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Trailer Snark (October 20, 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, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Wayne from The Dope Sheet, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Wonderstruck (Amazon Studios) – Drama/Family/Mystery
Rated PG for thematic elements and smoking
Tag Line: It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
Starring: Oakes Fegley, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams
Plot: The story of a young boy in the Midwest is told simultaneously with a tale about a young girl in New York from fifty years ago as they both seek the same mysterious connection.
Running Time: 117 minutes

Wayne: Hmmm. Looks like a wonderful movie, but there is something that is missing in the trailer to grab me and I bet it is missing something in the movie too.
Chris: I see the “praise” but I don’t see the appeal.
Jim: Definitely a feel-good trailer, but I think mainly because I can never get enough of Space Oddity. The trailer has that something missing that would get me to the theater.

The Snowman (Universal) – Crime/Drama/Horror
Rated R for grisly images, violence, some language, sexuality and brief nudity
Tag Line: Mister Police. You Could have Saved Her. I Gave You All The Clues.
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson
Plot: Detective Harry Hole investigates the disappearance of a woman whose pink scarf is found wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.
Running Time: 119 minutes

Jim: A slow buildup, but it had me intrigued. Rental.
Wayne: It doesn’t appeal to me, but given the time of year we are in, the Halloween scary movie feel is in the air and I have a feeling it will be a success this weekend. But not for me.
Chris: This one looks like creepy good crime thriller fun. I missed Wind River earlier this year which seemed to have some similar themes, but I will need to do my best to catch this one.

Same Kind of Different As Me (Paramount) – Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including some violence and language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Renée Zellweger, Jon Voight, Djimon Hounsou
Plot: International art dealer Ron Hall must befriend a dangerous homeless man in order to save his struggling marriage to his wife, a woman whose dreams will lead all three of them on the journey of their lives.
Running Time: 95 minutes

Chris: A movie with a message I can get behind and will make you feel good….just put the lessons into practice first. Count me in.
Jim: Certainly had a message that we could all benefit from, but to be honest the trailer piled on the schmaltz a bit too much.
Wayne: All Star cast but doesn’t give you the good feels. No good feels means no ticket. I pass.

Geostorm (Warner Bros) – Action/Sci-Fi/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for destruction, action and violence
Tag Line: Some things were never meant to be controlled.
Starring: Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish
Plot: When the network of satellites designed to control the global climate start to attack Earth, it’s a race against the clock to uncover the real threat before a worldwide geostorm wipes out everything and everyone.
Running Time: 109 minutes

Wayne: I don’t care for these types of films because they usually rely heavily on the cgi effects. I’m going to pass on this.
Chris: This is the kind of garbage that gives Hollywood a bad name….I mean, outside of Harvey Weinstein.
Jim: The latest cheesy disaster flick, but it might have some worth as a guilty pleasure. I’m hoping. ‘Cause my daughter wants to see it. Keep me in your prayers.

Tyler Perry’s Boo 2: A Madea Halloween (Lionsgate) – Comedy/Horror
PG-13 for sexual references, drug content, language and some horror images
Tag Line: None
Starring: Tyler Perry, Patrice Lovely, Brock O’Hurn
Plot: Madea, Bam, and Hattie venture to a haunted campground and the group must run for their lives when monsters, goblins, and the boogeyman are unleashed.
Running Time: 95 minutes

Jim: Jim Cannizzaro’s Noo 2. Sorry.
Wayne: I didn’t see the first and the second doesn’t make me feel any better. Pass.
Chris: I haven’t seen a Tyler Perry movie yet, and this ain’t changing that.

