How Movies Receive Their Ratings

Many Americans use the MPAA’s formalized rating system as a guide for which films to see. The Onion provides a step-by-step view into how these ratings are chosen:

‘Winnie-The-Pooh’ Turns 90

Winnie-The-Pooh, the A.A. Milne series featuring a stuffed bear and his toy animal friends, debuted 90 years ago this week. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s nearly century-long run:

50 Years Of ‘Star Trek’

Star Trek, the science-fiction show about the crew of the starship Enterprise, premiered 50 years ago today on NBC, spawning a cult following and decades of spin-offs. Here are some milestones from the franchise’s 50-year history

How Big-Budget Movies Flop

Despite the recent box-office failures of Exodus, Ben-Hur, and Gods Of Egypt, studios continue to fund big-budget movies they hope will achieve blockbuster success. The Onion provides a step-by-step breakdown of how one of these movies becomes a flop:

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 30, 2016

ARIES: Sometimes in life, you just need to stop whatever it is you’re doing and take a step back. Actually, maybe it’s two steps back. Yeah, that’s good. Keep going. The stars will let you know when you’re far enough.

‘Rugrats’ Turns 25

This August marks the 25th anniversary of the premiere of Rugrats, the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon about intrepid baby Tommy Pickles and his group of toddler friends. Here are some milestones from the show’s nine-season run

Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 9, 2016

ARIES: Your life’s story will soon play out in front of movie theater audiences across the country, though it’ll only last about 30 seconds and advertise free soft drink refills in the main lobby.

Director Has Clear Vision Of How Studio Will Destroy Movie

LOS ANGELES—Saying he can already picture exactly what the finished cut will look like on the big screen, Hollywood film director Paul Stanton told reporters Wednesday he has a clear vision of how studio executives will totally destroy his upcoming movie.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 14, 2016

ARIES: Once the laughter dies down, the party favors are put away, and the monkeys led back inside their cages, you’ll finally be given a chance to explain your side of the story.

Lost Jack London Manuscript, ‘The Doggy,’ Found

RYE, NY—Workers inventorying the estate of a recently deceased Westchester County art dealer earlier this month reportedly stumbled upon a draft of a previously unknown Jack London novel titled The Doggy, and the work is already being hailed by many within the literary world as a masterpiece.

Guide To The Characters Of ‘The Force Awakens’

The highly anticipated seventh episode in the ‘Star Wars’ series, ‘The Force Awakens,’ which will be released December 18, will feature several returning characters as well as a host of new ones. Here is a guide to the characters of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens.’

Robert De Niro Stunned To Learn Of Man Who Can Quote ‘Goodfellas’

‘Bring Him To Me,’ Actor Demands

NEW YORK—Immediately halting production on his latest project after hearing of the incredible talent, legendary actor Robert De Niro was reportedly stunned to learn Wednesday that Bayonne, NJ resident Eric Sullivan, 33, can quote the critically acclaimed 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas at length.

Timeline Of The James Bond Series

This week marks the release of the 24th film in the James Bond franchise, Spectre, featuring Daniel Craig in his fourth appearance as the British secret agent. Here are some notable moments from the film series’s 53-year history
End Of Section
  • More News


'Entertainment Weekly' Utilizes Pun in Article About Tom Cruise

NEW YORK—It is a mere two weeks after the release of the summer blockbuster Mission: Impossible, and Lori Skedelesky, an associate editor at Entertainment Weekly, can claim responsibility for one of the most clever turns of phrase in recent journalistic history: “Cruise Control.”

“I’m very proud of it,” says Skedelesky of the headline, which appeared in the summer movie preview issue of the magazine. “I was sitting around racking my brains, when all of a sudden it occurred to me that [the actor]’s last name seemed somehow familiar to me. On a hunch, I looked it up in a dictionary. Sure enough, I found it—and not just as a proper noun, but as a regular noun and a verb.”

The dictionary hunt proved a bonanza for Skedelesky, who discovered to her amazement that “cruise” not only is a word in its own right, but also forms part of many “phrases,” or groups of words commonly used together. One of these was “cruise control,” which Skedelesky notes is “a feature in modern automobiles that allows them to maintain a constant speed.”

But what relevance does an automotive convenience have to the mega-star of Losin’ It and Taps? That’s where Skedelesky’s training as a journalist came into play. The tenacious Skedelesky, following her instincts and the lead of popular literary critics like Jacques Derrida and Cindy Adams, decided to take the phrase “cruise control” and deconstruct it into its constituent parts—namely, “cruise” and “control.” When she did—presto!

“It was a real ‘Eureka!’ moment,” says Skedelesky, who earned her stripes at Columbia University’s School of Journalism and TV Guide. “He’s not only the star of the movie, but its producer. Now, everyone knows that producers have a lot of power, or control, over a film. So, the kind of power the producer of Mission: Impossible has is ‘cruise control.’ Capitalize the two words, and you have a very concise way of expressing the motif of the article.”

But “conciseness isn’t its only virtue,” notes Harold Bloom, Professor Emeritus of Literature at Yale University. “To those readers already familiar with the phrase ‘cruise control’ from its usual context, the sudden realization of its applicability in an entirely different area of human experience will send a frisson of delight through their veins, in recognition of the principle of synchronicity at once so ubiquitous yet so hidden in our daily lives.”

The modest Skedelesky admits that the rest of Entertainment Weekly’s staff is abuzz over her work. In fact, her boss, senior editor Denise Bankman, told reporters that associate editors usually don’t have the experience to come up with headlines by themselves, but that they are encouraged to “pitch” ideas at the creative meetings each week.

“To expect that level of idea from an associate editor is unrealistic,” Bankman says. “But every now and then, one of them strikes gold. Right after she came to me with the idea, I told Lori, ‘Welcome to the big leagues.’”

But beyond the 152-person editorial staff of the magazine, the two-word masterpiece earned Skedelesky an even bigger fan—Mr. Cruise Control himself!

“He called me yesterday,” blushes Skedelesky. “Well, not really. It was his publicist’s assistant, and she said how much Mr. Cruise enjoyed the article and thanked me for doing my part to make the movie a success. He’s incredibly down-to-earth.”

Fresh off her “headline-making” success with Tom Cruise, Skedelesky has been assigned another celebrity-profile article, this time of Friends’ David Schwimmer. Skedelesky says “mum’s the word” about the headline of the Schwimmer piece, but she assures us that it goes “even further into the realm of wordplay,” and adds cryptically, “People who use pools to exercise will particularly enjoy it.”

Entertainment Video

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close