Tag Archives: Justin Timberlake

In Theaters This Weekend: One for the kids, and one…not so much

24 Jun

Some movies are expressly written with children in mind, whether they’re saccharine sweet flicks with a message, or straight up G-rated cartoons about a cute stuffed animal with a honey pot stuck on his head. Then there are movies that are NOT made for kids at all; movies that would actually do harm to a child who is just beginning to make sense of the world. This weekend, we get a little of both, with Cars 2 heading to theaters to entertain the kiddos with lots of bright colors and wholesome action, and then there’s Bad Teacher, a sequel of sorts to the foul-mouthed, nearly soulless Bad Santa. Hey, there’s a little something for everyone, right?

First off, let me just say I never saw the first Cars movie. I believe it was somewhere between thinking how un-cuddly a car made of steel and rubber would be, and me wondering how a society of automobiles could sustain itself without the use of opposable thumbs (or even hands for that matter); but somewhere along the line, they lost me. Now the cars return for another lap, and this time they’re going global, in a plot that takes them to France to compete in a grand prix, and throws a little espionage in to spice up the plot. Of course, the whole show is geared toward kids, especially young boys, who grow up on toy cars and a strange fascination fire trucks and construction equipment. Yet, I’m still left wondering how-in-the-world a world inhabited solely by cars managed to build such engineering marvels as the Eifel Tower, Big Ben, or even the city streets of Paris, which was laid out hundreds of years before a car, or motorized vehicle, was even invented. Now I know the movie has to be entertaining (it’s Pixar; how dare you question them), but I have to admit, these are questions that I just can’t overcome, and I will most likely never see this film. However, if you have kids, I highly recommend taking them to see it this weekend. They’re going to love it.

Now, on to something a bit more adult (but no less juvenile) – Bad Teacher. The film stars Cameron Diaz as a first-year teacher who quits her job to become a kept woman by a super-rich bore who doesn’t realize she’s only using him for his money. When the mother-in-law-to-be enlightens her son of this fact, Diaz is out on her ass, and forced to crawl back to her old job, after spending her summer break in a booze-induced bout of self-destruction. She proceeds to phone in the teaching gig, letting the kids watch movies everyday while she catches up on sleep, and plots her next wealthy victim, Justin Timberlake, playing it straight as a wholesome J.Crew-cut wristwatch heir who prefers forehead kisses to rolling around naked. As she saves up to buy new fake boobs to attract her man, she begins to realize that life is more than money, and the kids she barely knows the names of, are actually moldable minds that she might just be responsible for once the morning bell rings. With Jason Segel as a down-to-earth, pot-smoking gym teacher trying to break the bitch out of her, Diaz shows a bit of growth, without necessarily losing the potty-mouth that makes her a bit endearing. And while the movie is just okay, and glosses over a lot of stuff, it’s got a couple great lines, and should be worth your time if you just need to ditch the kid stuff and swim in the shallow end of a scummy summertime pool.

In Limited Release: If you can find it, we highly recommend checking out Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop, the behind-the-scenes documentary the talk show host made during the nationwide tour he staged between talk shows. A gritty-at-times look at the funny man after he lost ‘The Tonight Show’, he bares all, as the depressed, control-freak that funny men most oftentimes are. If you want to see something adult that contains a bit of childish whimsy, O’Brien is never a let-down, and should prove that the real losers in the late-night wars was us, the viewers.

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Akira Closer to Casting

22 Mar
by brian
The manga that opened the West to the wonders of animated ultra-violence and hard-to-follow plot lines is being made into a Hollywood live-action movie.  The blogo-sphere is about to E-X-P-L-O-D-E.
Akira

Orange County Choppers will have a hell of a time re-creating this gem

Now comes the hard to swallow part for all who revelled in this mind opening/melting anime.  Deadline.com  is reporting that there is a short list of actors who will read for the two main characters, Tetsuo and Kaneda.  In a questionable move, Warner Bros. is considering Robert Pattinson, Andrew Garfield and James McAvoy for the role of tortured science experiment, Tetsuo.  Our laser rifle toting hero Kaneda could be played by Garrett Hedlund, Michael Fassbender, Chris Pine, Justin Timberlake or Joaquin Phoenix.  This news is sure to set any fan of the genre defining film to line up to smack some sense into Hollywood execs.

Hollywood’s most recent foul up came at the expense of devoted AVATAR fans.  Of course, I’m not talking about James Cameron’s ripoff of Ferngully, but The Last Airbender.  So many crimes were committed that the movie died between its East and West Coast premiers.  The fanboy crowd is a powerful one and they single-handedly forced M. Night Shaymalan into hiding.  The makers of this one better be real careful not to screw up too bad.  Director Albert Hughes (Menace II Society, From Hell, Book of Eli) is attached and screenwriter Steve Kloves (The Harry Potter Series and The Amazing Spiderman) has reportedly submitted a PG-13 version. 

