2019 Summer Movie Preview

As Memorial Day has come and gone, it’s time once again to take a look at some of the films being offered to us for our air conditioned enjoyment. As always, special thanks to our friends at the Internet Movie Database for some synopsis information. Opening dates shown are subject to change at the whim of the studios.
(*) denotes a film that one of Media Mikes’ critics are especially looking forward to.

MAY 31st

*ROCKETMAN
Starring: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell and Bryce Dallas Howard
Directed by: Dexter Fletcher

At first I was shocked when I heard about this film. Harlan Williams playing Elton John??? Then I realized it was a different Rocketman. Following in the footsteps of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” this bio-pic tells the story of one Reginald Dwight, who the world knows as Sir Elton John. Director Fletcher took over for Bryan Singer on “Bohemian Rhapsody” and early reviews say this film is equally good.

GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS
Starring: Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra
Directed by: Michael Dougherty

The big guy is back and he’s bringing his pals with him.

MA
Starring: Octavia Spencer, Juliette Lewis
Directed by: Tate Taylor

The Podcast gang spent a lot of time trying to come up with the plot to this one. Give it a listen and let us know if we got it right.

JUNE 7th

DARK PHOENIX
Starring: Sophie Turner, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender
Directed by: Simon Kinberg

Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world. Though it’s being released by Disney, this was originally a 20th Century Fox property. Now that the MCU is ALMOST one big happy family, I’m curious if the X-men will show up in a future Avengers film.

*LATE NIGHT
Starring: Mindy Kaling, John Lithgow and Emma Thompson
Directed by: Nisha Ganatra

A late night talk show host suspects that she may soon be losing her long-running show. Kaling is always fun to watch and I’ve been in love with Emma Thompson since “The Tall Guy!”

*THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2
Starring the voices of: Kevin Hart and Patton Oswalt
Directed by: Chris Renaud, Jonathan del Val

Continuing the story of Max and his pet friends, following their secret lives after their owners leave them for work or school each day. Hopefully in this one, Hart’s Snowball isn’t homicidal.

JUNE 14th

AMERICAN WOMAN
Starring: Sienna Miller, Aaron Paul
Directed by: Jake Scott

A woman raises her young grandson after her daughter goes missing.

*MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL
Starring: Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson
Directed by: F. Gary Gray

The Men in Black have always protected the Earth from the scum of the universe. In this new adventure, they tackle their biggest threat to date: a mole in the Men in Black organization. Sadly, the newbies won’t be trained by agents J or K.

JUNE 21st

CHILD’S PLAY
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Tim Matheson
Directed by: Lars Klevberg

Hollywood again picks the bones of a dead franchise and tries to breathe new life into it. The bad news: Brad Dourif is not the voice of Chucky. The good news: Mark Hamill is.

TOY STORY 4
Starring the voices of: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen
Directed by: Josh Cooley

When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy. Disney’s movie about toys dolls is going to kick the crap out the Universal’s movie about a toy doll at the box office.

JUNE 28th

ANNABELLE COMES HOME

Starring: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson
Directed by: Gary Dauberman

Determined to keep Annabelle from wreaking more havoc, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren bring the possessed doll to the locked artifacts room in their home, placing her “safely” behind sacred glass and enlisting a priest’s holy blessing. But an unholy night of horror awaits as Annabelle awakens the evil spirits in the room, who all set their sights on a new target-the Warrens’ ten-year-old daughter, Judy, and her friends. The real Lorraine Warren recently passed away, for those of you keeping score at home.

*YESTERDAY

Starring: Himesh Patel, Lily James
Directed by: Danny Boyle

A struggling musician realizes he’s the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed. Written by the great Richard Curtis – who also wrote “The Tall Guy,” the movie I first fell in love with Emma Thompson with.

JULY 2nd

*SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME
Starring: Tom Holland, Jacob Batalon and Marisa Tomei
Directed by: Jon Watts

Following the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever. I’m guessing the start of Phase 3 of the MCU? Love Holland as Spidey and Batalon’s Ned is one of my favorite movie side-kicks ever.

JULY 12th

*STUBER
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista
Directed by: Michael Dowse

A detective recruits his Uber driver into an unexpected night of adventure. As someone that has driven for Uber I will admit I’m intrigued. The most exciting thing that ever happened to me was a woman breaking up with her boyfriend in the back of my car!

JULY 19th

THE LION KING
Starring the voices of: Seth Rogen, Donald Glover and Beyonce’
Directed by: Jon Favreau

For those of you who have been on Mars for the last 25 years: After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery. Favreau worked miracles with his version of “The Jungle Book” and Disney is hoping this is another “Aladdin,” not “Dumbo.”

JULY 26th

*ONCE UPON A TIME IN… HOLLYWOOD
Starring: Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and Margo Robbie
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino

It’s the summer of 1969 and a lot of things are happening in Hollywood. Sex. Drugs. And Charles Manson. As advertised, this is the 9th film directed by Tarantino, who has always said he plans on making 10 and retiring. I challenge you to find a filmmaker that has made as many films as he has without making a dud. Even my favorite director, Steven Spielberg, has made a misstep (I’m looking at YOU, “Hook”).

AUGUST 2nd

FAST AND FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS and SHAW
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and lots of cars
Directed by: David Leitch

When the eighth film in this franchise came out I joked on our Podcast that the next one would be called “Fine and Furious,” because “fine” rhymes with “nine.” However, to avoid paying me money, Universal has chosen this title. Lawman Luke Hobbs and outcast Deckard Shaw form an unlikely alliance when a cyber-genetically enhanced villain threatens the future of humanity. I’ve only seen the original and part 5. However, the addition of Idris Elba as the villain might pull me into the theatre for this one.

AUGUST 9th

*SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
Starring: Michael Garza and Austin Zajur
Directed by: André Øvredal

A group of teens face their fears in order to save their lives. Podcast co-host Loey Lockerby says that these books scared the hell out of her when she was a kid.

AUGUST 16th

47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED
Starring: John Corbett, Nia Long
Directed by: Johannes Roberts

Four teen girls diving in a ruined underwater city quickly learn they’ve entered the territory of the deadliest shark species in the claustrophobic labyrinth of submerged caves. Why isn’t this being called “48 Meters Down?”

*WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Kristin Wiig and Laurence Fishburne
Directed by: Richard Linklater

A loving mom becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family. Her leap of faith takes her on an epic adventure that jump-starts her life and leads to her triumphant rediscovery.

AUGUST 30th

In Germany, our movie would be called “De Scheisse”

PLAYMOBIL THE MOVIE
Starring the voices of: Daniel Radcliffe and Kenan Thompson
Directed by: Lino DiSalvo

Animated feature film inspired by the Playmobil brand toys. Are you ****ing kidding me??? PLAYMOBIL THE MOVIE???? A movie about the little toys my grandchildren play with?? Quick, get me Hollywood…I want to make a movie about the game of Jacks! Believe it or not, Daniel Radcliffe was not only Harry Potter but did “Equus” on Broadway. How the mighty have fallen. Look for him to reprise the role of Harry Potter when he leads tours around Universal Orlando.

Look for our movie NEXT summer!

Win Passes to the Kansas City Sneak Preview of “Robin Hood”

Media Mikes has teamed up with their friends at Summit Entertainment to give (3) lucky readers and a guest the chance to attend the special sneak preview of the upcoming film, “Robin Hood,” starring Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx.

The film will be shown on Monday, November 19th at the AMC Barrywoods Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri.  The show begins at 7:00 p.m.

All you have to do to enter for a chance to win these passes is let us know below who your favorite big-screen Robin Hood is.  Errol Flynn?  Kevin Costner?  How about Disney’s animated hero?

Three entries will be randomly chosen and the winners notified by email.  

This giveaway ends at 6:00 p.m. Sunday night, November 18th.  Good luck!

MediaMikes 2017 Summer Movie Preview

Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime. Yes indeed, time for school to end and the non-stop days of fun to begin. Unless you have a full time job, like all of us at MediaMikes do. Then it’s just time to find a few hours a week to watch something good. And there appears to be plenty of good for everyone from now until school starts again. “Summer” has gotten off to a big start, with “Fate of the Furious” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2” already kicking serious box office ass. But not to worry, there are plenty more movies to see.

Once again, some synopsis information courtesy of our friends at the Internet Movie Data Base and, please remember, opening dates are subject to change at the whim of the studios.

MAY 26

“Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”

Starring: Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and, I swear to God, Paul McCartney
Directed by: Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg
Synopsis: Captain Jack Sparrow is back and this time he’s searching for the trident of Poseidon. Looks much better then the last installment. I interviewed the directors a couple years ago and they seemed to have an enthusiasm for the project that had been lost.

“Baywatch”

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron and Alexandra Daddario
Directed by: Seth Gordon
Synopsis: Lifeguard Mitch Buchanan and his team uncover a criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay. Go for Zac Efron’s abs, stay for, I hope I hope, a sweet David Hasselhoff cameo.

“War Machine”

Starring: Brad Pitt, Ben Kingsley and Anthony Michael Hall
Directed by: David Michod
Synopsis: A no-holds-barred look at the career of US Army General Glen McMahon. Ooo-rah!

“Berlin Syndrome”

Starring: Teresa Palmer and Max Riemelt
Directed by: Cate Shortland
Synopsis: A passionate holiday romance leads to an obsessive relationship when an Australian photojournalist wakes one morning in a Berlin apartment and is unable to leave. I’ve been to Berlin. The apartments were THAT amazing.

JUNE 2

“Wonder Woman”

Starring: Gal Gadot, Robin Wright and Chris Pine
Directed by: Patty Jenkins
Synopsis: The best part of “Batman vs Superman” gets her own origin film. Fingers crossed for a Lynda Carter cameo.

JUNE 9

“The Mummy”

Starring: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe and Courtney B. Vance
Directed by: Alex Kurtzman
Synopsis: An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension. This is not Brendan Fraser’s father’s Mummy!

“Megan Leavey”

Starring: Kate Mara, Tom Felton and Will Patton
Directed by: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Synopsis: Based on the true-life story of a young marine corporal whose unique discipline and bond with her military combat dog saved many lives during their deployment in Iraq. Love dog movies. As opposed to movies that ARE dogs.

“It Comes at Night”

Starring: Riley Keough and Joel Edgerton
Directed by: Trey Edward Shults
Synopsis: Secure within a desolate home as an unnatural threat terrorizes the world, a man has established a tenuous domestic order with his wife and son, but this will soon be put to the test when a desperate young family arrives seeking refuge. Keough’s grandfather passed away 40 years ago. You may have heard of him: Elvis Presley.

JUNE 16

“Cars 3”

Starring the voices of: Owen Wilson, Armie Hammer and Larry the Cable Guy
Directed by: Brian Fee
Synposis: Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best race car in the world. And that “Cars 2” was just a bad dream.

“The Book of Henry”

Starring: Naomi Watts and Jacob Tremblay
Directed by: Colin Trevorrow
Synopsis: A single mom raises a child genius. Tremblay was the best thing about “Room.” Maybe in his next film he can actually have a father.

JUNE 23

“Transformers: The Last Knight”

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Gemma Chan and Anthony Hopkins
Directed by: Michael Bay
Synopsis: Seriously? You actually care about the PLOT of this movie? Fine. Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth.

“The Big Sick”

Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan and Holly Hunter
Directed by: Michael Showalter
Synopsis: A couple deals with their cultural differences as their relationship grows. Just like real life.

“The Bad Batch”

Starring: Suki Waterhouse, Jason Mamoa and Jm Carrey
Directed by: Ann Lily Amirpour
Synopsis: A dystopian love story in a Texas wasteland, set in a community of cannibals. I’m just getting into “Breaking Bad.” I thought this had something to do with blue meth.

JUNE 28

“Baby Driver”

Starring: Ansel Elgort, Lily James and Kevin Spacey
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Synopsis: After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail. You know who has never failed? Edgar Wright.

JUNE 30

“Despicable Me 3”

Starring the voices of: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Trey Parker
Directed by: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin and Eric Guillon
Synopsis: Balthazar Bratt, a child star from the 1980s, hatches a scheme for world domination. Oh, and the Minions.

“The Beguiled”

Starring: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman and Kirsten Dunst
Directed by: Sofia Coppola
Synopsis: At a girls’ school in Virginia during the Civil War, where the young women have been sheltered from the outside world, a wounded Union soldier is taken in. This is a remake of the 1971 Clint Eastwood/Geraldine Page film.

“The House”

Starring: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler and Ryan Simpkins
Directed by: Andrew J. Cohen
Synopsis: A dad convinces his friends to start an illegal casino in his basement after he and his wife spend their daughter’s college fund. Bet with your head, not over it!

JULY 7

“Spider-Man: Homecoming”

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton and more than one Avenger
Directed by: Jon Watts
Synopsis: Following the events of “Captain America: Civil War,” Peter Parker attempts to balance his life in high school with his career as the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man. The few minutes he was featured in the last “Captain America” film showed Holland to be perfectly cast as the young web-master.

“A Ghost Story”

Starring: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara
Directed by: David Lowery
Synopsis: In this singular exploration of legacy, love, loss, and the enormity of existence, a recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost returns to his suburban home to try and reconnect with his bereft wife. Is that an Oscar under your sheet or are you just glad to see me?

JULY 14

“War for the Planet of the Apes”

Starring: Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn and Andy Serkis
Directed by: Matt Reeves
Synopsis: After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind.

JULY 21

“Dunkirk”

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance and Tom Hardy
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Synopsis: Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada, and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”

Starring: Dane DeHaan, Clive Owen and John Goodman
Directed by: Luc Besson
Synopsis: A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

JULY 28

“Atomic Blonde”

Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy and, once again, John Goodman
Directed by: David Leitch
Synopsis: An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents. Director Leitch is also helming the second “Deadpool” film.

AUGUST 4

“The Dark Tower”

Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey and Jackie Earle Haley
Directed by: Nikolaj Arcel
Synopsis: The Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, roams an Old West-like landscape where “the world has moved on” in pursuit of The Man In Black. He’s also searching for the fabled Dark Tower, in the hopes that reaching it will preserve his dying world. Good thing I’m going to read this later…until just now I thought Ron Howard was directing.

“Wind River”

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen and Graham Greene
Directed by: Taylor Sheridan
Synopsis: An FBI agent teams with the town’s veteran game tracker to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation. Director Sheridan wrote both 2015’s “Sicario” and last year’s Best Picture nominee, “Hell or High Water.”

“Ingrid Goes West”

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, O’Shea Jackson Jr and, once again, Elizabeth Olsen
Directed by: Matt Spicer
Synopsis: Ingrid Thorburn, a mentally disturbed young woman, becomes obsessed with Taylor Sloane, a social-media star who appears to have the perfect life.

“Detroit”

Starring: John Krasinski, John Boyega and Anthony Mackie
Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow
Synopsis: A police raid in Detroit in 1967 results in one of the largest citizen uprisings in the United States’ history. Another team up of Oscar winning writer Mark Boal and Academy Award winning director Bigelow.

AUGUST 18

“Logan Lucky”

Starring: Daniel Craig, Channing Tatum and Adam Driver
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Synopsis: Two brothers attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina. And then run moonshine?

Media Mikes 2016 Fall/Holiday Movie Preview

Labor Day has come and gone, and unless you’re dressing up as a ghost, you better not be wearing anything white! With the end of summer comes the beginning of fall and the start of Hollywood’s “Prestige Movie Push!”

We’ll take a look at what the studios hope are their best bets to fill the multiplexes and bring home the Oscars. Once again, a big thank you to our friends at Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) for some synopsis information. Opening dates noted are subject to change at the whim of the studios. Enjoy!

OCTOBER 7

THE 13th

Documentary
Directed by: Ava DuVernay

The director of “Selma” gives us an in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality.

OSCAR CHANCES: Will surely make the short list.

THE BIRTH OF A NATION

Starring: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer
Directed by: Nate Parker

Set against the antebellum South, the film follows Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities – against himself and his fellow slaves – Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.

