This Justin: Jay-Z and Timberlake are planning to tour together this summer. JT called his new tracks "the best stuff I've ever done," and MTV says, "like one of his idols, Bob Dylan, Timberlake said he's striving to create another world to live in with his music, almost an alternate persona." Like maybe a fancy man from the olden days before pictures had colors, and Instagram was powered by dinosaurs on treadmills.
A Lone Ranger Hollywood adaptation has been kicking around for so long that its Wikipedia entry actually contains the phrase "The tone was to be similar to The Mask of Zorro." Even its current iteration, with Armie Hammer as the title character and Johnny Depp as Tonto, almost died a bunch of times, its own bloated budget threatening to capsize it over and over. But, hey, look: The Lone Ranger was actually shot, edited, and produced into a major motion picture! To commemorate the occasion, five thoughts on the trailer:
This weekend I attempted to read every one of the 8 billion articles about Girls, the backlash to Girls, and the backlash to the backlash to Girls. What I learned is that some people like to think about difficult things, other people find the idea that they should have to think about difficult things offensive, and still other people confuse YELLING AT THE TOP OF THEIR INTERNET COMMENTING LUNGS with critical thinking about difficult subjects. The difficult subject in question is representation. Who gets to tell their stories onscreen? Why have some groups historically been pushed aside in favor of others? Why does this conversation so often turn into a shouting match? The answers are: mostly white guys, racism/sexism/ableism/homophobia, and because it's hard to discuss problematic issues related to personal identity without getting passionate. Once feelings about the core issues around which your world is built get involved, it's difficult to control them and the atmosphere of the Internet encourages people to express ideas without thinking them all the way through. This problem isn't going away anytime soon. Belonging to one oppressed group doesn't mean you understand what it's like to be in another, while belonging to a historically dominant group doesn't mean that you can't understand and address the pressing need for a much wider range of fictional characters to be portrayed in film, TV, and literature.
The American remake of science-fiction cyberpunk animated classic Akira is a big expensive project that's been kicking around since the early nineties. And word came out this week that the first two roles have offered — to Gary Oldman and Helena Bonham-Carter. Huh? Other names that have been suggested for starring roles: Garrett Hedlund, Robert Pattinson, Chris Pine, and Justin fucking Timberlake. I am lost. Is this Neo-Tokyo or Neo-Salt Lake City?
Shia LaBeouf will attempt to atone for his last few films by starring alongside Robert Redford in the director's The Company You Keep, adapted from Neil Gordon's 2003 book of the same name, about a former Weather Underground member wanted by the FBI (Redford) who's forced to go on the run when his identity is exposed by an obnoxious young journalist eager to make a name for himself (LaBeouf). This will be LaBeouf's first major role in a nonsequel since 2008's Eagle Eye, which makes one wonder if he realizes it's not a followup to that Robert Altman ballet movie. Grade: B [Variety]
A day after Universal's cancellation of his The Dark Tower movies, Ron Howard announces plans to direct Under the Banner of Heaven, a Dustin Lance Black-scripted adaptation of Jon Krakauer's fact-based 2003 book about two brothers who murder a younger sibling's family, claiming that God told them to. We hope that's the same excuse Universal gave Howard when they killed Dark Tower. Grade: A- [Deadline]