Inside Pulse » Justin Timberlake http://insidepulse.com A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Tue, 21 Oct 2014 03:22:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse no A pop culture mega-site with Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games coverage for diehards, including news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary. Inside Pulse » Justin Timberlake http://insidepulse.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://insidepulse.com Blu-Ray Review: Trouble with the Curve http://insidepulse.com/2013/01/14/blu-ray-review-trouble-with-the-curve/ http://insidepulse.com/2013/01/14/blu-ray-review-trouble-with-the-curve/#comments Mon, 14 Jan 2013 15:00:19 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=321373 Ever since Clint Eastwood spoke at the Republican National Convention the way people have written about him has changed fairly significantly. He’s gone from being at the tail end of his career to being washed up has-been in the span of several weeks, it seems, because he did what he’s always done in his career: buck convention. It’s interesting, at least, to see what politics can do to people’s perspectives on an entertainer. And for the first time in a while Eastwood is letting himself get a truly happy ending and someone else direct him in Trouble with the Curve.

It’s also the best film to cover the fringes of the game in a long time, the type of film people wanted Moneyball to be.

Eastwood plays Gus Lobel, a scout for the Atlanta Braves at the end of his career. He’s found a plethora of Hall of Fame talent the way you used to find talent in sport: with your eyes. In an era where sabremetrics have taken over good chunks of the baseball world in player evaluation, Gus hails from the old school where you needed to see a player and how he plays to determine his worth. But the one thing that’s always served him masterfully, his eyesight, is going away. Stubborn as he is, Lobel refuses to have it looked at until the final prospect of this year’s draft is done. And he’s not the only one thinking that “final” might be the most descriptive; a young computer jockey (Matthew Lillard) who loves the game but doesn’t watch anything but the numbers wants him gone because of his inability to get with the times.

As he scouts what is being billed as the next Albert Pujols, Lobel and his failing vision are joined by his daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) at the behest of his friend (and co-worker) Pete (John Goodman) on this last trip. She’s a workaholic attorney trying to find a middle ground in a contentious relationship with her father over the years. Throwing a monkey wrench into the equation is former prospect turned scout Johnny Flanagan (Justin Timberlake), who has a much friendlier relationship with Gus than his daughter does.

It’s odd to see Eastwood in a film like this as of late; he’s gone after much darker in recent vintage and appearing in a crowd-pleaser is an odd choice for him, especially considering his last work in Gran Torino was considered the nearly perfect denouement for his acting career. He can play Gus in his sleep, as he’s a cranky old man in the vein of nearly every character he’s played since he’s turned 70 or so, but the volume is turned down. He’s not as curmudgeonly as he could be; he’s just a bit aloof with a mean streak in comparison to Gran Torino’s Walt. Gus doesn’t want to admit that he has weakness and it has clearly affected his relationship with his daughter. She just wants something normal with him in her lifetime after a childhood spent away, living to try to please him, and she uproots from a pivotal case in their native Atlanta to follow him on the road as he looks at a high school prospect.

It’s an interesting dynamic as Robert Lorenz takes essentially the Eastwood style of story-telling, which he learned by being his production partner for nearly 20 years, and gives it a slight variant. Eastwood has gone darker as of late in many films and Lorenz takes the way Eastwood directs for a more crowd-pleasing bent. If you didn’t know Eastwood just acted in the film you’d have thought he directed it as well; Lorenz apes Eastwood’s shooting style and lets the camera linger in much the same way Eastwood does. It’s not surprising, considering he essentially had an apprenticeship next to the multiple-time Oscar winning writer/director/producer/actor, but it’s still an interesting choice.

The film lives and dies on the chemistry between Adams and Eastwood; Adams is a bit young to be playing his daughter, of course, but without a strong chemistry between the two the film would sink. They don’t have the best of chemistry on occasion but that owes to the more prickly relationship between the two; we may not believe Adams would be his daughter (his granddaughter would be more appropriate) but we can buy their relationship. It’s a matter of trying to find a relationship after years of actively avoiding one; Mickey wants desperately for something out of Gus besides their mutual love of baseball and Gus doesn’t know how. If the film had been just about their relationship it would be tighter but not nearly as cinematic.

