In anticipation of the holiday, most new movies are opening on Wednesday this week. Once again we start off with the expansions:
- No Country for Old Men. The new Coen Brothers movie expands into 800 theaters just in time for the holiday. You really and truly have no excuse for not seeing it now. Step away from the turkey and pumpkin pie and get thee to a theater, friendo.
- Margot at the Wedding. Give thanks this weekend that your family isn’t like the one in Noah Baumbach’s new film and then go see No Country for Old Men.
- August Rush. An orphaned musical prodigy (Freddie Highmore) seeks his birth parents in this urban fantasy directed by Jim Sheridan’s daughter Kristen. Robin Williams, Keri Russell and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers also star.
- Enchanted. When I first heard about this I assumed it would be some kind of classic Disney animation/live action mix getting the post-modern Shrek treatment with an abundance of unwanted pop culture references and fart jokes; basically the final insult to Walt Disney and the destruction of everything he’d created. The thing is, I keep hearing it’s really very good and there are even murmurings of Oscar talk for star Amy Adams (Junebug). I’m obviously not the target audience for this, but I love Amy Adams so I’ll probably see it anyway. The story? A princess is banished from her musical magical animated kingdom to modern day Manhattan. Also with Susan Sarandon, James Marsden and Patrick Dempsey.
- Hitman. Timothy Olyphant is….wait for it….a hitman. Based on the video game.
- The Mist. The last time Frank Darabont turned a Stephen King short story into a movie, the result was the beloved-by-many The Shawshank Redemption. He didn’t have quite the same success with King’s serialized novel The Green Mile and he got clobbered pretty good with the King-less The Majestic. Now he returns to King short story territory with The Mist. It’s a different cup of tea from Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption so it’ll be interesting to see how it comes out. It could go both ways.
- This Christmas. I put the odds of this Christmas themed family comedy/drama not being a flaccid turd at about even. I can barely even type out the words “Christmas themed family comedy/drama” without falling asleep. Stars Delroy Lindo, Idris Elba, Loretta Devine, Sharon Leal and Mekhi Phifer.
- I’m Not There. From Todd Haynes (Safe, Far From Heaven) comes this examination/celebration of the many facets of Bob Dylan’s persona. Bursting with great music and terrific performances, this one is going to leave a lot of people scratching their heads wondering where the story is. That’s too bad because it’s a great ride if you relax and let it carry you away. Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger and Ben Wishaw are (not) Bob Dylan.
- Nina’s Heavenly Delights. Comedy romance centering around an Indian restaurant in Glasgow, Scotland.
These are the stragglers that are opening in limited release on Friday:
- Everything’s Cool: A Toxic Comedy About Global Warming. Worst title for a global warming documentary. Ever.
- Holly. This is the one about the 12-year-old Vietnamese prostitute that opened in NY on 11/9. Opens in LA this Friday.
- Midnight Eagle. From Japan. A US bomber with a nuclear payload crash lands in northern Japan. A former war photographer turned nature photographer (Takao Ôsawa) sets out to keep the weapons from falling into the wrong hands. Based upon the novel by Tetsuo Takashima. Jeez, you drop one or two atomic bombs on someone and they never let you forget it…
- Starting Out in the Evening. Frank Langella stars as an aging novelist who becomes the thesis subject of a pretty grad student (Lauren Ambrose) in this indie drama from Andrew Wagner. Based upon the novel by Brian Morton.