Only the Brave (Columbia) – Biography/Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic content, some sexual references, language and drug material
Tag Line: It’s Not What Stands In Front Of You, It’s Who Stands Beside You
Starring: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges
Plot: Based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters risk everything to protect a town from a historic wildfire.
Running Time: 133 minutes

Chris: Oscar buzz is in the air on this one. And it could not be more tragically timing.
Jim: Well, this looks like something resembling a movie. A quick shot and voice-over from Jeff Bridges gives me added hope, although he most likely isn’t in it for long. Interested.
Wayne: Another movie that doesn’t hit me in the feels and I won’t see. Feels like a throw away movie to me.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (A24) – Drama/Horror/Mystery
R for disturbing violent and sexual content, some graphic nudity and language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, Alicia Silverstone
Plot: Steven, a charismatic surgeon, is forced to make an unthinkable sacrifice after his life starts to fall apart, when the behavior of a teenage boy he has taken under his wing turns sinister.
Running Time: 121 minutes

Wayne: Oh boy. Will she stop singing? Lousy trailer means I’m skipping this movie.
Chris: I was in a trance for the whole trailer, but I have no idea what this is really going to end up being about. I am very intrigued.
Jim: Intriguing trailer, but yet another that’s unclear as to what it’s about almost to the point of madness. Loved The Lobster.

Tickets Purchased: Two for The Snowman (Wayne and Chris) and One for Only the Brave (Jim)

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Trailer Snark (June 21, 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, Eric from View from Above, Robert from Cards and Counters, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Transformers: The Last Knight (Paramount) – Action/Sci-Fi
Rated PG-13 for violence and intense sequences of sci-fi action, language, and some innuendo
Tag Line: For one world to live, the other must die.
Starring:  Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins
Plot: Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth.
Running Time: 149 minutes

Chris: The news of plans for 14 more films had a suddenly wearying effect on me.  Yeah, you read that right.
Jim: I was born about 10 years too early to get excited about the mention of the word Transformers. I’ve only seen the first movie in this franchise and thought it was Ok as time-wasting popcorn flicks go. The trailers for the rest of them have just looked boring in that we’re-gonna-shove-CGI-down-your-throat-until-you-beg-for-mercy way. Including this one.
Wayne: I’ve given up on the trailers because they are always better than the movies.  With that said, I saw it last (k)night.

You can read Wayne’s review of the movie at The Dope Sheet right here!

The Big Sick (Lionsgate) – Comedy/Romance
Rated R for language including some sexual references
Tag Line: An awkward love story.
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Ray Romano
Plot: A couple deals with their cultural differences as their relationship grows.
Running Time: 119 minutes

Wayne: Interesting movie, surely going to be a tear jerker.  Going to sell this one and wait for Netflix.
Chris: Nice to see Ray Romano in a feature film that isn’t animated, but I found the laughs hard to come by in this trailer.  Pass.
Jim: This looks like it could be a great romcom. Hope all of the good moments aren’t in the trailer.

The Beguiled (Focus Features) – Drama
Rated R for some sexuality
Tag Line: None
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Colin Farrell
Plot: At a girls’ school in Virginia during the Civil War, where the young women have been sheltered from the outside world, a wounded Union soldier is taken in. Soon, the house is taken over with sexual tension, rivalries, and an unexpected turn of events.
Running Time: 93 minutes

Jim: Interesting-looking remake of the ’71 Clint Eastwood classic. The cast certainly helps.
Wayne: Going to sell this trailer.  I don’t care for time period pieces like this and I also don’t find this cast ensemble appealing.   
Chris: Now we’re talking!  Kirsten Dunst and Nicole Kidman sharing the screen together is a treat.  Add in some Colin Farrel and a touch of revenge and you have yourself some pretty good cinematic potential!

The Bad Batch (Neon) – Romance/Sci-Fi
Rated R for violence, language, some drug content and brief nudity
Tag Line: None
Starring: Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa
Plot: A dystopian love story in a Texas wasteland and set in a community of cannibals.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Chris: What is this?  Some kind of Mad Max meets Hills Have Eyes meets Rob Zombie hybrid?  May be a rental, even if that, to be honest.  The Bad Batch is right.
Jim: Looks like a bad Tarantino knockoff minus the humor. Pass.
Wayne: Looks like a great cast, but has the feel of an 80’s film with no direction.  Going to sell this trailer.

Tickets Purchased: One for Transformers (Wayne), One for The Big Sick (Jim), and One for The Beguiled (Chris)

We just could not agree this week.
We just could not agree this week.
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Trailer Snark (May 13th, 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: Captain America:  Civil War ruled all with a whopping $181.7M in receipts.  Jungle Book was a very distant second at $21.8 bringing its total to $284.9M domestic.  Third place Mother’s Day did not crack double digits at $9M and $20.7M overall.  Botttom line is a Disney Box Office wipeout.  The rest of the top ten shook out like this:  Huntsman:  Winter’s War ($3.5M/$40.3M), Keanu ($3M/$15.1M), Barbershop ($2.7M/$48.7M), Zootopia ($2.6M/$327.6M), The Boss ($$1.7M/$59.1M), and Batman vs Superman ($1M/$327.2M).  Now, on to this week’s new releases, sure to be crushed by Civil War.

