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Mike's ProfileMike has a degree in Film from The University of Texas at Austin. He has worked in the entertainment industry for the past 25 years and sees two to four new movies in the theatre a week. Mike has a weekly movie blog where he reviews films both present and past at: lastonetoleavethetheatre.blogspot.com He can be followed on Twitter @lastonetoleave
Opening this week at a theatre near you:
This Means War (2012)
Two CIA agents (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy) are interested in the same girl (Reese Witherspoon). At the insistence of her sister (Chelsea Handler), she decides to date both men, not knowing what they do for a living. Now it’s a competition for her affection and both men are going to use every trick in the CIA playbook to win her over. This Means War website
What to Watch For: While Reese is an established star and Chris Pine is well known for his Star Trek role, this might be the breakout role for Tom Hardy (Warrior, Inception).
Word on the Street: This is a “date” movie that both sexes will be happy with – lots of action with cars crashes, bullets/fists flying for the guys and romantic comedy scenes for the gals.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2012)
The motorcycle riding Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) is back, hiding out in Eastern Europe. The devil has a plan to try and take a human form. If he succeeds, it could be the end of Ghost Rider and the human race. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance website
What to Watch For: The Ghost Rider skull was totally redone from the 2008 film, making it more menacing.
Word on the Street: This film is said to be darker. So, will the fan boys like it more than the first film?
The Secret World of Arriety (2012)
Arriety (voiced by Bridgit Mendler) is a Borrower ( what does this mean?) a family of four-inch high people live in secret and take just what they need to survive from the Beings living in the big houses above. But Arriety’s world is about to change when a young boy (voiced by Mark Strong) discovers that she is sneaking into his room. The Secret World of Arriety website
What to Watch For: This film comes from the much loved Japanese animation studio, Ghibli, which is responsible for 2002’s Spirited Away, the only non-American winner for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars.
Word on the Street: Will Arnett and Amy Poehler voice Arriety’s parents, but fans of their works may not recognize their voices in this film.
A Separation (2011)
An Iranian couple is at a crossroads in their relationship. The husband wants to stay and take care of his father who has Alzheimers. The wife wants to move abroad to give their daughter a better education and life. The choices they make could ruin their lives. A Separation website
What to Watch For: Can an Iranian film be successful in the United States?
Word on the Street: This film is the frontrunner for the Best Foreign Picture at the Oscars and won numerous awards at Film Festivals and critic associations.
If you can’t make it to the theatre this weekend, stay at home and watch movies on CW69:
The Big Hit (1998) Melvin Smiley (Mark Wahlberg) is a successful hit man. He and his pals decide to branch out on their own and kidnap a Japanese businessman’s daughter and hold her for ransom. Everything, though, starts to go wrong from the start in this action/comedy thriller. Lou Diamond Phillips, Christina Applegate and Avery Brooks round out the cast.
Nine to Five (1980) The classic comedy starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton, play three secretaries who are hell-bent on changing the culture of the company branch that they work for, even if it means killing their boss (Dabney Coleman).
Secondhand Lions (2003) A shy, young man (Haley Joel Osment) is sent, by his mother, to spend the summer with his two eccentric uncles (Michael Caine and Robert Duvall) in Texas – an experience that will change all their lives.