Screen Junkies » natalie portman http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Thu, 14 Aug 2014 21:37:30 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ Back From The Dead With Lily Collins Attached http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-back-from-the-dead-with-lily-collins-attached/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-back-from-the-dead-with-lily-collins-attached/#comments Thu, 02 May 2013 12:10:57 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=254682 The once dead project has returned from the grave like some sort of... thing...

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The major failing of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was that it didn’t have zombies. Or so goes the thinking in Hollywood.

After a few false starts that saw actresses like Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Mia Wasikowska and Anne Hathaway close to signing on and directors like David O. Russell, Mike White, and Craig Gillespie in the mix, the regency-horror-comedy mashup from Seth Grahame-Smith is lurching forward with a new director and leading lady.

Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones star and the inspiration for the song “Sussudio” (unconfirmed), Lily Collins will fight off the undead and the affections of Mr. Darcy in the adaptation. Burr Steers (17 Again, Charlie St. Cloud) will direct. With Steers’ involvement one has to wonder if Zac Efron will also join. Might be fun to see him get eaten. (THR)

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Craig Gillespie On ‘Pride And Prejudice And Zombies’: “I’m Out This Bitch!” http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/craig-gillespie-on-pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-im-out-this-bitch/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/craig-gillespie-on-pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-im-out-this-bitch/#comments Fri, 28 Oct 2011 16:30:56 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=234169 Just put Edgar Wright on it and call it a day.

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has chased away another suitor. Craig Gillespie is the third director to hand off the hot potato project. Originally David O. Russell was attached. Then when he walked, Mike White stepped in. However, his duties at HBO forced him to pull away. Then Lars and the Real Girl’s Craig Gillespie took over. He’s now gone as well over a casting disagreement.

You see, the other problem that the project is facing is that nobody wants to star in the damn thing. The film’s producer Natalie Portman isn’t interested in the role. Emma Stone, Mia Wasikooksskiwawa Wasikowska and Blake Lively have also passed. At this rate, I guess we could wait a couple years for Chloe Moretz to reach the appropriate age. (Deadline)

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UPDATED: Emma Stone To Star In ‘Pride And Prejudice And Zombies’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/hot-redhead-alert-emma-stone-to-star-in-pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/hot-redhead-alert-emma-stone-to-star-in-pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies/#comments Fri, 24 Jun 2011 21:38:36 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=217549 You could record a video of Emma Stone setting all of my friends and family on fire, and I'd probably still pay to see it.

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UPDATE: Deadline is now reporting that Emma Stone has passed on the role of Elizabeth Bennet. Maybe acting alongside zombies one time was enough.

Emma Stone has signed on to play Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Variety is reporting. The film, which is being produced in part by Natalie Portman, retells the classic Jane Austen novel, but with an added bonus of the zombie apocalypse being used as a backdrop.

6 photosEmma Stone

Personally, I think this whole “zombie” thing has just about run its course. I enjoy the genre, but it’s hitting the point of over saturation. That said, you could record a video of Emma Stone setting all of my friends and family on fire, and I’d probably still pay to see it. Does that mean I’m a bad person, or does it just mean Emma Stone is ridiculously hot? That’s not for you to decide. Only god can judge me. Word is bond.

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Martin Scorsese To Expose Hot, Heavy Taylor/Burton Affair? http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/martin-scorsese-to-expose-hot-heavy-taylorburton-affair/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/martin-scorsese-to-expose-hot-heavy-taylorburton-affair/#comments Thu, 02 Jun 2011 03:54:08 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=214374 Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are like the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt of the 60s and 70s, only with eighty less adopted children.

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Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are like the Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt of the 60s and 70s, only with eighty less adopted children. They were Hollywood’s biggest scandal at one point, with both actors beginning an affair after making Cleopatra and eventually leaving their respective spouses to get married in 1964. Ten years later they divorced, but the scandalous couple were hounded by the paparazzi (back then, that was a novelty, unlike today’s 24-hour TMZ police state) and condemned by the pope, which is awesome.

The New 'Boardwalk Empire' Trailer is a Gangster's Paradise (Sans Coolio)

Paramount has optioned a book about Taylor and Burton called Furious Love by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger. The book was rejected 100 times for a movie deal, but Taylor’s recent death prompted interest from Natalie Portman and King’s Speech writer David Seidler, in addition to Paramount. Now the studio is trying to put Martin Scorsese in the director’s chair. This makes sense, as Scorsese is currently working on a Frank Sinatra biopic and spent years developing one about Dean Martin. Post-Rat Pack, it’s time to try Elizaburton. That’s what they would have been called, if only past gossip reporters had today’s name melding technology. (Deadline)

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‘Pride And Prejudice And Zombies’ And New Writer Marti Noxon http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-and-new-writer-marti-noxon/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/pride-and-prejudice-and-zombies-and-new-writer-marti-noxon/#comments Wed, 01 Jun 2011 03:49:16 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=214224 Marti Noxon ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), whose last name sounds like an element on the periodic table, has turned in a new draft adapting Seth Grahame-Smith's bestseller.

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A number of writers have sacrificed their brains for the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies script, including David O. Russell and Michael Bacall. No doubt the screenwriters have been copying passages of other zombie movie scripts and Jane Austen books, then pasting (“mashing”) them into the script. Now another writer is getting this plumb job on the very buzzy/bloody project.

8 photosBrains vs. Booty: ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ Zombie Art

Marti Noxon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer“), whose last name sounds like an element on the periodic table, has turned in a new draft adapting Seth Grahame-Smith‘s bestseller. It makes sense that director Craig Gillespie would want to work with his collaborator on”Fright Night.” The story concerns Elizabeth Bennet’s battle against zombie hordes, but distracting her is the arrival of one Mr. Darcy.

Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko), Sean McKittrick, Ted Hamm and Natalie Portman are producing. (TheWrap)

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21 Hottest TV and Movie MILFs Of All Time http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/21-hottest-tv-and-movie-milfs-of-all-time/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/21-hottest-tv-and-movie-milfs-of-all-time/#comments Fri, 06 May 2011 07:01:20 +0000 Screen Junkies http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=210756 It’s Mother’s Day again, the one day out of the year when you stop and say thank you to the woman who had sex with a stranger on a pool...

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It’s Mother’s Day again, the one day out of the year when you stop and say thank you to the woman who had sex with a stranger on a pool table, thereby bringing you into this world. And what would this special occasion be without a list that objectifies fictional mothers from both film and television? I’ll tell you what it’d be: a horrible waste of everyone’s time! Well, we’re not about to let that happen. In honor of women everywhere who managed to get themselves knocked up, we present the 21 hottest TV and movie MILFs of all time. Happy Mother’s Day!

Stacy Edwards as Evan’s Mom – Superbad (2007)

Evan’s mom isn’t on screen for very long, but the character serves two important functions. First of all, she allows the audience to see what a pervert Seth is. Second, she allows us to see her cleavage.

Jane Seymour as Kathleen Cleary – Wedding Crashers (2005)

Jane Seymour is best known as Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman. At least she was, until she played a horney, psychotic MILF in Wedding Crashers. I have to say, the second role was a vast improvement.

