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Trailer Snark (April 7, 2017 Theatrical Trailers)

Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Smurfs: The Lost Village (Columbia) – Family/Animation
Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor
Tag Line:  A whole new world awaits.
Starring: Demi Lovato, Rainn Wilson, Mandy Patinkin
Plot: In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting race through the Forbidden Forest leading to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history.
Running Time: 89 minutes

Chris: It’s funny how smurfy everything is when a new smurfy trailer hits the smurfinet.
Jim: They came about 10-15 years too late for me (kind of like Transformers), so they don’t mean much to me. All I see is an annoying trailer.

Going in Style (Warner Bros) – Comedy/Crime
Rated PG-13 for drug content, language and some suggestive material
Tag Line:  You’re never too old to get even.
Starring:  Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin, Michael Caine
Plot: Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, three lifelong pals risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.
Running Time: 96 minutes

Jim: This is actually a remake —the original had George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg. You just can’t go wrong with Caine, Freeman, and Arkin.
Chris: I really wanted this one to have that crotchety charm that I felt way back in the day when I saw Grumpy Old Men for the first time.  Sadly, no.
Jessica: I love all these guys and this looks like a fun romp. I’d be into this in a heartbeat. I need some levity!

The Case for Christ (Pure Flixx) – Drama
Rated PG for thematic elements including medical descriptions of crucifixion, and incidental smoking
Tag Line: None
Starring: Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway
Plot: An investigative journalist and self-proclaimed atheist sets out to disprove the existence of God after his wife becomes a Christian.
Running Time: 112 minutes

Jessica: The trailer was powerful enough that I have to now buy the book. It sounds like a really fascinating story. Faith is such a private, powerful and intangible thing that how do you go from having none to proving it should exist? I would certainly check this out.
Jim: Thought-provoking and powerful.
Chris: An atheist reporter has a come to Jesus life-changing moment.  Sounds like the story of Saul.  I am interested.

Colossal (Neon) – Action/Comedy/Sci-Fi
Rated R for language
Tag Line: There’s a monster in all of us.
Starring: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis
Plot: A woman discovers that severe catastrophic events are somehow connected to the mental breakdown from which she’s suffering.
Running Time: 110 minutes

Chris: Mildly amusing premise.  I was waiting for the giant monster to pull of some “Thriller” poses.
Jessica: Oh this just looks like a lot of fun. I enjoy Hathaway and this looks like a crazy story, something I also enjoy. Plus it’s a giant monster! You know I love me some giant monsters!
Jim: A funny, fantastic premise, and I love Anne Hathaway! Me too, bring on dem giant monsters!

Alive and Kicking (Magnolia Pictures) – Documentary/Musical
Not Rated
Tag Line:  Happiness is a few steps away
Starring: Hilary Alexander, Evita Arce
Plot: Alive and Kicking gives the audience an intimate, insider’s view into the culture of the current swing dance world while shedding light on issues facing modern society.
Running Time:88 minutes

Jim: I love dancing (even though I’m hopeless), I love swing music, and I love WATCHING swing dancing. This looks like a lot of fun!
Chris: I just don’t dig dance themed movies…..must be that white boy in me?
Jessica: This looks like a fun look at something I love doing, dancing! I’d watch this at home.

Gifted (Fox Searchlight) – Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some suggestive material
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Chris Evans, Lindsay Duncan, McKenna Grace
Plot: Frank, a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, is drawn into a custody battle with his mother.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Jessica: This likes like a sweet story that I’d watch at home and cry about it. I love me some Chris Evans, and it’s nice to see him as someone other than the Captain. Also Octavia Spencer is great. Maybe it’s a story that’s been told a bunch, but it looks sweet, even if it does talk about math (which to all those reading, I am currently studying and don’t like it).
Jim: Oft-told tale, but at least it looks well made.
Chris: Magic Eight Ball says I will likely see this.  Not really a math joke for the gifted, but at least I worked a number in there.

Their Finest (EuropaCorp USA) – Comedy/Drama/Romance
Rated R for some language and a scene of sexuality
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Gemma Arterton, Bill Nighy, Sam Claflin
Plot: A British film crew attempts to boost morale during World War II by making a propaganda film after the Blitzkrieg.
Running Time: 117 minutes

Chris:  I love war movies, but sometimes the stories of those people who work behind the scenes and not on the front lines can prove just as compelling.
Jessica: I love me a good British film plus a war film, yep I’m into this one. Good actors, good story (about writing, yay!) and telling a story worth telling. Another heartwarming film, lovely.
Jim: Bill Nighy’s always worth watching, possible rental.

