Natalie Portman kisses Mila Kunis, Jim Carrey kisses Ewan McGregor, and cowboys fight ninjas. Who gets your ticket money?
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel
Ballet movies don't usually flip my tutu, but there's reason to believe this one is weird and wild enough to entertain someone who wouldn't know "Swan Lake" from Lake Erie. Pundits are already sounding the Oscar alarms for Natalie Portman's performance as a ballerina whose shot at the lead role as the Swan Queen is threatened by her understudy Mila Kunis (as well as her own mental instability). It's a little All About Eve, a little Single White Female, and maybe even a little of David Cronenberg's The Fly, judging from that shot in the trailer of Portman sprouting black feathers. Director Darren Aronofsky can be unbearable when using his brand of visual pyrotechnics to jackhammer an obvious message into smithereens — I still think Requiem for a Dream is the most overrated after-school special ever made — but I am curious to see what he can do with an offbeat psychological thriller like this. Plus: Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis making out! That's good cinema right there.
Director: Sngmoo Lee
Cast: Jang Dong-gun, Kate Bosworth, Geoffrey Rush
Sure, it sounds like an irresistibly fun premise: cowboys vs. ninjas! (Sadly, you'll have to wait until next summer for the main event, Cowboys and Aliens.) Unfortunately, The Warrior's Way is yet another exercise in cheapo green-screen filmmaking, the trailer for which looks like a collection of cut-scenes from some new Red Dead Redemption spinoff videogame. Korean-action-film aficionados more familiar with the career of star Jang Dong-gun (Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War) than myself may want to see him kicking ass and taking names in a western setting, but my doctor has already warned me that I have too much CGI in my diet.
Directors: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Cast: Jim Carrey, Ewan McGregor, Leslie Mann
It's usually not considered a good sign when a movie has been collecting dust on a shelf as long as Phillip Morris has (although it's certainly not the first film to be delayed due to controversy over its sexual content), but I won't hold distributor squeamishness against this gay-themed black comedy. If anything, the controversy is a badge of honor for directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who are already in my good graces for penning the holiday classic Bad Santa. Jim Carrey takes a break from losing his mind on Twitter to star as a Texas con man who falls for fellow inmate Ewan McGregor during a prison stint, then devotes his creative energies to springing his new love from jail. It's almost a coin flip this week, as both this and Black Swan look like contenders for the ol' year-end top ten list. But I'll give the slight edge to the Aronofsky, if only for the Portman/Kunis canoodling.
The One Movie You Should See This Week: Black Swan