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Trailer Snark (December 22, 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!

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Columbia Pictures) – Action/Adventure/Comedy
Rated PG-13 for adventure action, suggestive content and some language
Tag Line: The game has evolved.
Starring: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart
Plot: Four teenagers discover an old video game console and are literally drawn into the game’s jungle setting, becoming the adult avatars they choose.
Running Time: 119 minutes

Chris: When I heard about a remake, I just shook my head. But this looks to be a reinvention, and it smacks of great entertainment.
Jim: Ooooeeeee! Some great trailers this week. Despite being yet another “remake”, Jumanji looks like a blast! With the ever-likable Dwayne Johnson and Jack Black and a great premise, this looks like a winner.

The Greatest Showman (20th Century Fox) – Musical/Drama/Biography
Rated PG for thematic elements including a brawl
Tag Line: None
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams
Plot: Inspired by the imagination of P.T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman is an original musical that celebrates the birth of show business and tells of a visionary who rose from nothing to create a spectacle that became a worldwide sensation.
Running Time: 105 minutes

Jim: An impressive trailer for a very timely subject since B and B said goodbye this year. There are never enough great musicals and this looks like it could be one.
Chris: I am a bit ambivalent about musicals on screen, but this one came across better than expected. I won’t be signing in my theater seat, however.

Pitch Perfect 3 (Universal) – Musical/Comedy
Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language and some action.
Tag Line: Last call, pitches.
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow
Plot: Following their win at the world championship, the now separated Bellas reunite for one last singing competition at an overseas USO tour, but face a group who uses both instruments and voices.
Running Time: 93 minutes

Chris: I have successfully navigated life without seeing the first two. A third entry in the series is not going to change that.
Jim: I’ve seen the other two with my daughter, gotta admit we like ’em. Anna Kendrick is always an asset. 

Hostiles (Entertainment Studios) – Drama/Adventure/Western
Rated R for strong violence, and language
Tag Line: We are all hostiles.
Starring: Christian Bale, Scott Shepherd, Rosamund Pike
Plot: In 1892, a legendary Army captain reluctantly agrees to escort a Cheyenne chief and his family through dangerous territory.
Running Time: 133 minutes

Jim: Good, solid-looking western, albeit a mite self-important.
Chris: Wow, did this one take me by surprise. Looks like a must-see!

Downsizing (Paramount) – Comedy/Drama/Sci-Fi
Rated R for language including sexual references, some graphic nudity and drug use.
Tag Line: We are meant for something bigger.
Starring: Matt Damon, Christoph Walz, Kristen Wiig
Plot: A social satire in which a guy realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself.
Running Time: 135 minutes

Chris: I am sorry but I have been seeing this one plugged in just about every trailer offering in every movie I have seen recently at the local theater, and I am just not buying it. Matt Damon shrinkage issues are not for me.
Jim: Despite the talent involved, this just looks unappealing.

Father Figures (Warner Bros) – Comedy
Rated R for language and sexual references throughout
Tag Line: Finding Their Father Would Be a Family Miracle.
Starring: Owen Wilson, Ed Helms, Glenn Close
Plot: Upon learning that their mother has been lying to them for years about their allegedly deceased father, two fraternal twin brothers hit the road in order to find him.
Running Time: 113 minutes

Jim: A great trailer. What could have been some pretty dumb stuff just looks hilarious. Top-tier comic talent helps.
Chris: I actually prefer Owen Wilson when he takes on more serious roles. He really is a pretty good dramatic actor. We are in definitive rental territory here.

The Post (20th Century Fox) – Biography/Drama/History
Rated PG-13 for language and brief war violence
Tag Line: None
Starring: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks
Plot: A cover-up that spanned four U.S. Presidents pushed the country’s first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between journalist and government.
Running Time: 115 minutes

Chris: Could be a pretty decent drama, but not enough to beat out the draw of Jumanji or Hostiles this week.
Jim: Fairly screams BIG IMPORTANT MOVIE, but there’s no denying the size of the talent involved or the relevance of the subject matter.

Tickets Purchased: One for Jumanji (Chris) and one for Father Figures (Jim)

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Trailer Snark (November 22, 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!

Coco (Disney) – Animation/Adventure/Comedy
Rated PG for thematic elements
Tag Line: None
Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal
Plot: Aspiring musician Miguel, confronted with his family’s ancestral ban on music, enters the Land of the Dead to work out the mystery.
Running Time: 109 minutes

Chris: Disney does what they do best. This time with latin flare. I’ll catch it when it comes to my Blu Ray shelf.
Jim: Not the strongest Pixar trailer I’ve ever seen, but Inside Out had a weak one and the movie was awesome. Most likely see this in between helpings of hopefully not too much unhealthy holiday food.

Darkest Hour (Focus Features) – Biography/Drama/History
Rated PG-13 for some thematic material
Tag Line: Never give up. Never give in.
Starring: Gary Oldman, Lily James
Plot: During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds.
Running Time: 125 minutes

Jim: A great trailer for what looks like might be a rousing and fitting portrayal of the man. Some amazing makeup on that human chameleon Gary Oldman.
Chris: Churchill was the right leader for Britain at the right time. I haven’t seen any other films that really center on this historical figure, and I am intrigued to see how he is portrayed.