OSCAR CHANCES: After last year’s #OSCARSOWHITE controversy, the early buzz on this film almost guaranteed a bounty of nominations. However, it was recently revealed that writer/director/star Nate Parker and his co-writer, Jean McGianni Celestin, were accused of raping a fellow college student in 1999. Though Parker was not found guilty and Celestin had his conviction overturned, their alleged victim committed suicide. Not sure how this news will affect the Academy voters.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

Starring: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett and Justin Theroux
Directed by: Tate Taylor

In the film, being compared to “Gone Girl,” a recently divorced woman
takes the train to work every day and imagines the lives of a young couple she
sees every day. Things get weird when the young wife disappears.

OSCAR CHANCES: Blunt is already getting raves for her performance.


OCTOBER 13

MASCOTS

Starring: Christopher Guest, Parker Posey and Jane Lynch
Directed by: Christopher Guest

Simply described as “a look into the world of competitive mascots,” this is the latest opus from the great Christopher Guest. Sadly, unless I missed it, this is the first of Guest’s films that does not include Eugene Levy.

OSCAR CHANCES: Possible screenplay nod.

 

OCTOBER 14

THE ACCOUNTANT

Starring: Ben Affleck, J.K. Simmons and Anna Kendrick
Directed by: Gavin O’Connor

A forensic accountant un-cooks the books for illicit clients. What I like about the trailer is that Affleck seems to be a young genius. Maybe this is his chance to play Will Hunting?

OSCAR CHANCES: Maybe.


KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW?

Starring: Kevin Hart
Directed by: Leslie Small and Tim Story

Kevin Hart performs his comedy in front of 50,000 fans.

OSCAR CHANCES: No.


OCTOBER 21

AMERICAN PASTORAL

Starring: Jennifer Connelly, Dakota Fanning and Ewan McGregor
Directed by: Ewan McGregor

In 1968, a hardworking man, who’s been a staple in his quaint community for years, watches his seemingly perfect middle class life fall apart as his daughter’s new radical political affiliation threatens to destroy their family. Based on the novel by Philip Roth.

OSCAR CHANCES: Adapted screenplay?

IN A VALLEY OF VIOLENCE

Starring: John Travolta, Ethan Hawke and Karen Gillan
Directed by: Ti West

A mysterious stranger and a random act of violence drag a town of misfits and nitwits into the bloody cross-hairs of revenge. Ethan Hawke’s second western this season and John Travolta in a cowboy hat for the first time since “Urban Cowboy.” Yee-hah!

OSCAR CHANCES: Sadly Western’s very rarely get recognized.

JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK

Starring: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders
Directed by: Edward Zwick

Jack Reacher must uncover the truth behind a major government conspiracy in order to clear his name. On the run as a fugitive from the law, Reacher uncovers a potential secret from his past that could change his life forever.

OSCAR CHANCES: Director Zwick has helmed three of my favorite films (“About Last Night,” “Glory” and “Legends of the Fall” but only has an Oscar for co-producing “Shakespeare in Love.” It’s about time this man was recognized, though I don’t think it’s going to be for a Jack Reacher film.

A MONSTER CALLS

Starring: Liam Neeson, Felicity Jones and Sigourney Weaver
Directed by: J.A. Bayona

A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mom’s terminal illness.

OSCAR CHANCES: Visual effects.

TYLER PERRY’S BOO! A MADEA HALLOWEEN

Starring: Tyler Perry
Directed by: Tyler Perry

Madea winds up in the middle of mayhem when she spends a haunted Halloween fending off killers, paranormal poltergeists, ghosts, ghouls and zombies while keeping a watchful eye on a group of misbehaving teens. I’m scared.

OSCAR CHANCES: I’m going to go out on a limb and say “no”

OCTOBER 28

INFERNO

Starring: Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones
Directed by: Ron Howard

When Robert Langdon wakes up in an Italian hospital with amnesia, he teams up with Dr. Sienna Brooks, and together they must race across Europe against the clock to foil a deadly global plot. The second Felicity Jones film in as many weeks.

OSCAR CHANCES: Sorry, Tom, but your nomination this year is coming from “Sully”

 

NOVEMBER 4

BLEED FOR THIS

Starring: Miles Teller and Aaron Eckhart
Directed by: Ben Younger

The inspirational story of World Champion Boxer Vinny Pazienza who, after a near fatal car crash, which left him not knowing if he’d ever walk again, made one of sport’s most incredible comebacks.

OSCAR CHANCES: Both Robert DeNiro and Hillary Swank won Oscars for portraying boxers so never say never. Hell, Stallone got nominated…TWICE!

DOCTOR STRANGE

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams and Mads Mikkelsen
Directed by: Scott Derrickson

A neurosurgeon with a destroyed career sets out to repair his hands only to find himself protecting the world from inter-dimensional threats.

OSCAR CHANCES: Visual effects.

HACKSAW RIDGE

Starring: Andrew Garfield and Sam Worthington
Directed by: Mel Gibson

WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people and becomes the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor. Mel doesn’t appear in this one but his dead-ringer son, Milo, does.

OSCAR CHANCES: Gibson (Mel, not Milo) already has an Oscar for directing so you never know. I’m sure people have forgotten what all of the hub-bub was about concerning him a few years ago.

LOVING

Starring: Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton
Directed by: Jeff Nichols

Back in the dark ages, Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, are sentenced to prison in Virginia in 1958 for getting married. Apparently they had nothing better to do in Virginia at the time.

OSCAR CHANCES: Acting, picture.

TROLLS

Starring the voices of: Anna Kendrick and Justin Timberlake
Directed by: Mike Mitchell and Walt Dohrn

Remember those little plastic things with long hair that you used to put on the end of your pencil? When I was a kid we called them Kewpies but apparently they are Trolls and they have their own movie. Good for them!

OSCAR CHANCES: Maybe best hairstyling?

NOVEMBER 11

ARRIVAL

Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker
Directed by: Denis Villeneuve

A linguist is recruited by the military to assist in translating alien communications.

OSCAR CHANCES: Picture, director, acting.

SHUT IN

Starring: Naomi Watts and Jacob Tremblay
Directed by: Farren Blackburn

A heart-pounding thriller about a widowed child psychologist who lives in an isolated existence in rural New England. Caught in a deadly winter storm, she must find a way to rescue a young boy before he disappears forever.

OSCAR CHANCES: Unsure, but young Mr. Tremblay should have been nominated last year for “Room.”

USS INDIANAPOLIS: MEN OF COURAGE

Starring: Nicolas Cage and Tom Sizemore
Directed by: Mario Van Peebles

The harrowing true story of the crew of the USS Indianapolis, who were stranded in the Philippine Sea for five days after delivering the atomic weapons that would eventually end WWII. If you saw “Jaws,” this is the tale that Quint tells. Other “Jaws” related facts: this was the original idea for “Jaws 2.” Also: Mario Van Peebles starred in “Jaws the Revenge.”

OSCAR CHANCES: To me it looks like a “made for TV” movie. How about Emmy chances?


NOVEMBER 18

THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN

Starring: Hailiee Steinfeld, Blake Jenner and Woody Harrelson
Directed by: Kelly Fremon Craig

High-school life gets even more unbearable for Nadine when her best friend, Krista, starts dating her older brother. Is that weird? When I was in high-school I wanted to date my best friend’s older sister. Hopefully Stevie Nicks got some money from this.

OSCAR CHANCES: Nada

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Jon Voight and Ezra Miller
Directed by: David Yates

The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards 70 years before Harry Potter reads his book in school. Even though Harry Potter and his pals are less than 20 years old it seems like they’ve been around forever.

OSCAR CHANCES: Visual effects, music (the great James Newton Howard)

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA

Starring: Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams
Directed by: Kenneth Lonergan

An uncle is forced to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies.

OSCAR CHANCES: Both Affleck and Williams have been nominated in the past so I’m not ruling anything out.

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS

Starring: Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal
Directed by: Tom Ford

An art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a veiled threat and a symbolic revenge tale. November is Amy Adams month.

OSCAR CHANCES: Across the board


NOVEMBER 23

ALLIED

Starring: Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis

In 1942, an intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war. Cotillard isn’t married so maybe we can look forward to reading about “Bradarion” soon.

OSCAR CHANCES: Pitt, Cotilliard and Zemeckis have been there before.

BAD SANTA 2

Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates and Tony Cox
Directed by: Mark Waters

Fueled by cheap whiskey, greed and hatred, Willie teams up once again with his angry little sidekick, Marcus, to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve.

OSCAR CHANCES: I thought Billy Bob deserved a nod for the first film but I’m going to say no.

MOANA

Starring the voices of: Dwayne Johnson, Alan Tudyk and Nicole Scherzinger
Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker, Don Hall and Chris Williams

A young woman uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled island. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui.

OSCAR CHANCES: Animated feature, original song

RULES DON’T APPLY

Starring: Warren Beatty, Lily Collins and Ed Harris
Directed by: Warren Beatty

An unconventional love story of an aspiring actress, her determined driver, and the eccentric billionaire who they work for. Beatty has been wanting to do a Howard Hughes-based film since the 1970s. Not sure if this is what he had in mind back then but, after a 15-year absence, it’s great to see him both in front of and behind the camera.

OSCAR CHANCES: Only two people have been nominated in the same year for acting, directing, writing and producing the best picture: Orson Welles and Warren Beatty. And Beatty did it TWICE!


NOVEMBER 25

LION

Starring: Dev Patel, Rooney Mara and Nicole Kidman
Directed by: Garth Davis

A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.

OSCAR CHANCES: Many


DECEMBER 2

LA LA LAND

Starring: Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone
Directed by: Damien Chazelle

From the creator of “Whiplash” comes a film about a jazz pianist who falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles. And it’s a musical!

OSCAR CHANCES: Early film festival buzz say’s this may be the film to watch (both on screen and at awards time!)


DECEMBER 9

MISS SLOANE

Starring: Jessica Chastain
Directed by: John Madden

An ambitious lobbyist faces off against the powerful gun lobby in an attempt to pass gun control legislation.

OSCAR CHANCES: Actress. Madden directed the Oscar-winning “Shakespeare in Love.”

OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY

Starring: Jason Bateman and Jennifer Anniston
Directed by: Josh Gordon and Will Speck

When his uptight CEO sister threatens to shut down his branch, the branch manager throws an epic Christmas party in order to land a big client and save the day, but the party gets way out of hand.

OSCAR CHANCES: Zip

DECEMBER 16

COLLATERAL BEAUTY

Starring: Will Smith and Keira Knightley
Directed by: David Frankel

A tragic event sends a New York ad man on a downward spiral.

OSCAR CHANCES: I’ve already had to apologize to Will Smith twice for doubting he’d get nominated for “Ali” and “The Pursuit of Happyness.” There won’t be a third. Good luck Will.

FENCES

Starring: Denzel Washington and Viola Davis
Directed by: Denzel Washington

An African American father struggles with race relations in the United States while trying to raise his family in the 1950s and coming to terms with the events of his life. Based on the August Wilson play.

OSCAR CHANCES: YES!

THE FOUNDER

Starring: Michael Keaton and Patrick Wilson
Directed by: John Lee Hancock

The story of McDonald’s founder, Ray Kroc. You may look at your next hamburger differently. Keaton is said to be so good that they pulled the film from it’s original release date.

OSCAR CHANCES: Keaton

A KIND OF MURDER

Starring: Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel
Directed by: Andy Goddard

In 1960s New York, Walter Stackhouse is a successful architect married to the beautiful Clara who leads a seemingly perfect life. But his fascination with an unsolved murder leads him into a spiral of chaos as he is forced to play cat-and-mouse with a clever killer and an overambitious detective, while at the same time lusting after another woman. This will be a day of decisions for Patrick Wilson fans.

OSCAR CHANCES: Don’t see any

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

Starring: Felicity Jones, Jimmy Smits and Warwick Davis
Directed by: Gareth Edwards

Or, as I like to call it, “Episode 6.5” The Rebellion makes a risky move to steal the plans to the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow. Holy crap! The Death Star, Leia’s family, Darth Vader AND Wicket the Ewok? I’m already in line!

OSCAR CHANCES: Visual effects, make up.

DECEMBER 21

20th CENTURY WOMEN

Starring: Annette Bening, Elle Fanning and Laura Wiggins
Directed by: Mike Mills

The story of three women who explore love and freedom in Southern California during the late 1970s.

OSCAR CHANCES: Can anyone tell me why Annette Bening hasn’t won an Oscar yet? Didn’t think so. Keep your fingers crossed.

ASSASSINS CREED

Starring: Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard
Directed by: Justin Kurzel

When Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, he discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society. This synopsis seems so crazy considering the cast. I wonder if the two leads made the same mistake Bill Murray did when he thought “Garfield” had been written by one of the Coen brothers!

OSCAR CHANCES: Fassbender elevates everything he’s in so I’m not saying no!

PASSENGERS

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt
Directed by: Morten Tyldum

A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 90 years early. It’s so weird to see Lawrence in a movie at the end of the year NOT directed by David O. Russell. Oh well, there’s always next year.

OSCAR CHANCES: Visual effects, technical stuff

PATRIOTS DAY

Starring: Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Monaghan
Directed by: Peter Berg

An account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis’s actions in the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists behind it. Sounds better than what I thought it was – knowing Wahlberg is a huge New England Patriot fan I thought it was about a day with Tom Brady. The third film by Wahlberg and director Berg and second this year.

OSCAR CHANCES: Oh yes.

SING

Starring the voices of: Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson
Directed by: Garth Jennings

A koala named Buster Moon has one final chance to restore his theater to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.

OSCAR CHANCES: Animated film….maybe.

DECEMBER 25

GOLD

Starring: Matthew McConaughey and Bryce Dallas Howard
Directed by: Stephen Gaghan

An unlikely pair venture to the Indonesian jungle in search of gold. When he was outrageously thin in “Dallas Buyer’s Club” McConaughey still looked good. In this one he’s bald and….dammit!

OSCAR CHANCES: No sir.

WHY HIM?

Starring: James Franco and Bryan Cranston
Directed by: John Hamburg.

A dad forms a bitter rivalry with his daughter’s young rich boyfriend. Based on a story by Jonah Hill. Somebody needed money.

OSCAR CHANCES: I’m ashamed that I have to include those words with this film.

DECEMBER 28

PATERSON

Starring: Adam Driver
Directed by: Jim Jarmusch

Set in the present in Paterson, New Jersey, this is a tale about a bus driver and poet.

OSCAR CHANCES: Love Jarmusch. Maybe a witting nod.

MediaMikes 2016 Summer Movie Preview

Written by Mike Smith

As Memorial Day approaches you can count on two things: a lot of furniture stores will have sales and the multiplexes will be full. It seems like every year “summer” comes early. The first volleys have already been fired, with “Captain America: Civil War” jumping out of the gate and earning an amazing $355 million world wide in its first two weeks. Heck, even a movie based on a PHONE APP has made over $40 million in it’s first week. What’s next? Pull up your popcorn and big box of DOTS and let’s find out. As always, opening dates are subject to change at the whim of the studios. Some synopsis information courtesy of our good friends at the Internet Movie Data Base. If you want a more in-depth look at this summer’s offerings, give a listen to our special edition of the “Behind the Mikes” Podcast here. If you notice a set of initials after a title, that tells you that the film in question is highly anticipated by one of our critics (MG – Mike Gencarelli, LL – Loey Lockerby, MS: Mike Smith, JW – Jeremy Werner)

MAY 27

“Alice Through the Looking Glass”

Starring: Mia Wasikowska and Johnny Depp. Directed by: James Bobin.
-The continuing story of Lewis Carroll’s young heroine. Director Bobin has an extensive background with Ali G and the Muppets.

“X-Men: Apocalypse”

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence. Directed by: Bryan Singer
-The original big, bad Mutant (Oscar Isaac) visits 1983 to settle some scores.

JUNE 3

“Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” JW

Starring: Andy Samberg, Imogen Poots and Bill Hader. Directed by: Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone.
-The Lonely Island guys, who have given “Saturday Night Live” some of it’s best shorts in the last few years, tell the story of a former boy band member trying to remain relevant.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows”

Starring: Megan Fox and Will Arnett. Directed by: Dave Green
-The Turtles are back and this time they’re bringing Casey Jones with them.

JUNE 10

“The Conjuring 2”

Starring: Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson. Directed by: James Wan
-The further adventures of Lorraine and Ed Warren, who seem to have nothing better to do then find places and things that scare us!

