The Tourist is about as difficult to get through as spotting the vowels in the name of its director. Florian Henckel von Donnersmark was last seen receiving a Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2007 for The Lives of Others which was about a couple living in East Berlin who were being monitored by the police of the German Democratic Republic. Its positive reception made way for the assumption that Donnersmark would continue to populate the USA with films of seemingly otherworldly and underrepresented themes. But his current project is saddening in its superficiality and total implausibility.
The film’s only real upside is its stars: two of our most prized Americans. Johnny Depp plays Frank Tupelo a math teacher from Wisconsin who travels to Europe after his wife leaves him presumably because of his weakness and simplicity. While en route to Venice he meets Elise Clifton-Ward (Angelina Jolie) who situates herself in his company after she receives a letter from her criminal lover Alexander Pearce (who stole some billions from a very wealthy Russian and the British government) with instructions to find someone on a train who looks like him and make the police believe that he is the real Alexander Pearce to throw the authorities and the Russians off his track. Elise picks Frank and after they are photographed kissing each other on the balcony of Elise’s hotel everyone begins to believe Frank is the real Pearce and so begins the chase.
While Donnersmark could not have picked two better looking people to film roaming around Venice his lack of faith in the audience is obvious. Every aspect of the characters is hammed up again and again as if Donnersmark felt burdened with the task of making us see his vision. Doubtful that we’re capable of getting to where he wants us he has crafted a movie completely devoid of subtlety. Elise’s strength and superiority over Frank are portrayed by close-ups and repeated instances of men burping up their lungs upon seeing her (as if her beauty is in any way subjective?). And in case we forgot that Frank is the victim in this story -- even though he’s been tricked chased and shot at - Donnersmark still felt the need to pin him with a lame electronic cigarette to puff on. Frank and Elise somehow manage to lack mystery even though we get very few factual details about each of them.
Nothing extraordinary comes to us in the way of the film’s structural elements either. There is very little of the action that The Tourist’s marketing led us to believe and the dialog is often painful. The plot itself is almost shockingly unbelievable especially when we’re asked to believe that Elise falls in love with Frank after a combination of kissing him once and her disclosed habit of swooning over men she only spent an hour with (yes that was on her CV).
The Tourist is rather empty and cosmetic. It’s worth seeing if you’re a superfan of Jolie or Depp but don’t expect to walk out of the theater with anything more than the stub you came in with.
First, Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 90 says in jail and then 90 days in a rehab facility for failing to comply with the terms of her parole. Then, after flipping off the judge and attempting to convince her she did exactly as she was told and maintained she only strapped drugs to donkeys and marched them to Vegas on weekends, it was reported she would only serve 23 days in jail, due to the overcrowding of California jails and the relative insignificance of her crimes (compared to murderers and rapists, that is). But today, we've heard rumors she'll be out of there and breathing fresh air (or, breathing as much as her two packs a day lungs will allow her to) even sooner! In fact, Lindsay's old lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, said she could be released as soon as the end of the month. Cue the trombones, fame whores!
Holley said, "it's our expectation that Ms. Lohan will get additional time credit from her earlier times in custody and that will reduce her jail time."
To which I think we can collectively add: what "additional credit?" It's not like she beat the computer player in Mortal Kombat and was given more lives to use when she went up against the transparent dude in the next level! Technically, the "additional credit" will come from the time she was in jail for a whopping 84 minutes in 2007. But how can that count towards anything? And why should it? What's the point of sentencing her to 90 days if the courts keep coming up with reasons for why she shouldn't serve 90 days? And why in a child's belief in Santa should her previous 84 minutes in jail count for a sentence that's already been reduced by at least three quarters?
But this is one of those things we have no control over, LIKE WHEN THE REPAIRMAN'S SUPPOSED TO COME TO FIX A DISHWASHER! She'll be out soon enough, and then we'll all go back to complaining how she's stealing all the chocolate chip cookies on first-class flights and drinking all the Svedka before we can get our hands on it. Just like old times.
Salt the propulsive new thriller from Phillip Noyce (Clear and Present Danger Patriot Games) has been dubbed “Bourne with boobs ” but that label isn’t entirely accurate. In the role of Evelyn Salt a CIA staffer hunted by her own agency after a Russian defector fingers her in a plot to murder Russia’s president Angelina Jolie keeps her two most potent weapons holstered hidden under pantsuits and trenchcoats and the various other components of a super-spy wardrobe that proudly emphasizes function over flash.
