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Trailer Snark (July 15, 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!

Last Week: Finding Dory was finally dethroned and it took another family-friendly animated film to do it!  The Secret Life of Pets took in $103.1M in its opening weekend.  In second place was The Legend of Tarzan with another $20.6M to add to its $81.4M total.  The aforementioned Finding Dory came in third doing great business at $20.3M and an astounding $422.5M total domestic.  Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates debuted in fourth with $16.6M.  Rounding out the top five was The Purge: Election Year ($11.7M/$58.1M).  The rest of the top ten went as follows: Central Intelligence ($8.1M/$108.3M), Independence Day: Resurgence ($7.7M/$91.4M), The BFG ($7.6M/$38.7M), The Shallows ($4.8M/$45.8M), and Sultan ($2.2M/$3.2M).  Here are this week’s new entries…..

Ghostbusters (Columbia) – Sci-Fi/Comedy
Rated PG-13 for supernatural action and some crude humor
Tag Line: Who You Gonna Call?
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon
Plot: Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat.
Running Time: 116 minutes

Jessica: I LOVE the originals (yes, even the sequel so hush) but I also adore Paul Feige and this crew of ladies so I am really excited about this movie. Even after hearing it’s not perfect but a lot of fun, I’m still excited. Plus, Thor as their secretary???? Yes please!
Chris: Don’t tell my wife (she is hating on the relaunch), but I think this looks like a big bucket of buttered popcorn fun to me!

The Infiltrator (Broad Green) – Crime/Biography
Rated R for strong violence, language throughout, some sexual content and drug material
Tag Line: The true story of one man against the biggest drug cartel in history
Starring: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo
Plot: A U.S. Customs official uncovers a money laundering scheme involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
Running Time: 127 minutes

Chris: A look into the story of the people responsible for taking down one of the biggest criminal creeps in our lifetime?  Love this type of film!
Jessica: I would watch Bryan Cranston narrate stereo instructions in a dramatic fashion. He is just awesome and this looks fantastic.

Cafe Society (Lionsgate) – Comedy/Drama/Romance
Rated PG-13 for some violence, a drug reference, suggestive material and smoking
Tag Line: Anyone who is anyone will be seen at Café Society.
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carrell, Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively
Plot: Set in the 1930s, a young Bronx native moves to Hollywood where he falls in love with the secretary of his powerful uncle, an agent to the stars. After returning to New York he is swept up in the vibrant world of high society nightclub life.
Running Time: 96 minutes

Jessica: 1. I STRONGLY DISLIKE Woody Allen and refuse to watch his movies. 2. I STRONGLY DISLIKE Kristen Stewart and often avoid her movies if I can. So yeah, BIG pass on this bore-fest for me. Even with a stellar cast I’m all sorts of set with never seeing it.
Chris:  I think Jessica summed up my thoughts quite nicely here.

Equals (A24) – Drama/Romance/Sci-Fi
Rated PG-13 for thematic content, sensuality, partial nudity and disturbing images
Tag Line: Find your equal.
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Kristen Stewart
Plot: In an emotionless utopia, two people fall in love when they regain their feelings from a mysterious disease, causing tensions between them and their society.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Chris: Aside from the boring trailer, it is Kristen Stewart AGAIN!  Can’t stay far enough away.
Jessica: ANOTHER KRISTEN STEWART MOVIE!?!?!? I am trying to resist swearing. I didn’t even make it through the trailer. I’m almost 100% certain this has been done before (and better). PASS PASS PASS.

Undrafted (Vertical Entertainment) – Comedy/Drama
Not Rated
Tag Line: Twelve guys loved a game.  It didn’t love them back.
Starring:  James Belushi, Tyler Hoechlin, Joseph Mazzello
Plot: When twelve ragtag teammates set out to play what should be a meaningless summer intramural baseball game, it ends up becoming the most important game of their lives.
Running Time: 90 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4c56soXrNs
Chris:  Low rent fodder that should be going straight to DVD.
Jessica: Surprisingly cute looking. I’d watch this at home. It looks funny but with a heart (yep, I went with the cliche).

Tickets Purchased:  Two for Ghostbusters!

What do you want to see in the new Ghostbusters film?  Definitely the ghost of Bob Ross for me please!
What do you want to see in the new Ghostbusters film? Definitely the ghost of Bob Ross for me please!
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Trailer Snark (April 21st, 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!

Last Week: Jungle Book was the run-away winner this week taking in $103.5M in its debut.  Second place belonged to another new entry, Barbershop Next Cut with $20.2M in receipts.  The Boss dropped to third ($10.1M/$40.3M).  Meanwhile, Batman v. Superman winds down in fourth place ($9M/$311.3M).  Zootopia held fifth ($8.2M/$307.4M).  The rest of the top ten went as follows:  Criminal ($5.8M/NEW), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 ($3.2M/$52M), Miracles from Heaven ($1.9M/$56.9M), Gods Not Dead 2 ($1.7M/$16.9M), and Eye in the Sky ($1.5M/$16.9M).  This week’s new releases are heavy on royalty…..let’s check them out.

