Were you buying the “official company line” about the elevator fight between Jay-Z and Solange Knowles? If not, watch the “Saturday Night Live” parody that opened the show this weekend. In the sketch, Jay-Z (Jay Pharoah) and his sister-in-law Solange (Sasheer Zamata) address the crowd with a bodyguard (Kenan Thompson) supervising the duo. Maya Rudolph then makes a surprise appearance as Beyonce. The real life event occured earlier this month at the Standard Hotel in New York. Past cast member Andy Samberg hosted the finale of the 39th season for “SNL” on NBC. Hollywood Reporter.
“Godzilla” destroys all other films for its debut weekend at the box office. The new movie starring Juliette Binoche, Bryan Cranston, and Sally Hawkins earned an astounding $93.2 million. The Seth Rogen–Zac Efron comedy “Neighbors” falls to the second spot with $26 million. “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” drops to third place with $16.8 million. The debut of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” with Jon Hamm has a modest fourth place opening with $10.5 million. Thompson on Hollywood.
Sasha Stone reviews the new Tommy Lee Jones film “The Homesman,” which debuted this week at the Cannes Film Festival. She calls it “an entertaining western as well as a subtle commentary on a dark moment in our American history.” The movie is “an intricately designed film, unpredictable in its execution” that uses the “heartless treatment of women as its backrop” for the 1880s setting. In addition to Jones, it stars Hilary Swank, Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, and Sonja Richter. Awards Daily.
Steve Pond proclaims the new film “Maps to the Stars” as director David Cronenberg‘s best movie in over a decade. He calls it “a blackly humorous assault on Tinseltown” that “nails the sickness in our celebrity-obsessed culture.” He says it is “labyrinth of oddly tossed-together characters,” including those played by Julianne Moore, Robert Pattinson, John Cusack, Olivia Williams, and Mia Wasikowska. Past Cronenberg films include “A Dangerous Method,” “Dead Ringers,” “A History of Violence,” and “The Fly.” The Wrap.
In a massive new deal, AT&T is purchasing DirecTV for $67 billion. The deal allows the telco giant to vastly expand its footprint in the video business by controlling the nation’s largest satellite TV provider. For its U-Verse product, AT&T has about 5.7 million subscribers. DirectTV has 20.2 million subscribers. Variety.
Maya Rudolph is doing “what feels right” by returning to NBC with a variety special. It airs Monday night following “The Voice” as an attempt to bring back the days of variety in prime time. Produced by “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels, the one-night special features Fred Armisen, Kristen Bell, Sean Hayes, Janelle Monae, and Andy Samberg in comedy sketches and musical performances. If it does well in the ratings, NBC may pick it up as a regular series or group of specials. USA Today.
Despite earlier reports, Daniel Radcliffe denies that he and his “Harry Potter” co-stars Emma Watson and Rupert Grint have shot new footage. Last week’s stories indicated the trio had filmed scenes for an upcoming roller coaster ride at Universal Orlando. The theme park is debuting “Escape from Gringotts” as the characters “break into Gringotts bank to retrieve a magical object that will help defeat Lord Voldemort.” E! Online.