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Trailer Snark (October 23, 2015 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, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Last Week: Jack Black as R.L. Stine takes the top of the box office this week as Goosebumps pulled in $23.5M in its opening week.  The Martian dropped one spot to number two taking in another $21.5M ($143.7M overall).  Bridge of Spies debuted at number three with $15.3M followed by the debuting Crimson Peak which took in $12.8M.  Fifth place belonged to Adam Sandler’s animated Hotel Transylvania 2 ($12.2M/$136.4M).  The rest of the top ten went as follows:  Pan ($5.8M/$25.7M), The Intern ($5.4M/$58.7M), Sicario ($4.5M/$34.6M), Woodlawn ($4.1M), and Scorch Trials ($2.7M/$75.4M).  Let’s take a look at this weekend’s lineup of new contenders…..

Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension (Paramount) – Horror
Rated R for language and some horror violence
Tag Line: Every secret will be revealed.Starring: Brit Shaw, Chris Murray
Plot: Using a special camera that can see spirits, a family must protect their daughter from an evil entity with a sinister plan.
Running Time: 88 minutes

Ken: I’m a sucker for found footage horror movies and have seen almost every Paranormal Activity movie made, despite the most terrifying part of the last few has been the decline in quality.  I’ll probably break down and watch it when it comes to streaming.
Jessica: These movies are always good for a laugh and/or maybe a chill up the spine. I’d catch this one at home. I’m sure it’s right in line with all the others of the series.
Chris: I caught the last few on DVD and there was a serious decline in entertainment, but I will say that this trailer seems to have raised the franchise game a bit.

Jem & the Holograms (Universal) – Drama
Rated PG for thematic material including reckless behavior, brief suggestive content and some language
Tag Line: Every generation needs a voice.
Starring: Aubrey Peeples, Molly Ringwald, Stefanie Scott
Plot: As a small-town girl catapults from underground video sensation to global superstar, she and her three sisters begin a journey of discovering that some talents are too special to keep hidden.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Chris: Not as outrageous as one might expect.
Ken: Oh god, I just threw up a little bit. This looks horrible.
Jessica: Don’t bother with his pile of trash. It’s Jem in NAME only and  a total waste of time for any movie goer. It disgusts my Jem loving heart! I’m going to have to watch a cartoon to wash the ugly taste of Hollywood’s money-making machine from my mouth after seeing this lousy trailer for what can only be a lousy movie. See, I used no foul language! That was hard.

The Last Witch Hunter (Summit Entertainment) – Action/Fantasy
Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images
Tag Line: Live forever. Hunt forever.
Starring: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood
Plot: The last witch hunter is all that stands between humanity and the combined forces of the most horrifying witches in history.
Running Time: 106 minutes
Jessica: I admit that at first I laughed at this one but I have a not so secret love for Vin D. and I would totally watch this at home and probably enjoy the holy heck out of it too. I mean, Frodo Baggins and Alfred Pennyworth are in it with Turetto!
Chris: Looks like the comfort food of movies to me!
Ken: CGI isn’t scary and I can’t understand a word of what Vin Diesel is saying. All that aside, I could watch anything with Rose Leslie in it.  

Rock the Kasbah (Open Road) – Comedy
Rated R for language including sexual references, some drug use and brief violence
Tag Line: Opportunity rocks when you least expect it.
Starring: Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, and Zooey Deschanel
Plot: A down-on-his-luck music manager discovers a teenage girl with an extraordinary voice while on a music tour in Afghanistan and takes her to Kabul to compete on the popular television show, Afghan Star.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Ken: Even Sharif would likes this one.
Jessica: I want to want to see this but it’s a pass for me.
Chris: I did not have any laugh out loud moments in this trailer.  Maybe they saved the good stuff?

Suffragette (Focus Features) – Drama/History
Rated PG-13 for some intense violence, thematic elements, brief strong language and partial nudity
Tag Line: Mothers. Daughters. Rebels.
Starring: Anne-Marie Duff, Carey Mulligan, Grace Stottor
Plot: The foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State.
Running Time: 106 minutes

Chris: We continue our civil right’s theme movie march this week tackling women’s suffrage.  Girls just want to have fun, you know!
Ken: Political radicalism and random acts of destruction. Girl power!
Jessica: This is my JAM! I am SO EXCITED for this one. I think it’ll be emotional and powerful. Can’t wait to check it out.

