By R. Kurt Osenlund, The Good Life film critic
SEX AND THE CITY 2
Okay, the fan in me really wants to be super-excited for this movie, which reunites the fab foursome for yet another couture-filled soiree. But the critic in me sees a lot of problems here: 1. Do we really need another outing with Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda? I'm not gonna pull the age card, but I will say that one movie was a nice enough capper to an iconic series. Dragging out the story may well tarnish its history. 2. Could Carrie's stock narration sound any more desperate? Here's what I heard: "Sorry, we really don't have anything left to say, but please come see our movie anyway." 3. Finally, the most obvious complaint: What's with the desert? As a century of cinema has proven, New York is rich enough for thousands of stories, and it's the cornerstone of "SATC." No need to shuffle the ladies off to the Sahara, where broad comedy will undoubtedly ensue. Also, there's no one more qualified to strut across sand dunes in designer clothes than these girls, but that doesn't mean it doesn't look ridiculous.
IRON MAN 2
Another sequel, and more skepticism for yours truly. Believe me, I adored the first "Iron Man" film, calling it one of the best superhero flicks to ever be churned out of Hollywood. But this follow-up looks to be even more cocky than Tony Stark, the metal-clad millionaire played by Robert Downey Jr. There's potential for a lot of broad humor here as well, as evidenced by jokes that may be too lame for even the great Downey Jr. to sell (in my opinion, "You complete me" is never, ever okay). Mickey Rourke is an exciting addition, but unless his Whiplash has more tricks up his sleave, he doesn't seem to be a very formidable villain. In case you missed her few seconds of screen time, Scarlett Johansson also appears as The Black Cat.
A prestige film stripped of its prestigious, Oscar-qualifying, late-2009 release date, "Creation" spent a long time searching for a U.S. distributor following its premiere at September's Toronto International Film Festival. Apparently, American audiences are especially sensitive to the Charles Darwin biopic's theme of Creationism versus evolution. The movie has since been picked up by Newmarket Films, and will open at the end of January. However good it turns out to be, the unfortunate truth is that its early-in-the-year showing will probably adversely effect its chances in the 2010 awards season. Still, it will no doubt benefit from having two terrific lead actors on board: Paul Bettany as Darwin and Jennifer Connelly, Bettany's real-life wife, as Mrs. Darwin.