Gatsby may have believed in the green light, but in Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, every color in the spectrum is strewn across the screen to an orgastic degree. Like Project X for the gimlet-sipping crowd, Luhrmann takes F. Scott Fitzgerald's source material, douses it in modern music courtesy of soundtrack mastermind Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, and shoots the melodrama with sweeping movements normally reserved for Lord of the Rings. Weary narrator Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) describes Gatsby's weekly festivities as a "kaleidoscopic carnival." Quite apt: Luhrmann's 3D spectacle goes from mesmerizing to dizzying in under 30 minutes.
Like Carraway, The Great Gatsby is eventually awoken to the "real" man behind the lavish production numbers. The movie changes course for the better when the brilliant Leonardo DiCaprio enters the picture. Like the plebs he greets, DiCaprio's Jay Gatsby takes the movie's breath away, forcing Luhrmann to put aside his song and dance infatuation for dazzling performances in the heightened world he's created. Luhrmann's script sticks closely to the required high school reading we all know and love: After settling into a modest West Egg, Long Island cottage for the summer, Carraway is courted by Gatsby for friendship. With the help of the reclusive gazillionaire, Carrway experiences life in the fast line. But Gatsby has ulterior motives. Five years prior, he fell desperately in love with Carraway's cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan). Now he needs Carraway to pull her out of East Egg long enough for Gatsby to convince her to leave her cheating, polo-playing husband Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). Mesmerized by charm, Carraway reluctantly abides.
Maguire does a stand up job playing witness to Gatsby's upper crust destruction, but it's DiCaprio's show to steal. The actor finds new sides to his on-screen persona that outshine the glitz and glamour; in his first encounter with Daisy, Gatsby bumbles around Carraway's living room, hyperventilating and trembling in fear like a teenager on his first date. It's DiCaprio embracing physical comedy and low status — in complete contrast to what he does as the "Great Gatsby" who commands over parties and works shady business deals in the backrooms of New York City. Like the sporadic beauty of jazz, DiCaprio mixes Gatsby's moods into one enchanting character.
The supporting cast feels more like they're role playing in the Roaring '20s then digging into their literary counterparts — impaired partially by Luhrmann's insistence on voiceover and flashy execution — but there are standouts. Without material doing her an favors, Mulligan turns Daisy into a vicious romantic, her fragility exposed when Edgerton's Tom reacts violently to Gatsby intrusion. The Aussie actor finds plenty of moments to chew up with his boisterous, period-appropriate delivery. The mustache doesn't hurt the smarminess. In a small role, heralded Indian actor Amitabh Bachchan appears to push Gatsby's buttons and turn the film on its head. He makes more of an impression than two normally strong performers, Isla Fisher and Jason Clarke, who have little to do as Tom's mistress and her gas station-owning husband.
Luhrmann doesn't put style over substance, though Great Gatsby is off-balance. The first half nearly collapses under the weight of production value and DiCaprio's bravado isn't quite enough to carry the film to greatness. The stylized backdrop, New York by way of Life of Pi, fit the larger than life story. If it were precisely used rather than slathered over the screenplay, Luhrmann would have a year's best on his hands. Instead, The Great Gatsby straddles the line of disaster, manic in the vein of its protagonist's delusional escapades.
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Director Quentin Tarantino and actor Jamie Foxx were also celebrated at the U.S. bash, which drew a star-studded crowd including Diane Kruger, Camilla Belle, Aaron Paul and Zachary Quinto to West Hollywood's Chateau Marmont Hotel.
Rihanna, the only woman to be honoured at the event, showed up after being branded Obsession of the Year by editors of the men's magazine.
Meanwhile, at the Aussie GQ gala in Sydney, Hemsworth was crowned Man Of The Year, singer Sam Sparro was the Man of Style, I Am Number Four actor Callan McAuliffe scooped the Breakthrough Award and Guy Sebastian was named Solo Artist of the Year.
Dance duo Pnau was honoured with the Band Of The Year title and Dark Shadows actress Bella Heathcote was Woman Of The Year.
Paradise Lost is really filling out. For a while now, Bradley Cooper has been attached to play Lucifer, the central character of John Milton's epic poem. Also cast: angels like Michael (Benjamin Walker), Gabriel (Casey Affleck), Abdiel (Djimon Honsou), Uriel (Callan McAuliffe) and Moloch (Dominic Purcell). And, of course, the role of Eve has been given to Camilla Belle—the best candidate for the heavenly role, as she has dated one third of the holy trinity that is the Jonas Brothers. But finally, Eve will have an Adam: Diego Boneta, as it has been rumored, will take the role of the first man in Alex Proyas' adaptation of the work.
