If anyone else was making a movie called The Place Beyond the Pines about a motorcycle pro who takes up bank-robbing to support his family, I’d openly laugh in their face for their stupidity. But this is Derek Cianfrance we're talking about and as he showed with his amazingly dramatic film, Blue Valentine, the dude knows what he is doing. Now Bradley Cooper is joining the cast of Beyond the Pines as the cop chasing Ryan Gosling’s bank-robbing motorcyclist. Take two handsome dudes being directed by a person with more-than-competent skills and have them rob banks while riding motorcycles? I really don’t see how this is being made. It’s almost TOO MUCH.
Tattoos are awesome, there is no greater canvas than human skin. But please, get one for yourself, not for me. Needles and all that make my head all willy. However the world of cinema has provided many great tattoos for us to use as inspiration or flat out copy if we’re not that imaginative. And now we present cinema’s most triumphant tattoos:
The Hangover I/II
Mike Tyson has arguably the world’s most famous celebrity tattoo. I mean, you can’t take a picture of the dude and not see it. His face tattoo is known the world over, so of course Ed Helms would drunkenly get it tattooed on his face in The Hangover Pt II. Not only does it look like it would really hurt to get your face tattooed like that, face tats aren’t exactly the easiest thing in the world to hide, big ole duh on that one.
Sometimes tattoos can be permanent reminders of a drunken mistake (see above). But other times they can be artistic reminders of personal philosophies there to remind the one who's been inked up. Or it could just be a symbol from a rebel faction prompting you to follow them.
The Night of the Hunter
The original. The bad-ass. LOVE/HATE tattooed on your knuckles started with a wandering preacher who showed us all how the forces of good and evil are constantly at war but in the end they’re all part of the same force.
Of course we couldn’t let LOVE/HATE have all the fun with knuckles. The Blues Brothers extended it a little when Jake got his name tattooed on his knuckles and Elwood, well Elwood had to have a little more space for his name.
Adventures of Pete & Pete
We’ve talked about a lot about adult tattoos here, but who will think of the children?! No one ever thinks of the children. Pete & Pete made the ballsy move of giving their young star a really kick-ass tattoo, thus ensuring that thousands of kids would grow up wanting to make a mermaid dance on their forearm.
There isn't a high quality picture of the tattoos online, but Justin Long's dumbass grin will suffice. If you believe Mike Judge believes everything he envisioned in his futuristic world to be moronic (not the hardest idea to get behind) then you can assume he thinks tattoos are dumb because EVERYONE in his dip-shit future world has one. Of course, theirs were used for identification but come on, if you brand yourself with something you can find on a can of beans, well, you might just have a can of beans for a brain. Oooh, sick burn.
I really like Dennis Quaid. He seems like the smarter/cooler version of Kevin Costner and guys, Kevin Costner is pretty cool. But you already knew that.
Anyway, Quaid has joined Bradley Cooper and Jeremy Irons in The Words, the directorial debut of Tron: Legacy writers Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal. But let’s not hold that against them. Look at that cast! And the premise about an author who has to pay the price for plagiarizing?! That doesn’t sound too bad now, does it? Besides, it also gives us the chance to announce: DENNIS QUAID IS HERE!
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
You want posters? WE GOT POSTERS FOR YOU.
First up, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt II. I'm going to go ahead and give this one a solid C. The execution is flawless, love the details on the face. But the concept? Boooooooooooring. (Latino Review)
Next we have The Hangover Part II. I like this one better. It's simple and effective: Ed Helms has a face tattoo, Zach Galifianakis has his head shaved and Bradley Cooper has a monkey. A MONKEY. Grade A. (ComingSoon)
Finally we have the Tree of Life. Once again, I HAVE NO FUCKING IDEA WHAT THIS MOVIE IS ABOUT AND THE POSTER DOESN'T HELP ME. But it looks pretty and I like the idea. Grade B (for not trolling us with an Easter egg). (Vulture)
Drugs are bad. Right? Well, most drugs are bad. (The one in Limitless doesn't seem to be too terrible if you discount the fact that it turns you into a enemy of Robert De Niro.) Actually the forced prosecution of victimless crimes generates a criminal class where there need not be one, that also taxes the state, where resources could be better spent on education, which has proven time and again to be a better deterrent from drugs than criminal charges.
Wow, that got way out of hand. Anyway, drugs are bad and sometimes people want to put them in their stories. But sometimes all the real drugs (and the wonders that they do) don't add enough to the storylines so screenwriters and authors have to make up some new ones. Here we have the six best of the fake drugs.
Soma - Brave New World
The original, created by the lovable (one would assume) Aldous Huxley. Basically, it’s a government sanctioned hallucinogen that kept the people in line. It really took that Marx maxim “religion is the opiate of the masses” to a new level considering it pretty much replaced religion. A fair trade if I ever heard one, but it also took over any sense of purpose a person might potentially feel. Bummersville. It's probably one of the few instances where just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean you should too. Plus, it enhanced the free and recreational sex everyone was having. Why was this a bad future again? Oh yeah, alcoholic babies. But it sure made high school English fun, no?
