Preview This! “Pete’s Dragon”

Opening this week at a theatre near you:

“Pete’s Dragon”  (2016)

Pete's Dragon

Photo courtesy of Disney

In the Pacific Northwest, Forest Ranger Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) finds a young boy named, Pete (Oakes Fegley), who has remarkably lived in the woods for six years.  Pete claims that he was under the protection of a dragon named, Elliott. Could Elliott be real? “Pete’s Dragon” Website

What to Watch For:  While it is a remake of the 1977 Walt Disney film of the same name, director David Lowery calls it a “re-invention” rather than a remake.

Word on the Street: Early rumors of Andy Serkis’ (“Lord of the Rings” Series, “Planet of the Apes” series) involvement with Elliott’s CGI proved to be wrong.

My Take: I want to see this film as it is Robert Redford’s first appearance in a Disney film. Redford plays Forest Ranger Grace’s father.

“Sausage Party”  (2016)

Sausage Party

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Food has one objective at the grocery store, to be chosen to go home with humans. A hot dog sausage named, Frank (Seth Rogen), learns the horrible truth that humans want to cook and eat food. Now Frank must get back to the grocery store and warn his friends. “Sausage Party” Website

What to Watch For:  The massive all-star voice cast includes Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton and Salma Hayek.

What to Watch:  A rough cut, incomplete version was shown at this year’s SXSW Film Festival and was the talk of the festival.

My Take:  I wonder if the world is ready for an R-rated 3-D animated film.

“Florence Foster Jenkins”  (2016)

Florence Foster Jenkins

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Florence (Meryl Streep) is a beloved socialite who entertains her friends and family with her Opera singing. Urged on by her husband (Hugh Grant), she decides to record an album and play Carnegie Hall.  The only problem: she can’t correctly sing even one note. “Florence Foster Jenkins” Website

What to Watch For:  Based on a true story, Florence Foster Jenkins in the 1940’s did record a best-selling album and did play Carnegie Hall.

Word on the Street:  We know that Meryl can sing, but do you know that Simon Helberg (“Big Bang Theory”), who plays her accompanist, plays all the piano parts in the film?

My Take:  Could this be another Oscar nomination for Streep?

“Indignation”  (2016)

Indignation

Photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions

It’s 1951, and Marcus (Logan Lerman), a working class kid from New Jersey, has just arrived at a small, conservative college in Ohio. Marcus is on scholarship and is trying to avoid being drafted during the Korean War.  His world changes when he meets Olivia (Sarah Gadon), and he becomes infatuated with her, so much so it could threaten his college career. “Indignation” Twitter Feed

What to Watch For: The film is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by the late Philip Roth.

Word on the Street:  This is the first time in the director’s chair for three-time  Oscar nominated producer/writer James Schamus.

My Take:  I first discovered Logan Lerman on the old WB TV series, “Jack & Bobby.”  He has since gone on to be Percy in the “Percy Jackson” film series.

 

“Anthropoid”  (2016)

Anthropoid

Photo courtesy of Bleeker Street

Reinhard Heydrich (Detief Bothe) is the main architect of the Nazi’s “Final Solution” and is now the leader of Nazi forces in Czechoslovakia.  Two soldiers from the Czechoslovakian army-in-exile have been given the task to assassinate Heydrich, and, if they succeed, it could change the European landscape. “Anthropoid” Facebook Page

What to Watch For:  This is the 2nd time that Detief Bothe has played Heydrich. The first time was for the film “Lidice” (2011).

Word on the Street:  The film tried to use as many still existing places in Prague from the 1940’s period as possible.

My Take: This is the seventh film to cover this subject matter.

“Don’t Think Twice”  (2016)

Don't Think Twice

Photo courtesy of The Film Arcade

A long time New York improv group loses their lease and one of the members lands a TV show. “Don’t Think Twice” Website

What to Watch For: The film stars Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Keegan-Michael Key, Mike Birbiglia (who wrote and directed the film) and Chris Gerhard.

Word on the Street:  Writer/director Birbiglia said at SXSW that about 50 percent of the improv scenes were acutely scripted ahead of time.

My Take:  I loved Brigiolia’s 2012 film “Sleepwalk with Me.”

“Ghost Team”  (2016)

Ghost Team

Photo courtesy of The Orchard

A man (Jon Heder) is obsessed with the paranormal and decides to investigate a possible ghost-filled sight. He brings along his depressed best friend, a misfit nephew, a cable access medium and an over-eager security guard to help him with his investigation. “Ghost Team” Facebook Page

What to Watch For: Besides Heder, the cast includes  David Krumholtz, Melonie Diaz, Paul W. Downs, Justin Long and Amy Sedaris.

Word on the Street:  Critics are singling out Amy Seders with a performance that steals the movie.

My Take:  I am always up for a paranormal comedy.

 

If you can’t make it to the theatre this weekend, then stay at home and watch movies on Atlanta’s Cw69:

Saturday

1:00 pm

“Blind Date”  (1987): Walter Davis (Bruce Willis) is set up on a date with a beautiful woman (Kim Basinger). He is told, whatever you do, don’t let her drink – but what can possibly go wrong?  Walter is about to find out on a wild night he will never forget.

Sunday

1:00 pm

“Phone Booth”  (2002) A man (Colin Farrell) attempting to call his mistress on a pay phone becomes the target of a dangerously deranged sniper (Kiefer Sutherland) who believes in his own moral superiority.

3:00 pm

“Blind Date”  (1987): Walter Davis (Bruce Willis) is set up on a date with a beautiful woman (Kim Basinger). He is told, whatever you do, don’t let her drink – but what can possibly go wrong? Walter is about to find out on a wild night he will never forget.

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