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Trailer Snark (November 17, 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, Wayne from The Dope Sheet, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Justice League (Warner Bros) – Action/Adventure/Fantasy
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action
Tag Line: Justice for all.
Starring: Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams
Plot: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.
Running Time: 120 minutes

Jim: Sorry, but I hated, hated, hated Batman vs. Superman, and it looks like Zack Snyder is back to bore me to bat-tears. Not a good feeling for this, despite the presence of Wonder Woman.
Chris: When you hear that they spent $40 million on re-shoots, it does not inspire confidence, but DC is coming off a very big, successful, and high quality Wonder Woman film.  I’ll obviously be going to the theater to see this one, though maybe not opening week.

Wonder (Lionsgate) – Drama
Rated PG for thematic elements including bullying, and some mild language
Tag Line: Choose kind.
Starring: Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, Julia Roberts
Plot: Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.
Running Time: 113 minutes

Chris: Seems like a nice one to watch with the kids with a message and they and the rest of us can all be reminded of. 
Jim: A nice lump-in-the -throat trailer, looks like it’s handled with much care and sensitivity. Not quite enough to get me into a theater, but it looks like a worthwhile rental.

The Star (Columbia Pictures) – Animation/Adventure/Comedy
Rated PG for some thematic elements
Tag Line: It Takes Many Tails To Tell The Greatest Story Ever
Starring: Steven Yeun, Ving Rhames, Keegan Michael-Key
Plot: A small but brave donkey and his animal friends become the unsung heroes of the first Christmas.
Running Time: 86 minutes

Jim: To be honest, despite the great subject matter, the whole thing looks kinda chintzy. Think I’ll put in my copy of The Little Drummer Boy instead.
Chris: Yeah, I have to agree with Jim here.  But I will catch it when it goes to stream.

Roman J. Israel, Esq (Columbia Pictures) – Crime/Drama
Rated PG-13 for language and some violence
Tag Line: All rise.
Starring: Denzell Washington, Colin Farrell
Plot: Denzel Washington stars as Roman Israel, a driven, idealistic defense attorney who, through a tumultuous series of events, finds himself in a crisis that leads to extreme action.
Running Time: 129 minutes

Chris: Listen to that music!  Can you dig it?  LOL.  Yes, I am there.  Denzel is awesome.
Jim: Looks like another meaty role for the mighty Denzel, I’m in!

Mudbound (Netflix) – Drama
Rated R for some disturbing violence, brief language and nudity
Tag Line: None
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke
Plot: Two men return home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi, where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war.
Running Time: 134 minutes

Jim: A worthwhile rental.
Chris: Heck of a trailer!  And with easy Netflix access, I can’t see me staying away from this one too long.

Almost Friends (Gravitas Ventures) – Comedy/Drama
Not Rated
Tag Line: Timing is everything.
Starring: Freddie Highmore, Odeya Rush, Christopher Meloni
Plot: Charlie is an unmotivated man in his mid 20s still living at home with his mother and stepfather who falls for a young woman who has a serious boyfriend.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Chris: I still see creepy young Norman Bates, but Highmore keeps taking some interesting roles between his Good Doctor tv show and films like this.  Rental.
Jim: Looks nicely done with a great premise, another worthwhile rental.

Mr. Roosevelt (Paladin) – Comedy
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Noel Wells, Nick Thune, Britt Lower
Plot: After a loved one falls ill, struggling comedian Emily Martin returns to her college town of Austin, Texas and must come to terms with her past while staying with her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend.
Running Time: 90 minutes

Jim: Speak softly and walk past the theater showing this.
Chris: I can’t beat that comment, Jim.  Yeah, this looks terrible.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for Roman J Israel, Esq!

