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Trailer Snark (June 30, 2017 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Despicable Me 3 (Universal) –  Family/Animation
Rated PG for action and rude humor
Tag Line: Hard time ahead.
Starring: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig
Plot: Gru meets his long-lost charming, cheerful, and more successful twin brother Dru who wants to team up with him for one last criminal heist.
Running Time: 90 minutes

Chris: “You’re despicable”….yes, that was animated entertainment.  If you don’t know the reference, you are too young.
Jim: These movies are hilarious and great for families to watch. Seeing it today. Gotta love the minions.

The House (Warner Bros) – Comedy
Rated R for language throughout, sexual references, drug use, some violence and brief nudity.
Tag Line: If you can’t beat the house, be… The House.
Starring: Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler
Plot: A dad convinces his friends to start an illegal casino in his basement after he and his wife spend their daughter’s college fund.
Running Time: 88 minutes

Jim: A great cast and premise—-this week is looking good.
Chris: Amusing concept.  Will Ferrell movies tend to be pretty good, so I am intrigued.  How far would you go to send your kid to college?  Definitely not this far.

Baby Driver (TriStar Pictures) – Action
Rated R for Violence, Language, and Adult Situations.
Tag Line: All you need is one killer track.
Starring: Ansel Elgort, Jamie Fox, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Kevin Spacey
Plot: After being coerced into working for a crime boss, a young getaway driver finds himself taking part in a heist doomed to fail.
Running Time: 113 minutes

Chris: Hey, Frank Castle sighting!  Other than that, I am not too interested in this one.  It will probably be worth a rainy night rental.
Jim: Good trailer #3. Over the top, mind-numbing action—it must be summertime. And with Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World “at the wheel.”

You can read our very own Dope Sheet Review of Baby Driver here!

The Little Hours (Gunpowder & Sky) – Comedy/Romance
Rated R for graphic nudity, sexual content and language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, Dave Franco, John C. Reilly
Plot: A young servant fleeing from his master takes refuge at a convent full of emotionally unstable nuns in the Middle Ages. Introduced as a deaf blind man, he must fight to hold his cover as the nuns try to resist temptation.
Running Time: 90 minutes

Jim: What the…? Sheesh. I love Aubrey Plaza.
Chris: I almost feel ashamed to say it, but Aubrey Plaza may have found the perfect role.  Looks funny as all heck.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for The Little Hours (Jim and Chris) and One for Despicable Me (Jim)

Aubrey Plaza Goes All Out Nun Ratchet in "The Little Hours"
Aubrey Plaza Goes All Out Nun Ratchet in “The Little Hours”
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Baby Driver – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  June 28, 2017 
Run Time:  1 hour 53 minutes 
After Credit Scene:  NO 
IMAX Viewing:  NO 
3D Viewing:  NO 
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers 
The Dope Sheet Score:  7.8 out of 10 

A Non-Spoiler Review

Baby, who as a child was in an auto accident that causes him to have a hearing problem that also allows him to have extreme focus to be one of the best getaway drivers around.  Forced to pay back a considerable debt, he drives for teams of thieves at the direction of Doc.  Soon he is left to decide, continue as part of Doc’s crew or take a chance on love and flee the only world he knows.

What works:    This is a fun film for the most part.  The cast of John Hamm (Mad Men), Jamie Fox (come on, you know who Jamie fox is!), Jon Bernthal (Walking Dead, Daredevil) and Kevin Spacey (House of Cards) were excellent as one would expect.  New comer Ansel Elgort (The Fault in our Stars), did a very good job and was convincing as a talented driver.  Both Hamm and Fox give you one heck of a performance.  I don’t recall Fox playing a role that was this dark, but I loved him.  Eiza Gonzalez is great eye candy and did a good job of playing that tough sexy “Bonnie” type of character.  And less I forget Kevin Spacey who does what Spacey does.  Not a poor performance by any stretch, but you aren’t going to get anything new from him either.  Every actor brings something to their role that together as an ensemble, is a nearly perfect cast.