Mary Tyler Moore as Laura Petrie – “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (1961)

People remember Mary Tyler Moore for her own show. But sometimes, people forget she started out with Dick Van Dyke. They also forget that she was one hot mom, back in the day. By back in the day, I mean a simpler time, when randomly breaking out into a song about Cleopatra during a house party was socially acceptable.

Emilie de Ravin as Claire Littleton – “Lost” (2004)

How hot was the character of Claire Littleton on “Lost?” Let’s just say that even at nine months pregnant, she still looked better than any woman you’ll ever sleep with. Or men, for that matter.

Eva Longoria as Gabrielle Solis – “Desperate Housewives” (2004)

The only thing desperate about this house wife was my plan to win over the actress who plays her (Eva Longoria) by slowly and methodically killing her house pets. For the record, it didn’t work. But in the greater scheme of things, it didn’t really hurt, either.

Lea Thompson as Lorraine Baines McFly – Back to the Future (1985)

With the possible exception of the Virgin Mary, every mother on earth has banged a dude at least once. We’d all like to believe that in the case of our own mothers, it was a one-time occurrence. But Lorraine Baines McFly from Back to the Future makes us face up to the face that at some point, all of our moms were probably filthy sex-crazed skanks.

Angelina Jolie as Grendel’s Mother – Beowulf (2007)

Angelina Jolie would probably rank higher on this list if Grendel’s Mother’s wasn’t a monster spawnin devil woman. But she is, so let’s leave it at that.

Jennifer Coolidge as Stifler’s Mom- American Pie (1999)


EMBED-Hot Mom Clip #1 – Watch more free videos

I high school, what would have been better than banging your enemy’s mom? Well, for me, banging anyone would have been fine. However Paul Finch from “American Pie” was able to live the enemy’s mom banging fantasy, thanks to the help of Stifler’s mom.

Florence Henderson as Carol Brady – “The Brady Bunch” (1969)

Admit it! You know you wanted to bone Mrs. Brady! After all, who didn’t? Well, the guy who played Mr. Brady, for starters. But I digress.

Diane Lane as Connie Sumner – Unfaithful

Connie Sumner is the perfect mom, except for the fact that she bangs dirty foreigners she meets in the street. But other than that, she’s cool.

Beverly D’angelo as Ellen Griswold – National Lampoon’s Vacation

Ellen Griswold has a rack that won’t quit. I don’t even know what that means, but I’ve always wanted to type it. Anyway, how she ended up with a clod like Clark is beyond me. Good for Sparky.

Amy Stock-Poynton as Missy Preston – Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

As Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure taught us, if your dad is going to remarry, hopefully it’s with an ugly woman close to his age. Otherwise, you’re bound to have some confusing feelings.

Jaime Pressly as Joy Turner – “My Name Is Earl” (2005)

Joy Turner is suppose to be pure-white trash. Obviously the writers of this show didn’t have a clue. If they had been going for realism, they would have given her meth-stained teeth and stretch marks. Then again, unlike Jaime Pressly’s hot body, realism is overrated.

Maria Bello as Edie Stall – A History of Violence

The cheerleader scene in A History of Violence is one of the hottest in film history. It’s far superior to the stair-way pseudo-rape scene that occurs later in the film, unless of course you’re into that sort of thing, which, as you can see from my numerous acquittals I am not.

Halle Berry as Leticia Musgrove – Monster’s Ball

Halle Berry plays a mom in this film. At least that’s what it said in Wikipedia when I looked it up. All I remember is that bastard Billy Bob Thornton humping away on her like she was the couch in my mom’s basement. I’m sorry we couldn’t show you the video, but I did find this clip on YouTube that actually shows breasts, which is like winning the lottery. Enjoy.

January Jones as Betty Draper -”Mad Men” (2007)

Mad Men‘s” Betty Draper makes me long for the 1950′s, a simpler time when TV’s were shitty and didn’t feature a constant HD barrage of hot actresses like January Jones paraded in front of your face making your girlfriend look obese.

Natalie Portman as Padmé – Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones

Technically, Padmé isn’t a MILF when she shows some skin in AOTC. But if you’re really going to quibble that point, there’s a reason you’re still a virgin, ya nerf herder.

Julie Benz as Rita Bennett -”Dexter” (2006)

As the clip above demonstrates, Rita Bennett was one sexy mom. I used to fantasize about taking a bath with her. Unfortunately, that fantasy was ruined in the forth season.

Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin -”Weeds” (2005)

Not only is Nancy Botwin hot, but she’ll also get you high. If there was ever a reason to date a woman with kids, that’s the one.

Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson – The Graduate (1967)

Mrs. Robinson from the graduate is the Mother of all movie MILF’s. In fact, she’s so legendary, somebody should really write a song about her.

Sofia Vergara as Gloria Pritchett -”Modern Family” (2009)

Sofia Vergara is on a relatively new show, so I can see why some would argue that “Gloria Pritchett” doesn’t belong in the number one spot. Even so, look at her cleavage. It’s timeless.

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Review: Thor http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-thor/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-thor/#comments Sun, 01 May 2011 16:05:01 +0000 Fred Topel http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=209914 Not enough memorable action sequences to make up for the contrived storyline.

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Thor‘ target=’_blank’>Thor-2′ target=’_blank’>Thor was never a comic book I read. I’m not particularly interested in Norse gods or warriors from another planet who come to earth. Thor is Thor movie and it doesn’t do anything to sell me on the mythology.

The film’s only good action sequence is the battle against the Frost Giants on their planet. Thor gets some good hammer whacks in and each of the Warriors Three (Ray Stevenson, Josh Dallas and Tadanobu Asano) and Sif (Jaimie Alexander) get to display various weapons and powers. You might as well do the whole movie on Asgard, but of course then Thor couldn’t joi The Avengers. The rest of the action is just beefy man fights.

The film even struggles to make Earth matter. All Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is doing on Earth is trying to get his hammer back. He goes out drinking with a scientist (Stellan Skarsgard) in a pointless scene, but what does Asgard do for us? Eventually Loki (Tom Hiddleston) unleashes the Destroyer so Thor has to defend us. That’s it? Asgard sends baddies to Earth and Thor fights them?

Natalie Portman Is All Over Thor In New Trailer

I get the arc Thor goes through but it’s still contrived. Oh, the hero learns a lesson. Loki tricks Thor, but he’s no Iago. He just says something that isn’t true. It’s not like he’s incepting Thor. Even though I’ve never read a Thor comic, I knew exactly what would happen when he tried to get his hammer back, and what would happen the second time.

The Asgard parts are like a modern day Clash of the Titans, gods standing around talking about battle but with better production value. They actually get through a lot of plot really quickly in the first act, but that only means they’re making room for more on Earth.

Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) discovers Thor during her physics research. She gets to be a love interest and explain the science of interplanetary travel, via her layman assistant Darcy (Kat Dennings). Coulson (Clark Gregg) is like a stealthy MIB type in this one, so I guess his character changes per movie. SHIELD investigates Thor’s hammer and blah blah blah. The Tony Stark reference is nice though.

