The new film from Spike Jonze is Her, which delves into the strangeness of modern relationships through an unusual device: Joaquin Phoenix plays a man who falls in love with a piece of software, appealingly voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
Set in a slightly sci-fi near-future Los Angeles, the story features Phoenix interacting with Johansson in voice only, through an earpiece that allows him to stay in constant contact with the operating system of his dreams. This is no glib gag laughing at the idea of a man/machine romance, however, but an earnest inquiry into what makes relationships tick.
There’s a new trailer out today, which you can see below. Read More »
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Can you believe it? Yet another franchise sequel has been set for the summer of 2015. This time it’s the as-yet-untitled fifth Bourne film, directed by Justin Lin and starring Jeremy Renner. Universal also dated Luc Besson‘s thriller, Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson as a trained killer; read more about both below.
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Posted on Wednesday, November 27th, 2013 by Angie Han
As we head into awards season — and into the endless debates and predictions that come with it — there’s one name we can cross off the potential Golden Globe winner list for certain.
The HFPA has deemed Scarlett Johansson‘s work in Spike Jonze‘s Her ineligible in the Best Supporting Actress category, despite its being one of the most buzzed-about performances of the year. The reason? Although Johansson’s voice can be heard throughout the movie, she never appears in physical form. Hit the jump for more details on the ruling.
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There’s a vast difference between simply making a movie and taking the time to develop a new idea to make a movie about. It’s the difference between franchises releasing a new sequel every year, and the work of Spike Jonze, a filmmaker who up to this point has only made three movies in 15 years. His fourth film, Her, is the director’s first original screenplay. It’s everything you’d hope for from the mad genius who brought to life Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and Where the Wild Things Are.
Her is a dramatic sci-fi romance about a man named Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his artificially intelligent computer operating system (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). It’s a simple, yet brilliant conceit realized with depth and emotion, two rare traits in mainstream cinema. The depth comes from Jonze’s ideas about technological dependence and loneliness, and the emotion is conveyed as the film raises questions about what it means to love and our capacity to do so. It’s a film that’ll both spark intelligent debate and plenty of tears.
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Posted on Wednesday, November 6th, 2013 by Angie Han
The Wolf of Wall Street was recently pushed from November 15 to December 25, which means moviegoers will have to wait a few weeks longer to see how exactly Leonardo DiCaprio ends up inviting a half-naked marching band into his office. Thankfully, Martin Scorsese has offered up another tidbit for us to enjoy in the meantime. And it even stars Wolf‘s Matthew McConaughey.
Dolce & Gabbana hired the master filmmaker to shoot a new commercial for its The One fragrance line, for which McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson serve as the spokesmodels. There isn’t a whole lot to it, but if you’ve got a few minutes to kill, you could certainly do worse than watching two beautiful folks zip around Manhattan as Scorsese makes them look impossibly glamorous. Check it out after the jump.
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Posted on Monday, October 14th, 2013 by Angie Han
Most movies involving sentient, self-aware technology begin or end with the apocalypse. But in truth, those movies bear little resemblance to our actual, day-to-day relationship with technology. There are many jokes to be made about Siri’s similarity to HAL 9000 (and Siri knows all of them), but they haven’t stopped us from inviting her into our lives. And if we feel a bit anxious about that, it’s less because we worry she’ll go all SkyNet on us, and more because we aren’t sure what this dependence on our iPhones means for us and our relationships to one another.
It’s that uneasiness that Spike Jonze explores in Her, an unconventional love story about an operating system and the man who loves her. He is Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely man who makes a living writing other people’s love letters for BeautifulHandwrittenLetters.com, and she is Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), the digital personal assistant programmed to meet his every need. Their meet-cute comes when he unboxes the software and answers a few questions about his relationship with his mother so the program can spit her out.
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When aliens invade New York and a team of superheroes comes out of nowhere to defeat them, the world is going change quite a bit. This global fallout to events in Marvel’s The Avengers has been referenced in Iron Man 3, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and even the trailer to Thor: The Dark World. The film after that, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, will certainly deal with a similar landscape too, especially since it features S.H.I.E.L.D., the agency at the center of The Avengers.
But where do all these films fall on the timeline? Iron Man 3 takes places six months after The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World is rumored to take place about year after and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is likely somewhere in between (Extremis baddies, anyone?). That leaves The Winter Soldier and, according to co-star Scarlett Johansson, the film takes place two years after The Avengers, suggesting much more will have change after Iron Man 3 and Thor 2. Read More »
Note: This review was originally published on January 20th 2013 during the Sundance Film Festival. We are reprinting it for the film’s theatrical release.
Movie fans have long known that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a great actor. With Don Jon, the world will now see that he’s a talented writer and director too.
The film, his feature debut, focuses on a New Jersey-based ladies man who is hopelessly addicted to online pornography. A heavy and potentially uncomfortable topic for sure, but Gordon-Levitt handles it with an honesty and energy that makes it fun as well as easily digestible. The supporting cast, including Scarlett Johansson as a New Jersey princess-type, Tony Danza, Julianne Moore and Glenne Headly, only helps a film about objectification and media consumption feel so effortless and entertaining.
Don Jon is a high end Hollywood comedy masquerading as a Sundance film. Read the rest of my review, and watch a video blog featuring Peter Sciretta and Russ Fischer, below. Read More »
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