Preview This! Hercules

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Hercules

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

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Mike has a degree in Film from The University of Texas at Austin. He...
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Mike Mike 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 weekend at a theatre near you:

Hercules

Photo courtesy of Paramount

“Hercules”  (2014)

The son of Zeus, the Greek demigod Hercules (Dwayne Johnson), has completed the “Twelve Labors” and has lost his family.  He is asked by the King of Thrace (John Hurt) to help defeat a tyrannical warlord. “Hercules” Website

What to Watch For:  The film is directed by Brett Ratner, who has directed such box office hits as “Rush Hour” (1998), “X-Men: Last Stand” (2006), and “Tower Heist” (2011).

Word on the Street:  During one particularly strenuous scene, Dwayne Johnson passed out numerous times during filming. Johnson trained for eight months for the role, and it took over six months to shoot the film.

My Take:  Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is right now the biggest movie star in the world.  The Rock films last year grossed over  $1.3 billion.

Lucy

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

“Lucy”  (2014)

Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is working as a drug mule for the mob. A drug she was carrying inside her body leaks and as a result, it allows her to use more of her brain’s capacity.  Now she can get the revenge she has always wanted. “Lucy” Website

What to Watch For:  Writer – director Luc Besson is getting back to his roots with this film.  Besson made a name for himself with films like “La Femme Nikita” (1990), Leon: The Professional (1994) and “The Fifth Element” (1997).

Word on the Street:  The film has the most special effects of any Besson film.

My Take:  Hey, Scarlett Johansson kicking butt, count me in!

I Orgins

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight

“I Origins”  (2014)

Ian (Michael Pitt) is a doctor doing research in the lab with the help of his lab partner, Karen (Brit Marling).  Ian is working on a study of the human eye and its evolution.  After a brief encounter with an exotic young woman (Astrid Berges-Frisbey), he makes a stunning scientific discovery that may change the way we see science and evolution. “I Origins” Website

What to Watch For:  Brit Marling has gotten rave reviews from her performances in “Sound of My Voice” (2011), “Another Earth” (2011) and “The Company You Keep” (2012).

Word on the Street:  The film won the “Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize” at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

My Take:  I loved “Another Earth,” the film Mike Cahill directed and co-wrote with Brit Marling.

 

A Most Wanted Man

Photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions

“A Most Wanted Man” (2014)

Hamburg, Germany is the city where the 9/11 attacks were planned.  Now, a decade later, Gunter (Philip Seymour Hoffman) runs a secret anti-terrorism unit.  Now, Gunter is attempting to use Issa Karpov (Grigorly Dobrygin), an immigrant, into becoming his snitch.  Karpov is to inform on a group suspected of planning a terrorist attack. “A Most Wanted Man” Website

What to Watch For:  This is the last film the late Philip Seymour Hoffman made, with the exception of the upcoming “Hunger Games” films.

Word on the Street:  The film is being praised for its plot and sticking to the storyline from the John Le Carre’s book of the same name.

My Take:  It just makes me sad that after the next couple of films, we will never see Philip Seymour Hoffman on the screen.

And So it Goes

Photo courtesy of Clarius Entertainment

“And  So it Goes”  (2014)

Oren (Michael Douglas) is a widower who is trying to make one more sale before he retires.  The house he is trying to sell is his own.  While trying to sell his house, he is living in an apartment complex he owns called. the Shangri-La.  His life changes when his son (Austin Lysy), on his way to prison, drops his daughter (Sterling Jerins) in Oren’s lap.  Now Oren is forced to care for his granddaughter and needs the help of his neighbor, Leah (Diane Keaton) to help. “And So It Goes” Website

What to Watch For:  The film is directed by Rob Reiner, who has quite a film resume, including “The Princess Bride” (1987), “A Few Good Men” (1992), and “The Bucket List” (2007).

Word on the Street:  It’s said that Sterling Jerins steals the movie from the two veteran actors, Douglas and Keaton.

My Take:  I have always liked Rob Reiner’s films, and I especially enjoyed his overlooked 2010 film “Flipped.”

Venus in Fur

Photo courtesy of IFC Films

“Venus in Fur”  (2013)

Near the end of a long day of auditioning actresses for a new play, writer-director Thomas (Mathieu Amalric) is getting ready to leave his Paris theatre when a woman (Emmanuelle Seigner) comes into the theatre demanding an audition.  Thomas reluctantly agrees, and so starts an audition that will change each of their lives. “Venus in Fur” Info

What to Watch For:  The film is directed by Academy Award winning director Roman Polanski.

Word on the Street:   The film got rave reviews when it was the closing night film at the Cannes Film Festival.

My Take:  The two actors were in the great 2007 film “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.”

 

If you can’t make it to the theatre, stay at home and watch movies on CW69.

Saturday

1:00 pm

“Lord of the Rings: Return of the King “(2003)  Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) continue on their journey to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring, thinking that Gollum (Andy Serkis) is now on-board to help them succeed. Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) lead their World of Men against Sauron’s (Sala Baker) army as he seeks to conquer Middle-Earth.

Sunday

1:00 pm

“Desperado”  (1995)  A lone gun-fighter, El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas)  comes into town to find the gang that murdered his lover.  The cast includes Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Steve Buscemi and Quentin Tarantino.

3:00 pm

“That Thing You Do” (1996) A year after The Beatles invaded America, a band called, The Wonders, is formed. A manager (Tom Hanks) helps the band make it to the top, but can they stay there? Starring Tom Everett Scott, Liv Tyler, Charlize Theron and Steve Zahn.

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