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Jennifer Lopez celebrates her 46th birthday

Jennifer Lopez, Casper Smart and Benny Medina - Jennifer Lopez celebrates her 46th birthday with her friends and family in the Hamptons - Hamptons, New York, United States - Friday 24th July 2015

The Boy Next Door Review


Weak

A cheesy TV movie ramped up with language and violence, this sudsy thriller is far more fun to watch than it should be. With its tepid spin on the plot of Fatal Attraction, the film strains to be a bunny-boiler, but entertains the audience because it's so preposterous that not a single moment is remotely believable. And since the cast refuses to play it straight, camping it up while smirking at the camera, it's enjoyable in all the wrong ways.

Jennifer Lopez stars as Claire, a high school teacher who has recently split from her husband Garrett (John Corbett) and is still getting used to life on her own with teen son Kevin (Ian Nelson). Then the astoundingly hunky 19-year-old Noah (played by 27-year-old Ryan Guzman) moves in next door with his invalid uncle (Jack Wallace) after his parents die in a fiery car crash. Super friendly, Noah quickly begins to help Kevin stand up to the school bullies and pursue the hot girl (Lexi Atkins). But Noah also begins to flirt relentlessly with Claire, and in a moment of neediness she gives in. While she sees this as a mildly transgressive restorative fling, Noah thinks it's true love, and pursues her tenaciously. And when Claire begins to trying to patch things up with Garrett, Noah takes Kevin out for a bit of gun practice.

Despite a tendency to drift into grisly violence, there's nothing edgy here. It's a swirling storm of innuendo and suggestion, with a strong sense of menace that never quite convinces us, even with a couple of gruesome plot points. This may be because the camera clearly loves Lopez so much that we know she's never in danger.

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2014 MTV Video Music Awards

Benny Medina and Jennifer Lopez - 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Sunday 24th August 2014

Jennifer Lopez is honoured with the 2,500th star

Max Anthony, Emme Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbul, Benny Medina, Jane Fonda and Keenan Ivory Wayans - Jennifer Lopez is honoured with the 2,500th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - Los Angeles, CA, United States - Thursday 20th June 2013

Jennifer Lopez
Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez

Jennifer Lopez Twitter

Jennifer Lopez and Benny Medina - Jennifer Lopez posts this photo on Twitter.com with the caption: Me and Benny!!! :) #lovinglife - Wednesday 12th June 2013

Picture - Jennifer Lopez's manager, Benny Medina... , Monday 30th January 2012

Jennifer Lopez and Benny Medina - Jennifer Lopez's manager, Benny Medina arrives early to make sure all is well for her appearance, Monday 30th January 2012 at The Ed Sullivan Theater to appear on 'The Late Show with David Letterman'

Jennifer Lopez and Benny Medina

The Fighting Temptations Review


Weak
In the gospel musical-comedy The Fighting Temptations, Cuba Gooding Jr. plays a reluctant choir director. When he inevitably rises to the task, though, he doesn't really direct the choir so much as spazz along in its wake, jumping and shouting and waving his arms like he's accepting a whole case of Best Supporting Actor Oscars. Gooding, we see in some credit cookies, can be an exuberant, even dexterous dancer. But we don't see that in the movie; we only see Cuba the strained comedian, grasping for soul. The movie's poster advises "Don't fight the feeling!" -- and I couldn't: I couldn't fend off the feeling that Gooding is the weakest link in his own vehicle. Orlando Jones, on the other hand, has yet to receive an Oscar, but I couldn't help but think the movie would've been significantly better with him in the choir-director role.

What happened to Cuba Gooding Jr., anyway? Everyone knows his career has taken a rather, shall we say, broad turn after his Jerry Maguire Oscar. But it didn't happen immediately. His roles in As Good As It Gets and What Dreams May Come weren't showstoppers, but you can see why he took them, working as he did with other talented actors and filmmakers. He did a movie with De Niro, too, remember? But what really sticks in the memory is a string of recent, bottom-drawer comedies: Rat Race, Snow Dogs, Boat Trip. Listen to how those names form an odd aural trilogy of implied crappiness. Post-Temptations, he will play a mentally challenged fellow in Radio. I can't help but think of Eddie Murphy's line in Bowfinger: "Find me a part as a retarded slave, then I'll get my Oscar."

Continue reading: The Fighting Temptations Review

Benny Medina

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