‘Saturday Night Live’ Goes Live Nationwide for Final Four Episodes

For the first time in its storied history, NBC’s iconic late-night franchise “Saturday Night Live,” which is delivering its most-watched season in 24 years, will be broadcast live simultaneously across the country for its final four shows of the season — April 15, May 6, 13 and 20.

“‘SNL’ — enjoying its most popular season in two decades — is part of the national conversation, and we thought it would be a great idea to broadcast to the west and mountain time zones live at the same time it’s being seen in the east and central time zones,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “That way, everyone is in on the joke at the same time. Kudos to Lorne Michaels, the producers and cast for making ‘SNL’ one of the most relevant and anticipated shows in the zeitgeist.”

Each episode will air live at:

11:30 p.m. Eastern
10:30 p.m. Central
9:30 p.m. Mountain
8:30 p.m. Pacific

For the Mountain and Pacific time zones, “SNL” will be repeated at 11:30 p.m.

The hosts for these shows are as follows:

April 15 – Jimmy Fallon
May 6 – Chris Pine
May 13 – Melissa McCarthy
May 20 – Dwayne Johnson

The musical guests for these shows will be announced at a later date.

So far this season, “Saturday Night Live” originals are averaging a 3.57 rating in adults 18-49 and 11.022 million viewers overall in “live plus seven day” averages from Nielsen Media Research. This makes it the show’s top-rated season at this point in eight years in 18-49 (since 2008-09) and most-watched season in 24 years (since 1992-93).

Versus year-ago averages, “SNL” is up +21% in adult 18-49 rating (3.57 vs. 2.94) and up 2.2 million persons or +26% in total viewers with 11.022 million.

The show has garnered high praise from critics this season, including acclaim for the work of Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton and Kellyanne Conway, Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump and Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer.

Said Variety: “Political turmoil has been very, very good to ‘Saturday Night Live,’” while New York Magazine added, “Every single sketch ‘SNL’ wrote for Alec Baldwin as Trump was comedically masterful.”

Kedi (Cats of Instanbul) – Smash Hit Indie at Frida Cinema – March 10 to 16

The smash indie hit that’s storming art house cinemas around the world comes to The Frida as we present KEDI (aka Nine Lives: Cats in Istanbul)!

Kedi is not simply a documentary about house cats, or the strays you occasionally see in your back yard. Kedi is a film about the hundreds of thousands of cats who have roamed the metropolis of Istanbul freely for thousands of years, wandering in and out of people’s lives, impacting them in ways only an animal who lives between the worlds of the wild and the tamed can. Cats and their kittens bring joy and purpose to those they choose, giving people an opportunity to reflect on life and their place in it. In Istanbul, cats are the mirrors to ourselves.

Friday, March 10 – 7pm, 9pm
Saturday, March 11 – 11:30am, 2pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9pm
Sunday, March 12 – 11:30am, 2pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9pm
Monday, March 13 – 5pm, 7pm, 9pm
Tuesday, March 14 – 5pm, 7pm, 9pm
Wednesday, March 15 – 5pm, 7pm, 9pm
Thursday, March 16 – 5pm, 7pm, 9pm

Logan – Movie Review

For our favorite X-Men Wolverine, three times is a charm. Logan is clearly the best of the Wolverine movies and ranks high among the X-Men movies as well. Logan (Hugh Jackman) is forced to care of an aging and mentally decaying Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and protect a young mutant, X-23 (Dafne Keen) from a gang of mutant hunters.

Release Date: March 3, 2017
Writer: James Mangold, Scott Frank
Director: James Mangold
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Steven Merchant, Boyd Holbrook

The movie Logan takes place in the year 2024. Almost all known mutants are gone, except Logan, Professor X and Caliban (Steven Merchant), whose power is mutant tracking. Logan has given up on the hero business and works as a limo driver. His pay goes to purchase medication for Professor X, who is unable to effectively control his powers. Uncontrolled Charles unleashes a strong mental force that causes intense paralysis for those surrounding him.

Logan himself is not doing well. After decades of Adamantium poisoning, Wolverine’s healing factor is slowing down. Yes, Wolverine is slowly dying. Along with the professor’s medicine, Logan is also saving money to buy and boat and live the rest of his and Charles’ days on the open sea.

Things get complicated when a mysterious woman and her daughter appear. She offers Logan enough money to purchase the boat. All he needs to do is deliver the young girl safely to “Eden.” This young girl is not what she appears to be. She is a new mutant created at a nearby laboratory. The lab was recently shut down and the children, who served as mutant experiments, were destroyed—except for X-23. This young girl has the same powers as Logan with claws, dexterity and healing factor.

The girl is being chased by mutant hunter and former lab enforcer, Pierce (Boyd Holbrook). His job is simple, stop at nothing to return X-23 or Laura to the lab.

What’s Good

Grounded Rated R Movie. One of the best things about Logan is that its rated R. Not just because of the gruesome violence and there is a lot of violence. This is the first time audiences get to truly see the real consequences of being sliced with razor sharp claws. Unlike the other X-Men movies there is blood, death and dismemberment.

The best thing about the R-rating is that it has freed writer/director James Mangold to make a superhero film that is grounded in reality. No over-the-top super powers, but a story of an eternal killing machine who is constantly confronted with his long life of murder and destruction.

Logan is a focused film. Logan is the story of Charles Xavier, James Howlett and Laura. While the X-Men films are about the survival of mutant-kind, Logan is about this strange new family. The stakes are focused on these three individuals. There are very real moments of family including Logan helping Charles go to the bathroom. Logan also is faced with the responsibility of passing on wisdom and experience to a young girl, who is basically his daughter.