The other half of Curve is Gus trying to show that his ability to see a prospect play, as opposed to look at his numbers, is still there. The film’s pivotal moment in the third act is a direct repudiation of Moneyball and the likes, of course, and anyone who is knowledgeable about the sport would tell you that somewhere in the middle of stats and eyesight lies the truth about the game.

The film, however, can’t find a balance between Gus’s career and his family. It’s too hard trying to fit into a 90 minute window; one imagines that a film like this could’ve used another 30 minutes to smooth things out. For a film that is bordering on two hours already it’s a case where what to cut and what to add had to have been tough to begin with; it leaves the film that can’t quite hit masterpiece because it has a big, glaring flaw.

There’s a brief piece on Lorenz as he made his way through the ranks of being an assistant director to being in charge underneath Eastwood. It’s all too short but for roughly five minutes we get to see how he found his way into the director’s chair under what was an extended tutelage spanning from Roger Corman to Clint Eastwood. There’s another piece on Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake, as well, as Eastwood and Lorenz discuss why they wanted to bring them into the field and their fairly easy chemistry. Both pieces are really EPK pieces, though.

Warner Bros. presents . Directed by Robert Lorenz. Written by Randy Brown. Starring Clint Eastwood, Justin Timberlake, Amy Adams, John Goodman, Matthew Lillard, Robert Patrick, Scott Eastwood. Running time: 111 minutes. Rated PG-13. Released: December 18, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.
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Monday Morning Critic – The Collection and The Difficult Of Sequels in General – Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, Casual Sex and Friends With Benefits http://insidepulse.com/2012/11/26/monday-morning-critic-the-collection-and-the-difficult-of-sequels-in-general-justin-timberlake-mila-kunis-casual-sex-and-friends-with-benefits/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/11/26/monday-morning-critic-the-collection-and-the-difficult-of-sequels-in-general-justin-timberlake-mila-kunis-casual-sex-and-friends-with-benefits/#comments Mon, 26 Nov 2012 15:00:28 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=318662 Every Monday morning, InsidePulse Movies Czar Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings an irreverent and oftentimes hilarious look at pop culture, politics, sports and whatever else comes to mind. And sometimes he writes about movies.

You know what film interests me this weekend? The Collection. Why? Because it’s a horror movie sequel and making a sequel to a horror film might be one of the most difficult things to do when it comes to film-making in the modern cinematic era.

I will admit that horror as a genre isn’t something I tend to enjoy all that much; I see a lot of films per year so I like some variety in what I see. I think you can’t call yourself a fan of cinema to any degree if you specifically avoid any one thing in cinema; I try to have a nice cornucopia of films on my viewing list for any year. I think if you avoid genres you avoid some powerful cinema as well as you don’t fully develop your cinematic palette. I may detest horror as a genre because I consider it lazy film-making targeting the lowest common denominator but it has its place in the cinematic buffet.

It just doesn’t have a very high one in my mind. But crafting a good horror film is like any other genre; difficult. Bad films, of which the horror film has more than any other genre, are easy and cheap to make. It’s why plenty of hack directors start out in horror; you can make one much cheaper than an action film and if you stick to the tropes of the genre then it’s hard to make it noxiously bad. And its why many stay in them as well; finding someone to back a $50 million action film with a hard R is tough but $10 million for a horror film is easy money.

Look at how Paranormal Activity has become the latest with sequels that start production as soon as the first weekend’s box office receipts are counted; it may not be a massive profit every time around but studio fare in the horror variety is hard to lose money on when all is said and done. Commercially it’s hard to go bankrupt making horror films; creatively, though, trying to do anything beyond one film and one story is exceptionally tough in the genre.

The one thing every film franchise has a problem with is the art of the second film. It’s why there are only a rare handful of sequels that have met or exceeded the original in terms of quality. That’s not just for horror films; sequels are a tough go to do well because it’s more of a story-telling problem than anything else. It comes down to one question: How do you make something interesting again after telling a completed story the first time around?

It’s why horror sequels tend to fall hard in terms of quality for a second outing. You can’t open that same door twice; it’s why horror film sequels are more cash grabs than story-telling mechanisms. It’s why horror film sequels interest me on a pure story-telling level: is there something new to add to a first film that was successful becomes the problem.

