Jennifer Lopez career

(Welcome to Role Call, where we examine two performances from an actor – their first defining role and their most recent/last – to get a sense of who they are.)

If Academy voters in 1997 had fully understood Selena’s cultural importance, Jennifer Lopez would have been nominated for an Oscar twenty years ago.

Her portrayal of the young singer who was gunned down on the eve of launching into ultra-popularity was such a revelation that it turned Lopez into a star overnight, but it didn’t garner Oscar attention, which is a shame because what she achieved with the role was similar to what Joaquin Phoenix did as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line nearly a decade later.

With an Indie Spirit nomination for Mi Familia and a Golden Globe nomination for Selena under the belt, Lopez has never returned to the narrow version of prestige demanded by the Oscars. She opted, instead, for global pop music domination and a genre filmography that’s earned billions.

She’s part of the Oscar conversation now, but it’s not because Hustlers is the kind of movie that fits into the Academy’s tidy vision of what deserves recognition. If Lopez gets nominated, and if she wins for playing Ramona Vega, it will be because she and others have forced the Oscars to widen their gaze far beyond the days when Helen Hunt, Helena Bonham Carter, Julie Christie, Judi Dench, and Kate Winslet were all vying for the top prize.

Let’s look at how Lopez got here. Read More »

The Dark Crystal Age of Resistance Featurette

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, take a deep dive into the evolution of Muppet technology with a special focus on The Dark Crystal and the 30 years it took to eventually make The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Plus, a professional dialect coach reviews more actors attempts at doing the personal idiolects of real people like Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, and Jennifer Lopez runs through the history of music video dancing with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. Read More »

How to Make Star Trek Romulan Ale

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, learn about the four-note melody that has represented death in films like Star Wars and It’s a Wonderful Life for decades. Plus, learn how to make your own Romulan ale based on the blue libation from Star Trek, and find out what a day in the life of Jennifer Lopez was like as she makes a splash on the big screen again with the new movie Hustlers. Read More »

hustlers review

Hustlers lives comfortably in the grey. Lorene Scafarai‘s movie shows the good deeds and the bad and the right and the wrong, never telling the audience exactly how to feel about it all. The crimes speak for themselves, but Scafaria keeps the characters and the world messy with more empathy than moralizing. The drama, which is based on a wildly entertaining story by journalist Jessica Pressler, has more to it than strippers drugging and stealing big money from their marks. Starring Constance Wu and Jennifer LopezHustlers is about friendship, culture, and people dealt a bad hand in life, hungry for the American dream.

Similar to Scafaria’s previous movies, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and The Meddler, the characters are alive and vibrant in Hustlers. The ups and downs of their complicated friendships are as suspenseful as their life of crime. They’re doing a bad thing, without question, but there’s also a lot of good in these characters.

Recently, Scafaria talked to us about the relationships in the movie, a potentially iconic shot of Lopez, and how we’re all hustling.

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hustlers review

It’s a story, literally, ripped from the headlines: a group of strippers run a scam that cheats their Wall Street clients out of thousands of dollars. On paper, it’s the perfect fodder for a feature film adaptation — full of drama, drugs, and a messy but tight-knit group of ruthless women who are simply evening out the playing field. We get some of that in Hustlers, directed by Lorene Scafaria and based on a New York Magazine article from 2015.

With an all-star cast led by a fierce Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers is a glossy crowdpleaser that shatters the male gaze. But in avoiding titillation, Hustlers ends up taking some of the teeth out of a sharp, sensuous, and satisfying true-life scam story described in its original New York Magazine piece as a “modern-day Robin Hood” fable.

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Hustlers Trailer

Remember all those asshole types from The Wolf of Wall Street who conned people out of their money so they could take extravagant vacations and snort cocaine off the backsides of strippers? Those kind of people still exist today, and they’re about to get their comeuppance.

Hustlers is a new crime comedy that gives women all the power as Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu use the primitive desires of Wall Street douchebags hitting up strip clubs to fill their pockets with cash. After all, if these guys are going to be drunk and stupid enough to throw their credit cards around and treat women like objects, then they can pay for it. Literally. Watch the new Hustlers trailer below. Read More »

the godmother

Jennifer Lopez is going to build herself a drug empire in The Godmother, a new movie based on the true story of Griselda “La Madrina” Blanco. Blanco was a Colombian drug lord of the Medellín Cartel and a major part of the Miami cocaine drug trade during the ’80s. Blanco was a major focus of the Cocaine Cowboys documentaries.

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hustlers trailer

Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Keke Palmer, Lili Reinhart, Lizzo, and Cardi B all star in Hustlers, a stylish new drama-comedy about a group of strippers who team up to rip off some Wall Street douchebags. In all seriousness, that premise sounds like it could make for the feel-good movie of the year. Watch the Hustlers trailer below.

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Santa Fight Trailer

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, Bryan Cranston stars in the dueling Santa Claus holiday action thriller Santa Fight, created by a bunch of kids. Plus, The Hollywood Reporter sits down and runs around with some of the most sought after stuntwomen in Hollywood, and listen as Jennifer Lopez looks back on her most memorable roles from throughout her extensive career. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m ready for the great Jennifer Lopez, Movie Star comeback tour. The J.Lo-naissance, if you will. And if anyone can make it happen, it’s going to be the folks at Annapurna, a company known for their critically acclaimed and edgy entertainment.

Lopez will star in The Hustlers, a fact-based thriller about a former high-class stripper who turns the tables on a bunch of Wall Street scumbags via some modern day Robin Hood-ing. Sign me up.

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