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Jacob Hall

SNL Empire
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SNL: Chris Hemsworth Joins the Cast of ‘Empire’

Fox’s new series Empire is huge. Like, insanely, impossibly, jaw-droppingly huge. In an age where ratings are steadily declining across the board as audiences cut cables and enter the brave new world of streaming, it’s a phenomenon. And like all phenomenons, it has to get targeted by SNL. In the most recent digital short, Empire is re-imagined with a brand new character: Chip the office manager, played by guest host Chris Hemsworth.

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Category: Arts & Culture
dark places trailer
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‘Dark Places’ Trailer: Charlize Theron Gets in on That ‘Gone Girl’ Action

When David Fincher’s Gone Girl became an overnight critical and box office sensation, you just know that everyone involved in Dark Places did a little dance when no one was looking. When they started production on the film adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel of the same name, they were just making a thriller. Now, they’ve made the second movie based on a book by the woman who wrote Gone Girl. And yes, that book gets name-dropped in the first Dark Places trailer. Because why not ride that wave?

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Category: Arts & Culture
Magnet/Drafthouse Films
Magnet/Drafthouse Films
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Teacher Who Showed ‘The ABCs of Death’ to Her Students Sent to Jail

The internet will never stop arguing about when it is okay to show films with explicit content to children. But, there is one thing that we’re pretty sure everyone can agree on: showing the violent and disturbing The ABCs of Death to five classes of unsuspecting students is an act of irresponsible idiocy on just about every conceivable level. Columbus, Ohio substitute teacher Sheila Kearns was rightfully let go from her job back in 2013 when she screened the film for her substitute Spanish classes, but the courts have handed down an additional punishment: 90 days in jail.

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Universal
Universal
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Disney’s Live-Action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Casts Luke Evans as Gaston

It’s an undisputed scientific fact that Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston is the greatest villain in the Disney animated canon. After all, we’re talking about a guy whose theme song is all about how many eggs he eats and how every last inch of him is covered in hair. Sorry Maleficent, you have nothing on this guy. So, the news that Luke Evans has been cast as Gaston in Disney’s upcoming live action take on Beauty and the Beast has us feeling awfully judgmental. Sure, Evans is a good actor, but is he Gaston good?

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Category: Arts & Culture
oscars
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The Oscars Strongly Considering a Return to Five Best Picture Nominees

After six years, one of the Oscars’ boldest (and most desperate) experiments may be coming to an end. In 2009, the Academy Awards changed its rules to allow up to 10 films to receive Best Picture nominations. The thought process was simple enough: with double the potential nominees, more mainstream fare could get nominated and ratings for the annual Oscars telecast would increase. But that didn’t work. This year’s ceremony was a disaster (in more ways than one) and the Academy is apparently ready to call this whole thing off and return to the old ways.

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Category: Arts & Culture
Leonard Nimoy Zachary Quinto
Getty Images
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Read Zachary Quinto’s Heartbreaking Tribute to Leonard Nimoy

When he passed away last week at the age of 83, Leonard Nimoy was mourned by actors, artists, politicians, scientists, engineers, astronauts and even the President of the United States. That should tell you something. Few characters have had such a seismic impact on popular culture as Star Trek’s Spock and countless people all over the world felt like they had lost a friend. Amidst the countless tributes, there is now one that stands out: a brief but powerful remembrance from Zachary Quinto, who picked up the Spock mantle in 2009’s Star Trek and its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness.

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From the Set: Dakota Johnson and Alabama Shakes
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SNL and Dakota Johnson Take You to the Weirdest ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Press Junket

With Dakota Johnson guest hosting, last night’s SNL had no shortage of 50 Shades of Grey jokes. For her part, Johnson seemed equally bemused and embarrassed by her controversial new hit, rolling with whatever the show threw at her and always coming out looking far better than her naysayers expected. Her ability to make fun of herself and the film that has turned her into an overnight movie star really came together in the only sketch of the night that required her to play herself.

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Category: Arts & Culture
From the Set: Dakota Johnson and Alabama Shakes
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Dakota Johnson and the Ladies of SNL Say What They Want to Say

Modern SNL has one of the strongest female line-ups in the show’s history, so it’s always a pleasure when the writers give this group of extremely funny ladies a chance to shine together. This sketch is a weird one because it feels like such an odd and specific concept that must have been a real pain in the butt to pitch in the writer’s room, but the execution is simply sublime: a group of women start being brutally honest with the people in their lives and immediately celebrate to the impossibly catchy sounds of Sara Bareilles’ “Brave.”

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Category: Arts & Culture
John Travolta Idina Menzel Oscars
ABC
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2015 Oscars: Idina Menzel and John Travolta Meet at Last

Last year, John Travolta took the Oscar stage to introduce Idina Menzel so she could perform “Let It Go” from Frozen. What should have been a very simple, teleprompter-aided introduction quickly became a Big Deal when Travolta stumbled over his words. Instead of “Idina Menzel,” Travolta said “Adele Dazeem.” An internet meme was born and everyone added another great John Travolta joke to their repertoire. The 2015 Oscars decided to revisit that memorable flub and the results were weird, awkward, and yeah, pretty funny.

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Category: Arts & Culture

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