The unique thing with horror films is that trying to craft an ongoing saga makes you have to do something radically different, or turn up the volume, to outdo a respectable first effort. You’ve already done things like the big reveal, et al, and the bad guy in a slasher film isn’t new or unique. You have to do something new with the killer, in this example, or else you just up repeating the first film but with new victims. And that’s the inherent problem with the slasher genre; most times a slasher sequel is just a slightly different version of the first film.

The only difference in Friday the 13th sequels usually is the setting; all you need is Jason Vorhees stabbing teenagers and you’re 99% of the way there story wise. Even the remake didn’t do anything new with the story, it just rebooted it. It’s why the sequel to The Collector becomes all that more interesting. This isn’t a sequel about a hooded bad guy collecting another victim, or so the trailer has us believe, and instead it’s about a victim leading a group of men into Hell to pull out someone trapped in it.

Will it be good? I don’t know. But it has sparked my curiosity.

Is changing the tone from the first, which is a torture porn film with a bad guy pulling the strings, into one with an action film premise behind it going to work? I don’t know. But it’s intriguing and intrigue does a lot for me as a fan of cinema. We’re given the tropes of the franchise, with some story-telling advancement, but now it has an action vibe in a way. Its part rescue film as well as part torture porn/slasher film from a trailer vibe so far.

A Movie A Week – The Challenge

This Week’s DVD – Friends with Benefits

One of the great things about growing up in the era of female empowerment is that casual sex isn’t a taboo anymore; it’s almost encouraged in a lot of ways. Sometimes sex can be like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in modern dating; sometimes it’s serious and sometimes it’s sport. And leave it to Hollywood to make a film about having a sex buddy and then turn it into a traditional rom-com … twice in the same year, even. I believe they even shared the same title for a while.

The idea of exploring the emotional aspects of casual sex was the premise behind two films from 2011, Friends with Benefits and No Strings Attached. The latter was a craptacular film with Ashton Kutcher douching his way through another film with Natalie Portman post-Oscar win. Friends with Benefits was quite good with Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis as the wacky couple who find out that sex complicates things.

Dylan (Timberlake) works for a Gawker type website in Los Angeles who’s brought to New York to interview for GQ by a recruiter (Kunis) who’s quite good at her job. When he accepts, and she quickly becomes a good friend, both decide to start having sex for fun instead of in pursuit of a long term romantic relationship. As they get closer the problem becomes that those pesky emotions come into play.

I reviewed it and my thoughts are pretty much the same on DVD. If anything the film works a bit more effectively on DVD than it does as a theatrical film. I enjoyed it immensely on DVD without the benefit of a theatrical audience because there’s a number of lines you miss because there are moments where this film is insanely brilliant on a comedic level.

Recommended.

What Looks Good This Weekend, and I Don’t Mean the $2 Pints of Bass Ale and community college co-eds with low standards at the Alumni Club

The Collection – It’s time for Arkin (Josh Stewart) to lead a SWAT team or something to find the Collector.

See It – The first one wasn’t brilliant … but it had promise. The sequel could be the same.

Killing Them Softly – Brad Pitt’s a mob enforcer type trying to track down a bunch of crooks that ripped off a high stakes mob poker game.

See It – One of my favorite casts of the year so far, on paper, as you have Pitt sliming it up alongside Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta and James Gandolfini in a crime film.

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (Limited Release) – JCVD and Dolph Lundgren are back as the Uni-Sols go all religious or something.

See It – The sequels to a fairly passable film have varied in quality but the latest DTV ones have actually been pretty good, at least that’s what I’ve read so far.

Scott “Kubryk” Sawitz brings his trademarked irreverence and offensive hilarity to Twitter in 140 characters or less. Follow him @ScottSawitz .
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Trouble with the Curve – Review http://insidepulse.com/2012/09/22/trouble-with-the-curve-review/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/09/22/trouble-with-the-curve-review/#comments Sat, 22 Sep 2012 15:00:35 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=312215
The film Moneyball was trying to be

Ever since Clint Eastwood spoke at the Republican National Convention this year the way people have written about him has changed fairly significantly; he’s gone from being at the tail end of his career to a washed up has-been in the span of several weeks, it seems, because he did what he’s always done in his career: buck convention. It’s interesting, at least, to see what politics can do to people’s perspectives on an entertainer. And for the first time in a while Eastwood is letting himself get a truly happy ending and someone else direct him in Trouble with the Curve.

It’s also the best film to cover the fringes of the game in a long time, the type of film people wanted Moneyball to be.

