Justin Timberlake's newest movie, Runner Runner, is in theaters now, and even though it boasts big names like Ben Affleck, it's not winning over the critics or audiences. Timberlake plays Richie, a Princeston student who plays online poker to pay for his tuition and gets swindled by an online gambling boss (Affleck), who later takes Richie under his wing. Timberlake's latest inspired us to take a look back at his entire movie career, so we did just that and ranked his most notable movies from best to...not so great.
The Social Network
Not only did The Social Network win several Academy Awards, but it almost earned Timberlake an Oscar nod for best supporting actor. Now that is impressive. Timberlake's portrayal of Napster founder Sean Parker is arguably the best of his career.
Inside Llewyn Davis
You know you've made it when you're cast in a Coen brothers movie. In this one, Timberlake plays a musician and performs covers of classic folk songs live for the film.
Friends With Benefits
This movie came out around the same time as No Strings Attached, which basically had the same premise, but Timberlake's film was by far the superior of the two. He and Mila Kunis have palpable chemistry and a very natural rapport. The movie's real magic, however, lies in its postmodern mocking of the rom-com genre.
Black Snake Moan
Still starting out in his career, Timberlake played a minor role in this 2006 drama, but anytime he was on screen, his presence was overshadowed by another actor. Even when sharing the frame with little-known actor Michael Raymond-James, James clearly has more weight as an actor than the pop singer.
Though he stood out as a goofy supporting friend character, the movie is one of the most painful to watch in recent memory.
Trouble With the Curve
Not even Clint Eastwood and Amy Adams can save this snoozefest. It sort of makes you wonder if Timberlake only signed on because Eastwood's name was attached.
Cameron Diaz is hilarious as the teacher who smokes pot in front of her students and cares more about finding a rich husband than teaching, while Timberlake is the weakest link in a solid cast of comedians that also includes Jason Segel and Lucy Punch.
This wannabe sci-fi dystopia flick, about a future world that uses time as currency, looks slick, but the plot is ludicrous and poorly executed. Timberlake especially falls flat in his first major action role.
It just so happens that Timberlake's latest movie is his worst. His acting in the thriller may have improved marginally — he's doing the obvious head turns and concerned face less — but the movie fails to engage the audience with the subject matter.
In anticipation for the upcoming David O. Russell movie American Hustle, we're celebrating the 1970s with a look at our favorite modern-day films set in the disco era. Based on the FBI Abscam operation in the late '70s and early '80s, the movie centers around a cunning con man (Christian Bale) and his partner (Amy Adams), who are forced to cooperate with the FBI. Besides being excited to watch Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper reunite on screen, we're also looking forward to the leisure suits, perms, and boogying. The '70s, which has been called "a pivot of change" and the "Me Decade," had one of the most distinct looks and feels (everyone wanted to look fabulous and go dancing), and lends itself well to cinema. Before American Hustle comes out, let's revisit all the best modern movies set in the 1970s.
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Boogie Nights featured a phenomenal cast playing various characters in the 1970s adult film industry. Mark Wahlberg turned out a career-making performance as Dirk Diggler, an up-and-coming porn star who rose to fame in the Golden Age of Porn. Movies about the porn industry are never warm and fuzzy, though, and the movie presents a very real and harrowing look at how easily one can spiral out of control in the business.
Forrest Gump is easily one of the most iconic movies of all time. The title character (Tom Hanks), though limited in his intelligence, experiences the most significant historic moments of the '60s and '70s. Forrest fights in the Vietnam War, meets Lyndon B. Johnson, speaks at anti-war rallies with hippies, discovers the Watergate break-in, defeats China in ping-pong, and runs across the country several times. Everything from the political climate to the fashion and soundtrack paints a picture of the time period to a tee.
Summer of Sam
Spike Lee's Summer of Sam centers around a group of people caught up in the frenzy of one of the most infamous summers in U.S. history. In 1977, a serial killer calling himself Son of Sam terrorized New York City as he went on a killing spree shooting women in parked cars and wrote letters to the media warning that he would kill again. The movie depicts the fear that New Yorkers lived in during those fraught months, while also touching on the rise of punk music and the relationship between organized crime leaders and the NYPD.
As if the '70s weren't pronounced enough as an era, the '70s in Las Vegas was a visual overload of bell-bottoms, colorful leisure suits, and gold jewelry. Martin Scorsese's Casino follows three characters intertwined in a corrupt casino as they rise to power and then crumble as the FBI, government officials, and the mafia take down their empire. Sharon Stone (as Ginger) shines in the film, both in her performance and in her glittery gowns.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
The time period may not be the first thing you think of when you think Anchorman, but Ron Burgundy and his news team did rock some pretty serious '70s moustaches, sideburns, and leisure suits between them. Not to mention Veronica Corningstone's sharp skirtsuits.
The 1970s created some of the best rock bands in history, and Almost Famous is a celebration of the rich decade for music. Based on director Cameron Crowe's own experience as a teenage rock journalist for Rolling Stone, the coming-of-age film sees protagonist William go from his typical high school life with a strict mom to life on the road with fictional band Stillwater. The movie's soundtrack alone will completely take you back to the time period.