Now, Adam is no easy role to play. You've got to master pure, yet corruptable. Trusting, yet rebellious. A guy with removable ribs, and a guy not above taking advice from reptiles. Does Boneta have what it takes?
So far, he has been primarily a television actor. Boneta's most significant roles have been in Pretty Little Liars and 90210. But here's the kicker. Boneta played the lead male in the TV movie Mean Girls 2 (The De-Meaning): a character whose surname was none other than Adams. Is it a stretch to say that this is fate? He played "Adams" in a movie dedicated to the essence of the femme fatale. And now, he'll play "Adam," in the original femme fatale story.
Boneta will also be seen in Rock of Ages, which stars Julianne Hough as Sherrie Christian (see?).
Source: Twitter, Variety
I Am Number Four a sci-fi action drama from D.J. Caruso (Disturbia Eagle Eye) about a teenage alien’s earthly travails has the look and feel of a CW series – i.e. lots of attractive young people some of whom possess supernatural abilities and superhuman amounts of angst and alienation. This is not a coincidence: Two of its screenwriters Alfred Gough and Miles Millar happen to be the creators and executive producers of Smallville a series chronicling Superman’s youthful pre-Metropolis years that’s now in its tenth and final season on the CW. (The script is adapted from a novel by Pittacus Lore.)
Unlike Smallville’s solitary Kryptonian I Am Number Four’s hero is not alone. Number Four (Alex Pettyfer) is one of nine gifted residents (each branded with a number for reasons not sufficiently explained in the film) from the planet Lorien who fled to Earth after their civilization was annihilated by the Mogadorians a race of mumbly trenchcoat-clad goons with tattooed scalps hell-bent on ridding the universe of its water polo players. (Indeed Pettyfer’s hair in the film perpetually bears that fresh-out-of-the-water look common also to surfers and lifeguards.) Together with his anointed guardian Henri (Timothy Olyphant) he travels from small town to small town adopting assumed names and trying to keep a low profile so as to avoid detection by the Mogadorians who have followed the Loriens to earth to finish the job.
I Am Number Four skillfully mines much of the same emotional territory of the Twilight saga and its variants albeit from a slightly geekier less melodramatic more male-oriented angle. (Michael Bay produced the film.) Four’s itinerant lifestyle and otherworldly heritage make the adolescent struggle to fit in all the more difficult; he’s anti-social broods a lot and acts out toward Henri telekinetically. (Kudos to Caruso for the unorthodox but effective choice of Olyphant a guy who always looks to me as if he’s about to stab someone as the father-figure). This is likely because Four is in the middle of that awkward alien superhero stage: special powers like hands that glow brightly and emit beams of energy spontaneously reveal themselves at inopportune times causing him to flee from physics class mortified. Pettyfer's really got the tormented bit down; if he can master a few more expressions he's really gonna go places.
Despite these difficult public moments and despite Henri’s repeated warnings to avoid earthly relationships Four manages to strike up an inter-species romance with fellow attractive outcast Sarah (Glee's Dianna Agron) Bella Swan’s blonde equivalent a former cheerleader who has since disavowed her popular-girl past. This in turn invites the fury of Sarah’s former boyfriend and current stalker a bullying jock named Mark (Jake Abel).
Soon however Four’s rites of adolescence must take a backseat to the more pressing matter of defending his species – and his adopted planet – from the Mogadorians who’ve tracked him to his Paradise Ohio location via that advanced alien technology known as YouTube. An apocalyptic battle set at Four’s high school ensues during which he is joined by a fellow Lorien Number Six (Teresa Palmer) a hot-blooded Aussie biker chick whose powers include the ability to communicate exclusively in double entendres. Four is also aided by Sarah a UFO-obsessed sidekick (Callan McAuliffe) and a shape-shifting puppy.
I Am Number Four’s climax largely abandons its appealing Smallville ethos for something more suitable of a film bearing the name of Michael Bay but made with a fraction of the effects budget. The orgy of destruction involving CGI beasts and laser guns and explosions and tons of acrobatic stuntwork comes off a tad cheap if not a little tacky. Hopefully the filmmakers will get a bit more cash to make the sequel which I Am Number Four's ending rather blatantly labors to set up.