Gravity SPOILERS herein, if you actually think the experience of watching the most immersive space movie ever can be ruined with a little plot point. So! The part where Sandra Bullock totally looks like a goner and finally gets someone on the radio, only to find the person doesn't speak English? That dude was Aningaaq, the fellow for whom this seven-minute short film is named! Written and directed by Jonás Cuarón — who cowrote Gravity with his auteur papa — Aningaaq could wind up with an Oscar nomination, which THR says would mark "the first feature and spinoff short drawn from the same material to be nominated together in the same year." Give the clip a shot — as gimmicky as it sounds, it's poignant and works well on its own.
The first G.I. Joe film effort — G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra — wasn't a title anyone was all that excited about, but it must have done well enough to merit a sequel. And because no one was that excited about it, producers thought it would be fine to clear virtually the entire cast of the original and start again from scratch, so the movie was made and scheduled for release at the end of June 2012. But then, in the first half of that year, Rise of Cobra star Channing Tatum was in Haywire, The Vow, 21 Jump Street, and Magic Mike, and someone was like, "Ohhhhhhh, maybe we should let that bro hang out in the movie a little longer than we had planned," so barely a month before its original release date, Paramount announced that it would be coming out in March 2013 instead, and reshoots commenced. I didn't protest by starting a riot, but I sure wanted to.
Retaliation is the kind of dumb fun Rise of Cobra should have been. The plot is absurdly hilarious, the action is spectacularly violent, and the additions of Bruce Willis and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson are extremely welcome. Much as I love it, I can't call it the best unintentional comedy of 2013 — but it's worth a rent this weekend to tide you over until you can order up the even funner/dumber White House Down.
As you may already know, unfairly handsome Hollywood actors are disgustingly, insanely, dirty-stinking-filthy rich. Still, though, you have questions: Which unfairly handsome Hollywood actors? And how disgustingly, insanely, dirty-stinking-filthy rich? Thanks to the good people at Forbes, we've got answers!
The magazine went ahead and crunched the numbers, putting together a top 10 of dudes — and, yes, troublingly, they are all men — who've collected the most American currency over the last 12 months. And your top dog is … Robert Downey Jr.! Tony Stark continues his amazing career-arc reversal, from über-talented what-could-have-been-a-cautionary-tale to dude-with-enough-money-to-fund-the-building-of-skyscrapers-that-look-like-spaceships-in-Dubai. That he's done it all while maintaining that baseline rakish charm is all the more commendable. When a guy makes $75 million — $75 million — in one year, there's supposed to be backlash. But in 2013, we're all just grateful RDJ is around to make our blockbusters watchable. Bless you, Robert. And for your efforts, I will now PayPal you an additional $17. In the words of Mr. Ciara, you deserve it.
George Clooney & Stacy Keibler's "Months Without Sex" Before the Breakup: When Keibler and "George Clooney, 52, split, they hadn't had sex in months. He's been in Europe and she's in L.A., and they haven't seen each other in a long time. Some girls would be OK with that and just be happy dating George, but not her." Well, what's in it for her, besides lots of publicity? Stacy pretended she was cool with things being casual, but "held out hope she'd be the one to tame the famous bachelor." When his two-year dating limit ran out, she was toast. "She knew he wasn't looking to get married. But there was always that fantasy that he would commit. Sadly, it just ran its course."
This weekend, all humans lost to the monsters. Pixar's Monsters University, the sequel to Monsters, Inc., took the top box office spot for the second straight week with $46.2 million, good for an overall international haul of — oh, wow, dude — more than $300 million already. But all the box-office analysts wanted to talk about was The Heat. Continuing in the victorious tradition of its namesakes — which features such predecessor titans as the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat, Val Kilmer shoot-’em-up classic Heat, and the meteorological phenomenon of hot-but-in-a-good-way-like-let's-all-go-to-the-beach-not-let's-all-die-of-heatstroke weather — Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock's buddy-cop movie outperformed expectations to take the second spot. And more importantly, to knock that pretty-boy Channing Tatum right on his back.
Data, the first robot comic, isn't out to take over the lucrative human comedy game (the 2 drink minimum messes with his circuitry). His programmer's goal in creating him was to bring us one step closer to a future in which "we can have a companion robot that doesn't piss us off all the time" like jerkfaced Siri. He's equipped with sensors that allow him to read the audience's response to his jokes ("Using your feedback, [my programmer] hopes that one day I will become an autonomous robotic performer. Like Kevin Costner"), but as a robot who "know[s] no emotion" he will, hopefully, be unable to join in the chilling, angry chorus that has followed Lindy West's debate with comedian Jim Norton. He can just close his mechanical eyes and rest while the disembodied internet humanoids stand up for freedom of expression by tweeting their desire for "jim norton [to rape] the fat girl" and other sentiments that crash my hard drive.