I Smile Back (Broad Green Pictures) – Drama
Rated R for strong sexual content, substance abuse/disturbing behavior, and language
Tag Line: Love desperately, live recklessly.
Starring: Sarah Silverman, Josh Charles
Plot: Laney Brooks does bad things. Married with kids, she takes the drugs she wants, sleeps with the men she wants, disappears when she wants. Now, with the destruction of her family looming, and temptation everywhere, Laney makes one last desperate attempt at redemption.
Running Time: 85 minutes

Jessica: Sigh, why do awesome comedians always have to make serious films? I enjoy Silverman and this looks good but … I have no idea what else to say about it. I might see it someday.
Chris: I loathe Sarah Silverman (as an entertainer)….there, I said it.  That being said, this is a very un-Sarah Silverman like movie.
Ken: Silverman takes her turn doing serious drama. She looks pretty convincing at playing crazy.

Burnt (The Weinstein Company) – Drama
Rated R for language throughout
Tag Line: Never underestimate a man with nothing to lose.Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller
Plot: Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a Chef who destroyed his career with drugs and diva behavior. He cleans up and returns to London, determined to redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars.
Running Time: 100 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiGJlUVQDGk
Ken: Reminds me of Anthony Bourdain’s absoluitely insane tales from his autobiographical book Kitchen Confidential. This trailer has whet my appetite.
Jessica: This one I will happily NEVER watch and I have love for Cooper but this looks all kinds of terrible and sugary sweet. Blech.
Chris: Bradley Cooper does Hell’s Kitchen…sort of.  Meh….

Tickets Purchased:  One for Burnt (Ken), One for Suffragette (Jessica), and One for The Last Witch Hunter (Chris)…..ah, back to happy disagreement folks!

Can Vin Diesel save the world from civil rights hungry women driven crazy by Chef Bradley Cooper?  Did that make any sense at all?
Can Vin Diesel save the world from civil right’s hungry women driven crazy by Chef Bradley Cooper? Did that make any sense at all?
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The Front Row View: Poltergeist

The Front Row View is a regular column by Great Stories contributor Jim Cannizzaro.  He is a veteran community theater leading man, seasoned blogger, movie enthusiast, and family man.

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“They’re here!” Tobe Hooper’s 1982 Poltergeist is a rollercoaster of a spook show that presents the Freeling family, a group of nice folks in a California suburb menaced by nasty, mischievous ghosts. Just about every childhood terror is brought out and delivered via top-grade special effects—evil clown dolls, terror of things under the bed, the gnarled, sinister-looking tree outside of our bedroom windows. They’re all here all along with warm and appealing performances from Craig T. Nelson and Jobeth Williams as the beleaguered parents of the clan. Zelda Rubinstein makes a big impression as the delightfully weird psychic Tangina. Hooper is the nominal director, but credited producer-writer Steven Spielberg has been rumored to have taken over considerably on the set. “This house is clean!” Yeah, sure it is.

-Jim

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The Front Row View: House of Wax (1953)

The Front Row View is a regular column by Great Stories contributor Jim Cannizzaro.  He is a veteran community theater leading man, seasoned blogger, movie enthusiast, and family man.

houseofwax

For good old fashioned-chills at Halloween, it’s hard to beat Andre DeToth’s 1953 House of Wax. Colorful cinematography, a creepy score, a fun plot and a wonderful supporting cast (including a pre-Morticia Addams Carolyn Jones and a young actor named Charles Buchinsky, who would later change his last name to Bronson) add up to a scary movie that the whole family can see (except for younger children). This was the movie that started the horror career of that wonderful ham Vincent Price. For years afterward, horror fans would remember fondly Price’s pleasantly bonkers performance as the sculptor Henry Jarrod whose wax figures might be…..bodies stolen from the local morgue! And who, or what, put them there in the first place?! (Cue horrified music). It was originally released in 3-D, but it’s more than effective in it’s flat version. “Won’t you be my Marie Antoinette?” Heh heh heh.

