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Trailer Snark (December 11, 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: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part Two bested the competition again this week taking in $18.6M (added to its domestic haul of $227M).  Krampus was the highest and only debut in the top ten coming in at number two with $16M holiday horror dollars.  Creed and The good Dinosaur came in at three and four at a virtual $15.5M tie (Creed has achieved $65M domestically, while The Good Dinosaur has gone to $75.9M overall).  The fifth spot belonged to that British superhero James Bond as Spectre took in $5.4M ($184M overall).  The rest of the top ten went as follows:  The Night Before ($4.9M/$31.9M), The Peanuts Movie ($3.5M/$121.4M), Spotlight ($2.9M/$16.6M), Brooklyn ($2.4M/$11.2M), and The Secret in Their Eyes ($1.9M/$17.2M).   What does this weekend have in store for us?

In the Heart of the Sea (Warner Bros) – Adventure/Biography
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and peril, brief startling violence, and thematic material
Tag Line: Experience the true encounter that inspired the myth Moby Dick.
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson
Plot: Based on the 1820 event, a whaling ship is preyed upon by a giant whale, stranding its crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home.
Running Time: 121 minutes

Chris:  Man vs Whale.  What does the tale of the tape say?  I never read the classic, I am ashamed to admit, but the trailer makes me want to order up some seafood!
Jessica: Looks good though I’ll admit I HATED “Moby Dick” when I had to read it in High School. Hopefully the movie is better – it certainly looks mighty exciting.
Jim: Looks epic and exciting, Ron Howard seldom disappoints.
Ken: I was really hoping this was going to be terrible so that I could make the “thar’ she blows” joke again, but that actually did look pretty good. Ron Howard may be on to something here, trading the book’s dense symbolism for CGI sea monsters.

American Hero (Screen Media) – Action/Comedy/Sci-Fi
Not Rated
Tag Line: From zero to superhero
Starring:  Stephen Dorff, Eddie Griffin
Plot: Melvin, a reluctant Superhero, lives only for crime, women and drugs – until he realizes that the only way he will ever get to see his estranged son is to go straight and fulfill his potential as a crime fighter.
Running Time: 116 minutes

Ken: (Agree with Jim below) I feel like we’ve seen this flick before (don’t forget Hancock). It’s essentially an alternate reality where Magneto is white trash and Prof X is black.
Chris: It’s the Greatest American Hero, the even bigger LOSER edition.
Jessica: Ugh. I really dislike Dorff, I find him tedious at best and this movie looks to highlight everything I find annoying about him.
Jim: This sort of thing has been done before (Hero, Chronicle), but it’s a good premise—looks like it could be fun!

The Big Short (Paramount) – Biography/Drama
Rated R for pervasive language and some sexuality/nudity
Tag Line:  This is a true story.
Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Marisa Tomei
Plot: Four outsiders in the world of high-finance who predicted the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s decide to take on the big banks for their lack of foresight and greed.
Running Time: 130 minutes

Jim: A great cast, looks interesting. Not a theater pic, but definitely a rental.
Ken: Very solid trailer, stellar cast and Zeppelin on the soundtrack doesn’t hurt none either.
Chris: The most significant economic event of the last decade on screen with an all-star cast.  Count me in.
Jessica: A lot of good people here. I enjoyed Moneyball and The Blind Side and the story is a compelling one.  Not a theater flick for me but at home viewing for sure.

The Lady in the Van (Sony Picture Classics) – Biography/Comedy/Drama
Rated PG – 13 for a brief unsettling image
Tag Line:  A mostly true story.
Starring: Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Domenic Cooper
Plot: A man forms an unexpected bond with a transient woman living in her car that’s parked in his driveway.
Running Time: 104 minutes

Jessica: Dame Maggie looks fantastic in this one. I’d watch it at home.
Jim: Looks “cute” enough I suppose, but…..naaaaaaaaah.
Ken: I’m gonna need subtitles here. Yup, nope I’m lost. Can’t understand a word of what’s being said, but it looks charming.
Chris:  “I am not the carer.  I am here, she is over there.  There is no caring.”  Yep.  That about sums it up for me.

The Dark Horse (Broad Green Pictures) – Drama
Rated R for language throughout, and drug use
Tag Line:  Bravery is contagious.
Starring: Cliff Curtis, James Rolleston
Plot: An emotionally charged and inspiring drama about a man who searches for the courage to lead, despite his own adversities – finding purpose and hope in passing on his gift to the children in his community.
Running Time: 124 minutes

Chris:  Not my idea of entertainment.
Jessica: What is it with the chess movies lately? I feel like there have been a couple before this. Anyway, looks interesting but not interesting enough for me to actively see it in a theater or at home honestly.
Jim: I wouldn’t have thought Searching For Bobby Fischer would be worth my time, but it turned out to be a great movie. This looks interesting, but not enough for me to run to see another chess movie.
Ken: An unstable yet brilliant individual tries to help the youth in his community by teaching them love for a game.  Classic.

Don Verdean (Buffalo Film Company) – Comedy
Rated PG-13 for crude and suggestive content, some language and brief violence
Tag Line: Fraud works in mysterious ways.
Starring:  Sam Rockwell, Leslie Bibb, Danny McBride
Plot: A self-professed biblical archaeologist who has fallen on hard times starts to bend the truth in order to continue inspiring the faithful.
Running Time: 90 minutes

Ken: Pretty sure this trailer is one of the signs of the Apocalypse.
Chris:  From the looks of the trailer, this is going to be a cult classic or a very large bag of refuse.
Jessica: Oh this looks ridiculous in the best possible way. Rockwell is a personal favorite and Clements has always tickled my funny bone ever since “Flight Of The Concourds” so I would totally go see this.
Jim: Ok, it was time to retire people getting hit in the midsection for laughs about 30 years ago. A good cast, but the trailer tries too hard to be “wacky.” Pass.

Tickets Purchased:  One for Don Verdean (Jessica), one for Dark Horse (Ken), one for American Hero (Jim), and one for In the Heart of the Sea (Chris)…a four-way tie!

Superhero Don Verdean escapes the stomach of Moby Dick to retrieve Jonah's fabled chess set.....or something.
Superhero Don Verdean escapes the stomach of Moby Dick to retrieve Jonah’s fabled chess set…..or something.
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Trailer Snark (December 4, 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: Who can beat the Hunger Games?  Apparently no one.  Mockingjay took the top of the box office again this week with $51.6M to add to their $198M domestic haul.  This week’s highest debut was driven by the kiddie factor as The Good Dinosaur came in second with $39M ($55M overall since it came on a few days earlier in the week).  Creed also fared well with a third place showing and hopeful that strong word of mouth could keep it from slipping too much next week.  It took in just a hair over $30M during the weekend and now has $42.6M overall.  The rest of the list played out like this:  Spectre ($12.8/$176M), The Peanuts Movie ($9.7M/$116.7M), The Night Before ($8.2M/$24.1M), The Secret in Their Eyes ($4.5M/$14M), Spotlight ($4.4M/$12.3M), Brooklyn ($3.8M/$7.2M), and The Martian ($3.3M/$218.6M).  Let’s check out this week’s new contenders……..