The Huntman: Winter’s War (Universal) – Action/Adventure/Drama
Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence and some sensuality
Tag Line: None
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Charlize Theron
Plot: As a war between rival queen sisters Ravenna and Freya escalates, Eric and fellow warrior Sara, members of the Huntsmen army raised to protect Freya, try to conceal their forbidden love as they combat Ravenna’s wicked intentions.
Running Time: 114 minutes

Ken: The visuals look snazzy and I’m all for returning fairy-tales to their dark origins. But a prequel to Snow White? Snow thanks.
Jessica: Eh. I liked the first one and am very happy that Stewart is not in here, but I’m on the fence. It looks gorgeous but the heavy effects tend to get boring if there isn’t a good story attached. Though Theron was the best part of the first one … Totally on the fence on this one.
Chris:  Does anyone else think Hemsworth would make a great Kristoff?  But I digress…..looks good and I am sure the wife would agree!

Elvis and Nixon (Bleecker Street Media) – Comedy/History
Rated R for some language
Tag Line: On December 21st, 1970, two of America’s greatest recording artists met for the first time.
Starring:  Michael Shannon, Kevin Spacey
Plot: The untold true story behind the meeting between the King of Rock ‘n Roll and President Nixon, resulting in this revealing, yet humorous moment immortalized in the most requested photograph in the National Archives.
Running Time: 86 minutes

Chris:  I think this one might be good for a chuckle on a low key night at home.  By the way, I like Ken’s title recommendation below!
Ken: A better title would have been The President and The King. Looks interesting enough, but not enough for a trip to the theater.
Jessica: Oh this looks like a hoot. Great actors, a compelling story. Love it.

A Hologram for the King (Lionsgate) – Drama
Rated R for some sexuality/nudity, language and brief drug use
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Tom Hanks, Sarita Choudhary, Tom Skerritt
Plot: A failed American businessman looks to recoup his losses by traveling to Saudi Arabia and selling his idea to a wealthy monarch.
Running Time: 97 minutes

Jessica: I’m more intrigued after seeing this trailer, but this would be a home viewer, if at all.
Chris: I am having trouble caring at all about the story. 
Ken: It had me with the quirky Talking Heads opening but then lost me shortly after.

Tale of Tales (IFC Films) – Fantasy/Horror/Romance
Not rated
Tag Line:  A feast for the imagination.
Starring:  Salma Hayek, John C Reilly, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones
Plot: From the bitter quest of the Queen of Longtrellis, to two mysterious sisters who provoke the passion of a king, to the King of Highhills obsessed with a giant Flea, these tales are inspired by the fairytales by Giambattista Basile.
Running Time: 133 minutes

Ken: No idea what I watched, but the music was beautiful and the production design looks both gorgeous and terrifying. Rent it and hope for the best.
Jessica: I don’t … What the Heck? I don’t get it. I don’t know if i WANT to get it and then again, I kind of do. What the heck I say!
Chris:  I, for one, am happy to have not heard this fairy tale as a child.  But as an adult, I may be more willing to open this little Pandora Box.

Compadres (Pantelion Films) – Action/Comedy
Not Rated
Tag Line:  None
Starring: Omar Chaparro, Joey Morgan, Eric Roberts
Plot: As former cop Garza seeks revenge on Santos, the crime lord who framed him, he forms an unlikely team with a young hacker who successfully stole $10 million from Santos.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Chris:  Eric Roberts is the kiss of “B” movie death….pass.
Ken: Dios mio, no.
Jessica: No. No. A thousand times NO.

The Meddler (Sony Picture Classics) – Comedy/Drama
Rated PG-13 for brief drug content
Tag Line: None
Starring: Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, J.K. Simmons
Plot: An aging widow from New York City follows her daughter to Los Angeles in hopes of starting a new life after her husband passes away.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Jessica: Eh. Looks cute and that’s about it.
Chris: A movie for moms and daughters everywhere….in other words, pass.
Ken: This is my mother, no exaggeration. Looks charming enough for a stream.

Tickets Purchased: One for Elvis and Nixon (Jessica), One for The Huntsman: Winter’s War (Chris) and Ken “takes the black” to find out what happened to Jon Snow.

While we are at it Treasury Department....
While we are at it Treasury Department….
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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 (July 31st Theatrical Releases)

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!

Before we tell you about last week’s Box Office results, the team would like to give a shout out to our friend Jim (Front Row View) who has not blogged with us for a few weeks due to having surgery.  We are pleased to report that his recovery is going very well and we hope to have him back with us soon!  Thanks for joining us in wishing him a continued speedy recovery!

