RULING WITH IRON
Iron Man 3 represents the seventh installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe series kickstarted by Iron Man 1 in 2008, and since followed in succession by The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers. The sensible question I suppose you’re probably interested in having answered is whether the franchise is showing any signs of running out of steam or if it’s worth investing in yet another episode.
Great news! Iron Man 3 – which took in $175.3 million at the box office in its first three days in North America - more than lives up to its billing as the first blockbuster of this summer season. Yes, the plot remains true to the basic comic book adaptation formula in that it pits a superhero against a diabolical villain bent on world domination.
However, Iron Man adds a little more to the trademark mix of derring-do and visually-captivating special f/x thanks to Robert Downey, Jr.’s bringing so much charm to the title character. Downey again delights, delivering a plethora of pithy comments, whether playing bon vivant billionaire Tony Stark or his intrepid alter ego.
Also reprising their roles are People Magazine’s reigning Most Beautiful Woman in the World Gwyneth Paltrow as Iron Man’s love interest Pepper Potts, Don Cheadle as his best friend Rhodey, and Jon Favreau (the director of episodes 1 and 2) as chauffeur-turned-obsessive chief of security Happy Hogan. And critical additions include Ty Simpkins as Harley, Iron Man’s prepubescent, new sidekick and Sir Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin, the maniacal spokesman for an international terrorist organization.
WILL IS BACK IN BLACK
Sony Pictures has started development on the fourth movie in the Men in Black franchise. The Wrap first reported the news.
Oren Uziel, who is writing the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie, has scored the screenwriting gig for MIB 4. He is also writing Sony’s sequel to 21 Jump Street, last year’s hit comedy starring Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill. That sequel will open on June 6, 2014. No release date has been set for MIB 4.
Men in Black 3 was a box office success last summer, earning the franchise’s highest worldwide gross. The time-traveling threequel brought back franchise stars Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones and also starred Josh Brolin as an uncanny younger version of Jones’ Agent K.
DOWN WITH WHITEHOUSE
It’s been an amazing couple of years for Channing Tatum, mainly thanks to his successful work with director Steven Soderbergh on Haywire, Magic Mike, and Side Effects. He’s also shown his comedic prowess with 21 Jump Street and continued to cultivate a core chick flick audience with The Vow.
Now he steps into the role of action hero in White House Down, director Roland Emmerich’s latest end of the world scenario feature (he’s also directed Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and 2012).
The movie centers on policeman John Cale (Tatum), who unfortunately doesn’t land his dream job as a Secret Service agent. When disaster strikes the White House, he’s the only hope to save the President (Jamie Foxx) and the U.S. from a powerful paramilitary group. The trailer looks pretty solid, and it mixes in a healthy share of humor amidst all the action which, if it works, is always welcome. Our favorite line from the clip: “How do you lose a rocket launcher??”
Have you ever been curious about how a woman became a porn star? Was it because of a drug habit? Or maybe out of desperation for money? How did she pick her stage name? Does she feel any shame about such a taboo line of work?
Is she really a nymphomaniac, or just a bad actress? Does she enjoy having sex with total strangers in front of the camera? Is there a stigma attached to her profession, or is she able to enjoy a normal romantic relationship in her private life? Is she worried about STDs? What does she think of her fans? Does she have an exit plan, or is she just winging it?
These are among the topics discussed by 16 of the most successful porn stars in Aroused, an intimate biopic directed by Deborah Anderson. Don’t be surprised if none of their sultry sobriquets rings a bell, since one of the fascinating factoids shared here is that their careers are of terribly short duration.
“The porn stars of 2005 are already gone,” one remarks. “They’re shot out,” which is how industry insiders refer to over the hill performers.
But the bevy of curvaceous beauties interviewed in Aroused represents the current cream of the crop. That includes Misty Stone, Ash Hollywood, Asphyxia Noir, Belladonna, Kayden Kross, Lisa Ann, Katsuni, Lexi Belle, Brooklyn Lee, Allie Haze, April O’Neil, Jesse Jane, Alexis Texas, Francesca Le, Tanya Tate and Teagan Presley.
The film is far from explicit, though it does feature each subject in a state of undress as she prepares for a still photo shoot for a relatively-tasteful coffee table book, clad in nothing but a pair of high heels by shoe designer Jimmy Choo. What proves far more compelling than seeing a little skin is hearing what makes each of them tick.
Money seems to be the common motivation, although they admit that once you go XXX you can’t go back, because being in pornography leaves a scarlet letter on you socially. It’s also interesting that most of these females crave attention more than casual carnality, with an absentee father during childhood being credited as a contributor factor.
They generally don’t date “civilians,” meaning people outside the porn industry, since ordinary people tend to be prudes about promiscuity, even when their mate explains that it’s just a job. By film’s end, you feel sorry for these females in denial, despite defensive-sounding statements like, “I get paid to have sex. Why doesn’t everybody do that?” Maybe because some of you admit to needing a steady flow of narcotics to mask the shame and the pain.
An eye-opening expose about the surprisingly-conventional concerns of some of the most hyper-sexualized women in the world. KAM WILLIAMS