Tag Archives: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Review: Don Jon

Don_Jon_PosterJoseph Gordon-Levitt’s highly stylized and well-executed directorial choices make “Don Jon” a raunchy romp, but then he throws in just enough of that good old JGL charm to give it some heart.

It makes sense that Jon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) values his physique, his home, his car, his family, his church, his friends and his girls, but porn? When it comes to things Jon just can’t live without, porn is pretty high up there. And we’re not talking about the occasional indulgence. Not only does Jon have a habit of using pornography to get the job done dozens of times a week, but he also prefers it to the real thing. Considering he tends to stick to one-night stands, it’s never really been an issue, but when Jon meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson) and thinks she might be worth a long-term relationship, the porn just has to go.

After putting a handful of short films on his resume, Gordon-Levitt made the move to features and, turns out, he was ready. “Don Jon” is out there to say the least and could easily have been an unfunny, pointless disaster, but Gordon-Levitt formulates the ideal unique style that well supports the comedy and surprisingly moving character journey.

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Review: Looper

Yes, a good portion of the fun of a sci-fi movie is getting to go off to different worlds, see cool gadgets and experience the impossible, but there’s just so many times we can watch people fly, cars hover and characters time travel before the surreal loses appeal. However, toss a little authenticity, heart and sheer terror into the mix, and all of those genre basics get a new life courtesy of a wholly believable and enthralling story, just like in “Looper.”

The year is 2044, but the world exists well beyond that. Down the line, in 2074, it’s impossible for mobs to kill people and dispose of the bodies so they hire Loopers and have them take care of the dirty work back in 2044. The 2074 folks nab their target, zap them back to the past, and the Looper blows them away.

Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a successful Looper, living the good life in 2044. He wakes up, kills his target, collects his pay, heads out to the club with his Looper buddies, and does it all again the next day. Trouble is, someone in the future is messing with his routine and closing loops. Rather than receiving nameless targets, many Loopers are coming face to face with their future selves. The same rules apply and they’re expected to off their older selves, closing the loop, and then living out the time they’ve got left, 30 years. Sure enough, Joe’s time comes, but before he can do his duty, older Joe (Bruce Willis) bolts.

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Jobs That Are Way Cooler in the Movies

No, every little kid in the country isn’t going to tell their parents that they want to grow up to be a bike messenger because of Premium Rush, but we’d like to bet there will be a spike in applications. Joseph Gordon-Levitt may look pretty cool zipping around Manhattan on that bike, but, odds are, should bike messaging be in your future, it’ll involve an exhausting amount of pedaling, one too many cabs cutting you off and not a single package with the power to turn you into a hero on the run. Now that we’ve nixed bike messaging as a dream job, how about a few others that the big screen is known to make look cooler than they actually are?

Teacher

You bust into a classroom packed with disgruntled students with zero motivation, but tons of potential and manage to make such an impact that they insist you keep teaching them, and it’s all set to the tune of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise.” Sorry, aspiring educators, but it only goes down like this inDangerous Minds. Schooling may be the key to our future and teaching an endlessly important job, but without singing nuns, fake subs turning their classes into a rock bands or student government advisors trying to fix elections, a day at school is just jumping from class to class, reading from textbooks and plowing through lesson plans.

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Review: The Dark Knight Rises

Hype is great, especially with this industry, but if you’re going to play the role of the most anticipated film of the summer, you’ve got your work cut out for you. And that’s on top of having to live up to an Academy Award winning predecessor.

After a brief look at Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) speaking at Harvey Dent’s funeral, “The Dark Knight Rises” takes us eight years into the future. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is a recluse and Batman is nowhere to be found having been blamed for Dent’s murder, but, as Batman and Gordon hoped, the resulting Dent Act successfully keeps criminals at bay in Gotham City – that is until Bane (Tom Hardy) arrives.

Why not answer the big question right off the bat – does “The Dark Knight Rises” live up to the hype? Yes and no. What? You didn’t actually think it’d be a clear-cut answer, did you? Perhaps this little carrot diagram might help – “Batman Begins” < “The Dark Knight Rises” < “The Dark Knight.” While “The Dark Knight Rises” may not be the movie of all movies, lead to world peace or even just be the best of the best of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, it’s got a lot going for it.

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Comic-Con 2012: Our Most Anticipated Events

The first rule of San Diego Comic-Con is that there’s absolutely no way to get to everything. The second rule of San Diego Comic-Con (or SDCC) is … try to get to everything. And we here at Movies.com will attempt to do just that, or at the very least bring back a taste of the big events everyone will be talking about come this time next week.

What are some of those events, and what should you expect from our coverage? Click through to find out what we’re looking forward to most as the country’s biggest geek-friendly convention prepares to infiltrate our nerdy hearts later this week.

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Review: 50/50

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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Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: Comedy Wins via The Muppets, Bridesmaids and 50/50

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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