Eastwood plays Gus Lobel, a scout for the Atlanta Braves at the end of his career. He’s found a plethora of Hall of Fame talent the way you used to find talent in sport: with your eyes. In an era where sabremetrics have taken over good chunks of the baseball world in player evaluation, Gus hails from the old school where you needed to see a player and how he plays to determine his worth. But the one thing that’s always served him masterfully, his eyesight, is going away. Stubborn as he is, Lobel refuses to have it looked at until the final prospect of this year’s draft is done. And he’s not the only one thinking that “final” might be the most descriptive; a young computer jockey (Matthew Lillard) who loves the game but doesn’t watch anything but the numbers wants him gone because of his inability to get with the times.

As he scouts what is being billed as the next Albert Pujols, Lobel and his failing vision are joined by his daughter Mickey (Amy Adams) at the behest of his friend (and co-worker) Pete (John Goodman) on this last trip. She’s a workaholic attorney trying to find a middle ground in a contentious relationship with her father over the years. Throwing a monkey wrench into the equation is former prospect turned scout Johnny Flanagan (Justin Timberlake), who has a much friendlier relationship with Gus than his daughter does.

It’s odd to see Eastwood in a film like this as of late; he’s gone after much darker in recent vintage and appearing in a crowd-pleaser is an odd choice for him, especially considering his last work in Gran Torino was considered the nearly perfect denouement for his acting career. He can play Gus in his sleep, as he’s a cranky old man in the vein of nearly every character he’s played since he’s turned 70 or so, but the volume is turned down. He’s not as curmudgeonly as he could be; he’s just a bit aloof with a mean streak in comparison to Gran Torino’s Walt. Gus doesn’t want to admit that he has weakness and it has clearly affected his relationship with his daughter. She just wants something normal with him in her lifetime after a childhood spent away, living to try to please him, and she uproots from a pivotal case in their native Atlanta to follow him on the road as he looks at a high school prospect.

It’s an interesting dynamic as Robert Lorenz takes essentially the Eastwood style of story-telling, which he learned by being his production partner for nearly 20 years, and gives it a slight variant. Eastwood has gone darker as of late in many films and Lorenz takes the way Eastwood directs for a more crowd-pleasing bent. If you didn’t know Eastwood just acted in the film you’d have thought he directed it as well; Lorenz apes Eastwood’s shooting style and lets the camera linger in much the same way Eastwood does. It’s not surprising, considering he essentially had an apprenticeship next to the multiple-time Oscar winning writer/director/producer/actor, but it’s still an interesting choice.

The film lives and dies on the chemistry between Adams and Eastwood; Adams is a bit young to be playing his daughter, of course, but without a strong chemistry between the two the film would sink. They don’t have the best of chemistry on occasion but that owes to the more prickly relationship between the two; we may not believe Adams would be his daughter (his granddaughter would be more appropriate) but we can buy their relationship. It’s a matter of trying to find a relationship after years of actively avoiding one; Mickey wants desperately for something out of Gus besides their mutual love of baseball and Gus doesn’t know how. If the film had been just about their relationship it would be tighter but not nearly as cinematic.

The other half of Curve is Gus trying to show that his ability to see a prospect play, as opposed to look at his numbers, is still there. The film’s pivotal moment in the third act is a direct repudiation of Moneyball and the likes, of course, and anyone who is knowledgeable about the sport would tell you that somewhere in the middle of stats and eyesight lies the truth about the game.

The film, however, can’t find a balance between Gus’s career and his family. It’s too hard trying to fit into a 90 minute window; one imagines that a film like this could’ve used another 30 minutes to smooth things out.

Director: Robert Lorenz
Writer: Randy Brown
Notable Cast: Clint Eastwood, Justin Timberlake, Amy Adams, John Goodman, Matthew Lillard, Robert Patrick, Scott Eastwood

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Clint Eastwood Yells At Baseball Professionals In New Trouble With The Curve Trailer http://insidepulse.com/2012/08/27/clint-eastwood-yells-at-baseball-professionals-in-new-trouble-with-the-curve-trailer/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/08/27/clint-eastwood-yells-at-baseball-professionals-in-new-trouble-with-the-curve-trailer/#comments Mon, 27 Aug 2012 14:00:13 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=310073 Clint Eastwood’s first film with a director not named “Clint Eastwood” in nearly 20 years has a new trailer.