 

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – November 15, 2017

Greetings comic book fans and welcome to a tardy episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out. Just in case you were wondering why there’s no commentary in this week’s list, well I just got back from a wedding in Vegas and Vegas is a crazy town.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Mighty Thor #701

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Jason Aaron
Art: James Harren

What it is: DEATH OF THE MIGHTY THOR Part 2 The Mangog comes to Asgard! But is one Thor enough to take down the Ultimate Judgment? Guest artist James Harren brings his talents to the Mighty Thor! It all leads to the most dramatic return in the Marvel Universe! Rated T+

 The Mainstream One: Doctor Strange #381

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Gabriel Hernandez Walta

What it is: LOKI: SORCERER SUPREME Part 1 Evil is everywhere and the world needs the Sorcerer Supreme more than ever. But is the world ready for LOKI: SORCERER SUPREME? He has the cloak, the spells – he’s even got Zelma Stanton as his assistant (and possibly more?) – but is this the chance he needed to become a hero, or is the god of lies dangerously close to unlimited power? And what happened to STEPHEN STRANGE?

The Indie One: Evolution #1

Publisher: Image
Words: James Asmus, Joseph Keatinge, Christopher Sebela, Joshua Williamson
Art: Joe Infurnari, Jordan Boyd

What it is: Human evolution has taken millions of years to get to this stage. But next week, we become something new. Around the world, humanity is undergoing rapid and unpredictable changes, and only three individuals seem to notice that their world is being reborn. But what can they do about it? Skybound unites writers JAMES ASMUS, JOSEPH KEATINGE, CHRISTOPHER SEBELA & JOSHUA WILLIAMSON and artists JOE INFURNARI & JORDAN BOYD to create a new global phenomenon in this oversized debut issue.

The #1 One: Batman Who Laughs #1

Publisher: DC
Words:  James Tynion IV
Art: Riley Rossmo

What it is: As the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL rock the DC Universe, the creatures of the Dark Multiverse stand ready to invade our world! How can the World’s Greatest Heroes stop a horde of deadly beings that appear to be powerful nightmare versions of familiar figures? Find out in these special tie-in issues! RATED T+

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Punisher #218

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Guiu Vilanova
Cover Art: Clayton Crain

What it is: FRANK CASTLE: WAR MACHINE Part 1 For years, Frank Castle has been fighting a one-man war against criminals who endanger the innocent, but when a certain one-eyed operative offers him the tools to take his fight global…how could he say no? Find out how Frank found his way into the WAR MACHINE Armor! PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Rated T+

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

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Trailer Snark (November 10, 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, Wayne from The Dope Sheet, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Murder on the Orient Express (Twentieth Century Fox) – Crime/Drama/Mystery
Rated PG-13 for violence and thematic elements
Tag Line: Everyone is a suspect.
Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe
Plot: A lavish train ride unfolds into a stylish & suspenseful mystery. From the novel by Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express tells of thirteen stranded strangers & one man’s race to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.
Running Time: 114 minutes

Chris: I have been a fan of Agatha Christie mysteries ever since my days of roaming my local libraries halls as a wee lad. To see a high production version of one of her most classic stories come to life is something I will be glued to my seat for!
Jim: my favorite actress of all time, Michelle Pfeiffer, in an Agatha Christie movie. It’s just too much for me to handle. Add to that a great cast directed by the amazing Kenneth Branagh. Except for Star Wars and maybe Thor, this is the must-see of the holiday season.
Rob F: A classic Christie tale retold on the big screen again. Looks good, but if you already know the story from the book or the 1974 version of the film… But, hey this version’s got Olaf! Do you want to build a snowman?