They derive some good comedy when earthlings react to Thor-talk. The fish out of water joke gets old when he’s walking through traffic intersections. When Sif and the Warriors show up again they just get downright goofy. And I’m sorry, armor on earth looks silly.

At least Kenneth Branagh knows how to shoot destruction. The film looks good, and steady with no shaky cam. Even when he tilts the camera for establishing shots, the framing is still right. The 3D makes the backgrounds look like flat backdrops even though they’re probably actual graphic designs, but the perspective work is good. They make the frost giants tower over Odin (Anthony Hopkins).

The visual effects look like live-action people shooting through space, ice beasts and weather swirls. So, just like every other CGI movie. Honestly, why spend years on complex computer shots just so we can see the same effect? There is a tag after the credits though so stick around for your Easter egg.

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Review: Hesher http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-hesher/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-hesher/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2011 17:41:38 +0000 Fred Topel http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=209496 Puts bold concepts up on the screen and asks audiences to deal with them.

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I finally got to see the Sundance and South by Southwest festival film Hesher. It is dangerous, immoral and just plain wrong at parts, and that makes it fantasy. I don’t even think it’s wish fulfillment. It’s just putting bold concepts on screen and asking audiences to deal with them.

Watch The Trailer For 'Hesher' And Be As Confused As I Am

T.J. Forney (Devin Brochu) is a kid living with his depressed dad Paul (Rainn Wilson) and grandmother Madeline (Piper Laurie). One day he runs into Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) squatting in a model home, so Hesher comes to stay with the Forneys instead.

Hesher is immediately a volatile character. His entrance is totally silent and you know exactly who he is from his look, his walk and his attitude before he even says one line. He’s not the charming “real world” mentor. He’s the real real-world crashing into T.J.’s life.

The story is about forcing T.J. to deal with an adult world. Hesher won’t stop a bully from beating T.J. up, but he’ll vandalize the bully’s car and leave T.J. hanging at the crime scene. Hesher stands up for T.J.’s friend Nicole (Natalie Portman) when she rear ends a mean driver, but she’s actually in the wrong. I don’t think the film tries to give Hesher a moral code and that’s why it works. It’s just there for T.J. to deal with.

But it gets harder Paul drags T.J. along to a support group where he has to hear really serious mourners talk about their dead daughter. That’s way too intense for a kid, but that’s reality. The film never coddles T.J. Adults won’t help him. He’s in mortal danger with major fire and explosive stunts. Hesher encourages T.J. to spend more time with his grandma, in the most vulgar way possible.

The great part about the movie is that writer/director Spencer Susser never explains where Hesher came from. He’s just there to be part of the Forney’s life and be mysterious. They do explain what happened to T.J.’s mom/Paul’s wife but it’s effective as backstory flashbacks go.

Susser never glorifies Hesher either. He only documents him. That’s why it’s fun to see this totally destructive character. It’s not some smug statement about shaking up social rules. It’s just guys like Hesher exist and right or wrong, you’ve got to face them. Of course, to watch Gordon-Levitt give a Nicolas Cage-worthy performance is worth watching the movie on its own.

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29 Greatest Thong Scenes In Cinema History http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/29-greatest-thong-scenes-in-cinema-history/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/29-greatest-thong-scenes-in-cinema-history/#comments Wed, 06 Apr 2011 23:42:24 +0000 Jame Gumb http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=205664 As a result of compiling this list, I've been desensitized to the point where my penis didn't even budge while watching the three-way scene from Wild Things. I hope you're happy.

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We’ve covered topless scenes, bikini scenes, and even pigtails, so the next logical step in our devolution toward becoming a softcore porn site is the 29 greatest thong scenes in cinema history. Inspired by Natalie Portman‘s upcoming thong scene in Your Highness, we spent hours combing the Internet in order to bring you the best of the best in thong-related cinema. This was no easy task, and came at great personal expense. As a result of compiling this list, I’ve been desensitized to the point where my penis didn’t even budge while watching the three-way scene from Wild Things. I hope you’re happy. Enjoy the thongs.

(If like thongs, you’ll love our twitter account. Follow us @screenjunkies)

Note: We included one-piece bathing suits that floss in the back. If you don’t like it, write your friggen congressman.

Melanie Griffith – Fear City (1984)

There was a time where Melanie Griffith in a thong was something people would pay to see. That time was 1984, and it was every bit as chilling as Owell’s dystopian tale.

Click here for the full video (NSFW).

Linda Kozlowski – Crocodile Dundee (1986)

Remember when Australian crap was all the rage? If not, you were probably born after 1990. There’s no shame in that, but you did miss out on same great thong scenes. But you also missed out on hyper-color shirts, so I guess you take the good with the bad.

Goldie Hawn – Overboard (1987)

If you’ve ever wondered where Kate Hudson gets her good looks, look no further than Goldie Hawn in this scene from Overboard. I’d make a joke about those stupid glasses, but chances are, you didn’t even notice she was wearing them.

Kelly Lynch – Cocktail (1988)

Kelly Lynch looks great in this thong scene from the Tom Crusie classic, Cocktail. But I’ll always remember her as Patrick Swayze‘s girl in Roadhouse. Rest in peace, Dalton.

Eloise Broady – Weekend at Bernies (1989)

I’d never heard of Eloise Broad until I looked her name up today, but her performance in Weekend at Bernie’s has stuck with me for over 20 years. Now that’s what I call great acting. Please note that I didn’t make a joke about her ass getting a dead man aroused. Even though it was perfect for the film, I took the high road.

Nicolette Scorsese – Christmas Vacation (1989)

You don’t actually see the thong in this Chevy Chase holiday comedy, but we had to include it. Screw you if you don’t like it. It’s a god damn classic.

Loryn Locklin – Taking Care of Business (1990)

If you actually want to watch this film, you’ll have to deal with 120 minutes of Jim Beliushi. Luckily, the author of this Youtube video has edited out “the Belush,” leaving only the good parts (the “good parts” being Loryn Locklin’s ass).

Katherine Heigl – My Father the Hero (1994)

If you watched the clip above and liked it, you are a pedophile. That is all.

Jamie Lee Curtis – True Lies (1994)

I heard a rumor about Jamie Lee Curtis. Apparently, before she was selling yogurt that makes you shit, she used to be hot.

Click ‘Next Page’ To Continue…

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Watch The Trailer For ‘Hesher’ And Be As Confused As I Am http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/watch-the-trailer-for-hesher-and-be-as-confused-as-i-am/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/watch-the-trailer-for-hesher-and-be-as-confused-as-i-am/#comments Wed, 06 Apr 2011 18:09:24 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=205634 If this doesn't make you want to see the movie, just don't see the movie.

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I don’t even know what to say about this. It’s the first official trailer for Hesher, not that knock-off that completely misrepresented the movie according to star Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And it definitely seems intriguing, to say the least. In today’s world of giving away whether Tom Hanks escapes the island in the trailer for Cast Away, it’s cool to see a trailer that doesn’t show you the whole movie in three minutes. Or maybe the whole movie is like this. That would be pretty cool too.

Anyway, this trailer has definitely done its job, because I’m very interested in seeing this, now. If you don’t feel the same way after watching, I don’t know what to say to you.