“Now You See Me 2”

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson. Directed by: Jon M. Chu
-The Four Horsemen are back, as is apparently everyone from the first movie. And Dave Franco. You’ve been warned.

JUNE 17

“Central Intellegence”

Starring: Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson. Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber.
-After he reunites with an old pal through Facebook, a mild-mannered accountant is lured into the world of international espionage.

“Finding Dory” MG

Starring the voices of: Ellen Degeneres and Albert Brooks. Directed by: Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane
-Everyone’s favorite blue tang is lost and her ocean friends set out to find her.

“Swiss Army Man” JW

Starring: Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe. Directed by: Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.
-A hopeless man stranded in the wilderness befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.

JUNE 24

“Free State of Jones”

Starring: Matthew McConaughey and Keri Russell. Directed by: Gary Ross
-As the Civil War rages, a poor farmer from Mississippi leads a group of rebels against the Confederate army.

“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” LL

Starring: Sam Neill and Julian Dennison. Directed by: Taika Waititi
-A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.

“Independence Day: Resurgence”

Starring: Bill Pullman and Liam Hemsworth. Directed by: Roland Emmerich
-They’re back. Well, not Will Smith or Randy Quaid, but Judd Hirsch is still around.

“The Shallows” MG

Starring: Blake Lively and Brett Cullen. Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra
-A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills. I love “Jaws” as much as the next guy…ok, maybe more…so I’m hoping this doesn’t stink.

JULY 1

“The Purge: Election Year” JW

Starring: Frank Grillo and Elizabeth Mitchell. Directed by: James DeMonaco
-After two successful movies, it only makes sense that they would complete the trilogy, promising more bloodshed. This time around you get to see if a U.S. Senator can survive the deadly night.

“The BFG” MS

Starring: Mark Rylance and Ruby Barnhill. Directed by: Steven Spielberg.
-Meet Sophie and her friend, a Big Friendly Giant who is an outcast because he won’t eat children!

JULY 8

“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”

Starring: Adam Devine and Zac Efron. Directed by: Jake Szymanski
-Two brothers need dates for their sister’s wedding and end up running an on-line ad.


“The Secret Life of Pets”
LL, MS

Starring the voices of: Jenny Slate and Lake Bell. Directed by: Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney.
-Ever wonder what Baxter and Charlie are up to when you go off to work. Wonder no more!

JULY 15

“Ghostbusters” MG

Starring: Melissa McCarthy and Kristin Wiig. Directed by: Paul Feig
-This time it’s up to the ladies to tell us that they ain’t afraid of no ghosts.

JULY 22

“Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” LL

Starring: Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders. Directed by: Mandie Fletcher.

Edina and Patsy are still oozing glitz and glamour, living the high life they are accustomed to; shopping, drinking and clubbing their way around London’s trendiest hot-spots. Blamed for a major incident at an uber fashionable launch party, they become entangled in a media storm and are relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi.

“Star Trek Beyond” MS

Starring: Chris Pine and Zachary Qunito. Directed by: Justin Lin

J.J. Abrams has moved on and turned the reins over to multiple “Fast and Furious” director Justin Lin. I’m intrigued that Simon Pegg helped write this film.

JULY 29

“Bad Moms”

Starring: Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell. Directed by: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
-When three overworked and under-appreciated moms are pushed beyond their limits, they ditch their conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long overdue freedom, fun, and comedic self-indulgence.

“Jason Bourne”

Starring: Matt Damon and Alicia Vikander. Directed by: Paul Greengrass
-The Jeremy Renner experiment a failure, Damon returns as Jason Bourne, a man who now remembers who he is trying to discover his past.

AUGUST 5

“Suicide Squad” MG JW

Starring: Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. Directed by: David Ayer.
-A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency. As much praise as Heath Ledger got for his stamp on the Joker, word is that Leto takes it a notch higher.

AUGUST 12

“Pete’s Dragon”

Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard and Robert Redford. Directed by: David Lowery.
-A retelling of the classic 70’s Disney musical. And no, Redford is NOT the Dragon!

“Sausage Party” MS

Starring the voices of: Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen. Directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon.
-An animated movie about one sausage’s quest to discover the truth about his existence. Coming from Seth Rogen and his writing partner, Evan Goldberg, I’m expecting one long 90 minute dick joke!

AUGUST 19

“Ben Hur”

Starring: Jack Huston and Haluk Bilginer. Directed by: Timur Bekmanbetov
-A falsely accused Jewish nobleman survives years of slavery to take vengeance on his Roman best friend, who betrayed him. I’m not big on remakes, but the Chariot Race looks amazing.

“Kubo and the Two Strings” MG

Starring the voices of: Rooney Mara and Charlize Theron. Directed by: Travis Knight
-Kubo lives a quiet, normal life in a small shoreside village until a spirit from the past turns his life upside down by re-igniting an age-old vendetta.

“War Dogs” LL

Starring: Jonah Hill and Miles Teller. Directed by: Todd Phillips
-The true story of two young men, David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, who won a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm America’s allies in Afghanistan. This is the third time that Jonah Hill has played a real person on film, earning Oscar nominations the two previous times. I’m just saying.

AUGUST 26

“Blood Father”

Starring: Mel Gibson and Erin Moriarty. Directed by: Jean-Francois Richet
-An ex-con reunites with his estranged wayward 16-year old daughter to protect her from drug dealers who are trying to kill her.

“Hands of Stone”

Starring: Edgar Ramirez and Robert DeNiro. Directed by: Jonathan Jakubowicz
-The legendary Roberto Duran and his equally legendary trainer Ray Arcel change each other’s lives.

Fallen Preview: A Tale of a Century-Old Love

https://pixabay.com/en/heart-love-romance-valentine-700141/

The intersection between movie motifs and the supernatural is one that audiences are often invited to travel across by script writers and directors.

From straight-up thrillers involving antisocial beings from the beyond to heart-warming tales of those on earth finding comfort in those from the spirit world, the use of spirits and all things ethereal has proved hugely popular with movie makers over the years.

Naturally, as we slip further into 2016, that trend doesn’t appear to be slowing down thanks to the pending release of Fallen. Not to be confused with the 1998 movie of the same name featuring Denzel Washington as homicide detective John Hobbes, the 2016 version of Fallen is a British, Australian and American hybrid production based on Lauren Kate’s Fallen novels.

The Guidance of Angels

https://pixabay.com/en/angel-singing-choral-christmas-1004111/

Known for her young adult novels, Kate’s Fallen was originally published in 2009 and focuses on the love story between accused murder Lucinda Price and her school mate, Daniel, who it transpires is an angel. Wanting to enliven this idea with some sights and sounds, Nichole Millard turned the story into a screenplay and Scott Hicks (famous for the movie Shine) took charge of the directorial side of things.

Despite being slated for release in 2015, the movie has had its setbacks, but Kate herself has stated that it will hit movie theatres in September 2016. At its core, the movie focuses on the relationship between Price and Daniel who has “loved her for a thousand years”. However, beyond the budding love between the two characters, the movie is also an exploration of how a belief in something beyond the physical world can help change someone’s life.

Among faith healers and psychics, the role of angels in our life is well known. According to popular wisdom, angels are constantly watching over us and if we’re able to channel their power we can fix certain issues in our life. To that end, many people now use angle therapy as a way to communicate with guardian angels such as Archangel Chamuel (peaceful relationships), Archangel Michael (the truth teller) and Archangel Gabriel (overseer of the creative).

A Supernatural Love Triangle

https://pixabay.com/en/angel-guardian-angel-heart-rose-1194462/

This appears to be the concept Kate, and latterly Hicks, has taken to a new level in Fallen. Instead of sitting down and tapping into the spirit world with the help of a therapist, Price has a direct line to her guardian angel. However, as with all tales of love and reform, the path to salvation is never easy and, despite a chance encounter with Daniel, Price also falls for another schoolmate in the form of Cam (also an angel).

This love triangle then becomes a battle between heaven and hell with Price stuck in the middle of two supernatural beings who have loved her for centuries. The overall premise of Fallen is far from unique, but if the production is slick and the acting is on point then it should do well. Indeed, the spirit world motif is one that often does well with audiences when it’s combined with a love story.

Will be a blockbuster? Probably not, but if the spirits are watching over the movie then it should do well enough to satisfy the production company and Fallen’s original author, Lauren Kate.

Media Mikes’ 2014 Holiday Film Preview

As you just spent the last few days fighting those “Black Friday” crowds, making sure that for years to come your children will know that you paid $10.00 less than anyone else for their JAWS Lego set, why not set aside some family time and take in a movie?

This time of year not only brings jolly Saint Nick around but also a lot of what the studios deem their “prestige” films – the ones to remember come award time.  Of course, they occasionally sneak in a couple of stinkers as well.  Here is a list of both for you to plan your next cinema visit.  As usual, thanks to our friends at the Internet Movie Database for some synopsis information and, as always, remember that this list is not all-inclusive and that the opening dates are subject to change depending on the whims of the studios and where you live.  Enjoy!

 

DECEMBER 

ESCOBAR:  PARADISE LOST

Starring:  Benicio Del Toro, Josh Hutcherson

Directed by:  Andrea Di Stefano

While vacationing in Columbia, a young man meets the woman of his dreams and soon finds himself introduced to her uncle, the infamous drug dealer Pablo Escobar.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Not a lot of buzz on this film but Del Toro did win an Oscar for his Supporting work in “Traffic.”

 

STILL ALICE

Starring:  Julianne Moore, Kate Bosworth and Kristen Stewart

Directed by:  Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland

When Alice Howland (Moore), a noted linguistics professor, begins forgetting words she learns she is in the early stages of Alzheimer.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Moore, a four time nominee, is generating great word of mouth for a fifth nod.

 

TOP FIVE

Starring:  Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson

Directed by:  Chris Rock

A comedian tries to make it as a serious actor when his reality-TV star fiancé talks him into broadcasting their wedding on her TV show.  Rock, who also wrote the film, promises this film to carry the edge of his stand up.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Adam Sandler also appears but who am I to dream?

 

WILD

Starring:  Reese Witherspoon and Gaby Hoffman

Directed by:  Jean-Marc Vallee

A chronicle of one woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent catastrophe.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Like Julianne Moore, Witherspoon, who already has a Best Actress Oscar for her work in “Walk the Line,” is getting great word of mouth.  Director Vallee guided both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto to Oscars last year in “Dallas Buyers Club” and earned a nomination himself for his editing of the film.

 

DECEMBER 12

DEMONIC

Starring:  Maria Bello and Frank Grillo

Directed by:  Will Canon

A police officer and a psychologist investigate the deaths of five people who were killed while trying to summon ghosts.  The story comes from James Wan (“Saw,” “Insidious,” “The Conjuring”) so hopefully this will be on the plus side of horror.

OSCAR CHANCES:  “Horror,” asks the Academy, “what is that?”

 

EXODUS:  GODS AND KINGS

Starring:  Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton

Directed by:  Ridley Scott

The defiant leader Moses (Bale) rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses (Edgerton), setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Bale has one Oscar (Best Supporting Actor for “The Fighter”) and a second nomination while director Scott has been nominated three times, including for “Gladiator.”  Look for a lot of technical nods.

 

INHERENT VICE

Starring:  Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin

Directed by:  Paul Thomas Anderson

In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles detective Larry “Doc” Sportello (Phoenix) investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.  Here’s a little trivia for you:  writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s production company is named Ghoulardi after the late night horror host his father, Ernie Anderson, used to portray on Cleveland television.  As a boy I loved Ghoulardi!

OSCAR CHANCES:  If Paul Thomas Anderson has made a bad film I’ve never seen it.  He and his casts are nomination magnets so look for plenty.

 

DECEMBER 17

THE HOBBIT:  THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES

Starring:  Martin Freeman and Cate Blanchett

Directed by:  Peter Jackson

The final episode of director Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy.  As he proved with the “Lord of the Rings” films, Jackson is a master storyteller and this last chapter should be amazing!

OSCAR CHANCES:  Technical across the board.

 

DECEMBER 19

ANNIE

Starring:  Quvenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx

Directed by:  Will Gluck

OK, the synopsis really has nothing to do with the Broadway musical except that Annie (Wallis) is an orphan and eventually she will sing “Tomorrow.”  This is the one film that I’m torn on.  I loved the original show – at one time it was so popular that when you went to audition for a musical you were told that you COULDN’T perform “Tomorrow” – so I’m trying to go in with blinders.  That fact that director Gluck only has a few PG-13 teen comedies on his resume, and that he helped produce the still horrible memory “About Last Night” remake makes me sad.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Young Miss Wallis remains the youngest Best Actress nominee EVER for her work in “Beasts of the Southern Wild” while Foxx not only has an Oscar for “Ray” but kicked ass in “Dreamgirls.”  I’m not looking for any here but hopefully I’ll be surprised.

 

THE GAMBLER

Starring:  Mark Walberg and Brie Larson

Directed by:  Rupert Wyatt

A literature college professor and high stakes gambler runs afoul of a loan shark and his bodyguard-like gangsters while he has an affair with one of his students.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Can’t see any.

 

TURNER

Starring:  Timothy Spall and Paul Jesson

Directed by:  Mike Leigh

An exploration of the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric, British painter J.M.W. Turner’s life.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Spall (probably best known as the band manager in “Rock Star” and Peter Pettigrew in the “Harry Potter” series, is getting huge word of mouth for his work here.  Writer/director Mike Leigh has seven previous nominations.

 

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM:  SECRET OF THE TOMB

Starring:  Ben Stiller and Rebel Wilson

Directed by:  Shawn Levy

Larry (Stiller) spans the globe, uniting favorite and new characters while embarking on an epic quest to save the magic before it is gone forever.  The final film in the series sadly features the final performance of the great Mickey Rooney and one of the final performances of the beloved Robin Williams.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Technical?

 

DECEMBER 24

TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT

Starring:  Marion Cotillard

Directed by:  Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenn

Sandra, a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.

 

OSCAR CHANCES:  Cotillard is a past winner for “La Vie en Rose” and is always a threat to earn a nomination.

 

DECEMBER 25

AMERICAN SNIPER

Starring:  Bradley Cooper

Directed by:  Clint Eastwood

A Navy S.E.A.L. recounts his military career, which includes more than 150 confirmed kills.  Based on the life of the late Chris Kyle.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Everyone I’ve spoken to who has seen this predicts nods for Cooper, which would be his third year in a row, and Eastwood, who already has two directing Oscars on the shelf (“Unforgiven” and “Million Dollar Baby”).

 

BIG EYES

Starring:  Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz

Directed by:  Tim Burton

A drama centered on the awakening of the painter Margaret Keane, her phenomenal success in the 1950s, and the subsequent legal difficulties she had with her husband, who claimed credit for her works in the 1960s.  A true change of pace film for director Burton.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Waltz has two Supporting Actor awards (“Inglorious Basterds” and “Django Unchained”) while Adams has been nominated five times previously.

 

THE INTERVIEW

Starring:  Seth Rogen and James Franco

Directed by:  Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen

Dave Skylark (Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Rogen) run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show “Skylark Tonight.” When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists.  This is the second film co-directed by Rogen and his writing partner Goldberg, after the very funny “This is the End.”

OSCAR CHANCES:  “Comedy,” asks the Academy, “what is that?”

 

INTO THE WOODS

Starring:  Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt and Johnny Depp

Directed by:  Rob Marshall

A witch (Streep) conspires to teach important lessons to various characters of popular children’s stories including Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel.  Based on the Tony Award winning musical by the legendary Stephen Sondheim.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Did I mention Meryl Streep is in it?  Director Marshall helmed “Chicago” to the Best Picture Oscar in 2003.

 

SELMA

Starring:  David Oyelowo and Carmen Ejogo

Directed by:  Ava DuVernay

The film looks at the lives of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and President Lyndon B. Johnson as well as the turbulent civil rights marches of the 1960s.

OSCAR CHANCES:  A supporting cast of previous nominees (Tim Roth, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Wilkinson) and winner (Cuba Gooding, Jr) bode well for a possible nod.  Oyelowo was brilliant last year in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

 

UNBROKEN

Starring:  Jack O’Connell and Jai Courtney

Directed by:  Angelina Jolie

A chronicle of the life of Louis Zamperini, an Olympic runner who was taken prisoner by Japanese forces during World War II.  As a long time follower of Lou Zamperini’s story this is one of my most anticipated films of the year.