Alright.  Let’s count the potential pitfalls.  First, American actors?  At the very least could we get English-speaking Asians to take on the roles?  This move seems very geocentric and arrogant.  Thus is the American way, I suppose.  Hell, the studio would do well to grab YouTube sensation Freddie Wong and his brother Jimmy to take on the roles…maybe they can do the special effects too.  Masi Oka could be a good candidate too.  Next, what about the cool bike?  Is Joaquin Phoenix going to don the leather pill jacket and hit the “green line” on a tricked out, feet forward, lay down street missile?  Doubt it.  Even if they do, what’s to say it’s not going to come off like 2004’s Tourque. 

Okay, let’s talk about the not-so-bad stuff.  Kloves has made a good living creating atmosphere in other-worldly settings.  Even folks who don’t consider themselves honorary members of the Gryffindor Quidditch team like the wizard’s world.  I’m still concerned a PG-13 script could kill this movie before one frame is shot.  The other thing that’s right is Albert Hughes.  He’s made some great movies (with the help of his brother).  It will be interesting to see how the man who made The Book of Eli traverse the dangers of being a boring movie and actually making it really good, takes on a live-action world that begs for CGI.  It could end up looking like Speed Racer.  I shudder to think.  But as our old friend Lavar used to say, “Don’t take my word for it.”  Tell us what you think in the comment section.

And lastly, time for one final look at the magical Akira before Hollywood either lets us down or blows us away.  Remember it for what it was and not the monster it became…kinda like Tetsuo.

In Theaters This Weekend: Holiday movie season FINALLY arrives!

17 Dec

We’ve been waiting patiently all November and December for the studios to start releasing their big holiday movie season blockbusters and Oscar hopefuls, and after what seems like an eternity of stringing us along with one big movie a week (or none at all), it’s finally here, and a hotly anticipated sequel is leading the pack.

TRON: Legacy, the follow-up to 1982’s underachiever-turned-cult-hit TRON, is blazing a light-bike trail into theaters, and the video game based movie is expected to rake it in this Christmas season. Riding high on nostalgia, when this sequel was announced, all the fan-boy sites lit up with excitement, and the finished product looks pretty sharp, looking like they actually got a budget for special effects this time, and rolling out in 3D, no less. Starring Garrett Hedlund and the stunning Olivia Wilde, with Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitnner reprising their roles, the only way this movie is going to suck is if they load up on CGI and nostalgia, and completely forget to write an interesting script, which surprisingly happens more often than you think…

The Fighter opens this weekend as well, and it’s making a strong case for Oscar contention. The true story of Boston boxer Micky Ward (played by Boston actor Mark Wahlberg), and his junkie brother and former boxer himself (played by Christian Bale), is the centerpiece here, and it’s the struggle between knowing when to fight for your family, and when to fight for yourself that’s going to carry this one into Oscar season. Now don’t get us wrong – if you think you’re going to see any acting better than Christian Bale this year, you’re wrong; he’s going to run away with this one. But the movie as a whole just doesn’t strike us as the same caliber as a Rocky or Raging Bull. Bale is a heavyweight here, but the rest of this movie should just throw in the towel.

Also opening up is something for the date-night set, and on paper, this looks great. Reese Witherspoon, Paul Rudd, Owen Wilson, and Jack Nicholson, in a James L. Brooks romantic comedy that deals with a couple sticky situations? Perfect, right? But then you actually take a look at the movie, How Do You Know, and ‘sticky’ becomes the best adjective you can find. Wilson, a professional baseball player, and Witherspoon, a former softball player, live together until she finally has it with his fear of commitment. Old friend Paul Rudd just so happens to be around when she walks out and tries to capitalize on her newly single status, but oh wait, didn’t you forget you were in the middle of a federal indictment that your dad Jack Nicholson keeps trying to tell you about but you keep running away so you don’t have to hear it? Doesn’t really make you seem like boyfriend material. This movie could be an easy way to kill a couple of hours and make your girlfriend happy, but all in all it can’t possibly stack up to the sum of its parts.

And last, and certainly most least, is Yogi Bear the movie, a mix of live action and 3D animation that is sure to provide the worst jokes and most groan-worthy moments of 2010. With Dan Aykroyd as the voice of Yogi, an unrecognizable Justin Timberlake as the voice of Boo Boo, and Tom Cavanaugh as a completely neutered Ranger Smith, none of the talents are used to their best potential. Cavanaugh can’t display his edgy wit, Timberlake’s voice is so manipulated that he might as well not even be in the movie, and let’s face it, Aykroyd hasn’t been funny since the first Ghostbusters. If you have kids, I can’t fault you for going to see this if they’re begging you, but for God’s sake, if you actually check this out on your own, you need to get your head checked.

In limited release: Casino Jack, the Jack Abramoff story starring Kevin Spacey as the sleazeball lobbyist is hitting select markets this weekend, and so is Rabbit Hole, based off a play about a marriage turned upside down after the death of a child, starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart.