If you like car chase scenes, you get plenty of them and they are a thrill to watch.  Outside of the overdone Fast and Furious franchise, I don’t recall such great chase scenes since Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Death Proof.’  You really must hand it to those stunt drivers and don’t be surprised if they are recognized with awards for stunts performed in this film.  The soundtrack was excellent and it has a little bit for everyone.  The songs give a great tone to the scenes and are used in a way that they are almost a character in the film.  The final act is thrilling and the director puts the story into overdrive, letting the actors loose to have some fun that the audience will enjoy.

What doesn’t work:  The first act was exciting and at the same time rough.  Beyond the chase scene, the introduction to the character Baby was annoying and I was concerned this was the person I was going to have to watch for the rest of the movie.  Thankfully, the character is only annoying for the first act.  Some of the dialog, only at times, seemed as if it was written by a 16 yr old.  Short choppy banter between Baby and love interest Debora (Lily James) doesn’t do well to develop the chemistry between them and came across forced and awkward.  Eventually there is chemistry between Baby and Debora.  Baby lives with a roommate and there really is no need to have included this character.  There are other elements of Baby that could have occupied time on screen other than this relationship with his roommate that added little value.  Lily James was good with what she was given, but the character wasn’t developed with enough backstory for me to believe her interest in Baby and the other things I won’t go into so we don’t spoil anything for you.  I wouldn’t say it is an acting issue, thought she was very good, just I needed more story to believe her.  The movie is almost 2 hours long, but felt like it was 20 min. longer that it actually was.

All too often we see films with an all-star cast with a story that doesn’t deliver.  This isn’t one of those films.  I feel the film falls short on character development and had it a little more and one less sub plot, the movie would have been more enjoyable.  This movie delivers on thrills and excitement far than what was expected.  This movie will forever be one of those films mentioned with great car chase movies such as Ronin, Bullitt, The French Connection, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, Two Lane Blacktop, Smokey and the Bandit, etc.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give Baby Driver a 7.8.  It is worth seeing in the theater and maybe a popcorn combo.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

baby poster

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – 6/28/2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome back to another episode of the Crank File. Did you miss me? I’ve missed you. Wednesday is new comic book day and Tuesdays I spotlight some of the stuff that I’ll be checking out. It’s looking like a strong crop of books and I had a really hard time making this week’s picks. Lots of good books couldn’t make the cut. These are the ones that did. Your results may vary.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.


The Top of the Pile: Secret Empire #5

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Leinil Francis Yu

What it is: They thought they were safe! They thought they could handle anything that was thrown against them! But the united heroes of the Marvel Universe never reckoned on the dread power that Steve Rogers would unleash! THE SECRET EMPIRE WILL AMAZE YOU! Rated T+

Why we love it: I wasn’t ready for Secret Empire to be this entertaining. This dystopia has been relevant, intriguing and undeniably provocative. Evil Steve Rogers (Stevil Rogers?) has outmaneuvered earth’s superheroes at every turn. What tricks does he have up his gauntlets this time? Is that really the Hulk on the cover? Did Hawkeye somehow shoot him back to life?


The Mainstream One: Totally Awesome Hulk #20

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Greg Pak
Art: Mahmud A. Asrar

What it is: WEAPONS OF MUTANT DESTRUCTION PART 2! What is the mysterious Weapon Gamma? AND WHO IS BEHIND ITS CREATION? Rated T

Why we like it: Hulkverine. Nuff said.


The Indie One: Saga #44

Publisher: Image
Words: Brian K. Vaughan
Art:Fiona Staples

What it is: Hazel and her family search for elusive treasure: affordable healthcare.

Why we like it: The best comic in all of comicdom, Saga takes us where few comics dare or care to go.


The #1 One: Edge of Venomverse #1

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Roland Boschi

What it is: EDGE of VENOM-VERSE starts here! The series that sets up the epic VENOM EVENT of 2017 STARTS HERE! Each issue introduces another major Venomized character that will feed into VENOMVERSE itself! THIS ISSUE, the young mutant clone designated X-23 collides with a cryogenic tube containing a strange alien symbiote during her frenzied escape from The Facility, . Bonding with the alien enhances her already considerable abilities, and aids in her escape, but it begins to alter her mind! On the run from the very people that made her, can X-23 hold it together or is she doomed to give in to Venom! Rated T

Why we like it: Francesco Mattina absolutely slayed this cover. I thought X-23 was plenty scary before the corrupted alien parasite costume. It seems like the entire world has caught Venom fever since the news of a Venom/Carnage movie broke. If you or someone you love is suffering from symbiote separation anxiety, talk to your local comic shop about Venomverse.


