Opening this week at a theatre near you.
Rio 2 (2014)
Your favorite feathered friends are back! Jewel (Anne Hathaway), Blu (Jesse Eisenberg), and their three kids have left Rio and now are in the wilderness of the Amazon. Blu thought he had it bad facing Nigel (Jermaine Clement), but he is about to encounter a worse enemy, his father-in-law. “Rio 2” Website
What to Watch For: New characters, voiced by Bruno Mars, Kristin Chenoweth and Rita Moreno , will be appearing.
Word on the Street: It’s said that this film has more music than the original “Rio” (2011), making this film more like a musical.
My Take: “Rio” was a surprise hit. Will lightning strike twice?
“Draft Day” (2013)
Sonny (Kevin Costner) is the General Manager of the Cleveland Browns. His team has a high draft pick, but Cleveland’s owner (Frank Langella) wants to make a splash and trade up to take the number one draft pick. Complicating things – if Sonny doesn’t make the right pick, it could cost him his job. “Draft Day” Website
What to Watch For: The film will give NFL fans a behind-the-scenes access to the draft day “War Rooms,” that show what really goes on.
Word on the Street: Critics are talking about the chemistry on screen between Costner and Jennifer Garner, who plays the Browns expert on the salary cap.
My Take: It’s a perfect time to release this film, as the NFL draft is just around the corner.
Joe (Nicolas Cage), a solitary man who owns a company that specializes in killing trees for reforestation. He hires Gary (Tye Sheridan), a young man who lives with his homeless family. Soon, Gary and Joe strike up a friendship but that friendship is threatened by Gary’s alcoholic dad (Gary Poulter) and a troublemaker named Willie (Ronnie Gene Blevins). “Joe” Website
What to Watch For: Critics are hailing Nicolas Cage’s performance as one of his best in years.
Word on the Street: The film was enthusiastically received as the opening night film for the 38th Annual Atlanta Film Festival.
My Take: Tye Sheridan has already compiled an impressive resume with “The Tree of Life” (2011) with Brad Pitt, “Mud” (2013) with Matthew McConaughey and now “Joe” (2013) with Nicolas Cage. My interview with Tye Sheridan
The Raid 2 (2014)
Shortly after the raid that Police Officer Rama (Iko Uwans) barely survived, he goes undercover to bring down a crime syndicate and find the corrupt officers in his police force. “The Raid 2” Website
What to Watch For: “The Raid” was an international box office sensation with its non-stop action.
Word on the Street: It seems that this time the film will have more of a plot than the first film had.
My Take: The special effects fighting is so realistic in these films, you wonder how the stunt people survive what they do.
“The Unknown Known” (2014)
Documentary on one of the most fascinating men in the history of our government, former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. “The Unknown Known” Website
What to Watch For: The film is directed by Academy Award winning director Errol Morris.
Word on the Street: The film is said to give new insight into the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
My Take: Errol Morris directed two of my favorite documentaries, “Gates of Heaven” (1978) and “The Thin Blue Line” (1988).
“Jodorowsky’s Dune” (2013)
Documentary about director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s quest to make a movie in the early 1970’s of the Frank Herbert Sci-Fi novel Dune. Jodorowsky’s worked for over two years on a project that would never be made. “Jodorowsky’s Dune” Website
What to Watch For: Jodorowsky assembles an artistic crew, including legendary artists H.R. Giger and Jean Giraud, to work on the design of the film
Word on the Street: The designs that H. R. Giger did for the film are said to foreshadow the work he did on “Alien” (1979).
My Take: This would have been a very interesting film as he had Pink Floyd and Peter Gabriel lined up to do the soundtrack. And he had cast Salvador Dali, Orson Welles and David Carradine to be in the film.
A young woman (Karen Gillian) tries to confirm her brother (Brenton Thwaites) didn’t commit a horrific murder by proving it was done by a supernatural phenomenon. “Oculus” Website
What to Watch For: The director/writer of the film, Mike Flanagan, is no stranger to the horror genre, as he did 2011’s Absentia.
Word on the Street: This is Karen Gillan’s first film after leaving the very popular Sci-Fi series “Dr. Who.”
My Take: Will “Dr. Who” fans show up to watch Karen Gillian, who played the very popular Amy Pond on the series?
“Finding Vivian Maier” (2014)
Documentary on Vivian Maier, a woman who worked as a nanny but secretly took over 100,000 photographs. Those photographs were discovered in storage lockers decades later and are now being hailed as some of the greatest pictures of everyday life ever taken. “Finding Vivian Maier” Website
What to Watch For: For a while, Maier was a nanny for Phil Donahue’s children.
Word on the Street: Maier led a secretive but fascinating life, traveling around the world, always with her camera.
My Take: As a person who likes to take pictures, I am anxious to see this film.
If you can’t go to the theatre this weekend, then stay at home and watch films on CW69.
“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” (2003) In an alternate world, a group of legendary Sci-Fi and adventure characters go on a mission to save the world. The film stars Sean Connery as Allan Quatermain, Shane West as Tom Sawyer and Naseeruddin Shah as Captain Nemo.
“Monster-in-Law” (2005) Charlotte (Jennifer Lopez) has always had hard luck in the dating world, until she meets Kevin (Michael Vartan). He is perfect in every way, except for one problem, his mother (Jane Fonda).
“Only You” (1994) Faith (Marisa Tomei) is about to be married to a man she doesn’t love. When both a Ouija board and a fortune teller give her the name of her one, true love, she flies off to Italy to find him. But, along the way, she encounters Peter (Robert Downey Jr), who just may make her rethink her plans.