Michael B. Jordan

review that awkward moment

Women, amirite? One minute you’re entering them from behind, and the next they’re asking you just where this relationship is heading. Jason (Zac Efron) is so familiar with it he’s taken to calling the moment ‘the so,’ as in “so, what are we doing here?” Happily though he’s mastered the clean pull-out and sees no reason to change his behavior anytime soon. Daniel (Miles Teller) isn’t quite the same level of player, but he still enjoys building and tending to his roster of girls. Their friend Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) has left the game behind and married his college sweetheart, but that’s where the trouble begins. Mikey’s wife reveals that not only is she having an affair with a man who looks like Morris Chestnut, but she’s also filing for divorce. In an effort towards solidarity, Jason and Daniel join him in a promise and a pact that they’ll all remain single and avoid relationships. But then Jason meets Ellie (Imogen Poots), Daniel starts to fall for his “wing man” Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis), and Mikey? He’s hoping to win his wife back. That Awkward Moment offers a glimpse into the world of twenty-something guys hanging out with friends, looking for interchangeable tail, and avoiding the types of girls who inevitably want more than just a mutually rewarding night of fornication. This would be fine if the film was attempting some kind of commentary, managed any degree of character depth, or achieved the mix of playful rom-com and Judd Apatow raunch […]

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That Richard Pryor biopic that’s seemingly been in the works since before Pryor was born? Well, it might actually be moving forward, with a director and a shortlist of three potential actors and a giant wheelbarrow full of money to fund it. The director? Lee Daniels. The actors? Eddie Murphy, Marlon Wayans and Michael B. Jordan. The group filling farm equipment with legal tender?  The Weinstein Company, which has come on board to finance the entire project. There’s a lot to think about here. The big issue might seem to be Daniels’ involvement, and one could discuss that until the cows come home (if Lee Daniels lived on a farm, which I’m assuming he doesn’t). Daniels isn’t known for his funny bone, and a biopic about a stand-up comedian would have to at least acknowledge that jokes exist and that people do this thing called “laughing” after hearing them. But that’s only one half of the story. The other half involves those three fellows up for the starring role, and the humongous differences between each one. So let’s break ‘em down one by one.

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AWOD_DAY_24_0605.NEF

Anyone who saw his performance as a charming young drunk earlier this year in James Ponsoldt’s phenomenal The Spectacular Now has to be primed to get some more Miles Teller in their life. Well, there’s good news and even better news on that front. The good news is that he’s got a new comedy coming out soon called That Awkward Moment. The even better news is that a red band trailer for the film has been released, and we’ve got an embed of it right here. That Awkward Moment sees Teller teaming up with Zac Efron and Michael B. Jordan as a trio of hard-partying friends who all make a pact that they won’t get into serious relationships right around the time that each of them meets a girl who is just the sort of lady they’ve always dreamt about. You know, they’re the types of girls who you could get into one of those extra-special relationships, where you’re basically the same height, so your crotches line up when you lay next to each other, with. Anyway, That Awkward Moment seems like it has a handful of gags that land, its three leads are all real charmers, and it also includes a parade of comely young actresses like Imogen Poots, Addison Timlin, and Jessica Lucas who cycle through the story—but the real reason you’re probably going to want to click through and watch the trailer is to see Efron naked and trying to pee while he has a boner. We […]