Krampus (Universal) – Comedy/Horror
Rated PG-13 for sequences of horror violence/terror, language and some drug material
Tag Line: ….Is Coming to Town.
Starring: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner
Plot: A boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a Christmas demon to his family home.
Running Time: 98 minutes

Chris: Warm cups of cheer, or was that blood?  Either way, pour me two!
Ken: Ho ho, horror! I love the scary Christmas genre, but I’ll wait to watch it when it hits the small screen.
Jessica: Totally excited about this one. I love me a good horror film and this one look stop be this PLUS a Christmas movie, it’s a win-win!
Jim: A few clichés, but a great premise and cast! Definitely worth a look.

Chi-Raq (Lionsgate) – Drama
Rated R for strong sexual content including dialogue, nudity, language, some violence and drug use
Tag Line: This is an emergency!
Starring: Samuel Jackson, Wesley Snipes, Nick Cannon, John Cusack, Angela Bassett
Plot: A modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play Lysistrata by Aristophanes, set against the backdrop of gang violence in Chicago.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Jim: Spike Lee, John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson?! Yes!!
Chris: Socially conscious.  A bit off-beat in its approach it seems.  I am interested, but will hold off for the small screen.
Ken: Dave Chappelle sighting at 1:22. Still not enough to get me to watch this.

Macbeth (The Weinstein Company) – Drama/War
Rated R for strong violence and brief sexuality
Tag Line: All hail!
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard
Plot: Macbeth, a Thane of Scotland, receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders his king and takes the throne for himself.
Running Time: 113 minutes

Ken: This looks like a proper adaptation of one of the Bard’s darkest and most relevant tragedies. It is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.
Jim: I’m usually up for a good Shakespeare adaptation, but this looks like a case of been there, done that. Pass (even though, yes, Fassbender rules!).
Chris: I was preparing to yawn my way through the trailer, but those were some riveting and beautiful shots.  Fassbender rules too.
Jessica: I love Macbeth and this looks well done and intriguing but def a home viewer for me.

Youth (Fox Searchlight) – Drama
Rated R for graphic nudity, some sexuality, and language
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Michael Caine, Rachel Weisz, Harvey Keitel
Plot: A retired orchestra conductor is on holiday with his daughter and his film director best friend in the Alps when he receives an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to perform for Prince Philip’s birthday.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Chris: Stop the presses…this is looking like a fantastic movie release week.  And from the looks of Youth, it could be Michael Caine’s best role in many years.
Ken: Pretty misleading title. Looks powerful and insightful though.  

Christmas Eve (Unstuck) – Comedy
Rated PG for some peril, thematic elements and language
Tag Line:  They’ll be home for Christmas…if only in their dreams.
Starring:  Patrick Stewart, Jon Heder
Plot: Hilarity, romance, and transcendence prevail after a power outage traps six different groups of New Yorkers inside elevators on Christmas Eve.
Running Time: 95 minutes

Ken: Ho, ho, no. Just no.
Chris: It may be entertaining on some level, but it screams TV movie to me.

A Royal Night Out (Atlas) – Drama/Romance
Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and brief drug elements
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Sarah Gadon, Bel Powley, Rupert Everett
Plot: On V.E. Day in 1945, as peace extends across Europe, Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret are allowed out to join the celebrations. It is a night full of excitement, danger and the first flutters of romance.
Running Time: 97 minutes

Chris: Not a night out for me.  Pass.
Ken: Looks like a royal something, all right.

Tickets Purchased: Three for Krampus (Jessica, Chris, and Jim) and one for Macbeth (Ken)

The Krampus prefers Hamlet to Macbeth!
The Krampus prefers Hamlet to Macbeth!
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Trailer Snark (November 20, 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: Spectre ruled the box office for a second straight week doing $35.4M in receipts for a total of $130.7M domestically.  Similarly, The Peanuts Movie also held on to its number two position with $24.2M over the weekend and $82.4M overall.  The highest debut came from Love the Coopers in third place with $8.4M.  Matt Damon’s The Martian was in fourth ($6.7M/$207.4M).  The 33 debuted at number five with $5.8M.  The rest of the top ten was as follows:  Goosebumps ($4.6M/$73.4M), Bridge of Spies ($4.2M/$61.6M), Prem Ratan Dhan Payo ($2.4M/$2.4M), Hotel Transylvania 2 ($2.3M/$165.2M), and The Last Witch Hunter ($1.5M/$26M).  What does this weekend hold in store for us moviegoers?  Let’s take a look…..

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part Two (Lionsgate) – Adventure/Sci-Fi
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and for some thematic material
Tag Line: The fire will burn forever.
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Plot: As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.
Running Time: 137 minutes

Chris: I just don’t get the fascination with this series.  I may see it only because I have a teen kid who loves the films, but consider me kicking and screaming from the car to the front door.
Jim: How can  a series of such exciting books get turned into such dull movies? That killer cast deserves better. The trailer is well made but, most likely, I won’t be saying the same about the movie.
Jessica: I read the books and only felt “meh” about them. They didn’t grab me like everyone else. I am sincerely tired of a love triangle. I find them boring and childish but I guess that’s the world of YA. Regardless, the movies have been OK but I don’t get real excited about seeing them, though I am curious how they wrap up the series so I’m sure I’ll see this, just not in the theater.
Rob: Looks entertaining, but I’d have to watch the prior movies before it.  I think I only saw the first one.
Ken: Love J Law but the first Hunger Games just didn’t capture my imagination. Might wait until they are all out on demand and binge watch it.

The Night Before (Columbia Pictures) – Comedy
Rated R for drug use and language throughout, some strong sexual content and graphic nudity
Tag Line: Bringing joy to the world.
Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Mackie, Lizzy Caplan, Jillian BellPlot: On Christmas eve, three lifelong friends, two of whom are Jewish, spend the night in New York City looking for the Holy Grail of Christmas parties.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Ken: That looked funny and it incorporated all of the major holidays, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza. Could be a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanza classic for years to come.
Chris: Seth Rogen giving the creepy looks in the limo made me laugh.  Good for a renter I am sure.
Jim: there’s just never enough Seth Rogen. Count me in.
Jessica: Oh, I’m so in. This kind of stuff makes me laugh. I enjoy Rogen and the other guys should be fun as well and I’m a sucker for a funny Christmas movie.
Rob: Funny rental or Netflix film.  Not something I’d see on the big screen.

Secret in Their Eyes (STX Entertainment) – Mystery/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving disturbing violent content, language and some sexual references
Tag Line: Don’t look closer.
Starring: Julia Roberts, Nicole Kidman, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Plot: A tight-knit team of rising investigators, along with their supervisor, is suddenly torn apart when they discover that one of their own teenage daughters has been brutally murdered.
Running Time: 111 minutes

Rob: Aside from the fact that a child is killed the movie looks very good.  Plus it has Nicole Kidman.  Hello Nurse!
Ken: Snooze. It had me for a second but pretty soon after…  Great cast though, might see some powerful performances.
Chris: Looks like my kind of thriller.  Great cast, and an effective trailer!
Jim: Movie certainly looks well-made and engrossing, but I have to admit that I’m tired of getting pummeled by trailers that try to get my attention.
Jessica: I hate the title of this movie but it’s PACKED with stars. I would check it out.