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Review: Your Highness http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-your-highness/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-your-highness/#comments Wed, 06 Apr 2011 16:13:31 +0000 Fred Topel http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=205597 It could be funnier but it’s consistently pleasant.

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Your Highness is a really big budget movie full of action and special effects, all to make really immature jokes. I totally support that and I enjoy the exercise. It could be funnier but it’s consistently pleasant.

Prince Fabious (James Franco) is the heroic heir to a medieval kingdom. Prince Thadeous (Danny McBride) is his slacker, loser brother. When Fabius rescues the virgin Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel) from a tower, the evil Leezar (Justin Theroux) returns to kidnap her back. Thadeous has to step up to help Fabious on his quest to save her.

The production value of Your Highness is on par with any King Arthur or middle earth movie. Leezar shoots magic electro-beams, and the heroes fight monsters of CGI and animatronics. It’s just Thadeous says “F*ck this” and a villain goes naked with his penis digitally removed.

The Danny McBride style of rude swearing is funny with a British accent. It actually comes across as more innocent and endearing. Thadeus is not as abrasive as Kenny Powers, which may strip the film of a little edge. It’s still funny that the star of this huge budget FX movie is totally pissed off that he’s on an adventure.

Leezar is the funniest character. Theroux nails the satirical perspective on an arch evil villain. He messes with Belladonna like a kid making prank phone calls, only it’s the old morphing wizard trick. His ultimate plan for “The F*ckening” gets right to the point of most evil schemes, and his use of magical fairies is totally irreverent.

The action scenes are not very exciting. A carriage chase, sword fights and monster battles look like the genuine article, but don’t flow with any momentum. Thadeous and Fabious meet Isabel (Natalie Portman), a surreptitious warrior, in one such battle. Portman contributes to the film’s tone by keeping a totally straight face while making beaver jokes.

The cave of eyes is a cool fantasy realm, like something out of Labyrinth or The Neverending Story. The wood nymphs are sexy and silly, and there’s minotaur rape. Yeah, they went there. I enjoyed the ride. I probably won’t own it on DVD but it still amuses me when they say “gay” meaning “happy.”

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Thor Gets His Asgard Tasered In New Clip http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/thor-gets-his-asgard-tasered-in-new-clip/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/thor-gets-his-asgard-tasered-in-new-clip/#comments Thu, 31 Mar 2011 06:18:09 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=204691 Thor has fought monsters, mutants and supervillains. In this clip, we see what kind of incredible firepower it takes to bring down the Thunder God... namely, a taser.

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Kenneth Branagh‘s Thor shows the Marvel hero (played by Chris Hemsworth) getting his butt kicked easily after landing on Earth and making demands. I lol’d. Maybe it undercuts the seriousness of his godhood, but I’m not fond of this plague of boring, hyper serious posters for the film anyway. Nice to know even the gods have a sense of humor. Of course, as I’m sure the filmmakers are aware, a little of this goes a long way. I’m not excited to see Thor crush his foot with his hammer and hop around squealing “ouch,” like something out of a Tim Allen movie.

Thor descends into theaters April 27th, along with Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins.

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Your Highness http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/films/your-highness-2/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/films/your-highness-2/#comments Wed, 30 Mar 2011 22:50:10 +0000 Reza F. http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=8476 Director: David Gordon Green Cast: Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, James Franco, Danny McBride Synopsis: A fantasy movie about an arrogant, lazy prince and his more heroic brother who must complete...

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Director: David Gordon Green

Cast: Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel, James Franco, Danny McBride

Synopsis: A fantasy movie about an arrogant, lazy prince and his more heroic brother who must complete a quest in order to save their father’s kingdom.

Release Date: April 8, 2011

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Darren Aronofsky Uses Math To Defend Natalie Portman’s Ballet Cred http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/darren-aronofsky-uses-math-to-defend-natalie-portmans-ballet-cred/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/darren-aronofsky-uses-math-to-defend-natalie-portmans-ballet-cred/#comments Mon, 28 Mar 2011 22:13:48 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=204060 Numbers don't lie, Black Swan dance double. Numbers don't lie.

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A hullabaloo went kablooey last week when the Oscar winner’s Black Swan dance double claimed Natalie Portman‘s actual dance time in the film is around 5%. Though he won’t be setting foot in Japan, Darren Aronofsky will definitely step in to defend Portman.

In a defense statement, he had his editor go through the film to analyze each shot featuring Portman with ants in her pants.

“111 are Natalie Portman untouched. 28 are her dance double Sarah Lane. If you do the math that’s 80% Natalie Portman. What about duration? The shots that feature the double are wide shots and rarely play for longer than one second. There are two complicated longer dance sequences that we used face replacement. Even so, if we were judging by time over 90% would be Natalie Portman I am responding to this to put this to rest and to defend my actor. Natalie sweated long and hard to deliver a great physical and emotional performance. And I don’t want anyone to think that’s not her they are watching. It is.”

This calls into question the reports from earlier today that Portman used a butt double on Your Highness. Will David Gordon Green step in to defend Portman’s turd-cutter? If not, I’d say we need to get Portman and the alleged butt double in here for a comparison. While we wait, I’ll close the blinds and make sure we’ve got all the supplies needed for a spank test. (EW)

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It Looks Like The ‘Suspiria’ Remake Is Actually Happening http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/it-looks-like-the-suspiria-remake-is-actually-happening/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/it-looks-like-the-suspiria-remake-is-actually-happening/#comments Mon, 28 Mar 2011 17:42:29 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=203952 'Suspiria', but with weed.

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It’s been rumored for years that David Gordon Green is working on a remake of Dario Argento‘s classic 70s horror movie Suspiria. Now, in an interview with The Playlist, the director confirms that after he wants the project to be his next movie, after Your Highness and The Sitter. Here’s Green on the long period in which he worked on the script, and on the movie’s relationship to the original film:

“That was an enlightening process. [Our ‘Suspiria’] doesn’t follow the trend of the traditional horror movies of late, so it’s a leap of faith, financially. It’s actually very faithful. I’m gonna put my spin on it, but in terms of a pitch, it’s going to remain quite faithful to [the original].”

Green also acknowledges that Natalie Portman was attached to the project, but isn’t anymore. Suspiria is a horror movie set at an all-girls dancing academy, so the similarities to Black Swan would have been obvious.

Faithfulness is cool, I guess, but why not just watch the original movie? It’s good, and you don’t have to wait for David Gordon Green to make it – it’s ready right now!

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New ‘Thor’ Character Posters Are Like Mugshots Of The Gods http://www.screenjunkies.com/gallery/new-thor-character-posters-are-like-mugshots-of-the-gods/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/gallery/new-thor-character-posters-are-like-mugshots-of-the-gods/#comments Sun, 27 Mar 2011 16:56:59 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Gallery&p=203902 Maybe profile shots are coming out soon.

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The people over at Thor‘ target=’_blank’>Thor-2′ target=’_blank’>Thor Posters Inc have been catching some flack for perceived laziness, since many of the posters have that “90s superhero movie” look and feel to them. Then, when they try to do something different, they catch holy hell from poster aficionados too! So it looks like this time, with these 6 character posters that have been released on several different websites recently, they decided to split the difference. They look like the infamous “red” posters, but with a more traditional color scheme. It remains to be seen if everyone on the internet will be satisfied with these.