Daddy’s Home 2 (Paramount Pictures) – Comedy
Rated PG-13 for suggestive material and some language
Tag Line: More Daddies. More problems.
Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, John Lithgow, Mel Gibson
Plot: Brad and Dusty must deal with their intrusive fathers during the holidays.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Rob F: The first one was good and this looks to be more of the same. Just not a big screen option for me.
Chris: I just love the chemistry between Wahlberg and Ferrell. Add in some Mel Gibson and John Lithgow as the polar opposite dad’s, and it looks like we may have a sequel winner!
Jim: I haven’t seen the original (I’ll have to), but this looks like a blast.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbings, Missouri (Fox Searchlight) – Comedy/Crime/Drama
Rated R for violence, language throughout, and some sexual references
Tag Line: None
Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell
Plot: In this darkly comic drama, a mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder, when they fail to catch the culprit.
Running Time: 115 minutes

Jim: One of two movies this week with lousy titles and trailers that scream DON’T SEE THIS MOVIE!
Rob F: Could be ok, but I’m not feeling it after that trailer. Certainly not a big screen trip for me.
Chris: A trailer as poorly cut and convoluted as the film was named.

Amanda & Jack Go Glamping (Gravitas Ventures) – Comedy/Drama/Romance
Not Rated
Tag Line: Love the one yurt with.
Starring: Amy Acker, Adam Canto, David Arquette
Plot: With his marriage and career against the ropes, dejected author Jack Spencer travels with his wife, Amanda, to an isolated glamping retreat in search of a spark. When a surprise double booking finds their private retreat anything but private, Jack spins into a comedic exploration of love, lost dreams, small-town-wisdom, and friendship with a miniature donkey to get over himself before he loses all he holds dear.
Running Time: 94 minutes

Chris: This movie’s fate has been sealed by the David Arquette kiss of death.
Jim: This is the other one (see Three Billboards comment). Gimme a break.
Rob F: Nope. Nope. Nope.

Thumper (The Orchard) – Crime/Drama/Thriller
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Eliza Taylor, Pablo Schreiber, Lena Headey
Plot: Teens in a low income neighborhood are lured into working for a violent and dangerous drug dealer. When a new girl harboring a dark secret arrives in town, their relationship jeopardizes everything.
Running Time: 93 minutes

Rob F: Could be a possible rental down the line. It has Lena Headey after all.
Chris: With heroin addiction running rampant across the country, I guess you could say its timely. Too often these types of films tend to leave me cold and angry. I’ll pass.
Jim: Undoubtedly a problem in the world, and the movie probably needs to be seen by certain people. Just not me.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for Murder on the Orient Express (Chris and Jim) while Rob saves his money for repeat viewings of The Last Jedi in December.

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – November 8, 2017

November greetings comic book fans and welcome to another episode of the Crank File. Every Wednesday is new comic book day and on Tuesdays I like to spotlight some of the stuff I’ll be checking out.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Mister Miracle #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: It’s the trial of Mister Miracle! Orion and Lightray are convinced that Scott has become infected with Anti-Life and is working against them to bring down New Genesis. Scott must succumb to their interrogation and physical challenges to prove he’s not what they say he is…but how do you speak truth to people who don’t want to believe?

Why we love it: Not sure if this series is really good or just very weird. Though for me, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. I can’t stop reading this intoxicating mix of weird good.

The Mainstream One: Master of Kung Fu #126

Publisher: Marvel
Words: CM Punk
Art: Dalibor Talajic

What it is: Shang-Chi’s Day Off Part 1 (OF 1) The Marvel Universe is full of fighters: brawlers, scrappers, weapons experts, mystical kung fu virtuosi. But there’s only one martial artist skilled enough to be called the greatest. SHANG-CHI has been a pinch hitter for a long time, stepping in for Avengers missions when no one else would do, but when no one can match your speed or skill, sometimes it’s best to work alone. To see what you’ve been missing if you don’t know Shang-Chi, don’t miss MASTER OF KUNG FU!

Why we like it: Marvel continues to defy logic for its Legacy renumbering with Master of Kung Fu #126, which absolutely shouldn’t be the #126th issue of MoKF because Marvel counted 14 issues of Marvel Special Edition in which Shang Chi didn’t even appear in. And it’s is a one shot?? It’s like nursery school. I am still psyched for a new Shang Chi book. CM Punk might be more well known as a wrestler than a comic writer, but the man knows martial arts and I’m looking forward to seeing his fight sequences.

