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Trailer Snark (December 8, 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!

 

The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight) – Adventure/Fantasy/Drama
Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, violence and language
Tag Line: A Fairy Tale for Troubled Times
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon
Plot: An other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.

Chris: Del Toro films are always on point but I am not taken with this trailer.  I am sure it won’t disappoint, however.
Jim: At the very least, this is just amazing to look at. Couple this with the strong cast and this could be another Pan’s Labyrinth for del Toro.

Just Getting Started (Broad Green Pictures) – Action/Comedy
Rated PG-13 for language, suggestive material and brief violence
Tag Line: None
Starring: Glenne Headly, Morgan Freeman, Rene Russo, Tommy Lee Jones
Plot: A two-hander action comedy in the vein of Midnight Run (1988), about an ex-F.B.I. Agent (Tommy Lee Jones) and an ex-mob lawyer in the Witness Protection Program (Morgan Freeman) having to put aside their petty rivalry on the golf course to fend off a mob hit.

Jim: I was going to say possible rental until I realized it was a Ron Shelton movie. The subject matter still isn’t enough to get me into a theater, but the cast and writer-director upgrade it to definite rental.
Chris: The trailer is mildly entertaining, but not enough to drop the wallet for a theater viewing.  Morgan Freeman and Tommy Lee Jones are a solid one-two punch for any movie.

I, Tonya (30West) – Biography/Drama/Sports
Rated R for pervasive language, violence, and some sexual content/nudity
Tag Line: None
Starring: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney
Plot: Competitive ice skater Tonya Harding rises amongst the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, but her future in the activity is thrown into doubt when her ex-husband intervenes.

Chris: I remember when competitive ice skating turned into a Jerry Springer-like joke of a fiasco.  And I was ready to cry “Why? Why?” at making a movie about it all, but then I saw the trailer, and now I can’t help but be intrigued by the spectacle.  Nice job trailer editing people!
Jim: Margot Robbie is always worth watching (heck, even in still photographs), Allison Janney is amazing, and the unbelievable story held the world captive back in ’94. Definite Rental 2

November Criminals (Sony Pictures) – Crime/Drama/Mystery
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content including teen sexuality, drug material, brief violence and strong language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Ansel Elgort, Catherine Keener
Plot: A teenager takes on his own investigation of a murder in Washington D.C.

Jim: A nicely done trailer certainly stirs my interest, but not as a visit to a movie theater.
Chris: Alright, you got my attention!  If the movie is as good as the trailer portends, we may have a nice little film on our hands here.

Tickets Purchased:  2 for The Shape of Water

 

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – December 13, 2017

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 #5

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Mitch Gerads

What it is: How do you spend your last night on Earth? Why, with the one you love, of course! Having been condemned to death by the new Highmaster, Mister Miracle is going to have to return to New Genesis for his execution. Before he does, he and Big Barda go on one last date. But if Scott Free truly is infected by Darkseid, as Orion says, you can bet some dark force will intervene-only to what end? MATURE READERS

Why we love it: Still pretty fuzzy about what the heck is going on in this book but I love it. King and Garad’s Miracle Man is dark, disturbing and fearless, and must not be missed.

  The Mainstream One: Batman White Knight #3 (of 7)

Publisher: DC
Words and Art: Sean Murphy

What it is: Tragedy strikes, and the Bat-family face the fight of their lives against an army of super-villains and waning public support. A new discovery reinforces Jack’s plot to jeopardize the Dark Knight’s standing in Gotham City, and Harley’s obsession with The Joker reaches a new height-and threatens to change the game for good! RATED T+

Why we like it: The rumors of Harley appearing as Neo-Joker has provided lot of heat on this book, especially this Sean Murphy cover. Regardless, this series has been great so far and is worth a pickup just for the read.

The Indie One: Extremity #9

Publisher: Image
Words and Art: Daniel Warren Johnson

What it is: As Thea and Rollo risk life and limb to revive a fallen friend, Annora proves that the beasts below aren’t the only monsters prowling the Ancient Dark.

Why we like it: Extremity is one of my favorite Image books being published right now. I originally picked this title up for the artwork but have stuck around for the surprisingly deep and nuanced, anti-war narrative.

