Preview This! “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”

Opening this week at a theatre near you:

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Photo courtesy of Disney

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”  (2015)

Set 30 years after the events of “Return of the Jedi” where the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire have become the resistance and the First Order, respectively. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Website

What to Watch For: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher all reprise their roles from the earlier film.

Word on the Street: “Star Wars” creator George Lucas had very little to do with this film, as he sold the rights to the franchise and his production company, Lucasfilm to Disney.

My Take:  It’s going to be interesting to see what J.J. Abrams comes up with.

The film opens at a number of Atlanta area theatres on Friday.

Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

“Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Road Chip”  (2015)

The Chipmunks (voiced by Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney), learn that Dave (Jason Lee) is going to propose to his girlfriend. They decide to go on a road trip to try and stop the proposal. “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” Website

What to Watch For:  Christina Applegate, Anna Faris and Kaley Cuoco are voicing the Chipettes.

Word on the Street:  This is the 4th installment of the Alvin & the Chipmunks film series.

My Take:  One of my favorite actresses, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, appears in this film.

The film opens at a number of Atlanta area theatres on Friday.

Sisters

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

“Sisters”  (2015)

Katie (Tina Fey) and Maura (Amy Poehler) are completely sisters with completely opposite personalities. Katie is childish and sleeps around. Maura is uptight and still hasn’t gotten over her divorce. The sisters decide to hold one last party at their parent’s home before it is sold. “Sisters” Website

What to Watch For: After his very funny appearance in “Trainwreck,” wrestler turned actor John Cena appears in this comedy.

Word on the Street:  The film is directed by Jason Moore who directed the big hit,”Pitch Perfect” (2012).

My Take:  I am looking forward to seeing Fey and Poehler work together in a film.

The film opens at a number of Atlanta area theatres on Friday.

The Danish Girl

Photo courtesy of Focus Features

“The Danish Girl”  (2015)

In the early 1920s, artist Gerda Wegener (Alicia Vikander) and her artist husband, Einar Wegener (Eddie Redmayne) are living in Copenhagen.  Einar slowly realizes that he is no longer happy living as a man. “The Danish Girl” Website

What to Watch For:  Screenwriter Lucinda Coxon worked on the script for over a decade.

Word on the Street:  A number of actresses were originally slated to play the role of Gerda, including Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow and Marion Cotillard.

My Take:  The film is based on the real life of the world’s first recipient of sex reassignment surgery.

The film opens at a number of Atlanta area theatres on Friday.

Youth

Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight

“Youth”  (2015)

A retired orchestra conductor (Michael Caine) is on a vacation with his daughter (Rachel Weisz) and his friend (Harvey Keitel), a film director, when he gets an invitation to perform one of his compositions in front of Queen Elizabeth II. “Youth” Website

What to Watch For:  Many critics think that Jane Fonda will get a Supporting Actress nomination for her role as an aging movie star who shows up at the resort.

Word on the Street:  The film is up for two Golden Globes, including Best Original Song.

My Take:  I am a big fan of Rachel Weisz.

The film opens Friday exclusively at UA Tara Cinemas 4 

Heart of a Dog

Photo courtesy of Abramorama

“Heart of a Dog” (2015)

Musician Laurie Anderson reflects on the life of her late dog, Lolabelle.

What to Watch For:  The film is one of 15 films on the short list for the Best Documentary at the Academy Awards.  It has also been nominated for Best Documentary at the 31st Independent Spirit Awards. “Heart of a Dog” Website

Word on the Street:  Critics are praising the soundtrack to the film calling it “deeply moving.”

My Take:  This is one documentary that I will not miss.

The film opens Friday exclusively at The Plaza Theatre 

Janis: Little Girl Blue

Photo courtesy of Filmrise

“Janis: Little Girl Blue”  (2015)

Documentary on the life of the legendary singer Janis Joplin, who became a bigger hit after her death. “Janis: Little Girl Blue” Website

What to Watch For:  Musician Cat Power narrates this documentary which uses the letters that Joplin wrote over the years to friends and family.

Word on the Street:  Many film critics thought this film would make the Academy Award short list.

My Take:  I went to school in Austin where people still talk about her amazing performances.

The film opens Friday exclusively at The Plaza Theatre 

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

Saturday

1:00 pm

“Moscow on the Hudson”  (1984)  A Russian musician (Robin Williams) defects in the middle of Bloomingdale’s Department store in New York City.  He soon discovers that living in the U.S.A. is  more difficult than he imagined.

Sunday

1:00 pm

“Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium”  (2007) Molly Mahoney (Natalie Portman) is the manager of a strange and wonderful toy store. The store is owned by Mr. Magorium (Dustin Hoffman), a 243-year-old eccentric who decides to give the store to Molly. As soon as he does, the store begins to change and not for the better.

3:00 pm

“Moscow on the Hudson”  (1984)  A Russian musician (Robin Williams) defects in the middle of Bloomingdale’s Department store in New York City.  He soon discovers that living in the U.S.A. is more difficult than he imagined.

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