The Void (Screen Media) – Horror
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Ellen Wong, Kathleen Munroe, Kenneth Welsh
Plot: Shortly after delivering a patient to an understaffed hospital, a police officer experiences strange and violent occurrences seemingly linked to a group of mysterious hooded figures.
Running Time: 90 minutes

Jim: Another rehashing of The Thing. No thanks, I’ll just put in the ’51 and ’82 versions.
Chris: Drawing comparisons to one of the greatest horror movies of all time (John Carpenter’s The Thing) is certainly going to grab my attention.
Jessica: Oh sure it looks a lot like “The Thing”, but I don’t care. Looks like it is well-acted and nice and gory. My kind of film!

Tickets Purchased: Two for Colossal (Jessica and Jim) and One for The Void (Chris)

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Trailer Snark (Captain America: Civil War Edition)

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!

Editor’s Note: We are foregoing the usual format of this week’s blog, because by and large most movie studios have wisely cleared their release calendar for what could very well be the year’s biggest film. Captain America:  Civil War, the third installment in the Steve Rogers series, and really what amounts to Avengers 3 in terms of the ensemble cast showcases the characters we have come to know and love, under the expert tutelage of the Russo Brothers, who take the reins from Joss Whedon.  The team gives their thoughts below, along with their pledge of allegiance to either Team Cap or Team Iron Man.  Enjoy!

Captain America:  Civil War (Disney) – Action/Adventure
PG-13 for violence and thematic situations
Tag Line:  Whose side are you on?
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlet Johansson, Don Cheadle, Sebastian Stan, Paul Rudd, Paul Bettany, Chadwick Boseman, and more.
Plot: Political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.
Running Time:  146 minutes

Thoughts on the trailer…..
Jessica: I am SUPER EXCITED about “Captain America: Civil War”, I think the trailer looks like yet another hit for Marvel and I do really enjoy the Captain’s story as he finds his place in the “new world” after being asleep so long
Chris: The only thing that exceeds the trepidation of watching to of Marvel’s most famous icons draw the battle lines is to see how they can pull it off effectively and leave fans of both sides satisfied.  And from all accounts, this is one for the ages!

Whose Side are They On?
Ken: Team Rogers, no question.  I agree with Chris that these are beings of unimaginable power, capable of massive destruction and as such should be be held accountable. However, I don’t believe the responsibility of policing the gods should be left in the hands of a few, un-elected individuals. Who died and made Iron Man the sheriff of the MCU?  It’s a question of personal freedom vs conformity. Cap is the ultimate soldier, and like a good soldier he fights to protect his country and the government it represents, but he also fights for the guy next to him in the foxhole. He’s fighting for his brother when he believes that his brother is being treated unjustly. Is there a more noble cause? Like Jess, I sincerely doubt that Tony’s motivations for heading up the superhero registration act are entirely altruistic. What eccentric, billionaire wouldn’t want a position of power with near-unlimited resources at his disposal?
Jim: I don’t know what side I’m on. I just want to be entertained.  I just hope that this isn’t the slog that Age of Ultron was and the squalid excuse for a movie that Batman vs. Superman was. If Hollywood’s going to spend truckloads of money on superhero movies, they can at least make them fun and well-made. Here’s hoping.
Jessica: I am completely torn as to what side I want to be on. I see both sides of it but in the end, I think Tony Stark’s militaristic approach is a bit too much and would have to side with the Captain in the end. His heart is in the right place and I think he has the moral compass to do the right thing, whereas Tony Stark’s moral compass is nonexistent and I simply don’t trust him to make a decision that benefits mankind if it gets in the way of his own ambition and brain powers. I think Stark’s biggest fault is thinking he’s always the smartest man in the room. Whether he is or not, he never takes into account the emotional toll his decisions take and that is a big problem in the long run. So yeah, I’m Team Captain America!
Chris: I love Captain America, and I love the idea of Captain America.  In an ideal world, I would be in his camp, and beating my libertarian drum to the max, but the simple fact is that this is an unreal fantasy world where individuals hold more power than one can imagine.  That power unchecked is a threat to all.  As for who they should answer to is a whole other question, but I find myself aligning with Tony Stark on this one.  This is the movies folks and real world politics do not apply.  Team Iron Man

Added to the Ranks of Team Cap:  Ken and Jessica
Added to the Ranks of Team Iron Man:  Chris
Jumping in on the Winning Side at the Last Possible Moment?  Jim

The debate rages on!
The debate rages on!
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Trailer Snark (September 4th 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: Straight Outta Compton ruled the box office for a third week in a row, collecting another $13.2 million for a total of $134 million domestic.  And shockingly enough, its closest competition was the debuting religious movie War Room (from the makers of Fireproof), which took in $11 million for second place.  Zac Efron’s We Are Your Friends bombed with only $1.8 million on 2300 screen nationwide, leaving the aforementioned War Room as the highest debut (No Escape was technically released early on Wednesday came in fourth as mentioned later).  Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation also continued to pile heaping of cash on its haul in third with $8 million bring its total domestic to $170 million.  No Escape, starring Owen Wilson, scored nearly the same for a fourth place finish, and has $10 million in total domestic receipts.  Sinister 2, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Hitman: Agent 47, The Gift, Jurassic World, and Ant-Man rounded out the rest of the list in that order.  With four new films on the docket for this weekend, let’s check out the trailers.