According to Steven Soderbergh, this is the last feature film he intends to direct, which I find hard to believe given that, between September 2011 and this one coming out, earlier this year, he directed four movies (and, since his "retirement" hasn't precluded his making the sublime Behind the Candelabra, premiering on HBO Sunday AND YOU BETTER BE PLANNING TO WATCH).
But let's pretend Soderbergh means it: As a finale to a filmography as celebrated and varied as Soderbergh's, Side Effects is not so grand, but it's worth seeing. Rooney Mara plays a young woman dealing with the return of her husband (Channing Tatum) from prison, where he was serving a sentence on some kind of financial hoo-ha; Jude Law is the psychiatrist who treats her after she starts showing signs of a mental breakdown, and who soon comes to think she may be a more complicated patient than he'd thought. The plot is satisfyingly twisty, and if Mara never plays anything but barely stable waifs from now on (see also: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), we'll probably all be just fine with that.
The Miami Heat's epic winning streak may have ended, but the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles are the NCAA tournament's Cinderella story and Spring Breakers is a surprise hit. Here are five more reasons why Florida is the nation's current cultural capital.
1. Electronic Dance Music & Trap Rap
The EDM bubble has yet to burst (or um, drop), and while we may look back at this era one day with all the head-shaking fondness now reserved for hair metal, right now is a good time to be an arena rave DJ or electronic musician in Florida. Particularly this month, when the annual Winter Music Conference is held in Miami in tandem with the electrocentric Ultra Music Festival. Diplo, who set out to be a world-famous DJ like Paul Oakenfold as a goof and ended up succeeding, also as a goof (Paul Jokenfold), titled his debut full-length album Florida in homage to the state he spent some years growing up in. Also inescapable: Carol City native Rick Ross's lumbering trap rap, heard blasting in bottle service clubs and out of hulking cars, most recently encouraging you to slip Molly in your date's drink and date-rape her.
Did you think a second G.I. Joe movie was a good idea? It wasn't simply that the first one — taken from action figures and an after-school cartoon series — was nap-inducing (although, at least in my seat, naps were had). G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra starred Marlon Wayans and Channing Tatum, cost $175 million to make, and was kind of the Huey Lewis and the News of hit blockbusters. It made more than $302 million globally, and yet it was hard to find anyone happy they stayed for the whole thing.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation was supposed to happen last summer but was pushed back until today. The stated reason was a lot of blah-blah-blah about an unfinished 3-D conversion. But it's likely someone at Paramount noticed that in the three years since The Rise of Cobra, Tatum has turned from a pile of wood into a piece of popular furniture: He's the star equivalent of IKEA's Expedit bookshelf — basic, reliable, almost everywhere, and assembly still required.
It turns out that Chris Ryan and I are slow bingers. One month after the entire first season of House of Cards was dumped onto Netflix's servers like a half-rack of ribs at Freddy's, we finally managed to digest all 13 episodes. If we held back in the watching, though, we certainly didn't in the discussing: We attacked this thing like Frank Underwood sinking his teeth into a side of Freddy's delicious slaw, breaking down everything from the feng shui of free-spirited photographers and the gravity-altering intensity of Robin Wright's neck bones to the confounding mysteries of lady journalists and their backward-buttoning sweaters. All spoilers apply here, and we're not talking about Major Dad knowing how to speak Chinese.
Angelina Jolie is "Surprise! Boring in bed." Whaaaaaa? This alleged information comes from shade thrown by her ex, Billy Bob Thornton, who has said, "sometimes, with the model, the actress, the 'sexiest person in the world,' it may be literally like fucking the couch." FUCK YO COUCH, BILLY BOB!
Justin Bieber Cheated on Selena Gomez a Lot: "HIGH ON DRUGS, TEEN STAR JUSTIN BIEBER CHEATED ON SELENA GOMEZ WITH A SEXY STRANGER." Just before the holidays, Bieb had a "drug-fueled hookup with another girl." The drug was mostly weed, and the girl was voluptuous 22-year-old L.A. nursing student Mimi Jenson. They were introduced by Lil' Twist, and went to a weed store in Hollywood, a McDonald's, and then back to the hotel. There they "did a lot more than eat." I bet they got a hundred-piece McNuggets. They also "smoked pot and used a baby bottle to measure out the ingredients for sizzurp, the street cocktail made famous by Three 6 Mafia and Ke$ha." Mull that sentence, please.
Kate Winslet & Ned Rocknroll: Kate Winslet married Ned Rocknroll, a.k.a. Richard Branson's nephew with the incredibly dumb (self-chosen) name. "Call her Mrs. Rocknroll!" I will but I won't like it! The couple of a year wed before "a small group of friends and family." Perennial bachelor Leonardo DiCaprio "walked the bride down the aisle" and shattered/stoked the dreams of a trillion Titanic fangirls. Ned is "really attracted to her mind. She's mature, and he feels he can learn so much from her. It's sexy!" Is it just me or does that sound a little bit like shade? Oh, well, wishing all the best to the Rocknrolls.