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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:
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (2012)
In this animated film, Pirate Captain sets sail with the intent of winning Pirate of the Year. The competition, though, is tough this year, and it’s going to take something special, like storming the streets of London and taking on the ultimate pirate hater, the Queen of England, to win. The Pirates! Band of Misfits Website
What to Watch For: The voice cast for this film is stellar with Hugh Grant as The Pirate Captain, Jeremy Piven as Black Bellamy, Salma Hayek as Cutlass Liz and David Tennant as Charles Darwin.
Word on the Street: This is a film that kids will enjoy but has plenty of inside jokes for adults, as well.
My Take: The production company behind this film brought you the award-winning Wallace & Gromit films and last year’s Arthur Christmas.
The Raven (2012)
When a madman starts committing murders based on the works of horror writer Edgar Allan Poe, a Baltimore policeman enlists the help of Poe, himself (played by John Cusack), to hunt down the killer before he strikes again. The Raven Website
What to Watch For: Will audiences go for an action-adventure Cusack when they are so used to the John Cusack of romance films like Say Anything, Serendipity and Must Love Dogs?
Word on the Street: Before Cusack got the part, a number of the best leading men were mentioned for the role, including Jeremy Renner, Ewan McGregor and Joaquin Phoenix.
My Take: The film was shot mostly in Belgrade and Budapest, so it should have a nice, dark look to it. John Cusack has rarely let me down in his performances.
The Five-Year Engagement (2012)
In this romantic comedy, Jason Segel and Emily Blunt play a couple who suffer the strains of an engagement that is continuously postponed. Five-Year Engagement Website
What to Watch For: Director Nicholas Stoller co-wrote the screenplay with star, Jason Segel. They are the same team that brought you 2008’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Word on the Street: The film’s comedy is being favorably compared to last year’s big hit, Bridesmaids.
My Take: Jason Segel is on a hot streak with The Muppets, and Emily Blunt is doing nicely in the romantic category with last year’s The Adjustment Bureau and this year’s Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
Damsels in Distress (2012)
Lily (Analeigh Tipton) is the new girl on campus at Seven Oaks College. She joins a trio of girls led by Violet (Greta Gerwig) who is determined to show Lily how to find the right man, even if she doesn’t always take Violet’s advice. Damsels in Distress Website
What to Watch For: Will audiences, especially college-aged, go for this quirky comedy?
Word on the Street: Greta Gerwig just won a Best Actress Award for this role given by the Dublin Film Critics.
My Take: A number of actors in this film have CW network ties including Megalyn Echikunwoke (90210), Hugo Becker (Gossip Girl) and Caitlin Fitzgerald (Gossip Girl).
If you can’t make it to the theatre this weekend, then stay home and watch movies on CW69.
Rush Hour 2 (2001) In this sequel to the 1998 megahit Rush Hour, Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan team up again, and get mixed up in a counterfeit investigation that starts out in the streets of Hong Kong and ends up in the casinos of Las Vegas. Along the way, they meet a sexy undercover Secret Service agent (played by Without a Trace’s Roselyn Sanchez) who enlists their help in her investigation. Tucker and Chan haven’t lost their trademark chatter as they fight the bad guys in the type of high action adventure that the series has become known for.
Go (1999) Katie Holmes, Sarah Polley, Scott Wolf and Taye Diggs star in this film about Christmas Eve in Los Angeles where a grocery store, a Rave, a trip to Vegas and a drug deal gone bad all mix into one crazy adventure.