The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Wonder Woman #25

Publisher: DC
Words: Greg Rucka
Art: Liam Sharp
Cover Art: Jenny Frison

What it is: Writer Greg Rucka weaves together the threads of ‘The Lies,’ ‘Year One,’ ‘The Truth,’ and ‘Godwatch’-every story in WONDER WOMAN since the start of the DC Universe Rebirth era-in this extra-sized anniversary issue!

Why we like it: Jenny Frison really wants to get Jennifer Connelly cast as Wonder Woman. Frison’s entire run of WW cover Bs has been outstanding, with a few exceptional pieces. This is an exceptional one. Speaking of exceptional, the Wonder Woman movie. It wasn’t perfect, but it was close. See it. You won’t be disappointed.


That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!

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The Book of Henry – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  June 16, 2017  
Rating:  PG-13  
Run Time:  1 hour 45 minutes  
After Credit Scene:  NO  
IMAX Viewing:  NO  
3D Viewing:  NO  
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers  
The Dope Sheet Score:  6.5 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

Henry, a childhood genius, lives with his mother and younger brother.   Using the notebook Henry has written, together they try to save their neighbor from her abusive stepfather.

What works:    The acting is quite good as both Naomi Watts (Susan) and Jaeden Lieberher (Henry) give solid performances.  Sarah Silverman (Sheila) does a good job in a serious role as does veteran small screen actor Dean Norris (Glenn Sickleman).  This is a good story, not a great story, but a good story that will tug at your heart strings and repulse you with sensitive topics.  The film does an outstanding job during a few scenes of leaving your mind to fill in the blanks.  By doing so, the film guides the viewers imagination to determine the characters actions.  Very powerful.

What doesn’t work:  Young actress Maddie Ziegler needs a few more acting classes.  You may recognize her from the reality tv show, “Dance Moms.”  It wasn’t until her dance scene that I was able to put my finger on why she looked familiar.  Not a poor performance, but one that stood out that she needs some polishing.  Through the first half of the movie you get the feeling you are watching an after-school special, but as the plot develops the movie gets darker and more twisted.  It is at this point in the film it loses some of the audience because the story switches from a drama to a thriller.  Looking at the poster for the film, you may be misguided as to the type of film you are going to watch.  If you have watched the trailer for this movie, the story becomes a bit predictable.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie and the story, but this isn’t the movie you take your preteen to see on a rainy summer day.  Due to the sensitive/adult situations that the movie dives into, I don’t feel this movie is going to get its credit as a good story and may not last long at the box office.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give The Book of Henry a 6.5.  It is worth a matinee ticket, but only if you have nothing to do on a rainy day.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

book henry poster

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Trailer Snark (June 21, 2017 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Transformers: The Last Knight (Paramount) – Action/Sci-Fi
Rated PG-13 for violence and intense sequences of sci-fi action, language, and some innuendo
Tag Line: For one world to live, the other must die.
Starring:  Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins
Plot: 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.
Running Time: 149 minutes

Chris: The news of plans for 14 more films had a suddenly wearying effect on me.  Yeah, you read that right.
Jim: I was born about 10 years too early to get excited about the mention of the word Transformers. I’ve only seen the first movie in this franchise and thought it was Ok as time-wasting popcorn flicks go. The trailers for the rest of them have just looked boring in that we’re-gonna-shove-CGI-down-your-throat-until-you-beg-for-mercy way. Including this one.
Wayne: I’ve given up on the trailers because they are always better than the movies.  With that said, I saw it last (k)night.

You can read Wayne’s review of the movie at The Dope Sheet right here!

