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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 at a theatre near you:
Trouble with the Curve (2012)
Baseball scout Gus (Clint Eastwood) could be losing his job if he doesn’t sign the latest hot prospect. His boss (John Goodman) is worried that he can’t do the job without help, so he talks Gus’s daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams) into accompany him on his trip. The biggest problem isn’t Gus’s failing eye sight; it’s that he and his daughter don’t really get along. Trouble with the Curve website
What to Watch For: Eastwood had thought he had retired from acting after his 2008 film “Gran Torino,” but was talked into the role by his long time producing partner and director of this film, Robert Lorenz.
Word on the Street: Justin Timberlake was hired as the young scout who has an interest in Mickey because Clint Eastwood is a big fan of his “Saturday Night Live” appearances.
My View: The film has just enough Baseball (and Clint) in it to keep guys interested and the chemistry between Adams and Timberlake is good enough to keep women interested.
House at the End of the Street (2012)
A mother (Elisabeth Shue) and daughter (Jennifer Lawrence) move to a new town. They find out that the house next door was the site of a gruesome murder site where a young daughter killed her parents. The surviving brother is still living in the house and things there are just not right. House at the End of the Street IMDB page
What to Watch For: Lawrence is hot off 2011’s “X-Men: First Class” and this year’s highly successful “The Hunger Games,” it will be interesting to see if the fans of Katniss will follow her to this horror movie role.
Word on the Street: The film is said to be less of a slasher type of film and more of a psychological thriller.
My View: I have hope for this horror film, as Lawrence is very picky about what parts she plays. In fact, she almost turned down “The Hunger Games” because she thought it might be too mainstream for her.
Dredd 3D (2012)
Set in the future, the U.S. has become one big high-rise city. The police can only respond to 6 percent of crimes. To expedite things they have become judge, jury and possible executioner trying criminals on the spot. Now Dredd (Karl Urban) is teamed with a rookie on her first day and they investigate a triple homicide at a high-rise called Preach Trees. It’s a place that they may never get out of alive. Dredd 3D website
What to Watch For: This could be Urban’s big breakout role; he is mostly known for his role as “Bones” in the 2009 hit “Star Trek.”
Word on the Street: The film uses 3D to great effect, especially in all the action sequences.
My View: This film has more in common with the comic book series that the film is based on than the 1995 Sylvester Stallone film “Judge Dredd.”
The Master (2012)
Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix), a troubled war vet, is taken in by “The Master” (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the leader of a mysterious faith-based organization named “The Cause.” Now, will Freddie become an invaluable member of the organization or its downfall? The Master website
What to Watch For: The film is one of the most anticipated films of the fall and it will be interesting to see if this interest translates into box office success.
Word on the Street: Hoffman and Phoenix seem to be almost certain to get Academy Award nominations. The big question will be if the film and it’s director, Paul Thomas Anderson also get nominations.
My View: In order to really get the full scope of this movie, it will probably take multiple viewings.
End of Watch (2012)
Two young police officers, Brian (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike (Michael Pena), are out to make a name for themselves on the mean streets of Los Angeles. When an ordinary traffic stop turns into a big drug bust, the officers lives may never be the same. It turns out the drugs belong to a Mexican drug cartel and they won’t stop till they get their revenge. End of Watch IMDB page
What to Watch For: Writer/Director of the film has written some of the screen’s grittier films from such movies as “The Fast and the Furious” and “Training Day.”
Word on the Street: Gyllenhaal and Pena are said to have great chemistry on the film making their partnership to stop crime all that more believable.
My View: The film uses the “Found Footage” camera work to get the audience to sense the danger that the officers find themselves in.
Chicken With Plums (2011)
A violinist in 1950’s Tehran loses his love of music, therefore decides to die. We see over the next 8 days how he and his family deal with his decision. As the man slowly dies we see how he became the man to make this decision through a series of flashbacks that take us through the big events in his life. Chicken with Plums website
What to Watch For: This French film was based on the graphic novel of the same name written by Iranian author Marjane Satrapi.
Word on the Street: While at times a very sad film, it does have quite a bit of humor in it.
My View: This is a film that while a little slow at times, ends beautifully where everything is tied up in the last 15 minutes.
Sleepwalk with Me (2012)
Matt (Mike Birbiglia) is a struggling stand-up comedian whose career has come to a standstill. To make things worse his relationship with his girlfriend (Lauren Ambrose) is also is failing, not to mention a nasty case of sleepwalking. Sleepwalk With Me website
What to Watch For: Writer/Director/Star Mike Birbiglia, wrote the screenplay based on true life experiences of being a stand-up comic.
Word on the Street: The film is doing quite well on the Film Festival circuit, having won several awards.
My View: I have been hearing about this film for quite a while and it’s one of my must-see-list.
Liberal Arts (2012)
Jessie (Josh Radnor) returns to his alma mater for his favorite professor’s retirement ceremony. While on campus he meets Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen), a 19 year old undergraduate. Now Jessie is torn between the age difference and his attraction for Zibby. Liberal Arts website
What to Watch For: This is Writer/Director/Star Josh Radnor’s (“How I Met Your Mother”) second feature film; his first film, the very funny “happythankyoumoreplease.”
Word on the Street: It’s said that this is another winning performance of Elizabeth Olsen’s career, which has included 2011’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene.”
My View: Elizabeth Olsen has become the actress that her more famous sisters only dream about.
If you can’t go to the theatre this weekend, stay at home and watch movies on CW69.
The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982) Edward James Olmos stars as Gregorio, a man who has been falsely accused of horse stealing. Now Gregorio is on the run trying to evade the local posses and sheriffs that are after him.
Nell (1994) Nell (Jodie Foster) is a girl who grew up in the forest with her mother and sister as her only companions. When Nell is found afraid and alone by the local doctor (Liam Neeson), it’s discovered that Nell speaks a strange language, one that she invented with her sister. Now it must be decided on how to care for this strange and wonderful girl.