Is it just me or does The Hunger Games have the largest cast of any movie ever made in the history of cinema? A day does not go by when another well-known actor or actress doesn’t sign on to be part of the fun. I’m still a little flummoxed by the book’s appeal, but predict a blockbuster nonetheless.
Okay. It’s that time of week again. I’m pretty sure if you happen to own a movie theater and it’s accessible to lots of young people, you’re going to be swamped this weekend. Largely because it’s a young person’s game right about now – what with not one but two very successful kids’ movies (Rio and Hop) battling it out, and then of course there’s Fast Five outpacing everything in its midst. Add Thor – summer’s first action hero film, and watch the fireworks. Thor is based on Marvel’s popular franchise (and this one will probably give birth to sequels too). Here Chris Hemsworth plays the god of thunder, with a little help from Sir Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman. Then — and here’s the wild card – we discover it was directed by Kenneth Branagh. Known predominantly as an English Shakespearean actor. And at one time he was Mr. Emma Thompson. Someone who might not be the first guy you’d go to when making a big action movie with mythological components based on a comic book. Although, not sure you would have gone to Jon Favreau if you had that Iron Man script either – and look what he did. Point is, they’re expecting Thor to reign mighty thunder upon the summer box office. I suspect it will do just that. Natalie Portman alone should fill some seats. So we’ll wait and see. Also opening in theaters for those who aren’t up for a big action adventure with muscles and creatures, we have two wedding-themed flicks. First, there’s Something Borrowed. A romantic comedy based on a bestselling chick-lit novel, S.B. features Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson as BFF’s, only one of them falls for the other’s fiancé. The Office’s John Krasinski is also aboard to lend humor. Of which there may not be too much – if the current buzz is to be believed. Also opening is Jumping The Broom starring Paula Patton, Angela Bassett, Loretta Devine and Laz Alonso. Dancing With The Stars’ Romeo also makes an appearance here, which may fuel further interest in this tale of two families who meet on Martha’s Vineyard for a wedding.
There’s another film afoot directed by Jodie Foster called The Beaver, starring Mel Gibson. The trick here will be getting people into the theaters, largely because of Gibson’s recent (and astoundingly myriad) personal troubles. Word of mouth for this drama – about a man who’s so addled that he can only communicate via a hand puppet – is actually quite good. Still, the damage done by Gibson’s own mouth may be too overwhelming to convince viewers. Meanwhile Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington and Eva Mendes star in an infidelity drama (because that’s pretty much a category by now) called Last Night. In addition to this, Mickey Rourke and Bill Murray star in a new crime film called Passion Play, which curiously has yet to receive any positive reviews. Finally, my favorite movie title of the year was given to a little film in limited release starring Rutger Hauer. It looks a tad violent for me, although I may be entirely mistaken. That said, if you happen to see Hobo With A Shotgun and it’s a total family-friendly gem, let me know.
Have a great weekend.
1) The Beaver
2) Jumping the Broom
3) Something Borrowed