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Potential Fantastic Four

Variety is reporting that the shortlist for Fox’s new Fantastic Four reboot is skewing young. The breakdown of testing actors includes Michael B. Jordan still being floated as The Human Torch; Miles Teller, Kit Harington and Jack O’Connell (Skins) for Reed Richards; and Saoirse Ronan, Kate Mara and possibly Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) for Sue Storm. Granted, Mara is 30, and Jessica Alba was 24 when she was cast in the role less than a decade ago, but the rest of the list tops out at 26 years for several of the gents while Ronan (the most veteran of the crew) won’t be able to drink legally in the States for a year and a half. In the previous incarnation, Ioan Gruffudd brought some grounding maturity, but the new vision may be looking to bring in adult supervision solely with Ben Grimm — unless they cast another 20-something for The Thing, too. Honestly, all of this is kind of cool. At the very least it brings a different angle to a franchise whose renewed existence is aggressively shrug-worthy. It’s also a way to make a natural through line for Chronicle director Josh Trank as he takes on legacy superheroes for a change.  There are a ton of middle-aged heroes out there, so maybe it’s time for a different flavor in the buffet of spandex and capes. Of course, regardless of who they cast, it’ll still be a superhero movie produced by Fox and written by the guy who wrote This […]

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fruitvale 2

To the surprise of many (and the joy of a select few), the Rocky franchise will continue on into its seventh film. Deadline reports that this new Rocky picture, to be titled Creed, will avoid the insanity of putting a 67-year-old Sylvester Stallone back in the ring, and revolve around the grandson of Apollo Creed, Carl Weathers’ character from the original film. But never fear- Stallone will still return, although now solely as a mentor to the younger Creed.

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Fruitvale Movie

Editor’s note: This review of Fruitvale Station originally ran during this year’s Sundance film festival where it played under the shorter title Fruitvale. We’re re-running it now as the film sees a limited theatrical release this Friday. Tragedies happen every day throughout the world, but very few of them ever reach the public eye. The overwhelming majority remain private pains in the lives of the families and friends directly involved. One incident that didn’t stay private was the New Year’s Day shooting of Oscar Grant by a police officer in Oakland, CA, in 2009. Various cell phones caught the shooting on video, and an already racially charged city exploded at the sight of a white officer firing on an unarmed black man. But as is often the case there’s far more to the story than those several harrowing minutes of grainy video footage reveal. For better and worse writer/director Ryan Coogler is interested in more than just that incident. Fruitvale focuses on the last, hopeful day in Oscar’s life, but our knowledge of what’s coming hangs heavy over these 24 hours as we know what he can’t. His interactions with family and friends paint a heartbreaking picture of a man trying to atone for past bad behaviors and plan for the future. That should have been more than enough, but like too many people Coogler can’t help but try to turn the man and his story into a symbol and a rallying cry.

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fruitvale 2

The debut feature from Ryan Coogler has been the year’s Cinderella story ever since it bowed at Sundance and scooped the Grand Jury Prize, as well as the Audience Award, for U.S. dramatic film. Received in similarly rapturous terms by critics at this week’s Cannes screening, it would not be surprising to many if Fruitvale Station had the chutzpah to carry itself, or at least some of its esteemed performers, all the way to Hollywood’s awards season. It opens with seemingly authentic camera phone footage — perhaps the very same footage that, as we learn at the film’s end titles, incriminated those involved — of 22-year-old Oscar Grant being accosted by two police officers. We know, even if we remain unaware of the resolution, that things are not going to end well. While in many ways Coogler’s film feels very much like the same redemptive gangster drama we’ve seen so many times, the difference here, ostensibly, is that it’s real. Oscar (Michael B. Jordan) wants to stop slinging dope and get a proper job so that he can support his girlfriend and his daughter, but of course he faces professional hurdles that then impinge on his personal life. In fact, it is really only a familiar drama in as much as it features a character trying to extricate himself from less-than-desirable circumstances. It is Coogler’s riveting approach and the spellbinding performances that make it feel so fresh.