  

The #1 One: Paradiso #1

Publisher: Image
Words: Ram V
Art: Dev Pramanik

What it is: The Midnight Event forever changed the world. Now, centuries later, Jack Kryznan arrives on the outskirts of Paradiso City, haunted by fragments of childhood memories and in possession of a mysterious device-one with the power to change the destiny of this living breathing metropolis, the people who dwell within, and the guardians who strive for and against it.

Why we like it: Pretty cool premise but I’m always up for a dystopian sci-fi story.  If you’re on the fence, you can check out a preview of issue #1 here https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/09/exclusive-image-comics-preview-paradiso-is-the-pos.html

  

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Amazing Spider-Man #792

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Dan Slott
Art: Ryan Stegman
Cover Art: Alex Ross

What it is: VENOM INC. Part 2 Spider-Man finds himself between Eddie and a mysterious new figure! And Black Cat and her gang find themselves face-to-face with an amped-up villain named Maniac that might just rip those faces right off. Rated T

Why we like it: I think that these ASM Alex Ross covers aren’t getting enough love. I think maybe the Dan Slott hate has gone too far because a lot of these are getting overlooked by collectors. Case and point, this cover one featuring Spidey, Venom and Anti-venom is an absolute beauty that is going right into my personal collection.

 

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

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Trailer Snark (December 1, 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!

The Disaster Artist (New Line Cinema) – Biography/Drama/Comedy
Rated R for language throughout and some sexuality/nudity
Tag Line: None
Starring: Dave Franco, James Franco, Seth Rogen
Plot: When Greg Sestero, an aspiring film actor, meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau in an acting class, they form a unique friendship and travel to Hollywood to make their dreams come true.
Running Time: 103 minutes

Chris: I know there is a lot of James Franco hate.  Now you get twice the Franco!  I don’t hate Franco.
Jim: I’m writing this while still trying to get over the trailer for Another Wolfcop. Oh yeah, uh, The Disaster Artist…looks like a nice Portrait of A Jerk, but have to admit it looks interesting. One of Franco’s stronger performances, most likely.

Wonder Wheel (Amazon Studios) – Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic content including some sexuality, language and smoking
Tag Line: None
Starring: Jim Belushi, Juno Temple, Justin Timberlake
Plot: On Coney Island in the 1950s, a lifeguard tells the story of a middle-aged carousel operator and his beleaguered wife.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Jim: I think Woody Allen is an amazing artist (sure I’m getting a few titters at this) and I always look forward to seeing his work. Have you seen the trailer for Another Wolfcop?
Chris: What if Woody Allen directed Another Wolfcop instead?

The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight) – Adventure/Fantasy/Drama
Rated R for sexual content, graphic nudity, violence and language
Tag Line: A Fairy Tale for Troubled Times
Starring: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon
Plot: An other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.

Chris: Del Toro films are always on point but I am not taken with this trailer.  I am sure it won’t disappoint, however.
Jim: At the very least, this is just amazing to look at. Couple this with the strong cast and this could be another Pan’s Labyrinth for del Toro. Bet it’s no Another Wolfcop, though.

The Tribes of Palos Verdes (Relativity Media) – Drama
Rated R for drug use, language throughout and some sexual content
Tag Line: None
Starring: Maika Monroe, Jennifer Garner
Plot: When the situation at her idyllic Palos Verdes home turns volatile, young Medina attempts to surf her way to happiness.

Jim: It’s got the appealing Jennifer Garner, but I’ll pass on this drama rife with strife.
Chris:  This one is getting passed on quicker than a taco.

Love Beats Rhymes (Lionsgate) – Drama/Musical
Rated R for language and some sexual material
Tag Line: None
Starring: Common, Hana Mae Lee, Method Man
Plot: When struggling rapper Coco (Azealia Banks) enrolls in a poetry class, she thinks her rhymes will impress her teacher, Professor Dixon (Jill Scott). Instead, Dixon challenges Coco to seek real meaning in her lyrics, setting her on a journey of discovery that takes her through rap clubs and poetry slams, leading her to find her true voice – and true love – in this uplifting movie costarring Lucien Laviscount and Common.

Chris:  Blah Blah Blah
Jim: the message is loud and the message is good, but my dislike for rap’ll keep me outta the ‘hood. Rapping Wolfcops, though, that’d be different.

