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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:
A medical engineer, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock), and a veteran astronaut, Matt Kowalsky (George Clooney), are on a space mission. During a spacewalk, satellite debris crashes into the Space Shuttle and sends Dr. Stone adrift into space with limited oxygen. “Gravity” Website
What to Watch For: Sandra Bullock is already being talked about as a Best Actress Academy Award nominee shoo-in.
Word on the Street: The CGI / Special Effects are said to be amazing.
My Take: It’s going to be interesting to see Bullock in her first Sci-Fi role since “Demolition Man” (1993). If this film is the hit I think it will be, will there be more in her future?
Runner Runner (2013)
Richie (Justin Timberlake) thinks he has been cheated out of his college tuition money by an online gambling site. He learns the site is based in Costa Rica, and Richie decides to travel to the island and confront the owner of the site, Ivan Block (Ben Affleck). Richie may now become a pawn in a game between the government trying to bring down Block and Block himself, who isn’t what he seems to be. Runner Runner Website
What to Watch For: The film is directed by Brad Furman, who directed the surprise 2011 hit, The Lincoln Lawyer.
Word on the Street: Affleck keeps adding interesting characters to his resume.
My Take: Justin Timberlake needs a hit. After the promising role in 2010’s “The Social Network”, Timberlake’s films haven’t exactly caught the box office on fire.
The movie recreates the day of and days that followed John F. Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. The story is told from the perspective of the men and women who witnessed the shooting and tried to save the President’s life. “Parkland” Website
What to Watch For: The film has a large and notable cast including Zac Efron, Billy Bob Thornton, Colin Hanks, Tom Welling, Paul Giamatti, Ron Livingston and Marcia Gay Harden.
Word on the Street: The producer wanted to shed light on how the shooting affected the people who dealt with the assassination’s aftermath. A lot of the dialogue in the film of Marguerite Oswald, Lee Harvey’s mother, is taken directly from recordings she made after the shooting.
My Take: It’s going to be interesting to see who stands out in such a large cast.
“The Patience Stone” (2013)
While war and strife wage around her, a wife faithfully sits watch over her husband who is in a vegetative state after he was shot. As she sits at his bedside, his wife begins to tell him all the things that she has remained silent about during their ten years of marriage. “The Patience Stone” Website
What to Watch For: The film was shot in Morocco, but while it is never said what country the film is set, the lead actress and the director have both stated that the film is probably set in Afghanistan.
Word on the Street: Critics who have seen the film are praising Golshiffeh Farahani’s performance as the wife in what is almost a one-woman show.
My Take: The film was co-written by one of the great screenwriters of our time, Jean-Claude Carriere responsible for such films as “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” (1972), “That Obscure Object of Desire” (1979), and “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” (1988).
If you can’t make it to the theatre this weekend, then stay at home and watch movies on CW69.
“Toy Soldiers” (1991) Billy (Sean Astin) has already been expelled from three schools and is on a short leash at his current school, The Regis School for Boys. Luis Cali’s (Andrew Divoff) father has been put in jail by a Judge whose son is attending The Regis School. Luis, with a bunch of his henchmen, invade the school and hold the kids hostage in a desperate bid to get his father released.
“Don’t Say a Word” (2001) Nathan Conrad (Michael Douglas) is one of the nation’s leading psychiatrists. He is invited to examine a disturbed young woman named, Elisabeth (Brittany Murphy) and soon learns that she may contain a secret to a rare gem that was stolen ten years before. Patrick Koster (Sean Bean) wants to find the gem, a gem that he believes is his. Patrick is willing to do anything to get the gem and to get Elisabeth to disclose its whereabouts.