Womanizers, superhumans and Japanese racers: movies viewed

DON JON (2013) stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the eponymous ladies’ man who doesn’t think he has a problem just because he can’t orgasm with his many lovers, but only watching porn afterwards. When he gets serious about Scarlett Johansson, she finds out and demands he stop, but can he break the addiction? And will Julianne Moore as the voice of reason be able to help?

Gordon-Levitt wrote and directed this one so it’s a pleasant surprise he doesn’t go overboard and make Johansson just The Bitch. She certainly has flaws — her view of gender roles is so rigid she freaks out about her lover’s fondness for cleaning his apartment almost as much as his porn addiction — but she’s pretty much in the right on the porn problem (compare this to Woody Allen’s Anything Else).  I rewatched this simply because TYG was rewatching it, but it was worth the attention. “And just when you’re getting into it, there it is, on your computer — a dick!”

Gordon-Levitt was also in Netflix’s PROJECT POWER (2020) but I gave up on this superhero movie about twenty minutes in. The story of a super-power drug hitting the streets and the efforts to find the supplier — Gordon-Levitt is the hardcase cop on the case who’s using the drug himself — seemed much more a stock cop film than a superhero film, and anyone who’s still using Matrix slow-mo special effects for superpower scenes has a black mark against them in my book.

FAST AND THE FURIOUS: Tokyo Drift (2006) is one of several Part IIIs I’ve seen that make a radical reboot from the first two films (Halloween III is the first one that comes to mind, partly because it was such a flop). As the producers couldn’t get any of the cast from the first two films back, the protagonist is a working-class Southern teen shipped off to his dad in Japan to avoid jail time for an illegal street race. Cars are his life so before long he’s breaking his promise and racing again, this time a version called drifting; this leads to a rivalry with a Yakuza-linked driver over the requisite pretty woman.

Unlike Halloween III this sticks faithfully to the Sexy Women & Fast Cars formula of the first two films, but it never rose above talking-lamp status for me (it didn’t do as well as the first two so apparently I’m not alone). Vin Diesel shows up in a cameo at the end, Bow Wow has a supporting role and Sonny Chiba cameos as a mob boss. “Your bookkeeping is incomprehensible, but even I can figure out your partner is stealing from you.”

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