What better weekend to go to the movies is there than Oscar weekend, when magical films, which have allowed us to briefly escape our lives, are honored for their role in our sanity and entertainment? This week, you can follow Alice down the rabbit’s hole with “Alice in Wonderland,” feel like a badass with “Brooklyn’s Finest,” and, if you’re fortunate enough to live in a city that gets limited releases, you can catch “Twilight” darling Kristen Stewart in “The Yellow Kandkerchief” or “Gilmore Girl” Alexis Bledel in “The Good Guy.”
The Movie: “Alice in Wonderland”
The Trailer: You know the story, this time based on both of Lewis Carroll’s books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, as well as his poem “Jabberwocky.” Alice wanders into Wonderland for the second time following the White Rabbit, but remembers very little from her previous visit. She meets a cast of Tim Burton-inspired terrors—some good-willed, most babbling nutters who don’t make much sense but keep talking anyway. The Queen of Hearts (Helena Bonham Carter) wants her head off. Who knows what the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) wants—all that mercury poisoning’s gone to his head. Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee (Matt Lucas) look uncomfortably like their voicer. The Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry) is only so much help and the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) is always ready with the potions. But will Alice get back out the rabbit’s hole?
The Hitch: Everything Tim Burton does is magical. All this CGI makes me kind of nostalgic for the “Beetlejuice” days of magical imagery I still don’t have any way of understanding. Regardless of the so-so reviews (our Simcha loved it), I am suuuuper excited for this movie, even if just for the amazing cast of weirdos and the fantasy that one day I’ll have the option of dropping down a hole and disappearing into a world where everybody knows my name.
The Movie: “Brooklyn’s Finest”
The Trailer: More cop drama — or perhaps melodrama. This time, angry, bad cops doing angry, bad things because they work in the meanest part of town. Tango (Don Cheadle) is working undercover and makes friendly with a major drug dealer (Wesley Snipes). Sal (Ethan Hawke) is a Catholic cop who pockets some dirty drug money for his asthmatic wife and brood of children. And poor exhausted Eddie (Richard Gere) is on the edge of retirement, which seems to have turned him into a suicidal drunk.
The Hitch: I guess if there’s going to be a “Hill Street Blues”-esque cop corruption story, at least have a couple heavyweights pulling some of the (seemingly very heavy) weight. And as depressing as his life looks, I’m pretty excited to see Ethan Hawke covered in sexy tattoos and topless.
The Movie: “The Yellow Handkerchief”
The Trailer: A moody girl (Kristen Stewart) and her misfit male friend/lover (Eddie Redmayne) are driving through the south in a convertible and offer a middle-aged just-out-of-prison stranger (William Hurt) a ride. It’s post-Katrina, and these lonely travelers bond together and help each other out in the journey that is life … but in a less cheesy way than I just made it sound.
The Hitch: The movie’s only out on limited release so far, but looks interesting. As a roadtrip lover, especially through the southern states, “The Yellow Handkerchief” (which apparently has something to do with the old song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree”) is a character-driven sweet story. And I have to say, I absolutely love Kristen Stewart as poor Southern sweet-hearts, a la her role in “Into the Wild,” and the cinematography makes her look more beautiful than ever.
The Movie: “The Good Guy”
The Trailer: In a role she seems pretty familiar with by now, Alexis Bledel plays a young New Yorker who’s stuck in a love triangle with a cocky banker (Scott Porter) and his equally generically hot coworker (Bryan Greenberg). They’ve both fallen for Bledel and she needs to decide between the nice guy and the boyfriend because, apparently, that’s a tough decision.
The Hitch: Only out on limited release, this movie apparently has its share of issues, like who the main character is. As much as I adore Alexis Bledel, I’m not sure if she can carry a movie on her own yet, especially if the screenplay is lacking. That said, I totally love this line: “This is New York—the only happy endings are in China Town.” I might have already Twittered it.