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We tend to forget this now, but when Natalie Portman’s career began, she played the vixen. She wasn’t yet a teenager when she appeared in her breakout film, “The Professional,” as a surprisingly tough and sexy young girl who was easily tempted into the world of violence and crime. Two years later she was in “Beautiful Girls,” again playing an unusually confident and flirtatious young woman. She’s portrayed sexually assertive characters since, but her reputation as a serious, demure, Harvard-educated actress is so pronounced that we tend not to think of her as “sexy” or “dangerous.” (After all, the entire joke of her “Natalie Portman Rap” Digital Short was that, hey, it’s Natalie Portman swearing.) Sixteen years after “The Professional,” her new character in “Black Swan” is probably her most sheltered and timid – and it doesn’t quite suit her.
Can the Brits do an end-of-the-world thriller better than we can? Well, probably not, but they’re gonna try anyway with “Ice.” It’s an environmental thriller — and boy, if that phrase doesn’t get you excited to see a movie, we don’t know what will — about how we, so desperate for oil in the year 2020, dig someplace we’re not supposed to. Then: GOODBYE WORLD.
When you consider that the production of his films — bloated budget overruns, days and days without any appreciable progress — isn’t terrible different than the way the California economy runs, it’s little surprise that James Cameron is getting involved in California politics. In the above ad, he speaks out against Proposition 23, which would repeal California’s Global Warming Act of 2006, at least as long as there’s 5.5 percent unemployment or higher in the state. To explain it in the worst way possible, the YES proponents say Jobs First!, and the NO proponents say Stop The Dirty Energy Prop! Cameron’s in the latter camp.
Six years to the day after the franchise debuted, “Saw 3D: The Final Chapter” will be released, signaling the end of the most popular horror series since “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Most people’s response is probably relief (“Those torture-porn films are just sick!”), cynicism (“Didn’t they say the last couple sequels were going to be the last one, too?”), or outright apathy (“Who cares about ‘Saw’ now that we’ve got ‘Paranormal Activity’?”). Forgive us, but we’re actually feeling a little sentimental about the franchise’s end – and we say this as people who aren’t big horror fans. Actually, maybe that’s the reason why.