Legend (Universal Pictures) – Bio/Crime/Thriller
Rated R for strong violence, language throughout, some sexual and drug material
Tag Line: Love. Fight. Live. Rule like a legend.
Starring: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning
Plot: The film tells the story of the identical twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray, two of the most notorious criminals in British history, and their organized crime empire in the East End of London during the 1960s.
Running Time: 131 minutes

Jessica: Oh Tom Hardy. TWO Tom Hardy’s? I’m in love with this movie already.
Rob: Meh.  60’s crime thriller based in London.  Pass.
Ken: That looked like good fun, dinnit? Had a bit of the classic Guy Ritchie feel to it. Best YouTube Comment:  i wasn’t interested in the movie when i saw Tom Hardy in it, then i realized that Tom Hardy was in it.  Now I’m sold.
Chris: I don’t know.  I am probably going to be in the minority on this one, but this gangster flick does nothing for me. I do like Chazz Palminteri.
Jim: Think this has been made before as The Krays, back about 1990. Trailer looks good enough,  but not enough to send me running to the theater.

Carol (Weinstein Company) – Drama/Romance
Rated R for a scene of sexuality/nudity and brief language
Tag Line: Some people change your life forever.
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler
Plot: Set in 1950s New York, a department-store clerk who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Jessica: I’m intrigued for sure and Cate Blanchett is a personal fave of mine.
Rob: Looks good, but again not a big screen type of film in my book.
Ken: I’m digging the 50’s vibe and Blanchett is a fave of mine as well.
Chris: A married couple’s relationship threatened by another woman.  I don’t know.  Looks a bit too Lifetime for me….
Jim: Stylish-looking and Cate Blanchett is great, but I’m with Chris—too Lifetime-ish.

#Horror (IFC Midnight) – Horror/Mystery
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Sadie Seelert, Haley Murphy, Timothy Hutton
Plot: Inspired by actual events, a group of 12 year old girls face a night of horror when the compulsive addiction of an online social media game turns a moment of cyber bullying into a night of insanity.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Jim: Not a lot that I haven’t seen before in a horror trailer, but creepy enough to look interesting.
Jessica: No. A thousand times no. The trailer was boring and unoriginal so I can only imagine the movie is the same.
Rob: #SkippedtheTrailer #NoInterest
Ken: #Horrible . They flashed like 10 names across the screen at the end. I didn’t recognize any of them, but I admittedly don’t watch a lot of movies.
Chris: Stylish horror genre picture from actress turned director Tara Subkoff.  It actually looks pretty intriguing and creepy from my perspective.  Could be a good one to catch curled up in bed on a cold night.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for The Night Before (Jessica and Jim), one for Secret in Their Eyes (Chris), one for Legend (Ken), and Rob continues buying up all of the pre-sale Force Awakens tickets he can find.

The opposite of Rogen and Company's prayers.  And we all hope they are answered!
The opposite of Rogen and Company’s prayers. And we all hope they are answered!

 

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Trailer Snark (November 13, 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: James Bond shakes and stirs the box office with a mighty $73M in receipts to take the top spot this week (greater than the combined box office of all top ten movies from last week).  The Peanuts Movie came in second with $45M.  The Martian held onto the third place spot ($9.3M/$197M).  Goosebumps was fourth ($$6.9M/$66.4M), and fifth place belonged to Bridge of Spies ($6M/$54.9M).  The rest of the top ten were as follows: Hotel Transylvania 2 ($3.5M/$161.2M), Burnt ($3M/$10.2M), The Last Witch Hunter ($2.6M/$23.5M), The Intern ($1.8M/$71.4M), and Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension ($1.6M/$16.2M).  And now let’s look at this week’s new box office entries……

By the Sea (Universal) – Drama/Romance
Rated R for strong sexuality, nudity, and language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt
Plot: Set in France during the mid-1970s, Vanessa, a former dancer, and her husband Roland, an American writer, travel the country together. They seem to be growing apart, but when they linger in one quiet, seaside town they begin to draw close to some of its more vibrant inhabitants, such as a local bar/café-keeper and a hotel owner.
Running Time: 132 minutes

Jessica: I have no opinion on this one other than to say it looks like Bradgelina’s version of Eyes Wide Shut (not the story, the couple doing a film together that’s “edgy” and blah blah blah) though Angelina is a talented writer/director this just doesn’t appeal to me much.
Chris: I don’t know.  That was a strange trailer.  And it made me wonder how difficult it is for a real life married couple to act out such obvious marital angst?
Ken: Hilarious. It’s a dark comedy… No? No. Then it looks terrible.
Jim: Not sure how the movie will be, but the trailer is certainly well done. Moody and leaves me asking questions.

The 33 (Alcon) – Biography/Drama/History
Rated PG-13 for a disaster sequence and some language
Tag Line: Hope runs deep.
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Lou Diamond Phillips, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin
Plot: Based on the real-life event, when a gold and copper mine collapses, it traps 33 miners underground for 69 days.
Running Time: 127 minutes

Jim: Looks good, I’m a sucker for disaster movies. The fact that it’s based on a real incident only adds to my interest.
Jessica: Looks good, not sure how accurate it is but it’s a home viewer.
Chris: I am with Jess on this one.  Disaster films are more home fare for me.  This one does look good, and retells a real event, which makes it a cut above the average disaster flick.
Ken: Well of course they’re going to make it out alive. It’s a movie. Duh. I’ll watch this at home where no one will see me cry.

Love the Coopers (CBS Films) – Comedy
Rated PG – 13 for thematic elements, language and some sexuality
Tag Line: You can’t regift family.
Starring: Diane Keaton, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Marisa Tomei, Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Wilde
Plot: When four generations of the Cooper clan come together for their annual Christmas Eve celebration, a series of unexpected visitors and unlikely events turn the night upside down, leading them all toward a surprising rediscovery of family bonds and the spirit of the holiday.
Running Time: 107 minutes

Ken: “Love” may be a bit strong. The Coopers are alright.
Jim: Love the cast, but not the trailer.
Jessica: Ugh. I love me a good Christmas movie but this does not really look like that. I’ll stay home and re-watch “The Ref” or “Christmas Vacation” thanks.
Chris: I am not sure I would cough up the $10 to see this one in the theater, but I am intrigued.  The cast is great.

James White (The Film Arcade) – Drama
Rated R for drug use, some sexuality/nudity, and language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Cynthia Nixon, Christopher Abbott
Plot: James, a 21-year-old New Yorker, struggles to take control of his self-destructive behavior in the face of momentous family challenges.
Running Time: 85 minutes

Chris: Looks unwatchable to me….and that is saying something.
Jessica: Don’t care at all about this one.
Ken: You guys are crazy, I thought this looked very good. Not go to the movies and pay $20 good, but good enough that if it was on TV on a Tuesday night I’d give it a watch.
Jim: Looks like a good, solid film, but I’m not sure if I want to do gritty and realistic this holiday season.

