War, rape, the Holocaust -- the themes prevalent in many of this year's Academy-recognized films left little room for laughter, certainly not of the knee-slapping, hand-clapping, spit-popcorn-out-of-one's-mouth sort.
But now that the statues have been handed out, the fun flicks can make their way back to front and center -- those movies that, while perhaps not intellectually challenging, offer a damn good time. Below, a roundup of the top five movies coming soon to a theater near you that you'll actually enjoy.
Ever wonder how movies actually get made? In "Tales From the Script," tell how their words made it onto the big screen. Wheeling and dealing, begging and pleading, jumping through hoops and over hurdles -- the tales told by the writers behind "Lethal Weapon," "Halloween," "The Shawshank Redemption," "Taxi Driver" and more show, in gritty detail, what it takes to make it in the movie industry. They also tell previously-unknown stories about how experiences with stars like Harrison Ford, Morgan Freeman, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg led to some of Hollywood's most legendary screenplays. Opens March 12.
Like Italian food? Love comedy? Then sidle up to the internationally acclaimed "Mid-August Lunch," which follows Gianni, a witty, wine-loving, middle-aged bachelor charged with housing and entertaining his 93-year-old widowed mother and three other fiesty octogenarians in a tiny Italian apartment over a weekend. (Think "The Golden Girls" meets "Two and a Half Men.") The scenes starring food -- Gianni whips up an epic meal at the end of the film -- are enough to make your mouth water. Opens March 17.
If you can't wait until summer for a star-studded action flick, this one's for you. In "The Bounty Hunter," Jennifer Aniston's character skips bail and runs for her life as her ex-husband, played by Gerard Butler, tries to find her, kill her, and skyrocket out of his struggling bounty hunter status. The real appeal of this movie is watching the perpetually well-groomed actress get roughed up and the tall, dark and handsome leading man get down and dirty. It's not brain food, it's eye candy.Opens March 19.
Suspense, intrigue and a cult following: "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo's" got all three. The movie, based on the first of the Millennium trilogy of novels by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, centers on Lisbeth Salander, a goth, genius computer hacker with a nose ring who helps a journalist reopen a cold case and solve a 40-year-old murder. The film smashed box office records in Scandanavia after opening there in 2009, and actress Noomi Rapace won Sweden's equivalent of the Oscar for her role as Lisbeth. If you're a fan of "The Bourne Identity" and its sequels, buy a ticket to this. Opens March 19.
If the success of "Avatar" and "Alice and Wonderland" haven't made it clear already, 3D is blowing up on the big screen. "Hubble 3D" is a must-see for anyone obsessed with the movie technology and/or outer space. Narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, the film features stunning footage shot by the IMAX 3D cameras that joined the crew of the space shuttle Atlantis when it went up to fix the Hubble in 2009. It also features images the telescope has captured during its nearly two decades in space. You'll be gripping your seat during the spacewalks and 3D flight through the universe. Embrace your inner child, sit back, and enjoy the ride. Opens March 19.