OSCAR CHANCES:  The academy loves a good bio-film!

 

 

DECEMBER 31

A MOST VIOLENT YEAR

Starring:  Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain

Directed by:  J.C. Chandor

In New York City 1981, an ambitious immigrant fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city’s history.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Both Isaac and Chastain are bright new stars in Hollywood.

2014 Summer Movie Preview

As the first few days of May pass by, and many of us give each other the fond wish of “May the 4th Be With You,” the first of the summer movie blockbusters has hit screens with “The Amazing Spiderman 2” pulling in almost $36 million on opening day!

Here is our annual “Summer Movie Preview” so you can mark your calendars early! As always, thank you to our friends at the Internet Movie Data Base for some synopsis information. Please note this is not an all-inclusive list so check your local papers for the films that snuck past us. And remember, all opening dates are subject to change based on the whims of the studios. Enjoy!

MAY 9

CHEF
Starring: Jon Favreau and Scarlett Johansson Directed by: Jon Favreau
After losing his fancy restaurant gig a chef starts up a food-truck business in the hopes of rekindling his passion for food. After two “Iron Man” films and “Cowboys and Aliens” Favreau is returning to his small film roots.

THE DOUBLE
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska Directed by: Richard Ayoade
A clerk in a government agency finds his unenviable life takes a turn for the horrific with the arrival of a new co-worker who is both his exact physical double and his opposite – confident, charismatic and seductive with women. I guess if you can believe Jesse Eisenberg as a seductive womanizer you can ALMOST see him as Lex Luthor.

FED UP
Documentary Directed by: Stephanie Soechtig
An inside look at how what we eat actually makes us sicker than we should be. The poster states that “Congress says Pizza is a Vegetable.” And a very tasty vegetable at that.

GOD’S POCKET
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christina Hendricks Directed by: John Slattery
When Mickey’s crazy stepson Leon is killed in a construction ‘accident’, nobody in the working class neighborhood of God’s Pocket is sorry he’s gone. “Mad Men’s” Slattery directs Hoffman in one of his last roles. A great supporting cast, including Richard Jenkins and John Turturro make this an anticipated film for me.

NEIGHBORS
Starring: Seth Rogen and Zac Efron Directed by: Nicholas Stoller
A young couple with a newborn baby have to deal with the problems that come with living next to a college fraternity house. Ironically, Rogen is the adult here. Not to be confused with the underrated John Alvidsen film that starred John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.

MAY 16

GODZILLA
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson Directed by: Gareth Edwards
Remember the 1998 version that starred Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno? I’m sorry. Here, the world’s most famous monster is pitted against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence. Director Edwards also did 2010’s “Monsters.” And really, what giant lizard has a chance against Walter White and Kick-Ass?

THE IMMIGRANT
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix and Marion Cotillard Directed by: James Gray
On the mean streets of Manhattan, Ewa falls prey to Bruno, a charming but wicked man who takes her in and forces her into prostitution. Jeremy Renner helps round out the Oscar nominated (and, in Cotillard’s case, winning) cast.

MILLION DOLLAR ARM
Starring: Jon Hamm Directed by: Craig Gillespie
Hamm stars as a sports agent who scours India for cricket players good enough to pitch in the majors. Based on a true story about two boys who, I believe, were signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

MAY 23

THE ANGRIEST MAN IN BROOKLYN
Starring: Robin Williams, Mila Kunis and Peter Dinklage Directed by: Phil Alden Robinson
A foul-tempered Brooklyner is told he has ninety minutes to live, sending him rushing all over New York to make amends. Of course, in real life, Robin Williams would need twice that much time just to apologize to all of the people whose jokes he’s stolen over the years. Director Phil Alden Robinson helmed two of my all time favorite films: “Field of Dreams” and “Rhinestone.” Don’t judge me!

BLENDED
Starring: Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore Directed by: Frank Coraci
After a bad blind date, a man and woman find themselves stuck together at a resort for families, where their attraction grows as their respective kids benefit from the burgeoning relationship. When he’s not giving Rob Schneider a paycheck, Sandler has made some very good comedies with Barrymore (“The Wedding Singer” and “50 First Dates”). Nothing from the trailer tells me this will be any different. In what I think is a weird side job, I recently caught director Coraci and a friend tracking down the best sandwiches in New York.

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy Directed by: Bryan Singer
The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants. An intriguing premise with both casts taking center-stage. Don’t look for director Singer on the publicity tour.

MAY 30

MALEICENT
Starring: Angelina Jolie and Elle Fanning Directed by: Robert Stromberg
A vindictive fairy is driven to curse an infant princess only to realize the child may be the only one who can restore peace. So that whole “Sleeping Beauty” thing was just a mis-understanding?

A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST
Starring: Seth MacFarlane and Charlize Theron Directed by: Seth MacFarlane
As a cowardly farmer begins to fall for the mysterious new woman in town, he must put his new-found courage to the test when her husband, a notorious gun-slinger, announces his arrival. After the success of “TED” this ranks as the must see comedy on my list.

JUNE 6

EDGE OF TOMORROW
Starring: Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt Directed by: Doug Liman
A soldier fighting in a war with aliens finds himself caught in a time loop of his last day in the battle, though he becomes better skilled along the way. Cruise’s second straight sci-fi film (after “Oblivion.”) I’m still waiting for him to do the Les Grossman film.

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS
Starring: Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort Directed by: Josh Boone
Two teenagers, one who relies on an oxygen tank and the other with a prosthetic leg, meet and fall in love at a cancer support group. I’m assuming you’ll need lots of Kleenex.

THE SACRAMENT
Starring: Kate Lyn Sheil and Joe Swanberg Directed by: Ti West
Two journalists set out to document their friend’s search to find his missing sister. Did I mention that the sister went off and joined the People’s Temple?

JUNE 13

22 JUMP STREET
Starring: Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum Directed by: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go deep undercover at a local college. After the lackluster performance of both “The Lone Ranger” and “Transcendence” I’m thinking Johnny Depp is wishing he didn’t die in the first film.

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
Starring the voices of: Jay Baruchel and Kristen Wiig Directed by: Dean DeBlois
It’s been five years since Hiccup and Toothless successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk. When an adventure leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.

JUNE 20

JERSEY BOYS
Starring: John Lloyd Young and Christopher Walken Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Based on the Tony Award winning Broadway musical, Eastwood presents the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, warts and all.

THIRD PERSON
Starring: Liam Neeson and Olivia Wilde Directed by: Paul Haggis
Three interlocking love stories involving three couples in three cities: Rome, Paris, and New York. The film also stars Mila Kunis and James Franco. Haggis won two Oscars for writing and producing “Crash.”

JUNE 27

SNOWPIERCER
Starring: Chris Evans and Tilda Swinton Directed by: Joon-ho Bong
In a future where a failed global-warming experiment kills off all life on the planet except for a lucky few that boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, where a class system evolves.

THEY CAME TOGETHER
Starring: Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler Directed by: David Wain
When Joel land Molly meet, it’s hate at first sight: his big Corporate Candy Company threatens to shut down her quirky indie shop. Romantic complications ensure. Sounds like “You’ve Got Mail” without email….or Tom Hanks.

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION
Starring: Mark Wahlerg and Nicola Peltz Directed by: Michael Bay
An automobile mechanic and his daughter make a discovery that brings down the Autobots and Decepticons – and a paranoid government official – on them. Always good and bad with these films. Here good = no Shia LaBeouf. Bad = no Megan Fox!

JIMI: ALL IS BY MY SIDE
Starring: Andre’ Benjamin Directed by: John Ridley
A biography of musician Jimi Hendrix before he hit the big time. Sadly, it has to be before he hits the big time because Hendrix’s family would not allow the use of his original songs so expect a lot of Hendrix-covered tunes. Director (and screenwriter) Ridley just won an Oscar for his screenplay for “12 Years a Slave.”

JULY 2

DELIVER US FROM EVIL
Starring: Eric Bana and Edgar Ramirez Directed by: Scott Derrickson
NY police officer Ralph Sarchie (Bana), investigates a series of crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest (Ramirez), schooled in the rituals of exorcism, to combat the possessions that are terrorizing their city.

TAMMY
Starring: Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon Directed by: Ben Falcone
Husband and wife McCarthy and Falcone (he played the air marshal in “Bridesmaids”) wrote this tale about a woman who, after losing her job and learning that her husband has been unfaithful, hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother.

JULY 4

BEGIN AGAIN
Starring: Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo Directed by: John Carney
A dejected music business executive forms a bond with a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan. So nice to see Knightley in a film that takes place in THIS century.

JULY 11

AND SO IT GOES
Starring: Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton Directed by: Rob Reiner
A self-centered realtor enlists the help of his neighbor when he’s suddenly left in charge of the granddaughter he never knew existed until his estranged son drops her off at his home. Even though he’s had more misses than hits lately, Reiner still remains one of my favorite filmmakers.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
Starring: Gary Oldman, Keri Russell and Andy Serkis Directed by: Matt Reeves
Survivors of the simian plague trigger an all-out war between humanity and Caesar’s growing forces. I believe it was Caesar who said “Ape Shall Not Kill Ape.” But he said nothing about those damn, dirty humans!

THE FLUFFY MOVIE
Starring: Gabriel Iglesias Directed by: Manny Rodriguez
Comedian Iglesias performs on the big screen.

JULY 18

JUPITER ASCENDING
Starring: Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis Directed by: Andy and Lana Wachowski
In the future, a young destitute human woman gets targeted for assassination by the Queen of the Universe, and begins her destiny to finish the Queen’s reign. Sure to be another dazzling sci-fi treat from the Wachowski siblings.

PLANES: FIRE & RESCUE
Starring the voices of: Dane Cook and Julie Bowen Directed by: Roberts Gannaway
The sequel nobody asked for starring a person nobody likes (I’m looking at you, Dane Cook). When world-famous air racer Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. I only learned a few months ago that I knew Julie Bowen’s dad when I lived in Baltimore. Small world.

THE PURGE: ANARCHY
Starring: Frank Grillo and Zach Gilford Directed by: James DeMonaco
A young couple works to survive on the streets after their car breaks down right as the annual purge commences.

WISH I WAS HERE
Starring: Zach Braff and Kate Hudson Directed by: Zach Braff
Already infamous because Braff financed it via a Kickstarter campaign, the film tells the story of Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor, father and husband, who at 35 is still trying to find his identity and a purpose for his life.

JULY 25

HERCULES
Starring: Dwayne Johnson and Ian McShane Directed by: Brett Ratner
Having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord. If this performs like “Tower Heist” Ratner may be begging Chris Tucker to do “Rush Hour 4.”

A MOST WANTED MAN
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Robin Wright Directed by: Anton Cobijin
A Chechen Muslim illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught in the international war on terror. With the exception of the upcoming “Hunger Games” sequels, this is Hoffman’s final performance.

SEX TAPE
Starring: Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel Directed by: Jake Kasdan
A married couple wake up to discover that the sex tape they made the evening before has gone missing, leading to a frantic search for its whereabouts. Director Kasdan did the very funny “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.”

AUGUST 1

CHILD OF GOD
Starring: James Franco and Tim Blake Nelson Directed by: James Franco
A dispossessed, violent man who’s life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. Successively deprived of parents and homes and with few other ties, Ballard descends literally and figuratively to the level of a cave dweller as he falls deeper into crime and degradation. Franco also co-wrote the screenplay. When does this guy sleep?

GET ON UP
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis Directed by: Tate Taylor
A chronicle of James Brown’s rise from extreme poverty to become one of the most influential musicians in history. Boseman was outstanding as Jackie Robinson in last year’s “42.”

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
Starring: Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana Directed by: James Gunn
In the far reaches of space, an American pilot named Peter Quill finds himself the object of a manhunt after stealing an orb coveted by the villainous Ronan. This is a part of Marvel Studios second phase of films. If that doesn’t make you want to see this, how about Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket Raccoon?

AUGUST 8

LUCY
Starring: Morgan Freeman and Scarlett Johannson Directed by: Luc Besson
A woman, accidentally caught in a dark deal, turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic. Besson has featured a lot of lady ass-kickers, from Anne Parillaud in “La Femme Nikita” to Natalie Portman in “The Professional” so I don’t expect ScarJo to disappoint here.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES
Starring: Megan Fox and Will Arnett Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman
Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder and his evil Foot Clan have an iron grip on everything from the police to the politicians. The future is grim until four unlikely outcast brothers rise from the sewers and discover their destiny as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Johnny Knoxville voices Leonardo. I don’t remember April O’Neil being that hot!

AUGUST 13

LET’S BE COPS
Starring: Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr. Directed by: Luke Greenfield
Two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party and become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.

AUGUST 15

THE EXPENDABLES 3
Starring: Sylvester Stallone and Harrison Ford Directed by: Patrick Hughes
Barney (Stallone and the rest of the team come face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Once again a great package for most of the action stars of the last three decades. Except the apparently “lazy and greedy” Bruce Willis.

THE GIVER
Starring: Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep Directed by: Phillip Noyce
In a seemingly perfect community, one without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice, a young boy is chosen to learn from an elderly man about the true pain and pleasure of the “real” world. Do you hear that? It’s nomination number nineteen knocking on Meryl’s door.

AUGUST 22

FRANK MILLER’S SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR
Starring: Mickey Rourke and Jessica Alba Directed by: Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez
The town’s most hard-boiled citizens cross paths with some of its more reviled inhabitants.

AUGUST 27

UNDERDOGS
Starring the voices of: Rupert Grint and Anthony Heard Directed by: Juan Jose’ Campanella
A young man named Amadeo sets off on an unexpected adventure with the players of his beloved Foosball game.
AUGUST 29

LIFE OF CRIME
Starring: Jennifer Aniston and John Hawke Directed by: Daniel Schechter
Two men hit it off in prison, where they were both doing time for grand theft auto. Now that they’re out, they’re joining forces for one big score. I will assume Aniston is NOT one of the men.

THE LOFT
Starring: Karl Urban and James Marsden Directed by: Erik Van Looy
Five friends who share a loft for their extramarital affairs begin to question one another after the murdered body of an unknown young woman is found in the property. I hope it wasn’t Cyclops or Dr. McCoy that did it!

2013 Holiday Movie Preview

As the holiday season approaches you can smell it on the air.  No, not turkey and pumpkin pie!  I’m talking popcorn and Junior Mints.  Because with the holidays comes an opportunity to sample the best (sometimes) of what Hollywood has to offer.  From sure Oscar contenders to “might as well get it off the shelf” films, here is a list of some goodies that are on the menu between now and the end of the year.

As always, thanks to our friends at the Internet Movie Data Base for some synopsis information.  And remember, opening dates published are subject to change at the whim of the studios.  Enjoy!

 

NOVEMBER 27

BLACK NATIVITY

Starring:  Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson  

Directed by:  Kasi Lemmons

Based on an early 1961 stage musical by Langston Hughes, the film tells the story of a single mother in Harlem sending her teenage son to visit her parents in Baltimore for the holidays.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Whitaker and Hudson already have one and Bassett earned a nomination for her incredible portrayal of Tina Turner in “What’s Love Got to Do With It.”  Writer/director Lemmons, probably best known for her work as an actress (she was Jodie Foster’s roommate/partner in “Silence of the Lambs”) previously helmed “Eve’s Bayou” and “Talk to Me.”  That all being said, the possibilities are there!

 

FROZEN

Starring the voices of:  Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell     

Directed by:  Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

When Princess Elsa accidentally uses her magic to cover her kingdom in ice it is up to her younger sister, Anne, to warm things up.

OSCAR CHANCES:  A possible nomination for Best Animated Feature but I think “Despicable Me 2” has that award sewn up.

 

HOMEFRONT

Starring:  Jason Statham and James Franco 

Directed by:  Gary Fleder

A former DEA agent moves his family to a quiet town, where he soon tangles with a local meth drug lord.  Based on the novel by Chuck Logan, the film’s script writer is none other than Sylvester Stallone.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Sly did nab a Best Original Screenplay nod back in 1976 for “Rocky” but I’m not to optimistic.