Money Monster (Sony) – Drama
Rated R for language throughout, some sexuality and brief violence
Tag Line: #FollowTheMoney
Starring: George Clooney, Julia Roberts
Plot: Financial TV host Lee Gates and his producer Patty are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor takes over their studio.
Running Time: 98 minutes

Jessica: Snooze fest.
Jim: Love these Dog Day Afternoon set-ups. A strong cast helps.
Chris:  Some days I’d like to punch George Clooney in his perfect teeth.

The Darkness (High Top) – Horror/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some disturbing violence, brief sensuality and language
Tag Line: Evil comes home.
Starring:  Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Morrison
Plot:  A family returns from a Grand Canyon vacation, haunted by an ancient supernatural entity they unknowingly awakened and engages them in a fight for their survival.
Running Time: 92 minutes

Chris:  Kevin Bacon and Jennifer Morrison last starred together in Stir of Echoes….good flick.  Not sure if I feel the stir with this trailer, however.
Jessica: Great choice to put it out on Friday the 13th and I love Kevin Bacon. The kid makes me nuts on “Gotham” but this could be a good home viewer.
Jim: Despite the presence of the great Kevin Bacon, looks like a by-the numbers modern horror movie.

Love and Friendship (Roadside Attractions) – Drama/Romance
Rated PG for some thematic elements
Tag Line: A lady never reveals her tactics.
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Chloe Sevigny
Plot: Lady Susan Vernon takes up temporary residence at her in-laws’ estate and, while there, is determined to be a matchmaker for her daughter Frederica — and herself too, naturally.
Running Time: 92 minutes

Jim: Costume pictures are always a risk. They can be great (Dangerous Liasons), but most of the time it always looks too much like what it is—modern-day actors playing dress-up.
Chris: My mom would love this…yes, that was a back-handed compliment. 😉
Jessica: I got bored during the trailer. Skip!

The Lobster (A24) – Comedy/Drama/Romance
Rated R for sexual content including dialogue, and some violence
Tag Line: An unconventional love story by Yorgos Lanthimos.
Starring:  Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz
Plot: In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Jessica: I love quirky films and this looks just on the right side of quirky.
Jim: Looks bizarre enough to be interesting.
Chris:  Man, Collin packed on some weight for this lobster roll!

High Rise (Magnolia Pictures) – Drama
Rated R for violence, disturbing images, strong sexual content/graphic nudity, language and some drug use
Tag Line: Leave the real world behind.
Starring:  Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller
Plot: Life for the residents of a tower block begins to run out of control.
Running Time:  119 minutes

Chris:  Looks like Snowpiercer in an apartment building.  Meh.
Jessica: Another one that intrigues me and I do so love Loki! I would watch this at home.
Jim: It must be Brit Week here on Trailer Snark—another strange, interesting- looking movie.

Last Days in the Desert (Broad Green Pictures) – Adventure/History/Drama
Rated PG-13 for some disturbing images and brief partial nudity
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Ewan MacGregor, Ciaran Hinds
Plot: An imagined chapter from Jesus’ forty days of fasting and praying in the desert. On his way out of the wilderness, Jesus struggles with the Devil over the fate of a family in crisis.
Running Time: 98 minutes

Jim: Sorry, No.
Chris: I love Ewan MacGregor and this one looks interesting to me.  Small screen viewing for sure.
Jessica: Not my cup of tea.

