I know it’s gotten really hard to get to the movie theater, because there’s pay-per-view, DVDs and the amazingness of Netflix, which make it possible to watch dozens of movies for the price of one in the theater. So, I won’t blame you if you don’t go. But you should probably know that every time you buy a bootleg DVD instead of going to a movie theater, they shoot a production assistant. I’ve seen it happen. It’s brutal. So, if you want to save a PA this week, you can go see “Eat Pray Love,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” “The Expendables,” “Animal Kingdom,” or “Tales From Earthsea.” Be nice. Save a PA.
The Movie: “Eat Pray Love”
The Trailer: You know the story. Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) realizes that although she has everything a woman is supposed to dream of, she feels lost. So she gets divorced from her husband (Billy Crudup), has a fling with a young actor (James Franco), and goes forth to find herself, eating her way through Italy, praying in India and finding inner peace and true love in Bali. Which was not on the agenda, but she just happens to when she meets the Brazilian Felipe (Javier Bardem).
The Hitch: I guess I don’t have the disdain for Julia Roberts that some of The Frisky crew has—I don’t mind her as Elizabeth Gilbert’s character. But I also only made it through the “Eat” section of Eat Pray Love because I don’t care much for prayer or love these days. I’m not in a particular rush to see the movie, though, because while it looks like a beautiful montage of picturesque landscapes and food porn, I thought the best part of the book was the descriptions of these things and now it’s all show and no tell.
The Movie: “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”
The Trailer: Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) is a Toronto slacker/bassist in a band called Sex Bob-Omb who falls for Ramona (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) who’s got purple hair and seven evil exes whom he must defeat in order to date her. The exes appear like video game bosses and Pilgrim fights away for the honor of his punk-rock princess.
The Hitch: Nerds have been counting down the weeks. It’s rock, kung fu, comic books, and girl crushes all in one, based on the graphic novels by Bryan Lee. I’ve already got my tickets because not only is this going to be the best premiere to meet a nerd boyfriend at, but as far as love stories go, this is totally within my sphere of comprehension. And the evil exes include the hotness of Jason Schwartzman, Brandon Routh, and Chris Evans.
The Movie: “The Expendables”
The Trailer: Mercenary killers are rounded up to take on an island fortress of a corrupt general and his army of soldiers. They don’t really have a plan, but they are bad-asses, so who cares?They run into the jungle and beat the crap out of them. Obviously.
The Hitch: Sylvestor Stallone, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke and Arnold Schwarzenegger join forces for the first time ever in an action hero dream team. But really, it’s basically Rambo 2.0. Plus, my brother was at the premiere and says it sucks … and he counts “American Pie” among his favorites, so this is probably really bad.
The Movie: “Animal Kingdom”
The Trailer: The Cody family is an Australian crime family consisting of three brothers, their mom and her teenage grandson named J (James Frecheville), who narrates this tale of the survival of the gangster fittest. Meanwhile, a young detective snares the littlest cub of the crime family and realizes he might be of help and can maybe keep J from his unsavory destiny.
The Hitch: “Animal Kingdom” was one of the Sundance Festival Jury Prize winners and apparently a vivid depiction of the constant cat-and-mouse battle of a crime family. It looks brutal and scary, but somehow the crime seems slightly less scary when carried out with a sexy Australian accent … plus, it’s really difficult for the bad guys to get off of that island.
The Movie: “Tales From Earthsea”
The Trailer: Arren (Matt Levin) is a prince, trying to find his mentor wizard friend Sparrowhawk (TImothy Dalton) while fighting the evil deeds of their nemesis, an androgynous slave trader (Willem Dafoe).
The Hitch: This is going to sound really pretentious, but so much of the language and story gets lost when Miyazaki’s films get dubbed in English. All the poeticism of the Japanese language gets simplified and a certain amount of mysticism gets thrown out the window. Even watching the trailer in Japanese is better … so if you can find it with subtitles, I urge you to see it that way. I’m also excited that Hayao Miyazaki has an heir and it looks like Goro shares some of his father’s talent but maybe lacks some of the magic. Hopefully, Goro will prove to be worthy of his inheritance with his future projects.