Plot Summary: “Trouble with the Curve” follows an aging Atlanta Braves baseball scout named Gus (Eastwood) who sets out to discover if he still has value as a scout and as dad. Gus brings his daughter (Adams) on his final scouting trip to scout a new top prospect. Along the way Gus reconnects with Johnny (Timberlake), a rival scout who has a friendly history with Gus, the man who scouted him when he was a baseball player. Johnny also has interest in his daughter, something Gus does not approve of.


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Clint Eastwood Gets Into Baseball In Trouble with the Curve Trailer http://insidepulse.com/2012/08/08/clint-eastwood-gets-into-baseball-in-trouble-with-the-curve-trailer/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/08/08/clint-eastwood-gets-into-baseball-in-trouble-with-the-curve-trailer/#comments Wed, 08 Aug 2012 14:00:50 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=308245 The first trailer for Trouble with the Curve has been released. You can view it below.

Plot Summary: “Trouble with the Curve” follows an aging Atlanta Braves baseball scout named Gus (Eastwood) who sets out to discover if he still has value as a scout and as dad. Gus brings his daughter (Adams) on his final scouting trip to scout a new top prospect. Along the way Gus reconnects with Johnny (Timberlake), a rival scout who has a friendly history with Gus, the man who scouted him when he was a baseball player. Johnny also has interest in his daughter, something Gus does not approve of.

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Justin Timberlake Spoofs Bon Iver On SNL http://insidepulse.com/2012/02/21/justin-timberlake-spoofs-bon-iver-on-snl/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/02/21/justin-timberlake-spoofs-bon-iver-on-snl/#comments Tue, 21 Feb 2012 22:03:55 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=290607 Justin Timberlake raised some eyebrows on SNL this weekend with an imitation of Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon.  JT played the indie star, noting that he was late because he was wandering through Wisconsin and carving a guitar out of a canoe, before putting himself to sleep with his own performance.  Vernon, on Twitter, was flattered by the mention.
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Justin Timberlake Engaged To Jessica Biel http://insidepulse.com/2012/01/09/justin-timberlake-engaged-to-jessica-biel/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/01/09/justin-timberlake-engaged-to-jessica-biel/#comments Mon, 09 Jan 2012 18:37:59 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=285083 The on-again off-again saga of Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel has landed on the “on-again” side.  Justin popped the question while they were vacationing in Wyoming in late December.   Justin is promising a return to making music…sometime.
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Elton John Wants Justin Timberlake To Play Him http://insidepulse.com/2012/01/02/elton-john-wants-justin-timberlake-to-play-him/ http://insidepulse.com/2012/01/02/elton-john-wants-justin-timberlake-to-play-him/#comments Tue, 03 Jan 2012 00:52:45 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=284811 Elton John already knows who he wants playing him in a biopic:  Justin Timberlake.  The movie is already in production, and Timberlake previously played Sir Elton in a video, so the pieces seem to be falling into place.  The film will be titled Rocketman, and John thinks it’ll be more like Moulin Rouge than a standard biography piece.
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Did Justin Timberlake Pop The Question? http://insidepulse.com/2011/12/22/did-justin-timberlake-pop-the-question/ http://insidepulse.com/2011/12/22/did-justin-timberlake-pop-the-question/#comments Thu, 22 Dec 2011 16:53:14 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=283560 A secret source is saying yes, he did! It’s rumored that Justin popped the question to longtime (on again, off again) girlfriend Jessica Biel at the Wyoming ski resort Amangani. Maybe the two can have a double wedding with Britney Spears, who also got engaged this last week.
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Justin Timberlake Marine Corps Ball: JT Keeps His Word http://insidepulse.com/2011/11/14/justin-timberlake-marine-corps-ball-jt-keeps-his-word/ http://insidepulse.com/2011/11/14/justin-timberlake-marine-corps-ball-jt-keeps-his-word/#comments Mon, 14 Nov 2011 11:08:29 +0000 http://insidepulse.com/?p=277403 Justin Timberlake is a man of his word.

The singer attended last night’s Marine Corps ball in Richmond, VA with Cpl. Kelsey De Santis as promised.

JT famously agreed to go after Cpl. De Santis invited him via YouTube.

A pic of him there can be seen HERE
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