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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:
In this animated film, Merida (voiced by Kelly Macdonald), is a princess in a Scottish kingdom. A contest is held to decide who will wed Merida, but she defies the custom, not wanting to follow her parents’ wishes. She decides to use a curse to change her parents’ minds about the marriage, but that curse goes terribly wrong, and Merida has to be her bravest to break the spell and save her kingdom. Brave website
What to Watch For: Pixar re-did their animation system to make the picture even more realistic and lifelike.
Word on the Street: This film boasts a great cast including Julie Walters, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Craig Ferguson and, of course, good luck charm John Ratzenberger (he has been in every Pixar picture).
My Take: This film should do well with audiences, especially after the groundbreaking Hunger Games picture showed that audiences are willing to see a picture with a strong female lead who embarks on an adventure.
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter (2012)
History books seemed to have forgotten that our 16th President was not only responsible for keeping the Union together, but he also stopped Vampires from taking over the United States. Apparently, Lincoln split those rails to make stakes to slay the undead. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter website
What to Watch For: Not well-known Benjamin Walker beat out better-known actors Eric Bana, Timothy Olyphant, Adrien Brody and James D’Arcy for the title role.
Word on the Street: The special effects are said to be the main draw of this film.
My Take: The trailers have been playing for quite a while, creating some excitement for the fans of Sci-Fi and horror films. The book has been on the bestseller list for some time.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
It is discovered that an asteroid is on a collision course and will destroy life on Earth as we know it. Dodge (Steve Carell) is a mild-mannered insurance salesman whose wife takes off running when they get the bad news. Dodge decides to find his high school sweetheart and with the help of his next door neighbor (Keira Knightley), he sets out on a road trip before the asteroid arrives. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World website
What to Watch For: Steve Carell gives a moving and understated performance, which some critics believe could bring an Oscar nomination.
Word on the Street: It’s going to be interesting so see if fans of The Office will go see a movie that is more bittersweet than funny.
My Take: The supporting cast, including Connie Britton, Melanie Lynskey, Adam Brody, Patton Oswalt and Amy Schumer, makes this film very enjoyable to watch.
Where Do We Go Now? (2012)
In a Lebanese town that is made up of both Christians and Muslims, the women of the village do everything in their power to keep the peace while the country around them is on the brink of civil war. Where Do We Go Now? website
What to Watch For: This foreign film has been gathering the awards at film festivals, including the Best Picture Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival.
Word on the Street: The film has a good mix of both comedy and drama, making it a film that is sure to start up conversations with film goers after the movie.
My Take: Writer/Director/Star Nadine Labaki is the only professional actor in the film, but you wouldn’t know it from the great performances, especially from the women in the cast.
If you can’t make it to the theatre this weekend, stay at home and watch movies on CW69.
The Assignment (1997) Lt. Commander Ramirez (Aidan Quinn) looks exactly like one of the world’s most brutal terrorists, Carlos the Jackal. He is recruited to impersonate Carlos by a mysterious government agent (Ben Kingsley). Ramirez soon learns, though, that in the spy game, nothing is as it appears.
Birth (2004) Anna (Nicole Kidman) lost her husband 10 years ago. Now, she has gotten her life back together and is about to get married. Suddenly, she has a chance encounter with a young boy who proceeds to tell her that he is her husband, reincarnated. At first she doubts the story, but as she has more and more contact with the boy, she starts to question whether his story is true, and her fiancé begins to question her sanity.
I am Sam(2001) A mentally retarded man, Sam (Sean Penn), fights for the custody of his daughter (Dakota Fanning) when the state determines that he isn’t competent to care for her. Determined to get her back, Sam gets a high priced lawyer (Michelle Pfeiffer) to work his case pro bono, a case that she is reluctant to take. Can he beat the odds and get back the daughter whom he deeply loves?