Now that he's beyond the age of propriety for suspended-adolescence comedies like Waiting... and Van Wilder, Ryan Reynolds is in hot pursuit of his new niche. He failed, and quite dismally, at the superhero genre (with Green Lantern falling short of everybody's hopes and expectations), and didn't do much to impress in the realm of the straight up crime thriller (playing opposite Denzel Washington in Safe House). Reynolds, gifted with superhuman smarm, belongs in comedy. As such, it would seem that R.I.P.D. is the perfect fit for the newly action-oriented frontman, a melding of his blossoming lust for adventure and his age old proclivity for cracking wise.
But it's at least an hour into the fantastical feature before Reynolds makes his first joke. And it's a joke about skull-f**king, for goodness' sake. Playing a newly deceased Boston lawman charged with protecting the Earth from ghoulish "deados" (departed humans who refuse to leave the planet, infecting everything around them with their toxic aura), Reynolds broods his whole way through R.I.P.D., wishing only to reunite with his beloved wife Julia (Stephanie Szostak) and exact revenge on his partner/murderer (Kevin Bacon). Adherent to his Beantown copper protocol and his inability to accept his fate, Reynolds' Nick is a joyless character whose goat is repeatedly gotten by his partner, deado-hunter veteran Old West cowboy Roysephus "Roy" Pulsifer (Jeff Bridges), the film's real jokester.
In fact, Reynolds seems to be playing a conglomerate of all of the victims of his snark in films past: an agitated, no-nonsense straight man who laments his sidekick's inability to shut his trap. As Roy yammers on endlessly, much to Nick's chagrin, those who approached this film hoping to see the Reynolds we know and love will feel a bit short-changed: where are the wisecracks? The cocky charm? Why isn't he the one being told to shut up? An odd choice that seems, more than anything else, like a wasted opportunity, when so much of R.I.P.D. passes by sans laughter despite its possession of this comically-inclined star.
The backdrop of the film, however, is painted vividly with a sense of humor — an important element, mind you, considering the fact that the extremely complex mythology of R.I.P.D. is absolutely senseless. Men and women from all eras are charged with staving off damnation by joining the Rest in Peace Department, which has been around since about 1954 and drops its officers into entirely different human bodies during their earthly tours. Meanwhile, the deados (once emancipated from their human bodies and transformed into their ghoulish, ghastly new figures), can be seen by all as they run rampant through the streets, killing plants and destroying electronics with their "deadly stench," and wreaking general mayhem... yes, people see these monsters, but they don't seem to be too concerned by them.
There are a lot of things that you're best left not thinking about when it comes to R.I.P.D., but there aren't enough laughs to keep you from thinking about them. Bridges' cowboy character isn't much of a hoot, Mary Louise Parker's phantom executive is the dead-eyed opposite to the maniac she plays in this weekend's other release, Red 2 (somewhere in between, we might have a real person), and Reynolds is shockingly joyless from beginning to end. Except for that skull-f**k joke. So, if that's your speed...
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The atom, the basic unit of all matter in the universe, was discovered by scientists in the early 1800s. This month, atoms have become the stars of the world's smallest movie.
Chalk it up to scientists in need of a creative outlet, or man's godlike grasp on life's fundamental building blocks, but the folks over at IBM have unveiled the first ever stop-motion short animated with atoms. Below, see the Guinness World Record-certified, A Boy and His Atom.
The short film was shot using two of IBM's scanning tunneling microscope, devices that can enlarge a copper surface 100 million times. Using a needle placed only a few nanometers away from their "canvas," scientists magnetized and manipulated the placement of the atoms to create the motion of a boy running, jumping, and playing with a ball.
A Boy and His Atom recalls the first short films from the turn of the 20th century, when the artistic achievement was more about the technology functioning enough to capture any sort of image. We likely won't see IBM's cinematic experiment heralding a new age of atomic filmmaking, but like any great movie, it makes an idea digestible to mass audiences; Science is cool!
To see how the IBM team pieced together their microscopic masterpiece, check out their making of video:
Follow Matt Patches on Twitter @misterpatches
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"Tanning Mom" is not leaving the (probably UV-heavy) spotlight anytime soon.
There’s no word who is producing it, how it’s being funded, or where it will be distributed, but In Touch Weekly reveals in a new interview with Patricia Krentcil, the elfin mother of five with some majorly artificial pigmentation, that she’s planning to star in a movie based on her life. Specifically, it will focus on the ordeal she suffered during 2012, when she was accused of bringing her six-year-old daughter Anna with her into a tanning booth.
On Feb. 26 a grand jury ruled that it would not indict Krentcil on charges of child endangerment. Still, the copper-toned New Jersey native who never uses Coppertone tells In Touch, “What they did to me was not right.” She’ll be making the movie—“It’s going to portray everything that’s happened”—in order to raise money to pay her legal bills and help fund the education of her children. Krentcil also says she’s been getting modeling offers.
RELATED: Tanning Mom’s Hollywood Lookalikes
Obviously, the movie will be a color-splashed extravaganza—I’d advise going with old-school three-strip Technicolor to capture Krentcil’s unnatural hue—but otherwise details about the project are sparse. Personally, I’d like to think that Joel Schumacher will helm and, like Phone Booth, stage the movie entirely inside a closed tanning bed for maximum claustrophobia.
Here's hoping U.S. Representative John Boehner makes his screen debut as Tanning Mom’s love interest.
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credit: Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images]
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