Posts Tagged ‘Justin Timberlake’

Darwinian Capitalism Out of Time

IN TIME

Amanda Seyfreid and Justin Timberlake star in the futuristic thriller In Time, written and directed by Andrew Niccol. While the concept is fresh and the look is retro-futurism, In Time does not fully develop into maturity and that is not just because all the characters most of whom are beautiful are not older then 25 years. It is set in mythical Los Angeles which is transformed into the opposing worlds of the downtrodden industrial Dayton and the chic and affluent New Greenwich whereby no one ages older than 25 years.

The Future is on your Hands


After the characters reach 25 years they live on time credit and everything is paid for in time, not money. While the story is largely allegorical about how the present generation is struggling to survive in a global culture of Darwinian Capitalism, whereby it surely is the survival of the fittest or in this case the richest, Timberlake and Seyfreid play Will Salas and Sylvia Weiss a Bonnie and Clyde duo who go about robbing time banks and redistributing centuries back to the poorer classes. In Time is a unique, yet under explored concept lacking depth but making up in style. As sci-fi films go In Time is no match for any of the retro-futuristic classics like Minority Report or Blade Runner or even The Adjustment Bureau, but still fun to watch.

The best part of the film besides the suave looking cast is the film noir feel of the movie, with Nichols creating a retro yet stylish futuristic world with cool cars, stylish wardrobe and a storyline which resembles more a Raymond Chandler novel than a 21st century sci-fi thriller. Seyfried and Timberlake make a fine couple, although their on screen chemistry wanes towards the climax of the narrative. Watch out for a balanced performance by Cilllian Murphy playing the timekeeper trying to maintain the system and Alex Pettyfer as the local gangster Fortis.

In Time ‘s best line which rings true as we enter the 2nd decade of the 21st century – “Its about Darwinian Capitalism”. See the thriller and make sure you not with anyone over 45, they will feel ancient!

 

Terrific on Screen Chemistry

Friends with Benefits

 

A complicated relationship

From LA to the Big Apple, Friends with Benefits is a quirky 21st century comedy which pokes fun at romantic comedies but ultimately succumbs to the formula which has made this genre so popular. Mila Kunis from Black Swan is utterly delightful as the street savvy New York head hunter for the Olive Branch Recruitment agency who organizes a job for Dylan Harper played with his usual boyish charm by Justin Timberlake seen in The Social Network, arriving fresh off the plane from LA as art director for GQ. While Timberlake is coming into his own as an actor and is appearing in many more films, it is certainly Kunis who steals the show in this 21st century digitized urban jungle of the New York magazine industry. The on screen chemistry is brilliant between Kunis and Timberlake helped by a witty, sometimes rude but very direct script.

As Timberlake and Kunis become good friends in NYC, they decide to play tennis in other words have sex, hence the friendship with a nudge and wink on the side. Friends with Benefits mid way through the film was giving the impression that it was just about its two leading stars, then the scriptwriters bring in Kunis’s dilly mother played by A-class character actress Patricia Clarkson and Timberlake’s father, played by the equally talented Richard Jenkins from Eat, Pray, Love and The Visitor.

New York and LA feature as cities with their own distinct character, with New York outshining in terms of the most attractive destination. Friends with Benefits features some wonderful scenes including a flash mob dance sequence in Times Square, a great cameo by Woody Harrelson as the gay sports editor for GQ and gorgeous shots of the Big Apple’s skyline and a wonderfully comic scene at the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. Besides the friendship, this is sex in both cities with Timberlake and Kunis doing a fine job at turning the romantic comedy drama literally upside down, with loads of filmic and digital references for the internet generation. Worth watching!

Harvard Harassment to Global Phenomenon

The Social Network

social_network

 Canadian director David Fincher’s latest film The Social Network could fit more comfortably in the made for TV film category, but is nevertheless a fascinating examination of how one idea can affect the world.

The Social Network traces the rise of the Facebook phenomenon from the frat houses of Harvard to going global, the lawsuits that ensued and how the lives of over 500 million users have been transformed by using of Facebook from Silicon Valley to Henley-on-Thames, from Brazil to Cape Town, from Sydney to Toronto.

Harvard Harassment

Jesse Eisenberg makes a superb entrance in a major role as Mark Zuckerberg the genius behind linking the Ivy League American University social networks from Harvard to Stamford and supersedes any former attempts by creating a user-friendly interface for virtual network, sharing photos and updating one’s relationship status, now known universally as Facebook. Love it or hate it, the rise of Facebook is now a commercially viable form of communication, which has taken the digital world by storm. Fincher’s film shows the rise of the Facebook phenomenon from Zuckerberg’s cocky online response on his blog after being spurned by Erica, a lovely cameo by Rooney Mara at Harvard to his rise through several collaborations firstly with Eduardo Saverin, a diversely perceptive performance by Andrew Garfield, and then with Napster founder Sean Parker, the colourful and confident character suitably played by Justin Timberlake, proving that his acting abilities are certainly maturing.

Fincher responsible for some high end thrillers including Seven, The Game, Fight Club and Oscar nominated Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a prolific choice for a film which if left in the hands of a lesser director, could have become a slightly drawn out geek match about intellectual property rights, failed love affairs and immense wealth bestowed on a set of twenty-something’s who surely were given an added advantage already being at Harvard in the first place. The Social Network is an engrossing look at a very recent digital phenomenon and the ingenuity, entrepreneurial savvy  and success of three men who clearly realized that they had discovered a gaping hole in the social fabric of Anglo-American society and filled that void with a network which combines privacy with a sense of community.

Global Phenomenon

Facebook, like the invention of the light bulb, the car, and most obviously the internet is here to stay and will definitely grow, transform and has embraced the real 21st century notion of a global digital village. Watch out for a wonderful performance by Armie Hammer playing both the affluent, rowing crazy twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and of course the cleverest part of The Social Network is the poster, – You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies, reminding the viewer of a similar poster?

Every face tells a story…

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