Both for his skillful portrayals of life on the lunatic fringe, and his capacity for playing dual roles on the screen – at once the architect of his own delirious demise and a bemused spectator to it – Johnny Depp has become Hollywood’s designated stand-in for the late Hunter S. Thompson, and rightly so.
Thompson, whose hedonistic exuberance and wry self-awareness inform the hard-living alter egos that people his fiction, returns, at least in spirit, in The Rum Diary, Bruce Robinson’s cheerfully meandering adaptation of the author’s second novel.
It’s a story as old as the movies themselves, yet Friends with Benefits manages to keep it fresh. Boy meets girl. They forge an immediate friendship, with an easy-to-spot sexual chemistry they try to ignore. Then, almost on a dare, they hop in the sack, vowing not to let it change their relationship. Romance is a complication they would prefer to avoid.
It doesn’t take a clairvoyant to see where this is headed. The boy is Dylan (Justin Timberlake), a gifted art director about to move from L.A. to New York, where a dream job at GQ and a laughably luxurious Manhattan apartment await. The girl is Jamie (Mila Kunis), a headhunter who greets him on arrival.
About as sunny as it sounds, Christopher Smith's grim fairy tale Black Death finds a 14th-century knight (Sean Bean, of HBO's Game of Thrones) and his band of mirthless mercenaries traveling the European countryside in search of a rumored necromancer. Reluctantly joining them for the journey is Osmund, a young monk played by The Other Boleyn Girl's Eddie Redmayne, who finds their violent brand of piety less than Christian. Surrounded by the devastation wrought by the onset of the bubonic plague, in a world seemingly forsaken by God, will Osmund allow himself to be seduced by pagans – led by Carice von Houten's alluring high priestess – whose village remains curiously unaffected by pestilence?
For fans of the 2008 Swedish import Let the Right One In who have angrily littered the Internet with cries of blasphemous imitation, Chloë Moretz, the 13-year-old star of Let Me In, opening Friday, has a simple request: Give Matt Reeves’ remake a chance.
“Put aside the controversy and watch the movie,” says Moretz, who plays Abby, a centuries-old vampire trapped in the pale, deceptively frail-looking body of a 12-year-old. “See if you take something new from it.”