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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.
“Despicable Me 2” (2013)
Gru (Steve Carell), his adoptive girls (Miranda Cosgrove, Elsie Kate Fisher, Diana Gaier) and the Minions are back! This time, Gru has tried to settle in to a life of raising the kids and staying out of trouble. But trouble inevitably always finds Gru. The Anti-Villain League recruits him to find a new super-criminal who has stolen a secret formula. Now Gru must go undercover, with the help of AVL agent Lucy (Kristen Wiig), and work at a place in his worst nightmares, the local mall. Despicable Me 2 Website
What to Watch For: The Minions are back! The Minions are back! There are rumors that the next film in the series will be an all Minion feature.
Word on the Street: The animation in the film is said to use the 3-D experience to great effect.
My Take: I enjoyed the first film, but feel that the villain in the film, Vector (played by Jason Segel), wasn’t a very good adversary for Gru. I am hoping this film has a much better villain…and of course, more Minions!
“The Lone Ranger” (2013)
Tonto (Johnny Depp) tells the story of a man who started out as lawyer John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man who favored the law over a gun. But the west is tough place and in order to save his brother’s family, John had to turn into the man with the white hat and the black mask; he had to become The Lone Ranger. ***Main Featured Image courtesy of Disney***The Lone Ranger Website
What to Watch For: Directed by Gore Verbinski, of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (2006) and “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (2007) fame, had to contend with significant budget battles between the studio, ultimately leveling out at just over 200 million.
Word on the Street: Armie Hammer went into extensive training for the role of The Lone Ranger, with horseback riding, gun slinging and lassoing. It’s said all the hard work paid off on the big screen.
My Take: Armie Hammer is going to have to work hard so this film isn’t stolen from him by the Tonto playing Johnny Depp.
“20 Feet From Stardom” (2013)
The film highlights one of the most unappreciated jobs in the world, the world of the backup singer. The spotlight is placed on singers Merry Clayton, Lisa Fisher and Darlene Love – whom you know only by their voices. 20 Feet From Stardom Website
What to Watch For: The film interviews several big stars, like Sheryl Crow, Mick Jaggar, Bette Midler and Bruce Springsteen – just to name a few.
Word on the Street: The film features some amazing live concert and television footage from such stars as Sting, The Talking Heads, Ray Charles, Ike and Tina Turner and Stevie Wonder.
My Take: I am looking forward to this film in particular, as it has had great critical response, along with being one of the hits on the festival circuit.
“Unfinished Song” (2013)
Arthur (Terence Stamp) is a grumpy husband who barely tolerates his wife’s (Vanessa Redgrave) love for singing in the community center’s choir. Arthur’s world is about to change when the head volunteer of the choir, a young woman named Elizabeth (Gemma Arterton), decides to enter the choir, made up of senior citizens, in an a national competition. Unfinished Song Website
What to Watch For: Veteran actors Stamp and Redgrave were both up for acting awards from the British Independent Film Awards for their roles in this film.
Word on the Street: The songs are said to be the highlight of the film because Elizabeth uses recent hip hop and heavy mental hits to try and engage the senior citizens in her choir
My Take: I love Gemma Arterton, as I thought she was the best thing about the films “Clash of the Titans” (2010) and “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” (2010).
If you can’t go to the theatre this weekend, stay at home and watch movies on CW69.
“Ice Age” (2002) The first film in the animated series where it all began. Manfred (Ray Romano), Sid (John Leguizamo) and Diego (Denis Leary) find a lost human baby and decide to try its find its parents. Great idea, but it’s the Ice Age and things might get a little rough.
“In the Line of Fire” (1993) Clint Eastwood, in one of his finest roles, plays Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan, who becomes aware of a plot to assassinate the President. Horrigan has a past he would like to forget, as he was on the protection detail when President Kennedy was shot. Rene Russo plays fellow agent Lilly Raines, while John Malkovich plays the creepy former CIA agent hell-bent on killing the President but not before tormenting Horrigan.