Summer lovin’ is in the air, which means you’re probably wearing sundresses and snogging in parks and sharing Dippin’ Dots while the sun beats down on your tan shoulders. Or, if you’re anything like me, you’re accidentally making s’mores every night and avoiding dates because you “have to wash your hair.” This is why movie theaters are awesome—you can eat in the dark and no one cares if you’re dressed like a homeless person. Go see “My Sister’s Keeper,” “Cheri,” “The Hurt Locker,” and if there’s time or you’re trying to bag a nerd who’s into loud noises, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.”
The Movie: “Cheri”
The Trailer Hitch: Based on a novel by France’s raciest writer, Colette, the movie takes place in Paris in the roaring 1920s. Michelle Pfeiffer plays Lea, a courtesan who wants to retire from her gig seducing the rich and famous. Until her former rival Charlotte Peloux (played by Kathy Bates) asks her to teach her hot 19-year-old son, Cheri (Rupert Friend), about the ladies. Naturally, the pair falls in love and the French elite are all aghast when the affair outstays its welcome.
The Verdict: My fellow Frisky writer saw a screening, but I fully intend to make brash judgements based on the trailer. Pfeiffer is 50-years-old and hasn’t carried a movie in years. This of course doesn’t disqualify her from anything, but maybe there weren’t ads for this flick because people would have realized they don’t want to see her rolling around naked like a teenager for an hour and forty minutes? I really liked the courtesan concept when it was called “Dangerous Beauty,” though. Even after all that, I guess the costumes and hair look fun.
The Movie: “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”
The Trailer Hitch: Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) thinks he saved the world and is off to college. But oh no, Megatron’s not really dead! The new Decepticon (bad guys) mob boss is named The Fallen and wants to go after innocent Sam’s brain, which became imprinted with “ancient runes” that would lead them to a doomsday device. Then they turn into machines and battle the Autobots (good guys) to protect earth even though they’re aliens. There are more transformer characters with seemingly offensive accents and then Megan Fox wears short shorts. The end.
The Verdict: Since they’ve already made a box office record with $60.6 million on opening day, I think I’m allowed to say WTF is this crap? I know we’ve exhausted every other childhood fascination already and there needs to be something for jocks to get off on, but can’t they hire some decent writers and pretend there’s going to be a plotline? As Roger Ebert says, “If you want to save yourself the ticket price, go into the kitchen, cue up a male choir singing the music of hell, and get a kid to start banging pots and pans together. Then close your eyes and use your imagination.” [Sun Times]
The Movie: “The Hurt Locker”
The Trailer Hitch: Director Kathryn Bigelow of “Point Break” fame says of the movie, ”There have been no Iraq-war movies” before this one. Filmed in Jordan, near the Iraqi border, “The Hurt Locker” follows a military bomb-diffusing unit in a mocumentary drama that put the actors in fatigues and marshmallowy bomb-defusing suits in 120-degree weather and produces a gritty adrenaline-packed view of our current military. Actor Jeremy Renner who plays the hotheaded cocky specialist says of the experience, ”I was trying to MapQuest my self-respect and dignity constantly.” [Entertainment Weekly]
The Verdict: This movie actually has some great reviews. And aren’t you curious about what thousands of young men and women have died for in the past six years? I can’t even think of another Iraq movie…was Ryan Phillipe going there in “Black Snake Moan?” There were so many brilliant Vietnam era flicks, so if there must be war, let it at least produce decent art.
The Movie: “My Sister’s Keeper”
The Trailer Hitch: Anna (Abigail Breslin) is an 11-year-old who was born to basically be a walking donation for her sister Kate (Sofia Vassilieva) who is dying of acute promyelocytic leukemia. When Anna was born, her cord blood went to her sister, but then the leukemia came back and Kate needed blood and bone marrow. Then Kate’s kidneys fail, and Anna is supposed to cough one up but instead she hires a lawyer (Alec Baldwin) to sue her parents (Cameron Diaz and Jason Patric) to be medically emancipated. Then something happens which changes everything, but I’m trying not to give it away.
The Verdict: Based on the book by Jodi Picoult, “My Sister’s Keeper” looks heavy but deals with some really interesting issues around family and morality. It also deals with that creepy clone/twin/spare parts science fiction-type dilemna brought up in “Gattica” and “The Island.” Cameron Diaz is supposedly fantastic and, personally, I’m really excited to see Little Miss Sunshine interact with Alec Baldwin.