The Hot Sheet
BY Advocate.com Editors
December 10 2010 8:00 AM ET
The Tempest — Shakespeare’s turbulent Prospero, a wizard in exile, gets a sex change and makes the story a vehicle for the formidable Helen Mirren (as Prospera). Julie Taymor’s imaginative adaptation of the one of the bard's most magical plays is full of sound and fury, but when Mirren isn't on-screen, it's mostly plodding. Mirren's scenes with androgynous Ben Whishaw (as the sprite Ariel) are, well, sprightly, but Russell Brand, Djimon Hounsou, and the rest of the cast seem lost at sea.
The Tourist — Both Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp look gorgeous, but neither can compete with the beauty of Venice's Grand Canal. The superstars surprisingly fail to spark much heat in this romantic escapade, an unsatisfying English-language remake of a 2005 French film. What seems like an homage to Hitchcock's still-spellbinding North by Northwest is undone by the deadly pacing.