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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:
“The Great Gatsby” (2013)
Nick (Tobey Maquire) is a New York stockbroker at the height of the Roaring Twenties. Along with his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan), he gets pulled into the mesmerizing world of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio), whose wealth and fame for staging elaborate parties are legendary. But, all that glitters is not gold and the more Nick finds out about Gatsby, the more puzzling the millionaire becomes. The Great Gatsby Website
What to Watch For: After an extensive audition process, Mulligan beat out a number of actresses for the role of Daisy, including Keira Knigtley, Rebecca Hall, Michelle Williams and Scarlett Johansson.
Word on the Street: The film was originally set to be released in Dec. 2012, just in time to qualify for the 2013 Academy Awards, but Director Baz Luhrmann wanted to do some reshoots and could not meet the December deadline.
My Take: The question is, will this film be a big hit both critically and financially, like Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge” (2001) or a big, noisy film that doesn’t do well at the box office, like his 2008 film “Australia?”
Wade Walker (Craig Robinson) wants to marry Grace Peeples (Kerry Washington), but he knows that she is a “daddy’s girl” and must get permission from her father (David Allen Grier) before they can get married. So, Wade decides to crash the Peeples family reunion to meet the parents, but Wade doesn’t get the warm reception he was expecting. Peeples Website
What to Watch For: The film is produced by Tyler Perry and is written/directed by Tina Gordon Chism, who wrote the much loved film “Drumline” (2002).
Word on the Street: Kerry Washington is making a name for herself, starring in the hit TV show “Scandal “and starring as Broomhilda, the wife whom Jamie Foxx’s character was trying to rescue in last year’s “Django Unchained.”
My Take: I am looking forward to seeing Craig Robinson on screen as I have enjoyed his work as Darryl in “The Office” and in the 2010 comedy hit, “Hot Tub Time Machine.”
“Midnight’s Children” (2013)
Two children born on the same night that India gains independence from Britain are destined to interact in each other’s life, as the country around them learns to be an independent country. Midnight’s Children Website
What to Watch For: Sir Salman Rushdie wrote the screenplay for the film based on his book of the same name. Rushdie also narrates the film.
Word on the Street: The film has played at a number of film festivals and was nominated for 8 awards, including Best Picture at the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards.
My Take: I am interested to see this film, as the trailer makes it look just beautiful and I have always loved Rushdie’s novels.
If you can’t go to the theatre this weekend, stay at home and watch movies on CW69.
“The Education of Charlie Banks” (2007) In high school, Charlie (Jesse Eisenberg) was terrorized by a bully named Mick (Jason Ritter). Charlie witnessed Mick beat up two fellow classmates at a party and turned Mick into the police. Now, three years later, Mick shows up at Charlie’s college. Does Mick want revenge or friendship? Charlie may never know.
“Courage Under Fire” (1996) Captain Karen Walden (Meg Ryan) died trying to rescue the crew of another downed helicopter crew during Desert Storm. Now she is posthumously up for the Medal of Honor. It’s up to Army officer Nat Serling (Denzel Washington) to determine what happened in the desert that night. Serling must find out if Captain Walden was truly a hero or is there more to the story, all the while Nat is battling demons of his own.
“Little Women” (1994) Life is tough for sisters Jo (Winona Ryder), Meg (Trini Alvarado), Beth (Claire Danes) and Amy (Kirsten Dunst) as their father is away fighting in the Civil War and their mother (Susan Sarandon) is trying to make ends meet for her family. But the sisters are proud of their family and it’s that bond that helps them survive anything, including the men who enter their lives.