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.
Nominations for the 82nd annual Academy Awards were announced this morning at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, and though there were few surprises in the major categories – one notable exception being The Blind Side, a surprise contender for Best Picture in this year's expanded category – the races should be tighter and less predictable than in years past. The following is a list of the nominees, with the presumed favorite denoted by an asterisk. Conventional wisdom can change in a hurry, though – just ask Brokeback Mountain director Ang Lee, whose movie was erroneously considered a shoo-in for the top prize that went to Crash in 2006 – before the ceremony's official telecast on Sunday, March 7.
With Christmas, Kwanzaa and Festivus just a week away, the holiday season is in full swing, the malls are packed with last-minute shoppers, and the city's indie theaters are playing host to some of the year's most satisfying films.
Whether you're more enticed by the sound of screaming guitars or the terrified shrieks of Nazis under siege, the city's indie theaters have movies perfectly suited to your tastes. Among them:
With the Dec. 31 deadline for 2009 Academy Award consideration fast approaching and at least one surefire Best Picture contender – Jason Reitman's Up in the Air – arriving at theaters this weekend, it's a perfect time to catch a movie. As always, here's a list of the finest films now playing at your local indie theaters.
Woody Harrelson plays the Natural Born Killer role well. Especially when we asked him to talk into the microphone. We're sorry Woody! (Don't kill us). On a more serious note, we got a couple of questions with him about his new film, The Messenger, (out 11/13) on his recent visit to San Francisco.
There is no social satire to be gleaned from the stylishly staged skull crunching in Ruben Fleischer’s post-apocalyptic comedy Zombieland – and not much in the way of serious horror. The first-time feature director (formerly of ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!) aims more for laughs than for the unrelenting dread of George A. Romero’s Living Dead movies, and he succeeds almost effortlessly: At 81 minutes, his debut is cheerfully macabre, briskly paced, brimming with demented energy, and otherwise totally disposable.
Will Smith has played an alcoholic superhero, a mystical caddie and a fighter pilot on a mission to save the planet from aliens, but Ben Thomas, the guilt-ridden do-gooder at the heart of Seven Pounds, might just be the most unbelievable role of them all.