Before We Go (RADiUS-TWC) – Comedy/Drama/Romance
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some suggestive content.
Tag Line: One night can change your whole life
Starring: Chris Evans and Alice Eve
Plot: Two strangers stuck in Manhattan for the night grow into each other’s most trusted confidants when an evening of unexpected adventure forces them to confront their fears and take control of their lives.
Running Time: 89 minutes

Chris: I’ll hand it to them….at least it does not look like a paint by numbers romance flick.  Still won’t get me to go see it.
Ken: The movie looks sappy but the track playing in the background is just too good. It’s called England, by the National. Look it up and thank me later.
Rob:  Captain America in a romantic comedy.  Nothing to see here.  Move along.
Jessica: Blah. Boo. Boring. I understand that the Capt is trying something different but this is heavily trodden ground and I could not possibly be LESS interested in watching this pile of sappy nonsense.

A Walk in the Woods (Broad Green Pictures) – Adventure/Drama/Comedy
Rated R for language and some sexual references
Tag Line: This Labor Day, Take a Hike.
Starring: Robert Redford and Nick Nolte
Plot: After spending two decades in England, Bill Bryson returns to the U.S., where he decides the best way to connect with his homeland is to hike the Appalachian Trail with one of his oldest friends.
Running Time: 104 minutes

Ken: At a certain age you’re supposed to quit acting a fool. But fools have the best stories, don’t they? This sounds like a fun one.
Rob: Hiking the AT is an amazing and physically demanding adventure.  I actually have a friend doing so right now.  Not sure Nolte would be up to the task.  At least there would be some amazing scenery in this flick.  Might check it out on demand down the road.
Jessica: Redford and Nolte, hmmm …
Chris: As we move towards our own change of seasons, two guys in the autumn of their lives seek some adventure on the Appalachian trail.  Good times.

The Transporter Refueled (EuropaCorp USA) – Action
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, sexual material, some language, a drug reference and thematic elements
Tag Line: None
Starring: Ed Skrein, Ray Stevenson, and Loan Chabanol
Plot: In the south of France, former special-ops mercenary Frank Martin enters into a game of chess with a femme-fatale and her three sidekicks who are looking for revenge against a sinister Russian kingpin.
Running Time: 96 minutes

Rob:  A series that is so uninteresting to me that I didn’t even know this was the fourth film.  Generic looking action flick IMO.
Jessica: Never saw the other films but I can say that this trailer actually bored me and I’m usually all up for a good action flick, this does not look like that flick.
Chris: The action series gets a reboot with Ed Skrein replacing Jason Statham.  Meh…..
Ken: Why does the bad guy always feel compelled to give the hero 12 hours to find his loved ones before killing them? What is the motivation there?

Dragon Blade (Lionsgate) – Action/Drama
Rated R for bloody violence
Tag Line: None
Starring: Jackie Chan, John Cusack, and Adrien Brody
Plot: When corrupt Roman leader Tiberius arrives with a giant army to claim the Silk Road, Huo An teams up his army with an elite Legion of defected Roman soldiers led by General Lucius to protect his country and his new friends.
Running Time: 127 minutes

Ken: I love kung-fu flicks, but a few things in this trailer that rub me wrong: John Cusak in an action role, Adrien Brody in an action role, Jackie Chan in a serious role, everyone in Asia speaking English.
Chris: John Cusack is so miscast here, it isn’t funny.   And that one detail kills it for me.
Jessica: John Cusack, really? I can’t. Oh dear lord I just can’t. The trailer was terrible, I can only hope the movie is better than that with someone like Adrien Brody in it but yeah … Not so much. I just can’t stop laughing at the idea of Cusack as a solider here. Yeah, all sorts of no.
Rob: Looks like mediocrity on screen is the soup of the week again.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for A Walk in the Woods (Ken and Chris), while Rob and Jessica stay home admiring their massive collections of books and comics.

trail-through-the-woods-short-cut-dr-heckle-funny-wtf-memes
Inspired by this week’s Walk in the Woods film release, Ken and Chris wisely choose their own hiking trail for some Labor Day adventure!