Gangster Land (Cinedigm) – Crime/Drama
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Sean Faris, Milo Gibson
Plot: The story of America’s most famous mobsters and their rise to power, GANGSTER LAND examines Al Capone’s ascension through the eyes of his second in command, “Machine Gun” Jack McGurn. Once an amateur boxer, McGurn is lured into the Italian mafia after the murder of his stepfather. Upon joining, he rises swiftly through the ranks along with friend and eventual boss, Capone. As the Italian mob becomes the most lucrative criminal organization in the country, tensions build with “Bugs” Moran and the Irish mob which ignites a brutal gang war culminating with the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.
Running Time: 97 minutes

Jim: Looks like a good, solid old-style gangster pic, nice rental.
Chris: I’m with Jim on this one.  Good one for the living room couch potato.

Another Wolfcop (Vortex) – Comedy/Horror
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Leo Fafard, Jonathan Cherry
Plot: Alcoholic werewolf cop Lou Garou springs into action when an eccentric businessman with evil intentions seduces Woodhaven’s residents with a new brewery and hockey team in this outrageous horror-comedy sequel.
Running Time: 82 minutes

Chris:  Doesn’t it just smack of old drive in movie goodness?  A movie you can’t take seriously and I love that.
Jim: OK. This trailer was just pure genius. Simply put, it’s just a perfect expression of why I go to the movies. If I were in college, I’d write a term paper on it.

Slumber (Vertical Entertainment) – Horror
Rated R for some disturbing material, and language
Tag Line: Welcome to the original nightmare
Starring: Honor Kneafsey, Maggie Q
Plot: A sleep doctor tries to protect a family from a demon that feeds on people in their nightmares.
Running Time: 84 minutes

Jim: Another boring horror trailer that would have looked dull 20 years ago. And for cryin’out loud, it takes place at night, so why no Wolfcops?
Chris: Could be the cure for no sleep.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for Another WolfCop!

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – November 29, 2017

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. It’s the dreaded fifth Wednesday of the month, when the big two phone it in with annuals and minis. You know the drill by now, it’s going to be a slow week for new books. But I’ll take a slow Wednesday over no Wednesday any time. Besides, there’s still good stuff to be read if you know where to look. I’m here to help.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

The Top of the Pile: Batman Annual #2

Publisher: DC
Words: Tom King
Art: Lee Weeks

What it is: Travel back in time with us to see the early days of the Bat and the Cat. What was Bruce and Selina’s first date? How did this rivalry blossom into romance, and then go right back to being a rivalry again? Tom King re-teams with his BATMAN/ELMER FUDD collaborator Lee Weeks to show us a little young love with capes and cowls. And a little crime fighting, too.

Why we love it: If you’re a regular here then you might already know that I absolutely adored Tom King and Lee Week’s Batman/Elmer Fudd book. It was hands down the best of the DC/Loony Tunes crossovers, which isn’t saying much in itself but I was raving about it to anyone who would listen. Well, the band’s back together this week with a $5 oversized annual, which isn’t the typical book that makes the list, let alone the top of it, but there is a LOT of buzz about this issue. Don’t expect the first appearance of a hot new character, or a book that skyrockets in value overnight, but be ready for one of the best, single-issue stories of the year. Do NOT sleep on this one.

 

The Mainstream One: Old Man Logan #31

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Mike Deodato

What it is: THE SCARLET SAMURAI Part 1 Old Man Logan – the man who was Wolverine – is up against a foe like no other…the Hand! Logan’s past comes back to haunt him when a former love drags him into battle with the Hand, who have bolstered their forces like never before. Just when things couldn’t get any worse, Logan encounters the mysterious Scarlet Samurai! Will Logan be able to discover who she is and take down the Hand? Parental Advisory

Why we love it: Some of my favorite Wolverine stories take place in the Far East. There’s something about Logan’s sense of honor and penchant for blade violence that fits perfectly into the samurai/ninja genre. If you’ve never read an Ed Brisson comic, the best word I could use to describe them is “brutal”, which makes him the perfect writer for OML.