The Big Sick (Lionsgate) – Comedy/Romance
Rated R for language including some sexual references
Tag Line: An awkward love story.
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Ray Romano
Plot: A couple deals with their cultural differences as their relationship grows.
Running Time: 119 minutes

Wayne: Interesting movie, surely going to be a tear jerker.  Going to sell this one and wait for Netflix.
Chris: Nice to see Ray Romano in a feature film that isn’t animated, but I found the laughs hard to come by in this trailer.  Pass.
Jim: This looks like it could be a great romcom. Hope all of the good moments aren’t in the trailer.

The Beguiled (Focus Features) – Drama
Rated R for some sexuality
Tag Line: None
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Colin Farrell
Plot: 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. Soon, the house is taken over with sexual tension, rivalries, and an unexpected turn of events.
Running Time: 93 minutes

Jim: Interesting-looking remake of the ’71 Clint Eastwood classic. The cast certainly helps.
Wayne: Going to sell this trailer.  I don’t care for time period pieces like this and I also don’t find this cast ensemble appealing.   
Chris: Now we’re talking!  Kirsten Dunst and Nicole Kidman sharing the screen together is a treat.  Add in some Colin Farrel and a touch of revenge and you have yourself some pretty good cinematic potential!

The Bad Batch (Neon) – Romance/Sci-Fi
Rated R for violence, language, some drug content and brief nudity
Tag Line: None
Starring: Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa
Plot: A dystopian love story in a Texas wasteland and set in a community of cannibals.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Chris: What is this?  Some kind of Mad Max meets Hills Have Eyes meets Rob Zombie hybrid?  May be a rental, even if that, to be honest.  The Bad Batch is right.
Jim: Looks like a bad Tarantino knockoff minus the humor. Pass.
Wayne: Looks like a great cast, but has the feel of an 80’s film with no direction.  Going to sell this trailer.

Tickets Purchased: One for Transformers (Wayne), One for The Big Sick (Jim), and One for The Beguiled (Chris)

We just could not agree this week.
We just could not agree this week.
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Transformers: The Last Knight – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  June 21, 2017
Rating:  PG-13
Run Time:  2 hour 20 minutes
After Credit Scene:  During Credit Scene, none after credits
IMAX Viewing:  YES
3D Viewing:  YES
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  6.1 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

Check your brain at the door folks!  Let’s not try to make too much sense of it all because you really came to see robots, explosions, and action sequences.  Do not go see this movie if you are expecting a good story.  The only reason why we go see these films is because of the cartoon series we had in our youth.

You should watch the previous film before going to see this one so that you are reminded of what has happened.  The movie picks up in the dark ages to let us know that Transformers have been around for a long time.  Present day, humans are still picking up the pieces from the battles in the previous film.  Soon there are signs that the end of the world is coming and we need the Transformers to save the day.  Bumble Bee is our main Transformer and clearly the focus is on him because he is to have his own movie in a few years.  Have no doubt, this film is going to be a financial success, but it doesn’t deserve to be successful.

What works:    The scenery is wonderful.  Ladies will love Mark Wahlberg.  This movie was filmed to be seen in IMAX and it was wonderful.  Fun car chase scenes.  Anthony Hopkins was fun to watch.  Frank Welker who was the voice of Megatron in the TV series reprises his role on the big screen.

What doesn’t work:  The movie is too long, it could have been 45 – 60 min shorter.  The story is lousy and to many subplots that get lost in action scenes.  There are characters that really didn’t have to be in the movie and play such a small role that there was no need for them.  The movie is constantly trying to add humor where it isn’t needed.  Sure, I may have chuckled a few times, but the humor is forced into the story.  There are parts of the story that do not make sense, specifically with the character Vivian Wembley and I can’t go into it or I’ll spoil some of the crappy story.  There is a romance in the movie that is forced on the viewer and it wasn’t believable.  At times, the special effects didn’t pair up with the live action actor very well.  Maybe it was so clear in IMAX that it stood out and it is possible it isn’t as noticeable in 2D.  I’m tired of the same ole stuff from Transformers with explosions and shaky camera action sequences.  There isn’t enough Optimus Prime and when he is on screen, he reminds us of who he is too much.  Without ruining anything, we have a “Martha” moment that really irked me.  We have baby Transformers!  Really?  We need baby transformers for one reason only, to sell toys.  There is some swearing in the film and I felt it was gratuitous to appeal to older viewers.  There are too many characters and the story is lost in action sequences.