Felix Felicis - Harry Potter
My favorite of these fake drugs, this potion was introduced in the sixth Harry Potter book and turns fortune your way. Also known as Liquid Luck, it gently nudges you in the way of lady luck. So it won’t drop a fortune in your lap, it’ll just help you guess the lottery numbers. Highly addictive, difficult to produce, rarest of rare, and never quite works in the way you expect it to. Sure, its a pretty big deus ex machina (and not Harry’s first), but who cares.
NTZ - Limitless
It’ll turn you into Bradley Cooper! In a nutshell, it unlocks your brain and you realize your full potential. But I guess there is a reason we don’t use all of our brains: we’d go crazy (good looking! But that might only apply to Cooper). Also, it’s an interesting note that of all the drugs on the list, the others are modifiers: they add or subtract something to you. Whereas NTZ (the name of the drug) only opens up your natural ability. Interesting bit of note. Perhaps its not the drug then that destroys you. It’s your self. Or Robert De Niro’s horrible acting.
V - True Blood
In True Blood, Vampire blood is the new crack/meth of the world. It plays a big part in the show as its acquisition is the center of several plots throughout. V represents the drug war in contemporary America. Its uses seem fun in moderation, but the prohibition of it causes much of its conflict. Actually, it seems characters used it subtly. WHAT? True Blood being subtle? No way. Anyway, the stuff is dangerous to posses, acquire, and consume, but it can lead to Lizzy Caplan naked so... WORTH IT.
Quietus - Children of Men
Time for some depressing drugs! Quietus is a relief, but it totally kills you. And not like in a bummer way, no, it actually ends your pathetic life. But considering the world was facing human extinction in Children of Men, it seemed like a pleasant enough option. Women weren’t having babies, the youngest person in the world was 18, so you might as well pop a pill and end it all. My only question is how do you profit off something that is basically shrinking your market? I guess every successful suicide shows that your product works, but I bet that was a grim marketing meeting.
Spice - Dune
Spice pretty much gives you super powers despite being worm turds (whoops, sorry for the spoiler). By mixing the new world reliance on a single substance (oil! But a drug oil!) with the old world modifier (spice!), Dune found its powerful drug. Sure, it could cause you to see into the future, navigate your star ship going light speed, propel you to become a prophet and make you super strong. That’s all fine and dandy, but the real beauty is it made your food taste great. Yum!
So remember all the hubbub about Baz Luhrmann (I’m so totally naming my first child Baz, or my next dog, which ever comes first) wanting to direct The Great Gatsby in 3D? Well, we might have jumped the gun on that one. Turns out he hasn’t exactly made up his mind, saying “I’m not doing ‘Gatsby’ right now… Because despite what might be out there, I have made no comment about anything. So until I say it, it’s not said, you know.” I take back the “hasn’t made up his mind” comment, he seems fairly certain about not doing it.
But that hasn’t stopped Bradley Cooper from campaigning for a role. He told the New York Times that he would absolutely LOVE to play Tom Buchanan, going as far as calling him “best character in the book," and adding that "He’s so complicated. He’s xenophobic, he’s an alcoholic, but he also understands some profound stuff about class.” Add on the fact that if Cooper got a hold of the role he'd become... dreamy. Nothing better than a sexy, alcoholic racist to brighten your day. Sounds like my old babysitters. Gotta love the South!
Source: Screen Rant
The two stars have teamed up to make new movie Limitless and now De Niro accepts The Hangover star's calls - just years after a strange meeting with his hero in a Los Angeles hotel suite.
Cooper reveals he auditioned to play De Niro's son in 2009 film Everybody's Fine, but lost out to Sam Rockwell.
He felt like a winner, however, when De Niro got hold of his audition tape and arranged for a meeting in Beverly Hills.
Cooper recalls, "The director wouldn't even see me, but we have the same agent... and he got my tape and he called me in to meet him.
"He (De Niro) says, 'Yeah, um, I saw that tape and you're not gonna get it (the role), but I see it, I see you... OK, thanks for coming...' and then he hugged me, a really wonderful hug.
"And he said, 'Who was reading the other role?' and I said, 'My mother,' and he said, 'Yeah, I thought that.'
"I got in the car outside and my mother said, 'How did it go?' and I said, 'Well, I didn't get it but he said I have it.'"
Cooper met De Niro again at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York a year later - but the Raging Bull star he had no idea who he was.
But then Cooper found himself pitching his new movie to his hero: "Cut to I'm sitting in his hotel in L.A. trying to talk him into Limitless... I pitched him on it... and he signed on to do it. Now I love him; I talk to him way too much."
But the pair's history doesn't end there - Cooper also had an encounter with De Niro at grad school: "I went to the Actors Studio... and he came to our school and I asked him a question, so, like, I have this whole history - that he's not even aware of - that I have with him."
In Limitless, Bradley Cooper takes an experimental drug and can suddenly live up to his full potential while Robert De Niro tries to understand how this one-time slacker became such a stud. Now I realize that this is a big budget Hollywood film but it's quite a stretch to think that a guy like Cooper isn't already living up to his full potential. Someone with those eyes not being a super rich genius playboy? Come on.
Anyway, the trailer seems decent enough, but could be deceiving. The film, directed by Neil Burger (The Illusionist) sports a very intriguing premise, but when the voice over guy says something about only using 20% of your brain my mind immediately jumps to another Cooper movie - Wedding Crashers - in which we believe that instead of only using 10% of our brains, we only use 10% of our hearts. This movie is exactly like that but with De Niro and guns.
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.