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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 Watch (2012)
Life seems pretty good in suburbia and a group of dads plan to keep it that way by forming a neighborhood watch. It seems like an easy thing to do and as a bonus it gets the guys away from their families for a little while, allowing them a break from their hum-drum life. Things are going great until they discover aliens from another world have invaded their community and it’s up to the gang to save the neighborhood… and maybe the world. The Watch Trailer
What to Watch For: The strong point of this sci-fi comedy is its cast with Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and Richard Ayoade who play the four dads in the neighborhood watch.
Word on the Street: Originally called “Neighborhood Watch”, the title was changed after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida.
My Take: Ben Stiller needs a hit after his last two films, “Tower Heist” (2011) and “Little Fockers” (2010), didn’t do as well as expected.
Step-Up: Revolution (2012)
Emily (Kathryn McCormick) wants to be a professional dancer, so she moves to Miami to make it happen. She meets Sean (Ryan Guzman) and they quickly fall in love. Sean leads a dance group called the MOB that likes to stage flash mobs. When Emily’s father (Peter Gallagher) plans to take over their neighborhood and tear it down for a new development, Sean, Emily and the MOB start staging protest flash mobs. But will it be enough to stop the destruction of their homes? Step-Up Revolution 3-D Trailer
What to Watch For: This is the fourth installment of the Step Up films; will this film do for Ryan Guzman what the first film did for Channing Tatum – make him a star?
Word on the Street: This is the second film of the series to be shown in 3-D.
My Take: The dancing is what is going to make this film work. Its choreographer is Travis Wall, who was nominated for an Emmy in 2011 for his work on the highly successful TV show, “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Neil Young Journeys (2012)
A documentary filmed on Neil Young’s solo tour to promote his album, Le Noise. The film follows Young as he explores his childhood hometown. The film also is interspersed with concert footage from his performance at the historic Massey Hall in Toronto. Neil Young Journeys website
Word on the Street: The film was directed by Academy Award winner, Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs). This is the third Neil Young concert film Demme has directed. The other two films were the 2009 “Neil Young: Trunk Show” and 2006’s “Neil Young: Heart of Gold.”
What to Watch For: The film is filled songs from Young’s Le Noise album; he also plays some of his hits from the past, including “Ohio” and “I Believe in You.”
My Take: As with the other two documentaries that Jonathan Demme has done with Young, this film gives you an up-close and personal look at the musician.
The Queen of Versailles (2012)
This film is a documentary about the Siegel’s, a billionaire couple who build the largest private house in the United States; a 90,000 square foot mansion inspired by Versailles. However, the economic downturn and the banking crisis in 2008 may crush their dreams. The Queen of Versailles website
Word on the Street: The film takes place over two years and we see a very rich couple who in that period of time go from a life of corporate jets and a staff of 19, to a life where they fly commercial and they may have to move out of their house. The film gets really interesting when we see how the Siegel’s deal with their dwindling resources.
What to Watch For: At the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, the film won the U.S. Directing Award and continues to get great reviews by film critics.
My Take: A fascinating film that continues to make headlines as David Siegel, the subject of the film, is suing the director and the studio, while trying to stop the film from being distributed.
If you can’t make it to the theatre this weekend, then stay at home and watch movies on CW69:
Road House 2: Last Call (2006) Dalton (the character played by Patrick Swayze in Road House) is dead, and his son Shane (Johnathon Schaech) is working as a D.E.A. agent. He gets a call that his uncle Nate (Will Patton), the owner of the bar called Black Pelican, has been beaten badly and may not pull through. Shane sets out for Louisiana to run the bar in his uncle’s absence and investigate the beating. Shane may just find out that running a bar isn’t easy; especially when the local mob wants to take it over.
Anger Management (2003) Dave (Adam Sandler) is a meek, timid man who works for an abusive boss at a pet supply company. A misunderstanding on an airplane goes badly and leaves Dave, ordered by the court system, to undergo anger management therapy. Dave is about to have his world changed by the Doctor assigned to his case, Dr. Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson). This film has an outstanding supporting cast including Marisa Tomei, Luis Guzman, January Jones and Woody Harrelson.