Another weekend. Another two days to sleep in, brunch, party and mourn the upcoming work week. Hooray! I know it seems like the hours fly by much more quickly on your days off, but just in case you want to spend a few in an air-conditioned movie theater, there is a good mix of movies out this week, including “Robin Hood,” “Letters to Juliet,” “Just Wright,” “Women Without Men,” and “Looking for Eric.” Now get back to work! Just kidding. Go take another coffee break—you deserve it.
The Movie: “Robin Hood”
The Trailer: You know the story, but this really has little to do with that. As a prequel to the legend we know and love, this Robin Hood (Russell Crowe) is an archer in King Richard the Lionheart’s army who gives a speech about how God wouldn’t be down with the Crusade against Muslims, and when his friend Sir Robert Loxley dies and he goes to Nottingham and joins the Loxley clan and makes out with Lady Marian (Cate Blanchett), the widow of his friend who just died. Then, there’s a bunch of political evil and battling.
The Hitch: Um, where’s the charismatic and joyful Robin Hood we know and love? This is like the British forest version of “Gladiator,” which I guess is what Ridley Scott is into … since they’re both his movies. But if you’re going to do the same movie, maybe use a different actor this time? What’s with all the surging and fighting muck? Where’s the stealing from the rich and giving to the poor? Blanchett looks beautiful, but I think I’ll stick to “Robin Hood, Men in Tights,” thank you very much!
The Movie: “Letters to Juliet”
The Trailer: Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is an aspiring writer with a lame (but hot) fiancé (Gael García Bernal). She’s romping around Italy when she finds a letter written by Claire (Vanessa Redgrave), addressed to Juliet of Romeo and Juliet, asking her whether she should find this dude she stood up. Sophie decides to write her back and Claire comes to Italy, looking for her Romeo … with her sexy grandson. Everyone falls in love and Claire gets her story in The New Yorker. The End.
The Hitch: As much as I hate to admit it, I’m a hopeless romantic and will totally spend a few hours of my time watching strangers fall in love. Over and over, as if it were the easiest thing in the world. It’s also a nice opportunity to explore Italy without the exorbitantly expensive airplane tickets. But really? The New Yorker? Is that really necessary? Or likely? But there’s eye candy. Really, the only things missing are tissues and comfort eating!
The Movie: “Just Wright”
The Trailer: Leslie Wright (Queen Latifah) is a physical therapist/basketball fan/just-one-of-the-guys type girl. She’s got a crush on an NBA player (Common) who turns out to need her help when he’s benched with an injury and his gold digger lady/her childhood friend (Paula Patton) ditches him.
The Hitch: It’s nice when every once in awhile, the nice girl gets the man. And it doesn’t hurt that Queen Latifah’s just so darn likable that I actually want her to succeed. Plus, bonus time with Phylicia Rashad, post her “Cosby Show” days, playing Common’s mom! If there weren’t so much basketball mumbo jumbo, it would look like a great movie.
The Movie: “Women Without Men”
The Trailer: Set in the dramatic summer of 1953 Iran, which eventually snowballed into Iran’s Islamic revolution of 1979, “Women Without Men” follows the lives of four Iranian women: a prostitute, a rebel, a traditionalist, and a bummed-out wife who leaves her husband. They cross paths in a surreal orchard where magical things happen.
The Hitch: I’m not sure what’s going on in the orchard, but the rest of the movie looks fascinating. It also won prizes at the 2009 Venice Film Festival and it’s the first feature from Iranian-born visual artist Shirin Neshat.
The Movie: “Looking for Eric”
The Trailer: Eric (Steve Evets) is a depressed postal employee from Manchester who’s totally screwed up everything in his life since ditching his wife when she was preggers. His ex hates him, his kids hate him, and he’s depressed. But then French soccer player Eric Cantona (played by French soccer player Eric Cantona) comes to his aid and coaches him back to a human existence.
The Hitch: It’s only on limited release, but at least it’s available On Demand. But if you’re going to see a movie about crazy guys with imaginary friends, “Paper Man” looks much better. Not that you should have to decide between schizophrenic-ish movies about losers who’ve ruined their marriages.