Justin Timberlake

Andrew Niccol loves thought-provoking ideas. Gattaca, his script for The Truman Show, and Lord of War are works of varying genres that all posed interesting questions. His latest film, In Time, looks to be his most commercial endeavor yet. Although there apparently will be a few action beats, Niccol set out to craft a human story with social commentary. This appears to be, more than anything else, a love story set within a chase thriller. And that chase happens to look fantastic, courtesy of cinematographer Roger Deakins. This is the first film which Deakins shot digitally, and after the experience, the legendary cinematographer expressed the possibility that he may leave film behind for good. As Niccol describes below, it makes sense why he would. Here’s what Andrew Niccol had to say about the world of In Time, the Gattaca connection, Deakins going digital, and what to expect in the action department:

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr goes retro this week and injects himself with strange chemicals in an attempt to become a World War II era super soldier. Hop over to the Fat Guys at the Movies page to see if his physique has reached the pinnacle of that of Chris Evans from Captain America. After recovering from the procedure, Kevin randomly wandering the streets, looking for hot ladies like Mila Kunis who just want to have sex but with no emotional baggage of a relationship. Sadly, this will probably end up as empty and worthless as his similar attempt last January when No Strings Attached came out.

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In Time was one of the films I was the most excited about covering at Comic-Con, and yet I had no bloody clue what it was about. I heard it involved some sci-fi aspect, a lot of running, and Amanda Seyfried sporting a short red ‘do. That’s all I knew. See how well-researched I am? Once I actually learned something about the film, there ended up being more to get excited about than just the fact it’s an Andrew Niccol film and one of the few original stories we’d be getting a glimpse at during Con. The high concept, which sounds a bit heavy-handed, is unique and looks well-handled in the three-minute sizzle reel Fox showed. And to be fair, the comparison to Gattaca carries that sound of potential non-subtlety, so I have faith Niccol will deliver a thought-provoking comment on “our desire to stay young forever” and “economic enslavement.”

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I think of all of the things I would consider myself (an underestimated athlete, occasionally decent word maker-upper, deceptively intriguing coffee maker…), a connoisseur of the modern romantic-comedy is probably not amongst them. I’ll admit to stopping upon a Matthew McConaughey flick from time to time on a basic cable channel while I fold my laundry, cut my nails, or other things that really make me not sound very masculine. In my defense, I only do those things whenever a rom-com is on and so I blame the estrogen emitting from my television.

The point is, I purposely don’t watch many romantic comedies and when I do I really don’t pay much attention. It isn’t because I inherently don’t like them, it’s because they unfortunately have a very, very strict formula that’s about as predictable as the average American Friday date night. “What do you wanna do? Dinner and a movie? Okay,” equates to “Hi. I like you but I don’t know it yet. I know it now. You made me cry and run away. You ran after me? I love you, kiss my face.”

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When I first heard that Justin Timberlake was attached to be in something called Fully Automatic, I thought that it was probably the name of an N*Sync reunion tour. Coming to your town this August, all of your favorites together again, Justin, Tommy, Danny, Joey, Little Moe… The Fully Automatic Tour! But alas, that’s not what Fully Automatic is at all. Actually, it’s a buddy cop movie in the vein of a Lethal Weapon. Oh, exciting, I like Lethal Weapon. They don’t have a director yet, and nobody else is attached to fill out the cast, but I imagine that now Timberlake is on board those little details will start to get dealt with.

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Like any relationship that includes some sex with Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, we’re going to make this easy. We’re co-hosting an advance screening of Friends with Benefits in Austin, TX on the night of Wednesday, July 20 at 7:30p CST. And we’d like to have you come along. We don’t require that you love us, we just want your friendship. We don’t even have to do the casual sex thing, unless you’re really interested. In order to get one of our coveted passes, you’ll need to follow a few simple directions, which I’ve conveniently located just after the jump.

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Cameron Diaz works hard in Bad Teacher. She strains, mugs and generally does all that she can to let everyone know that she can do broad comedy, damn it. It’s a gambit that almost works, with the star in her element as corrupt, bitchy middle school teacher Elizabeth Halsey. Yet she’s let down by the script from once-hot writers Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, which forgets to make her likable, and the milquetoast approach of director Jake Kasdan. Their film asks us to identify with a woman who behaves rather heinously, while it relies on her mean-spiritedly outrageous behavior to sustain all 92 minutes.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr is inspired by Larry the Cable Guy and his character of Mater in the Cars movies. After all, if a buck-toothed rusty redneck pick-up truck can travel the world, why can’t a bald-yet-hairy fat guy from Ohio can do so as well. Kevin lurked in the streets of Tokyo, hoping to stumble onto some classy British spies and uncover a plot to undermine green energy sources. Then he brushed off his teaching degree and got a job at a middle school where he drank profusely, slept through the day and threw dodge balls at the kids. When he tried to explain to the cops that he was just following in the way of Cameron Diaz’s character from Bad Teacher, they just laughed at him and hauled him away.