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Fruitvale Station

If you’ve been searching for a fact-based film that will reduce you to a puddle of quivering tears for its final act, you might want to consider taking some time to watch something a bit more light-hearted because, what? are you okay? Emotional health aside, yes, we’ve got a film that’s just the ticket, so get out your hankies now (and, if you’re into that sort of thing, perhaps pull out your early Oscar ballots). Ryan Coogler‘s Fruitvale Station (formerly known as just Fruitvale) was a certifiable hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival (the film was so beloved at the festival that our own Rob Hunter’s B- review of the film was considered to be on the contrarian side of things), winning both the audience award and the grand jury prize. Based on the true story of Oscar Grant (played by the thoroughly wonderful Michael B. Jordan), the film traces the unexpected final day of the young man, who was shot by a BART police officer at the Fruitvale station in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2009. While the film takes a few liberties with the true story, it’s one hell of a moving piece of cinema, and it’s rounded out by outstanding performances and a rich filmmaking technique. Yes, it will probably make you cry, but it will be worth it. The Weinstein Company has just released the first poster for the film, which takes a painterly and praise-laden approach to its subject matter, a suitable first look at the soon-to-be-released film. Fruitvale […]

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Michael B Jordan

According to The Wrap, Michael B. Jordan is in contention to play Johnny “The Human Torch” Storm for the reboot of Fantastic Four being directed by Josh Trank. The news seems only natural considering their previous work together on Chronicle, but for those who might need convincing on why he’s a great choice, here are five quick reasons: 1) The Wire 2) Friday Night Lights 3) Parenthood 4) Chronicle 5) Fruitvale Station Jordan has displayed both a shrewd acting instinct and the ability to be effortlessly charismatic — two traits that would work well for The Human Torch. Not to mention a lot of other roles as well. He’s a stellar young talent, and for those that haven’t seen The Wire, let’s just say that he owns his character Wallace, turning every big beat into a heavy gut punch. And that’s when he was 15. The guy’s got skills. Unfortunately, some are perplexed by the ethnicity problem that crops up if he gets the role, and in some ways it’s understandable; I don’t know how I feel about a non-British actor playing an American superhero either. But seriously, watch those things and try to say with a straight face that this guy doesn’t deserve a bigger spotlight (and possibly the ability to safely light his entire body on fire).

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In the early morning hours of New Years Day 2009, police responded to reports of fights at the Fruitvale BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station in Oakland, CA. The facts about what happened next remain in question for some, but this much is clear. Several people were detained, and an officer shot a young man named Oscar Grant in the back while he lay on the ground. Grant died a few hours later, and the officer, Johannes Mehserle, was arrested and charged with 2nd degree murder. Per THR, casting has begun for Fruitvale, a small film from writer/director Ryan Coogler (and producer Forest Whitaker) about the incident that will focus on Grant’s interactions leading up to the shooting. Octavia Spencer has signed on as Grant’s mother while Michael B. Jordan has been cast as Grant. It’s unclear at this point how much of the shooting’s aftermath will come into play, but in a world still reeling from the Trayvon Martin murder in Florida it’s sure to have a prominent role. Mehserle is white, and Grant is black, so the tragedy caught immediate national attention thanks in no small part to fuel thrown on it by cynical race-baiters. The specifics of the incident were quickly dismissed in favor of generalized statements of police brutality, accusations of racism and subsequent protests and riots. The reaction and suspicions are almost understandable on a general level, but the indifference towards common sense and the truth did a disservice to Grant, Mehserle and society as […]

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr heads out to the drab English countryside to settle a woman’s estate only to find the place haunted. Fortunately, Kevin had already crawled down a mysterious hole and gained super powers, so he’s able to fend off the evil spirits. For a fleeting moment, he considers using his new powers for good, like to save a family of gray whales trapped under the ice in Barrow, Alaska. However, his fear of the 30 Days of Night vampires keep him at home. He then decides to use his new powers to read the subtitles of The Hidden Face so he can enjoy the copious amounts of pretty Colombian breasts.

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dresses up in his favorite Jedi robe, grabs his lightsaber and heads out to see the latest George Lucas movie…and boy does he look stupid. After realizing that Red Tails has nothing to do with the color of creatures’ backsides in the Tattooine cantina, he then dresses in his favorite “Team Jacob” tee shirt to see the latest vampire/werewolf movie. Again, he looks ridiculous. Finally, he sulks into a movie theater showing the new Steven Soderbergh film, falls in love with new action star Gina Carano and is happy.

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