The Indie One: Spawn #280

Publisher: Image
Words: Darragh Savage
Art: Jason Shawn Alexander

What it is: Death. Destruction. And deception. Spawn piles as much pain as he can in his attempt to protect a young girl who very shortly will be a NEW SUPERHERO much stronger than Spawn himself.

Why we like it: I don’t keep up much with Spawn these days, but I always jump back in anytime there’s a new character. There are rumors that the new superhero is Cyan, and that’s reason enough for me to give this a flip through. Oh Spawn, I wish I knew how to quit you.

 

The #1 One: Mystik U #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Alisa Kwitney
Art: Mike Norton

What it is: Leave the world of the mundane behind and step through the magical doors of Mystik U! After a tragic accident, a young Zatanna Zatara, under the guidance of Rose Psychic, enrolls in a mysterious university that teaches its students how to master their unique brands of magic. Will Zatanna fit in with her new classmates (Enchantress, Sargon the Sorcerer, Faust and more!) and unlock her true potential? Find out in this exciting bimonthly miniseries from novelist Alisa Kwitney (DESTINY) and Mike Norton (Revival, Runaways)!

Why we like it: Zatanna is my girl and I believe it’s only a matter of time before she gets the live-action treatment. A Harry Potter-esque tale set in the DC universe sounds a little derivative but I could see this being a fun mini. Big fan of the Julian Tedesco cover.

 

The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Vampirella #8

Publisher: Dynamite
Words: Jeremy Whitley
Art: Andy Belanger
Cover Art: Jorge Fornes

What it is: The perfect jumping on point for anyone who has been curious to try Vampirella! Join brand new creative team Jeremy Whitley (The Unstoppable Wasp, Avengers, Princeless) and Andy Belanger (Southern Cross, Swamp Thing, Black Church) as Vampi and Vicki emerge into a ruined wasteland that hates Vampirella for the unintended consequences of saving them. This Vampirella story has everything: a new adventure, new romance, and the return of a very old evil.

Why we like it: Jorge Fornes apes Jock on this stunning Vampirella cover. Not sure if this counts as a swipe, but I’m getting a strong Detective Comics 880 vibe here. Either way, totally baddass.

 

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

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Trailer Snark (November 22, 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!

Coco (Disney) – Animation/Adventure/Comedy
Rated PG for thematic elements
Tag Line: None
Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal
Plot: Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to work out the mystery.
Running Time: 109 minutes

Chris: Disney does what they do best. This time with latin flare. I’ll catch it when it comes to my Blu Ray shelf.
Jim: Not the strongest Pixar trailer I’ve ever seen, but Inside Out had a weak one and the movie was awesome. Most likely see this in between helpings of hopefully not too much unhealthy holiday food.

Darkest Hour (Focus Features) – Biography/Drama/History
Rated PG-13 for some thematic material
Tag Line: Never give up. Never give in.
Starring: Gary Oldman, Lily James
Plot: During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds.
Running Time: 125 minutes

Jim: A great trailer for what looks like might be a rousing and fitting portrayal of the man. Some amazing makeup on that human chameleon Gary Oldman.
Chris: Churchill was the right leader for Britain at the right time. I haven’t seen any other films that really center on this historical figure, and I am intrigued to see how he is portrayed.

The Man Who Invented Christmas (Bleecker Street Media) – Biography/Comedy/Drama
Rated PG for thematic elements and some mild language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer
Plot: The journey that led to Charles Dickens’ creation of “A Christmas Carol,” a timeless tale that would redefine the holiday.
Running Time: 104 minutes

Chris: Dickens develops relationships with the characters he is best remembered for in the furious run-up to the publishing of the renowned A Christmas Carol. Looks like a pretty cool take on the history and a Christmas movie I could really get into.
Jim: Finishing a great year for Dan Stevens and featuring the very prolific Christopher Plummer. I can never tire of this story and just finished some historical fiction on the making of it (Mr Dickens and His Carol). A must-see.