Ugh.  I wanted this movie to be good and I was hopeful, but this movie is good at one thing and one thing only, loud action sequences.  I loved the Transformers when I was kid, but these movies fail to grab the essence of the tv series and fail to let the Transformers be the stars of the film.  Michael Bay says this will be the last time he will direct a Transformers film and this person hopes he is true to his word.  He is excellent at action and explosions, but I’m exhausted of crappy stories we continue to get in Transformers films.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give Transformers: The Last Knight a 6.1.  I’m being generous with this score.  If you are a Transformers movie fan, go see it in IMAX and enjoy the sound and 3D.

Did you see the film?  Let’s get into spoilers in the comments below.

Transformers TLK poster

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All Eyez On Me – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  June 16, 2017
Rating:  R
Run Time:  2 hour 20 minutes
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  6 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

A biography on poet, actor, and rapper Tupac Shakur (Demetrious Shipp Jr.).  The story is told mostly through the eyes of an interviewer who is capturing Tupac’s life story while he is incarcerated.  Once he is released from prison, the story is told in a traditional movie format.

What works:    A great cast and Demetrious Shipp Jr. looks very much like Tupac.  Dania Gurira, who is best known for her role as Michonne in The Walking Dead, plays Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur.  It is a wonderful performance by Dania and she arguably gives the best performance in the movie.  Jamal Woolard reprises his role as Biggie, a role he nailed in the movie, “Notorious.”  You’ll also enjoy some of the backstory about some of Tupac’s hit songs and how he came to the record label, Death Row Records.

What doesn’t work:  The first two acts of the film felt more like a scrapping of Tupac’s history and is taped together like a scrapbook.  The enjoyable element of movies “Notorious” and “Straight Outta Compton” is that the movies each focus on the story, not the music.  All Eyez On Me is presented like bad rap video’s book ending mediocre story telling.  There are scenes of Tupac’s performances that draw out the film because the director focused on the music.  Unfortunately, the lip syncing to Tupac’s music is good, but I’ve seen better on TV.  The ending of the film falls flat because it tries so hard to pull at your heart strings with corny effects and music.   The movie is supposed to be an “untold story,” but there are very few elements that are presented that haven’t already been made public.

As a fan of Tupac, I don’t feel this movie does his legacy justice.  Tupac’s music far surpasses the quality of this movie.  With some editing of nudity and language this was a made for TV movie at best.  The script doesn’t convey the layer of depth into Tupac’s character.  Editing also hurts the movie as there are scenes that feel as though they were spliced in as an afterthought and don’t transition well from one scene to the next.

Director Benny Boom is hoping all eyes are on his film, but this viewers ears enjoyed the music more than the movie.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give All Eyez On Me a 6.  I would wait to see this one on Netflix or RedBox.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

all eyez poster

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Trailer Snark (June 16, 2017 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Cars 3 (Disney) – Animation/Family
Rated G
Tag Line: It’s On!
Starring:  Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Larry the Cable Guy
Plot: Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best race car in the world.
Running Time: 109 minutes

Chris: Animation and fast cars?  The wife is already buying the tickets.  But my enthusiasm is a bit more tempered.  Animated sequels are historically disappointing.
Jessica: I simply do not understand why people love these so much, I think they’re pretty dull. Big pass for me.

Rough Night (Sony Pictures) – Comedy
R for crude sexual content, language throughout, drug use and brief bloody images
Tag Line: Dropping June 16
Starring: Scarlet Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Zoe Kravitz
Plot: Things go terribly wrong for a group of girlfriends who hire a male stripper for a bachelorette party in Miami.
Running Time: 101 minutes
Jessica: I usually love these types of movies and I adore McKinnon, but this one doesn’t make me laugh much. I’ll probably watch it one day for free at home, but not a movie theater film for me at all.
Chris: It would be one if I were forced to see this at my local theater.