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In the past, I have used this space to examine the cultural implication of sex in cinema, the hotness of naked people, and even exploited some of my own personal going-ons. After last week’s titillating BDSM discussion and the official welcoming of summer, I chose to approach some lighter fare this time around. We all love sex in its many forms (unless for some, I’m sure, reasonable reason you do not), and more importantly we are all fascinated or turned-on by sex on film (for artistic purposes, surely). With summer upon us we have at least a fistful of sexy films whetting our appetite before September 20th. I have done some preliminary dirty work to present to you, fair reader, a double stuffed list of films tailor-made for the erotica lover.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news round-up article that would like you to know that it’s glad you weren’t Raptured. It loves having you around so that it can share links with you, bring you the latest news and provide you with a few laughs along the way. It didn’t want to see you vanish into thin air and leave the rest of us to fend off apocalyptic chaos. It’s also confused, as all the toilet paper in the Reject HQ bathrooms seems to have disappeared. How does toilet paper get Raptured? I’m always skeptical when small groups of journalists get a very early look at a major studio picture and come out of it with mostly positive things to say. I don’t question their enjoyment of what they saw, but it’s clear that someone is massaging the timing of the message. So when we see reviews starting to pop up for X-Men: First Class, I can’t help but look at them through cynical eyes. That said, I respect the hell out of Drew McWeeney at HitFix and his piece on Matthew Vaughn’s latest calls it ambitious, claiming that the story is tight and focused. That’s worth some consideration. Also, the above art depicts Muppets as X-Men. Brilliant, found via Geekologie.

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Didn’t we just do this? More than most Deep Impact/Armageddon-style movie releases, the double dose of emotionless sex comedies has felt eye-rollingly boring. Fortunately, this trailer for Friends With Benefits makes it clear that this particular emotionless sex comedy takes things in a far more mad-cap direction than the Kutcher/Portman pairing. Justin Timblerlake busting some Kriss-Kross, Mila Kunis mocking Katherine Heigl movies, Patricia Clarkson doing some light S&M roleplaying, and Woody Harrelson stealing laughs as a gay man (who presumably can’t jump). It’s all here without even a hint of LOVE getting in the way of SEX. Not in this trailer at least:

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Remember when you used to like Cameron Diaz? I know, it’s probably been a while, but there was actually a time when she enhanced a film rather than turned it into something you dreaded. The last time she was actually appealing in a film was in the still fantastic My Best Friend’s Wedding. Which came out in 1997. But she is awesome in this new red-band trailer for Jake Kasdan’s upcoming comedy Bad Teacher. Check out the trailer after the jump and tell me if I’m wrong.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr enters the grid (which is what he likes to call his local IMAX theater) to try and find an old and hairy Jeff Bridges amidst a bunch of young-looking sexy-time people in tight body suits. Afterwards, he has a pic-i-nic at Jellystone Park and faces a bear attack. It’s a good thing he had his hunting rifle with him… but he still wonders why that grizzly he shot was wearing a hat and tie. Finally, he hands out some grades on two limited release award flicks that really don’t jazz him as much as a big, dumb IMAX 3D movie.

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What is the real problem with the recent rash of talking animal movies? The likes of Marmaduke, Cats and Dogs, Alvin and the Chipmunks and Furry Vengeance. They seem to achieve a state of universal hate from both critics and fans online, yet families still flock to them. Is it that we (the former) feel that they’re not necessary, especially those that exploit characters we grew up with? Or is it that we don’t like Hollywood telling us that they’re doing it for the right reasons, even though we can see right through their cash-grabby motives? I would wager it to be the latter. Because no one likes it when something they loved as a child is exploited for profit, especially when it’s done poorly. Enter Yogi Bear, the live-action/CGI hybrid comedy from Warner Bros. – it will be hopelessly lumped in with all of these lower cinematic forms. It will be struck down sight-unseen because it falls into a category. But what you don’t know, dear skeptics, is that this might be that one rare bird, the rehash done in earnest, delivering a surprisingly delightful experience.

