Mila Kunis

Lionsgate

Henry Altmann (Robin Williams) is an angry man. When it’s not subwoofers getting his goat it’s car alarms, ATM service fees and fat people. When it’s not 99-cent stores it’s hamsters, ass-crack fashion and God. Henry’s goat gets got a lot. Today is no different, but as one bad thing leads to the next they’re capped off by a visit to the doctor’s office where he discovers he has a brain aneurysm. Dr. Sharon Gill (Mila Kunis), flustered by his obvious rage at this latest slap in the face from the universe, accidentally on purpose tells him he only has ninety minutes to live. He leaves the office intent on making those minutes count by mending his relationship with his son, spending time with friends and fornicating with his wife, but circumstance and his ongoing anger issues keep getting in the way. Phil Alden Robinson (Sneakers) returns to the director’s chair after a twelve year absence with a film that isn’t quite worth the wait. The Angriest Man in Brooklyn is essentially a tale of redemption and second chances, but in order for either of those narrative paths to be effective audiences have to give a damn about the characters on them. That never quite happens here.

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Robin Williams in Angriest Man in Brooklyn

You know that old saying “live each day as if it were your last”? While it’s supposed to be inspirational and designed to get you up off your butt and out into the world doing great things like traveling and confessing your love to your best friend, there’s also the view that it could be a terrifying and wholly negative statement. Living each day like it’s your last? That means you’re dying tomorrow. There’s so much you didn’t do! The Angriest Man in Brooklyn takes this concept and amplifies it times 100 by giving America’s wacky uncle Robin Williams only 90 minutes to live. What’s a guy to do when he’s only got an hour and a half to do everything he has left to get done? The trailer for the film attempts to explain how Williams is going to attempt such a feat, and why the poor man is in this situation in the first place. The film, a remake of the 1997 Israeli feature Mar Baum, is from Phil Alden Robinson, director of Sneakers (it should be noted that this is his first film in over 10 years since the fantastic  The Sum of All Fears), and paints Williams as the titular angry man, a brash and maniacal Brooklynite who can’t control his temper for even the slightest of inconveniences: red lights, subwoofers, greeting cards, cheap cologne and people passing out flyers. When Dr. Mila Kunis attempts to explain to him that he has a fatal brain aneurysm, that’s just another thorn in his […]

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Blood Ties

Writer/director James Gray has explored brotherhood with real depth over his career. From We Own the Night to the  The Yards, Gray shows a deep understanding for unconditional love. He knows how to make cliches feel honest, like two brothers on the opposite sides of the law. Gray slyly subverted that idea in We Own the Night, a drama that went unnoticed in 2007. Blood Ties, which Gray co-wrote with the film’s director Guillaume Canet, will likely go unnoticed as well, but for very different reasons. Unlike We Own the Night, Canet’s film shows no interest in reinventing the wheel or putting down any personal stamp. When the protagonists at the center of Blood Ties make the tough decisions, Gray and Canet are unwilling to do the same with their by-the-number crime picture. Ever since Chris (Clive Owen) and Frank (Billy Crudup) were kids they’ve been different. Chris was the troublemaker of the two, while Frank followed the rules. Neither of them changed their ways as they grew older. At the start of the film Frank is released from prison. He’s been away so long that his kids, who are quickly pushed aside after one scene, don’t even recognize him. Chris can’t find a decent job, owes a ton in child support, and has to live with his brother, who’s now a straight and narrow cop.

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Blood Ties

James Gray has directed a total of five films over the past two decades, and while a movie every four years isn’t too shabby it’s also not quite a workmanlike pace either. He takes his time on personal projects like The Yards or divisive, subversive ones like We Own the Night. He’s an American filmmaker we don’t talk about often enough, but 2014 may change all that seeing as he’s attached in varying capacity to two different films. April will see the release of his latest directorial effort, The Immigrant, and a month earlier a film he co-wrote, Blood Ties, will hit theaters. Both films premiered at the Cannes film festival last year, a festival that’s always welcomed Gray’s work, and our Shaun Munro was mixed on Blood Ties, calling its 144 minute runtime “wholly excessive – even counter-productive – to telling this story. Furthermore, though Blood Ties will be no doubt be marketed on the strength of its brief bursts of action, it is in retrospect difficult to see the film having much commercial appeal outside of getting butts in seats by way of trailer-based manipulation.” Shaun’s prediction has been proven correct, since the newly released trailer does lean heavily on its occasional bursts of action. Take a look at the possibly misleading trailer for Blood Ties below.