The posters feature six characters from the movie, and they look like they should be holding cards with their heights and weights. There’s Chris Hemsworth at Thor, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster and Jaimie Alexander as Sif. Now you know a little bit more about Norse mythology than you did before. Thanks, Marvel! (via Firstshowing.net)

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Natalie Portman: Black Swan, White Swan or No-Dancing Liar Swan? http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/natalie-portman-white-swan-black-swan-or-no-dancing-liar-swan/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/natalie-portman-white-swan-black-swan-or-no-dancing-liar-swan/#comments Sat, 26 Mar 2011 05:17:44 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=203870 You know who's super angry these days? Academy Award winner Natalie Portman's dancing double for 'Black Swan'. She's one pissed off pirouetter.

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You know who’s super angry these days? Academy Award winner Natalie Portman‘s dancing double for Black Swan. She’s one pissed off pirouetter.

According to Portman’s husband, Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied (who’s also the father of that baby she’s so into carrying around these days), “85% of that movie is Natalie.” It’s probably unwise to think a husband is an entirely unbiased source for information on his wife. If Millepied didn’t say nice things about her in public, Portman might high-kick him in the face when he got home. Of course, Portman’s body double Sarah Lane says she probably could not do that.

In a recent interview, Lane put the “Natalie Portman is actually dancing in this shot” ratio at 5%. Yikes. Lane does admit that all the close-up shots of Portman stiffly holding her hand up in the air while looking pensive were 100% Natalie. How kind. She goes on:

They wanted to create this idea in people’s minds that Natalie was some kind of prodigy or so gifted in dance and really worked so hard to make herself a ballerina in a year and a half for the movie, basically because of the Oscar…It is demeaning to the profession and not just to me. I’ve been doing this for 22 years…. Can you become a concert pianist in a year and a half, even if you’re a movie star?

Like Portman’s husband, I’m not entirely sure we can completely trust the word of a girl who wasn’t thanked in any Oscar speeches lately. However, a special effects demo reel did show full body dancing scenes where Portman’s head was painted onto Lane’s body. Could it be that Portman’s dancing prowess has been greatly exaggerated? Or are these the bitter words of an overlooked artist, upset that a lifetime of ballet doesn’t lead to parts in great movies like”No Strings Attached?”

I guess all that stuff in Darren Aronofsky’s movie about ballerinas being super competitive and kinda bitchy is true. Does that mean these girls often imagine themselves turning into birds, too? I hope so. That’d be awesome. (Entertainment Weekly)

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New ‘Your Highness’ Trailer Features Possible Weed And Nudity http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/see-the-red-band-trailer-for-your-highness-featuring-possible-weed-and-nudity/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/see-the-red-band-trailer-for-your-highness-featuring-possible-weed-and-nudity/#comments Wed, 23 Mar 2011 18:47:34 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=203219 Hide the children!

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David Gordon Green‘s upcoming Your Highness promises to be a raunchy comedy the likes of which you haven’t seen since last month’s raunchy comedy. This one does have wizards, though. It also has Danny McBride in what appears to be a slight variation on Kenny Powers but with a bad British accent (this isn’t an insult, that sounds awesome and I’ll be there opening night). This has been somewhat belied by previous green-band trailers, that have gone so far as to obscure Natalie Portman’s ass in a thong – even though that was declared Safe for Work by The Screen Junkies Coalition for Decency in the Media. Now we have a new red-band trailer, which in addition to Portman’s aforementioned bethonged ass, some almost-nudity from some other females. Also, there’s something other than cigarettes being smoked – probably weed. If you think this isn’t too much for your delicate sensibilities, you can check out the trailer. If not, don’t worry – there will probably be a green-band alternative for you soon. (MSN)

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Thor Smuggles In Blurry Images From Asgard http://www.screenjunkies.com/gallery/thor-smuggles-in-blurry-images-from-asgard/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/gallery/thor-smuggles-in-blurry-images-from-asgard/#comments Thu, 17 Mar 2011 01:58:12 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Gallery&p=202096 Excited to see Thor in 3D? How about Blur-O-Vision? New pics from the Kenneth Brannaugh directed movie are low on image quality, high on image cool-ity.

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Excited to see Marvel movie are here, and while the quality on these scans are not super great, we do get some nice new shots of Beardy McEyepatch, Beardy McGobblet and Mystique’s blue boyfriend. Or maybe they’re cousins. We’ll find out when Thor‘s hammer hits theaters May 6th.

Thor stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins. Looking forward to seeing it, although hopefully the print looks a little sharper than these images do. Especially if I’m paying $37.75 per ticket for IMAX. (SuperHeroHype for more pics.)

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New ‘Your Highness’ Character Posters Showcase Exquisite Facial Structures Of Portman, Franco, And McBride http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/new-your-highness-character-posters-showcase-exquisite-facial-structures-of-portman-franco-and-mcbride/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/new-your-highness-character-posters-showcase-exquisite-facial-structures-of-portman-franco-and-mcbride/#comments Mon, 14 Mar 2011 19:12:46 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=201518 Pass these posters around the room.

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The upcoming comedy from David Gordon Green Your Highness boasts not one, not two, but three stars that define that concept of Hollywood beauty. And these new posters below show that beauty in all its glory. Gaze upon the magnificent cheekbones of Natalie Portman. Stare in awe at the resplendently appointed brow of James Franco. Look at Danny McBride‘s face.

In case this isn’t clear from these posters and the trailer, Your Highness is a kind of blend between medieval fantasy and stoner humor. What genre will David Gordon Green combine with marijuana next? My vote goes to prison rape dramedy. (via Collider)

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New ‘Hesher’ Poster Looks Weird http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/new-hesher-poster-looks-weird/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/new-hesher-poster-looks-weird/#comments Mon, 14 Mar 2011 00:09:18 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=201423 'Hesher' poster looks all dark and scary. Don't look at it alone!

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The upcoming indie drama/comedy/whatever starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rainn Wilson, and Natalie Portman is screening at South by Southwest very soon, and we have a new poster to commemorate this momentous occasion. Oh, and it looks weird. “Weird” seems to fit this movie pretty well though, as the promotional materials and this plot synopsis can attest:

“The story centers on a grieving father and son (Wilson and newcomer Devin Brochu) who are helped on their journey by a young grocery clerk (Portman) who inadvertently becomes the object of the boy’s fantasies and the titular, mentoring/tormenting anarchist Hesher (Gordon-Levitt)”

Sounds good, but the movie’s been getting mixed reviews, with many viewers being thrown by the fact that rather than being a straight-up comedy, it’s “a twisted tale with dark comic elements.” “Twisted”? “Dark comic elements”? Cower in fear, middle America! (via The Playlist)

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Get Red With Rage Over New ‘Thor’ Posters http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/get-red-with-rage-over-new-thor-posters/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/get-red-with-rage-over-new-thor-posters/#comments Sat, 05 Mar 2011 01:39:51 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=102395 Not digging these new posters. They look like someone took perfectly good 'Thor' publicity stills and tried to make a few terrible Calvin Klein ads.

