Now that the summer has really set in, you’re probably changing three times a day because you’ve already sweat through your last ensemble. If you’re like me, you’re psyched for fall when all the ragamuffins are back in school and you can pull your sweaters out of their moth balls. But right now, it’s too hot to eat. Or sleep. Or roll over and turn on the fan. But it’s not too hot to see a movie. And this week, you’ve totally got to see “Inception.” And also “The Concert” and “Kisses.” And maybe even “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” I don’t really care if you see “Valhalla Rising” or not though, ’cause that one looks creepy.
The Movie: “Inception”
The Trailer: A clan of freelance dream thieves steal people’s ideas and insert themselves into strangers’ subconscious to benefit corporations. Their leader, Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), decides to do one last gig, which happens to be super dangerous but will reunite him with his family that he hasn’t seen in forever … including his wife Mal ( Marion Cotillard). But in this job, he has been hired to plant an idea in a wealthy tycoon’s (Ken Watanabe) rival’s (Cillian Murphy) subconscious; the process is called inception. He’s got a right hand man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt ) and a “forger” (Tom Hardy) who can morph into other people’s identities. Ariadne (Ellen Page) is an architecture undergrad who’s been recruited by Cobb. They jump from dreams to reality, across nations and times, which all intersect in a crazy, fast-pace dreamscape.
The Hitch: Holy crap this looks cool. Christopher Nolan (of “Memento” and “The Dark Knight” fame) has created a world so impossibly outside of our imaginations and this movie was so cloaked in secrecy that the actors had to read the script with a guard outside their homes. There’s obviously an extremely talented cast involved and from the reviews, it’s apparent that it’s a bit of a mind f**k. From the trailer, I’m reminded of “Blade Runner” and The BFG, a Roald Dahl book I only vaguely remember having to do with dream stealing and replacing. But if you’re going to trust your dreams to anyone, it should probably be Leo and Joe. Just sayin’.
The Movie: “The Concert”
The Trailer: A Russian conductor, Andrei Simoniovich Filipov (Alexei Guskov), was fired in the Communist era for hiring Jewish musicians for his orchestra. Thirty years later, he is working as a janitor and gets a second chance when he steals an invitation to play a huge concert in Paris. He reunites his Jewish and gypsy musicians and seeks out a violin soloist named Anne-Marie Jacquet (Mélanie Laurent) to join them.
The Hitch: This looks pretty fantastic. There’s something really intriguing about Mélanie Laurent (“Inglourious Basterds”) and from the trailer, I’m guessing she’s the conductor’s secret daughter or something? And you’ve gotta love a movie about a misfit orchestra troupe, off to claim their fame and glory … not that that’s a genre or anything.
The Movie: “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”
The Trailer: Based on the Mickey Mouse short from “Fantasia,” Dave Stutler (Jay Baruchel) is a seemingly average NYU Physics student who gets chosen to be the apprentice to a master sorcerer named Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage). Blake is trying to defend Manhattan from his enemy, Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina), and his apprentice is dragged into the battle of good and evil wizards, who’ve been around for thousands of years.
The Hitch: I like that someone like Jay Baruchel is getting leading roles. It says something about the evolution of the leading man. I’m not sure what though. And I guess Nicolas Cage deserves the chance to have some fun in a role after all those meh “National Treasure” movies. And though the overdose of CGI hangs heavy against the Manhattan skyline, it’s nice to see some witchcraft outside of “Harry Potter” these days.
The Movie: “Valhalla Rising”
The Trailer: One Eye (Mads Mikkelsen) is a mute warrior who never loses. He’s enslaved to a wealthy Scotsman named Barde (Alexander Morton), whom he makes quick work of, and sets out on a journey with a young boy named Are (Maarten Stevenson). While trying to get out of Denmark, the two join a group of Christian Vikings who plan on claiming Jerusalem as their own. On the way to the Holy Land, their ship is engulfed by fog and they land in a strange land. It proves to be a violent journey, but One Eye is determined to protect himself and his apprentice.
The Hitch: Boy, is that a lot of bloodshed. But if there has to be a stupid amount of murdering, it’s nice that there’s at least an intriguing back-story and discussions of religion in a less-than-glorified light.
The Movie: “Kisses”
The Trailer: Two neighbor kids from a poor suburb of Dublin run away from their crappy situations at home and spend Christmas on the streets of the city. They find themselves on a jumbled adventure, vulnerable but joyful, and fully determined to never return home.
The Hitch: The young actors, Shane Curry and Kelly O’Neill, are perfect for the adventuresome vagabonds, as is the Bob Dylan soundtrack. The bonus with this movie is that it’s available right now with On Demand!