Search Party (Focus World) – Comedy
Rated R for language throughout, drug use, graphic nudity, and sexual content
Tag Line: This is not a vacation.  It’s a rescue mission.
Starring:  Adam Pally, T.J. Miller, Alison Brie
Plot: A pair of friends embark on a mission to reunite their pal with the woman he was going to marry.
Running Time: 93 minutes

Jessica: A poor mans Hangover. No thanks.
Jim: Scraping the last dregs of The Hangover. The vomiting donkey doesn’t help.
Chris: From the “I didn’t need to see that” files comes donkey puke!  The trailer was enough for me.  Pass.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for a re-visit with Civil War (Jessica and Chris) and one for Money Monster (Jim)

Box Office Champ?  Civil War's second week will be very telling!
Box Office Champ? Civil War’s second week will be very telling!

 

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The Female Perspective: True Detective Season 2

Welcome! This is a twice-weekly blog* by Author J.L. Metcalf where I discuss anything and everything that strikes my fancy. If you have ideas on what you think I should write about, please send me an email via my website!

For now, sit back, relax and enjoy the blog!

*All views expressed in “The Female Perspective” are those of J.L. Metcalf, not Great Stories, Inc.


It’s been a bizarre week for this Rhode Island gal, first we have a, what I have dubbed, a hurrisoon 2015 that knocked my power out for 2 days and then the cable was down all morning. Fully established back in my lair of things electric and cable-fueled, I am here to type the blog I meant to write on Tuesday!

True Detective Season 2 has been less than impressive.
True Detective Season 2 has been less than impressive.

Said blog is about the HBO show True Detective. While I realize we have one episode left and I should really wait until then I decided to write this blog early and after the finale I’ll add a bit more about the show. My thoughts thus far? Meh.

I was a HUGE fan of the first season, Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, New Orleans, creepy goodness abounds, you cannot go wrong! McConaughey’s acting was some of the most bizarre, intense and nonsensical wonderfulness I’ve seen in a long time. The below speech is just one example of dozens I could show you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbcwAPZycGE

True Detective Season 1 was a revelation. A wonderfully creepy tale about murder and religion. I couldn’t binge-watch this show fast enough.

Season 2 however? The only thing I can come up with is to say it is a disappointment.

It was full of potential. A great cast with Vince Vaughn, Colin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch and Rachel McAdams. Great casting. Problem is, there are too many actors in this tiny kitchen. I get that they were trying to make up for the lack of diversity, the lack of females in the first season but don’t just put people in as fillers (and for the record, all the leads were still white men so yeah, there’s that), use them to their full potential!

This show could have been stellar with just Vaughn and Farrell glaring at one another over  table. Their interactions are crisp, tension-filled moments of intense eye stares and blank facial expressions that are showing the tiniest cracks of barely suppressed fury. Vince Vaughn as the mobster trying to make some money is actually really amazing. He has better acting chops than I recalled and I could watch him all day was he releases his rage every once in awhile on his poor victims.

When Vaughn and Farrell are face-to-face, sparks fly.
When Vaughn and Farrell are face-to-face, sparks fly.

It’s obvious that Farrell and Vaughn were meant to be the stars of this show and that’s fine, as I said already, their interactions are fantastic to watch. Some of the one-liners tossed out are brilliant and fun but over all, the rest of the mess of True Detective Season 2 doesn’t help anything.

The fact is that Taylor Kitsch isn’t given much to do, his story really makes no sense and he seems to be a glorified gopher for the Farrell and McAdams. Even McAdams doesn’t get to do much but her character is fleshed out a helluva lot more than Kitsch’s is.  The thing is though, she’s a cliche. She’s the tough girl who had a rough life. She is brave, she is ballsey and yet, she’s fragile in some indefinable way that makes her almost likable. Almost, but not quite. I give McAdams a lot of credit for this, she manages to take a character that is barely well-written and make her seem three dimensional and interesting. I would honestly like to know more about her but sadly, I don’t think I will get that chance since we only have one episode left.

Will it get better? Maybe this guy knows...
Will it get better? Maybe this guy knows…

The thing is, the story loses me in almost every episode. I’ll start go get bored or tired an then BAM! Suddenly some serious stuff goes down that wakes me up. But those moments are quick, flash and gone. Those moments aren’t enough to make me say that Season 2 has been worth my time. I am waiting for the finale this Sunday but I am not quite sure that it’ll be worth it. True Detective has been a pretty short season, only 8 episodes, and it has felt very, very long but I’m hanging in for that 90-minute finale, I am REALLY hoping it’ll make up for all that has come before it!