Dazed and Confused
Dazed and Confused makes high school look so much more fun in 1976 than 2013, especially the last day of school. The movie follows the course of one day and night, as the incoming freshmen get hazed by next year's seniors, kids try marijuana for the first time, and everybody lets loose at a keg party. And who can forget Matthew McConaughey in his tight t-shirt and pink bell-bottoms as the creepy older guy who still picks up high school girls?
Here we go again! One of my favorite (and by favorite I mean least-favorite) things the big ole Hollywood machine can do: sequelize and franchise everything. And since The Weinstein Company and Miramax penned a deal allowing them to do such a thing back in 2010, no movie is safe. You might've thought "eh, we're nearly three years out from that deal: [insert favorite movie here] is probably safe." And well, we hate to break it to you, but you might've thought wrong.
Because here comes the sequel you maybe forgot you wanted (or possibly don't!): Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The acclaimed 2000 Chinese film picked up a bevy of awards (I believe the technical term is "all of the awards, ever, jeez") when the Ang Lee made its way into the hearts and theaters of critics everywhere. So it's no surprise that Harvey and friends would want to capitalize on that sort of success, but, ugh, do we have to? Whatever happend to leaving well enough alone?
It seems as though Weinstein and Sony don't particularly care either way, as Deadline is reporting that filming is already slated to begin in May. The film, based on a series of books by the author Du Lu Wang more commonly known as the Crane-Iron Series (of which there are five), will continue to be set in Asia. As for the story? Well, the project already has a script from John Fusco and is courting director Ronny Yu to helm the production, said to be based on the series' fifth book Iron Knight, Silver Vase. It will continue to revolve around the character Yu Shu Lien (originated by Michelle Yeoh), and while it's not clear which actors will reprise roles, some are expected to do just that. "This introduces a new generation of star-crossed lovers, and a new series of antagonists in a battle of good and evil. ... I found characters from the second and third books in the series to create a most interesting stew while being as true to the source material as I could be," explained Fusco.
No word on if the sequel will be titled Pouncing Tiger, Visible Dragon, but there's always hope.
What do you think of the sequel news? Excited or over it? Sound off in the comments below!
[Photo Credit: Sony]
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
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A decade-long gap between sequels could leave a franchise stale but in the case of Men in Black 3 it's the launch pad for an unexpectedly great blockbuster. The kooky antics of Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) don't stray far from their 1997 and 2002 adventures but without a bombardment of follow-ups to keep the series in mind the wonderfully weird sensibilities of Men in Black feel fresh Smith's natural charisma once again on full display. Barry Sonnenfeld returns for the threequel another space alien romp with a time travel twist — which turns out to be Pandora's Box for the director's deranged imagination.
As time passed in the real world so did it for the timeline in the world of Men in Black. Picking up ten years after MIB 2 J and K are continuing to protect the Earth from alien threats and enforce the law on those who live incognito. While dealing with their own personal issues — K is at his all-time crabbiest for seemingly no reason — the suited duo encounter an old enemy Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) a prickly assassin seeking revenge on K who blew his arm off back in the '60s. Their street fight is more of a warning; Boris' real plan is to head back in time to save his arm and kill off K. He's successful prompting J to take his own leap through the time-space continuum — and team up with a younger K (Josh Brolin) to put an end to Boris plans for world domination.
Men in Black 3 is the Will Smith show. Splitting his time between the brick personalities of Jones and Brolin's K Smith struts his stuff with all the fast-talking comedic style that made him a star in yesteryears. In present day he's still the laid back normal guy in a world of oddities — J raises an eyebrow as new head honcho O (Emma Thompson) delivers a eulogy in a screeching alien tongue but coming up with real world explanations for flying saucer crashes comes a little easier. But back in 1969 he's an even bigger fish out water. Surprisingly director Barry Sonnenfeld and writer Etan Cohen dabble in the inherent issues that would spring up if a black gentlemen decked out in a slick suit paraded around New York in the late '60s. A star of Smith's caliber may stray away from that type of racy humor but the hook of Men in Black 3 is the actor's readiness for anything. He turns J's jokey anachronisms into genuine laughs and doesn't mind letting the special effect artists stretch him into an unrecognizable Twizzler for the movie's epic time jump sequence.
Unlike other summer blockbusters Men in Black 3 is light on the action Sonnenfeld utilizing his effects budget and dazzling creature work (by the legendary Rick Baker) to push the comedy forward. J's fight with an oversized extraterrestrial fish won't keep you on the edge of your seat but his slapstick escape and the marine animal's eventual demise are genuinely amusing. Sonnenfeld carries over the twisted sensibilities he displayed in small screen work like Pushing Daisies favoring bizarre banter and elaborating on the kookiness of the alien underworld than battle scenes. MIB3's chase scene is passable but the movie in its prime when Smith is sparring with Brolin and newcomer Michael Stuhlbarg who steals the show as a being capable of seeing the future. His twitchy character keeps Smith and the audience on their toes.
Men in Black 3 digs up nostalgia I wasn't aware I had. Smith's the golden boy of summer and even with modern ingenuity keeping it fresh — Sonnenfeld uses the mandatory 3D to full and fun effect — there's an element to the film that feels plucked from another era. The movie is economical and slight with plenty of lapses in logic that will provoke head scratching on the walk out of the theater but it's also perfectly executed. After ten years of cinematic neutralizing the folks behind Men in Black haven't forgotten what made the first movie work so well. After al these years Smith continues to make the goofy plot wild spectacle and crazed alien antics look good.