IRON MAN 2
Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Samuel L. Jackson, Clark Gregg, John Slattery, Gary Shandling, Christiane Amanpopur, Bill O’Reilly (Directed by Jon Favreau; Written by Justin Theroux; Paramount Pictures)
Following his smashing 2008 debut, playful but tough Tony Stark is back, and once again the Marvel comic hero with the high-tech heart is being played by the unaplogetically over-the-top Robert Downey Jr. This time, the aggressive altruist is joined by another Iron Man, an Army Colonel played by Don Cheadle, as well as a battery of good and bad guys and girls that includes Gwyneth Paltrow as spicy Pepper Potts, Sam Rockwell as an unscrupulous defense contractor, Scarlett Johansson as an intensely athletic spy, Mickey Rourke as a mad Russian scientist and Samuel L. Jackson as a loose cannon named Nick Fury. All this, and Christiane Amanpour and Bill O’Reilly, too! –Guy Flatley Now Playing
Queen Latifah, Common, Paula Patton, James Pickens Jr. Phylicia Rashad, Pam Grier (Directed by Sanaa Hamri; Written by Michael Elliot; Fox Searchlight)
A high-jumping N.B.A. champ, played by mega-rapper Common, takes a bad jump and is in urgent need of physical therapy. That’s where Leslie Wright, played by Queen Latifah--an actress who rarely goes wrong--steps in. Naturally, this dedicted healer falls hard for her fast-dribbling client; yet she is a tad too professional to make a pass. Her best pal (Paula Patton), on the other hand, gets a glimpse of the red-hot hoopster and decides in a split second that she definitely has what it takes to make the perfect Trophy Wife.
So does that mean that Dr. Wright will never win her Mr. Right? Are you kidding—didn’t you hear me just say this sporting lady is played by Queen Latifah? --Guy Flatley Now Playing
Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Matthew Macfadyen, Kevin Durand, Danny Huston, Max von Sydow, William Hurt, Mark Addy, Scott Grimes, Oscar Isaac, Eileen Atkins, Lea Seydoux, Bronson Webb, Robert Pugh, Alan Doyle (Directed by Ridley Scott; Written by Brian Helgeland, Ethan Reiff and Cyrus Voris; Universal Pictures)
Is Russell Crowe the new Errol Flynn? Perhaps not. Still, nobody could stop the hot-tempered Australian from donning the duds of Robin Hood, the legendary bow-and-arrow hero so fondly identified with Flynn. Even if you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing Michael Curtiz’ 1938 classic “Adventures of Robin Hood,” you undoubtedly know that it established Flynn, a gentle-tempered but seriously sexy Australian, as a major Hollywood draw and the definitive Bandit of Sherwood Forest.
In helping us forget Flynn, Crowe has had the good fortune of reteaming with Ridley Scott, the forceful director who pushed him into the arena and on to an Oscar as Best Actor of 2000 in “The Gladiator.” Which leaves us with question of who would dare to follow in the delicate, thoroughly proper British footsteps of Olivia de Havilland as Maid Marian? Hint: one more Aussie.
That’s right, it’s Cate Blanchett, who will turn up the heat several notches in the role of the fiery blueblood who regards Robin Hood as just another out-of-control low-life--until that giddy moment when she discovers precisely how cool this straight-arrow rogue truly is. –Guy Flatley Now Playing
Michael Douglas, Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito, Mary-Louise Parker, Jenna Fischer, Jesse Eisenberg, Imogen Poots, David Costabile (Directed by David Levien and Brian Koppelman; Written by Brian Koppelman; Anchor Bay Films)
Some men cheat on their wives. Some men cheat on their wives by attempting to rekindle a relationship with their ex-wives. Some men even cross a dangerous line with the nubile daughters of their latest wives. And, forgetting women for a second, it’s true that some men are at their most untrustworthy in the cold-blooded pursuit of big bucks.
Rarely does all of the above apply to one solitary man. But, happily, Ben Kalman, the mendacious car salesman and dedicated womanizer superbly played by Michael Douglas in this wickedly dark comedy, is a notable exception. And he deserves a round of applause from all serious moviegoers. --Guy Flatley Now Playing
SEX AND THE CITY 2
Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, John Corbett, Chris Noth, David Eigenberg, Evan Handler, Jason Lewis, Willie Garson, Mario Cantone, Alice Eve, Liza Minnelli, Penelope Cruz (Written and directed by Michael Patrick King; Warner Brothers)
This sequel to the popular comedy about a quartet of boringly libidinous Manhattan babes may not collect any year-end awards. On the other hand, it did collect what will almost certainly be the year's most scathing set of reviews. As A. O. Scott put it, “Your watch will tell you that a shade less than two and a half hours have elapsed, but you may be shocked at just how much older you feel when the whole thing is over.” Click here for the full New York Times review. --Guy Flatley Now Playing
PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME
Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Steve Toussaint, Toby Kebbell, Richard Coyle, Ronald Pickup, Will Foster, Gisli Orn Gardarsson (Directed by Mike Newell; Written by Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro and Carlo Bernard; Walt Disney Pictures)
It’s beginning to look a lot like 1952. That was the year of “Son of Ali Baba,” in which Tony Curtis brashly threw himself into the role of Kashma Baba, a passionate young Persian who made it his business to rescue Princess Azura of Fez (Piper Laurie) from the clutches of an evil medieval Caliph (Victory Jory).
Today, we are still in the ancient land now known as Iran, but the new Prince of Persia is a conspicuously beefed-up Jake Gyllenhaal, and his pouty damsel in distress is the much-hyped Gemma Arterton. As for the totally hissable villain, just wait till you see Ben Kingsley turn on his sneer.
See this if you must, but you might be better advised to dig up Jordan Mechner’s “Prince of Persia,” the videogame series that entertained thrill-hungry civilians during the Gulf War. Or check out Netflix for “Son of Ali Baba.” --Guy Flatley Now Playing