The Man Who Invented Christmas (Bleecker Street Media) – Biography/Comedy/Drama
Rated PG for thematic elements and some mild language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Dan Stevens, Christopher Plummer
Plot: The journey that led to Charles Dickens’ creation of “A Christmas Carol,” a timeless tale that would redefine the holiday.
Running Time: 104 minutes

Chris: Dickens develops relationships with the characters he is best remembered for in the furious run-up to the publishing of the renowned A Christmas Carol. Looks like a pretty cool take on the history and a Christmas movie I could really get into.
Jim: Finishing a great year for Dan Stevens and featuring the very prolific Christopher Plummer. I can never tire of this story and just finished some historical fiction on the making of it (Mr Dickens and His Carol). A must-see.

Chappaquiddick (Entertainment Studios) – Biography/Crime/Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic material, disturbing images, some strong language, and historical smoking
Tag Line: None
Starring: Jason Clarke, Clancy Brown, Kata Mara, Ed Helms
Plot: Ted Kennedy’s life and political career become derailed in the aftermath of a fatal car accident in 1969 that claims the life of a young campaign strategist, Mary Jo Kopechne.
Running time: 107 minutes

*There is no trailer available for this film, which is the first time in Trailer Snark history that you cannot find an active trailer on the internet for a film that is being released in the same week.  Hard to believe that someone has not cut a trailer for a film that has already screened at the Toronto Film Festival and features some major actors.  So it is not so much a stretch to believe that some powerful politicos are trying to squash promotion of the film.  It is too bad we can’t get an advanced peak, but if it turns out to be a good film, we certainly hope that people go see it.*

Tickets Purchased:  Two for The Man Who Invented Christmas

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Trailer Snark (June 2, 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!

Wonder Woman (Warner Bros) – Action/Adventure/Fantasy
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action, and some suggestive content
Tag Line: Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder.
Starring:  Gal Gadot, Chris Pine
Plot: Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny.
Running Time: 141 minutes

Chris: I have been pretty hard on DC’s cinematic universe, but this is the first time I have some true hopefulness in one of their films.  Here’s to a wonderous Wonder Woman!
Jim: Like most of the world, I’m looking forward to seeing this. The trailer’s certainly action-packed, and Gal Gadot is a stunning-looking woman.  I found her performance very wooden in that endurance test called Batman vs. Superman. Maybe she’ll pull it off in the new movie.
Jessica: A woman-led superhero flick directed by a woman? This little feminist heart is all for it!!! I cannot wait to see it and I have HIGH hopes that it is going to be the best of the best!!!!

Check out Great Stories very own Dope Sheet Review of the movie here!

Captain Underpants (Twentieth Century Fox) – Animated/Family
Rated PG for mild rude humor throughout
Tag Line: Change is coming!
Starring: Kevin Hart, Ed Helms
Plot: Two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.
Running Time: 89 minutes

Jim: A funny trailer, looks like a good rental.
Chris: Actually looks mildly amusing, but my wife is horrified.

Dean (CBS Films) – Comedy/Drama
Rated PG-13 for language and some suggestive material
Tag Line: A comedy about tragedy.
Starring: Demetri Martin, Kevin Kline, Gillian Jacobs
Plot: A comedy about loss, grief and the redemptive power of love, Dean is an NY illustrator who falls hard for an LA woman while trying to prevent his father from selling the family home in the wake of his mother’s death.
Running Time: 87 minutes

Chris: Watching Dean totally destroy himself in front of the pretty girl was very funny, but it looks like a rental at best.
Jim: At last, a romantic comedy that’s not falling all over itself trying to impress me how witty it thinks it is. Good date night material, and the scene that Chris mentioned is very funny.

Band Aid (IFC Films) – Comedy
Not Rated
Tag Line: Misery loves accompaniment
Starring: Zoe Lister-Jones, Adam Pally, Colin Hanks, Brooklyn Decker
Plot: A couple who can’t stop fighting embark on a last-ditch effort to save their marriage: turning their fights into songs and starting a band.
Running Time: 91 minutes

Jim: Another interesting romcom, and one about a married couple that actually looks good. What a great premise!
Chris: This actually looks darn good.  A romantic comedy done in a style of its own. A romcom that is not paint by numbers…how refreshing!

Vincent n Roxxy (Vertical Entertainment) – Crime/Drama/Thriller
Rated R for brutal bloody violence, language throughout, some strong sexual content, nudity, and brief drug use
Tag Line: None
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Zoe Kravitz
Plot: A small town loner and a rebellious punk rocker unexpectedly fall in love as they are forced on the run and soon discover violence follows them everywhere.
Running Time: 110 minutes

Chris: That’s a whole lot of dysfunctional people in one trailer.
Jim: Blecchh. Yawn. ZZZZ.  And other negative sounds.

Tickets Purchased: Three for Wonder Woman

Righting the wrongs of Batman vs Superman?
Righting the wrongs of Batman vs Superman?

 

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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