Today: February 22, 2024

FEATURES! Justin Timberlake

By Gregory James Wakeman. Could Justin Timberlake be the new Sinatra? As…

By Gregory James Wakeman

Could
Justin Timberlake be the new Sinatra?

As
Justin Timberlake’s new film, Friends with Benefits, prepares to release this
Friday, FilmJuice takes a look a Trousersnake’s sly transformation from boy band member
to a stand out actor.

The old fashioned movie star is dead. Gone are the Clark
Gables
, Harrison Fords, Denzel
Washingtons
and Tom Cruises who guarantee a film’s success
just with the addition of their supremely sculpted faces. Instead,
we have seen the rise of the ensemble cast and everyman leads who look exactly
like your next-door neighbor. People
like Kevin James, Kristin Wiig and Jesse Eisenberg have started to become key cogs in the Hollywood
machine. However the surprise emergence of Justin Timberlake on the movie scene
over the last few years might just see the renaissance of a new leading man.

I Did It My Way!

You remember Timberlake. He was the
tall, skinny and devilishly handsome one from NSync, who sported wildly curly
locks. If he escaped your attention during his NSync days then you most
probably saw him hanging off the arm of Britney
Spears
before she had her ‘episode’, or walking hand in hand with former
leading ladies Cameron Diaz and Jessica Biel or belting out another RnB
hit. But over the last couple of years, his face has been popping up in a host
of movies. Whether you’ve been at the cinema with your kid, on a date with a
new beau or taking in a critically acclaimed piece of drama, JT is bound to
have appeared in at least one of them. Yes, he’s he appeared in some real
stinkers along the way, but he’s managed to carve out a movie career and
everyone’s got to start somewhere.

If You Can Make
It There ….

In an attempt to distance himself
from his pristine past of curly bleached hair and dance routines, Justin began
to sex himself up – he got his sexy back. His music became more mature,
involving actual musicians and he molested Janet
Jackson
in front of 100 million people. Even his choice of acting roles
became grittier. In Edison (2005) he
plays a reporter looking to bring down a corrupt elite force within a police
department, alongside Morgan Freeman
and Kevin Spacey – bone-a-fide
actors – with awards and everything. Even though the film was universally
panned, Justin valiantly marched forward, taking smaller roles in both Alpha Dog (2006) and Black Snake Moan (2006) that helped to
restore his acting credibility. And yet he still found time to star in family
orientated pictures like Shrek 3 (2007)
and Yogi Bear (2010), alongside
comedic performances in The Love Guru
(2008) and regular appearances on Saturday Night Live. All this meant that JT
was everywhere, and he was quickly becoming a draw to children, teens and
adults alike, but was still struggling to be taken seriously as an actor.

A Very Good Year.

Starring as Jeff Bridges son in the seldom seen Open Road (2009) must surely have earned him some respect. No? What
was Justin going to do? His worries were soon calmed, as it was his next film,
and his performance within it that would really amaze the critics. The Social Network (2010) was written
by Aaron Sorkin, so even before a
frame has been shot it’s a 7 out of 10 movie, and the character of Sean Parker
was a key element to the film’s success. It needed to be played by a glamorous
and alluring star with personality that simply oozed out of the screen;
Timberlake was born for the role and he managed to steal every scenee he was
in. The fact that he wasn’t even nominated for any of the substantial acting
awards, failed to dampen his impact – suddenly Justin had the acclaim that he
desired.

Best Is Yet To Come?

So what now? Well, basically
Justin can have the pick of any project he wants with his career having
amalgamated perfectly to leave him in a position of tremendous power. Friends With Benefits sees him being
trusted to carry a film in the middle of a hectic summer schedule of movies.
And, add to this his recent role in Bad
Teacher
, in which he more than held his own alongside an ensemble cast of
firmly established comedic actors; plus his work with American Comedy troupe,
The Lonely Island, continuing to amuse and impress (check out the clip below),
Justin is beginning to display an almost offensively large arsenal of talent.
Maybe he needs to take on some even more progressive and challenging projects
that will take him into the stratosphere of stardom. An adaptation of a classic
American Novel? Wouldn’t he make a fabulous Dick Diver from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s
Tender is the Night? Or whichever characters are left at the bottom of the
Comic Book barrel? A period piece? Maybe he needs to perfect an English accent?
More than likely though, he won’t be involved in any of these options, he’ll
just continue to work and progress up the Hollywood machine, which might just
see him become an icon of our generation.

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

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