (Warner Bros) - $17.17M, $4,785 PTA, $471.87M cume
4. Pineapple Express (Sony) - $10.12M, $3,294 PTA, $63.05M cume
5. Mirrors (Fox) - $9.8M, $3,681 PTA, $9.8M cume
6. The Mummy 3 (Universal) - $7.99M, $2,377 PTA, $86M cume
7. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (Warner Bros) - $6.69M, $2,467 PTA, $32.91M cume
8. Step Brothers (Sony) - $5.24M, $1,982 PTA, $91.13M cume
9. Mamma Mia (Universal) - $5.13M, $1,853 PTA, $115.05M cume
10. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Weinstein) - $4.02M, $5,816 PTA, $4.02M cume