Grit Blogs > The Open Book

Movie Mayhem

By Jean Teller, Sr. Assoc. Editor

Tags: movies, Iron Man 2, Bebe(s), Babies, Robin Hood, Shrek Forever After, Solitary Man, Prince of Persia Sands of Time, Sex and the City 2, Oceans, Paper Man, The Losers, The Back-Up Plan,

Jean TellerThis is usually the way my movie history goes: a long drought, then too many to see in too short a time frame. Sigh.

From my March list, all I saw was How to Train Your Dragon. The extra price for IMAX 3D was definitely worth it for this cute, fun, wonderfully animated film. Other in-theater films I’ve seen are The Losers (lots of guns and explosions, oh, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and The Back-Up Plan (love Alex O’Loughlin).

Rentals included Outsourced (funny), Moon (strange, good and perplexing), Did You Hear About the Morgans? (fun for a rental), Men Who Stare at Goats (not worth it), First Descent (good for a doc on snowboarding), Fame (the 1980 version, almost a good as I remembered), Fame (the 2009 version doesn’t stand up), State of Play (complex, intriguing, good), Everybody’s Fine (it isn’t), and Love Happens (better than I thought it would be, fun and poignant).

So what’s in the theaters for May?

Robert Downey Jr. returns as Tony Stark and Iron Man in the sequel.

Iron Man 2 features Mickey Rourke as Whiplash.

Iron Man 2: This must-see returns Robert Downey Jr. as industrialist/hero Tony Stark, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. New villains include Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson, Don Cheadle and Sam Rockwell. This franchise has proven to be the best comic-book adaptations in recent years. Iron Man 2, rated PG-13, opens May 7. 

Ponijao is one of four babies featured in the new documentary Bebe(s).

Bayar is one of four babies featured in the new documentary Bebe(s).

Hattie is one of four babies featured in the new documentary Bebe(s).

Mari is one of four babies featured in the new documentary Bebe(s).

Bébé(s): A documentary, Bébé(s) (Babies) promises laughter and tears as filmmaker Thomas Balmes takes a look at the first year of four babies from around the world. Ponijao lives in Opuwa, Namibia; Mari is in Tokyo; from Bayanchandmani, Mongolia, we see Bayar; and Hattie calls San Francisco home. The tag line says it all: “Everybody loves babies.” Rated PG, Bébé(s) opens May 7. 

Russell Crowe leads his merry men in the latest version of Robin Hood.

Robin Hood: Director Ridley Scott takes on the legend of Nottingham Forest with Russell Crowe wielding Robin Hood’s bow. Cate Blanchett brings Marion Loxley to life, and Matthew Macfadyen pursues Robin as the Sheriff. Others in the cast include Max von Sydow, William Hurt, Mark Strong and Mark Addy. Rated PG-13, Robin Hood opens May 14.  

Letters to Juliet: At first glance, I decided to ignore this one. But a trailer changed my mind. Amanda Seyfried is on vacation in Verona, Italy, and she finds a letter to Juliet (yes, Shakespeare’s Juliet), and decides to answer it in an attempt to reunite the author and her long-lost love. Other cast members in Gael Garcia Bernal, Vanessa Redgrave and Christopher Egan. Opening May 14, Letters to Juliet is rated PG.  

Shrek The Final Chapter comes to theaters in 3D glory.

Shrek 3D The Final Chapter: The animated series comes to an end with this engaging tale, ala It’s a Wonderful Life, as Shrek struggles with an alternate universe in his attempts to return home. Returning voices include Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas. Rated PG, Shrek opens May 21. 

Solitary Man: A character study of a man watching his professional and private life go down the drain because of his indiscretions provides a perfect vehicle for Michael Douglas as the title character. Also starring Susan Sarandon, Mary-Louise Parker, Jenna Fischer, Jesse Eisenberg and Danny DeVito, Solitary Man is rated R and opens May 21.  

Jake Gyllenhaal stars as the Prince of Persia.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time: Based on a video game, this sword and magic adventure stars Jack Gyllenhaal in the title role, with Gemma Arterton as love interest Tamina, and Ben Kingsley and Alfred Molina. Expect a lot of sword play and daring stunts; don’t expect much of a plot or character development. This one is just plain old fun escapism, folks. Rated PG-13, Prince of Persia opens May 28. 

