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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
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
It’s been fifteen years since Hansel and Gretel escaped from the blind witch’s gingerbread house. Now Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and his sister, Gretel (Gemma Arterton), dedicate their lives to hunting down and killing witches. Aided by the knowledge that, for some reason, they are not affected by the witches’ spells. They may have met their match in the evil sorceress Muriel (Famke Janssen), who is planning a mass sacrifice of children during the upcoming “Blood Moon.” Hansel and Gretal: Witch Hunters Website
What to Watch For: Gemma Arterton, who plays Gretel, is no stranger to big special effects, saturated action films; as she starred in 2010’s “Clash of the Titans” and “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.”
Word on the Street: The film was shot in 3-D and is said to use the medium to great effect.
My Take: Can “Hansel and Gretel” do what last year’s fairy tale movies, “Mirror Mirror” and “Snow White and the Huntsman,” failed to do – be a big box office draw in the U.S.?
Parker isn’t your ordinary professional thief, as he lives by the code of never stealing from the poor or the innocent. Parker is hired to work with a crew whom he doesn’t know and shouldn’t trust. When the heist is successful, the crew double crosses Parker, leaving him for dead on the side of a road after shooting him. Parker is made of tougher stuff and now, with the help of a smart and sassy woman (Jennifer Lopez), Parker is about to dole out a little revenge. Parker Website
What to Watch For: Both Statham and Lopez need a hit, as Statham’s last headlining film, “Safe” (2012), bombed as did Lopez’s “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” (2012). We do know both can do excellent action films. Lopez’s big film break was with George Clooney in 1998’s “Out of Sight” and Statham first made it big in 1998’s”Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.”
Word on the Street: What may help this film is the excellent supporting cast, which includes Patti LuPone, Michael Chiklis and Nick Nolte.
My Take: The theaters are jammed packed with action films already, like Schwarzenegger’s “The Last Stand,” so this film will need good reviews and word of mouth to become a hit.
Music fills the manor that serves as a retirement home for musicians. It’s now become time to stage the annual fundraising concert at the home. But things might never be the same at the home with the addition of a grand Opera singer, Jean Horton (Maggie Smith), whose pride may keep her from helping stage the musical. Quartet Website
What to Watch For: This was the film that two-time Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman hand-picked to make his directorial debut.
Word on the Street: Incredible cast with the likes of Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins. One of the great things about this film is that it uses a number of former musicians in the cast – many with national companies.
My Take: Think “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” but with a much better script/storyline.
Movie 43 (2013)
Three kids search the Internet to find the most banned movie in the world. Who knows what they will find? Movie 43 Website
What to Watch For: How did they talk all these actors into making this film? Cast includes Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman (whom you may not recognize), Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, Halle Berry, Richard Gere and Uma Thurman, just to name a few.
Word on the Street: The film is being compared to the 1977 classic comedy, “The Kentucky Fried Movie.”
My Take: Might be fun just to go and see how many stars you can name.
If you can’t make it to the theatre this weekend, stay at home and watch movies on CW69.
Fire on the Amazon (1993) The Bolivian rain forest is being replaced by farm and cattle land at a speed that could destroy it and its wildlife in just a few years. A deforestation protestor is assassinated and a journalist (Craig Sheffer) joins forces with a woman (Sandra Bullock) to expose who did the killing and why.
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998) Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) and Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.) are the only survivors of a killing spree committed by a mysterious fisherman named Ben, who had a hook for a hand. But, it’s been a hard year at college for Julie, but when her best friend Karla (Brandy) wins a weekend trip to a remote island, it seems like the perfect getaway; that is until the murders start occurring again.
Aquamarine (2006) Two BFF’s, Claire (Emma Roberts) and Hailey (Joanna Levesque) have been spending their summer pining after a lifeguard named Raymond (Jake McDorman). After a storm, they find a mysterious girl (Sara Paxton) who just may make their dreams come true.
27 Dresses (2008) Jane (Katherine Heigl) has been a bridesmaid 27 times. Now, her sister (Malin Akerman) has come to town and has been swept off her feet by the man Jane has been secretly in love with, Jane’s boss (Ed Burns). Will it be bridesmaid dress number 28, or can she figure a way to stop the wedding?