Entertainment (Magnolia Pictures) – Drama
Rated R for language, crude sexual material, a disturbing image and brief drug use
Tag Line: None
Starring: Greg Turkington, Tye Sheridan, John C. Reilly, Dean Stockwell, Michael Cera
Plot: En route to meet his estranged daughter and attempting to revive his dwindling career, a broken, aging comedian plays a string of dead-end shows in the Mojave desert.
Running Time: 110 minutes

Jim: Pretty weird. I dunno.
Chris: I wanted to reach through my laptop and stick a gag in Turkington’s mouth.  Not a good sign. Michael Cera only makes strange movies these days it seems.
Ken: That was so weird and I loved every minute of it. The sad clown humor totally tickles me.
Jessica: I was annoyed at the “existential masterpiece” comment and then clicked off when it started go nowhere. When I can’t bother with the trailer that’s a BIG miss for me.

My All American (Clarius Entertainment) – Drama
Rated PG for thematic elements, language and brief partial nudity
Tag Line: Hope never quits.
Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Finn Whitrock, Robin Tunney
Plot: Freddie Steinmark, an underdog on the gridiron, faces the toughest challenge of his life after leading his team to a championship season.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Jessica: Football true stories are usually good, inspiration viewing.
Jim: No sports movie cliché left unturned.
Chris: Rudy for a new generation?
Ken: America loves an inspiring football story and this one’s all heart. It’s crazy to think that just 50 years ago there were no black players in college football.  

Kilo Two Bravo (Honora) – Drama/War
Rated R for disturbing and graphic depiction of war injuries, and for pervasive language
Tag Line: A film about bravery, courage, heroism and the ultimate sacrifice.
Starring: David Elliot, Mark Stanley, Scott Kyle
Plot: Kajaki Dam 2006. A company of young British soldiers encounter an unexpected, terrifying enemy. A dried-out river bed, and under every step the possibility of an anti-personnel mine. A mine that could cost you your leg – or your life.
Running Time: 108 minutes

Ken: A group of soldiers watching their friends getting blown to bits in a minefield. No thanks, not my idea of entertainment.
Jessica: A group of soldiers watching their friends getting blown to bits in a minefield. No thanks, not my idea of entertainment.
Jim: Looks intense, but I’ve seen this too many times before (The Hurt Locker, Survivor, etc).
Chris: The trailer did not do much for me in spite of my love for military flicks, but the buzz is pretty great which makes me think twice.

Tickets Purchased: One for The 33 (Jim), one for Entertainment (Ken), one for Love the Coopers (Chris), and Jessica stays home to watch Christmas Vacation on a constant loop.

Now, that's entertainment!
Now, that’s entertainment!
Posted on

Trailer Snark (November 6, 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: Matt Damon is still stranded on Mars and piling up the money as the campaign to save him has now captured $182.8M domestically and still had enough of a draw to take the tops of an anemic box office with $11.4M this week.  Goosebumps remained in second place with $10.2 and $57M overall.  Bridge of Spies was third ($8M/$45.2M).  Hotel Transylvania in fourth ($5.8M/$156M) and fifth place belonged to the slightly delayed and debuting Bradley Cooper film Burnt, which pulled in $5M.  The rest of the top ten featured only one newcomer (Our Brand is Crisis) and went as follows:  The Last Witch Hunter ($4.7M/$18.6M), Paranormal Activity Ghost Dimension ($3.4M/$13.5M), Our Brand is Crisis ($3.4M), Crimson Peak ($3.1M/$27.7M) and Steve Jobs ($2.5M/$14.5M).  A bigger group of new entries are coming this Friday than what we saw last week.  Here they are….

Spectre (Columbia Pictures) – Action/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, Ralph Fiennes, Lea Seydoux
Plot: A cryptic message from Bond’s past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.
Running Time: 148 minutes

Jessica: So all over this one! I really like Craig as James Bond and I loved the last movie quite a bit. Looking forward to this one, I mean, jeez louise, it looks to be both star and action-packed!
Rob: Bond.  James Bond.  Daniel Craig has proven himself time and again to have what it takes to deliver and excel in the role of Ian Fleming’s British Secret Service agent extraordinaire.  Mendes, who also directed Skyfall, is back for the next installment and based on the trailer it will not disappoint.  
Ken: Being Bond never goes out of style. That looked awesome.  Somebody pour me a vodka martini. Shaken, not stirred.
Chris:  He was the original superhero to me.  James Bond, no matter the incarnation, is the definition of cool and the movies almost never disappoint.

The Peanuts Movie (20th Century Fox) – Family
Rated G for kids like you and me
Tag Line: Violet.  Original Mean Girl
Starring:  Who cares…it’s Charlie Brown and gool ol’ Snoop!
Plot: Snoopy embarks upon his greatest mission as he and his team take to the skies to pursue their arch-nemesis, while his best pal Charlie Brown begins his own epic quest back home.
Running Time: 93 minutes
Chris:  I could not help but smile and recall childhood throughout the trailer.  Peanuts re-introduced to a new generation is not a bad thing at all!
Jessica: I want to want to see this but I’m not a huge Peanuts fan, this looks like fun though for people who really love the gang.
Rob: Anyone who skips this movie is a blockhead.  While I wish it was hand-drawn, it is clear to me that they truly wanted to honor the legacy of Charles Schulz.  I can’t wait to see this film!
Ken: The movie looks super cute and fun but I’m more of an old school Peanuts fan. Back before Snoopy hijacked the strip, Peanuts was straight brutal.

Spotlight (Open Road Films) – Drama/Crime
Rated R for some language including sexual references
Tag Line: The true story behind the scandal that shook the world.
Starring: Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schriber, Stanley Tucci
Plot: The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.
Running Time: 128 minutes

Ken: A priest, a rapist and a pedophile walk into a bar. Then a second guy walks in.  
Chris: I am sick just even entertaining the thought of watching the trailer.
Jessica: Holy crap this looks amazing, terrifying, disturbing and just plain fantastic. The trailer had me going, “Wow” out loud in my office like a crazy person.
Rob: A look at the depravity of one of the most evil groups of men on the face of the earth; the Catholic Clergy.

Trumbo (Bleecker Street Media) – Biography/Drama
Rated R for language including some sexual references
Tag Line: When they tried to silence him, he made the world listen.
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren
Plot: In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood’s top screenwriter until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs.
Running Time: 124 minutes
Rob: Looks pretty solid, but not of the big screen caliber.  Then again, don’t let me tell you what to think…
Ken: I can’t watch Bryan Cranston wearing glasses without seeing Heisenberg. I keep wondering when Aaron Paul will show up. Hey Mr. White, it’s McCarthyism yo!
Chris: Meh……
Jessica: I adore Bryan Cranston and as a writer, this speaks volumes to me. Love it.

Brooklyn (Fox Searchlight) – Drama
Rated PG – 13 for a scene of sexuality and brief strong language
Tag Line: Two countries, two loves, one heart.
Starring: Saoirise Ronan, Emory Cohen
Plot: An Irish immigrant lands in 1950s Brooklyn, where she quickly falls into a new romance. When her past catches up with her, however, she must choose between two countries and the lives that exist within.
Running Time: 111 minutes

Jessica: Okay this one got me. I don’t usually truck with movies like this but it looks well-done and interesting. Not for theater prices but at home viewing for sure.
Rob: Another good looking film, but for the small screen.
Ken: Not my pot of potatoes.
Chris: Not my typical movie fare, but there is some old world charm is this one.  Renter with the wife.