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Mila Kunis origami

The Wachowskis hit it big as filmmakers with only their second movie, The Matrix, and while its two sequels are a mixed bag on the critical front they made massive amounts of the green stuff. That’s a good thing in this case as it allowed Andy and Lana some freedom in regard to making the movies they want to make with little regard for studio interference. Granted, one of the results was Speed Racer, but we also got the the big, beautiful mess that is the sadly under-appreciated Cloud Atlas. Some of you undoubtedly think the former is the unappreciated masterpiece and the latter the bust, but the takeaway is the same regardless. These are filmmakers who are perfectly content making epic films for small audiences. It’s not the most sustainable business model, but to each their own. The big question now though is what to make of their next sure-to-be-misunderstood-by-the-masses film, Jupiter Ascending. The film is a sci-fi adventure that sees the Queen of the universe put out a hit on an earthling named Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) because the human is destined to claim the intergalactic throne. A genetically engineered hunter named Caine (Channing Tatum) arrives as her sole protector against the dark forces aligned against her (which presumably includes a poisoned apple at some point). Check out the first trailer below.

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Guillaume Canet earned the goodwill of many with his immensely potent 2006 thriller Tell No One, before the misjudged – and like this film, much too long – Little White Lies came along and eroded plenty of that promise. However, Canet returns with his latest feature, and the busload-full of skilled actors he has brought with him damn near ensures a compelling sit, even if the film’s ponderous pacing and resulting length do detract somewhat from its finer qualities. A remake of 2008′s French film Rivals – which starred Canet himself – Blood Ties begins in 1974 New York as Chris (Clive Owen) is released from prison after a 12-year-stint for murder. While welcomed warmly by his father (James Caan), Chris is received less so by his brother, Frank (Billy Crudup), a respected policeman who is nevertheless called upon by his family to take him in. Adding to the drama is the litany of anguished lovers sitting on the periphery; Chris shacks up with a gorgeous young receptionist named Monica (Mila Kunis), much to the chagrin of his drug-addled hooker ex-wife Monica (Marion Cotillard), while Frank continues to pine for a former flame he broke it off with, Vanessa (Zoe Saldana), whose current relationship with the dangerous Scarfo (Matthias Schoenaerts) is on the rocks.

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Clive and Mila

If the Cannes Film Festival is good for anything, it’s letting a select few people see great movies that the rest of us are going to have to wait months to get our eyeballs on. In one respect it’s a tantalizing glimpse at our film future, and in the other it’s a torturous tease that only gives us whispers about unattainable pleasures. Every once in a while a film debuting at Cannes will at least release a trailer around the same time though, so those of us not at the festival can get a taste of what we’re missing, and this seems to be the case with Guillaume Canet’s first English-language film as a director, Blood Ties. You should be warned that there’s some naughty language in the clip that lies below, but if that isn’t the sort of thing that offends you, then you’re going to want to click through and watch, because Blood Ties is a 70s-set crime drama that stars Clive Owen, Mila Kunis, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard, Zoe Saldana, Matthias Schoenaerts, and James Caan, and if you’re not willing to admit that you have a crush on at least a handful of those people, then you’re just a liar. A stinking liar.

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review oz great powerful

Hollywood trend #74 goes like this. Pick a classic children’s tale that hasn’t been adapted in the past few years, say Alice in Wonderland or Snow White maybe, then build a new film around it that substitutes excessive CGI for imagination and physical comedy for characterization. Oh, and be sure to improve upon the source material by throwing in a big third-act battle between armies too. Anyway. Oz the Great and Powerful is a new look at a land we are all too familiar with thanks to L. Frank Baum’s books and a little movie called The Wizard of Oz. Director Sam Raimi‘s film predates Dorothy’s classic adventure to show how the wizard actually became the wizard in the first place, but just because it takes place in a magical world doesn’t guarantee a magical experience.