But flash is one thing Salt never lacks for. Its breathless cat-and-mouse game hits full-throttle almost from the outset when a former KGB officer named Orlov (Daniel Olbrychski) stumbles into a CIA interrogation room and begins spilling details of a vast conspiracy. Back in the ‘70s hardline elements of the Soviet regime launched an ambitious new front in the Cold War flooding the western world with orphans trained to infiltrate the security complexes of their adopted homelands and wait patiently — decades if necessary — for the order to initiate a series of assassinations intended to trigger a devastating nuclear clash between the superpowers from which the treacherous Reds would emerge triumphant.
The Soviet Union may have long ago collapsed (or did it? Hmmm...) but its army of brainwashed killer orphan spies remains in place and if this crazy Orlov fellow is to be believed they stand poised to reignite the Cold War. It’s a preposterous — even idiotic — scheme but no more so than any of our government’s various harebrained proposals to kill Castro back in the ‘60s. As such the CIA treats it with grave seriousness even the part that that pegs Salt who just happens to be a Russian-born orphan herself as a key player in the conspiracy.
Salt bristles at the accusation but suspecting a set-up she opts to flee rather than face interrogation from her bosses Winter (Liev Schreiber) and Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor). A former field agent she’s been confined to a desk job since a clandestine operation in North Korea went south leaving her with a nasty shiner and a rather unremarkable German boyfriend (now her unremarkable German husband). She’s clearly kept up her training during while cubicle-bound however and in a blaze of resourceful thinking and devastating Parkour Fu she fends off a dozen or so agents of questionable competence and takes to the streets where she sets about to clear her name and unravel the Commie orphan conspiracy before the authorities can catch up with her. That is if she isn’t a part of the conspiracy.
The premise which aims to resurrect Cold War tensions and graft them onto a modern-day spy thriller is absurdly clever — and cleverly absurd. But Kurt Wimmer’s screenplay isn’t satisfied with the merely clever and absurd — it must be mind-blowing. Salt is one of those thrillers that ladles out its backstory slowly and in tiny portions every once in a while dropping a revelatory bombshell that effectively blows the lid off everything that happened beforehand. No one is who they seem and every action every gesture no matter how seemingly trivial is imbued with some kind of grand significance. The effect of piling on one insane twist after another has the effect of gradually diluting the narrative. When anything is possible nothing really matters.
But spy thrillers by definition trade in the preposterous and the principal function of the summer blockbuster is to entertain. In that regard Salt more than fulfills its charge. Noyce wisely keeps the story moving at pace that allows little time for asking uncomfortable questions or poking holes in the film’s frail plot. And he has an able partner in the infinitely versatile Jolie who having already exhibited formidable action-hero chops in Wanted and the Tomb Raider films proves remarkably adept at the spy game as well.
It’s well-known that Jolie wasn’t the first choice to star in Salt joining the project only after Tom Cruise dropped out citing the story’s growing similarities to the Mission: Impossible films. But she’s more than just a capable replacement; she’s a welcome upgrade over Cruise not least because she’s over a decade younger (and a few inches taller) than her predecessor. Should Brad Bird require a pinch-hitter for Ethan Hunt he knows where to look.
Jason Hill claims the Stomp the Yard star broke his jaw in the scuffle, which took place in February (10).
Hill won his request for a restraining order on Monday (12Apr10), according to TMZ.com, after revealing he was beaten so badly he needed two operations to fix his injuries.
The alleged victim claims Short and two members of his entourage showed up at his home in North Hollywood last week (ends09Apr10) and threatened him with "acts of violence".
Short's lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, tells the website Hill struck the first blow in the basketball fight and his client never even saw the alleged victim on his recent trip to see a friend in North Hollywood.
Teaming up Tina Fey and Steve Carell stars of 30 Rock and The Office is a tantalizing prospect for fans of NBC’s back-to-back Thursday night sitcoms. But their big-screen collaboration the action comedy Date Night yields surprisingly little of the comic synergy one would expect from such a potent one-two punch.
In fact it probably never could have — at least not with director Shawn Levy (The Pink Panther Night at the Museum) overseeing the action. Soon after Fey and Carell emerge on-screen playing a suburban married couple whose relationship has devolved into a dull domestic routine the mistake of their pairing becomes evident. Seeing them together serves only to heighten our recall of their TV work and we can’t help but pine for them as Liz Lemon and Michael Scott. But in Date Night they are stubbornly moored to their portrayals of Phil and Claire Foster two entirely normal people who get along perfectly well but who’ve grown a little bored with their daily lives.
