Last weekend featured the live-action/animated comedy Hop as 2011’s highest grossing debut so far. Will Russell Brand strike gold two weeks in a row when his remake of Arthur hits the screens this weekend? Perhaps a new contender will take the box office crown. It could be the assassin-centric suspense thriller Hanna, or the uplifting tale of a shark attack survivor in Soul Surfer. But my money’s on the raunchy fantasy comedy Your Highness, starring Danny McBride, James Franco and Natalie Portman.
Hit the jump for synopses and trailers for these headliners as well as our coverage on such limited releases as Ceremony, Henry’s Crime and Meek’s Cutoff.
Irresponsible charmer Arthur Bach (Russell Brand) has always relied on two things to get by: his limitless fortune and the good sense of lifelong nanny Hobson (Helen Mirren) to keep him out of trouble. Now he faces his biggest challenge–choosing between an arranged marriage that will ensure his lavish lifestyle or an uncertain future with the one thing money can’t buy, Naomi (Greta Gerwig), the only woman he has ever loved. With Naomi’s inspiration and some unconventional help from Hobson, Arthur will take the most expensive risk of his life and finally learn what it means to become a man, in this re-imagining of the classic romantic comedy “Arthur.”
For more of our coverage on Arthur, click here.
Award-winning director Joe Wright creates a boldly original suspense thriller with HANNA, starring Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones, Atonement) in the title role.
Raised by her father (Eric Bana of Star Trek), an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland, Hanna’s upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own (Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett). As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity.
For more of our coverage on Hanna, click here.
SOUL SURFER is the true story of competitive teen surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack and courageously overcame all odds to become a champion again, inspiring millions worldwide through her sheer determination and unwavering faith. Coming to theaters nationwide on April 15, 2011, this exciting feature film stars Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, AnnaSophia Robb, and Carrie Underwood in her film debut. The cast also includes Lorraine Nicholson, Kevin Sorbo and Jeremy Sumpter.
For more of our coverage on Soul Surfer, click here.
Throughout history, tales of chivalry have burnished the legends of brave, handsome knights who rescue fair damsels, slay dragons and conquer evil. But behind many a hero is a good-for-nothing younger brother trying just to stay out of the way of those dragons, evil and trouble in general. Danny McBride and James Franco team up for an epic comedy adventure set in a fantastical world–Your Highness. As two princes on a daring mission to save their land, they must rescue the heir apparent’s fiancée before their kingdom is destroyed.
Thadeous (McBride) has spent his life watching his perfect older brother Fabious (Franco) embark upon valiant journeys and win the hearts of his people. Tired of being passed over for adventure, adoration and the throne, he’s settled for a life of wizard’s weed, hard booze and easy maidens. But when Fabious’ bride-to-be, Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel), gets kidnapped by the evil wizard Leezar (Justin Theroux), the king gives his deadbeat son an ultimatum: Man up and help rescue her or get cut off.
Half-assedly embarking upon his first quest, Thadeous joins Fabious to trek across the perilous outlands and free the princess. Joined by Isabel (Natalie Portman)–an elusive warrior with a dangerous agenda of her own–the brothers must vanquish horrific creatures and traitorous knights before they can reach Belladonna. If Thadeous can find his inner hero, he can help his brother prevent the destruction of his land. Stay a slacker, and not only does he die a coward, he gets front row seats to the dawn of an all-new Dark Ages.
For more of our coverage on Your Highness, click here.
Sam Davis (Michael Angarano) convinces his former best friend to spend a weekend with him to rekindle their friendship at an elegant beachside estate owned by a famous documentary filmmaker (Lee Pace). But it soon becomes clear that Sam is secretly infatuated with the filmmaker’s fiancee, Zoe (Uma Thurman), and that his true intention is to thwart their impending nuptials. As Sam’s plan begins to unravel, he is forced to realize how complicated love and friendship can be.
For more of our coverage on Ceremony, click here.
Henry’s Crime (limited)
Working the night shift as a toll collector on a lonely stretch of highway in Buffalo, New York, Henry is a man seemingly without ambition, dreams or purpose; a man sleepwalking his way through life. He gets his wakeup call early one morning when he becomes an unwitting participant in an ill-conceived bank heist. Rather than give up the names of the real culprits, Henry takes the fall and goes to jail. There, he meets the irrepressible Max , a con man who’s grown far too comfortable with the familiarity and security of his ‘idyllic’ life behind bars, but one who also helps plant an idea in Henry’s mind which will change his life forever: for a man to find his purpose, he must first have a dream. Upon his release one year later, Henry finds his purpose. Having done the time, he decides he may as well do the crime. Discovering a long forgotten bootlegger’s tunnel which runs from the very same bank to a theater across the alleyway, he convinces the reluctant Max to file for his long overdue parole — and then recruits his former cellmate to help stage a robbery. Their plan is simple: by infiltrating the theater and its current production of Chekhov’s, The Cherry Orchard, the unlikely duo will buy just enough time to dig their way to the adjacent bank vault and drive off with their loot. Unfortunately that plan also includes Henry taking the lead role in the play, where he finds himself slowly falling for the production’s mercurial leading lady, Julie.
For more of our coverage on Henry’s Crime, click here.
Meek’s Cutoff (limited)
The year is 1845, the earliest days of the Oregon Trail, and a wagon team of three families has hired the mountain man Stephen Meek to guide them over the Cascade Mountains. Claiming to know a short cut, Meek leads the group on an unmarked path across the high plain desert, only to become lost in the dry rock and sage. Over the coming days, the emigrants must face the scourges of hunger, thirst and their own lack of faith in each other’s instincts for survival. When a Native American wanderer crosses their path, the emigrants are torn between their trust in a guide who has proven himself unreliable and a man who has always been seen as the natural enemy.
For more of our coverage on Meek’s Cutoff, click here.