This week’s movies—and really most movies in general, even in sometimes perverse ways—are about following your dreams, whether those dreams involve becoming a real boy like “Astro Boy,” creating history like “Amelia,” feeling significant as in “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant,” or finding that lost passion for your nonexistent career with “Motherhood.” And if none of those things appeal to you, go read a book. It’s just like a movie but less pretty and with constant subtitles.
The Movie: “Motherhood”
The Trailer: Uma Thurman stars as Eliza, a neurotic mother of two who tries to accomplish her everyday tasks while simultaneously searching for an outlet for her creativity and battling the sometimes belittling role of a stay-at-home mother. It’s apparent from the trailer that Eliza’s pretty sure she’s not living up to her potential.
The Hitch: I’m already stressed out by this movie, not only because they’ve managed to make Uma Thurman look so homely, but because you witness her run-ins with other women who keep giving her backwards compliments (like “I don’t know hoooow you do it!”) and I imagine she feels similar to the way I feel when I realize my nemesis has a legitimate career but wants to show me she can relate to my battles and respects my valiant “efforts.” If only we could just sucker punch them. Stupid successful people.
The Movie: “Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant”
The Trailer: Based on three books from Darren Shan’s young-adult series, the movie chronicles a teenager who becomes a half vampire with the help of John C. Reilly and spends time with a traveling freak-show fantasy world inhabited by a monkey girl, a limb re-generator, a bearded lady (Salma Hayek), and other mythical creatures.
The Hitch: Oh good! Another vampire movie! This one looks colorful, but I’m already overwhelmed by the amount of characters in the trailer who couldn’t possibly all be relevant to the storyline, and Entertainment Weekly assures me they’re not. Is it worth it just to see how many celebrity cameos there are? [EW]
The Movie: “Amelia”
The Trailer: The long-awaited Amelia Earhart biopic stars Hilary Swank and Richard Gere as her manager and eventual husband. The flick focuses on Earhart’s last flight over the Pacific in 1937, when she tried to fly around the world but disappeared instead. It also shows Earhart’s affair with aeronautics pioneer Gene Vidal (Ewan McGregor), her history-making flights across the Atlantic and from Hawaii to California, and her fashion line launch.
The Hitch: The movie looks pretty and long. I have no idea how many minutes it is, but even the trailer gives the impression that it might be drawn out. I know Amelia Earhart was an important feminist icon, but the presentation of her in the movie seems a bit melodramatic and overly showy. I’d watch it for the silk scarves and jumpsuits, though.
The Movie: “Astro Boy”
The Trailer: Astro Boy is the robotic boy creation of Dr. Tenma (Nicolas Cage) who lost his son in a freak accident and decides to build a new one, giving Astro Boy the same looks, personality and voice as his son, though this time he has rocket flame feet. Based on the 1963 Japanese cartoon series, in this movie, Astro Boy lands on Earth (from his former home Metro City which hovers above Earth) and meets some kids and battles some robots.
The Hitch: The animation is so intense that it comes off as being 3D. So it should be, at the very least, a visually stimulating look at what was a huge part of anime history. But what’s so great about being a real boy? Don’t they know how many real boys want to be robots?