Movie Mayhem

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This 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?

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. 

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. 

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 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.  

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.

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!