-Jim

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The Front Row View: Rosemary’s Baby

The Front Row View is a regular column by Great Stories contributor Jim Cannizzaro.  He is a veteran community theater leading man, seasoned blogger, movie enthusiast, and family man.

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Nearly 50 years after it’s premiere, Roman Polanski’s 1968 Rosemary’s Baby is still one of the most frightening movies ever made. Mia Farrow has a few things on her mind. Did her struggling actor husband John Cassavettes make a deal with Satan for Broadway success? Are her nosy Manhattan neighbors made up a coven of witches? Is she, in fact, siring Satan’s child? Just your everyday problems in the big city. A great cast — Ralph Bellamy, Maurice Evans, Sidney Blackmer, Ruth Gordon (winning an Oscar), a young Charles Grodin—and stylish, witty direction by Polanski (love those creepy dream sequences—or are they dreams?) make this a Horror Hall of Famer. Beware of neighbors bearing health drinks!

-Jim

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The Front Row View: American Graffiti

The Front Row View is a regular column by Great Stories contributor Jim Cannizzaro.  He is a veteran community theater leading man, seasoned blogger, movie enthusiast, and family man.

americangraffiti

The best end-of-summer movie IMHO is George Lucas’ 1973 American Graffiti. I first saw this on a reissue and thought it was the best movie that I had ever seen in my 13 years of existence. It’s great cast made up of many soon-to-be stars (Richard Dreyfuss, “Ronny” Howard, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips, Harrison Ford, Charles Martin Smith, Suzanne Sommers, Kathleen Quinlan), it’s neon jukebox look, arguably the best rock ‘n roll soundtrack of all time—pretty amazing stuff for someone who was a few years away from getting his driver’s license. 37 years after seeing it (yikes), it still remains a favorite!

-Jim

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The Front Row View: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

The Front Row View is a regular column by Great Stories contributor Jim Cannizzaro.  He is a veteran community theater leading man, seasoned blogger, movie enthusiast, and family man.

ferris

An addition to my list of Great Summer Movies is one that I’ve seen far too many times for my own good: John Hughes’ 1986 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Who but Matthew Broderick could have made a potentially smarmy and unlikable character into the funny charmer that he is here? Which of has never wanted to BE Ferris Bueller. To be able to get the better of all of the obstacles thrown in front of us in life through the use of our deft brains and quick wit (as well as the ability to hurtle ourselves through houses and backyards in order to get home before our parents). To be a modern day Huck Finn, joyriding into Chicago to luncheon at fancy restaurants and boogie and lip-synch to the Beatles while standing on a float in a humongous parade. Ah, youth. Show it to your kids when they’re teenagers (although be prepared to squirm at some of the language). They’ll either cringe at the dated ’80s fashions and pop culture references….or, like at least a few of us, think it’s one of the greatest movies ever made. Bueller….Bueller….Bueller…

-Jim

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The Front Row View: Woodstock

The Front Row View is a regular column by Great Stories contributor Jim Cannizzaro.  He is a veteran community theater leading man, seasoned blogger, movie enthusiast, and family man.

woodThroughout August 15-18 1969, the Love Generation bonded as they never had before at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, held at Max Yasgur’s 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, NY. I’m not sure about the amount of peace there, but there was definitely much love and dope. And even more than that—–there was a lot of great music. I was 4 at the time and couldn’t make it, but seeing Michael Wadleigh’s 1970 documentary of the festival Woodstock is the next best thing to being there. Superbly shot and edited (one of the editors was future movie legend Martin Scorsese), the movie unspools great performances by the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, the Who, Country Joe and the Fish, Joan Baez, Sha Na Na, Richie Havens, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby Stills and Nash and many more. Each of them is filmed in a style that captures the performers at their best (split-screen has never been used before or since to such amazing effect) and the music itself undoubtedly sounds even better than it did at the actual performance. In between the acts, there are shots of gatecrashers, the audience, the workers that maintained the festival (including an interview with the Port-O-Potty guy, God bless him!) as well as the horrendous traffic jam leading up to the festival (my wife’s uncle actually found himself stuck in it). Woodstock is one of the Great Movies of Summer. It’s a perfect snapshot of what it’s like to be young, in love, listening to great music and…well…doing all of this under the influence of questionable substances!

