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Box-Office: Scarlett Johansson’s ‘Lucy’ Beauty Outperforms Dwayne Johnson’s ‘Hercules’ Brawn

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • July 27, 2014 11:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Lucy
Call it a battle of the beauty and the beast if you like. Though audiences didn’t seem to love Luc Besson’s “Lucy” or Brett Ratner’s “Hercules”—at least considering those dismal Cinemascore ratings (C+ for the former). But they were unsure about either and curious, as reviews for both hit rather late in the week. And so viewers chose “Lucy” starring Scarlett Johansson—reviews being largely, “ridiculous, but entertaining”—over Dwayne Johnson and “Hercules”—reviews more akin to “ridiculous and just bad.” The critical buzz surely didn’t hurt, Besson not having made a critically lauded film in some time, and perhaps audiences wanted to see what all the fuss was about. And so “Lucy” perched itself atop the box office this weekend, hauling in approximately $44 million. That makes for the highest grossing box-office debut for a Scarlett Johansson-starring vehicle ever (all those Marvel films don't really count) by a rather large margin. Perhaps 2006's the "Black Dahlia" ($10 million opening) is the last movie that could be considered a "starring" role for the actress.

Review: Luc Besson's 'Lucy' Starring Scarlet Johansson And Morgan Freeman

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • July 23, 2014 12:00 PM
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  • 11 Comments
Lucy
There's a moment in Luc Besson's “Lucy” when Scarlett Johansson's title character has cracked the code of existence like a videogame cheat. She goes Rust Cohle on who are appropriately the smartest minds of the world, explaining how numbers are just one of many false constructs that humans use to bring sense to a life of chaos. Which is amusing, since “Lucy” itself is all math—one beautiful superstar (a game Johansson), one Morgan Freeman (Morgan Freeman), a chase, some fights, superpowers, a brief moment of transcendence, gorgeous colors, all wrapped up in an 80-minute bow. Merely the presence of these elements are a delight, nevermind the inconsistently lyrical manner in which Besson combines them. It's basically the perfect summer movie, because it's designed to be.

From 'La Femme Nikita' to 'Lucy': Director Luc Besson Talks The Strong Women In 6 Of His Key Films

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • July 22, 2014 3:54 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Lucy, Scarlett
For a man who makes his living writing and producing muscular action movies like the "Taken" franchise, Luc Besson is a filmmaker who has continually shown an amazing sensitivity and fondness for strong female characters. These aren't buxom bimbos that wield Uzis and mutter one-liners; these are fully dimensional characters that Besson is seemingly fascinated by, since they turn up in everything from historical epics to tiny, Kapra-esque comedies. The newest Luc Besson heroine is the title character played by Scarlett Johansson in this week's "Lucy," about a young woman who, after accidentally ingesting an experimental drug, unlocks the potential of the human brain. It's crazy and kind of awesome, and the latest in a long line of Besson's strong female characters.

Watch: Scarlett Johansson Gets The Combination, Helps The Authorities In 2 Clips From 'Lucy' Plus New Pics

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • July 14, 2014 5:19 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Lucy, Scarlett
From a brief moment, there was a time to be excited about a new film from Luc Besson. But that was a long, long time ago when he was making movies like "La Femme Nikita," "Leon: The Professional" and "The Fifth Element." But these days he seems content to knock out drivel like last year's "The Family," his transparent awards contender "The Lady" all while helping stuff like "Taken" and "Brick Mansions" get made. Anyway, Besson is back behind the camera, this time for "Lucy," and yeah it looks about as exactly as underwhelming as you might guess.

'Hail Caesar!' Scarlett Johansson & Jonah Hill Join The New Coen Brothers Film

  • By Edward Davis
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  • July 9, 2014 4:36 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Don Jon
Let’s see, the new Coen brothers movie “Hail Caesar” has George Clooney, Josh Brolin Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton and Ralph Fiennes in it. Ok, sold already, but in case you need convincing (because you’re crazy), one more Coen Brothers alum is rejoining the fold: Scarlett Johansson, who co-starred in the siblings’ 2001 eerie existentialist drama “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” is joining the cast.

Watch: Everything Changes For Scarlett Johansson In New International Trailer For 'Lucy'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • May 13, 2014 9:37 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Lucy, Scarlett Johansson
Okay, so when the premise first dropped for Luc Besson's "Lucy," it sounded a bit Bourne-esque — ordinary person suddenly discovers extraordinary abilities. And when the first trailer dropped, clearly I was wrong. Rather, "Lucy" seems like "Transcendence" meets "The Matrix" meets "Limitless." Or something.

Review: Jon Favreau's 'Chef' Serves Up An Unsatisfying Home-Cooked Meal

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • May 9, 2014 6:30 PM
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  • 7 Comments
Jon Favreau, Chef
Ahead of the inaugural screening of Jon Favreau's latest film "Chef,” the movie is being heralded as a glorious return to the filmmaker's independent roots. Favreau, after all, wrote "Swingers," one of the more influential indies of the '90s, and reteamed with his "Swingers" co-star Vince Vaughn for a madcap mobster comedy with 2001's "Made" (a film that he directed, too). Since then, he's been swayed by the Hollywood machine, turning out a number of big budget smashes (“Iron Man”) but these films were, to many degrees, tentpole-anonymous; possessing little evidence of the voice that made him such a sensation in the first place. And while the more down-to-earth "Chef" does offer some fascinating autobiographical dimensions, the film is also an overlong, unfunny, largely insufferable bore. This doesn't feel like a homecoming; it feels like a step backwards into a generic Culver City studio zip code.

People's Most Beautiful Person Lupita Nyong'o & Scarlett Johansson Swing Over To Jon Favreau's 'The Jungle Book'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 23, 2014 7:16 PM
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  • 12 Comments
Scarlett Johansson
So, you've won an Oscar, you've just been declared by People magazine to be the most beautiful person (celebrity) on the planet, so what do you do for your next move? If you're Lupita Nyong'o you go blockbuster, and that's just what she's done, along with Scarlett Johansson.

"I Felt Like I Was On A Ride": Scarlett Johansson Talks 'Under The Skin' In Featurette Plus Jonathan Glazer Deconstructs Scene

  • By Edward Davis
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  • April 11, 2014 5:01 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Under The Skin
“Jonathan and I have been talking about this project for three years… I love his work, that’s what initially drew me to this project,” Scarlett Johansson said about “Under The Skin” in a new featurette by A24. It’s easy to see why Johansson is so enamored with director Jonathan Glazer. He directed “Sexy Beast,” which made for one of Ben Kingsley’s best performances ever, he also helmed “Birth” which certainly ranks up there with some of Nicole Kidman’s best, plus it introduced most of us to the amazingness of composer Alexandre Desplat. And perhaps it was a leap of faith considering how much the picture is about the abstract, the unsaid and the mysteriousness of otherworldly beings, but Johansson’s instinct paid off: Glazer’s latest, “Under The Skin” is easily one of the best movies of the year.

Watch: Jon Favreau Gets Cooking In First Trailer For 'Chef'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • April 7, 2014 12:52 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Chef
Lately, Jon Favreau has been known for his big screen spectacles, but for his latest "Chef"—a return to his more indie-oriented roots of "Swingers"—the only special effect may be what's inside the secret sauce. Yep, Favreau is diving into the world of food trucks and the first trailer for his film is here.

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