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 this week:
Django Unchained (2012)
Set in the South circa 1858. Django (Jamie Foxx) who is a former slave turned bounty hunter, with the help of his partner Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), is looking for Django’s long lost wife, Hildy (Kerry Washington). They find her on Calvin Candie’s (Leonardo DiCaprio) plantation, where the main sport is slaves fighting to the death. Django Unchained Website
What to Watch For: Christoph Waltz could be up for a supporting actor award for this role, though many critics feel that his part is really a lead actor role.
Word on the Street: The film is directed by Quentin Tarantino, so expect the film to have humor and be ultra-violent; sometimes at the same time. The film has an amazing cast, including a very funny Samuel L. Jackson playing Candie’s main butler, Stephen.
My Take: The film was shot in the style of the 60’s Italian Spaghetti Westerns, using a type of camerawork and music that was prevalent in those types of films like “For A Few Dollars More” (1965) or “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966).
Les Miserables (2012)
Based on the Broadway hit, this musical takes place in 19th century France where Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), has been running from the law for decades after breaking parole. Valjean agrees to take care of Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), the illegitimate daughter of Fantine (Anne Hathaway), after Fantine can no longer afford to take care of her. But by doing this, Valjean may be discovered by the police inspector, Javert (Russell Crowe), and his life could take a turn for the worse. Les Miserables Website
What to Watch For: For the first time to this extent, the actor’s musical numbers were recorded live on camera (usually musicals record the songs in a sound studio), which gave the actors much more freedom to change the way they sang the songs.
Word on the Street: Anne Hathaway is now the leading candidate to win the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her performance.
My Take: One of the most popular musicals ever, it’s taken more than 20 years to bring the film to the screen, so it should be a huge hit.
Parental Guidance (2012)
Artie (Billy Crystal) and Diane Decker (Bette Midler) agree to take care of their three grandchildren when their daughter (Marisa Tomei) and her husband (Tom Everett Scott) have to go out of town on a job. Will the grandparents “old school” type of parenting work in this day and age? Parental Guidance Website
What to Watch For: It will be interesting to see if Billy Crystal can still bring in an audience. He hasn’t had a starring role in anything other than animation since the 2002 film “Analyze That.”
Word on the Street: The Studio is hoping this becomes a franchise that they can turn into multiple sequels like “Meet the Parents.”
My Take: In a marketplace filled with big, Academy Award worthy films, this smaller family comedy might just be the film that families will want to see on Christmas Day.
If you can’t make it to the theatre this weekend, stay at home and watch movies on CW69.
Mixed Nuts (1994) Philip (Steve Martin) normally loves his job managing the crisis hotline, but tonight is Christmas Eve, and every nut job in the city is trying to get some attention.
An All Dogs Christmas Carol (1998) Your favorite dogs, Itchy (Dom DeLuise), Charlie (Steven Weber) and Sasha (Sheena Easton) are back in this animated retelling of Dickens’ “Christmas Carol.” Carface (Ernest Borgnine) has stolen all the Christmas gifts from Itchy and Charlie. Now the Ghosts of Christmas Past/Present/Future visit Carface to teach him the true meaning of Christmas giving.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006) Andy (Anne Hathaway) moves to New York City to try and work at a fashion magazine. She thinks she has gotten the job of her dreams until she meets her new boss, the ruthless, cutthroat Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). Now Andy has to use her wits and charm to survive working with “The Devil.”
Mixed Nuts (1994) (1994) Philip (Steve Martin) normally loves his job managing the crisis hotline, but tonight is Christmas Eve, and every nut job in the city is trying to get some attention.