Miss You Already (Roadside Attractions) – Comedy/Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic content, sexual material and some language
Tag Line: When life falls apart, friends keep it together.
Starring: Dru Barrymore, Toni Collette, Dominic Cooper
Plot: The friendship between two life-long girlfriends is put to the test when one starts a family and the other falls ill.
Running Time: 112 minutes

Chris:  I was actually quite moved by the trailer. Hope there is triumph in the end.
Jessica: Again, I didn’t think I’d like this one but darnit, it got me. I have a very powerful group of women friends and this is exactly what it would be like in a lot of ways if one of us got sick. I love stories about strong women supporting one another.
Rob: Chick flick.  Pass.
Ken: Looks like the sister movie to 50/50. Another trailer enhanced through the magic of music, this time it’s the classic REM track Losing My Religion.

Tickets Purchased: Four for Spectre (Ken, Jessica, Chris, and Rob) and one for Peanuts (Rob movie double duty)

Dr. Evil has nothing on this tyke!
Dr. Evil has nothing on this tyke!

 

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Trailer Snark (October 30, 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: The Martian regained the top of the box office this week, which is a bit of an anomaly these days.  $15.9M is all it took to be crowned champion again (the film has made over $166M domestically).  In second place was the Goosebumps movie, still attracting enough families as it took in $15.5M for $43.7M overall.  Bridge of Spies was third ($11.3M/$32.5M).  The highest debut came from Vin Diesel’s The Last Witch Hunter, but it still was an under-performance against expectation as it only took in $10.8M.  Hotel Transylvania 2 stayed in the top five ($9M/$148.2M).  Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension was the only other debut in the top ten with $8.2M, perhaps marking the theatrical death knell of the series.  The rest of the list was as follows: Steve Jobs ($7.2/$9.9), Crimson Peak ($5.5M/$22.4M), The Intern ($3.8M/$64.7M), and Sicario ($2.9M/$39.3M).  Important to note that despite wide screenings, both Rock the Kasbah and the Jem movie absolutely bombed with just over $1M each and outside the chart.  This week’s schedule is very light, and here are the entries…..

Our Brand is Crisis (Warner Bros) – Drama
Rated R for language including some sexual references
Tag Line: May the best campaign win.
Starring: Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton
Plot: An American woman, well-versed in political campaigns, is sent to the war-torn lands of South America to help install a new leader but is threatened to be thwarted by a long-term rival.
Running Time: 107 minutes

Rob: I’m almost with the llama on this one.  No thanks.
Jessica: I usually enjoy a political movie but not in a theater. I’d watch it for free sometime at home.
Chris: Sandra Bullock is a fine actress, and this political thriller seems to be a non-typical role for her.  If my premature weariness over this year’s political cycle can subside, I may be game.
Ken: Pass.

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (Paramount) – Comedy/Horror
Rated R for zombie violence and gore, sexual material, graphic nudity, and language throughout
Tag Line: Always bring protection.
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Logan Miller, Joey Morgan
Plot: Three scouts, on the eve of their last camp-out, discover the true meaning of friendship when they attempt to save their town from a zombie outbreak.
Running Time: 93 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5e7Mr7eVTk
Ken: Pass.
Rob: This one looks pretty funny.  A few scouts and a “cocktail waitress” against the zombie apocalypse.  What could possibly go wrong?  Do I get a merit badge for watching this?  I’m in either way.
Jessica: Please don’t ever make me see this trailer again. I usually love a good zombie flick but this looks awful and I suspect the funny bits are in the trailer which bums me out since it’s not a funny trailer.
Chris: Looks atrocious…..that being said, my lack of cinematic standards will guarantee a Netflix viewing down the road, I am sure.

Carter High (Sweet Chariot) – Drama
Rated PG – 13 for thematic elements, some strong language and suggestive material
Tag Line: None
Starring: Vivica Fox, Charles Dutton, Pooch Hall
Plot: During the 1980s Carter High School in Dallas, Texas was a football powerhouse. This is the story of four of the student athletes whose off the field activities cost them their future.
Running Time: 110 minutes

Chris: I am not sure what it is about football movies, but they are (for me) the ultimate in sports drama.  The fact that this high school football drama takes place in a time period that I was beginning my own high school years will bring a certain nostalgia.
Ken: I’ll watch it on TV.
Rob: A story of racism impacting Texas High School football.  Looks pretty good, and pretty scary (since we’re talking late 1980’s true story material).  I’ll probably catch it on video though.
Jessica: Looks good and terrifying.

Tickets Purchased:  One for Carter High (Chris), one for Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (Rob).  Meanwhile Jessica stays home to watch Trick ‘r’ Treat on TV and Ken wonders where his darn scary movies are?

Happy Halloween from the Great Stories Football Team!
Happy Halloween from the Great Stories Football Team!

 

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Trailer Snark (October 16, 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: Matt Damon’s The Martian once again claims the top spot this past week with an additional $37M added to its $108.7M total.  The animated Sandler sequel Hotel Transylvania also managed to stay in its second place spot with $20.5M and $116.8M overall.  The debuting Pan came in third amidst mediocre reviews with $15.5M.  The Intern was bumped one spot to fourth ($8.6M/$49.5M).  Sicario took fifth ($7.3M/$26.7M).  The rest of the list lacked any surprises or new debuts and was as follows:  Maze Runner: Scorch Trials ($5.2M/$70.6M), The Walk ($3.6M/$6.3M), Black Mass ($3.1M/$57.5M), Everest ($3M/$38.2M), and The Visit ($2.4M/$61M).  Let’s see who the contenders are this week……

Goosebumps (Columbia) – Action/Comedy/Adventure
Rated PG for scary and intense creature action and images, and for some rude humor
Tag Line: The stories are alive.
Starring: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush
Plot: A teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R.L. Stine after the writer’s imaginary demons are set free on the town of Greendale, Maryland.
Running Time: 103 minutes

Chris: We have Jack Black as the curmudgeon gatekeeper/author of every Goosebump ever written and about the be unleashed on humanity.  I was actually pleasantly surprised by the trailer, with an assist from low expectation.
Jessica: Didn’t read the books, don’t care about the movie.
Ken: Is Jack Black supposed to be playing R.L. Stein? I read a lot of Goosebumps as a child and I only felt the slightest twinge of nostalgia.

Crimson Peak (Legendary Pictures) – Drama/Fantasy/Horror
Rated R for bloody violence, some sexual content and brief strong language
Tag Line: Beware.
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston
Plot: In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers.
Running Time: 119 minutes

Ken: The visuals look amazing. And who doesn’t like a good haunted house story around Halloween?
Chris: Guillermo del Toro is a true artist (see Pan’s Labrynth as evidence).  This looks to be a clear winner by my eyes and ears.  If you like stylistic horror, look no further.
Jessica: I love me some Guillermo so I’m in! I love a good spooky flick, plus it has Loki and Jax!