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Director Will Gluck had a fairly middling (yet harmless) introduction with the world through Fired Up! but his follow-up, Easy A, has earned him a place as one to watch. With more eyes on him, he’s chosen to make Justin Timberlake perform oral sex on Mila Kunis while singing a Semisonic song. Ivan Reitman, on the other hand, is a veteran. He’s the man who directed every movie you liked in the 80s. He’s hit a snag as a director recently (with My Super Ex-Girlfriend), but he’s on fire as a producer. Friends with Benefits is the Casual Sex Between Friends Armageddon to No Strings Attached‘s Deep Impact. Both movies deal with the same exact plot, both involve incredibly attractive people that in no way would ever realistically be hurting for carnal pleasure, and both come out around relatively the same time. Who will come out on top? Probably Kunis, but you should check out both trailers and weigh in for yourself.

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Culture Warrior

The Social Network is nothing new, but that’s kind of the point. Its structure creates a story of uniquely American ingenuity, individualism, and capital that we’ve seen often, one that follows beat-for-beat the formula of young, ambitious, humble beginnings to meteoric rise toward contested success to the people that really mattered being inevitably pushed out of the way. It is in The Social Network’s belonging to that subgenre which draws apt comparison to films like Citizen Kane, Sweet Smell of Success, or There Will Be Blood – not qualitative comparisons, mind you (the very title of Citizen Kane has become an inescapable and meaningless form of hyperbole in that regard), but comparable in terms of basic narrative structure and genre play. Such narratives are perhaps more common in films depicting less legitimate business practices – gangster films – which also catalog the rise in stature but fall in character of an outcast who uses the system for their own advantage. From starry-eyed associations with questionable made men (Timberlake’s Sean Parker and the debaucheries of success associated with him) to the inevitable “hit” on one’s kin in the best interest of the business (Zuckerberg and Parker firing Eduardo Saverin), The Social Network is something of a Goodfellas for geeks. Why is it that the first major studio film about the phenomenon of social networking feels like such a familiar movie? Why does it resort to well-honed, expertly crafted but familiar cinematic territory instead of pioneering unexplored terrain analogous to the phenomenon […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr strikes out against… well, pretty much everyone reviewing movies by taking issue with The Social Network. Sue him if you don’t agree, or friend him at Facebook.com/FatGuysattheMovies. But while he cringes under the weight of Jesse Eisenberg’s smug Michael Cera impression, he also rejoices in October being officially here and all the horror movies the month of Halloween promises to bring. Up first, he cowers in a dark theater to the likes of Let Me In and Case 39.

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Be it good or bad, The Social Network has certainly caused some extreme reactions. It was met with almost universal skepticism when it was first announced and has now seen nearly universal praise leading up to its release in theaters. Initially referred to as “the Facebook movie” in a way clearly meant to belittle it, audiences at early screenings across the country have discovered that description simply isn’t accurate. Is the movie about Mark Zuckerberg and the inception of Facebook? Of course it is.  But to say that this is a detriment to the film’s potential is just plain wrong. The Social Network follows the story of Mark Zuckerberg, a young computer genius attending Harvard University. After breaking up with his girlfriend and some drunken blogging, Mark decides to create a site to rank the sex appeal of Harvard co-eds. He uses his exemplary computer knowledge to download pictures from the online photo catalog’s that each house or dorm at Harvard has for students to get to know one another.  He compiles the photos into a website which he dubs facemash.com similar to hotornot.com where visitors are presented with two pictures and asked to click on the one who they find sexier. The site crashes Harvard’s computer network in a matter of hours, garnering tens of thousands of htis and drawing the ire of the administration. This leads to Mark developing a new website which he calls The Facebook. Eventually changed to just Facebook with the help of Napster-founder Sean […]

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The high school comedy is not an easy subject to tackle because it’s been tackled almost as much as Emma Stone’s character in Easy A would have you believe she has. It is one of the many sluts of the film genre world – it’s incredibly attractive because it’s easy to get into bed with, but it’s not like you’re going to impress anyone by going after it. Unless you nail it. Will Gluck, a man without an average high school experience teamed with Stone, an actress who didn’t go to high school, to try to do just that. Gluck was decent enough to spend more than a few minutes on the phone with me while surrounded by the insanity of the Toronto International Film Festival to talk about the challenges of being fresh with high school, creating a strong female character, and the joy of sex comedy without sex.

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Yogi Bear Poster

Warner Bros. Pictures released today the first teaser poster for the CG-animated Yogi Bear, a movie that almost no one was asking for. It features Dan Aykroyd as the lovable picnic basket thief and Justin Timberlake as his pint-size sidekick Boo-Boo. Two very funny humans — Anna Faris and T.J. Miller — lead the live-action cast. It’s enough to inspire hope, as Yogi and Boo-Boo aren’t a bad pair of characters to place in front of the world’s children, assuming the Eric Brevig (Journey to the Center of the Earth) sticks to the same wholesome tales that were featured during Yogi’s prime, otherwise known as the 1960s. We’ve got the new poster for your inspection after the jump, along with details about when and where you’ll be able to see the first trailer.

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