The Indie One: Port of Earth #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Zack Kaplan
Art: Andrea Mutti

What it is: Imagine if aliens came to Earth not in war or peace, but with a business deal: open up a spaceport here on Earth in exchange for advanced technology. But when our alien visitors break Port restrictions and wreak havoc in our cities, it falls to the newly formed Earth Security Agents to hunt down and safely deport the dangerous rogue aliens back to the Port of Earth. A gritty sci-fi action thriller from new comic book writer ZACK KAPLAN (ECLIPSE) and ANDREA MUTTI (Rebels, Star Wars, Batman Eternal, Prometheus).

Why we like it: Of all the alien invasion premises I’ve ever read, this one seems the most plausible. We would totally agree to sell out Earth for access to alien tech. Feels like this book is drawing parallels with current immigration issues, and I hope the rogue aliens aren’t all broad stroked as dangerous criminals.

The #1 One: Kong On Planet of Apes #1

Publisher: Boom! Studios
Words: Ryan Ferrier
Art: Carlos Magno

What it is: The damn dirty crossover event you demanded! Following the events of the first Planet of the Apes film (1968), Dr. Zaius and General Ursus lead a small group of soldiers to the Forbidden Zone to destroy any remaining evidence of Taylor’s time among them. To their surprise, they discover… A KONG! Now they must venture to Skull Island with Cornelius and Zira to discover the truth, but they may not survive the deadliest journey of their lives!

Why we like it: Monkey fight! A crossover so obvious that it’s shocking that it hasn’t been done before.

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Supergirl #15

Publisher: DC
Words: Steve Orlando
Art: Robson Rocha
Cover Art: Stanley Lau

What it is: ‘PLAIN SIGHT part one!’ This public service announcement is brought to you by the Department of Extranormal Operations! You saw how Supergirl hid a murderer underneath National City right before our eyes. What other dangerous secrets is she hiding? She is not human, and therefore, she cannot be trusted. D.E.O. agents will be stationed at every school to ensure their safety! Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.

Why we like it: Artgerm has had a nice run on Supergirl cover B’s with some solid art. This one is straight fire. So good that I’m grabbing multiple copies.

 

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

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Trailer Snark (November 3, 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, Wayne from The Dope Sheet, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Thor: Ragnarok (Disney) – Action/Adventure/Comedy
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief suggestive material
Tag Line: No hammer? No problem.
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo, Cate Blanchett
Plot: Imprisoned, the mighty Thor finds himself in a lethal gladiatorial contest against the Hulk, his former ally. Thor must fight for survival and race against time to prevent the all-powerful Hela from destroying his home and the Asgardian civilization.
Running Time: 130 minutes

Chris: OK, let’s face it. The trailer is brilliant, and there ain’t no way another movie this week is overtaking my desire to purchase this particular ticket. Thor is the strongest there is…..maybe?
Rob: Hel yeah! See what I did there? Hulk like raging fire. Box office like Marvel flicks.
Jim: Looking forward to seeing this of course, but a bit of concern. What made the first Thor movie so entertaining to me was pitting fantasy against the realities of earth. To me, many of the best fantasy movies come from a place with this fantasy/reality confrontation. From what I can see in the trailer, it’s all taking place on another world with very little that’s earthbound. I’m just afraid that I’ll be watching such an overload of fantasy and spectacle that I’ll become bored and bitchy. We’ll see.

A Bad Mom’s Christmas (STX Entertainment) – Action/Adventure/Comedy
Rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, and some drug use
Tag Line: Merry is relative.
Starring: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn
Plot: A Bad Moms Christmas follows our three under-appreciated and over-burdened women as they rebel against the challenges and expectations of the Super Bowl for moms: Christmas.
Running Time: 104 minutes

Jim: Thought the first was very funny. The “naughtiness” in the trailer seems predictable, but the premise and the actresses might make it a good rental.
Chris: Much like the malls, Hollywood wasted no time giving us our first Christmas film before the the body of Halloween went dead and cold. And I am just not feeling it.
Rob: This one will be popular with the ladies. But for most of us dudes, it’s a clear pass.

