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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:
“Pain & Gain” (2013)
Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) works as a personal trainer. He’s a fairly happy guy, but he wants the good life and he wants it now. So Daniel comes up with a sure fire plan to make all his dreams come true; just kidnap Victor (Tony Shalhoub), a wealthy client of his, and extort money from him. He enlists two of his bodybuilding friends (Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie) to help. So, what could go wrong? Uh, just about everything. Pain & Gain Website
What to Watch For: This is the first film Michael Bay has directed after doing the “Transformers” trilogy.
Word on the Street: Fans of Bay’s work are hoping this is a return to his fun action films like “The Rock” (1996) and “Bad Boys” (1995).
My Take: Rebel Wilson alone, makes this film worth the price of admission. I am sure, that once again she will steal every scene.
“The Big Wedding” (2013)
Don (Robert De Niro) and Ellie (Diane Keaton) have been divorced for quite some time. Their adopted son, Alejandro (Ben Barnes), is getting married and his biological mother, Madonna (Patricia Rae), a strict Catholic from Colombia, is coming to the wedding. So to keep things on a happy note, Don and Ellie agree to act married around Alejandro’s mother. It’s about the only thing Don and Ellie will agree on that weekend. The Big Wedding Website
What to Watch For: The writer/director of the film, Justin Zackham, wrote the much loved film, “The Bucket List” (2007).
Word on the Street: The film is being compared to the 1996’s “The Birdcage,” which also starred Robin Williams.
My Take: Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton and Robin Williams in a comedy? I’m in!
Two teenage boys (Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland) encounter a fugitive (Matthew McConaughey) who persuades them to help him evade bounty hunters so he can get back his one true love (Reese Witherspoon). Mud Website
What to Watch For: Matthew McConaughey has been on quite a winning streak lately both at the box office and with the critics with roles in films including “Magic Mike” (2012) and “Bernie” (2011).
Word on the Street: Tye Sheridan could be the breakout performer from this film. His first film was 2011’s big Indie hit, “The Tree of Life” (2011).
My Take: This is one of my favorite films from the 2013 Atlanta Film Festival.
“The Company You Keep” (2012)
Decades ago a radical student terrorist group named, “The Weather Underground,” set off bombs and robbed banks to try and force the American government to end the war in Vietnam. Some of the terrorists were caught, but others are still on the run. Now, a newspaper reporter (Shia LaBeouf) begins digging up the story after one of “The Weather Underground” members is caught. By the time the reporter is finished, a number of lives will have changed.
What to Watch For: The film stars and is directed by Robert Redford. The Academy Award winning director (“Ordinary People”) always gets a star-studded cast, and this film is no different; Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Anna Kendrick, Stanley Tucci, Nick Nolte and Sam Elliott round out the cast.
Word on the Street: The film was well received at last year’s Venice International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.
My Take: The screenwriter is Lem Dobbs who wrote one of my favorite films of last year, “Haywire” (2012).
“Arthur Newman” (2013)
Wallace Avery (Colin Firth) is not happy with his life. He’s lost a job he didn’t like, his ex-wife hates him, his son doesn’t want to do anything with him and his girlfriend (Anne Heche) isn’t crazy about him either. So, Wallace decides to go on a road trip to reinvent himself and start a new life as Arthur Newman. While on the road he meets Mike (Emily Blunt), who also wants to reinvent her life. It’s a trip that’s going to be a bumpy ride. Arthur Newman Website
What to Watch For: Academy Award winning actor (“The King’s Speech”), Firth, has done numerous successful romantic comedies before, like “Love Actually” (2003) and “Mama Mia!” (2008).
Word on the Street: While this is director Dante Ariola’s first feature-film, he has directed some of the most talked about television commercials in the past few years.
My Take: Emily Blunt is becoming one of my favorite actresses, with “Looper” (2012), “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” (2011) and “The Adjustment Bureau” (2011) to her credits.
If you can’t go to the theatre this weekend, stay at home and watch movies on CW69.
“Zapped” (1982) Barney (Scott Baio) is a high school student who likes science and Peyton (Willie Aames) is his rich, but loveable friend. After a science project goes awry, Barney discovers he has developed telekinetic powers. Wonder what kind of trouble a teen can get into when he can move things with his mind.
“The Nutty Professor” (1996) Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy) is a professor who is on the brink of a breakthrough in DNA research. When Professor Carla Purty (Jada Pinkett Smith) starts teaching at the college, Sherman becomes obsessed with creating a formula to change himself from a fat, shy man to a man whom any woman would love. But, while dreams do sometimes come true, they can have consequences
“The Banger Sisters” (2002) Suzette (Goldie Hawn) has been living the life of a rock-and-roll groupie for the past 20 years. When she loses her job at the Whiskey-a-Go-Go, she decides to go on a road trip and visit Vinnie (Susan Sarandon), a woman who went on many a rock-and-roll adventure with Suzette. But there is a kink – Vinnie is now a respected housewife and mother. Can the former friends find common ground after so many years apart?