Emma Stone has certainly been in her fair share of films at this point, but The Amazing Spider-Man is definitely new territory. She stars as Gwen Stacy, the daughter of the police captain (Denis Leary) and the object of Peter Parker’s (Andrew Garfield) affection. But little does Gwen know, Peter’s got baggage – gigantic lizard man-like baggage.
While The Amazing Spider-Man isn’t much like Superbad, The Help or even Zombieland, there’s something about Stone’s performance that’s appropriately consistent throughout them all. She delivers a brand new character each and every time, but beneath the surface there’s a hint of that actress we’ve come to know and love.
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When word of this “cancer comedy” hit, the hot question was, “Can cancer be funny?” Not only is the answer to that a solid yes, but director Jonathan Levine and writer Will Reiser make a dismal subject humorous in the most honorable way possible. You may look and sound ridiculous when 50/50 makes you laugh and cry at the same time, but the embarrassment is well worth it.
Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is your average 27-year-old. He enjoys hanging out with his best buddy, Kyle (Seth Rogen), is working hard to build a career in the radio industry and is attempting to take his relationship with Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) another step forward. Everything Adam’s worked for up until this point is thrown entirely off-kilter when he gets some shocking news; Adam has cancer.
From that point on, everything changes. Kyle opts to use his friend’s situation to his advantage, seeking sympathy from girls, Rachael struggles with whether or not she’s capable of committing herself to the situation and Adam’s mother, Diane (Anjelica Huston), swoops in whether her son likes it or not. The there’s the required therapy sessions. The hospital assigns Adam to Katherine (Anna Kendrick), a 24-year-old pursuing a doctorate and in need of training patients. Not only is his whole existence turned upside down, but Adam must also come to terms with the fact that his chance of survival is merely 50/50.
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Ever get sick of sorting through the endless amount of promotional material we get each week? Lucky for you I don’t and would love to be the one to help pinpoint the notably good and the laughably bad. Despite the Friday debut, as of next week, every Thursday I’ll narrow down the three best and three worst in new promotional material. This includes everything from fresh trailers to stills and more as, nowadays, thanks to viral marketing, the possibilities in terms of reaching out to the public are seemingly endless.
For the inaugural issue, I’m cheating a bit and looking back at the past two weeks, and, as usual, we’ve gotten a slew of brand new material. Whether or not the teaser for David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was actually leaked or artfully planted by Sony, no trailer seemingly shot via cell phone has a place here and, well, the official green band trailer just doesn’t make the cut this week. As for that tiny bit of footage from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, promos are one thing, but promos for promos are no-go’s here. I can’t lie, though — it did make me giggle a bit (and not in a good way).
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. has been unveiling the character posters for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II one-by-one and Zoe Saldana channels Taraji P. Henson of I Can Do Bad All by Myself in the new Colombiana poster while rocking some flower power. The Shark Night 3D trailer also swam to shore with a vengeance, but lacks the bite to snag a spot in the “Promotions” hall of fame. As for the “Demotions,” Horrible Bosses should consider itself lucky because if there weren’t three far less-than-stellar marketing attempts this past week, its first clip might find itself in the bottom thanks to the fact that is just isn’t funny.
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When it comes to The Twilight Saga, there are lovers and haters, but very few in between. Regardless of caliber, Twihards will flock to the theaters to catch the latest installment while the defiant will shun their dedication. This review of Eclipse will have little to no effect on whether or not those lovers or haters will see the film, but in the case of those caught in the middle, hopefully it’ll persuade them to join the former – at least this time around.
Moody Bella (Kristen Stewart) is long gone and now our leading lady is back with her brooding bloodsucking boy, happy and, most importantly, far more confident in herself. Graduation is right around the corner and so is the day she’s longed for, the day Edward (Robert Pattinson) turns her into a vampire. The only thing Edward asks for Bella in return? For her to let him make her his forever by marrying her. While Bella and Edward are negotiating their I dos, Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is trying to maintain his position in the love triangle. Even though Bella professes her love for Edward, Jacob is convinced she loves him too, but just won’t admit it.
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After earning a number of Oscar nominations and a handful of wins working with director Elia Kazan on A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and Baby Doll (1956), it made sense that Tennessee Williams would write a third screenplay for the two to bring to life. The problem is, there’s really nothing to bring to life in The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond. Perhaps someone realized the trouble back when Williams first completed the script, because Kazan opted to move onto other projects leaving The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond on a shelf collecting dust. Not even a super-powered Shop-Vac could clean this screenplay of its cobwebs. The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond is dated and further flawed by plain old poor filmmaking.
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Legendary playwright Tennessee Williams had a magical relationship with director Elia Kazan. They collaborated on both Baby Doll and A Street Car Named Desire, the first of which was nominated for four Academy Awards and the second, nominated for 12, winning four. The plan was to reunite for a third film, which Williams called The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, but when Kazan attended to other projects, the concept dissipated.
It wasn’t until the screenplay landed in the hands of actress-turned-director Jodie Markell, that The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond received the breath of life it was meant to get decades earlier. In her directorial debut, Markell assembled a star-studded cast to bring the character Fisher Willow (Bryce Dallas Howard) to the big screen. In an effort to reestablish a reputation tarnished by her father’s mistakes and secure the fortune of her great Aunt Cornelia (Ann-Margret), Fisher calls upon a plantation worker (Chris Evans) she fancies to escort her to a series of parties. When Fisher loses a priceless teardrop diamond earring at one of the soirées, not only do Fisher’s hopes for the future crumble, but so do her chances of developing a serious relationship with her escort.
Check out what Markell told me about developing a screenplay by one of the most influential playwrights of the 20th century, how her acting experience affects the way she directs her cast, and more.
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