 

OLD BOY

Starring:  Josh Brolin
Directed by:  Spike Lee

A remake of the 2003 South Korean action film, Brolin stars as a man placed in solitary confinement for 20 years with no idea why or by who.  When he’s finally released he makes it his mission to answer those questions in a most bloody manner.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Could tie with “Machete’ Kills” for most blood used in a single film. (oh if only that was a category).

 

NOVEMBER 29

MANDELA:  LONG WALK TO FREEDOM (Moved to December 25th)

Starring:  Idris Elba and Naomie Harris

Directed by:  Justin Chadwick

Based on the autobiography of the great South African leader Nelson Mandela, the film follows his life from his early days as a student to his imprisonment through his rise as President of his country.

OSCAR CHANCES:  The Academy loves biographical stories and Elba is said to deliver a brilliant performance.

 

DECEMBER 6

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

Starring:  Oscar Issac, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake        

Directed by:  Joel and Ethan Coen

The brothers Coen take a look at the early days of the folk music scene in New York City.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Three words:  “the Coen brothers.”  Academy Award nominations stick to their films like Mary Lou Retton sticking a dismount!  (please tell me you know who Mary Lou Retton is)

 

THE LAST DAYS ON MARS

Starring:  Liev Schreiber and Elias Koteas   

Directed by:  Ruairi Robinson

The title says it all.  Schreiber leads a manned mission to the Red Planet where things don’t go as planned.

OSCAR CHANCES:  No.

 

OUT OF THE FURNACE

Starring:  Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Woody Harrelson 

Directed by:  Scott Cooper

When his younger brother disappears, Russell Baze takes it upon himself to find out why and becomes entangled in the world of underground bare-knuckle fighting.  Wow, it looked so cool when Clint Eastwood and Clyde were doing it.

OSCAR CHANCES:  This is Cooper’s second film, his first being the Oscar winning “Crazy Heart.”  Bale has an Oscar and little Affleck and Woody have nominations so nothing is ruled out here.

 

DECEMBER 13 (limited opening – Opens wide December 18th)

AMERICAN HUSTLE

Starring:  Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams    

Directed by:  David O. Russell

A look back at the 1970s and the famous ABSCAM sting in New Jersey and Philadelphia.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Director Russell has assembled the cast members of his previous two films (“The Fighter” and “Silver Linings Playbook”) for a very ambitious project.  The main cast members either have Oscars or been nominated for one as has Russell so I’m giving this film a definite “yes.”

 

THE HOBBIT:  THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG

Starring:  Martin Freeman, Orlando Bloom and the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch

Directed by:  Peter Jackson

The second film in director Jackson’s planned HOBBIT trilogy follows Bilbo Baggins and his dwarf friends as they attempt to reclaim what’s rightly theirs from the dreaded dragon Smaug.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Of course.  Many fans of the books are upset that Bloom’s Legolas shows up but come on, “Pirates 5” has been postponed and Orlando Bloom has to eat.  Thankfully I’m guessing most members of the academy ever read Tolkien so look for this to earn many technical nods.

 

SAVING MR. BANKS

Starring:  Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson

Directed by:  John Lee Hancock

The behind the scenes tale of the struggles Walt Disney had to undertake to turn P.L. Travers novel, “Mary Poppins,” into a film.  I’ve known for years that she didn’t like Dick Van Dyke being cast so how incredibly insane must she have been?

OSCAR CHANCES:  Several, starting with previous two-time winners Hanks and Thompson.

 

TYLER PERRY’S A MEDEA CHRISTMAS

Starring: Tyler Perry 

Directed by:  Tyler Perry

If you haven’t jumped down to the next film, you’re a better person than I.  The title says it all.

OSCAR CHANCES:  I actually stopped typing and slapped myself for including the words “Oscar Chances” within two sentences – top or bottom – of the name Tyler Perry.

 

DECEMBER 18

HER (limited opening – Opens wide January 10th)

Starring:  Joaquin  Phoenix and the voice of Scarlett Johansson

Directed by:  Spike Jonze

As the world grows more reliant on technology a man begins to fall in love with the female voice of his computer operating system.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Jonze’s “Being John Malkovich” scored a few nods so I’m not ruling anything out.

 

ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES

Starring:  Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd and Steve Carell

Directed by:  Adam McKay

Ron Burgandy and the rest of his channel 4 news team are picked to help launch a 24-hour news channel.

OSCAR CHANCES:  A great mustache and salon quality hair could equal Best Makeup.

 

DECEMBER 20
WALKING WITH DINOSAURS

Starring the voices of:  John Leguizamo and Justin Long                                                                                                                

Directed by:  Barry Cook and Neil Nightingale

Three young Pachyrhinosauruses discover the ups and downs of the prehistoric world.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Again, like “Frozen,”  maybe an animated nod.

 

DECEMBER 25

47 RONIN

Starring:  Keanu Reeves

Directed by:  Carl Rinsch

A band of samurai set out to avenge the death and dishonor of their master at the hands of a ruthless shogun.

OSCAR CHANCES:  This is the kind of film that pulls the costume award nomination.

 

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY

Starring:  Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Ewan McGregor                                                                                                        

Directed by:  John Wells

A screen adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Tony-award winning play about a family that gathers for the funeral of a relative and the internal battles that resurrect themselves.

OSCAR CHANCES:  I had the good fortune of seeing this film a couple of months ago and I’m going to say there will be no less than three nominations here.

 

BELIEVE

Starring:  Justin Bieber

Directed by:  John M. Chu

When a deadly virus strikes Canada, it is discovered that it’s evil host is…….Damn, I’d like to BELIEVE that was the plot.  Another concert film for those fans who apparently spent enough money on the first one to rate another.

OSCAR CHANCES:  As much as Tyler Perry.

 

GRUDGE MATCH

Starring:  Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro

Directed by:  Peter Segal

30 years since their last fight, boxers Henry “Razor” Sharp and Billy “the Kid” McDonnen, participate in a television special that rekindles old fires.  Or as I like to think of it, Rocky Balboa vs Jake Lamotta!

OSCAR CHANCES:  Probably not but this promises to be fun.

 

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN

Starring:  Ralph Fiennes and Felicity Jones

Directed by:  Ralph Fiennes

No, nothing spooky going on here.  The film tells the story of famed English author Charles Dickens and his secret affair with a younger woman.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Remember, it’s a bio-pic, so I’ll say maybe.

 

LABOR DAY

Starring:   Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin 

Directed by:  Jason Reitman

A woman and her young son are made to shelter an escaped convict.  The story gets interesting when she begins to fall for him.  I was so worried this was going to be the third film in Garry Marshall’s “holiday” trilogy!

OSCAR CHANCES:  Always a “yes” when director Reitman is in the mix.

 

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY

Starring:  Ben Stiller and Sean Penn 

Directed by:  Ben Stiller

Director/star Stiller attempts to update the classic 1947 film that featured the great Danny Kaye.  Bored with his life, Walter Mitty imagines himself in various exciting situations.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Maybe something technical.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

Starring:  Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Ethan Suplee                                              

Directed by:  Martin Scorsese

Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort; from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government.  This film was originally scheduled to open on November 15 and was pushed back at almost the last minute to finish post production.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Marty and Leo equal yes!

 

LONE SURVIVOR (limited opening – Opens wide January 10th)

Starring:  Mark Wahlberg and Ben Foster                                                                                                                                          

Directed by:  Peter Berg

The telling of a June 2005 military mission to capture a Talibad leader that went wrong.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Oh yeah.

 

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2013 Summer Movie Preview

It’s becoming a Media Mikes tradition. Ever since the start of this site our Summer Movie Preview has started off with a Marvel Comic-based film; “Iron Man 2,” “Thor” and “The Avengers” have been previewed. This year, with “Iron Man 3” already in theatres, we’re changing it up. But not to worry – “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is only a year away! Here is a look at many of the films heading to a multiplex near you between now and Labor Day. An (*) after the title denotes a film that the Mike’s are most anticipating.

Thanks again to the Internet Movie Data Base for certain synopsis information and remember, as always, the opening date noted is subject to change at the whims of the studios.

MAY 10

AFTERSHOCK

Starring: Eli Roth and Selena Gomez Directed by: Nicolas Lopez

While vacationing in Chile a group of travelers decide to party at an underground nightclub. After a massive earthquake hits they must tunnel their way out unaware of what waits for them.

THE GREAT GATSBY*

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire Directed by: Baz Luhrmann

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel is brought to the screen for the third time, this time in 3D. Leo is Jay Gatsby, Mulligan is his beloved Daisy and Maguire is neighbor Nick. In the hands of Lurhmann it should be incredible in 3D.

NO ONE LIVES

Starring: Luke Evans and Derek Magyar Directed by: Ruyhei Kitamura

A gang of ruthless highway killers kidnap a wealthy couple traveling cross country only to shockingly discover that things are not what they seem.

PEEPLES

Starring: Craig Robinson and Kerry Washington Directed by: Tina Gordon Chism

Commoner (Robinson) crashes his girlfriends family’s swanky reunion in the Hamptons to ask for her hand in marriage.

MAY 17

BLACK ROCK

Starring: Kate Bosworth and Lake Bell

Directed by: Katie Aselton

Three childhood friends reunite for a girls weekend on an island off the coast of Maine where a mistake leaves all three fighting for their lives. Written by Mark Duplass.

POPULAIRE

Starring: Berenice Bejo Directed by: Regis Roinsard

Working girl Rose is a terrible secretary but an incredible typist. Her boss sets out to establish her as the fastest in the world. Bejo co-starred in the Oscar winning “The Artist.”

STAR TREK: INTO DARKNESS*

Starring: Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto Directed by: J.J. Abrams

The crew of the Enterprise are called into battle when a member of Star Fleet becomes a one man weapon of mass destruction. Can anyone say “KHAN!!!!!!” (Maybe)

 

MAY 24

BEFORE MIDNIGHT

Starring: Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy Directed by: Richard Linklater

The third film in the almost two decades old “Before” series finds Jessie and Celine in Greece nine years after we last saw them. Hawke, Delpy and Linklater wrote the script.

EPIC

Starring the voices of: Jason Sudeikis, Christoph Waltz and Chris O’Dowd Directed by: Chris Wedge

A teenager finds herself transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between the forces of good and evil is taking place. She bands together with a rag-tag group of characters in order to save their world — and ours. Director Wedge created the first “Ice Age” film and is the voice of Scrat!

FAST AND FURIOUS 6

Starring: Vin Diesel and Paul Walker Directed by: Justin Lin

I’m not even going to look this one up: Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Conner team up with others, including Dwayne Johnson, to drive really cool cars really fast. The fact that I know Diesel and Walker’s characters names actually scares me.

THE HANGOVER PART III

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis Directed by: Todd Phillips

After Alan’s father passes away the Wolfpack take him to Vegas. But things go wrong when Doug actually IS kidnapped by a gangster looking to settle a score with Mr. Chow.

MAY 31

THE EAST

Starring: Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgard Directed by: Zal Batmanglij

An operative for an elite private intelligence firm finds her priorities irrevocably changed after she is tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations. How cool to actually have a last name that begins with “Batman”

THE KINGS OF SUMMER

Starring: Nick Robinson and Nick Offerman Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Three friends decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land.

NOW YOU SEE ME

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher and Mark Ruffalo Directed by: Louis Leterrier

An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances and reward their audiences with the money.

THE PURGE

Starring: Ethan Hawke and Lena Heady Directed by: James DeMonaco

If on one night every year, you could commit any crime without facing consequences, what would you do? Over the course of a single night, a family will be tested to see how far they will go to protect themselves when the vicious outside world breaks into their home. Summer movie number two for Hawke!

 

JUNE 7

AFTER EARTH

Starring: Will Smith and Jaden Smith Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan

A boy and his injured father crash land on Earth 1,000 years after events forced the evacuation of the planet.

THE INTERNSHIP

Starring: Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson Directed by: Shawn Levy

Two former salesmen find their way into a coveted internship at Google, where they must compete with a group of young, tech-savvy geniuses for a shot at employment. Vaughn co-wrote the screenplay.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING*

Starring: Nathan Fillion and Clark Gregg Directed by: Joss Whedon

How else do you follow up “The Avengers?” A modern take on Shakespeare’s classic tale.

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Starring: Joel Edgerton and Felicity Price Directed by: Kieran Darcy-Smith

Four friends decide to take an exciting South-East Asian vacation. Only three come back.

JUNE 12

THE IS THE END

Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco and Danny McBride Directed by: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

A party at James Franco’s house turns crazy when the apocalypse hits. The stars (and others, including Michael Cera and Jonah Hill) play over the top versions of themselves. If the “R” rated trailer is any indication this could be this years “TED.”

JUNE 14

THE BLING RING

Starring: Emma Watson and Leslie Mann Directed by: Sofia Coppola

Inspired by actual events, a group of fame-obsessed teenagers use the internet to track celebrities’ whereabouts in order to rob their homes.

MAN OF STEEL*

Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams and Michael Shannon Directed by: Zack Snyder

Seven years after Superman returned he does again, this time in a retelling of the tale by fanboy favorite Zack Snyder. The addition of “Dark Knight” writer/director Christopher Nolan as producer makes “Man of Steel” this summer’s “Avengers” in way of anticipation.

STUCK IN LOVE

Starring: Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Connely Directed by: Josh Boone

An acclaimed writer, his ex-wife, and their teen-aged children come to terms with the complexities of love in all its forms over the course of one tumultuous year.

JUNE 21

MANIAC

Starring: Elijah Wood Directed by: Franck Khalfoun

Just when the streets seemed safe, a serial killer with a fetish for scalps is back and on the hunt.

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY*

Starring the voices of: Billy Crystal, John Goodman and Steve Buscemi Directed by: Dan Scanlon

In this prequel to “Monsters Inc,” Mike Wazowski (Crystal) and James Sullivan (Goodman) meet in college where they learn they have nothing in common.

UNFINISHED SONG

Starring: Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave Directed by: Paul Andrew Williams

Grumpy pensioner Arthur honors his recently deceased wife’s passion for performing by joining the unconventional local choir to which she used to belong.

WORLD WAR Z*

Starring: Brad Pitt and Matthew Fox Directed by: Marc Forster

A United Nations employee traverses the globe in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments; threatening to decimate humanity itself.

JUNE 28

COPPERHEAD

Starring: Peter Fonda and Billy Campbell Directed by: Ronald F. Maxwell

A family is torn apart during the American Civil War. This is director Maxwell’s third film covering the Civil War after 1993’s “Gettysburg” and 2003’s “Gods and Generals.”

THE HEAT

Starring: Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy Directed by: Paul Feig

An uptight FBI special agent is paired with a testy Boston cop in order to take down a ruthless drug lord. The hitch: neither woman has ever had a partner – or a friend for that matter.

WHITE HOUSE DOWN

Starring: Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum Directed by: Roland Emmerich

Emmerich had so much fun destroying the White House in “Independence Day” that he’s back to do it again. In this original story terrorists attempt to take over the presidential mansion and it’s up to a wanna be Secret Service agent to save the day, which sounds nothing like this past springs “Olympus Has Fallen.”

JULY 3

DESPICABLE ME 2*

Starring the voices of: Steve Carell, Benjamin Bratt and Kristen Wigg Directed by: Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud

Gru is asked to join an Anti-Villains League to help combat a new bad guy named Eduardo, formerly voiced by Al Pacino but now played by Bratt.

THE LONE RANGER

Starring: Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer Directed by: Gore Verbinski

Native American warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice. Things go well until Reid discovers what the word “Kimosabe” really means!

JULY 5

THE WAY, WAY BACK

Starring: Sam Rockwell, Toni Collette and Steve Carrell Directed by: Nat Faxon and Jim Rash

Over the course of his summer break a young man gets a job at a local amusement park, where he comes into his own thanks in part to the friendship he strikes up with one of the park’s managers. Two Steve Carrell films in (2) days – his fans will have an overdose.

JULY 12

CRYSTAL FAIRY

Starring: Michael Cera and Gaby Hoffman Directed by: Sebastian Silva

A boorish, insensitive American twenty-something travels to Chile, managing to create chaos at every turn.