Bridge of Spies (Disney) – Biography/Drama/History
Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language
Tag Line: In a world on the brink the difference between war and peace was one honest man.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda
Plot: An American lawyer is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union.
Running Time: 141 minutes

Jessica: What? I fell asleep again. BORING.
Ken: A lot of marquee names on this one: Spielberg, Hanks and the Coen brothers. I’ll check it out when it comes to streaming.
Chris: Spielberg and Hanks are at it again.  This time tackling the Cold War between the us and the Soviets.  Good timing as the Russian bear seems to be rising again to fill the world power vacuum.  Definitely has my attention.

Truth (Sony Pictures Classic) – Biography/Drama
Rated R for language and a brief nude photo
Tag Line: None
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Tpher Grace, Dennis Quaid, Bruce Greenwood
Plot: Newsroom drama detailing the 2004 CBS 60 Minutes report investigating then-President George W. Bush’s military service, and the subsequent firestorm of criticism that cost anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes their careers.
Running Time: 121 minutes

Chris: Docu-drama on the forged military service documents of President George W Bush.  Apologist piece or objective presentation?  Who knows…maybe I will catch it on the small screen?
Jessica: This looks really fascinating, stellar, star-packed cast and an intriguing story about fighting the good fight and asking the hard questions. Totally want to see this.
Ken: I think I’m digging this movie’s message, but let’s just all take a moment and acknowledge that G. W. should never have been president in the first place.

Room (A24) – Drama
Rated R for language
Tag Line: Love knows no boundaries.
Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, William H Macy
Plot: After 5-year old Jack and his Ma escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Ken: Looks like a good story that doesn’t interest me.
Chris: An escape to the real world?  I am not sure what this movie is really about from the trailer, but it looks like it wants to pull the heart strings.
Jessica: Looks intriguing. I’d totally check this out at home.

Woodlawn (PureFlix Cinema) – Drama
Rated PG for thematic elements including some racial tension/violence
Tag Line: One hope.  One truth. One way.
Starring: Caleb Castille, Sean Astin, Jon Voight
Plot: A gifted high school football player must learn to embrace his talent and his faith as he battles racial tensions on and off the field.
Running Time: 123 minutes

Jessica: Looks like an uplifting story about acceptance and faith. I’d check this out at home and I do have mad love for Samwise Gamgee.
Ken: Sean Astin needs to stop doing football movies. Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!
Chris: Faith-based football movie dealing with racism in the Deep South (a popular subject of film-making) in the early 70’s…..actually looks pretty good.  I kind of dig football movies.

Momentum (Starz Digital Media) – Action/Thriller
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Olga Kurylenko, James Purefoy, Morgan Freeman
Plot: Alex, a mysterious thief, is pulled in by her former partner for one last heist. She quickly finds it was never just about the diamonds. A brutal murder sparks a cat and mouse chase between…
Running Time: 96 minutes

Chris: Olga Kurylenko does non-Bond action thriller.  This one looks a bit more hard core than the shaken, not stirred English gentleman variety action film.
Jessica: Eh. This didn’t do a whole lot for me. Though, on an interesting note, I did a transcription of an interview between the director of this movie (it’s his first film. he has been Clint Eastwood’s main cameraman for YEARS), seems like a really passionate film guy, gotta respect that.
Ken: There’s just something about foreign accents that makes bad dialogue in action films bearable.

Tickets Purchased:  Three for Crimson Peak

It's that time of fear...er, we mean year!
It’s that time of fear…er, we mean year!
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Trailer Snark (October 9, 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: MATT DAMON!  The Martian takes the top prize with the second biggest October opening ever with $55M.  Hotel Transylvania 2 was in second with a substantial $33M haul and $90M overall.  Sicario, which went wide this past week, took third place ($12M/$15M).  The Intern was fourth ($11.6M/$36.5M) and fifth place belonged to Maze Runner: Scorch Trials ($7.6M/$63.2M).  The bottom half of the top ten was as follows: Black Mass ($5.9M/$52.5M), Everest ($5.5M/$33.1M), The Visit ($3.9M/$57.6M), War Room ($2.8M/$60.5M), and The Perfect Guy ($2.4M/$52.6M).  And now, let’s take a look at what is in theaters this weekend…..

Pan (Warner Bros) – Family/Adventure
Rated PG for fantasy action violence, language and some thematic material
Tag Line: In the beginning… he was the enemy.
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Levi Miller, Rooney Mara, Amanda Seyfried
Plot: 12-year-old orphan Peter is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny — to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.
Running Time: 111 minutes

Rob: Looks ok, perhaps even good, but nobody can hold a candle to the animated classic from where I stand.  May catch it on rental down the road.
Chris: I remember going to see Hook with my family, and loathing every minute.  Perhaps this incarnation will bring the live action Peter Pan some redemption in my eyes?
Ken: You don’t mess with the classics by trotting out a contrived origin story bedazzled in CGI. If the reviews are good I may check it out when it comes out on digital, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Pan gets panned.
Jessica: Don’t make me watch this again, I really have an intense dislike for this movie from the trailers. It looks boring and I think a lot of people are just sick of Peter Pan. All set with this one.

Big Stone Gap (ArtAffects Entertainment) – Romance/Comedy
Rated PG – 13 for brief suggestive material
Tag Line: Small town. Big heart.
Starring: Ashley Judd, Patrick Wilson, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jenna Elfman
Plot: In a small town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia, self-proclaimed spinster Ave Maria Mulligan finds her life shaken up and forever changed after learning a long-buried family secret.
Running Time: 103 minutes

Jessica: What? I think I fell asleep watching this trailer.
Rob: Well, it has Jenna Elfman.  There ends the positive.
Chris: Run….run fast…away from the theater.
Ken: I tuned out after about 10 seconds.

The Final Girls (Vertical Entertainment) – Comedy/Horror
Rated PG – 13 for horror violence, some crude and sexual material, language and drug use
Tag Line: None
Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Adam Devine, and Nin Dobrev
Plot: A young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, finds herself pulled into the world of her mom’s most famous movie. Reunited, the women must fight off the film’s maniacal killer.
Running Time: 88 minutes

Ken: Scream and Scary Movie had a hipster child.
Jessica: I just don’t … I can’t figure out if this is total crap or really clever. That leaves me feeling like I wouldn’t want to be the “final girl” (can we please stop calling WOMEN, GIRLS??? I know that seems dumb to some people but for pete’s sake, you stop being a girl somewhere around 18 – WOMEN. THEY ARE WOMEN. I feel very “meh” about this movie.
Rob: Horror comedy combo.  Not likely to see this one, but if I do it wont be on the big screen.
Chris: Looks mildly amusing….but far more likely to be a Netflix or DVD small screen venture.