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If you’re wearing the scarlet letter “A,” that means you’re an adulterer. If you’re wearing the scarlet letter “T,” it means you’re in a terrible poster.

So far, Marvel’s Thor has been looking pretty cool, with the emo-brooding European poster and the trailer where Chris HemsworthThor teams up with (Natalie) Port-Man. Not digging these new posters, though. They look like someone took perfectly good Thor publicity stills and tried to make a few terrible Calvin Klein ads.

Is Thor such a violent guy that his face should be completely covered in red? Is he Satan? Or is he in hell with Jason? I also find single letters over people’s faces weird. I wanna see their faces, not some stupid letter. Unless I’m looking at a sentient letter, like on “Sesame Street.” In that case, carry on, Mr. W.

Thor swings his might hammer at theaters May 6th, 2011. Click on the first image to Thor-size it. (Screenrant)

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Spirit Award Winners Last Oscars Indicator That Isn’t The Oscars http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/the-2011-spirit-award-winners-last-oscars-indicator-that-isnt-the-oscars-themselves/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/the-2011-spirit-award-winners-last-oscars-indicator-that-isnt-the-oscars-themselves/#comments Sun, 27 Feb 2011 08:36:52 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=30543 More awards, more gift baskets, more crying losers.

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The Independent Spirit Awards are designed to shed light on the lesser, more independent films that are released each year – so of course it makes sense that they also serve as a predictor of the most mainstream awards ceremony in all of Hollywood. Or does it? It could be that since the requirements to be considered an “independent film” are somewhat stringent (see the decreased number of nominated films compared to the Oscars as an example), this isn’t any better a predictor than tea leaves or fortune cookies. Anyway, here’s a list of the major winners:

Best Feature: Black Swan

Best Female Lead: Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Best Male Lead: James Franco, 127 Hours

Best Supporting Female: Dale Dickey, Winter’s Bone

Best Supporting Male: John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone

Best Director: Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan

Interesting stuff — we’ll see if these three movies can do anywhere near as well at the Oscars, given that they have so much more competition. You can get a complete list of all the winners over at IMDb.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt Says ‘Hesher’ Trailer Is Not Legit, Sets Pool On Fire http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/joseph-gordon-levitt-says-hesher-trailer-is-not-legit-sets-pool-on-fire/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/joseph-gordon-levitt-says-hesher-trailer-is-not-legit-sets-pool-on-fire/#comments Tue, 22 Feb 2011 06:18:10 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=29011 This crazy trailer, condemned by the filmmaker and stars, also shows us glimpses of Rainn Wilson ("The Office") and a frumpalicious Natalie Portman.

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception) is upset about the latest trailer for his new movie Hesher. Here’s what he wrote on the Twitter machine:

“I really love the way #Hesher turned out, and that hi-jacked ‘trailer’ totally misrepresents the movie.”

Uh, so the movie isn’t about a crazy burnout who runs a kid over with his van and sets stuff on fire? Cause I was suddenly getting interested. The movie also stars Rainn WilsonThe Office“) and a frumpalicious Natalie Portman, looking like Tiny Fey on”30 Rock” whenever they flash back to her early years.

You can see the unofficial trailer up top, which has been condemned by Levitt, Wilson, and the film’s director Spencer Susser. It was apparently made by a foreign marketers. Well, it may not be an official trailer, but it makes the movie look ridiculously kickass. So… stop whining and make it official?

Here’s the plot summary from the Hesher website, which I assume is official, but I guess now we don’t know:

Loud music. Pornography. Burning shit to the ground. These are a few of Hesher’s favorite things. And they are what Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) brings into the lives of TJ (Devin Brochu) and his father Paul (Rainn Wilson) when he takes up residence in their garage uninvited.

Grief-stricken by the loss of TJ’s mother in a car accident, Paul can’t muster the strength to evict the strange squatter and soon the long-haired, tattooed Hesher becomes a fixture in the household. Like a force of nature, Hesher’s anarchy shakes the family out of their grief and helps them embrace life once more.

Hesher stays in theaters, uninvited, starting this April, and crashes SXSW in March. (/Film, Movieline)

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Natalie Portman Is All Over Thor In New Trailer http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/new-thor-trailer-is-very-very-new/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/new-thor-trailer-is-very-very-new/#comments Fri, 18 Feb 2011 00:00:59 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=27935 If you're having an Asgard-attack, then we've got the inhaler for you: a brand new 'Thor' trailer.

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It’s been an entire not-quite-two-weeks since the Super Bowl gave us a super-look at Thor. If you’re having an Asgard-attack, then we’ve got the inhaler for you: a brand new Thor trailer. Check it out above.

In the trailer, we see a lot of Natalie Portman‘s character, Girl Who’s Int Thor. Though they start off with some tension, like any good romantic comedy, eventually they begin to see eye to eye and lightning bolts fly. Oh, wait. It’s not a romantic comedy, thank the gods. That’s why there are all the monsters and fighting and good stuff.

So… at what point does she turn int Black Swan? And will Black Swan joi The Avengers?

The mighty Thor descends from the heavens and into theaters across our mortal realm on May 6. (Yahoo! Movies)

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Road To The Oscars: Best Actress Showdown http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/road-to-the-oscars-best-actress-showdown/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/road-to-the-oscars-best-actress-showdown/#comments Fri, 04 Feb 2011 00:33:23 +0000 Ronnie Pudding http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=24687 This week we throw our Best Actress contenders into the Thunderdome, arm then with cudgels and see who among them has the fortitude to grab blood-smeared victory.

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This week we throw our Best Actress contenders into the Thunderdome, arm then with cudgels and see who among them has the fortitude to grab blood-smeared victory.  Of course I meant metaphorically, but am I the only one sporting chub right now? And speaking of boners, were this category decided by the turgidity of my cervix-hammer alone it would be a “hard” choice to make.  Because unlike some of last year’s nominees (*cough* Gabourey Sibide), our 2011 contenders, oiled-up and bikini clad, would make for a fine Maxim spread.  You’ve got Grade-A Kosher Natalie Portman, Michelle Williams and her bodacious bod, barely legal babe Jennifer Lawrence, MILFerific Nicole Kidman, and rounding things out in the cougar category, Annette Bening. Though my loins love them equally, on Oscar night there can be only one winner.

FRONTRUNNERS:

NATALIE PORTMAN

Pro: Hype is certainly on her side, and not undeservedly. As I stated in last week’s column, Black Swan was the performance of Natalie Portman’s career… although frankly, that ain’t saying a lot. Yeah, she’s nice to look at, but her previous actressing turns have run the gamut from “decent for a movie-of-the-week” to outright embarrassing. I have no idea how she managed to become leading lady du jour for many of today’s “serious” directors (at least when Scarlett Johansson wasn’t available); she acts about as well as ScarJo sings. However with Black Swan, Portman finally earned some credibility and proved that she’s ready to be taken seriously.

Con: She’s pregnant, and no one is more loathed than a pregnant woman. Men hate them because they’ve been tainted by another man’s seed. Women hate them because of jealousy and because they wish they could have babies too. Also: If she wins, there’s the risk that she’ll laugh again like at the Golden Globes. I’d rather hear the death rattle of my own child than that hideous cackle.

