|STEVEN SPIELBERGTHE HOLIDAY|
The American Film Institute has started a new movie club to help those of us who are currently in self-isolation and practicing social distancing. With the help of legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg, the organization has launched the AFI Movie Club, which will announce a featured cinematic classic each day that movie lovers around the world can watch as a collective online. Steven Spielberg is helping to launch the initiative with its first selection, The Wizard of Oz.
Described by AFI as 'a daily virtual gathering to leverage our collective love of film on behalf of optimism in this time of global uncertainty,' the AFI Movie Club doesn't require any paid subscription or anything of the like. It's simply a way for fans of classic cinema to come together around this shared interest, with the help of special guests. Steven Spielberg, director of cinematic classics such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan, appeared in a brief video to announce the first selection. Here's what Spielberg had to say.'I have the honor of introducing the very first film we would encourage the world to watch, The Wizard of Oz. Now, I know you think you've seen it, but please think again because, right now, at this moment in our history what better message is there than there's no place like home?'
AFI will select an iconic movie each day as they look to create a communal viewing experience, while maintaining social distancing. Other special guests will announce select the AFI Movies of the Day via short videos posted on the group's website and social media platforms. Audiences can 'gather' at the club's official website to view the featured movie each day using preexisting streaming services. The daily selections will be supported by fun facts, family discussion points and exclusive material from the AFI Archive. Audiences are encouraged to continue the conversation online using the hashtag #AFIMovieClub. Bob Gazzale, President and CEO of AFI, had this to say in a statement.'AFI's goal is to live in a world of art above anxiety. We're honored to have Steven Spielberg, the greatest storyteller of our day, lead the way.'
The Wizard of Oz was originally released in 1939. As classic cinema goes, it doesn't get much more iconic. Directed by Victor Fleming, the tale of Dorothy Judy Garland and her dog Toto became a massive hit and an Oscar-winner in its day. But its legacy goes far beyond industry accolades, as it is consistently recognized as one of the greatest and most important movies ever made.
There is no word yet on who else will be tapped to help present these movies, but it's probably best kept a surprise until the big reveal each day. The Wizard of Oz isn't currently available to stream for free, but it is available to rent from most major online retailers. Those interested in learning more about the AFI Movie Club can head on over to AFI.com.
For the first time in 35 years, Eddie Murphy returned to host Saturday Night Live. Since this was also the Christmas episode, the pressure was on for this to truly be a television event. Thankfully, Eddie Murphy didn’t disappoint, and he brought a bunch of his friends with him, not to mention the cavalcade of guest stars that’s been popping up for the Democratic debate spoofing. The result was not only the best episode of the season, but one of the best episodes in recent memory.
Let’s run through the best and worst sketches of the Eddie Murphy hosted Saturday Night Live.The Best
Gumby Returns – Even when the Weekend Update guest segments are among the best bits of the night, I relegate them to the standard Weekend Update section. But when Eddie Murphy returns as Gumby and shows why he was one of the best cast members to ever grace Studio 8H with his presence, I can’t help but break from tradition. Not only does he slip right back into this character, even though it’s without make-up this time, but he even improvises a bit and gets Colin Jost and Michael Che cracking up. This was pure comedy magic.
North Pole News Report – Kenan Thompson has made a name for himself on SNL, and one of the best things he does on the show is yell in a very specific and hilarious way. But no one yells frantically and funnily quite like Eddie Murphy, and this sketch is evidence of that to the max. It’s a simple premise that makes fun of the sensationalist man on the street interviews that local news always manages to get after some kind of big accident, but Murphy plays it so well that you can’t help but crack up. It gets bigger and funnier as it goes on, and that recurring “It don’t matter what my name is!” was gold every time.
Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood – Eddie Murphy said he wanted to revisit his most popular classic characters, and it was so good to see Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood back again. Even though I wish we got something that parodied the recent A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood or even the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, it was nice to get back to the classic format of the show, especially since it allowed the character to age a bit and deal with the modern growth of gentrification.Continue Reading Eddie Murphy SNL Review >>