Monday morning hangover: Halloweekend's party crawlers and Gyllenhaal's Nightcrawler

    Hey there, how are you feeling? Yeah – we’re back. It was a long weekend for everyone, for good reasons and bad. Halloweekend is tailored to be the best kind of weekend. Palpable party offerings every night. No absence of conversation pieces at those parties. Tons of new movies and shows to boot. When we couple all of this with the fallout of the new Taylor Swift album and – what’s that? – rumors of activity in the Beyoncé camp, it can only mean one thing: We have a new Hangover. There’s a lot to be reeling from after this weekend.


    To move some shop stuff out of the way first, Trailer of the Week goes to the fresh-out-the-kitchen spot for Furious 7. It has everything you could possibly want in a Fast and Furious trailer. Cars parachuting from an airplane. The Rock flexing himself free from a cast. A cliff-jump-to-spoiler-Paul Walker-rescue (miss you, man). Vin Diesel with the obligatory “Let’s get to work” line. The franchise is somehow becoming more marketable as it grows older. I love this.

    More interesting in movies this weekend was the release of Jack Gyllenhaal’s Nightcrawler. It is excellent – a top-three movie of the year so far. Essentially about an unethical freelance crime videographer, it makes you feel slimier than Gone Girl did, and it pulls that off so much more authentically. It is thrilling, suspenseful and a great Medill-movie to boot. Gyllenhaal has never been better, and he creeps onto the list of “If I’m in it, you’re there” actors. Check this out:

    Actor 1:

    • Movies above 80% on Rotten Tomatoes: 12
    • Movies above 90% on Rotten Tomatoes: 5
    • Metacritic Average: 65
    • Metacritic Highest Rating: 88

    Actor 2:

    • Movies above 80% on Rotten Tomatoes: 11
    • Movies above 90% on Rotten Tomatoes: 2
    • Metacritic Average: 61
    • Metacritic Highest Rating: 86

    Actor Number One is Jake Gyllenhaal. Actor Number Two is Leonardo DiCaprio. Chew on that.


    We will not waste time with all the recent cancellations: Bad Judge, A to Z and Oasis were all giant swings and misses, and there has been enough negative press about them already. What we will spend time on are two newly-announced events in TV that fall into the "quietly cautious" category:

    Number one, there will be a Grumpy Cat movie on Lifetime called Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever. The trailer is one huge groaner. Fans of Aubrey Plaza should avert their gaze. It just sucks. The issue with making movies or specials about “Internet sensations” like Grumpy Cat is that said-sensation is bound to die out by the time anything actually is released, and the piece is doomed for irrelevancy. This is embarrassing. I apologize.

    Another thing: Woody Harrelson is hosting SNL again on November 15. He hosted SNL before, you ask? Yeah – in 1989 and 1992. Needless to say, this is sort of an odd choice (Harrelson has not really flexed his comedic chops since 2009’s Zombieland), and it might be indicative of Saturday Night Live’s overall downturn for their 40th season. I guess we will not know for sure until we see him up there giving the monologue – but skepticism sure seems appropriate considering this guy’s main calling card now might be True Detective. Just some weird times at NBC Studios.


    Look, T-Swift’s album came out and NBN already talked about it, so here is something else you might not have heard of. Beyoncé might be releasing another “surprise” album soon. If this picture is to be believed, courtesy of the “Beysus + Gaga” Twitter account (?), then it will appear on iTunes November 14 and in disc form November 25. Again, there is a lot of reason to be skeptical (seems a little too sensational that Blue Ivy is the first-listed featured artist, and that Jay Z is behind Drake in that same list), but Beyoncé is still Beyoncé. For all we know, this could be a trick in itself, and the album could come this Friday instead.


    Every year before Halloweekend, I wonder if I actually enjoy the holiday, and then the weekend passes and I come out of it with a total change of heart. Halloween rocks. The movies are fun (loved the re-release of Saw in particular; that’s my favorite can’t-help-but-love-it franchise – they should make ten more), the on-campus parties are just a little bit wilder and Wildcats in general are just a little bit more outgoing. On top of it all, I think college is the only place where it is totally acceptable to throw costume parties on November 1 – a whole extra day to take a break from midterms, be someone else and absorb the chaos. Too bad waking up is always the worst part.

    Looking forward to the next Hangover, friends. See you around the block, and stay classy, ‘Cats.


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