Rene Russo

Open Road Films

Last year we saw Jake Gyllenhaal‘s lose a significant amount of weight for his part in Dan Gilroy‘s Nightcrawler. When the film comes out this October people will likely be talking more about Gyllenhaal’s performance than how many LBs he lost. This is the project he dropped out of Into the Woods for, and it’s easy to see why. Gilroy’s script is an intense, darkly comedic, and flawlessly structured character study. It’s also Gyllenhaal’s juiciest role to date, playing an unforgettable character unlike anything we’ve seen from the actor before. The film largely takes place at night time in Los Angeles, where the seedy environments and protagonist, Louis Bloom (Gyllenhaal), dig right under your skin. This is an unsettling character operating in an even more unnerving world. He’s a freelance crime journalist, but calling him a journalist may be too kind; he’s basically a TMZ reporter for dead bodies.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr grabs his codpiece and cape, then gets hammered in the cineplex with Thor. He also suffers from wedding overload with two new movies, Something Borrowed and Jumping the Broom. Though he probably should have put his shirt back on before seeing all the chick flicks. Finally, he takes a more esoteric and educational look at the Spanish Civil War drama There Be Dragons. Spoiler alert: There are no dragons in the movie.

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The summer of 2011 will see the biggest assemblage yet of superheroes onscreen with the upcoming releases of X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern, and Captain America: The First Avenger. (At least until next year when The Avengers hits theaters.) Every movie is a gamble to some degree, but these three mitigate the risk a bit in that the X-Men film is the fourth in a popular franchise and the other two both feature highly recognizable actors in the title roles. But there’s one superhero movie this summer that’s flying with a hammer in place of a safety net. The potential hurdles include a relatively unknown lead actor, a director thought to be an odd choice at best and a terrible one at worst, and a hero built on magic and fantasy. Thor is a god, an honest to god deity, and that can be a hard sell in the science-fiction and technology-filled world of Marvel films. Thor opens with a brief intro in the Southwestern US with a pair of scientists (Natalie Portman and Stellan Skarsgard) and their snarky assistant (Kat Dennings) tracking an odd weather phenomenon. They drive towards the center of the storm and accidentally collide with a figure emerging from the darkness.

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