GROWN UPS 2*

Starring: Adam Sandler and Kevin James Directed by: Dennis Dugan

Lenny (Sandler) moves his family back to his old hometown to rekindle the hijinx with his childhood buddies. Remarkably Rob Schneider is NOT in this film, which means whatever debt Sandler owed God has now been repaid. Sadly he now apparently owes another because Nick Swardson is in it.

PACIFIC RIM*

Starring: Charlie Hunnam and Idris Elba Directed by: Guillermo del Toro

When an alien attack threatens the Earth’s existence, giant robots piloted by humans are deployed to fight off the menace.

JULY 17

TURBO

Starring the voices of: Ryan Reynolds and Paul Giamatti Directed by: David Soren

A freak accident might just help an everyday garden snail achieve his biggest dream: winning the Indy 500. I’m assuming it makes him 6 feet tall and gives him feet so he can drive a car?

JULY 19

THE CONJURING

Starring: Patrick Wilson and Lili Taylor Directed by: James Wan

A husband and wife team of Paranormal investigators work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful entity, the couple find themselves caught in the most terrifying case of their lives. Director Wan helmed the original “Saw.”

GIRL MOST LIKELY

Starring: Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening Directed by: Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini

A failed New York playwright awkwardly navigates the transition from Next Big Thing to Last Year’s News. “Glee” fans who hate Darren Criss and/or his character, Blaine (guilty), will be sad to see that he’s also in this.

ONLY GOD FORGIVES

Starring: Ryan Gosling and Kristin Scott Thomas Directed by: Nicolas Winding Refn

A drug-smuggler thriving in Bangkok’s criminal underworld sees his life get even more complicated when his mother compels him to find and kill whoever is responsible for his brother’s recent death.

RED 2

Starring: Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren Directed by: Dean Parisot

Retired black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses (Willis) reunites his unlikely team of elite operatives for a global quest to track down a missing portable nuclear device. Anthony Hopkins joins the cast of oldsters.

R.I.P.D.*

Starring: Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds Directed by: Robert Schwentke

Based on a popular graphic novel, a recently slain cop joins a team of undead police officers working for the Rest in Peace Department and tries to find the man who murdered him.

JULY 26

BLUE JASMINE

Starring: Alec Baldwin and Cate Blanchett Directed by: Woody Allen

All I know about this film is what was sent to me in a press release by Sony Classic Pictures: “the film tells the story of the final stages of an acute crisis and a life of a fashionable New York housewife” It also co-stars Louis C.K., Sally Hawkins and Andrew Dice Clay.

FRUITVALE STATION

Starring: Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer Directed by: Ryan Coogler

The true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008. If my memory serves me, Oscar is the young man who was arrested at a local Oakland-area transit station and then, as horrified onlookers watched, was shot in the back by a policeman who later claimed he thought he was tasing him.

THE WOLVERINE

Starring: Hugh Jackman and Will Yun Lee Directed by: James Mangold

Wolverine makes a voyage to modern-day Japan, where he encounters an enemy from his past that will impact on his future. Mangold is the director of films like “Walk the Line” and “CopLand.” I’m anxious to see his take on an action-based film.

JULY 31

THE SMURFS 2

Starring: Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria Directed by: Raja Gosnell

The Smurfs team up with their human friends to rescue Smurfette, who has been kidnapped by Gargamel, since she knows a secret spell that can turn the evil sorcerer’s newest creation – creatures called the Naughties – into real Smurfs.

AUGUST 2

2 GUNS

Starring: Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg Directed by: Baltasar Kormakur

A DEA agent and an undercover Naval Intelligence officer who have been tasked with investigating one another find they have been set up by the mob — the very organization the two men believe they have been stealing money from.

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE

Starring: Eva Green and Sullivan Stapleton Directed by: Noam Murro

The Greek general Themistocles battles an invading army of Persians under the mortal-turned-god, Xerxes.

THE SPECTACULAR NOW

Starring: Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley Directed by: James Ponsoldt

A hard-partying high school senior’s philosophy on life changes when he meets the not-so-typical “nice girl.”

AUGUST 7

PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS

Starring: Logan Lerman and Sean Bean Directed by: Thor Freudenthal

In order to restore their dying safe haven, the son of Poseidon and his friends embark on a quest to the Sea of Monsters to find the mythical Golden Fleece and to stop an ancient evil from rising.

AUGUST 9

ELYSIUM

Starring: Matt Damon and Jodie Foster Directed by: Neill Blomkamp

In the year 2154 the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth.

LOVELACE

Starring: Amanda Seyfried and Peter Sarsgaard Directed by: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman

The story of Linda Lovelace and her controlling husband/manager Chuck Traynor. Also featuring James Franco as Hugh Hefner.

PLANES*

Starring the voices of: Dane Cook and Val Kilmer Directed by: Klay Hall

Like “Cars” but with airplanes. Dusty is a cropdusting plane who dreams of competing in a famous aerial race. The problem? He is hopelessly afraid of heights. With the support of his mentor Skipper and a host of new friends, Dusty sets off to make his dreams come true. Wow! I should have said “Exactly like ‘Cars’.”

WE’RE THE MILLERS

Starring: Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Anniston Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber

A veteran pot dealer creates a fake family as part of his plan to move a huge shipment of weed into the U.S. from Mexico.

AUGUST 16

AUSTENLAND

Starring: Keri Russell and JJ Field Directed by: Jerusha Hess

Obsessed with the BBC production of “Pride and Prejudice”, a woman travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search for her perfect gentleman.

KICK-ASS 2*

Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz and Jim Carrey Directed by: Jeff Wadlow

Costumed high-school hero Kick-Ass joins with a group of normal citizens who have been inspired to fight crime in costume. Meanwhile, the Red Mist plots an act of revenge that will affect everyone Kick-Ass knows.

AUGUST 17

AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS

Starring: Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck Directed by: David Lowery

An outlaw escapes from prison and sets off to find his wife and introduce himself to the daughter he’s never met.

THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITIES OF BONES

Starring: Lily Colins and Jamie Campbell Bower Directed by: Harald Zwart

Based on a popular novel, when a woman is attacked and taken from her home in New York City by a demon, a seemingly ordinary teenage girl finds out truths about her past and bloodline on her quest to get her back.

THE WORLD’S END*

Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Martin Freeman Directed by: Edgar Wright

Five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind’s only hope for survival. From the same team that brought you “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.”

AUGUST 28

YOU’RE NEXT

Starring: Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall Directed by: John Crowley

Bana and Hall are lawyers — and ex-lovers — who find themselves put at risk after they join the defense team for an international terrorist’s trial.

AUGUST 30

GET AWAY

Starring: Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez Directed by: Courtney Solomon and Yaron Levy

Hawke stars as Brent Magna, a man who must get behind the wheel and follow the orders of a mysterious man to save his kidnapped wife. Movie number three this summer for Hawke.

ONE DIRECTION: THIS IS US

Starring: One Direction Directed by: Morgan Spurlock

A documentary featuring the goings on of One Direction in concert. Documentarian Spurlock is an odd choice as director, unless the band plans to eat at McDonalds a lot.

DON JOHN

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson Directed by: Joseph Gordon-Levitt

JGL plays a man who is addicted to online pornography and must work to find intimacy with his potential true love. Gordon-Levitt also wrote the screenplay.

PRINCE AVALANCHE

Starring: Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch Directed by: David Gordon Green

In the summer of 1988 two highway road workers decide to leave their city lives behind. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.

2012 Holiday Movie Preview

Now that the turkey has been put away and the last piece of pie has been eaten it’s time to turn our attention to the upcoming Holiday Movie Season.  In the next five weeks the best (and sometimes the worse) of Hollywood will be coming to a theatre near you.  With early shots like “Argo,” “Lincoln” and “Skyfall” opening earlier this month, not to mention this summer’s “The Dark Knight Rises,” the race to the Oscars has begun in earnest.  Here is a list of films opening between now and the end of the year.  Some synopsis information courtesy of our friends at the Internet Movie Database.  As always, dates shown are subject to change at the whim of the studio.

 

NOVEMBER 30

 

CALIFORNIA SOLO

Starring:  Robert Carlye,  Kathleen Wilhoite and Savannah Lathem.

Directed by:  Marshall Lewy

A former British rock star, now living in the states, is arrested for drunk driving and faces deportation.  Writer/director Lewy also wrote/helmed the entertaining “Blue State.”

OSCAR CHANCES:  No

 

THE COLLECTION

Starring:  Christopher McDonald, Randall Archer and Emma Fitzpatrick

Directed by:  Marcus Dunstan

After escaping from the grips of a serial killer known as “The Collector,” a father is forced to attempt to rescue his daughter from the Collector’s warehouse.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Won’t scare up any.

 

DRAGON

Starring:  Kara Hui, Wu Jiang and Takeshi Kanashiro

Directed by:  Peter Chan

Hoping to retire to a quiet and more peaceful life a former martial arts master finds himself pursued by his former master and a skilled detective.  After premiering at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival “Dragon” finally makes it to theatres.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Unless it’s another “Departed” I’m going to say “no.”

 

KILLING THEM SOFTLY

Starring:  Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta and James Gandolfini

Directed by:  Andrew Dominik

A professional “enforcer” is called in to investigate a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker game.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Gandolfini chewing the scenery should be epic.

 

UNIVERSAL SOLDIER:  DAY OF RECKONING

Starring:  Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren and Scott

Directed by:   John Hyams

After a home invasion claims his wife and daughter a man vows to take down Luc Deveraux (JCVD, baby!). If the WGA is to be believed it took no less than EIGHT people to write this thing.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Only if they give an award for most writers on a film heading straight to video by Valentine’s Day.

 

DECEMBER 7

DEADFALL

Starring:  Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde

Directed by:  Stefan Ruzowitzky

After a disastrous attempt to rob a casino a man and his sister accidentally end up at the same Thanksgiving celebration.  Nothing says “family” like Turkey and larceny.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Bana has a better chance playing the Hulk again.

 

THE FITZGERALD FAMILY CHRISTMAS

Starring:  Ed Lauter and Edward Burns

Directed by:  Edward Burns

If there’s an Irish surname in the title (“The Brothers McMullen,” “The Fighting Fitzgeralds”) you can bet it’s an Ed Burns film!  This one features Lauter as a father having Thanksgiving Dinner with his family 20 years after he walked out on them.  I sense a “Thanksgiving” theme coming on Pearl Harbor Day.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Actually Burns is a pretty good storyteller so….maybe?

 

HYDE PARK ON HUDSON

Starring:  Bill Murray and Laura Linney

Directed by:  Roger Michell

Remember the look on Bill Murray’s face when Sean Penn won the Oscar over him?  If early word is to be believed he may have a second chance this year with his portrayal of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  Here, FDR hosts the King and Queen of England with the help of his distant cousin (and lover) Margaret Suckley.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Come on Billy Boy!

 

LAY THE FAVORITE

Starring:  Bruce Willis and Rebecca Hall

Directed by:  Stephen Frears

A sports gambler falls for a casino waitress who also has a way with laying a bet or two.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Frears has been nominated twice for Best Director but not sure if this is going to make three.

 

PLAYING FOR KEEPS

Starring:  Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel and Dennis Quaid

Directed by:  Gabrielle Muccino

A down on his luck former soccer player starts coaching his son’s team and meets attractive single moms, which I’m sure just makes him sexier in his ex-wife’s eyes.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Best Abs?

 

DECEMBER 14

 

THE HOBBIT:  AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

Starring:  Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and Ian McKellen

Directed by:  Peter Jackson

Bilbo Baggins journeys to the Lonely Mountain accompanied by a group of Dwarves to reclaim a treasure stolen from them by the dragon Smaug.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy earned 30 Oscar nominations and took home 17 awards.  I don’t see the well running dry any time soon.

 

STAND UP GUYS

Starring:  Christopher Walken and Al Pacino

Directed by:  Fisher Stevens

An impressionist’s dream as two of the most imitated actors EVER team up as a couple of old gangsters who decide to “get the band back together.”  Directed by the scientist who created Johnny 5 in “Short Circuit.”

OSCAR CHANCES:  Probably not but watching Walken and Pacino on screen together is award enough!

 

DECEMBER 19

 

MONSTERS INC. 3D

Starring the voices of:  Billy Crystal and John Goodman

Directed by:  Pete Docter, David Silverman and Lee Unkrich

Mike, Sully and little Boo return in the 2001 PIXAR classic with the added touch of the third dimension.

OSCAR CHANCES:  The film was nominated for four Academy Awards and won the Oscar for Best Original Song.  For you trivia buffs, it lost the Best Animated Feature award to “Shrek.”

 

ZERO DARK THIRTY

Starring:  Jessica Chastain and Chris Pratt

Directed by:  Kathryn Bigelow

Isn’t life funny?  You’re all set to make a film detailing the decade long search for Osama bin Laden when a team of Navy Seals raid his compound and pop a new asshole in his forehead.  Rewrite!  Bigelow and writer Mark Boal, who both won Oscars for “The Hurt Locker,” reunite for what is sure to be one of the most controversial films of the season.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Depending on the political climate in Hollywood, either a bunch or nothing.

 

DECEMBER 21

 

THE IMPOSSIBLE

Starring:  Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor

Directed by:  Juan Antonio Bayona

After being swept up in a terrible tsunami a family of five find themselves separated.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Friends who have seen it tell me the performances are wrenching.  Perhaps a nod for Watts?

 

JACK REACHER

Starring:  Tom Cruise and Rosamund Pike

Directed by:  Christopher McQuarrie

Based on Lee Child’s best-selling novel series, homicide investigator goes on a hunt for a sniper who has shot five seemingly random victims.  Writer/director McQuarrie won an Oscar for his screenplay for “The Usual Suspects.”  He also wrote “Valkrie” for Cruise and is the star’s choice to write and direct “Mission: Impossible 5.”

OSCAR CHANCES:   In real life Cruise is ten inches shorter than the title character…maybe best visual effects?

 

NOT FADE AWAY

Starring:  James Gandolfini and Christopher McDonald

Directed by:  David Chase

A group of New Jersey friends in the 60s form a band and aspire for the big time!  This is the feature film debut of “The Sopranos” creator Chase.

OSCAR CHANCES:  The 2nd time I’ve mentioned Gandolfini….could be an omen!

 

ON THE ROAD

Starring:  Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund and Kristen Stewart

Directed by:  Walter Salles

Three friends travel across the country in a 1949 Hudson.  Based on Jack Kerouac’s classic novel, which despite being over five decades old, has never been adapted for a film.

OSCAR CHANCES:  When your source material is one of the greatest novels of the 20th Century an adapted screenplay nomination isn’t out of the question.

 

THIS IS 40

Starring:  Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann

Directed by:  Judd Apatow

If you really liked “Knocked Up” and left the theatre wondering what happened to the married couple with the cute kids you’re in luck!  This movie is all about them.  Nobody does funny/raunchy/sweet better than Judd Apatow.

OSCAR CHANCES:  The last comedy to win an Oscar for Best Picture was “Annie Hall.”  IN 1978!!

 

DECEMBER 25

 
DJANGO UNCHAINED

Starring:  Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson

Directed by:  Quentin Tarantino

Can it really be just 20 years since QT burst onto the scene with “Reservoir Dogs?”  Yes it can.  For his seventh feature (I count “Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2” as one film) Tarantino tells the story of a former slave turned bounty hunter who is searching for his wife, still being held in captivity by an evil master.

OSCAR CHANCES:  NEVER bet against the former Video Archives clerk!

 

LES MISERABLES

Starring:  Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway

Directed by:  Tom Hooper

March 1987.  I’m walking through Times Square at about midnight when I find myself face to face with Colm Wilkinson and Terrence Mann (the actor, not the character played by James Earl Jones in “Field of Dreams”) who were both starring in the new musical “Les Miserables.”  “Someday,” I told them, they’re going to make a movie out of that show you’re in!”  OK, the second part I made up.  One of the greatest musicals of all time finally makes it to the big screen.

OSCAR CHANCES:  If Jackman can pull of “Bring Him Home” then a noms in the bag.  Hathaway already seems like a lock.  Hooper took home the directing Oscar for “The King’s Speech.”

 

PARENTAL GUIDANCE

Starring:  Billy Crystal and Bette Midler

Directed by:  Andy Fickman

Old school grandparents  clash with their grandchildren when they are asked to watch them by their daughter.

