Saturday, April 21, 2018
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Reviews: 'Don Jon' and 'Metallica: Through the Never'

Don Jon (R) (90 min.) — Between this movie and Thanks for Sharing, the serious subject of sexual addiction is getting a comical workout in theaters lately. Don Jon is the more rambunctious of the two, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt making an admirable writing and directing debut and starring as a man obsessed with Internet porn to the detriment of his love life.

Just his laptop's startup tone can arouse Jon, nicknamed the Don by his buddies because he's always making offers the bar betties can't refuse. He still prefers pleasuring himself while watching porn over having sex with anyone else. It's efficient and noncommittal, which is what Jon selfishly expects but can't find with another person.

Jon's winning streak of empty one-night stands is broken when he meets Barbara (Scarlett Johansson), a gum-chomping sexpot cooing demands of Jon taking responsible action with his life before she'll give in. He enrolls in night school, introduces Barbara to his family — including Tony Danza's funny turn as Jon's horndog dad — whatever she wants until he gets what he wants. Discovering Jon's porn addiction threatens to end what could be a beautiful relationship.

Don Jon is so friskily risque, with teasing glimpses of what turns Jon on and frank dialogue to match, that you don't notice the movie is stuck in a rut until Julianne Moore shows up late, offering Jon an older, wiser perspective on sex and relationships. The movie's only 90 minutes long but feels longer, as running gags stagnate and the shock factor wears off. B-

Steve Persall, Times movie critic

Metallica: Through the Never (R) (94 min.) — After exorcising their personal and professional demons in the 2004's Some Kind of Monster, the rockers in Metallica get back to head-banging business with their second documentary.

Through the Never is focused entirely on their music, filmed at two Canadian concerts, and shoved in your face in 3-D IMAX. Careful that those devil horn finger salutes don't poke you in the eye.

Linking the concert footage is a fantasy narrative starring Dane DeHaan (The Place Beyond the Pines and 2014's Spider-Man flick) as a roadie sent by the band to gas up the truck and retrieve a mysterious bag from a surreal urban neighborhood. What's in the bag? My guess is earplugs.

Metallica: Through the Never opens Friday exclusively at Veterans 24 in Tampa, BayWalk 20 in St. Petersburg, Regency 20 in Brandon and Woodlands 20 in Oldsmar. The movie expands to conventional theaters Oct. 4.

Steve Persall, Times movie critic

   
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