There’s no reason to plead with you to see a movie this week because for once, there is a whole lot of awesomeness, coming to a theater near you. If you’re not planning on seeing “Iron Man 2,” you are going to feel super left out at the water cooler on Monday. It’s simply un-American to not see it. You like America, right? Also, drink Coca-Cola. Even if you’re not feeling the iron, there are two mommy-centric movies, “Mother and Child” and “Babies,” which are sure to shake up some ovaries. And then there are two, truly awesome-looking indie flicks, “Please Give” and “The Good Heart.” There really is something for everyone, so go get your movie on.
The Movie: “Iron Man 2″
The Trailer: Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) hasn’t changed much since the first installment, but his villains have. Slavic nutjob Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke) seeks revenge on Stark due to a conflict with his now deceased father, and with the help of arms manufacturer Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), he succeeds in creating new robot weapon enemies for Stark. Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) has been conveniently promoted from assistant to CEO of Stark International, and Natasha/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) signs on as Stark’s new replacement.
The Hitch: Justin Theroux wrote the screenplay this time, while the first installment took four writers. This would make Theroux the sexiest man alive, if it weren’t for the charismatic Downey Jr. Critics say that the action and battles of the sequel outweigh the Jon Favreau goofiness and character-building, which worries me. But come on, are you really not going to see “Iron Man 2″? Plus, I hear that Pepper and Starks finally do the deed. Bow chica bowow.
The Movie: “Mother and Child”
The Trailer: “Mother and Child” is a drama following three women — Karen (Annette Bening), Lucy (Kerry Washington), and Elizabeth (Naomi Watts) — who’re dealing with different aspects of adoption. Karen gave up a baby for adoption as a teenager and has been devastated ever since, becoming a mean spinster. Elizabeth is a 30-something promiscuous woman who never knew her mother. And Lucy is an infertile woman, desperate to be a mother.
The Hitch: Just in time for Mother’s Day, the drama-iest of dramas. Nothing pulls at my heartstrings stronger than a woman who’s desperate for a child and throwing three of them into the same movie is enough to create a hormonal hurricane.
The Movie: “Please Give”
The Trailer: Kate (Catherine Keener) is a dissatisfied woman, prone to bouts of public bluntness. Kate and her husband Alex (Oliver Platt) own a vintage furniture shop which gets its pieces from “the children of dead people” and they also own the apartment of the elderly woman next door and are planning to expand their apartment when she dies. But Kate feels so much guilt for being a vulture that she’s constantly trying to give back, which drives her family nuts.
The Hitch: A Sundance and Berlin film festival favorite, “Please Give” makes really interesting points about guilt and one’s obligations to society. Catherine Keener is always fantastic and that little old lady gets in some zingers.
The Movie: “The Good Heart”
The Trailer: Jacques (Brian Cox) is a grumpy New York dive bar owner with a bad heart who meets homeless hipster Lucas (Paul Dano) after Jacques’ fifth heart attack and Lucas’ suicide attempt. Jacques takes Lucas on as his protégé, planning to give the bar to him when he dies, and in the meantime tries to turn the young lad into the angry son he never had.
The Hitch: The movie was written by Icelandic writer/director Dagur Kári, who also shot most of it in his homeland, so it combines New York grit with what Entertainment Weekly calls “Nordic seriocomic melancholy.” I’m a huge fan of Paul Dano and Brian Cox and dream of one day being a mean old spinster bartender, so this looks like a keeper to me. [EW]
The Movie: “Babies”
The Trailer: “Babies” is a documentary following four babies from Japan, Mongolia, Namibia, and San Francisco for a year of their lives. Without narration or exposition, the growing infants’ first steps and daily lives are unfolded, while uncritically demonstrating the cultural differences between their lives. There are papooses, baby play groups, a crawling montage, coddling, baby perplexity, and discovery.
The Hitch: Ouch, my ovaries! This trailer makes my lady parts skip a beat and increased the broodiness in the room 10-fold. I want to watch all babies’ first years, edited down to 20 minutes each. I want to play with their tiny little toes. Why did they do this to us? Must. Make. A Baby. Must watch this movie. Damn you, “Babies”! This would be a great movie to bring your mom to on Mother’s Day, especially if you want to turn her into a grandchild-hungry momster. Yeah, that’s right, I just made up another word.