1.) The Chronicles of Narnia (Fox, 3,555 Theaters, 115 Minutes, Rated PG): I don’t know about you, but I kind of forgotten the franchise was still around. It’s only been two years since the last entry, but that go around was slightly less successful that the powers that be might have liked. Let’s hope this one picks up the pace, because there are even more sequels in the pipeline.
The kids are back in Narnia again and have reunited with Prince Caspian. This time, they engage in a sea voyage where they meet dragons, merfolk, and lost warriors. The final destination turns out to be the end of the world.
I will be interested to see how this film does, with the similar-ish Harry Potter still in theaters. It might not really matter because like I said the next edition is in the works whether this succeeds or fails.
2.) The Tourist (Sony/Columbia, 2,756 Theaters, 103 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Five years ago, if you told me that a romantic thriller starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp was set to be released, I’d say that it would be a can’t miss proposition. This year? I’m not so sure.
All the ads I see for this film make it seem like the actors are just sleepwalking through their roles. It’s hard to read chemistry from the small amount of clips that are in ads, but it doesn’t really seem like there’s much chemistry there between Depp and Jolie. I could be wrong.
The film follows Depp’s character to Italy, where he goes to men a broken heart. While there, he meets Jolie and gets drawn into to a world of espionage. Chases and gunfights, I imagine, will ensue.
The two wide releases don’t seem to have what it takes to get the Academy’s attention. If I’m wrong, then The Tourist might garner acting nods for Depp and/or Jolie, but based on what I have seen of the film, they might not entirely be deserved.
However, there is The Fighter (Paramount, 4 Theaters, 114 Minutes, Rated R) which has Oscar written all over it. Esquire magazine has already given the Best Actor award to Christian Bale. If the film is good enough, Esquire might be right and Bale might have some company.
There is also The Tempest (Miramax, 5 Theaters, 110 Minutes, Rated PG-13). Julie Taymor is considered by some an unmitigated genius. But the Academy doesn’t really seem to think so. She does have one Oscar nomination to her name, but that is for Best Original Song for “Burn it Blue” from Frieda. But it is Shakespeare and she is taking chances with the work. If they pay off, it has a chance at a nod or two.