Don Jon

Brie Larson in Short Term 12

Another month, another batch of recommendations for everyone out there who’s currently adrift in the sea that is the Netflix Watch Instantly menu without a good flick to float on. Click on the films’ titles in order to be taken to their Netflix page and to add them to your queue. Or—sorry—to your “My List.” Pick of the Month:  Short Term 12 (2013) Critics have been talking about Short Term 12 pretty incessantly ever since it started making the festival rounds last year. To the point where some of you who read about movies a lot may be getting sick of hearing about it. There’s a reason why the film keeps getting brought up, though, and that’s because it’s really that good. It’s also the kind of micro-budget movie that absolutely depends on word of mouth in order to get seen. This is the sort of small release that couldn’t even afford to launch an Oscar campaign that would have brought it to the attention of Academy voters, so it wasn’t able to earn buzz through the winning of little golden men, which it arguably deserved a handful of.  The movie, which is from a relatively new filmmaker named Destin Cretton, is set in the world of a residential treatment facility for troubled youth, which means that it’s full of characters whose lives can be mined for quite a bit of drama—and mine them Cretton does. This is one of the rare films that manages to dig way deep into themes […]

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discs header himalaya

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Himalaya A remote Nepalese village suffers a loss when their leader dies on a trek, but as the time approaches for another salt delivery two men struggle for the top position. Tinle is old but has led before, while Karma is younger, brasher, and insistent that the gods play no role in their lives. They both head out on competing treks, but only one can take control of the community. This French film from the late ’90s is a gorgeously-photographed look at a people and a region seldom scene in today’s world. “Today” is a tricky word though in regard to this film in that the movie could take place in 1999 or 1919 or anytime in between. Far from old-fashioned, it shows rivals battling for respect alongside the clash between new and old beliefs, and it reaches some wise conclusions. And again, it’s beautiful to look at too. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentary, making of, trailer]

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Don Jon

When it comes to creating a score for a specific film, the music normally needs to stay within a specific genre to reflect the film’s mood and reinforce its emotional core. You can expect an action film to have  a driving sound that keeps pace with the momentum on screen, a drama will be full of soaring strings, and a horror film will build the tension and accent the inevitable scares. But lately, certain scores have been breaking the rules and incorporating multiple musical genres into a single film, and doing so with surprisingly successful results. Don Jon and The Counselor are two films that may not seem like they have much in common, but the scores for each featured different musical genres and proved these unusual combinations actually can work.

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Breaking Bad Poster

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Don Jon

Editor’s Note: This review originally ran during our coverage of Sundance and reruns now as the film hits theaters near you. Don Jon (Joesph Gordon-Levitt) is — as his name suggests — a modern-day “Don Juan.” He’s a ladies man the girls just can’t seem to say no to. Every weekend Jon stands in the middle of the club with his buddies, scans the room, sets his sights on whichever girl is closest to “dime” status, dances up on her, makes out with her, escorts her into a taxi, and then, well, you can imagine what happens next. At the beginning of Don Jon, Jon tells us there are only a handful of things that matter to him: his body, his pad, his car, his family, his boys, and his girls. But there is one thing that trumps them all: his porn. Jon explains that it’s something “all guys do,” and while he likes the real thing (and certainly has no trouble getting it), he always enjoys his porn more. After a while of running through the same routine, Jon finds himself bored and longing for something more. That “something more” seems to come in the dime sized package of Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson), a curvaceous blonde who fits all of Jon’s stereotypical requirements. Barbara is different, Barbara is special, Barbara is making Jon wait. Barbara wants a real relationship and Jon obliges because Barbara is the “most beautiful thing he has ever seen.” But after finally sealing the deal […]

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Don Jon

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Rush

With the mega popcorn movie season over we’re starting to see summer recap articles flooding in, and so far, most have painted summer 2013 as underwhelming or downright horrible. Maybe some of those writers just didn’t see White House Down. But, in general, this past season was packed with a variety of good-to-terrific options, from the likes of Frances Ha, Only God Forgives, and The Way, Way Back to The Great Gatsby, Fast & Furious 6, and This is the End. There were a lot of gratifying offerings. There were letdowns, too, but what summer doesn’t have a few disappointments? The same will go for this fall movie season, which, as of right now, is looking excellent. Here are 10 movies that should make going back to school, work, or whatever else you got going on a little more tolerable:

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ST12-25

Brie Larson takes a sip of a seemingly diet-geared beverage while installed at a back table at an actually swanky midtown Manhattan workspace (like an office, except for people who don’t want to work in “an office”) – it’s a spicy lemonade, a prepackaged version of the very Los Angeles “master cleanse,” but Larson drinks it because she likes the taste. She likes it so much that she encourages me to take a sip straight from her own bottle, and it’s as delicious and refreshing as she promised it would be. Then she says that she thinks that cleanses are “really bad for you” and that, when it comes to those oft-buzzed-about toxins supposedly ruining our bodies, it’s just “an actual scam.” Brie Larson is the type of Hollywood “it girl” who drinks spicy lemonade because she likes the taste, not because pop culture tells her it’s good for her. This is the exact moment I stop trying to pigeonhole rising stars by what they do or do not drink, and instead focus on what they say and do not say – and Larson has a lot to say.

