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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
Coming this week to a theatre near you:
Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) is an airline pilot whose quick thinking and brave flying saves a plane and its passengers from a fiery death. But when the authorities begin an investigation into the crash, questions arise and Whip comes under the microscope. Flight website
What to Watch For: This is Denzel’s movie and I am predicting he will receive an Academy Award nomination for this role.
Word on the Street: John Goodman, who plays Harling Mays, Whip’s best friend, steals every scene he is in. This has been a good year for Goodman, as he was the best thing in “Trouble with the Curve,” was amazing as Alan Arkin’s sidekick in “Argo,” and now this gets great exposure in this film.
My Take: The sequence of the plane crashing is an amazing piece of filmmaking, but it’s Denzel’s performance that makes this film captivating.
Wreck-it Ralph (2012)
In this animated film, Ralph, a bad guy in an arcade game, decides he is tired of being hated. He longs to be the hero, and when a new game arrives to the arcade, he decides to jump into the game with a mission to win a medal. But instead, Ralph’s game-jumping mission goes bad, and now every game in the arcade is threatened with destruction. Can Ralph become the hero he has always wanted to be? Wreck-it Ralph website
What to Watch For: The film has a great cast, including John C. Reilly as Wreck-It Ralph, Sarah Silverman as his sidekick, Vanellope von Schweetz, and Jane Lynch as Sergeant Calhoun.
Word on the Street: Disney is very high on this film, and moved it from a 2013 spring premiere to the more prestigious winter release.
My Take: This film not only appeals to kids but also to adults who grew up on arcade games.
The Sessions (2012)
Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes) contracted polio at age 7. It’s the mid-80’s in San Francisco. Mark is now 38 and spends most of his time in an iron lung with almost no muscle control in his body. Mark has tried to start relationships with women, but has never found anyone who is willing to take a chance on him. Mark decides that time is running out for him, and he wants to lose his virginity, so he enlists counsel of his priest (William H. Macy) and the help of a sex surrogate (Helen Hunt) to accomplish his goal. It’s a goal that will not only change Mark’s life but will change the lives of so many people who know him. The Sessions website
What to Watch For: The film is based on the real life story of Mark O’Brien. Almost 80 percent of the film is factual, as the film uses a number of his poems that he wrote during his lifetime.
Word on the Street: Both John Hawkes and Helen Hunt are being talked about in the Academy Award race for Best Actor/Actress. Please note that there are quite a few scenes of nudity in this film.
My Take: What makes this film work and makes you root for Mark is the wonderful use of humor in the film, as Mark uses his sense of humor to deal with all the hardships in his life.
The Details (2012)
A family of raccoons have decided that Dr. Jeffery Lang’s (Tobey Maguire) beloved backyard is the perfect feeding ground. Dr. Lang becomes obsessed with ridding his yard of the pests, by any means necessary. This war on the raccoons could destroy his yard…and his marriage. The Details IMDB page
What to Watch For: Elizabeth Banks is getting notice for her role as the beleaguered wife of the raccoon-fighting Dr. Long.
Word on the Street: This is a dark twisted comedy and will need good word of mouth for this film to succeed.
My Take: Laura Linney plays the Long’s nosey neighbor. I never miss any film that she is in.
If you can’t go the theatre this weekend, stay at home and watch movies on CW69.
Sleepwalkers (1992) A mother (Alice Krige) and son (Brian Krause) move to a new town. Now, mysterious things have begun to happen in the town, and the new family just may be responsible.
XXX (2002) Vin Diesel is a stuntman and adrenaline junkie who reluctantly gets recruited by the National Security Agency. His job is to infiltrate a group of terrorists in Europe, and the fate of the free world could depend on the success of his mission.