It’s been a pretty intense week, with all the basketball and soccer madness causing men to screech and riot in the streets. I have trouble maintaining that kind of enthusiasm for longer than the time it takes to eat an eight-course meal, but can respect those who can bring it. I can also get enthusiastic for this week’s movie releases, as there are some good ones, like “Cyrus,” “Toy Story 3,” “The Killer Inside Me,” “I Am Love,” “Let It Rain,” and “Stonewall Uprising.” So, if you need an escape—and God knows you do—go see a movie already.
The Movie: “Cyrus”
The Trailer: John (John C. Reilly) is a lazy middle-aged loser who falls in love with Molly (Marisa Tomei) who’s beautiful and sweet and happens to have a 21-year-old son named Cyrus (Jonah Hill) who is not psyched to lose his mom to some lame dude. The rivalry unfolds as Cyrus alternatively attacks and messes with John.
The Hitch: All the reviews are pointing towards excellent on this one. As unlikely a couple as Reilly and Tomei are, I kind of love them together and am glad to see Jonah Hill away from the Apatow brotherhood for once.
The Movie: “Toy Story 3″
The Trailer: Andy goes off to college and all his toys are donated to a day-care center. At first, the toys like Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) are way psyched to be played with, but the other toys know that the little kids are going to torture the new guys and throw them under the bus. The day-care center becomes a prison and the toys plot their escape, trying to find their way back home.
The Hitch: At first, I was all jeez with the “Toy Story” movies, but the reviews have been super enthusiastic for Pixar’s latest adventure. The premise is a good one and once again, the toys are voiced to perfection. Even though I don’t have any kiddies to go see this with me, it’s a nice reminder that you’re never too old for adventures. Love you, Pixar. Mean it.
The Movie: “The Killer Inside Me”
The Trailer: Adapted from a Jim Thompson novel, Lou (Casey Affleck) is a small-town Texan deputy sheriff, who’s sent to boot a prostitute (Jessica Alba) out of town, but ends up in a violent sexual relationship with her. He ends up succumbing to his “sickness” of being a serial killer and committing a double homicide.
The Hitch: Casey is scarily apt at portraying a murderous sociopath and Jessica Alba and his wife (played by Kate Hudson) look positively beautiful in their film noir personas. It’s too bad there’s a whole mess of violence against women, but being based on what has been called “one of the most blistering and uncompromising crime novels ever written,” I understand director Michael Winterbottom’s desire to remain true to the original novel.
The Movie: “I Am Love”
The Trailer: The daughter of a Russian art dealer (Tilda Swinton) marries into a swanky Italian family but is super attracted to her son’s hot bestie. She indulges in a sexy countryside affair with the boy while playing a good wife in the eyes of her family.
The Hitch: Guh, subtitles. Just kidding. The trailer is basically useless at giving away the plot line, but boy does it look pretty! And Tilda Swinton looks absolutely gorgeous, despite the fact that I find her kind of asexual.
The Movie: “Let It Rain”
The Trailer: Agathe Villanova (Agnès Jaoui) is a feminist with a career in politics who returns home to the South of France to deal with her deceased mom’s affairs with her sister Florence. Florence’s housekeeper, Mimouna’s son Karim (Jamel Debbouze) and his buddy Michel Ronsard (Jean-Pierre Bacri) decide to make a documentary on Agathe because she is such a powerful woman. It rains a lot.
The Hitch: I have no idea why, but I’m strangely attracted to Jamel Debbouze, even when he was an endearing idiot in “Amelie.” His mannerisms are kind of amazing. And being a bit of a Francophile, I take every opportunity for some immersion. But secretly, if you want to see a French film right now, go see Jean Pierre Jeunet’s “Micmacs” first.
The Movie: “Stonewall Uprising”
The Trailer: In June 1969, the police raided the Stonewall Inn, a Greenwich Village bar that catered to homosexuals in a time when gay acts were illegal. This time, they fought back and started the gay liberation movement. The documentary combines rare home-movie footage, photographs, and interviews with people who were there, including one of the cops.
The Hitch: It’s totally mind-blowing that just 40 years ago, it was essentially illegal to be a homosexual. Someday soon, hopefully, the opposition to gay marriage will be another WTF moment in history. This actually looks like a fantastic documentary, which I urge everyone to see.