This week’s movies are like that period in music when bands all started putting “The” in front of a noun and making that the name of their band. I guess it sounds like more of a declaration or something. Or a claiming of whatever particular noun. Whatever it is, it’s pissing me off. Just kidding. I could care less. Go see a movie. Or don’t. I can’t tell you how to live your life. But call your mother. She worries.
The Movie: “The Fighter”
The Trailer: “Irish” Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg) was a welterweight fighter who trained with his crack-addict half-brother Dicky Eklund (Christian Bale) to become the next “pride of Lowell,” Dicky was the original pride of Lowell after taking down Sugar Ray Leonard. So, Micky has to deal with his half-brother’s legacy, his overbearing family, his girlfriend who has nothing but faith in him (Amy Adams) and the expectations of his whole frickin’ town.
The Hitch: This is Wahlberg’s pet project, after meeting Micky when he was 18 years old, the two became friends and when Wahlberg started acting, he knew he wanted to make a movie of his story some day. Wahlberg has spent the past five years training to play Micky, which is (quite obviously) dedication that is unheard of in movies. That is why if you care even a tiny bit about Mark Wahlberg or his talent, you kind of have to see this movie. It’s also getting great reviews, if that’s not enough for you.
The Movie: “The Tourist”
The Trailer: British agent Elise (Angelina Jolie) ropes dopey American math teacher Frank (Johnny Depp) into posing as her lover in Venice. Then Russian henchmen hunt the math teacher, thinking he’s the agent’s man and she smiles flirtatiously.
The Hitch: When we first heard about Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie getting their first romantic roles together, we were full of excitement. Would they fall in love? Would this be the next Brangelina? And wasn’t there a naked shower scene? But the trailer doesn’t look sexy; there’s none of the chemistry of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” and instead of a sexy caper, Depp looks like a putz and Jolie looks distracted. See at your own risk.
The Movie: “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader”
The Trailer: In the third installment of C.S. Lewis’ journey through Narnia, Lucie (Georgie Henley) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes) are sailing with the dreamy King Caspian (Ben Barnes) on the Dawn Treader, which is manned by all sorts of creatures. There’s evil all around but the cute British kids are being protected by Aslan in all his regal lion glory. The Narnians are trying to find the seven lost lords of Narnia while battling evil villains. The mouse Reepicheep is now voiced by Simon Pegg and talks a lot.
The Hitch: I was a huge Narnia fan when I was a kid and, though the child actors glow and Aslan is grand, there is something missing from these movies. I think there are four more if they follow through with the rest of the series, but something needs to be done to bring the excitement back. Maybe it’s the fact that kids were actually reading “Harry Potter” books and “Twilight” and there wasn’t a resurgence of C.S. Lewis’ work before pushing the movies on kids? Maybe marketing should get on that.
The Movie: “The Tempest”
The Trailer: In William Shakespeare’s last work, sorceress Prospero (Helen Mirren) rules a magical island while caring for her daughter Miranda. While unleashing her powers against shipwrecked enemies, her emotions spiral through vengeance to forgiveness.
The Hitch: Directed by Julie Taymor (“Across the Universe,” “Frida,” “Titus”), this movie has the fantastical look she is so good at and with a slew of awesome actors like Alan Cumming, Mirren, and comic relief from Russell Brand, it looks like a really fantastic journey.
The Movie: “Rabbit Hole”
The Trailer: Becca (Nicole Kidman) and Howie (Aaron Eckhart) are a couple in Hudson Valley, NY, trying to cope with the death of their 4-year-old son eight months later. (He was hit by a car, chasing a dog down the street.) They aren’t able to cope or feel feelings. They join a support group for grieving parents. Becca tries to eradicate all traces of her son’s existence while Howie wallows. Becca starts meeting up with the teenager who killed her son at a park bench. They all try to get over the guilt and blame.
The Hitch: Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play and directed by John Cameron Mitchell (“Shortbus,” “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”), this doesn’t look like the kind of movie to watch if you’re in a bad mood, but it’s a glimpse into what must be the worst thing that can happen to a person. Kidman also manages to appear unlikable, which makes her performance seem all the more powerful.
The Movie: “The Garden of Eden”
The Trailer: Young American writer David Bourne (Jack Huston) and his wife Catherine (Mena Suvari) take an extended honeymoon in Europe. Catherine gets restless and lures beautiful Italian Marita (Caterina Murino) into their lives, challenging his devotion and her erotic imagination.
The Hitch: An adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s posthumously published novel The Garden of Eden, which is seen as a departure from his usual work and some imagine it to be more reflective of his personal life. Some wonder whether he wanted it to be published at all. That’s probably partially what makes this look so interesting.