ANNETTE BENING

Pro: The other half of our Sapphic showdown. In The Kids Are All Right, Bening took a decidedly more realistic approach in her portrayal of a lesbian character, looking like someone you’d actually see at an Indigo Girls concert (whereas Portman’s bi-curious ballerina was the sort of lesbian that exists only in my Jergen’s fueled three-way fantasies). Bening is a seasoned veteran and an excellent lesbian thespian. In the scene where her character discovers her partner’s infidelity, Bening showed more range with subtle facial expressions than Portman has shown with an entire career of overacting.

Con: The Kids Are All Right’s strength was its ensemble cast, and to give an award to Bening and not Julianne Moore (who didn’t even get nominated) or Mark Ruffalo (who’s a long shot going up against Batman Bateman) would be a slight to her co-stars. Also: I know it was what you were going for, Annette, but couldn’t you have prettied it up just a little? At first I thought I was watching a Chuck Klosterman biopic.

LONG SHOTS

MICHELLE WILLIAMS

Pro: Underrated, underutilized, underappreciated… these words apply not just to Michelle Williams’ breasts but to Williams herself.  She’s an incredibly talented young woman who’s capable of showing her prodigious skills without getting all up in your face with it (like Portman).

Con: People often confuse her with Brian Williams. And for all the controversy, the sex scene that earned Blue Valentine its NC-17 rating was about as hot as scrambled Skinemax softcore. My penis was not pleased.

NICOLE KIDMAN

Pro: This Oscar veteran already has a shiny gold dude on her mantle. The Academy knows she can handle Oscar glory.

Con: Unfortunately, Kidman’s actressing has been seriously hampered by the large amounts of Botox that have virtually eliminated her facial expressions. In The Rabbit Hole she looks like she’s wearing a Nicole Kidman Halloween mask. Also: No one saw Rabbit Hole.

JENNIFER LAWRENCE

Pro: The Academy does love their ingénues. Think Anna Paquin, Tatum O’Neil, Jean Benet Ramsey… they’re like dancing monkeys. Dance little monkey!

Con: Hailee Steinfeld is already a lock for the Junior Achievers category.  And Steinfeld is only 14; which means that at age 20 Jennifer is practically over-the-hill. But the good is she’s bang-legal. In your face, Chris Hansen!

ADVANTAGE: Natalie Portman

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Road To The Oscars: ‘Black Swan’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/road-to-the-oscars-black-swan/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/road-to-the-oscars-black-swan/#comments Fri, 28 Jan 2011 19:29:31 +0000 Ronnie Pudding http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=23104 It was visually stunning and contained ballet sequences impressive enough that I can say so without having to punch something lest my masculinity be called into question.

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Tuesday morning at the crack of dawn, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced their list of Oscar nominees, forcing West Coast film biz journos such as myself to hole up in seedy Palm Desert motels smoking crystal meth all night with toothless call girls named Charlene so we wouldn’t miss a second of the festivities.  Sure, I could’ve set my alarm to wake up early — or just Tivoed the ceremony to watch it at a less ungodly hour — but I’m a professional who is dedicated to his craft. As I sat there trying to scratch away the imaginary bugs crawling under my skin I dutifully took mental notes. There were a few high profile snubs — Chris Nolan, Julianne Moore and a Funky Bunch-less Marky Mark were left high n’ dry — but no big surprises in the Best Picture category. If there was anything noteworthy about the Best Picture nominees it was that out of the ten, not a single film seemed undeserving.  This was a far cry from last year, when the dearth of good pictures forced the academy to nominate Jim Cameron’s 3D Smurf adventure Avatar and the posthumous straight-to-video release Ernest Goes to Gitmo.  Charlene agreed with my observation, or at least humored me so I ‘d stop screaming, adding that she was going to have a hard time filling out her own Oscar ballot this year. She grabbed the keys to my Honda and headed out the door, leaving me on that dirty mattress to soak in a puddle of my own tweaker sweat and ruminate the Oscar odds for the subject of this week’s column, ballerina thriller Black Swan.

At the very least Darren Aronofsky deserves a lifetime achievement award from the Institute of Cinematic Spankolgists for convincing two of Hollywood’s most boner-inducing young actresses to scissor fight on film. Yet as hot as the idea of Mila Kunis playing Kumbaya on Natalie Portman’s vertical harmonica looks on paper (hell, I’m at half mast just from typing it) — and as eager as my penis and I were to see the scene in question — I must painfully admit that it didn’t quite live up to our expectations. Perhaps my penis and I had built it up a bit too much in our heads, because while the Sapphic pairing was titillating, it still spank-ranks below the lesbian love scenes in Henry and June, Wild Things and Bound. So unfortunately for Darren Aronofsky (and my penis), we must judge Black Swan solely by its artistic virtues.

This is not to say that Black Swan is an unremarkable film.  It was visually stunning and contained ballet sequences impressive enough that I can say so without having to punch something lest my masculinity be called into question.  But it didn’t blow me away. Until recently, Darren Aronofsky made two types of films: Those that I loved (Pi, The Wrestler) and those that I hated (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain). With Black Swan he bridged the gap for me. Was it art? Certainly. Was it enjoyable? Without question. But something about it rang a little hollow; it lacked a bit of that intangible quality that we in the biz call “soul.” Basically it was the cinematic equivalent of Arcade Fire’s last record, and the fact that I’m able to compare it to an Arcade Fire record should tell you everything you need to know.

Still, this is just one man’s opinion, and Oscar winners are not left up to me (or my penis) alone. So let us now scrutinize Black Swan’s Best Picture chances using our scientifically-vetted ranking categories.

RETARD STRENGTH (4/5): It’s hard not to love Natalie Portman; she’s beautiful, brainy, Jewish (it’s a fetish, sue me) and has that adorable nails-on-a-chalkboard laugh.  She’s also a genuine good person: I mean she’s nice enough to have that gay man’s baby, right? However with the exception of her work in Leon (I’m sure I’m not the only “To Catch a Predator” alum to list that film in his Top 5), she’d never really impressed me with her actressing, that is until Black Swan.  Her turn as the schizophrenia-tarded ballerina whose quest for perfection drives her past the edge of sanity was definitely the performance of her career, making her a favorite to take the Shiny Gold Dude for Best Actress. The retard is strong with this one.

SOCIAL RELEVANCE (2/5): Does Black Swan have a message? Perhaps that if we smother our children and make them surrogate vessels for our own unrealized dreams, they’ll end up as self-mutilating, bulimic, obsessive loonies who fantasize about having gay sex with “That 70s Show” cast members. And while I think that’s a lesson certain parents could stand to learn (looking at you, Dad!), I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “socially relevant.” (Call me, Ashton!)

EPICOSITY (3/5): Visually speaking, it was my favorite Aronofsky film yet, combining the verité style he employed in The Wrester with the more bombastic, bells-and-whistles approach of Requiem and The Fountain. And the ballet scenes were outstanding… er, I mean… Hot chicksSuperbowl! UFC! Pick-up truck! I wouldn’t go so far as to call Black Swan “epic,” but like Natalie Portman’s ubiquitous nipple hard-ons, it sure was nice to look at.