All Eyez On Me (Lionsgate) – Biography/Drama/Music
Rated R for language and drug use throughout, violence, some nudity and sexuality
Tag Line: Legends never die.
Starring: Demetrius Shipp Jr, Danai Gurira, Kat Graham
Plot: Tells the true and untold story of prolific rapper, actor, poet and activist Tupac Shakur.
Running Time: 160 minutes

Chris: Was never a Tupac fan, but this one seems less about the music and more about the man.  Could be worth the rental?

47 Meters Down (Entertainment Studios) – Horror/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense peril, bloody images, and brief strong language
Tag Line: No help above, no hope below.
Starring: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine
Plot: Two sisters vacationing in Mexico are trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean. With less than an hour of oxygen left and great white sharks circling nearby, they must fight to survive.
Running Time: 89 minutes

Jessica: This looks like it could be fun, a rental though, again not wasting my money on it! I can always watch the classic shark films like Jaws or Deep Blue Sea!
Chris: Anyone who knows me knows that I loathe and fear sharks.  I guess that makes this one a good candidate for morbid curiosity and masochism.

The Book of Henry (Focus Features) – Drama/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language
Tag Line: Never leave things undone.
Starring: Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher
Plot: A single mother discovers a scheme in her son’s book to rescue a young girl from the hands of her abusive stepfather and sets out to execute the plan at any cost.
Running Time: 105 minutes

Chris: I’ve always enjoyed Naomi Watts and I am liking the dynamic between her and her son played by Jaeden Lieberher in the face of their neighbor’s abusive step-father.  How far will they go to protect a child?  I will be sure to find out!
Jessica: I’m intrigued so I’d watch this at home.

The Journey (IFC Films) – Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including violent images and language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Freddie Highmore, Tobey Stephens, John Hurt, Catherine McCormack
Plot: A fictional account of the extraordinary story of two implacable enemies in Northern Ireland – firebrand Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley and Sinn Fein politician Martin …
Running Time: 94 minutes

Chris: I grew up literally reading article after article in our Boston newspaper publications about Sinn Fein and the IRA.  Although this is a fictionalized account of two of the most prominent rivals in the Northern Ireland conflict, I am eager to see it.

Maudie (Sony Picture Classics) – Biography/Drama/Romance
Rated PG-13 for some thematic content and brief sexuality.
Tag Line: None
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Sally Hawkins
Plot: An arthritic Nova Scotia woman works as a housekeeper while she hones her skills as an artist and eventually becomes a beloved figure in the community.
Running Time: 115 minutes

Chris: I literally fell asleep watching this trailer.

Tickets Purchased:  One for The Book of Henry (Chris) while Jessica goes for another viewing of Wonder Woman.



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Cars 3 – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  June 16, 2017
Rating:  G
Run Time:  1 hour 49 minutes
After Credit Scene:  YES
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  8 out of 10

A Non-Spoiler Review

Lightning McQueen is back!  He’s a little older but he’s still winning, that is until youth and their more sophisticated and technologically advanced cars start to replace old school race cars.  After a horrific wreck, McQueen has to find his mojo and prove to all he still has it.

What works:    A wonderful cast yet again.  The visuals are stunning, captivating, and if you pay close attention you’ll see cars in them hills.  The story is well written and pays homage to the late Paul Newman (Doc Hudson).  Some new types of racing and new characters keep the franchise fresh.  It’s nice to see that they kept most of the cast from the previous films, Tow Mater is still there with our comedic relief.  Lots of NASCAR references and cameo voice acting.  Those who know their NASCAR will enjoy the references.  Although not part of the movie, there is another Pixar short prior to Cars 3 and I like the message it sends to kids.

What doesn’t work:  The story goes a little flat in the second act.  Although a good movie, I think this will be the last in the Cars franchise.  The spark isn’t there like it was in the previous films and I’m not sure it keeps kids fully engaged throughout the film.  Another disappointment was the soundtrack.  The contemporary music didn’t hit you like in the previous films and it stood out to me at times.

