In Theaters This Weekend: December movie season officially starts with a low roar

10 Dec

December is reserved for big blockbusters and Oscar-pandering indies, but last week, December 3rd, gave us little of either, so maybe this week we can pick up the pace, Hollywood? This weekend the studios get back on track, but it’s going to be a slow build up to Christmas Day, and the big Christmas weekend releases (TRON: Legacy, True Grit, Gulliver’s Travels, Little Fockers), but for now we’ll just take what we can get, and that’s two big movies that target completely different audiences.

First up is The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third film based off C.S. Lewis7-part book series. A series that was clearly meant to ride the coattails of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it made a big splash in 2005 with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but come on, we bet you can’t name the second movie in the series, which leads us to question, why are these movies still coming out, and who is really still interested anymore? There may be some fans left to check out this kiddie version of ‘Rings’, but this franchise is currently treading water, and the chances of getting through all seven of Lewis’ books looks pretty bleak.

A glowing blue sword in a movie that swears it's not ripping off 'Lord of the Rings'

The other big movie opening up this weekend, and a 360 from Disney’s ‘Narnia’ fantasy is The Tourist, starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in a mistaken identity tale revolving around international intrigue and a bunch of stolen money. Depp plays a timid traveler hoping for a relaxing trip to Italy, while Jolie is the question-mark vixen who wraps him up in the twisty plot. While it’s fun to see Depp and Jolie onscreen together in exotic locales, the movie comes off a bit convoluted, and we could easily rattle off a list of films that have visited this familiar territory. The Tourist will be a much better option on date-night, than say, Morning Glory, but much like that film, despite its big names, this one seems like it will easily be forgotten.

In limited release: The Fighter, Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale’s inspiring movie about a boxer that’s down and out, but gets one last shot at the title, is opening in select theaters this weekend.  Following a strong pugilism pedigree, the filmmakers are chasing Oscar gold, but despite Bale’s very convincing turn as a junkie who coulda been a contender, The Fighter might float like a butterfly, but misses on the sting. Also in limited release is The Tempest, director Julie Taymor’s flashy update of Shakespeare’s last play. However, with Taymor’s Broadway catastrophe currently taking up most of her attention, bet that her film will go overlooked, and aside from the art house crowd, most audiences should follow suit.

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