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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:
“Insidious: Chapter 2” (2013)
The Lambert family is back together after Josh (Patrick Wilson) went into astral dimension called the Further and saved his son from a demon. The family’s happiness is short lived, though, as paranormal events start to occur again, and the family notices that Josh is acting strange. Did Josh really come back from the Further, or is he possessed by a demon? Insidious: Chapter 2 Website
What to Watch For: The sequel had a much bigger budget than the original “Insidious” (2010).
Word on the Street: The first film was a classic haunted house film, whereas it is said that this film is more of a supernatural thriller.
My Take: Hey, any horror film releasing on Friday the 13th is okay in my book.
“The Family” (2013)
Fred Blake (Robert De Niro) used to be Giovanni Manzoni, but that was before he and his family left the mafia and joined the witness protection program. Now, he, his wife Maggie (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their children, Belle (Dianna Agron) and Warren (John D’Leo), have been relocated to France. Old habits die hard, though, Fred begins to revert to his old ways, and starts to handle things, “the family way.” The Family Facebook Page
What to Watch For: The casting of De Niro and Pfeiffer was director Luc Besson’s first choice for the film.
Word on the Street: The dog that follows De Niro’s character around is said to be the highlight of the film.
My Take: De Niro has proven in the past that he knows how to do comedy with films such as “Analyze This” (1999) and “Meet the Parents” (2000).
“Short Term 12” (2013)
Grace (Brie Larson) works as a supervisor at a foster-care facility for at-risk teenagers. Her boyfriend, Mason (John Gallagher Jr.), works with her at the home. Grace’s world is changed when Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), a troubled teenaged girl, enters the facility, and Grace sees herself in Jayden. Short Term 12 Website
What to Watch For: The film has won numerous awards on the festival circuit including the Grand Jury Narrative Feature award at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival.
Word on the Street: Brie Larson is getting rave reviews from critics and is being mentioned as a possible Oscar contender.
My Take: Brie Larson is on my list as one of the young actresses to keep an eye on.
“Jayne Mansfield’s Car” (2012)
The Caldwell’s are a proud family with deep southern roots, but the family has never recovered from Jim’s (Robert Duvall) wife, Naomi, divorcing him for an Englishman whom she moved to England with and married. Suddenly, Jim is forced to raise a large family on his own. The family doesn’t see their mother for years, and lmost 30 years later, the Caldwell’s learn that their mother died. Her final wish is to buried in Alabama. Jayne Mansfield’s Car Facebook Page
What to Watch For: This is the first film that Billy Bob Thornton has written and directed since his 2001 film “Daddy and Them.”
Word on the Street: The film was shot in Georgia in Cedartown, Decatur and Griffin.
My Take: I’ll watch any film that Robert Duvall is in. He is one of my favorite actors to watch on screen.
“In A World” (2013)
Carol (Lake Bell) is a not too successful voice-over coach where she makes sure that TV and Film stars get their accents right when on screen. She lives at her dad’s house, a legendary voice-over artist named Sam Sotto (Fred Melamed), who constantly reminds Carol that he is the best. Carol’s luck changes when she makes to the final cut to be the voice on a huge movie trailer franchise, it’s a job that could change her life. Her only problem, her main computation, is a guy she used to date named Gustav (Ken Marino) and worse yet, her father. In A World Website
What to Watch For: The title of the film comes from the legendary voice-over artist Don La Fontaine, who coined the phrase “In A World” when doing voice over work for movies. La Fontaine, who died in 2008, is seen in clips at the start of the film, did over 5,000 movie trailers.
Word on the Street: Star Lake Bell, as wrote and directed the film. The film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize.
My Take: A number of famous voice-over artists have small supporting roles in this film, so it will be nice to put a face to the voice.
If you can’t go to the theatre this weekend, stay at home and watch movies on CW69.
“Last Action Hero” (1993) Danny (Austin O’Brien) loves the movies and especially Arnold Schwarzenegger films when Arnold plays the character, Jack Slater. Danny is given a mysterious “magic” ticket to the latest Schwarzenegger portrayal of Slater. He then finds that the ticket doesn’t just get him into the movie house but into the film, itself. Being in the film with his hero was a life-long dream for Danny, but suddenly it becomes a nightmare when some real bad guys find their way into the movie and are determined to kill Schwarzenegger and Danny.
“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” (2009) Sid (John Leguizamo) attempts to adopt three dinosaur eggs, and, instead, is abducted by their real mother who takes Sid and the babies to an underground lost world. Now, the Ice Age gang must go and rescue him.