Knock Knock (Lionsgate) – Horror/Mystery
Rated R for disturbing violent behavior, strong sexual content, nudity and language
Tag Line:  One night can cost you everything.
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Lorenza Izzo, and Ana de Armas
Plot: When a devoted husband and father is left home alone for the weekend, two stranded young women unexpectedly knock on his door for help. What starts out as a kind gesture results in a dangerous seduction and a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Rob: Who’s There?  Keanu.  Keanu Who?  Exactly.  Two psych girls seduce, torture, and kill Keanu?  Weird.
Chris: I bet Keanu had wished he entered the Matrix instead.  I know…that was week, but Rob stole my knock knock joke.
Ken: I’m scaroused.
Jessica: As much as I genuinely like Keanu Reeves, my stomach turns at the idea that no man can resist boffing two co-eds. I just don’t buy it and I’ll probably skip this one.

Steve Jobs (Universal) – Biography/Drama
Rated R for language
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels
Plot: Set backstage at three iconic product launches and ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac, Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter.
Running Time: 122 minutes

Chris: I am torn.  I typically do not get into celebrity behind the scenes fare.  There is, however, a compelling story here about the inception of a life-changing tech company, but how much of the personal story do we have to endure that may or may not be a reflection of the truth?
Rob: Man or monster?  How will the film ultimately paint one of our fallen technological icons?  Will it be accurate?  I’m not sure, but I’d like to find out.
Jessica: I have the book this is based on and haven’t read it yet, I find Jobs fascinating but I’m not fascinated to see yet another film about this guy.
Ken: The man, the myth, the monster? The second Jobs biopic in as many years, Steve Jobs the movie paints a complex portrait of one of the great innovators of our generation.

Trash (Focus World) – Adventure/Comedy/Crime
Rated R for violence and language
Tag Line: You never know what you might find.
Starring: Rickson Tevez, Rooney Mara, Martin Sheen
Plot: Set in Brazil, three kids who make a discovery in a garbage dump soon find themselves running from the cops and trying to right a terrible wrong.
Running Time: 114 minutes

Ken: I was a big fan of City of God, and this feels like a spiritual successor.
Jessica: I can’t even figure out what this movie is trying to do, be “Slumdog Millionaire?” Another “meh” for this WOMAN.
Rob: Fitting name.  Pass.
Chris: Looks decent enough of a thriller, but reading half the movie does not appeal to me.

Tickets Purchased:  Ken says “Trash is my kind of treasure.”  Jessica says “The Martian – what? That wasn’t in this weeks pics? I don’t care. That’s what I’m going to see this week.”  But Steve Jobs rises to the top as both Rob and Chris make it their pick.

Steve-Jobs-White-iPhone-4-Cant-Touch-This

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Trailer Snark (October 2, 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: Animated Adam Sandler takes the top of the box office and virtually guarantees us a second sequel to Hotel Transylvania with over $47 million in its opening weekend.  The Intern, which was collectively panned by our panel, took second place with over $18 million.  The rest of the world must have seen a different trailer to sell that many tickets!  Scorch Trials, last week’s box office champ, slipped to third place ($14M/$51.6M).  Everest came in fourth place as it expanded to more theaters ($13M/$23M).  Black Mass was fifth ($11.5M/$42.6M).  The Visit in sixth ($6.7M/$52.2M).  The Perfect Guy took seventh ($4.7M/$48.8M).  War Room was eighth ($4.2M/$55.9M).  In ninth place was the debut of Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno with $3.5M.  And Sicario continued its slow expansion into more theaters for tenth place ($1.7M/$2.3M), but it will be in much wider circulation this week.  And now on to this week’s contenders….

The Martian (20th Century Fox) – Drama
Rated PG-13 for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity.
Tag Line: Help is only 140 million miles away.
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Sean Bean
Plot: During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.
Running Time: 141 minutes

Chris: The last time Matt Damon was stranded on a planet, he turned out to be a real jerk.  This is his chance for a do-over!  BTW, the movie looks fantastic!
Rob: Finally a film I can sink my teeth into.  Looks amazing and with all the amazing discoveries being made about the red planet by NASA currently, it will be interesting to see how close the film comes to still fitting in with our new picture of Mars.
Jessica: This is what I’ve been waiting for!
Ken: I wanted to go into space so badly when I was a kid, and if I’m being totally I honest I still do. That trailer was awesome. It had me feeling like 6 years old again. I can’t wait to see this. We can watch the rest of the trailers, but this is my pick.

The Walk (Sony) – Drama/Biography
Rated PG for thematic elements involving perilous situations, and for some nudity, language, brief drug references and smoking
Tag Line:  Every dream begins with a single step.
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte LeBon
Plot: In 1974, high-wire artist Philippe Petit recruits a team of people to help him realize his dream: to walk the the immense void between the World Trade Center towers.
Running Time: 123 minutes

Ken: This would make for an amazing iMax experience. Spoiler alert, Philippe Petit the guy whose life this movie is based on, still alive.
Chris: Not saying it does not look good, but Man on a Wire was the genuine article and available for all to see.
Rob: An interesting story, but not for the big screen.  Renter.
Jessica: It’s not The Martian? Yeah, don’t care.

Freeheld (Lionsgate) – Biography/Drama
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, language and sexuality
Tag Line: A true story of love and injustice.
Starring: Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Michael Shannon, and Steve Carell
Plot: New Jersey police lieutenant, Laurel Hester, and her registered domestic partner, Stacie Andree, both battle to secure Hester’s pension benefits when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Running Time: 103 minutes

Jessica: Let’s see, no Mars, no space hijinks? All set.
Ken: This one is sure to be a hit with the Westboro crowd. I love seeing Ellen Page playing an openly gay character and making an honest argument for marriage equality.
Chris: Partner rights are the subject for a same sex couple, coming on the heels of the Civil Rights themed Stonewall film released last week.  Julianne Moore is a quality performer, and I am sure I will catch this one on the small screen.
Rob: Powerful story about equality in love and basic human rights.  Worth a look on the small screen IMO.

Shanghai (RADiUS-TWC) – Mystery/Drama
Rated R for strong violence, some drug use and brief language
Tag Line: In a world filled with secrets, solving a mystery can be murder.
Starring: John Cusack, Li Gong, Yun-Fat Chow
Plot: A ’40s period piece which revolves around an American expat who returns to Shanghai in the months before Pearl Harbor due to the death of his friend.
Running Time: 105 minutes

Rob: Could be decent.  Yun-Fat always impresses me, but not compelling enough to draw me to the theater based on this trailer.
Jessica: Matt Damon, where are you??
Ken: Having spent almost 3 years living in Shanghai, I was very interested in the idea of a period piece set in the Paris of Asia. But the trailer was sort of meh, and the all star cast makes me think the budget for this film must have been huge. The fact that it is being released in the States 5 years after its international release makes me think the rest of the world didn’t think too much of it.
Chris: I was intrigued until I found out the movie was made and released overseas in 2010.  Yeah, you read that right.  Why did it take so long to make it to the US?  Warning bells….

Partisan (Well Go USA Entertainment) – Drama/Thriller
Not Rated
Tag Line:  None
Starring:  Vincent Cassel, Jeremy Chabriel
Plot: Alexander, a boy who has been raised in a sequestered commune, finds that his increasing unwillingness to fall in line puts him on a collision course with Gregori, the society’s charismatic and domineering leader.
Running Time: 98 minutes

Chris: Subversive counter-culture political leader runs his own commune promising shocking and disturbing results…..not getting me to the theater.
Ken: When you create a society built on the principals of rebellion against the established authority, can you really be that surprised when the children, ya  know, rebel against authority?
Rob: Looks disturbing.  A man and women raise a group of children to live outside of societal norms in their own little kingdom, but the oldest boy turns towards darkness.

