PopWatch Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch Blog

Five directors who can help Johnny Depp recover from 'Mortdecai'

The saddest part of Mortdecai‘s abyssmal debut this weekend was how expected it seemed to be. Johnny Depp’s latest starring vehicle, in which he plays a daffy British bon-vivant jetting around the world to find a stolen masterpiece, aimed to be a kind of Pink Panther-esque caper, but American audiences stayed away in droves, and the critics unloaded. “In the end, we must lay the badness of Mortdecai at the feet of its star,” wrote New York‘s David Edelstein. “I envy Depp’s capacity for self-amusement, but it’s a pity he’s so rich and enbubbled that no one dares say to say to him, ‘Er, Johnny… this is, er, really very bad.'”

Mortdecai is expected to barely crack $4 million this weekend, making it Depp’s worst wide debut since 1999’s The Astronaut’s Wife. But most everyone saw this debacle coming: the comedy opened in less than 2,700 theaters—indicating a startling amount of indifference from the exhibitors towards a major Hollywood superstar—and many of the nation’s leading film critics couldn’t be bothered to review it. (Those who did chime in pilloried the film with a 12 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.) Though Depp currently has a hit in theaters, with a supporting role as the Wolf in Into the Woods, Mortdecai is his fifth consecutive stinker as the film’s star, following in the wake of Transcendence, The Lone Ranger, Dark Shadows, and The Rum Diary.

His last real blockbuster was the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film, On Stranger Tides, cashing in again as Capt. Jack Sparrow. Recall that Depp spent the bulk of his 30s thrashing against Hollywood’s square-peg efforts to make him the billon-dollar star he looked like on the poster, and that it eventually happened only after his cockeyed portrayal of Capt. Jack is a delightfully ironic gag that pleased him to no end. But Depp used the success of the Pirates franchise as an endorsement of a tic—his “aria of weirdness” that requires him to hide behind characters rather than disappear into them. Since Capt. Jack gave him carte blanche, there’s been Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland, Dark Shadows, The Lone Ranger, Transcendence, Into the Woods, and now, Mortdecai. Some of these characters were pretty fabulous concoctions, but together, they mask something else: For an actor who can literally make any movie he chooses, Depp has fallen into the type of creative rut that would’ve made 1995 Johnny Depp roll his eyes. READ FULL STORY

Blake Shelton takes over 'Saturday Night Live' this weekend: Talk about it here!

Don’t you just love the smell of corporate synergy in the morning?

Perhaps that’s an unfair statement. Country star Blake Shelton’s status as The Voice‘s top dog—he’s one of only two celebrity coaches to appear on every season of the series, and his contestants have won the competition’s big prize a whopping four out of seven times—certainly isn’t the only reason he’s been tapped to serve as Saturday Night Live‘s host and musical guest tonight.

Anyone who’s tuned in for even a single Voice episode knows that Shelton’s more than a country singer. His easygoing, down-home charm and likable banter with his fellow coaches—especially Adam Levine, who was tapped to pull double duty on SNL himself two years ago—both made Shelton the hit show’s breakout star and indicate that he’d be more than comfortable in a variety show setting. See also: Shelton’s 2012 holiday special, Blake Shelton’s Not So Family Christmas, the highlight of which is a claymation sketch that finds the host and his pal Larry the Cable Guy accidentally murdering Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.


Bill Maher calls 'American Sniper' Chris Kyle 'a psychopath patriot'

On Friday night’s Real Time with Bill Maher, the caustic host and his panel discussed last week’s big box office news—the runaway success of Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, which as of January 23 has made approximately $154 million. While the film’s financial success is certainly making headlines, Maher was interested in the polarity of the social media discussion around the film and its real-life hero, the late Chris Kyle.


Join Ben Barnes on Facebook for EW's 'Sons of Liberty' Q&A

American history heroes like John Adams, Paul Revere, John Hancock, and others will come to life in History Channel’s latest miniseries Sons of Liberty, which follows these patriots on their quest to make history and win American independence. Ahead of the premiere on Sunday, star Ben Barnes will be on hand Saturday for a Q&A on EW‘s Facebook page.

The Chronicles of Narnia star plays “instigator” Sam Adams in the Revolutionary War-drama. In this version, Adams is a natural born leader with a penchant for “mischief.”

The Facebook Q&A starts Saturday, Jan. 24 at 3 p.m. ET, with Barnes answering all of your show questions. Sons of Liberty‘s three-night, six-hour event premieres Sunday, Jan. 25 at 9 p.m. ET.