OSCAR CHANCES:  If Bette ain’t singing it ain’t happening!

 

WEST OF MEMPHIS

Documentary

Directed by:  Amy Berg

In 1993 three young boys were brutally murdered.  Three teenagers were tried for the crimes and sent to prison.  But the evidence never added up.  Peter Jackson produced this story of the West Memphis Three, who were finally released from prison last year.  If you’ve seen the HBO “Paradise Lost” trilogy then you’re familiar with the story.

OSCAR CHANCES:  With the celebrity clout of such stars like Johnny Depp in their corner should be a lock for a Best Documentary Feature nod.

 

DECEMBER 28

 

PROMISED LAND

Starring:  Matt Damon and John Krasinski

Directed by:  Gus Van Sant

In this topical drama, a natural-gas company big shot takes on an environmentalist to debate the issue of fracking.  Damon and Krasinski wrote the script.

OSCAR CHANCES:   The last time Damon shared a screenwriting credit it was on a little movie called “Good Wil Hunting,” which earned him and Ben Affleck an Oscar.

 

QUARTET

Starring:  Maggie Smith and Michael Gambon

Directed by:  Dustin Hoffman

Forty-five years after “The Graduate,” Dustin Hoffman makes his directing debut with a film based on the acclaimed play by Ronald Harwood.  At a home for retired opera singers, the annual concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday is disrupted by the arrival of an eternal diva…the former wife of one of the residents.

OSCAR CHANCES:  Possibly.  This is the kind of movie the old guard at the Academy loves!

 

Related Content

Media Mikes’ 2012 Summer Movie Preview

It’s almost summertime and, as the song says, the living is easy. Especially if you’re a superhero. Last year the summer movie season took off with a bang, helped by the giant hammer wielded by “Thor.” This year he’s back…and he’s bringing some friends with him. Hopefully if you’re reading this you’ve already seen (or plan to see again) “The Avengers.” Remember to sit through the credits next time.

Here is a list of some of the movies we’ll be talking about this summer. Some synopsis information courtesy of our friends at the Internet Movie Data Base. As always, release dates are subject to change at the whim of the studio.

MAY 4
THE AVENGERS
Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans and Samuel L. Jackson
Directed by: Joss Whedon
The best of the Marvel World…well, minus the X-Men and Spider-Man…team up to save the earth. Trust me, after this thing makes $100 million opening weekend (only it’s two and a half hour running time prevents me from predicting $125 million) Warner Brothers will team Whedon with Christopher Nolan for the ultimate “Justice League of America” film!

THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
Starring: Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy
Directed by: John Madden
A group of English retirees travel to India with the plans of staying in a fashionable hotel. What they find is the Marigold Hotel. Madden directed Dench to an Oscar in “Shakespeare in Love.” Look for our review when the film opens wide on May 11.

MAY 11
DARK SHADOWS
Starring: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer and Eva Green
Directed by: Tim Burton
When I was 10 years old I would sprint home from school to catch the gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows.” The film finds Victorian age vampire Barnabas Collins loose in the late 20th century. Though the television series was quite serious, this looks more like a vampire-out-of-water comedy. Burton has hit and missed when he’s tackled previously known projects (“Planet of the Apes, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). Look for original series star cameos from David Selby, Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker and the original Barnabas, Jonathan Frid. Sadly, Frid just passed away last month, prophetically on Friday, April 13th.

THE DICTATOR
Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris and John C. Reilly
Directed by: Larry Charles
According to Sacha Baron Cohen, he loosely based his script on “Zabibah and the King,”a novel reportedly written by former Iraqi Leader Saddam Hussein. Here the star of “Borat” and “Bruno” portrays General Aladeen, a proud oppressor of the people.

HICK
Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Blake Lively and Rory Culkin
Directed by: Derick Martini
A Nebraska teen gets more than she bargained for when she sets out for the bright lights of Las Vegas.

MAY 16
THE SAMARITAN
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson and Luke Kirby
Directed by: David Weaver
After serving 20 years in prison, a man tries to walk the straight and narrow path. But he soon learns the past isn’t something he can easily ignore.

MAY 18
BATTLESHIP
Starring: Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson and Rhianna
Directed by: Peter Berg
Yes, the popular board game is now the film. And if my eyes don’t deceive me, there’s a little bit of Transformers thrown in for good measure. Ah, the power of the people at Hasbro!

HYSTERIA
Starring: Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal
Directed by: Tanya Wexler
What happened when Doctor Mortimer Granville invented the vibrator? I’m sure it’s pretty darn funny. Perhaps even hysterical!

VIRGINIA
Starring: Jennifer Connelly, Emma Roberts and Ed Harris
Directed by: Dustin Lance Black
A sheriff sees his state senate bid slide out onto the ice when his daughter begins to date the son of a charming but psychologically disturbed woman with whom the sheriff has engaged in a two-decade-long affair. Writer/director Black won an Oscar for his screenplay for “Milk.”

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez and Matthew Morrison
Directed by: Kirk Jones
Five intertwined stories focus on couples about to welcome their bundles of joy into the world.

MAY 25
CHERNOBYL DIARIES
Starring: Jesse McCarthy and Olivia Dudley
Directed by: Bradley Parker
On an “extreme tour” of the abandoned city of Pripyat, where the former workers of the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor lived, six tourists discover they are not alone.

HIDE AWAY
Starring: Josh Lucas and James Cromwell
Directed by: Chris Eyre
In an attempt to reconnect with his life, a man buys and rehabs a used sailboat.

MEN IN BLACK 3
Starring: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin
Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld
To save Agent K from death by alien Agent J must travel back to the 1960s. Let me say here that when I saw “No Country for Old Men” I said that Josh Brolin reminded me of a young Tommy Lee Jones. Here, Brolin plays A YOUNG TOMMY LEE JONES!

MOONRISE KINGDOM
Starring: Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Frances McDormand
Directed by: Wes Anderson
When a young couple flee their small town the locals form a search party to find them. After films like “Rushmore,” “The Royal Tannenbaums” and “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” I’ll follow Wes Anderson anywhere.

JUNE 1
HIGH SCHOOL
Starring: Adrien Brody and Michael Chiklis
Directed by: John Stalberg
When the pot loving high school valedictorian faces the consequences of a drug test he conspires to find a way to have the entire school fail the test.

KILLER JOE
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Matthew McConaughey and Juno Temple
Directed by: William Friedkin
In order to pay off a debt, a man puts a hit out on his mother so he can collect the insurance money. One of the greatest directors of his generation, Friedkin won an Oscar for “The French Connection” and gave us “The Exorcist” and “Sorcerer” in the 1970s.

PIRANHA 3DD
Starring: Danielle Panabaker and Ving Rhames
Directed by: John Gullagher
There were so many naked breasts in “Piranha 3D” that I joked in my review they should have called the film “Piranha 3DD.” I need to start copywriting my ideas. Since Lake Victoria is no longer friendly our fishy pals head to a nearby water park.

SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth
Directed by: Rupert Sanders
In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen.

JUNE 8
BEL AMI
Starring: Robert Pattinson and Chrisina Ricci
Directed by: Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod
The chronicle of a young man’s rise to power in Paris via his manipulation of the city’s most influential and wealthy women.

MADAGASCAR 3: EUROPE’S MOST WANTED
Starring the voices of: Chris Rock, Ben Stiller and David Schwimmer
Directed by: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath and Conrad Vernon
While still trying to return to New York the animals become part of a traveling circus in Europe.

PEACE, LOVE AND MISUNDERSTANDING
Starring: Jane Fonda, Catherine Keener and Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Directed by: Bruce Beresford
An uptight NYC lawyer takes her two teenagers to her hippie mother’s farmhouse upstate for a family vacation.

PROMETHEUS
Starring: Michael Fassbinder, Charlize Theron and Noomi Rapace
Directed by: Ridley Scott
A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading themon a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race. Is this the prequel to Scott’s “Alien?” If it is, he isn’t saying.

JUNE 15
ROCK OF AGES
Starring: Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin and Julianne Hough
Directed by: Adam Shankman
Based on the Broadway musical, the story follows two young people trying to make it big in Los Angeles while they sing some of the greatest songs of the 80s! I’m sure you’d agree with me when I say just seeing Tom Cruise belting out “Pour Some Sugar On Me” in ass-less chaps will be worth the price of admission.

THAT’S MY BOY
Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg and James Caan
Directed by: Sean Anders
As Adam Sandler’s favorite web site, we’re proud to announce this upcoming film which follows the adventures of a young man who has been separated from his father for some time. My son saw an early preview of this film a few months ago and told me that, if they keep it rated “R” and don’t cut anything, it would be the funniest Adam Sandler film EVER! Wow…that’s MY boy.

YOUR SISTER’S SISTER
Starring: Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt
Directed by: Lynn Shelton
Invited by a female friend to vacation with her family after the death of his brother, a young man must face the music after sleeping with her sister.

JUNE 22
ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Rufus Sewell
Directed by: Timur Bekmambetov
Possibly the greatest title for a movie EVER. When our 16th president learns that vampires are threatening to take over our country he decides to kick a little ass!

BRAVE
Starring the voices of: Kelly McDonald and Billy Connolly
Directed by: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman and Steve Purcell
Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. PIXAR’s first film with a female lead has had a lot of behind the scenes problems while in production.

SEEKING A FRIEND FOR THE END OF THE WORLD
Starring: Steve Carell and Keira Knightley
Directed by: Lorene Scafaria
As an asteroid nears Earth, a man finds himself alone after his wife leaves in a panic. He decides to take a road trip to reunite with his high school sweetheart accompanied by a neighbor who inadvertently puts a wrench in his plan.

TO ROME WITH LOVE
Starring: Penelope Cruz and Alec Baldwin
Directed by: Woody Allen
A series of vignettes showing people from all walks of life dealing with the predicaments of falling in love.

JUNE 29
G.I. JOE: RETALIATION
Starring: Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis
Directed by: Jon M. Chu
Framed for crimes against the country, the G.I. Joe team is terminated by the President’s order. Or a cross between “The A-Team” and “Mission: Impossible 4.”

MAGIC MIKE
Starring: Matthew McConnaughey and Channing Tatum
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
OK, I’ve officially declared June 29th as Channing Tatum day. Here he stars as a male stripper, which he used to be. It’s been three films since director Soderbergh announced his retirement from films. I’m expecting at least another three more.

PEOPLE LIKE US
Starring: Chris Pine and Olivia Wilde
Directed by: Alex Kurtzman
After his mother passes away a man must deliver a $150,000 inheritance to the sister he’s never met.

TAKE THIS WALTZ
Starring: Seth Rogen and Michelle Williams
Directed by: Sarah Polley
A happily married woman falls for the artist that lives across the street.

JULY 3
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
Starring: Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone
Directed by: Marc Webb
In this reboot of the story Peter Parker follows clues that may tell him more about his parents. Oh, and meets the Lizard!

JULY 6
THE MAGIC OF BELLE ISLE
Starring: Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen
Directed by: Rob Reiner
In an effort to tap into his original talent, a wheelchair-bound author moves to a rural town, where he befriends a single mother and her three kids.

SAVAGES
Starring: Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch and Blake Lively
Directed by: Oliver Stone
Two pot growers team up to take on the leader of a Mexican drug cartel who has kidnapped their shared girlfriend.

JULY 13
ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT
Starring the voices of: Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguzamo
Directed by: Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier
Adrift on an iceberg, Manny, Diego and Sid find themselves dealing with everything from pirates to sea creatures.

RED LIGHTS
Starring: Cilian Murphy and Sigourney Weaver
Directed by: Rodrigo Cortes
When a psychologist and her assistant study paranormal activity, they are led to investigate a world-renowned psychic.

TED
Starring: Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis
Directed by: Seth MacFarlane
When a young boy wishes for his teddy bear to come to life he doesn’t realize that 20 years later he’s going to have to deal with the consequences of his wish. From the hysterical and twisted mind of “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane, who also voices TED.

JULY 20
THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
Starring: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway and Morgan Freeman
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
The final chapter in director/co-writer Christopher Nolan’s outstanding film series, featuring the mega bad guy Bane. And hello Cat Woman.

JULY 27
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH
Starring: Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn
Directed by: Akiva Shaffer
A group of neighborhood fathers form a group to keep their homes safe and unwittingly come up against a band of aliens.

STEP UP REVOLUTION
Starring: Ryan Guzman and Kathryn McCormick
Directed by: Scott Speer
Emily arrives in Miami with aspirations to become a professional dancer. She sparks with Sean, the leader of a dance crew whose neighborhood is threatened by Emily’s father’s development plans. Now that I read this again I realize this is pretty much the same plot as “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo!”

AUGUST 3
360
Starring: Jude Law, Anthony Hopkins and Rachel Weisz
Directed by: Fernando Meirelles
A look at what happens when partners from different social backgrounds engage in physical relationships.

THE BOURNE LEGACY
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Edward Norton and Rachel Weisz
Directed by: Tony Gilroy
Rachel Weisz fans rejoice! Two movies on the same day. In this one we learn that Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne wasn’t the only mysterious agent for the C.I.A.

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: DOG DAYS
Starring: Zachary Gordon and Robert Capron
Directed by: David Bowers
With school out for the summer, it’s time for Greg to decide what he’s going to do with his free time.

LITTLE BIRDS
Starring: Juno Temple and Kate Bosworth
Directed by: Elgin James
Two friends face a life changing event after they leave their home and follow two boys they’ve just met to Los Angeles.

TOTAL RECALL
Starring: Colin Farrell and Kate Beckinsale
Directed by: Len Wiseman
A revamping of the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic featuring a great supporting cast including Bryan Cranston, Ethan Hawke and Bill Nighy.

AUGUST 10
2 DAYS IN NEW YORK
Starring: Chris Rock and Julie Delpy
Directed by: Julie Delpy
A woman breaks up with her lover and takes their daughter to live with her in New York City.

THE AWAKENING
Starring: Dominic West and Rebecca Hall
Directed by: Nick Murphy
In early 20th Century England a hoax investigator checks into the story about the ghost of a child.

THE CAMPAIGN
Starring: Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis
Directed by: Jay Roach
Two rival North Carolina politicians with presidential aspirations tangle with one another. Director Roach has done two outstanding political films for HBO (“Recount” and “Game Change”) so he knows his way around the material.

HOPE SPRINGS
Starring: Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones
Directed by: David Frankel
After thirty years of marriage, a middle-aged couple attends an intense, week-long counseling session to work on their relationship.

AUGUST 15
THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN
Starring: Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton
Directed by: Peter Hedges
After a childless couple bury a box in their backyard, which contains all of their wishes for an infant, a child is born.

AUGUST 17
THE EXPENDABLES 2
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger
Directed by: Simon West
Mr. Church reunites the Expendables for what should be an easy paycheck, but when one of their men is murdered on the job, their quest for revenge puts them deep in enemy territory and up against an unexpected threat. West directed the action packed “Con Air.”

PARANORMAN
Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee and Anna Kendrick
Directed by: Chris Butler and Sam Fell
A misunderstood boy who can speak with the dead, takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.

SPARKLE
Starring: Jordan Sparks and Whitney Houston
Directed by: Salim Akil
Set in the 1960s, three sisters form girl group and soon become Motown sensations, but fame becomes a challenge as the close-knit family begins to fall apart. A remake of the 1976 film that introduced Irene Cara and Lonette McKee. Houston’s first acting role since 1996’s “The Preacher’s Wife” and, sadly, her last.

AUGUST 24
HIT AND RUN
Starring: Kristin Bell, Bradley Cooper and Dax Shepard
Directed by: David Palmer and Dax Shepard
A man jeopardizes his status in the Witness Protection Program to help his girlfriend get to Los Angeles.

LITTLE WHITE LIES
Starring: Marion Cotillard and Jean Dujardin
Directed by: Guillaume Canet
A near-fatal accident leaves one friend in the hospital while the rest go on their annual vacation. But their secrets and personal grief threaten to drive them apart. A huge hit in its native France, the film should get extra attention thanks to its two Oscar winning co-stars.

PREMIUM RUSH
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon
Directed by: David Koepp
A Manhattan bicycle messenger is followed by a corrupt cop who is interested in his next delivery.

