It’s the weekend before Thanksgiving and I guess you’re supposed to be freezing pies or making a shopping list for Black Friday or something. But don’t forget to make some time for yourself! Maybe that’s not a great angle since, given an extra hour, most of us would sleep or catch up on TV shows, but don’t forget the movies! It’s frickin’ “Harry Potter” time! There are other movies coming out too, but I’m pretty sure that 95 percent of moviegoers will be heading to the “Deathly Hallows.” And I wouldn’t blame them. That stuff is riveting. So go get ‘em, troops, and don’t forget your wizard scarves, ’cause it’s cold out there!
The Movie: “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1″
The Hitch: Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) are no longer schoolchildren at Hogwarts — they’re adults navigating a very scary world. They go off on a mission to destroy the Horcruxes, the bits of black soul Voldemort hid to maintain his immortality. Harry will inevitably have a showdown with the dark lord; Ron is all dark and jealous; Hermione is just emo.
The Trailer: I can’t believe it’s nearly come to an end. Here we’ve watched Daniel, Emma and Ron grow from children to adults right before our eyes with a decade of movies in between. And unless J.K. Rowling is all, “JK there’s more!” we are destined to come to the end. I’m a little verklempt.
The Movie: “The Next Three Days”
The Hitch: John (Russell Crowe) is a family man and community college professor who swings into action when his wife Lara (Elizabeth Banks) gets locked up for a murder she says she didn’t commit. In order to break his wife out of jail, John reaches out to an ex-con-turned-author, Damon (Liam Neeson), for advice.
The Trailer: I’m not even going to bother saying the premise seems far-fetched. Whoops, I guess I just did! But I think I’m most bothered at the apparent waste of such talented actors. I’m also getting deja vu from the recently released “Conviction,” where a woman spends 18 years trying to get her brother out the legal way. Somehow, this seems like a way better movie.
The Movie: “Made in Dagenham”
The Hitch: Rita O’Grady (Sally Hawkins from “Happy-Go-Lucky”) is a factory worker in the 1960s who becomes the leader of her auto-upholstery factory-working friends and brings them to demand equal pay for equal work. The strikes happened in real life at a Ford plant in Dagenham and they did in fact change labor laws but hopefully the real-life men weren’t all chauvinist pigs (aside from the union guy Albert played by Bob Hoskins).
The Trailer: You’ve probably heard by now about the history-making strides that the Dagenham strike made. I’m still dumbfounded that this was ever and still is an issue that we deal with. But anyway, Sally Hawkins is fantastic and it’s important to remember that you need to fight against injustice and you do have the power to do so. For a more thorough review, check out We See Chick Flicks.
The Movie: “Today’s Special”
The Hitch: Samir (Aasif Mandvi) is a motivated New York sous chef who wants to make it big. He’s given his chance when he’s forced to take over his dad’s dive-y Indian restaurant after the guy has a heart attack, but alas, he has no idea how to make Indian food! So, he hires a taxi driver named Akbar who teaches him it’s about passion and Samir falls in love his co-worker (Jess Weixler of “Teeth”).
The Trailer: This looks like a really sweet movie about food (yes!), family obligation and love. The trailer was legitimately funny, which is more than I can say for many “comedies” these days, and I’m glad that Jess Weixler didn’t drop off. I also like the reminder that cooking is a sensual experience.
The Movie: “Queen of the Lot”
The Hitch: Maggie Chase (Tanna Frederick) is an up-and-coming actress who’s desperate to become A-list and, with the help of a crew of handlers, spins some drunk driving arrests into tabloid fame and a movie star boyfriend named Dov Lambert (Christopher Rydell). When Maggie meets Dov’s family of Hollywood heavyweights, Dov’s failed writer brother Aaron (Noah Wyle) sees through Maggie’s facade and kinda likes her somehow.
The Trailer: It seems strange to do an indie movie about being A-list, but I guess no one else was making a fictionalized version of the Lindsay Lohan story? I’m just not getting the spark of witty dialogue or the twinkle of star potential from the lead. It looks like a fun romp, but mostly it makes me feel sad because Noah Wyle used to seem really hot.
The Movie: “Guzaarish”
The Hitch: Ethan Mascarenhas was one of the best magicians of his time until he was paralyzed with spinal injury 14 years ago. He still spreads magic and wit through his radio show but he needs a nurse (Sofia D’Souza) to do everything for him. And of course they have a magically sensual relationship. On the 14th anniversary of his accident though, Ethan decides he wants out and puts a petition into the courts.
The Trailer: I am kind of in love with this premise. And with this trailer. Everything seems so visceral through the eyes of Mascarenhas. But critics are saying that director Sanjay Leela Bhansali put too much time into making every frame beautiful instead of worrying about character development. And just from watching the trailer, it’s hard to overlook similarities to “The Sea Inside” and “The Prestige.” Still, if you’re looking to feed your eyes, I think that is a guarantee with this movie.