Addicted to Fresno (Gravitas Ventures) – Comedy
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Natasha Lyonne, Judy Greer, Molly Shannon, Aubrey Plaza, Ron Livingston
Plot: This comedy tells the story of two sisters, a lesbian and a sex-addict, who work as maids at a hotel in a city named Fresno. Their lives change when one of the sisters thinks that they might have accidentally killed a man.
Running Time: 85 minutes

Rob: Co-Dependent sisters and their raunchy escapades as maids in Fresno.  Could be funny.  Could be awful.  Can’t decide, but leaning towards awful.
Ken: Looks very weird and offbeat but it is being driven by a stellar cast of comedians who excel at oddball humor.  I also think it could be funny, could be awful, but unlike Rob I’m leaning more towards funny.
Jessica: Nope. It’s not on Mars.
Chris: Was that trailer supposed to be funny?

Tickets Purchased:  Four tickets for the unanimous winner….The Martian

Matt Damon studies the oft-overlooked dermatological effects of deep space travel
Matt Damon studies the oft-overlooked dermatological effects of deep space travel
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Trailer Snark (September 25, 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:  Did anyone think Maze Runner would not take top prize?  The teen audience united for a weekend of adventure and drama giving the second installment (named Scorch Trials) at box office victory with just over $30M in receipts.  The Johnny Depp portrayal of the infamous mobsters, Whitey Bulger, came in second.  Black Mass accumulated just over $25M in business.  The Visit was down two spots in its second week in release with another $11M ($42M overall).  The Perfect Guy took in another $9.6M ($41M overall), and Everest debuted at number five with its limited to IMAX theaters first week ($7.5M).  Everest will expand to wide release this week.  The last half of the top ten fell in this order:  6.  War Room  7.  Walk in the Woods  8. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation  9.  Straight Outta Compton  10.  Captive

So what’s hitting theaters today?

Hotel Transylvania 2 (Sony) – Animated/Family
Rated PG for some scary images, action and rude humor
Tag Line: Drac’s pack is back!
Starring:  Adam Sandler, Adam Samberg, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, and Kevin James
Plot:  Dracula and his friends try to bring out the monster in his half human, half vampire grandson in order to keep Mavis from leaving the hotel.
Running Time: 89 minutes

Ken:  Family friendly vampire movies suck more than just blood.
Chris: I wasn’t too enthralled with the original.  Sorry Happy.
Jessica: Didn’t see the first one, don’t care about the sequel.

The Intern (Warner Bros) – Comedy
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and brief strong language
Tag Line: Experience never gets old
Starring: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, and Rene Russo
Plot: 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker has discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin.
Running Time: 121 minutes

Ken: Looks dull beyond words
Chris: Right you are Ken.  I practically fell asleep during the two and a half minute trailer.
Jessica: I think I fell asleep. What the heck DeNiro?

The Green Inferno (High Top Releasing) – Horror
Rated R for aberrant violence and torture, grisly disturbing images, brief graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use
Tag Line:  Fear will consume you.
Starring: Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, and Aaron Burns
Plot: A group of student activists travels to the Amazon to save the rain forest and soon discover that they are not alone, and that no good deed goes unpunished.
Running Time:  100 minutes

Jessica: Now THIS is my speed baby! It’s Roth’s homage to the Cannibal films back in the day. “Cannibal Ferox” and “Cannibal Holocaust” and all that disgusting nonsense. I have been waiting for this one for awhile as Roth had problems getting backing for it but you can bet your butts I’ll be there when it comes out!
Ken: Anyone have an extra pair of pants? I like Roth’s horror movies but wish they were more intellectual and less torture fests.
Chris: I have to say my skin was crawling (or was it being eaten?) during this trailer.  I have a feeling the content will be depraved, gory, and horrific beyond words, but I think that is what Eli Roth is aiming for here.  Proceed with caution ye of faint heart.

Stonewall (Roadside Attractions) – Drama
Rated R for sexual content, language throughout, some violence and drug use
Tag Line: None
Starring: Ron Perlman, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers and Jeremy Irvine
Plot: A young man’s political awakening and coming of age during the days and weeks leading up to the Stonewall Riots.
Running Time: 129 minutes

Jessica: I’m a sucker for true story movies like this. Not only is it perfect for today’s times it looks dang good.
Ken: Looks solid. A bit gay, but solid nonetheless.
Chris: A piece of civil rights history in the making.  Always interesting topical matter.  Just not on the big screen.

99 Homes (Broad Green Pictures) – Drama
Rated R for language including some sexual references, and a brief violent image
Tag Line:  Greed is the only game in town
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon, and Laura Dern
Plot: A father struggles to get back the home that his family was evicted from by working for the greedy real estate broker who’s the source of his frustration.
Running Time: 112 minutes

Chris: Effective trailer.  Michael Shannon once played the title character in a movie called The Iceman.  The title could certainly apply to his role here too.
Jessica: Eh. I like Michael Shannon quite a bit and would probably only watch it because he’s in and he looks like he is a bad man.
Ken: The 1% are such an easy target. Michael Shannon might as well be wearing a cloak and monacle, twirling his moustache.

The Keeping Room (Drafthouse Films) – Drama
Rated R for strong violence including a sexual assault
Tag Line:  Some things are worth fighting for.
Starring: Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld, and Sam Worthington
Plot: Left without men in the dying days of the American Civil War, three Southern women – two sisters and one African-American slave – must fight to defend their home and themselves from two rogue soldiers who have broken off from the fast-approaching Union Army.
Running Time: 95 minutes

Chris: I think the trailer showed too much, but the movie looks like it could be a winner.
Ken: That was an unexpected thrill. Keeping Room looks amazing.
Jessica: I’m intrigued about a “female western with bite” but not theater cost intrigued. At home watching intrigued.

Mississippi Grind (A24) – Drama
Rated R for language
Tag Line: We can’t lose.
Starring: Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds
Plot: Down on his luck and facing financial hardship, Gerry teams up with younger charismatic poker player, Curtis, in an attempt to change his luck. The two set off on a road trip through the South with visions of winning back what’s been lost.
Running Time: 108 minutes

Ken: Fold.
Chris: I became a Ben Mendelsohn fan after watching Bloodline on Netflix.  Add in a little Ryan Reynolds and this pair look like they may have made a bit of movie magic together.  Count me in!
Jessica: I enjoy Reynolds but I’ll probably never watch this.

Tickets Purchased:  Without the input of Rob and Jim, we are left with a three-way split.  One ticket for The Keeping Room (Ken), one ticket for The Green Inferno (Jessica), and one ticket for Mississippi Grind (Chris)

amazonqueen
Do you know how hard it was to come up with an image to include strong female characters (The Keeping Room), the treacherous Amazon (The Green Inferno), and gambling (Mississippi Grind)? Now you know….