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Don Jon

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is hot stuff in Hollywood right now, and his directorial debut Don Jon is either the next step up in a long and fruitful career, or a one-time experiment. Watch the newest trailer after the jump (courtesy of Yahoo! Movies) and decide for yourself.

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Don Jon

UPDATE: Passes for these two screenings need to be downloaded via Gofobo. Please find more details here. The only thing we probably love more than going to the movies is going to the movies with a bunch of friends. Because what is a great shared experience like the cinema without great people with whom to share it? In this instance, we’d like to bring along 100 of our closest friends in New York and Austin for a screening of Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut Don Jon, a movie about sex and stuff. It’s the kind of flick that our own Allison Loring called “an insightful look at extreme male and female fantasies and how they live up to expectations in real life” when she reviewed it at Sundance. So of course you guys and gals all want to go, right? Continue on and find out how.

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Girl most Likely

This week sees the release of Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s Girl Most Likely, a film even the most hardcore of Kristen Wiig fans might not be familiar with, simply because sometime between its bow at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival and its theatrical release, Girl Most Likely sprung forth from the original title, Imogene, like some sort of cinematic Athena-birthing. When it comes to Girl Most Likely, the name change was probably for the best – at the very least, it distanced the production from bad buzz coming out of the festival and gave the dramedy the illusion of being more friendly to a mainstream audience than it actually is. But it’s also a somewhat weird change, considering that the words “girl most likely” are never spoken in the film, despite the fact that Wiig’s Imogene picks up a yearbook at one point in the sort of scene that leaves moviegoers gagging for a jokey nod to the title. Girl Most Likely to do what, Imogene? That will just have to remain unanswered, but even with a shiny new title, Girl Most Likely is really most likely to disappoint at the box office this weekend. Would things have been better under the Imogene moniker? We’ll never know. Changing a film’s title after its film festival premiere is becoming an oddly common occurrence – hit one of the year’s biggest fests and you’re bound to see a film or two that will eventually come to the multiplex with […]

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Don Jon

If someone was to possibly say that they expected Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s directorial debut, a film about porn addiction that debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, to be a serious affair and that they maybe they laughed for five straight minutes when the film introduced Gordon-Levitt’s character, a Jersey Shore reject to top all Jersey Shore rejects and then probably had to quickly rearrange all their expectations in order to fully enjoy the funny, sharp, and insightful film that followed, you wouldn’t judge that person, would you? Question their credentials? No? Great! Yup, Gordon-Levitt’s Don Jon (formerly known as Don Jon’s Addiction) centers on his Jon Martello’s addiction to internet porn, while also tracking the highs and lows of his new romantic relationship with Scarlett Johansson‘s sexy Barbara Sugarman (just call her B-Woww), but it’s not Shame for the porn set. Instead, it’s just very funny and very witty and it’s definitely got something to say about modern romance in a time of flimsy pop culture. Get some good vibrations and check out the first trailer for Don Jon after the break.

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Don Jon

Relativity Media has set a release date for their big pick-up from this year’s Sundance Film Festival, placing Joseph Gordon-Levitt‘s directorial debut, Don Jon (previously known as Don Jon’s Addiction), in the somewhat surprisingly awards season-friendly spot of October 18th. Gordon-Levitt’s film stars him as a regressed, Jersey Shore-styled man-child who pulls a ton of ladies but can’t seem to get away from his crippling Internet porn addiction. Oh, also, it’s a comedy. The film will now open the same day as two other Julianne Moore-starrers, the Carrie remake and The Seventh Son, along with The Butler, none of which seem to threaten the film’s intended audience. Can’t wait until October? Well, you’re going to have to – but, until then, relive the magic with Allison’s Sundance review of the film.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt made bold choices with his feature debut, Don Jon, previously titled as the misleading Don Jon’s Addiction. Sure, he made a crowd-pleaser out of a potentially dark concept – something we don’t see often from the indie film world – but, as a filmmaker, Levitt took some chances. Not only did go about doing so by shooting on 35mm, but also with a few broad, committed stylistic flourishes. We see the world through Jon’s eyes — who is a self-centered, narcissistic Jersey boy — so at first the film is shot like the most expensive, high-production value porno you’ve ever seen. Once the character’s journey comes to an end, gone is all the cheesy club music and camera whips. It’s a heightened aesthetic that lets an audience know exactly what Don Jon is from the beginning. We spoke with Levitt here about Don Jon‘s style, along with why he wanted to make a movie with a capital “m.”

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