Theatres are preparing for a monster weekend (pun intended) as Godzilla returns to the big screen. This is only the second time an American studio has made a movie based on the giant Japanese lizard and after the less-than-well received 1998 film, it is actually a little surprising that someone else would take a chance on it.
However, with the likes of stars Aaron Taylor Johnson (Kick-Ass), Academy Award-nominee Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai), Academy Award-winner Juliette Binoche (The English Patient), Golden Globe-winner Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky), Academy Award-nominee David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck) and Golden Globe-winner Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), there is a cast with the acting chops to go up against the skyscraper-sized beast.
And although director Gareth Edwards does not have the film experience much of his cast has (especially Godzilla, who has had over 50 years experience in the movie industry), he did direct a brilliant little sci-fi gem called Monsters a few years back. I recommend checking it out as after watching it, I was surprised it was made for a paltry $500,000. In comparison, this new Godzilla had a budget of $160 million.
And speaking of millions, Disney is coming out with Million Dollar Arm, hoping for another based-on-a-true-story inspirational sports movie hit like their previous successes with Miracle, Cool Runnings and Remember the Titans.
Jon Hamm (Mad Men) stars as an American sports agent who goes to India to find cricket players who could become baseball pitchers through a reality show called Million Dollar Arm. The two winners (out of 40,000 hopefuls) are brought back to the United States to train and hopefully signed to a major league team.
However, the two are not only challenged by learning the finer points of baseball, but also the differences in culture.
Also starring is Bill Paxton, Alan Arkin, Lake Bell and Indian actors Madhur Mittal (Slumdog Millionaire) and Suraj Sharma (Life of Pi) as the young hopefuls.
The Paramount Theatre is opening what looks like an intriguing and intense revenge thriller called Blue Ruin about a mysterious outsider whose quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance.
Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.
Blue Ruin has been a favourite at a large number of film festivals over the past year and like the previously mentioned Monsters, I expect it will be another example of the fantastic work young independent filmmakers can do with a small budget.