by HELEN GEIB
We apologize for the late arrival of this post. But you knew Iron Man 2 was opening this weekend without my telling you, right?
Iron Man 2– Hollywood will be terribly disappointed if you answered “no” to that last question. Iron Man 2 kicks off the summer movie season and had the marketing and the buzz to prove it. I could have written this post yesterday except I was at the theater with the rest of the masses. It was fun. I liked it. Robert Downey Jr. is back as Tony Stark/Iron Man, which pretty much covers it. There are other things to like too though, starting with the rest of the cast: Mickey Rourke, Sam Rockwell, Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jon Favreau, and Garry Shandling.
Just Wright– Romantic comedy vehicle for consummate scene-stealer Queen Latifah. Rapper turned actor Common (Terminator Salvation, Street Kings) co-stars as her love interest and Paula Patton (the saintly teacher in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire) as her rival for his affections. Directed by Sanaa Hamri, who directed 2006’s underrated rom-com Something New; the screenwriter is Michael Elliot (Brown Sugar, Like Mike). Fingers crossed that this will be another Last Holiday.
Letters to Juliet– Strangely, two romantic comedies open against each other this weekend. I can understand counter-programming against Robin Hood, but this seems like needlessly splitting your audience. Letters stars Amanda Seyfried (Dear John) as a young American abroad who finds an old unanswered love letter and determines to give the writer a happy ending. Gael Garcia Bernal plays the Latin love interest; co-starring Vanessa Redgrave. The film was directed by Gary Winick (Bride Wars, 13 Going on 30).
Robin Hood– From the cast of the trailers, this newest tale of Robin Hood is an effort to mine the legend for gritty realism and hard-edged action- and this time (I’m looking at you, Prince of Thieves), to do it right. Ridley Scott directs Russell Crowe as the legendary freedom fighter; Cate Blanchett as Maid Marian and Matthew Macfadyen as the Sheriff of Nottingham head up the impressive supporting cast. The screenplay is by Brian Helgeland (Green Zone, LA Confidential).
MacGruber– Amazingly, they’re still cranking out big-screen spin-offs of SNL sketches. As I don’t watch SNL, I can only tell you that it looked amazingly stupid in the trailer. I learned from the IMDb credits that this stars Will Forte, who also co-wrote with John Solomon and Jorma Taccone, the latter of whom also directed and has some writing and directing credits in TV. Val Kilmer plays MacGruber’s archenemy.
Shrek Forever After– Fourth film in the franchise. They say it will be the last. Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, and John Cleese are back for the voice cast. Mike Mitchell, who didn’t direct any of the earlier films, directs.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time– Apparently alone among my acquaintance, I’m looking forward to seeing Prince of Persia. I’m not a Jake Gyllenhaal fangirl, so it must be because I’m a sucker for an Arabian Nights-style adventure. Whether or not it’s based on a video game and looks it. Directed, rather unexpectedly, by Mike Newell (Harry Pottery and the Goblet of Fire, Donnie Brasco, many other familiar titles). Co-starring Gemma Arterton (Clash of the Titans), Ben Kingsley, and Alfred Molina.
Sex and the City 2– I really don’t have anything to say about this one. You all already know whether or not you’re going to see it, anyway. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Dixon all return for this sequel, co-starring their characters’ wardrobes; written and directed by Michael Patrick King, who wrote and directed the first film.