Normal of course isn’t ever very funny (if it were Mormons would rule the stand-up circuit). As such the humor in Date Night is supposed to emanate from the extraordinary circumstances with which the Fosters are faced (a case of mistaken identity makes them the target of corrupt cops and the centerpiece of a criminal conspiracy) the desperate lengths they go to get out of trouble and the interesting personalities they meet along the way. None of which unfortunately director Levy or screenwriter Josh Klausner are equipped to provide. As a result two very funny actors are left to twist in the wind for nearly 90 minutes.
What the film cries out for most is a quality supporting player a Dwight Schrute or a Tracy Jordan to enliven the action and give stars Fey and Carell something — anything — to play against but no one in Date Night proves up to the task. Not the mirthless one-dimensional goons tailing the Fosters. Not the mobster played by Ray Liotta who looks more tired of his novelty Goodfellas shtick than we are. And most certainly not Mark Wahlberg whose comic routine in Date Night involves his face playing straight man to his pectorals.
The action is briefly energized by James Franco and Mila Kunis appearing together in a hilarious surprise cameo (oops!) as a feuding miscreant couple. Their comic spark instantly eclipses that of Fey and Carell yielding more laughs in a two-minute span than the two stars are able to conjure throughout the entirety of the film. Unfortunately for us they leave Date Night almost as quickly as they arrive taking their spark with them.
The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.
Hot on the heels of the 3-D release of the Toy Story/Toy Story 2 double feature, Disney today debuted the first full-length trailer for Toy Story 3, the forthcoming continuation of the acclaimed computer-animated franchise. The latest installment has Buzz, Woody and the rest of the bunch fighting for their lives after their owner donates them to a day-care center:
Toy Story 3 reunites all of the major names from the preceding films, including Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn and more. Newcomers include Michael Keaton and Whoopi Goldberg.
Toy Story 3 opens June 18, 2010.
Source: Yahoo! Movies
Check out the trailer for Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans starring Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes and Val Kilmer.
The film, directed by Werner Herzog, is about a rogue detective (Cage), who's devoted to both his job and his drugs. He plays "loose and fast" with the law and of course, he finds himself in a bit of trouble.
Check out the trailer and let us know if you think it's as bat-sh*t crazy as we do!
The film hits theaters on November 20th and also stars Fairuza Balk, Jennifer Coolidge, Vondie Curtis Hall, Shawn Hatosy and Denzel Whitaker.
Superstar Jay-Z is proving his status as a hip-hop heavyweight -- he has been named the most powerful person in the rap world.
The “99 Problems” hitmaker (real name Shawn Carter), has landed the top spot on rap magazine The Source's Power 30 list, citing his clothing label Rocawear, his part-ownership of basketball team the New Jersey Nets, and his recent Live Nation deal -- rumored to be worth a whopping $150 million -- as proof of his leadership credentials.
Jay-Z, who is married to Beyonce Knowles, leads the countdown ahead of Sean 'Diddy' Combs, 50 Cent, Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg.
President Barack Obama also gets an honorary mention on the list in recognition of his influence on the young hip-hop generation.
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While CBS was busy handing out Grammys for what felt like all of Sunday night, ABC made some important announcements of its own: the participants in season 8 of Dancing with the Stars.
Well, most of them, anyway.
Thirteen ‘star’ contestants were announced, with the final celeb dancers to be revealed on Feb. 12.
Among the highlights: Jackass’ resident self-mutilator Steve-O; Grammy-winning rapper/onetime jailbird Lil' Kim; Apple cofounder/Kathy Griffin’s former beau Steve Wozniak; actress/reality TV also-ran Denise Richards; and pop-turned-country singer Jewel and her cowboy husband Ty Murray, the first-ever spouses to appear together on the show.
The other contestants will include Olympic gold-medal gymnast (and token athlete participant) Shawn Johnson; country singer Chuck Wicks; Gilles Marini (aka “The Naked Guy” from the Sex and the City movie); former NFL star (and token football-player contestant) Lawrence Taylor; Access Hollywood co-host Nancy O'Dell; ‘80s singer Belinda Carlisle; and TV journeyman David Alan Grier.
The new season kicks off March 9.
So, who do you expect -- or hope -- the final contestants will be?
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