Last Flag Flying (Amazon Studios) – Comedy/Drama
Rated R for language throughout including some sexual references
Tag Line: Their last mission wasn’t on the battlefield.
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, Laurence Fishburne
Plot: Thirty years after they served together in Vietnam, a former Navy Corpsman Larry “Doc” Shepherd re-unites with his old buddies, former Marines Sal Nealon and Reverend Richard Mueller, to bury his son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War.
Running Time: 124 minutes

Rob: Looks like a solid story with talented actors, but not a big screen flick for this moviegoer. Will happily rent down the road.
Jim: Some talented actors in a Richard Linklater flick. He hasn’t made a bad movie yet that I’ve seen, but this trailer isn’t strong enough to pull me into a theater. Probably a worthwhile rental.
Chris: This one has me fully intrigued. Great cast, and a touching theme. If not for Thor, this would definitely pull me to the theaters.

Lady Bird (A24) – Comedy
Rated R for language, sexual content, brief graphic nudity and teen partying
Tag Line: Time to fly.
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Odeya Rush, Kathryn Newton
Plot: The adventures of a young woman living in Northern California for a year.
Running Time: 93 minutes

Chris: Not the target audience here, but the trailer seemed somewhat entertaining.
Rob: I originally read this as Larry Bird and was repulsed at the thought of watching the trailer. I was pleasantly surprised to see a quirky coming of age flick. Looks pretty good.

LBJ (Electric Entertainment) – Biography/Drama
Rated R for language
Tag Line: None
Starring Woody Harrelson, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Plot: The story of U.S. President Lyndon Baines Johnson from his young days in West Texas to the White House.
Running Time: 98 minutes

Jim: Some hokey makeup on Harrelson, but he’s always worth seeing. A great subject directed by the solid Rob Reiner. I’m in.
Chris: Curious to see how Hollywood treats this one, but not curious enough to watch it in the theaters.
Rob: A compelling look at a far better President than we have seen in some time. Harrelson looks to deliver an accomplished performance. Definite rental for me, but not a big screen flick.

My Friend Dahmer (FilmRise) – Biography/Drama/Horror
R for disturbing images, language, teen drug use, drinking and sexual content, and for brief nudity
Tag Line: None
Starring: Ross Lynch, Alex Wolff, Anne Heche
Plot: Before Jeffrey Dahmer became a notorious serial killer, he was a shy, alcoholic teen who never quite fit in. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel by Derf Backderf, this is the true, haunting story of Jeffrey Dahmer in high school.
Running Time: 107 minutes

Rob: A terrifying exploration of the mind of a killer. Perhaps we all should watch, to better understand the depths of mental illness and the small actions in our lives and the negative impact they can have on those who are struggling with mental illness. Lynch appears to deliver a haunting performance from the look of things.
Jim: The squeaky-clean Ross Lynch from the Disney Channel as Jeffrey Dahmer??!! You bet I’m seeing this.
Chris: That trailer just spooked me out big time. Probably more frightening than anything Hollywood put out in the run-up to Halloween. I am definitely going to be giving this one a chance.

The Light of the Moon (Imagination Worldwide) – Drama
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Stephanie Beatriz, Michael Stahl-David
Plot: After her world is irrevocably changed, a successful New York City architect struggles to regain intimacy and control in her life.
Running Time: 90 minutes

Chris: Zero interest in this one as the subject matter is too unnerving.
Rob: A harrowing look at the impact of rape. Not my idea of entertainment, but something that some in the world clearly needs to learn more about.
Jim: Not exactly a fun time at the movies, but the trailer was certainly effective, with a touching final scene.

Tickets Purchased:  Three for Thor: Ragnarok