AUGUST 31
LAWLESS
Starring: Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman
Directed by: John Hillcoat

During the depression a group of bootleggers are threatened by the authorities that want a piece of their profits.

THE POSSESSION
Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick
Directed by: Ole Bornedal
A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl’s father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.

Media Mikes’ Holiday Movie Preview

Once again it’s time to put the turkey in the oven, loosen our belts and plan our weekly trips to the multiplex. Its holiday time and the studios are pulling out some of the big guns to keep you entertained. Once again, MediaMikes is pleased to preview some of the films you can look forward to seeing in the next two months. As always, opening dates are subject to change at the studio’s whim.

THIS WEEK

A DANGEROUS METHOD
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen and Keira Knightley.
Directed by: David Cronenberg

It’s a battle of great minds when Sigmund Freud (Mortensen) and Carl Jung (Fassbender) duel over a disturbed patient (Knightley). Cronenberg and Mortensen have teamed up twice and produced some great films (“A History of Violence” and “Eastern Promises”). I’m expecting a hat trick here.
OSCAR CHANCES: Mortensen earned a Best Actor nod for “Eastern Promises” and Fassbender is coming off a career making performance in “X-men: First Class.”

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS

Starring the voices of: James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent and Bill Nighy
Directed by: Sarah Smith

When Santa Claus accidentally misses one child on his rounds his youngest son, Arthur, attempts to correct the problem.
OSCAR CHANCES: Don’t see it on the short list for Best Animated Feature.

THE ARTIST
Starring: Jean Dujardin, Berenice Bejo and John Goodman
Directed by: Michel Hazanavicius

In the 1920s an actor (Dujardin) falls for an upcoming actress (Bejo). This film is silent and was nominated for the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where Dujardin was named Best Actor.

OSCAR CHANCES: The last silent film to win an Oscar was the first, “Wings.” Look for that to change soon.

HUGO

Starring: Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Mortez and Christopher Lee
Directed by: Martin Scorsese

In 1930’s Paris, a young boy who lives in the train station hopes to unravel a secret involving his late father and an automatron. Scorsese plus 3D? Can’t wait.

OSCAR CHANCES: With a director like Scorsese you can’t count this film out.

THE MUPPETS
Starring: Jason Segel, Amy Adams and Chris Cooper
Directed by: James Bobin

A fan of the felt covered group (Segel, who also wrote the screenplay) tries to reunite the Muppets in an attempt to stop a greedy oil tycoon (Cooper) from buying and demolishing their old theatre. Some of the original Muppet performers, including Frank Oz, declined to work on this film. But Segel has been a lifelong fan and I don’t think he’d do anything to harm the franchise. Director Tobin is making his feature film debut after having helmed many episodes of “Da Ali G Show” and “Flight of the Conchords.”

OSCAR CHANCES: To quote Johnny Carson while addressing Miss Piggy, the only Oscar award she’d ever win would be from Oscar Meyer.

MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
Starring: Michelle Williams, Kenneth Branagh and Eddie Redmayne
Directed by: Simon Curtis

A young man working on his first film is assigned to look after Marilyn Monroe.
Williams totally immerses herself in the role as does Branagh, who co-stars as Laurence Olivier.

OSCAR CHANCES: A possible nod to Williams for Best Actress.

DECEMBER 2

CORIOLANUS
Starring: Ralph Fiennes and Gerard Butler
Directed by: Ralph Fiennes

Fiennes makes his directorial debut with a modern-day retelling of the Shakespearean story of a Roman war hero who loses his power and must eam up with his enemy to lead an attack on those who betrayed him.

OSCAR CHANCES: Fiennes could be a double threat.

SHAME
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan and James Badge Dale
Directed by: Steve McQueen

A sex addicted man (Fassbender) has to come to terms with who he is when his younger sister comes for a visit. The film has been rated NC-17 so you may be hard pressed finding it. Director McQueen is English and no relation to the late actor.

OSCAR CHANCES: NC-17 means not a lot of theatres will be playing it so unless everyone in Hollywood gets a screener it doesn’t appear likely.

DECEMBER 9

I MELT WITH YOU

Starring: Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe and Jeremy Piven
Directed by: Mark Pellington

When four friends from college have a reunion they are reminded of an old pact they once made with each other.

OSCAR CHANCES: Mmmmmmmmmm NO.

NEW YEAR’S EVE
Starring: Lea Michelle, Jon Bon Jovi and Halle Berry
Directed by: Garry Marshall

From the people that brought you “Valentine’s Day” comes another celebration day. Can “Cinco de Mayo: The Movie” be far behind?

OSCAR CHANCES: Nada.

THE SITTER
Starring: Jonah Hill, Ari Graynor and Sam Rockwell
Directed by: David Gordon Green

Hill stars as a college student on suspension who is coaxed into babysitting the kids next door. Foolishly, he takes the kiddies with him to New York City. For fans of Hill, this is the last “chubby” film you’ll be seeing him in. If you’ve seen his video game commercial or the trailer for “21 Jump Street” you’ll notice he’s dropped some serious poundage.

OSCAR CHANCES: Unless they give them for weight loss, no.

TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY
Starring: Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy and Colin Firth
Directed by: Tomas Alfredson

Retired from Britain’s MI6, George Smiley (Oldman) embarks on a mission to expose a mole in the organization. Oldman takes over the role played by Sir Alec Guinness in the 1979 film.

OSCAR CHANCES: Oldman is always worth watching.

W.E.
Starring: James D’Arcy and Abbie Cornish
Directed by: Madonna

Madonna directs this romantic drama focusing on the affair between King Edward VIII and American divorcée Wallis Simpson as well as a contemporary romance between a married woman and a Russian security guard. Madge also wrote the screenplay with her “Truth or Dare” collaborator Alex Keshishian.

OSCAR CHANCES: Judging from the early reviews I’d have to say no. However, there’s always the Golden Raspberry awards.

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN
Starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly and Ezra Miller
Directed by: Lynne Ramsay

When her teenage son (Miller) goes on a killing spree at school, his mother (Swinton) must deal with her grief and her feelings of responsibility.

OSCAR CHANCES: Strong subject matter, which the Academy likes.

DECEMBER 14

LOOSIES
Starring: Peter Facinelli, Jaimie Alexander and Michael Madsen
Directed by: Michael Corrente

A New York City pickpocket learns he has a child from a long ago romance. Star Facinelli also wrote the screenplay.

OSCAR CHANCES: None

DECEMBER 16

ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED

Starring: Alvin, Simon, Theodore
Directed by: Mike Mitchell

On a luxury cruise the boys and their Chipettes find themselves marooned on a not-so deserted island. Director Mitchell helmed the last “Shrek” film.

OSCAR CHANCES: Director Mitchell also helmed “Duece Bigalow: Male Gigolo.”

CARNAGE
Starring: Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, Jodie Foster and John C. Reilly
Directed by: Roman Polanski

The parents of two school boys, one family upscale the other middle class, meet to discuss their son’s schoolyard fights.

OSCAR CHANCES: Hell Yes! With the exception of Reilly, who was nominated for “Chicago,” everyone I’ve mentioned above has at least one Oscar on their mantle.

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton
Directed by: Brad Bird

After the IMF has been disavowed by the government, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) leads a new group of agents to investigate a bombing of the Kremlin. Director Bird tries his hand with live action after having directed the animated masterpieces “The Iron Giant” and “The Incredibles.”

OSCAR CHANCES: Possibly in the technical areas.

SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS
Starring: Robert Downey, Jr., Jude Law and Jared Harris
Directed by: Guy Ritchie

Holmes does battle against his greatest nemesis, Professor Moriarty. Also stars the original “Girl in the Dragon Tattoo,” Noomi Rapace.

OSCAR CHANCES: Visual effects.

DECEMBER 21

THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN

Starring the voices of: Jamie Bell and Daniel Craig.
Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Master Spielberg tries his hand at motion-capture animation, throwing in a little 3D for good measure. There are over 20 “TinTin” classic comics so if this is a hit I’d expect more.

OSCAR CHANCES: Since the Academy ruled recently that motion capture films don’t qualify for the Animated award, unless John Williams’ score gets a nod I’d say no.

ALBERT NOBBS
Starring: Glenn Close, Mia Wasikowska and Aaron Johnson
Directed by: Rodrigo Garcia

In order to make a living in 19th century Ireland, a woman disguises herself as a man. Thirty years later she is still living a lie.

OSCAR CHANCES: Critics who have seen this film call it Close’s greatest performance.

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
Starring: Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig and Stellan Skarsgard
Directed by: David Fincher

The director of “The Social Network” and “Fight Club” takes on one of the most popular novel series in history. He’s also taking on the audiences pre-conceived ideas as to how the story will unfold.

OSCAR CHANCES: I haven’t read the books or seen the previous films. The trailer has had me excited for quite awhile. I’m saying at least two nominations. Do I hear three?

DECEMBER 23

IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY

Starring: Zana Marjanovic and Goran Kostic
Directed by: Angelina Jolie

Two people fall in love during the 1990s civil war in Bosnia. Not only is Jolie making her directorial debut she also wrote the script.

OSCAR CHANCES: None to speak of.

WE BOUGHT A ZOO
Starring: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johannson and Thomas Haden Church
Directed by: Cameron Crowe

A widower decides to purchase a run-down zoo and move his family to run it. Good news: from the director of “Jerry Maguire” and “Almost Famous.” Bad news: from the director of “Elizabethtown.”

OSCAR CHANCES: Good pedigree but unusual subject.

DECEMBER 25

EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE
Starring: Tom Hanks and Thomas Horn
Directed by: Stephen Daldry

After his father is killed on 9/11 a young boy finds a mysterious key and must find out where it goes.

OSCAR CHANCES: NEVER bet against Tom Hanks or Stephen Daldry.

WAR HORSE
Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson and David Thewlis
Directed by: Steven Spielberg

An adaptation of the children’s novel and the currently running Broadway show, the story revolves around a farm horse sent into battle during World War I and the young boy who tries to get him back.

OSCAR CHANCES: Across the board.

DECEMBER 28

PARIAH
Starring: Adepero Oduye and Kim Wayans
Directed by: Dee Rees

A Brooklyn teenager must deal with disappointing friends and family when she attempts to embrace her lesbian identity.

OSCAR CHANCES: This film has been raved about since it premiered at Sundance earlier this year. It could be this year’s “Precious.”

DECEMBER 30

ANGELS CREST
Starring: Thomas Dekker, Mira Sorvino and Lynn Collins
Directed by: Gaby Dellal

A small town father tries to care for his young son and alcoholic wife. Tragedy strikes when the young boy disappears in a snow storm.

OSCAR CHANCES: Maybe

THE IRON LADY
Starring: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent and Richard E. Grant
Directed by: Phyllida Lloyd

A look at Margaret Thatcher, the former English prime minister.

OSCAR CHANCES: Streep holds the record with 16 previous acting nominations (two Oscars). Can number 17 be far behind?

 

Related Content

“Star Wars: The Clone Wars” Preview for ‘Prisoners’ Episode

The battle for Mon Calamari escalates in the conclusion to an epic Star Wars: The Clone Wars three-part story arc

In “Prisoners,” the must-see conclusion to the epic two-part season opener of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, all appears lost as the Republic army and its allies the Gungans have been captured by Riff Tamson and his seemingly invincible Karkarodon forces. The future looks as murky as the turbulent undersea battlefields of Mon Calamari, but there still are holdouts. Now all depends on Ahsoka Tano helping young Prince Lee-Char find the internal strength to unite the fractured races of his planet to drive out the Separatist invaders in a pulse-pounding battle airing at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT Friday, September 23rd on Cartoon Network.

Lionsgate Annonces National Sneak Preview Screenings of “Warrior”

LIONSGATE ANNOUNCES NATIONAL SNEAK PREVIEW SCREENINGS OF WARRIOR

General Audiences Can See The Film On Labor Day Weekend, In Advance Of Its September 9th Release

Santa Monica, CA, August 30, 2011– LIONSGATE® (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company, today announced a special sneak preview screening program for the inspirational sports drama WARRIOR.  The screenings will be held on Sunday, September 4th at 7:00 pm, at theaters nationwide.  The announcement was made by Lionsgate’s co-COO and Motion Picture Group President Joe Drake.

To promote the sneak previews, Lionsgate has partnered with Twitter to designate the hashtag #WARRIORMovieSneakPreview, which Lionsgate has also sponsored as a Promoted Trend, allowing Twitter’s powerful user base a direct link to buy tickets and continue to spread the tremendous word of mouth the film is receiving.

Moviegoers interested in seeing the film, which Rolling Stone’s chief film critic Peter Travers calls “fiercely moving,” can purchase tickets in advance at www.warriorsneakpreview.com and use #WARRIORMovieSneakPreview on Twitter to share information about the movie with friends.

“We are in a fortunate position in that the best promotional tool for this incredible film is the film itself,” explained Drake of the motivation to allow general audiences this special advance access.  “This is truly a movie for everyone, and as we’ve screened it, people in all demographics- even those who might not have otherwise sought the film out- have been enthralled by its blend of triumphant, inspirational sports storytelling with poignant and powerful family drama.”

Adds David Spitz, who heads Distribution for Lionsgate, “Critics and private screening guests have shown extreme enthusiasm for this film in advance of its release, and we are honored to be able to share the experience earlier than promised with audiences everywhere, especially on a patriotic, family oriented weekend like Labor Day that fits so well with the themes of this particular film. We can’t wait to read the sneak preview audience’s tweets as they become the first consumers to share their reactions with the world.”

About Warrior
Rising stars Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton command the screen as two estranged brothers facing the fight of a lifetime­ in Lionsgate’s WARRIOR, a moving, inspirational action drama from acclaimed director Gavin O’Connor (Miracle).

Haunted by a tragic past, Marine Tommy Conlon (Hardy) returns home for the first time in fourteen years to enlist the help of his father (Nick Nolte) to train for Sparta, the biggest winner-takes-all event in mixed martial arts history. A former wrestling prodigy, Tommy blazes a path toward the championship while his brother, Brendan (Edgerton), an ex-fighter-turned teacher, returns to the ring in a desperate bid to save his family from financial ruin.  But when Brendan’s unlikely, underdog rise sets him on a collision course with the unstoppable Tommy, the two brothers must finally confront each other and the forces that pulled them apart, facing off in the most soaring, soul stirring, and unforgettable climax that must be seen to be believed.

A rousing ode to redemption, reconciliation and the power of the human spirit, WARRIOR is also a moving testament to the enduring bonds of family.   WARRIOR stars Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom, Star Wars: Episode III), Tom Hardy (the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Black Hawk Down), Jennifer Morrison (“House”, Star Trek) and Nick Nolte (Tropic Thunder, The Thin Red Line).  The film is directed by Gavin O’Connor; screenplay by Gavin O’Connor & Anthony Tambakis & Cliff Dorman and story by Gavin O’Connor & Cliff Dorfman. Lionsgate and Mimran Schur Pictures present a Lionsgate / Mimran Schur Pictures production. A Solaris Entertainment and Filmtribe production.

About Lionsgate
Lionsgate is a leading global entertainment company with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, family entertainment, digital distribution and new channel platforms.  The Company has built a strong television presence in production of prime time cable and broadcast network series, distribution and syndication of programming through Debmar-Mercury and an array of channel assets. Lionsgate currently has 15 shows on more than 10 networks spanning its prime time production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as “Mad Men”, “Weeds” and “Nurse Jackie” along with  the comedy “Blue Mountain State, ” the upcoming drama “Boss” and the syndication successes “Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne”, its spinoff “Meet The Browns”,  the upcoming “For Better or Worse,” “The Wendy Williams Show” and “Are We There Yet?”.

Its feature film business has generated more than half a billion dollars at the North American box office in the past year, fueled by such successes as THE LINCOLN LAWYER, TYLER PERRY’S MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY, THE EXPENDABLES, which was #1 at the North American box office for two weeks, THE LAST EXORCISM, TYLER PERRY’S WHY DID I GET MARRIED TOO?, KICK ASS and the critically-acclaimed PRECIOUS, which won two Academy Awards®. The Company’s home entertainment business has grown to more than 8% market share and is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rate. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 13,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company’s core businesses. The Lionsgate brand remains synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world.

 

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