Who are you kidding, you know perfectly well that when you’ve run out of presents to open on Christmas Day (or you don’t celebrate Christmas) and you’ve run out of stuff to argue about with your family, that you’re going to want to see a movie. Fortunately, there are some pretty decent movies coming out this week and if you’re in the mood for something stupid, there’s plenty of that too! So when you’ve filled up on ham and eggnog, get yourself to a movie theater because nothing says Christmas like sitting in the dark, surrounded by strangers who’re also suffering for the inevitable post-Christmas blues! Happy Holidays!
The Movie: “True Grit”
The Trailer: 19th century frontier girl Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) sets out to avenge her father’s death at the hands of Tom Chaney (Josh Brolin) and she asks for the help of U.S. Marshal Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) and Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon).
The Hitch: If you’re getting a bit of “No Country for Old Men” deja vu, it’s because this is again the Coen brothers, now going full-on Western. They sealed their place in my heart with “Raising Arizona” and can do little wrong. Throw in the amazing Jeff Bridges — coming off an Oscar win for “Crazy Heart” — and a storyline voiced by a fiery young woman … well, I’m sold!
The Movie: “Somewhere”
The Trailer: Johnny Marco (Stephen Dorff) is a celebrity cad whose fast-paced lifestyle is put on hold when his estranged 11-year-old daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning) shows up at his residence at the Chateau Marmont for some father-daughter bonding time.
The Hitch: I’ve always had a massive girl crush on Sofia Coppola, ever since JANE magazine did a write-up about her favorite spots in L.A., forever ago. And I think it’s important to support talented female directors because despite what’s been said about nepotism, she is worthy of all the accolades. I like that she’s going with this iconic hotel theme in her movies and there aren’t enough films about the very specific specialness that is a father-daughter relationship.
The Movie: “Country Strong”
The Trailer: Kelly Canter (Gwyneth Paltrow) just left rehab and is thrown into a tour with hunky young singer-songwriter Beau Hutton (Garrett Hedlund) and former beauty queen turned singer Chiles Stanton (Leighton Meester). Canter and her husband/manager James (Tim McGraw) are rightfully suspicious of each other and their bonds with the other hot young artists. Romantic entanglements and vices make the tour interesting.
The Hitch: Though it was hard to imagine GOOP-y Gwyneth as a believable alcoholic mess, her recent role on “Glee” has endeared her to me, just a bit. With country music’s recent(ish) surge in popularity, I guess it’s a good time for a female “Crazy Heart.” It will be fun to see all the actors involved singing country music and maybe it will be comforting to see Gwyneth not being perfect for once.
The Movie: “Little Fockers”
The Trailer: A follow-up to “Meet the Parents” and “Meet the Fockers,” now
The Hitch: I can’t stand Ben Stiller movies, they’re always cringe-inducingly awkward and his bad luck holds no comedy for me. The only Stiller movie I’ve ever liked was “Greenburg.” And when my family chirped, “Let’s go see ‘Little Fockers,’ it looks so funny!” I told them to have a good time. If it weren’t bad enough that Stiller’s character still hasn’t been accepted into his new family, now he has to inject De Niro’s boner after he takes his erectile dysfunction pills? When does it focking end? I think this one jumped the shark a few penis jokes ago.
The Movie: “Gulliver’s Travels”
The Trailer: Lemuel Gulliver (Jack Black) is an underachiever who gets an opportunity to start a career as a travel writer at a New York newspaper. But on his way to the Bermuda Triangle, a storm sucks him into an island inhabited by tiny people called Liliputians. After a rough start, the giant Gulliver starts to inspire his tiny friends (like Emily Blunt and Jason Segel) and introduces them to modern-day staples like PDAs and video games.
The Hitch: In Jonathan Swift’s classic tale, Gulliver eventually returns to his family, is repulsed by them, and goes nuts and spends a lot of time speaking to the horses in his barn. In other words, it’s not really a happy-go-lucky tale. Enter Jack Black, however, and it’s all fun and games! I might be able to handle this one on a slow night, but it’s not going to pull in anything at awards season. I think you know what you’re getting into with this one.