Easy A a teen sex comedy with no actual sex aims rather conspicuously to plumb the best bits of Diablo Cody and Alexander Payne in its upside-down self-consciously campy take on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. In the role of its high-school Hester Prynne is Emma Stone the sly husky heroine of last year’s surprise hit Zombieland. Tested by a film that is far less clever than its director Will Gluck or screenwriter Bert Royal would have us believe (and they desperately want us to believe) she passes with flying colors delivering a performance that should elevate her into the upper echelon of actresses possessing brains and beauty in equal measure.
Stone plays Olive the kind of quick-witted hyper-literate teen that our educational system produces in ever-diminishing numbers. (If it ever produced them to begin with.) More knowing and sophisticated than others her age she is nonetheless not immune to the pressure of peers and the dread of being labeled a loser. Under duress by a prying friend (Aly Michalka) to dish the details of her birthday weekend a rather mundane affair mainly spent jumping on her bed to the tune of Natasha Bedingfield’s pop monstrosity “Pocket Full of Sunshine ” she feels compelled to embellish a bit and concocts an entirely fictional account of losing her virginity (dubbed the “V-Card” by Royal trying too hard) to a boy from a junior college across town.
Word of Olive’s deflowering spreads with startling speed aided by the incessant rumor-mongering of a catty Evangelical eavesdropper (Amanda Bynes). Suddenly branded a tramp on account of a seemingly harmless little lie Olive opts to embrace her newly tarnished reputation and put it to good use. In a viciously stratified social environment where even the most awkward acne-plagued pariah can earn respect and even admiration from members of the upper castes for having gone All the Way Olive anoints herself the Mother Theresa of (fake) sluts bestowing her blessing upon downtrodden gents in need of a reputation boost. And she resolves to look the part too traipsing around in scandalous bustiers and affixing the letter “A” to her chest.
There are limits to Easy A’s Scarlet Letter conceit overly Glee-ful tone forced repartee and pop-culture references (John Hughes is invoked so many times he should get a producer credit). Which is why director Gluck must be grateful to have found Stone who handles the verbal calisthenics of Royal’s script with charm and verve and a certain effortless appeal that keeps us engaged even as the film wallows in contrived irony and heavy-handedness. Keep your eye on her.
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.
Harrison Ford's wife, screenwriter Melissa Mathison, has filed for a legal separation from the actor after 18 years of marriage, his spokesman said on Thursday. Mathison is also seeking custody of their two children, Malcom, 14, and Georgia, 11.
Things seemed to be going along fine for Ford and Mathison until last November, when they announced in a joint statement that they were separating, but still trying to work out their problems. Ford reportedly moved out of their New York City apartment and into a hotel.
That same month however, Ford, was seen in nightclubs, and rumors linking him romantically with actress Lara Flynn Boyle surfaced after The National Enquirer published photos of the two chatting over cocktails in a Manhattan club. At the time, Ford's manager and publicist, Patricia McQueeney, strongly denied rumors of a romance, calling the reports false and inaccurate.
Ford and Mathison then reportedly spent time together during the Christmas holidays.
In March, the two appeared to have patched things up. People magazine quoted a source close to Ford as saying, "They're definitely back together. He seems happier."
Unfortunately, the happy reunion didn't last very long, though Ford's spokeswoman said in a statement Thursday that the couple remains on good terms. She also added that Ford, 59, is currently spending time with his children at the couples Los Angeles home. Ford and Mathison also own homes n New York and Wyoming.
Ford had no comment on Mathison's petition.
Ford and Mathison met on the set of Apocalypse Now in 1978. Ford starred as Colonel Lucas in the epic war drama while Mathison worked as an executive assistant. They married in 1983.
During the filming, Ford was married to his first wife Mary with whom he had two children, Benjamin and William. They divorced in 1979.
Mathison, on the other hand, was said to be having a relationship with Apocalypse Now director Francis Ford Coppola. Starting off as a baby sitter for Coppola's children, she eventually left UC Berkley to work as Coppola's assistant on The Godfather, Part II in 1974.
Coppola's aides have confirmed the rumor that Mathison was the young woman to whom Eleanor Coppola refers when she discusses her husband's extramarital interest in Notes, her journal on the making of Apocalypse Now.
The breakup year that is Y2K has claimed another casualty, and his name is Harrison Ford.
The "Indiana Jones" actor and his wife of 17 years, screenwriter Melissa Mathison, dropped a bombed on the entertainment media Tuesday with the announcement of their separation.
"We have been living apart for the past month," the ex-couple said in a statement. "We sincerely hope that we can work out our differences."
"We would appreciate it if the media and the public would respect this as a very painful time for both of us and consider this a private matter henceforth," they added.
The news, as noted by many reports, comes just days after the National Enquirer published a photo of Ford hanging out with "The Practice" star Lara Flynn Boyle in a New York club, with the suggestion that the two were romantically involved.
Boyle, 30, of course, has been very single after her much publicized breakup with sexagenarian Jack Nicholson about two months ago.
But all that is bogus, according to Ford's manager, Patricia McQueeney, who told People Online that the press statement was issued specifically to target the rampant tab reports.
"There's just no third party involved," McQueeney told People. "Not another woman nor another man."
Ford, 58, and Mathison, 49, met in 1979 on the set of "Apocalypse Now." The two were married later that year after Ford called it quits with his then wife and college sweetheart, Mary Marquardt.
Ford and Mathison have two children, ages 13 and 10.