Character Actors I Want Everyone to Know: Ed Lauter (1938-2013)

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An unfortunate event has forced me to move on an idea I’ve been mulling over as a companion to this column. In addition to films that I want everyone to know about, there are actors I think everyone should know as well. I hope to post every few weeks about an unsung hero of the acting world. I want to sing the praises of men and women who have made my movie going special over the years. I could amuse you with my man crush on Gene Hackman, or get you to see how sexy Susan Sarandon is. Maybe I can convince you to go back and revisit Claude Raines or Jean Arthur. All of them will be well known however and while I want to share my enthusiasm, I want to spark a little fire for those who never really get the spotlight. It is with sadness that I launch this series with a few words about the late Ed Lauter.

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The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Two stale Vegas magicians meet their match in the form of a performance artist who steals their audience. Old school and new collide in a battle to be Vegas’ top act.

Featuring a couple of egomaniacal jerks (played by Steve Carell and Jim Carrey) who do battle via magic acts, “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” is certainly a movie that will give you a laugh or two along the way, but might not be anything to rush right out and see.

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The 2013 Spring Movie Season Preview

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YES! We made it through the Winter Movie Season, where Hollywood unloads their junk on us, and now we’re headed into the Spring!

Spring is a time for mini-blockbusters, and movies that Hollywood hopes will have decent runs. Last year, “The Hunger Games” was released in March, for example, and we all saw how well that did!

Click through to see all the movies that this Spring Season has to offer!

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Stand Up Guys

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When Valentine (Al Pacino) is freed from prison after 28 years, he finds his best friend Doc (Christopher Walken) there to pick him up. What he doesn’t realize is that Doc has also been charged with killing him, as payback for a wrong incurred during the hold-up that got Val sent away all those years ago.

Once he’s out however, Val turns his last day into a real hurrah, and drags Doc along with him. Now Doc is left with a choice to make. Should he kill his best friend? Or embrace this new carpe diem sentiment and get back into the game of life?

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The 2013 Winter Movie Season Preview

Winter

Ok, boys and girls. The Holiday Season is over… and the Spring Season, full of mini Blockbusters, is still months away.

Between now and then lies Hollywood’s dumping ground. The Hollywood fields lie fallow in the winter, bearing little quality product. It’s the two months of the year we need to “Get through”. While January typically offers some limited releases from the prior year going wide, there’s typically little else to get excited over.

Will this year be different? Are there any movies to get excited about these next two months? Let’s take a look at the release slate and see what we’ve got!

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Argo

The promotional materials have done a great job of spelling out the framework of Ben Affleck’s “Argo”.

It’s a historical thriller, set during the Iran Hostage Crisis. Six individuals managed to escape the US Embassy as it was being stormed by Iranians (during the hostage crisis of 1979), and now need help to get out of the country.

What the marketing can’t convey though, is the pervasive atmosphere of tension that director Ben Affleck manages to create. “Argo” is an intense and occasionally humorous docudrama that adds to Affleck’s burgeoning streak of excellent projects.

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The 2012 Fall Movie Preview – Part II

Ok folks, here we go. Part II of the 2012 Fall Movie Preview. Today we’ll break down all the major releases on tap for the month of October, and the first week of November!

As you might imagine, it’s a diverse bunch. There are some ahead that look intriguing, and some that might as well be announcing that they’re garbage already, LOL. Let’s have a look and see if we can’t sort out what’s what!!

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Movies That Everyone Should See: “Edward Scissorhands”

In light of the most recent effort from Tim Burton and Johnny Depp, and the fact that today is Mother’s Day and the movie features a sweet Mother looking after a misunderstood son who’s always getting into trouble through absolutely no fault of his own (LOL!!!), my choice for this week’s MTESS column was an easy one.

1990′s nouveau classic, “Edward Scissorhands”.

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The Muppets

I couldn’t be happier to bring you this news.

“The Muppets” isn’t just good, it’s great. For fans from the “Old Days” it will be a joyous reunion. A thorough reminder of why you loved them to begin with. For children and young people who are new to the Muppets, you’ll love meeting them. They’re going to be characters you’ll love for the rest of your life.

It’s a song and dance comedy spectacular that’s full of laughs, feel good story moments and wonderful, colorful, comical characters. It literally gave me chills at several points, and I sat watching it with a grin ear to ear from beginning to end.

Muppets fans? Raise your expectations 100%. I guarantee you leave saying “That was SO awesome”.

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2011 Holiday Movie Season Preview!!

This year, the start of the Holiday Movie season is November 18th. That’s NEXT weekend already folks!! That’s when Hollywood releases “Happy Feet Two” and “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1”, two movies with valid expectations of large takes at the gate. The start of the second blockbuster season of the year!

Here are the movies coming up this Holiday Season that I’m most excited for. Check out Wednesday, December 21st! “The Adventures of Tintin”, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”, and “Mission Impossible, Ghost Protocol”! That’s going to be a busy day!

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