Michelle Rodriguez talks movies, female empowerment, and sex: ‘I don’t talk about what I do with my vagina’
R-rated thrillers are hardly ever this dull and listless, but this movie manages to eradicate all of Timberlakes charisma and makes you flash back to Afflecks Paycheck/Gigli era. How does this even happen? Sometimes, films just turn out wrong. Director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer), working from a script by Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Rounders, Oceans Thirteen), presumably set out to make a compelling crime drama set against an unusual backdrop. But what they wound up with is yet another slick and generic tale about a young man who dabbles in a life of crime, discovers its not for him and turns on his mentor. Nothing in the movie rings true, not the FBI agent (Anthony Mackie) willing to break the rules in order to get his man, nor the ambiguous romantic interest (Gemma Arterton) who may be running her own scam, nor the crooked Costa Rican cops and politicians who seem to do nothing other than get drunk with hookers, smoke cigars and wait for their latest bribe money to be delivered. Movies about poker usually like to bluff and surprise the audience. But Runner Runner, which teaches you absolutely nothing about the phenomenon of Internet gambling, doesnt have a single twist in store. The film is so rote and transparent that you keep waiting for a big reveal or curve something, anything, that would explain Timberlake and Afflecks presence here, other than the opportunity to spend several weeks in beautiful Puerto Rico (where the movie was filmed). Nothing about Runner Runner makes sense: Not its R rating, which easily could have been avoided with the removal of a couple of f-bombs; not the intermittent voiceover narration by Timberlake, which is used to plaster over plot holes; not even the participation of Leonardo DiCaprio as one of the films producers. Was this an early project he once considered starring in that just never got made? By the time characters start spouting lines such as What are you saying?
I kept telling him, That wont happen to me I dress like a boy on purpose! She enrolled in a technical school in New Jersey but lasted only a month. It was awful. I remember standing in Port Authority and watching all these people going back and forth in their suits, with their sun deprivation and their narrow eyes, looking angry at life. I was like, Thats going to be me so I quit. Her other brother suggested she look for work as an extra. For the next two years, Rodriguez appeared as a background player inCradle Will Rock,For the Love of the Game, andSummer of Sam. Just before herGirlfightaudition, she had what she thinks of as a wake-up call about her life in New Jersey: After a night of partying, it seems, her best friend wound up in jail. I said to myself, I dont want to be a lowlife, she says. I was always that kid whod look up at the stars and think, I dont belong here. Where do I belong? Then she hopped a train to New York City for the audition that would change the course of her life. I walked into the room and told them the truth, says Rodriguez. Never graduated high school, never been to school for acting but I can beat girls up and you want a boxer. Michelle radiated a huge amount of charisma and power, saysGirlfightdirector Karyn Kusama. She was quite a wild child, but there was this core strength in her. She really wanted to prove she could do it. That was very much the character, so it was a perfect meta-meeting of actor and character. The movie wasa hit at film festivals and a prime platform for a fledgling actress. But Rodriguez wasnt interested in playing the girlfriend or even in appearing in movies in which women werent portrayed with respect.
October ‘classic’ movies in theaters very much a mixed bag
Cary Grant gives the over-the-top comic performance of his career in this hilarious farce about a pair of little old ladies poisoning their lonely tenants. (Tuesday, Oct. 8, 10 a.m., SCERA Center, Orem, www.scera.org/events/view/322 ) Major League (1989, R for language). Hardly a classic but a funny baseball comedy about cockeyed misfits joining the Cleveland Indians, with a good cast led by Tom Berenger. (Friday, Oct. 11-Thursday, Oct. 17, various times, Jordan Commons, http://www.megaplextheatres.com/D-Theatre_Movietimes/Sandy_Jordan_Commons_UT ) Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004, PG-13). Popular raunchy comedy with Will Ferrell is probably only here because the sequel opens in December. (Friday, Oct. 11-Thursday, Oct. 17, various times, Jordan Commons, http://www.megaplextheatres.com/D-Theatre_Movietimes/Sandy_Jordan_Commons_UT ) Charlie Chan at the Opera (1936, b/w). Warner Oland is the Chinese detective and Boris Karloff plays an escaped mental patient and former opera star in what is generally considered the best of the Chan franchise. (Friday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m., free, BYU Harold B. Lee Library Auditorium, Provo, http://lib.byu.edu/sites/artcomm/ ) Bonnie and Clyde (1967, R for violence, sex, partial nudity).