Posted on

Trailer Snark (November 23, 2016 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!

Moana (Disney) – Animation/Family
Rated PG for peril, some scary images and brief thematic elements
Tag Line: The ocean is calling.
Starring: Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson
Plot: A young woman uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled island. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui.
Running Time: 103 minutes

Jim: Looks like good, solid Disney fun with the added bonus of dreaming of warmer climates.
Chris: Got to admit….this looks fun! All that is missing is a surfing penguin…Oops.  Sorry Disney.

Bad Santa 2 (Broad Green) – Comedy
Rated R for crude sexual content and language throughout, and some graphic nudity
Tag Line: Giving the holidays another shot.
Starring:  Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates
Plot: Fueled by cheap whiskey, greed and hatred, Willie teams up once again with his angry little sidekick, Marcus, to knock off a Chicago charity on Christmas Eve.
Running Time: 92 minutes

Chris:  One of the more disappointing naughty comedies of its time when the first one came out a few years back, I won’t be in a rush to hop down the same chimney.
Jim: I HATED HATED HATED the original, shame on you Billy Bob, no way, not even after 75 egg nogs.

Lion (The Weinstein Company) – Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic material and some sensuality.
Tag Line: The search begins.
Starring:  Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel
Plot: A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.
Running Time: 120 minutes

Jim: Certainly looks well made, but not much interest here, I’m afraid (Hey, this sounds like a review from Dr. Seuss. I wonder which films would have taken his abuse?).
Chris: Well, I am going to have to be in the right mood for this one.  And that is not this week.

Allied (Paramount) – Action/Drama/Romance
Rated R for violence, some sexuality/nudity, language and brief drug use
Tag Line: The closer he gets, the more dangerous it becomes.
Starring:  Brad Pitt, Vincent Ebrahim, Marion Cottilard
Plot: In 1942, an intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war.
Running Time: 124 minutes

Chris:  World War II intrigue-filled drama with strong cast. Viva la resistance!
Jim: From Robert Zemeckis, an old Hollywood pro, comes this epic adventure, one to which I will go.

Rules Don’t Apply (20th Century Fox) – Comedy/Drama/Romance
Rated PG-13 for sexual material including brief strong language, thematic elements, and drug references
Tag Line: None
Starring: Lily Collins, Haley Bennett, Taissa Farmiga, Paul Sorvino, Warren Beatty
Plot: An unconventional love story of an aspiring actress, her determined driver, and the eccentric billionaire who they work for.
Running Time: 126 minutes

Jim: Looks rather spry. So does Beatty, who next year will be 80. My, how the time does go by.
Chris: Quite the ensemble!  I’d watch this one on the small screen.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for Allied (Chris/Jim) and One for Rules Don’t Apply (Jim goes double-dipping!)

Fun Fact:  Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt starred in the remake of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, a movie about husband and wife spies hired to kill each other by competing agencies.  The original came out during the height of WWII.  Recently while filming WWII drama Allied, Brad and Angelina are once again reprising their roles as they head to divorce.
Fun Fact: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt starred in the remake of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, a movie about husband and wife spies hired to kill each other by competing agencies. The original came out during the height of WWII. Recently while filming WWII drama Allied, Brad and Angelina are once again reprising their roles as they head to divorce.

 

Posted on

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.
Posted on

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!