Preview This! “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2”

Opening this week at a theater near you:

Paul Mart: Mall Cop 2

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

“Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2″ (2015)

Your favorite mall cop (Kevin James) is back and is now roaming the halls of a casino.  Las Vegas may never recover. “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2” Website

What to Watch For:  The film was shot at Wynn Las Vegas, the first film ever shot on the Steve Wynn property.

Word on the Street:  Director of the film, Steve Carr, also directed the 2009 film, “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” (2009).

My Take:  Many critics were surprised by how well the first film did.

Ex Machina

Photo courtesy of A24

“Ex Machina”  (2015)

A computer coder named, Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), wins a chance to spend the week at the mountain home of Nathan (Oscar Issac), the man who owns the company where Caleb is employed. It turns out, though, that Caleb is there to test Nathan’s latest experiment, a life-like robot named Ava (Alicia Vikander). “Ex Machina” Facebook page

What to Watch For:   Critics are raving about Oscar Issac’s performance in the film.

Word on the Street:  The film is one of the most talked-about movies of the year and was a big hit at the SXSW Film Festival.

My Take:  I saw this film at SXSW and have already put it on my top ten films of the year list.

Monkey Kingdom

Photo courtesy of Disneynature

“Monkey Kingdom”  (2015)

A nature documentary about a family of monkeys that live in the ancient ruins of an area of Sri Lanka. “Monkey Kingdom” Website

What to Watch For:  The film is from the team who brought you the other Disney documentaries, “Earth” (2007), “Chimpanzee” (2012) and “African Cats” (2011).

Word on the Street:  A portion of the box office receipts will be donated to Conservation International.

My Take:  I always enjoy the Disney nature documentaries.

Queen and Country

Photo courtesy of BBC North America

“Queen and Country” (2014)

Bill Rohan (Callum Turner) has had to leave his beloved home and family to join the army. During boot camp, he meets Percy (Caleb Landry Jones), and they strike up a friendship that lasts through their next assignment. Now they are dealing with lazy subordinates, crazed officers, all the while looking for love from the local girls. “Queen and Country” Website

What to Watch For: This is the sequel to writer/director John Boorman’s 1987 film “Hope and Glory,” which was nominated for five Academy Awards.

Word on the Street: Both films are loosely based on Boorman’s life growing up in London.

My Take: I loved “Hope and Glory” and have high hopes for this film.

The Riot Club

Photo courtesy of IFC Films

“The Riot Club”  (2014)

Alistair (Sam Claflin) and Miles (Max Irons) are new to Oxford University and make their goal to  join the social group called, “The Riot Club.” “The Riot Club” Info

What to Watch For:  The film is based on a true incident where Screenwriter Laura Wade adapted the script from her play named, “Posh.”

Word on the Street:  The director of the film, Lone Scherfig, also directed the films, ‘One Day” (2011) and “An Education” (2009).

My Take:  With the right material, Max Irons can dominate a scene.

The Salt of the Earth

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

“The Salt of the Earth” (2015)

Documentary about award-winning photographer, Sebastiano Salgado, who has traveled the world documenting it with his camera. “The Salt of the Earth” Website

What to Watch For:  The film was nominated for an Oscar and won two awards at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

Word on the Street:  The film is directed by Wim Wenders and the son of the subject matter, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado.

My Take:  Wenders directed one of my favorite documentaries of the past five years, “Pina”  (2011).

True Story

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight

“True Story”  (2015)

A newspaper reporter, Michael Finkel (Jonah Hill), has just lost his job due to  a scandal.  One day he receives a phone call from prison. The call is from a recently captured prisoner, Christian Longo (James Franco), who has been accused of murdering his own family. Michael may regret answering his phone after he gets involved with investigating Christian’s story. “True Story” Info

What to Watch For:  The film is based on the memoir by the real Michael Finkel.

Word on the Street:  The film comes from Brad Pitt’s production company.

My Take:  I am looking forward to seeing this film that features two really excellent actors.

Unfriended

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

“Unfriended”  (2015)

Six friends get together via Skype when a seventh unknown person joins them. The unknown person begins to reveal that they know a lot about the group, including that the six friends bullied a fellow classmate into killing herself. “Unfriended” Website

What to Watch For:  The whole film takes place on computers and iPhones.

Word on the Street:  The film played to a packed house at the SXSW Film Festival.

My Take:  I have been intrigued by the film’s marketing through the internet, as both Facebook and Twitter were used to promote.

 

If you can’t make it to the movie theatre this weekend, then stay at home and watch films on Atlanta’s CW:

Saturday

1:00 pm

“I Know What You Did Last Summer”  (1997)  One year after killing a stranger on a road with a car, six friends are being terrorized by an unknown attacker.  Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Geller, Freddie Prinze Jr., Ryan Phillippe.

Sunday

1:00 pm

“Red Lights”  (2012)  Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) is a specialist who exposes fraudulent paranormal phenomena.  She is now confronting the most famous psychic of them all, Simon Silver (Robert De Niro).

3:00 pm

“I Know What You Did Last Summer”  (1997)  One year after killing a stranger on a road with a car, six friends are being terrorized by an unknown attacker.  Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Geller, Freddie Prinze Jr., Ryan Phillippe.

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