Chappaquiddick (Entertainment Studios) – Biography/Crime/Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic material, disturbing images, some strong language, and historical smoking
Tag Line: None
Starring: Jason Clarke, Clancy Brown, Kata Mara, Ed Helms
Plot: Ted Kennedy’s life and political career become derailed in the aftermath of a fatal car accident in 1969 that claims the life of a young campaign strategist, Mary Jo Kopechne.
Running time: 107 minutes

*There is no trailer available for this film, which is the first time in Trailer Snark history that you cannot find an active trailer on the internet for a film that is being released in the same week.  Hard to believe that someone has not cut a trailer for a film that has already screened at the Toronto Film Festival and features some major actors.  So it is not so much a stretch to believe that some powerful politicos are trying to squash promotion of the film.  It is too bad we can’t get an advanced peak, but if it turns out to be a good film, we certainly hope that people go see it.*

Tickets Purchased:  Two for The Man Who Invented Christmas

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The Crank File: What I’m Reading This Week – November 22, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving comic book fans and welcome to a turktacular episode of the Crank File. Thursday is turkey day but 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: Doomsday Clock #1

Publisher: DC
Words: Geoff Johns
Art: Gary Frank

What it is: DC Comics presents to you a 12-issue maxiseries from the critically acclaimed team of writer Geoff Johns, artist Gary Frank and colorist Brad Anderson. You are not prepared for what lies ahead within these pages, good readers.

Why we love it: It’s DC Rebirth, it’s Watchmen and it’s being orchestrated by one of the most talented comic book writers of our generation. DC’s been pumping up Doomsday clock all year, so I expect this event to be hy-uge. Hyuge.

  The Mainstream One: Thanos #13

Publisher: Marvel
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Geoff Shaw

What it is: THANOS WINS Part 1 Ask the most powerful beings in the Marvel Universe how they fear the universe will end, and in their most honest moment, they will answer with two words… THANOS WINS. Now… see what happens when he does. PLUS: Includes 3 bonus MARVEL PRIMER PAGES! Parental Advisory

Why we like it: Like Lemire before him, I really hope Marvel gives Donny Cates free reign on this title to do something special. Mr. Cates is already shaking up the status quo over on Doctor Strange, handing over the title of Sorcerer Supreme to Loki of all people and resigning Dr. Stephen Strange to a veterinary clinic. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what surprises he has in store for The Mad Titan.

The Indie One: Redneck #7

Publisher: Image
Words: Donny Cates
Art: Lissandro Estherren

What it is: ‘THE EYES UPON YOU’ kicks off with the Bowmans lying low from the law with a new member of the family in tow. But there are rules to being a vampire…and when the rules are broken, the family will surely suffer…

Why we like it: Donny Cates makes his second appearance on the list with Redneck #7. I love the dialogue in this book and even the scratchy artwork has grown on me. The trade paper back for volume 1 came out a few weeks ago, a great way for to get caught up in this Southern Fried vampire story.

  The #1 One: Void Trip #1 (of 5)

Publisher:  Image
Words: Ryan O’Sullivan
Art: Plaid Klaus

What it is: From writer RYAN O’SULLIVAN (Turncoat, The Evil Within, Warhammer 40,000) and illustrator PLAID KLAUS (Turncoat), comes the story of Ana and Gabe, the last two humans left alive in the galaxy. They’re low on fuel, they’re low on food, and they’re low on psychedelic space froot, but they’re still determined to make it to the promised land: hippy-paradise, super-planet Euphoria. This is the story of their journey, the friends and enemies they made along the way, and how the universe responded to those who dared to live freely within it.

Why we like it: Sounds like the creators are channeling a hippie pilgrimage to Haight-Ashbury. I really enjoyed Plaid Klaus’ web series Psychonauts, a comedic web-strip that revolved around the mis-adventures of a couple of stoners. I hope that he brings the same level of humor and psychedelic art to Void Trip.

  The One I’m Buying for the Cover: Luke Cage #167

Publisher: Marvel
Words: David Walker
Art: Guillermo Sanna
Cover Art: Rahzzah

What it is: CAGED Part 2. Luke Cage is back in the one place he never wanted to be. With his mind mangled, Luke grasps for any foothold he can find. Which is hard, as… This is no ordinary prison… Rated T+

Why we like it: Simple, stark and effective. This reminds me of David Aja’s cover run on Scarlett Witch. If you’re into retailer exclusives, I’m also picking up a copy of Metal #5 from Bulletproof comix, with an amazing Dell Otto cover of the Batman Who Laughs. You need to check that one out here: http://www.bulletproofcomix.com/

 

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

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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.