Thursday, May 5, 2011

Opening This Week

  • Thor- With last week's early summer blockbuster Fast Five reviving the dismal 2011 grosses, it's come to that time-- the first week in May, where the summer movie season officially starts.  This year, it's a comic book superhero flick (check), in 3-D (check), and multi-purpose franchise starter all leading up to a the start of a mega-superhero franchise down the road (check-mate.)  Kenneth Branagh, he of his mighty Shakespearean creed directs newcomer Chris Hemsworth (you might remember him, albeit fleetingly, at the start of 2009's Star Trek-- he was Kirk's dad) as the Marvel-ian Norse warrior with the mighty hammer.  Natalie Portman, Kat Demmings, Rene Russo co-star, as does Anthony Hopkins as his pop.  Rather unexpectedly, or perhaps not (so hard to tell these days), early reviews have fairly positive.  The big question is whether it will break Fast Five's record of the best opening of 2011.  The bigger question, naturally, of course is if it's really any good, and worthy of wasting a few more hours of celluloid on waiting for The Avengers to come.
  • Something Borrowed- As the superhero antithesis of the weekend, there's a romantic comedy starring Ginnifer Goodwin (a superior actress in need of something stronger, now!), Kate Hudson, Colin Egglesfield and John Krasinki.  Something tells me the dire shape of romantic comedies will not quite be remedied by this one.
  • Jumping the Broom- Further superhero counter-programming, another romantic comedy, this one with a bit more of an urban edge centering around the wedding of two people from different sides of the tracks. Stars Paula Patton, Laz Alonso, Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine.

  • The Beaver- The oddball Mel Gibson starrer finally hits theaters (a few this weekend at least) about a depressed man who finds redemption through a beaver-shaped sock puppet.  Jodie Foster (returning behind the camera for the first time since 1995's Home for the Holidays) also co-stars as his concerned wife.  21st century Harvey or another shot in the arm for the PR-plagued Gibson-- only time will tell.
  • Last Night- A are-they-or-aren't-they cheating story revolving around a young married couple of the cusp of potential adultery.  Stars Sam Worthington and Keira Knightley.  Oh, pretty people, why can't you just be happy with what you've got.  Also available on VOD.
  • Passion Play- How's this for an oddball line-up: Passion Play stars Mickey Rourke, Bill Murray and Megan Fox-- curious what the casting director of this film's urine sample looks like.  Anyhow it's a story about an angel (Fox) who's under the wing of a gangster-type (Murray), who finds her savior in a trumpet player (Rourke.)  Okay...
  • Poetry- Winner of the best screenplay prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival, this South Korean film from the writer\director of Secret Sunshine, Chang-dong Lee focuses on a sixty-something year old woman with Alzheimer's disease faced with a heinous family tragedy.
  • Daydream Nation- Kat Demmings fans can rejoice as she will be present in not able to most visible movie opening this weekend, but also the least visible.  In this indie, she plays a big city Lolita type in a small town making trouble with her teacher (Josh Lucas) and a townie (Reese Thompson.)  The trailer review blurb says it's "Juno by David Lynch," I can kinda dig that.

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