You get what you expect in a Pixar Film.  Cars 3 delivers and is a fun film to watch with your kids and you’ll get to see your favorite cars.  For adults, there are touching moments as they explain the relationship between McQueen and Doc Hudson in more depth.  I believe there is something here for everyone including girls as they pull for Cruz Ramirez (voiced by Cristela Alonzo) as she attempts to build McQueen’s confidence as well as her own.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give this one an 8.  Good family movie, worth the price of admission and concessions.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

cars 3 poster

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – 6/14/2017

Hey there comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. The Bat Family lost one of it’s most iconic members last week. RIP Mayor Adam West. You may be gone, but the Batsui will live on.

Here’s what I’m reading this week.



The Top of the Pile: Vision Director’s Cut

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Tom King
Art: Gabriel Hernandez Walta

What it is: One of the most surprising super-hero stories ever told, now better than ever! Experience Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s masterpiece…re-presented with bonus behind-the-scenes content! Behold the Visions! They’re the family next door, and they have the power to kill us all. What could possibly go wrong? Collecting VISION (2015) #1-2, plus extras — including Tom King’s original series pitch, script excerpts, character designs and sketches by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, cover sketches by Mike del Mundo and more.

Why we love it: Vision was unlike any other Marvel story told before and will serve as the high water mark for all comics to come. I’m definitely down to watch how that sausage gets made.


The Mainstream One: Secret Empire #4

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Nick Spencer
Art: Leinil Francis Yu

What it is: There is a power that can either save the world or doom it! Both Steve Rogers and the heroes arrayed against him need this power! But unfortunately for all of them, the key to possessing this power lies in the hands of the unstoppable Ultron! LIVE IN X-CITING TIMES! SECRET EMPIRE! Rated T+

Why we like it: For those of you who came over to comics from the movies, there’s a story about the Ultron-borg looking fella on the cover. In Marvel comics continuity Ultron was created, not by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, but by legacy Avenger Hank Pym. Hank’s has worn a lot of titles during his career, including Ant Man, Giant Man, Goliath, Yellow Jacket and Wasp. And at one point Ultron and Hank Pym fused their biological and technological selves, body and mind, creating the monstrosity that stands here before us today. Apparently he’s in possession of a shard of the cosmic cubic. Could Ultron be the key to ending Secret Empire? More importantly, what’s up with that second Steve Rogers??



The Indie One: Manifest Destiny #29 (Spawn month variant)

Publisher: Image
Words: Chris Dingess 
Art: Matthew Roberts

What it is: A new kind of monster emerges from the fog as an unsavory finally makes his move against his enemy.

Why we like it: See more at:


The #1 One: Dark Days The Forge

Publisher: DC
Words: Scott Snyder, James Tynion III
Art: Andy Kubert, Jim Lee, John Romita Jr.

What it is: DARKNESS COMES TO THE DC UNIVERSE WITH THE MYSTERY OF THE FORGE! Aquaman, The Flash and more of DC’s pantheon of heroes suspect Batman of hiding a dark secret that could threaten the very existence of the multiverse! It’s an epic that will span generations-but how does it connect to the origins of one of DC’s most legendary heroes? The great comics event of summer 2017 is about to begin courtesy of superstar writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion III and illustrated by a master class of comics artists: Andy Kubert, Jim Lee and John Romita Jr.! You do not want to miss this one! RATED T

Why we like it: This is the prelude to Batman Metal, the hugely anticipated reunion of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo on Batman. There will be two Dark Days primer books, The Forge and The Casting, and they feature some of the best talent to ever grace the pages of Batman. And John Romita Jr.


The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Venom #151 (Mattina variant)

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Mike Costa
Art: Gerardo Sandoval
Cover Art: Francesco Mattina

What it is: “THE LAND BEFORE CRIME” Starts Here! Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote have been reunited at last – and their hatred of Spider-Man is greater than ever! While hunting the friendly neighborhood wall-crawler, Venom comes face-to-face with none other than STEGRON THE DINOSAUR MAN! Can Venom postpone feasting on Spider-Man’s brain long enough to stop Stegron from turning everyone in New York into a bloodthirsty dinosaur?!

Why we like it: To buy, or not to buy. Is that even a question? A little Shakespearean humor there. Brill.


That’s all I got this week. Until next time, carpe comics!