Last Week:  Ant-Man dominated the box office for the second week in a row ($25 million for a total of $106 million), fending off a challenge from Adam Sandler’s Pixels (debuting with $24 million), while Minions proved its staying power with a strong third place (adding $22 million for a total of $262 million).  And Rob has still not gone to see it!  Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck was in fourth bringing its two week total to just over $61milliion, and Southpaw took the number five slot with a $16.5 million haul in its debut week.  The teen drama Paper Towns was in sixth ($12.5 million).  Inside Out (now over $320 million), Jurassic World (now over $628 million), Mr. Holmes (just over $6 million), and Terminator: Genisys (just over $85 million) rounded out the top ten.  And now for this week’s releases……

Vacation (New Line Cinema) – Comedy
Rated R for crude and sexual content and language throughout, and brief graphic nudity
Tag Line: What could go wrong?
Starring:  Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Chevy Chase, Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann, Beverly D’Angelo
Plot: Rusty Griswold takes his own family on a road trip to “Walley World” in order to spice things up with his wife and reconnect with his sons.
Running Time: 99 minutes

Jessica: I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first but the trailer has me laughing (I mean, Thor alone cracked me up for a few good minutes) and I do enjoy Ed Helms. I’ll definitely be seeing this one.
Chris: Looks like some goofy fung…I mean fun.
Ken: Rusty Griswald following in his old man’s legacy. I was really enjoying the trailer until that last scene. That was just too gross. Yuck, Chevy Chase.
Rob:  I am on vacation with Vacation. (Rob unreachable for further comments..<snicker>)

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (Paramount) – Action
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
Tag Line: Go rogue.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames
Plot: Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.
Running Time: 131 minutes

Ken: I’ve never been a huge fan of the MI series so this is a pass, although they almost had me with the flute gun.
Chris: I was also one of those who could not stand the first one, but this series has gotten progressively better in my opinion.  Hoping they can continue that trend….the outlook is promising.
Jessica: I’ll admit, I think the first few MI movies are dull as dirt (actually, they might be duller than dirt) but the last one was a lot of fun and this one looks to be just as fun and hey, Tom Cruise REALLY did hang off that plane while it flew, pretty bad ass if you ask me!

Listen to Me Marlon (Passion Pictures) – Documentary/Biography
Not Rated
Tag Line:  The definitive Brando in his own words.
Starring:  Marlon Brando
Plot: A documentary that utilizes hundreds of hours of audio that Marlon Brandon recorded over the course of his life to tell the screen legend’s story.
Running Time:  95 minutes

Chris: I recognize that Marlon Brando is a Hollywood icon, but I just don’t much care for this behind the scenes introspection.  I don’t think anyone on this blog team is pretentious enough to make this their pick of the week.  😉
Ken: I’m not a film buff and my exposure to Brando is limited to his later work like Apocalypse Now and The Godfather. Still I’ve always been curious about the man many consider one of the greatest American actors. Looks interesting enough, could be a contender.
Jessica: A fascinating look into a fascinating man.

Best of Enemies (Magnolia) – Documentary/History
Rated R for some sexual content/nudity and language
Tag Line: Buckley vs. Vidal. 2 Men. 10 Debates. Television Would Never Be The Same.
Starring: William F. Buckley Jr., Gore Vidal
Plot: A documentary on the series of televised debates in 1968 between the liberal Gore Vidal and the conservative William F. Buckley Jr.
Running Time: 87 minutes

Ken: Two opposing cultural ideologies going head to head during one of the most tumultuous periods in US history. Another good history lesson.  
Jessica: Oh my gosh, this looks wildly entertaining and informative. Totally into it.
Chris: At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, considering my thoughts on celebrity voyeurism, I admit to being very intrigued by the real life relationship between Gore Vidal and William Buckley.  The narrators of political history unfolding before us in the 1960
tumults and beyond.

The End of the Tour (A24) – Drama
Rated R for language including some sexual references
Tag Line:  Imagine the greatest conversation you’ve ever had.
Starring: Jason Segal, Jesse Eisenberg, Anna Chlumsky, Joan Cusack, and Ron Livingston
Plot: The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking epic novel, ‘Infinite Jest.’
Running Time: 106 minutes

Jessica: As an author myself this one really appeals to me AND I have mad love for Jason Segal. This looks like a  story that’s been told loads of times but the actors are engaging and the story looks good.
Ken: Insightful, honest and devastatingly tragic. I didn’t know this movie existed until now but I desperately need to see it.
Chris: Seems that Segal and Eisenberg boast some real nice chemistry from the trailer.  Could be good.

A Lego Brickumentary (RADiUS-TWC) – Documentary
Rated G
Tag Line:  N/A
Starring: Jason Bateman
Plot: A look at the global culture and appeal of the LEGO building-block toys.
Running Time: 93 minutes

Chris: I run a pop culture company.  How could this not be required viewing?  Just maybe not in the theater.
Ken: Legos, the original Minecraft. I love that Jason Bateman is the narrator and wonder if he got cast because of his “twenty miles to Lego Land” line from Arrested Development.
Jessica: Oh heck yeah! Having lived with little boys who LOVE Lego’s I would love to watch something all about LEGO’s, totally in.

Tickets Purchased:  2 tickets for Vacation (Jessica and Rob), 1 ticket for Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (Chris), and 1 ticket for The End of the Tour (Ken)

Grumpy Jonathan Toews cat, FTW!
Grumpy Jonathan Toews cat, FTW!

What will you be seeing in theaters this weekend?
-The Great Stories Team