New dating app 'Watchr' finds the person you were meant to binge-watch with


When it comes to finding that perfect match, dating apps just don’t cut it for some people. They don’t reveal enough about the person. They don’t help you learn what really matters to them. They don’t tell you what episode of Mad Men they are on right now. READ FULL STORY

Apple stuns the world, says Apple Watch battery will last all day

Apple thinks that its new smartwatch is pretty cool. Apple, of course, is the only entity qualified to say that, because Apple Watch has yet to be released out into the wild. But once again—even if it is cool, cooler than the dozens of other smartwatches on the market—none of that will matter if its battery doesn’t last long enough.

But according to Apple, the company’s smartwatch will last long enough for a day’s worth of “mixed use,” i.e. when a user only occasionally glances at it or uses its various widgets and doodads—you know, like just about every other smart watch on the market. Check out the video for more information.

Finally, something the world has never seen before: a watch with a battery that will last all day.

Conan O'Brien tackles Deflategate and Bill Cosby in one joke

Conan O’Brien poked fun at the New England Patriots on Thursday night following what football fans are calling “Deflategate.”— and in the middle of the managed, he managed to throw in a serious jab at Bill Cosby.


Who could Chiwetel Ejiofor play in 'Doctor Strange'?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor is the latest highly-respected actor to be pursued by a movie studio for a role in a superhero film—that film being Marvel’s Doctor Strange. If the report is true—and even if it is, the deal is supposedly in its earliest stages—it would certainly raise the film’s profile significantly. Which is a good thing when your subject matter is as abstract and weird as Doctor Strange. (Neither Marvel nor Ejiofor has yet responded to EW’s request for comment.)

But who would Ejiofor play in the film?

Speculation abounds—especially since THR called the Strange role a leading one, then offered three possible suggestions: villain Baron Mordo, Strange’s mentor The Ancient One, or Strange’s assistant Wong. Meanwhile, Bleeding Cool points out that comics speculators seem to believe Ejiofor would play Brother Voodoo, another mystic hero in the Marvel Universe who goes on to briefly replace Stephen Strange as Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme.

Let’s break these down, one at a time:


Ask Dalton: Can recaps replace TV viewing?

Is honesty the best policy when it comes to watching TV with your spouse? And can a recap take the place of an actual show? Dalton Ross, EW editor-at-large and resident pop-culture referee, weighs in.

I promised a friend I’d catch up on Celebrity Apprentice, but there are so many episodes. Can I just read recaps and fake it? —Sonja (@SonjaC519)
Well, Sonja, before I can properly rule on the matter of whether you should actually sit down and watch an episode of The Celebrity Apprentice, I need to ask you the following question: Generally speaking, what are your thoughts when it comes to Donald Trump carrying on an extended conversation about Olympic champion Shawn Johnson’s menstrual cycle? Is that something in which you might be interested? READ FULL STORY

Nominated for Nothing: 'Snowpiercer'


Just about every year, brilliant movies are utterly ignored by the Oscars. The Searchers, Groundhog Day, Breathless, King Kong, Casino Royale, Touch of Evil, Caddyshack, Mean Streets, The Big Lebowski, Blackfish — the Academy has a long history of overlooking comedies, action movies, horror flicks, hard-boiled genre pics, artsy foreign films, and documentaries that aren’t about World War II. Before the ceremony, we’ll be taking a closer look at films that were too small, too weird, or perhaps simply too awesome for the Academy Awards. These are the Non-Nominees.

The film: Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer is the story of mankind’s devolution after a plan to counteract global warming backfires, transforming the entire planet into a deadly Arctic tundra. Before all was lost, a billionaire named Wilfred built a behemoth of a train to save the remainders of humanity—and quite literally compartmentalize them by class. The suffering 99 percent is held like cattle in the back of the train—nearly starved, worked to the bone, completely dehumanized, and told to shut up and be grateful, or pay dearly for their insubordination. Meanwhile, the elite one percent luxuriate in their vast front-of-the-train libraries, gourmet sushi restaurants, and plush jazz bars.

Curtis (Chris Evans) and company, with nothing to lose after 17 years of oppression, are sparked by acts of cruelty to revolt by attempting to make their way to the train’s engine. The film’s all-star cast also features Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, Jamie Bell, Octavia Spencer, Ed Harris, Ewen Bremner and South Korean star Kang-ho Song. READ FULL STORY

Latest Videos


From Our Partners

TV Recaps

Powered by WordPress.com VIP