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Oz the Great and Powerful Movie Poster

Sam Raimi‘s Oz: The Great and Powerful crashes down on audiences in March, and while we’ve already gotten a great look at the world they’ve built for it (while crossing our fingers that it won’t be an Alice in Wonderland clone), we haven’t been given a look at the villainous Wicked Witch of the West. It is, without a doubt and zero hyperbole, the biggest villain-based mystery of all the 2013 releases. Is she being played by Mila Kunis? By Rachel Weisz? By Benedict Cumberbatch? The production has kept it a relative secret — hiding Kunis and Weisz’s characters under new Ozian names (Theodora and Evanora respectively) and including them to varying degrees in the trailers, but the poster above looks an awful lot like Weisz in green make-up, and the stuff we’ve seen so far suggests her character just might lose it and turn to the dark side. Let’s all obsess about it until March, and in the meantime, enjoy this dramatic one sheet from Disney.

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Drinking Games

When you grew up, did you have that special toy that you believed was actually alive? We all did, but usually those toys didn’t follow us into adulthood, at least not for those of us who aren’t schizophrenic. Seth MacFarlane explores what would happen if that toy grew up like you did, probably having more sex and smoking way more pot than you do, in the film Ted. Available on DVD and Blu-ray this week, Ted pours raunchy jokes and inappropriate humor. Knock back a couple during the course of this film, and you might just believe that your teddy bear can talk. Knock back more than a couple, and you might just believe that you’re in the Flash Gordon film from the 1980s. Either way, it will be a magical night. (And if you feel up to it, you can watch that movie and play our Flash Gordon drinking game, too.)

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Oz the Great and Powerful

If Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful ends up being another Alice in Wonderland-level exercise in style over substance, the parallels to its main character are going to be too obvious to dismiss. In the film, James Franco plays Oscar Diggs, a Kansas con-man magician who does tricks illusions and enjoys tricking illusioning people out of their coins. During a hot air balloon stunt, he’s pulled into a tornado and whisked away to the strange land of Oz where three good witches (played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams) implore him to rid the world of a wicked witch. The only problem? He only talks a big game, and he might not be able to deliver any real magic. The plot in its vague form mirrors The Wizard of Oz directly, and the look of the universe tries for the CGI expansiveness of Alice, but hopefully Sam Raimi has been able to make the movie his own. With a new trailer comes new hopes and concerns. It looks like a lot of fun, but some of the dialogue (and the delivery) sounds like first draft exposition. It’s also not hard to think of Franco as a bored actor at this point, and there’s nothing here to disabuse anyone of that notion. However, the callbacks to the 1939 classic are spot-on and exciting. Maybe this could be a real epic after all.

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It’s been three years since a Sam Raimi film graced theaters and five since he’s had a box office hit (sorry, Drag Me to Hell), but he returns to the big screen next year with something substantially different than his usual fare. In fact, if the lead were Johnny Depp instead of James Franco you might be forgiven for thinking this was a Tim Burton joint. Oz the Great and Powerful is an upcoming Disney film that posits the origin of L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz (the man, not the story). Oscar Diggs (Franco) begins as a mediocre magician in the dustbowl of a black and white Kansas before boarding a hot-air balloon for an ill-fated ride into a tornado. The journey lands him in Oz where he comes face to face with creatures, people, three witches and technicolor. Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams play the three witches, and that’s really all the reason one needs to want to see the movie… Check out the trailer for Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful below.

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Right around the time that the 67th poster of two stars leaning back to back hits theater lobbies is when the pessimism about modern one sheet design starts to creep in. Fortunately, there’s always a handful of excellent posters dotting the year to keep hope alive. Thank you, Oz the Great and Powerful poster, for keeping hope alive:

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Seth MacFarlane is one of those hit-or-miss type guys who seems to have been missing a lot more than hitting lately. Though his big TV show, Family Guy, started off well, the most recent seasons have succumbed to format fatigue. The show’s penchant for cutting away to complete non sequiturs has worn out its welcome and, even worse, it’s committed the cardinal sin of comedy – it’s just not funny anymore. Add to that his attempts to recapture the original Family Guy magic with shows like American Dad and its spin-off The Cleveland Show, and it would be easy to say that MacFarlane is kind of stuck in a rut. So why not try a feature film? MacFarlane’s predominantly a TV guy, and one who’s been down on his laughs recently so, despite its hilarious trailers, the odds seemed to be stacked against his new film Ted. In case you happened to have missed the aforementioned hilarious trailers, Ted is a movie about a young boy who wishes for his teddy bear to come to life. John Bennett is not exactly the most popular kid on the block. Even the little Jewish kid who gets his ass kicked every day hates John Bennett. The poor kid just doesn’t have any friends. So when his parents give him a big stuffed teddy bear for Christmas, he names it Ted and wishes that Ted could come to life and be his best friend forever.

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Channing Tatum

There’s good reason to believe that Channing Tatum‘s starring in The Wachowski‘s Jupiter Ascending won’t make it completely dull. According to MTV, the actor is confirmed for the role, but where this might have been bad news a year ago (a massive original sci-fi work from directors who made an indelible mark on the genre teaming with a “star” being hoisted upon us all), there’s hope now. Why? Because Tatum’s turn in 21 Jump Street helped to prove he had a personality beyond what blockbuster blandness was forced into the grinder. Plus, the Wachowskis took Keanu Reeves (the king of soporific acting) and made him into an iconic character). Plus, Magic Mike might do a lot to show off a glittery body butter-coated version of Tatum’s personality as well. In the forthcoming Jupiter, Tatum will play an alien of incredible intelligence sent to kill a character played by Mila Kunis. Unsurprisingly, he’s unable to kill her because, come on. Seriously. Could you? Instead, he falls in love. Most likely, bad things ensue. Hopefully a dance battle.

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Summertime at the cinema is most commonly associated with big budget action and adventure movies, and this summer is no exception. But amidst the bombastic blockbusters there are also a few big name comedies to look forward to including Dark Shadows, That’s My Boy and Neighborhood Watch. One of the most anticipated though just might be Seth MacFarlane’s feature directorial debut, Ted. The movie stars Mark Wahlberg as John, a man whose best friend is a walking and talking teddy bear named Ted. The furry beast originally came to life during tough times in John’s childhood, and now the pair are roommates. Others can see and hear Ted too, and when John starts to get serious with a cute girl (Mila Kunis) his relationship with the bear begins to complicate the romance. Check out the red-band trailer below.

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Hold your pitchforks back for but a moment, dear readers, as I confess that my interest level in Lana and Andy Wachowski‘s next project, Cloud Atlas, is minimal. While I am confident that the Wachowskis, along with co-director Tom Tykwer, will be able to turn a massive tome into something fluid and cohesive, I’ve been unable to rouse much emotion to the project beyond that. Much as I’d like to be proven wrong, I’m still much more excited about the siblings’ next project – an original sci-fi film called Jupiter Ascending that we’ve known about since October. While we still don’t know anything about the plot beyond just those slim details, it looks like we may soon be able to picture a starring pair in the lead roles – Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis.

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Last night, my Twitter feed coughed out a story from THR, an exclusive report about casting rumors for Lee Daniels‘ (Precious) potential next project, The Butler. At the time, I was too stunned (and too busy laughing hysterically) by how completely wrongheaded a few of the potential stars seemed to be for their respective roles to pen something on the subject. I’ve yet to fully recover, but my typing hands are itchy. The Butler is the true life story of Eugene Allen, a White House butler who worked under eight presidents, spanning the years of 1952 to 1986. Danny Strong wrote the script (with a re-write from Daniels), based on Wil Haygood‘s 2008 Washington Post story “A Butler Well Served by This Election.” You can read the full story HERE, which is a wonderful tale not just about Allen, but about life (and race) in the White House (and America). The story also paid particular focus to the election of Barack Obama – it was published on November 7, 2008, just days after he was elected – and days after Allen himself cast his vote for the first African-American president. But while the story behind The Butler is phenomenal, and Daniels’ apparent first choice to play Allen (David Oyelowo) is pretty great, the rest of the rumored casting for the film is a big bag of “wait, what?”

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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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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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