-Jim

Editor’s Note:  Great Stories does not endorse the use of aforementioned substances.  😉

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The Front Row View: Raiders of the Lost Ark

The Front Row View is a regular column by Great Stories contributor Jim Cannizzaro.  He is a veteran community theater leading man, seasoned blogger, movie enthusiast, and family man.

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By the beginning of 1981, Harrison Ford was known all over the world as the guy that played Han Solo in those Star Wars movies. Even though he was the most vivid (and well-played) character in the first two movies, he was really just a part of why the original movies worked as well as they did. His effectiveness as a performer blended in nicely with George Lucas’ mix of sci-fi mysticism and derring-do. However, in the summer of 1981, the movie world got to see what Harrison Ford could do as the center of Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. Lucas mined his affection for the cliffhanger serials of old in this glorious mix of adventure and comedy, aided by John Williams’ rousing music score(one of the best of all time), and hotfooted along by Michael Kahn’s editing and Douglas Slocombe’s clearer-than-life cinematography. To be 16 and sitting in a movie theater watching this for the first time was one of my movie-going highlights. Admittedly, it was yet another Lucas blockbuster that nudged aside character for the sake of action. But if taken as what it is, as an extremely well-made pastiche and a tribute to movies (and trying to forget the Hollywood hack jobs that tried to duplicate it’s success for years afterward), Raiders of the Lost Ark still stands as one of the most entertaining confections to roll off of the Tinseltown assembly line. I recently watched it with my wide-eyed and enthusiastic 12-year-old. We’re ready to see it again.

-Jim

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The Front Row View: Risky Business

The Front Row View is a regular column by Great Stories contributor Jim Cannizzaro.  He is a veteran community theater leading man, seasoned blogger, movie enthusiast, and family man.

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Years before Tom Cruise appeared in an endless series of action blockbusters, he scored his first major hit as the naïve high schooler Joel Goodson in Paul Brickman’s Risky Business. This clever and enjoyable teen fantasy ruled the box office during the summer of ’83. It’s full of memorable moments: Cruise in his now-iconic drunken boogie to “Old Time Rock ‘N Roll” (demerit to the movie for popularizing it again—I can definitely live the rest of my life without hearing it!): Rebecca DeMornay’s first appearance at Joel’s house with the aid of wind, heavy shadows and Tangerine Dream’s electronic mood music: the stylish, funny dream sequences: the late-night “date” on the train (scored to “In the Air Tonight”, thus helping to keep the ’80s Phil Collins Era alive): and Joel’s “U-boat commander” experience in Lake Michigan. The smart script by Brickman and the dreamy look of the film elevate it far above the usual teen movie dreck. Cruise is appealing as Joel, Demornay is seductive and mysterious as Lana and the wonderful Curtis Armstrong delivers some of Brickman’s killer lines. “I have a Trig exam tomorrow and I’m being chased by Guido the Killer Pimp.” Classic!

-Jim

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The Front Row View: National Lampoon’s Vacation

The Front Row View is a regular column by Great Stories contributor Jim Cannizzaro.  He is a veteran community theater leading man, seasoned blogger, movie enthusiast, and family man.

vacation

June is Bustin’ Out All Over (ok, so it’s only bustin’ out at 47 degrees at the moment). With June, it’s the start of SUMMAH! In honor of this, I’ll be posting my picks for the best summer movies ever made. Today, it’s Harold Ramis’ 1983 National Lampoon’s Vacation. Noted, we’re not exactly talking classical moviemaking here. It has it’s lame moments: the tired subplot with Christie Brinkley, the reshot ending only redeemed by the great John Candy at his most endearing. But Chevy Chase, in his spotty movie career, found one of his best roles as Clark Griswold. He looks more relaxed than usual and doesn’t seem to be trying so hard to be funny here. He puts over enough of the material, much of it quite dark, so that you’re left with a goofy grin on your face. Vacation will never win any awards, but it’s certainly good enough to get you in the mood for summer fun. “This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy!”

-Jim