Whew, that’s a lot of movies. At least you know that now the studios are serious about the holiday season. Can’t wait to see what’s next…

Yogi Bear The Movie

13 Dec

by brian

You all must have been very bad this year. Our Christmas present from Warner Bros. is a 3D installment of one of the most boring cartoon characters ever. Yogi Bear hits theatres December 17th, just in time for us to curse God right before his son’s birthday.

Yogi is a mix of live action and animation. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? it aint. Starring Tom Cavanagh , Anna Faris, Dan Aykroyd as “Yogi” and Justin Timberlake as “Boo Boo”, this movie is one that doesn’t seem to be made for kids. Sure it’s animated and filled with prat falls, but take a look at the cast. Tom Cavanagh was the quirky Ed on NBC and the quirky brother of Dr. John Dorian on Scrubs…on NBC. Anna Faris attained notoriety in Scary Movie. The last time Dan Aykroyd was relevant to kids was when he starred as “Ray Stantz” in Ghostbusters. I’m sure kids know who Justin Timberlake is, but it’s probably not from his days in *NSYNC (it’s hilarious when my nephew sings that holiday song we all love, “Dick in a Box”). The last piece of evidence that this movie was made for reminiscing older people is the TV Guide. Check it. Is Yogi Bear the cartoon on any channel? I don’t know one kid who prefers Yogi to “Yu-Gi-Oh!”

I always thought Yogi’s antics and plans to ruin pick-a-nics were blah. Ranger Smith caught Yogi and Boo Boo again…oh that Yogi. Oh look, a bear using a magnet to steal a lunch box. There he is again, this time it’s a fishing rod, or maybe he bribed some ants to walk away with the watermelon, and now he’s being tested for diabetes…oh, wait…that was the “very special episode of Yogi.”

So, Will It Suck?

….Yup. Kids aren’t impressed with Yogi. They won’t appreciate Dan Aykroyd. Justin Timberlake’s voice is unrecognizable as Boo Boo and Anna Faris is a straight to DVD Scooby Doo feature away from being out of the business all together. I do think the grown-ups will like Cavanagh. He kinda seems perfect for Ranger Smith. But, for all those who prefer the darker days of Yogi when he busted that miners’ strike or told his drunk father what he really thought, check out the video below for the alternate ending to this weekend’s release.



The Social Network

1 Sep

By josh

When I heard they were making a Facebook movie, I groaned at the thought of another movie based off a popular website that would go straight to video (did anyone see The Onion Movie? we didn’t). A movie based off a website that is essentially 500 million people talking about their day? I all but wrote this off as another way to capitalize on the next big thing. Then I heard David Fincher was attached to direct; now I’m listening. To attract a director with such clout to a movie that doesn’t have a clear plot, well, you’ve just got to trust he’ll come up with something. And something, he did. The official trailer is out, and the story of Mark Zuckerberg and his sketchy rise to billions looks to be the core of the film…

So the big question has always been “how are you going to make a movie out of Facebook?” and despite a really cool user-profile collage set to a haunting cover of Radiohead’s “Creep,” fifty seconds into the clip, we still don’t know where Fincher is going with this. But then the story picks up at “Harvard University Fall 2003” and we get an emotionally charged recap of Zuckerberg screwing over his business partners and “stealing” the idea for the popular social networking website. Now, the whole story about how Facebook started up is speculation, but we’ll let Fincher tell us the whole thing. As far as the trailer is concerned, it’s clearly a Fincher film.

Fincher has a way of coloring his films – Fight Club was green, the “Freedom ‘90” video was blue – and The Social Network is yellow. What Fincher is trying to say with the color of the film, well that’s up to a full viewing to decide, but he has a distinctive style, and it’s all over this thing. As far as casting is concerned, Jesse Eisenberg takes on the role of Zuckerberg, and Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker, the inventor of Napster, and one time President of Facebook, is a fresh site. Say what you will about Timberlake and his boy-band roots, he’s got a knack for taking on interesting roles, and as far as we’re concerned, as an actor he’s held up pretty strong, and has yet to sell out. I’m interested to see what he can pull off here, but with Eisenberg, I’m a bit skeptical that his skittish nerdiness won’t come off as tedious and annoying. Fincher, however, deserves top-billing with this project, and with such a young cast that doesn’t have the clout of a Brad Pitt, Jake Gyllenhaal or Robert Downey Jr., he’s the big name attached here.

 So, will it suck?

No. We’ve seen every Fincher film (with the exception of Alien3), and we are convinced that the man can do no wrong. He blew us away in Se7en, kept it up with The Game, hit a peak with Fight Club, and has been maintaining a steady plateau ever since. Working on a script by Aaron Sorkin, the pedigree on this film is rich, but that only takes care of the behind the camera action. The only question mark is the acting, and based on what we’ve seen from Timberlake in the past, with the supporting cast appearing strong here, our only concern is Eisenberg, who has had minimal experience leading a film, especially one of this caliber. But again, Fincher is the top draw here, and we have no doubt we’ll leave The Social Network on opening night already planning on adding the DVD to our library.

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