Sex and the City 2: While I don’t follow this franchise (I never saw the television series), I do see the appeal. Returning as their famous alter egos are Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie, Kim Cattrall as Samantha, Kristin Davis as Charlotte and Cynthia Nixon as Miranda. The sequel finds the foursome heading to Abu Dhabi as Carrie attempts to figure out her marriage to Mr. Big, only to run into a familiar face. Rated R, Sex and the City 2 opens May 28.

Oceans, a new documentary, follows different animals around the globe.

Also on my radar are Oceans, a documentary from Disneynature, and Paper Man, a limited release from April that stars Jeff Daniels and Ryan Reynolds.

Any other suggestions for my to-see list? What’s on your list?

See ya at the movies!

jean teller
5/13/2010 9:28:09 AM

Hi, Shannon, I missed Up in the theaters, so I lost out on the 3D experience. I rented it not too long ago, and enjoyed it immensely. A very poignant story, lovely characters and a great plot, and yes, good music! Definitely one to recommend.

s.m.r. saia
5/12/2010 12:22:23 PM

I always tend to be a little bit behind the times, but have you seen Pixar's "Up"? I just love it, especially the music.

jean teller
5/6/2010 3:08:48 PM

KC, the trailer for Bebes is a hoot. Although I have a feeling there will be places for tears while watching the movie. Yes, I saw How to Train Your Dragon on the IMAX screen in OP - awesome! The detail in IMAX and 3D was simply amazing - you could even see the texture in the Vikings' beards! I'm looking forward to Robin Hood for some of the supporting cast, even more so than Crowe's awesome acting ability. I know what you mean about personality (I refuse to see another Mel Gibson movie), but did you catch a clip of Crowe on Letterman, talking about his sons? Quite funny. (His oldest at 6 years of age compares old Dad with Indiana Jones, and his youngest, 3, has quite the career ambition.) I'm always ready to go to the movies. Give me a holler! :)

k.c. compton
5/5/2010 4:52:52 PM

I hadn't heard about "Bebes" and I certainly want to see that one! I'm sorry I haven't seen "How to Train a Dragon," and hope it isn't gone forever from the 3-D theaters. (Did you see it here or did you go to the Imax theater in Overland Park?) I'm looking forward to Robin Hood, even though I have serious doubts, just because I think Russell Crowe is a wonderful actor. (Maybe not such a nice person, but he sure can act ...) You know, we COULD go to a movie sometime if we could ever get our schedules together. My friend Liz and I often go to the Saturday night 6 p.m.-ish show and then for a bite to eat afterward. --KC

jean teller
4/29/2010 8:32:02 AM

Hi, Dave, I'm not going to the movies nearly as often as I used to - back when, it was often four or five a weekend. I guess I'm getting more selective (or I'm holding onto my money more these days :)) or I'm just more inclined to stay home. Or all of the above. I have several friends I go to movies with, but most of the time, I go alone. I used to order the kid's popcorn - works for me! LOL Let me know what you think of Iron Man 2 - I'm really looking forward to that one. And have a good time!

nebraska dave
4/28/2010 11:43:56 PM

Jean, it has been a while since the last movie review post. My five year old grandson, who now lives with me along with his mother, just returned from seeing “How to Train a Dragon”. He was so excited telling me about it that he couldn’t stand still. He had to jump up and down while he was telling me about it. Of course a must see is Iron Man 2. Shrek 3D is most definitely on the list. I’m always amazed at how the animated movie producers can keep the adults entertained with humor the kids don’t really get but at the same time make a movie that fascinates the kids. My movie going friend got married and moved to Texas so I don’t get to the movies much. It’s just not the same going to the movies alone. Robin Hood looks like something I might like to see. I like Russell Crowe movies. The theatres have early bird 11am shows here that are two dollars cheaper and then a senior discount makes it super cheap. If only they could do something about the snack bar prices. The workers behind the counter always snicker when I boldly walk up to order my Kid’s snack pack. Hey it comes with a bag of popcorn, a drink, and a bag of gummy bears for only five bucks. What could be better than that? I hope all your movie experiences are always good ones.