Life Lesson for Aging Mutants. Uncovering cool new powers are not the focus in Logan. As mentioned before, Logan is dying. He just wants to die in peace, but deep down he knows that his bloody past will not allow that to happen. There is a moment of peace (the peaceful break of the film) when our heroes are befriended by the Munson family (Eric La Salle) and taken in for a homemade dinner and night’s rest. It is this moment that bring solace and peace to Professor X. Finally, the moment that Logan faces when he sees X-23 heading down the same road of killing he walked down.

Action Set Pieces. Emotions aside, Logan is still an action movie. The fight scenes are varied and exciting. They take place on the hot dry Mexican border, a quiet country farm, the mountainous Canadian border and the best fight in an small Arizona Casino.

What’s Not So Good

Child Actors. Logan has very few bad moments. There is a group of new mutant played by children and the acting of these children did not sit well. Admittedly, finding good child actors is not any easy task and trying to find a large group is even harder.

From there, it’s hard to pick apart a great movie. Interviews with the actors seem to indicate this is Jackman’s last foray into the role of Wolverine, unless Marvel Studios can pull off an Avengers-Wolverine crossover (highly unlikely). Logan is a touching send-off for one of movies most popular unknown heroes.

Hacksaw Ridge – Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge is the true story of WWII Army Medic Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield). Director Mel Gibson brings the unique story of this heroic army medic to light.

Release Date: November 4, 2016
Writer: Robert Schenkken, Andrew Knight
Director: Mel Gibson
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Rachel Griffiths, Hugo Weaving

The best you can say about Desmond Doss is that he’s a conscientious objector, who suffers from a great deal of guilt. As the son of a WWI Veteran Tom Doss (Hugo Weaving), Desmond lives under the tough reign of his father. As a Seventh-Day Adventist, Desmond has vowed never to hold a gun or any other instrument of death. And as an American, he enters the military as a medic to fight along with his countrymen.

At first, Doss excels at boot camp in the areas of fitness and endurance, but everything goes south when Doss refuses to hold a gun. Squad leader Sargent Howell (Vince Vaughn) takes personal offense and presses Doss to be court martialed.

Hacksaw Ridge tells Doss’ story in three parts. The first is his upbringing. Young Desmond is somewhat of an outcast. His father is especially harsh with him and there is a level of fear in Desmond who has to cope with his father’s PTSD from his war days. It is eventually revealed the reason Doss will not so much as touch a gun.

Next, we follow Doss through boot camp. We are treated to the obligatory training sequences, but it is his struggle to stand-up for his pacifism that filmmaker Gibson focuses on. Doss goes through physical punishment from his squad and he ultimately faces court martial for insubordination.

Finally, the battle of Hacksaw Ridge itself in Okinawa. The battle is especially brutal. The Japanese outnumber the Americans. Just entering the battle requires soldiers to climb up netting along a steep cliff.  As brutal as the battle is, we are reminded that Doss is on his own unarmed.

There is a trend in war film to accurately portray the savagery of battle and the realism of bullets flying through bodies. Hacksaw Ridge is especially gruesome as one of the bloodiest battles of WWII with an abundance of exploding heads and dismembered limbs. Medic Doss attends to each man alive, applying pressure, administering pain medicine and transporting bodies to safety.

After the first wave, the Americans are driven back to the sea at the base of the cliffs as nightfall arrives. Doss is alone on the battlefield. It is here when the movie takes off and as Doss begins to literally grab the wounded on the battlefield and lower them to back to camp from atop the cliff. He grabs man after man, praying “Help me get one more.” There are moments where Doss is forced to face his enemy without weapons.

Hacksaw Ridge is an amazing film. It is hard to realize that there are battles that we as Americans have never known if it were not for film. Hacksaw Ridge is a story of faith and conviction. Garfield’s portrayal of Doss is at first a little goofy and overly religious, but you follow and feel his pain through the trials of boot camp to his final heroism in the third act.

As a whole, Hacksaw Ridge ranks high in the world of war films. The acting is top notch. The production values and realism are haunting. But like any biopic, there are certainly forced moments of amazement. For example, when bodies are being lowered to camp, of course someone is going to ask, “Who’s up there?” or “Where did all this wounded come from?”  Heroism is our greatest form of inspiration for times like today.

Jimmy Buffett Performs at Grand Opening of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville at Universal CityWalk on Thursday, March 30

The countdown is on to 5 O’Clock as Universal CityWalk toasts the arrival of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant to the destination—the first-ever in California—with an exclusive performance by singer, songwriter and best-selling author Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band on Thursday, March 30.

Fans can enter to win tickets to Buffett’s invite-only performance on the Margaritaville stage at www.citywalkhollywood.com/margaritavillesweeps.

Margaritaville is more than a restaurant, it’s a state of mind as the spirited new venue brings a seaside retreat to Universal CityWalk that continues to resonate as one of L.A.’s most influential lifestyle centers. Margaritaville is now open, serving lunch and dinner.

Margaritaville at Universal CityWalk Hollywood invites guests to escape the everyday as they dine in a casual environment amid palm trees, thatched enclaves, island music and surfboard tables and enjoy hand-crafted cocktails, live music and entertainment and signature dishes such as LandShark Lager Fish & Chips, Jimmy’s Jammin’ Jambalaya ®, Volcano Nachos or a Cheeseburger in Paradise®.

The venue’s expansive 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar located at the center of the restaurant offers a selection of refreshing specialty drinks, including the Who’s to Blame® Margarita or the 5 O’Clock Somewhere boat drink.