UPLIFT (0/5): As heartwarming as an overdose on sleeping pills. Euthanizing a leukemia kid’s puppy would be more uplifting.

TOTAL POWER RANKING (2.25/5): Black Swan is a film Darren Aronofsky can be proud of, and it certainly earned him a high five from anyone who’s ever wondered what it’d be like to see Mila Kunis go down on Natalie Portman (meaning, everyone). But if it’s a Shiny Gold Dude he’s hoping to take home, he should ease up on the bleak and throw in a bit more heart.

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Eat It, Michael Bay: Arnofsky’s ‘Swan’ Reveals Its Special Effects http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/eat-it-michael-bay-arnofskys-swan-reveals-its-special-effects/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/eat-it-michael-bay-arnofskys-swan-reveals-its-special-effects/#comments Fri, 28 Jan 2011 00:24:51 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=Video&p=22908 It took a lot of complicated effects to make this movie look so simple.

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While Black Swan appears to be a pretty straightforward film with minimal special effects (webbed toes, feathers), the truth is that it take a lot of special effects to make it look so stark. I mean, who really thought it was Natalie Portman doing all that dancing? Besides me, of course. Arnofsky did what mean big-budget directors can’t – make the audience unaware of special effects.

This demo reel reveals many of the techniques that went into makin Black Swan such an understated yet striking film. Reflections of cameramen were removed from dance studi mirrors, lots of “head replacements” took place, and animated tattoos were placed on Mila Kunis‘ back while she “kissed” Ms. Portman. Also, Vincent Cassel died 17 days into filming and they had to use a CGI representation of him. Just kidding. I think. (/Film)

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2011 Oscar Noms Are Here! http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/2011-oscar-noms-are-here/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/2011-oscar-noms-are-here/#comments Tue, 25 Jan 2011 13:08:24 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=22019 It's really just a thrill to be nominated. Unless you're M. Night Shyamalan. Then it's a miracle.

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All of Hollywood woke up early today to find out the nominees for the 2011 Academy Awards. Except for M. Night Shyamalan. He’s going to sleep in. And then eat some waffles that he later discovers are ghosts.

Without further ado, here are the nominees that will have to struggle to keep eye contact with co-host Anne Hathaway.

Best Picture

‘Black Swan’

‘The Fighter’

‘Inception’

‘The Kids Are All Right’

‘The King’s Speech’

‘127 Hours’

‘The Social Network’

‘Toy Story 3′

‘True Grit’

‘Winter’s Bone’

Best Director

Darren Aronofsky, ‘Black Swan’

David O’Russell, ‘The Fighter’

Tom Hooper, ‘The King’s Speech’

David Fincher, ‘The Social Network’

Joel and Ethan Coen, ‘True Grit’

Best Actor

Javier Bardem, ‘Biutiful’

Jeff Bridges, ‘True Grit’

Jesse Eisenberg, ‘The Social Network’

Colin Firth, ‘The King’s Speech’

James Franco, ‘127 Hours’

Best Actress

Annette Bening, ‘The Kids Are All Right’

Nicole Kidman, ‘Rabbit Hole’

Jennifer Lawrence, ‘Winter’s Bone’

Natalie Portman, ‘Black Swan’

Michelle Williams, ‘Blue Valentine’

Best Supporting Actor

Christian Bale, ‘The Fighter’

John Hawkes, ‘Winter’s Bone’

Jeremy Renner, ‘The Town’

Mark Ruffalo, ‘The Kids Are All Right’

Geoffrey Rush, ‘The King’s Speech’

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, ‘The Fighter’

Helena Bonham Carter, ‘The King’s Speech’

Melissa Leo, ‘The Fighter’

Hailee Steinfeld, ‘True Grit’

Jacki Weaver, ‘Animal Kingdom’

Cinematography

Matthew Libatique,’Black Swan

Wally Pfister, ‘Inception’

Danny Cohen, ‘The King’s Speech’

Jeff Cronenweth,’The Social Network

Roger Deakins,’True Grit

Best Animated Feature Film

‘How to Train Your Dragon’

‘Illusionist’

‘Toy Story 3′

Best Foreign Film

Mexico – ‘Biutiful’

Greece – ‘Dogtooth’

Denmark – ‘In a Better World’

Canada – ‘Incendies’

Algeria – ‘Outside the law’

Best Original Screenplay

‘Another Year’

‘The Fighter’

‘Inception’

‘The Kids Are All Right’

‘The King’s Speech’

Best Adapted Screenplay

‘127 Hours’

‘The Social Network’

‘Toy Story 3′

‘True Grit’

‘Winter’s Bone’

Best Art Direction

‘Alice in Wonderland’

‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I’

‘Inception’

‘The King’s Speech’

‘True Grit’

Best Costume Design

‘Alice in Wonderland’

‘I Am Love’

‘The King’s Speech’

‘The Tempest’

‘True Grit’

Best Original Score

‘How to Train Your Dragon’ John Powell

‘Inception’ Hans Zimmer

‘The King’s Speech’ Alexandre Desplat

‘127 Hours’ A.R. Rahman

‘The Social Network’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Best Documentary

‘Exit through the Gift Shop’ Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz

‘Gasland’ Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic

‘Inside Job’ Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs

‘Restrepo’ Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger

‘Waste Land’ Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Best Film Editing

‘Black Swan’

‘The Fighter’

‘The Kings Speech’

‘127 Hours’

‘The Social Network’

Best Makeup

‘Barney’s Version’

‘The Way Back’

‘The Wolfman’

Best Sound Editing

‘Inception’

‘Toy Story 3′

‘TRON: Legacy’

‘True Grit’

‘Unstoppable’

Best Sound Mixing

‘Inception’

‘The King’s Speech’

‘Salt’

‘The Social Network’

‘True Grit’

Animated Short Film

“Day & Night”

“The Gruffalo”

“Let’s Pollute”

“The Lost Thing”

“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Jouney Diary)”

Live Action Short Film

“The Confession”

“The Crush”

“God of Love”

“Na Wewe”

“Wish 143″

Visual Effects

Alice in Wonderland

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1″

Hereafter

“Inception”

Iron Man 2

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Weekend Box Office Report: Natalie Portman Breaks A Record http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/weekend-box-office-report-natalie-portman-breaks-a-record/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/weekend-box-office-report-natalie-portman-breaks-a-record/#comments Mon, 24 Jan 2011 18:26:21 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=21736 Natalie Portman lands a prestigious honor.

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As more than one analyst has pointed out, this weekend represented perhaps the first time in the history of film that one actress (Natalie Portman) has had two movies (Black Swan and No Strings Attached) out in the same weekend in which she simulates sexual acts with two members of the cast of “That 70s Show.” Congratulations on this honor, Ms. Portman! Maybe she’ll go for 3 next year!

One of those two movies, No Strings Attached, was the number one movie this weekend, narrowly edging out last weekend’s top earner, The Green Hornet. Number 3, as if anyone ever cares about number 3, was Ron Howard‘s The Dilemma. If you have thirst for more information about how much money different movies made over the weekend, you can get your fill at boxofficemojo.com.

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