If you were still awake after the Oscars ended last night, you may have caught Robert Downey Jr. on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he debuted a brand-new Iron Man 2 trailer. Whether you're a comic book fan or a Robert Downey Jr. fan, this trailer is must-see material, since it showcases a lot more fun lines from the movie, as well as some major plot points and details. Here are our six favorites.
Well, that's it. The backlash has begun. Against the Iron Man franchise (although not the first movie, which is apparently unimpeachable), against Marvel's slow build to The Avengers (which is really only touched on twice in the new film, briefly) and against Robert Downey, Jr. himself, who is apparently too obnoxious, although they may have him confused with the character he plays. I'll admit that I had my own doubts going into this second installment since I do recognize the greatness of the original and since Marvel hasn't had the best luck with getting their comic book characters firmly established as film characters on par with the likes of James Bond, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter. But from the perspective of a long-time, die-hard fan of ol' Shellhead, I thought director Jon Favreau, screenwriter Justin Theroux and RDJ and the rest of the cast delivered a sharp, entertaining follow-up despite some cracks in the armor.
In Hollywood, apparently all you need to establish "nerdy" is a pair of glasses, limp hair and some frumpy clothing. Unfortunately, while unusual-looking leading men are plentiful in Hollywood, unusual-looking leading women must be in short supply, because the movies have a tendency to "nerd up" gorgeous young starlets and try to convince us that they are friendless outcasts. In Jennifer's Body, Amanda Seyfried dons the glasses to play the nerdy, less-popular friend of Megan Fox, despite being every bit as pretty -- as if her friend wouldn't give her any fashion tips! Ellen Page will similarly nerd up for Whip It next month, and the pair have gotten us thinking about the other adorable women of Hollywood who have worn the glasses, the lab coats and the sweats of the nerd. Keep in mind that this list doesn't include the generally frumped-up (Cameron Diaz in Being John Malkovich), the nerdy-in-flashback (Drew Barrymore in Never Been Kissed) and the supermodel scientists that aren't even trying (any female mathematician or computer tech in a James Bond movie).
Have you ever wanted to just say "To hell with it," and become a trapeze artist? (Unless you already are a trapeze artist, in which case perhaps you said "To hell with it, I want to work in a cubicle.") Career decisions are hard. I would imagine they're harder still when you are rich and famous and are surrounded by people who kiss your ass and tell you how brilliant and talented you are all the time. Take Joaquin Phoenix. Way back in October, the Oscar nominee announced he was quitting acting to focus on his music. And then his brother-in-law Casey Affleck recently announced he'd be filming the actor's -- I'm sorry, musician's exploits for a documentary. Well, reports have come out since that it might end up being a mockumentary. Turns out, the whole career-change thing may be an elaborate hoax. To which most of us are probably having the same thought: I've seen this on MTV. Followed quickly by: Oh God, I hope so.
While we're all pulling for the hoax angle so the talented (and yes, nutty) actor can get back to making movies, it has occurred to me that there are several actors out there that made career decisions we (and probably they) all wish had been hoaxes as well.
I never wanted to be one of those dudes on the Internet who criticizes everything. Especially not someone who criticizes a comic book movie for being a less-than-faithful adaptation of the source material. Especially not someone who is basing their opinion on a 2-minute trailer for said movie. But what the hell is going on in Frank Miller's Spirit trailer? [It's been taken down, but presumably not for improvement.] I mean, seriously? We get it, you've got some hot actresses in your movie. But at what point does the film stop being an adaptation of Will Eisner's classic hero and start being a domino-mask-wearing version of The Bachelor?
If we look carefully at the movie trends of 2008, it's not hard to make a few predictions for the year ahead. Sure, some of these may seem kind of crazy, or maybe they sound flat-out impossible. But just remember these seven words: Steven Soderbergh to direct Cleopatra rock musical. Anything can happen, so get in on the ground floor of these predictions while you can!
As I walked out of a screening for Woody Allen's new film Vicky Cristina Barcelona, a friend cracked that Allen only gives us a decent film every 10 years, and implied that VCB had successfully staked its claim as the decade's quota. Me, I'm not so sure. Certainly Allen's prior two films, Match Point and Scoop, weren't anything to write home about. But it's tough to say if VCB is the triumph we've all been waiting for.
Scarlett Johansson, 23, and Ryan Reynolds, 31, wed secretly over the weekend in British Columbia (Reynolds is from Vancouver). Apparently, Johansson decided to define "not rushing into it" as a little more than a month, since she said in early August that she's only 23 and "There's no reason to rush into it," adding that "we're just taking it easy. And no big plan yet." Then again, it was a SECRET wedding (there has been no confirmation of the actual wedding location, for instance), so maybe that was part of her diversion tactic.
The promo mill for Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona started grinding into high gear recently and it cranked out a doozy. It's like someone asked, "How do you promote a movie about two women involved in a love affair with the same man?" And the answer came back: "Naturally you pimp one of those women out for a threesome!" That woman is none other than Scarlett Johansson, who plays the titular Cristina, and you can check out a screenshot of the contest at The Dish Rag. But, look, ScarJo. No one thinks less of Paris Hilton for not promoting her National Lampoon movie, and she's generally a huge waste of space. You, on the other hand, were in Lost in Translation. So what in the world are you doing with this?
Being the current lust object of decrepitly old directors like Woody Allen and Brian DePalma isn't enough for Scarlett Johansson. America's fakest femme fatale (see Match Point and The Black Dahlia if you think I am in jest) has now decided she wants to sing. Perhaps this decade's Diane Keaton took a cue from Woody's Everyone Says I Love You, a musical he cast with actors so tone deaf the THX speakers shut down in protest. Whatever the excuse, the star of the Woodman's upcoming Vicky Cristina Barcelona has become the latest actor to try burning up the Billboard charts. I bet William Shatner is laughing on the set of Boston Legal right now.