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Trailer Snark (August 4, 2017 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, 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!

The Dark Tower (Columbia Pictures) – Action/Adventure/Fantasy
Rated PG-13 for thematic material including sequences of gun violence and action.
Tag Line: There are other worlds than these.
Starring: Idris Elba, Matthew McCaunaughey, Katheryn Winnick
Plot: The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black.
Running Time: 95 minutes

Chris: Being a King fan, I feel a bit sheepish in saying that the epic work of his literary career is among my least favorite of his creative endeavors. That said, Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey are awesome which make this one worth checking out.
Jim: I’m a King fan, but for some reason I’ve never had any interest in reading the Dark Tower books. Despite the great cast, this looks like a pretty blah and routine actioner/thriller/whatever.

Detroit (Annapurna Distribution) – Drama/Crime/History
Rated R for strong violence and pervasive language
Tag Line: It’s time we knew.
Starring: John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Algee Smith
Plot: Amidst the chaos of the Detroit Rebellion, with the city under curfew and as the Michigan National Guard patrolled the streets, three young African American men were murdered at the Algiers Motel.
Running Time: 143 minutes

Jim: Looks like another winner from the red-hot Kathryn Bigelow. A great example of how a trailer can effectively sell a movie.
Chris: Intensity! Based on a true story, and definitely makes me want to know more. I’ll be checking it out.

Check out The Dope Sheet Movie review here!

Wind River (The Weinstein Company) – Action/Crime/Mystery
Rated R for strong violence, a rape, disturbing images, and language
Tag line: Nothing is harder to track than the truth.
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Kelsey Asbille
Plot: An FBI agent teams with a town’s veteran game tracker to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation.
Running Time: 107 minutes

Chris: Two Avengers reunited. Love the setting for this murder mystery, with the feeling of isolation leading to greater danger. I am in.
Jim: A pretty lackluster trailer (and come on, not even touting the names of the actors—they’re two of the Avengers, man!) Pass.

Tickets Purchased:  One for The Dark Tower (Chris) and one for Detroit (Jim)

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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 (March 25th, 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: Zootopia topped the box office for the third straight week with $38M and putting its overall domestic haul to over $200M.  The latest Divergent series entry, Allegiant, came in second place with a $29M opening.  Miracles from Heaven debuted at number three with $18.5M.  10 Cloverfield Lane was in fourth ($12.5M/$45.1M).  In fifth was Deadpool still doing good biz ($8M/$340.9M).  The rest of the top ten was as follows:  London Has Fallen ($6.8M/$50M), Whiskey Tango Foxtrot ($2.8M/$19.2M), The Perfect Match ($1.9M/$7.3M), The Brothers Grimsby ($1.4M/$5.9M), and The Revanant ($1.2M/$181.1M).  It’s a short list of new releases this week as most studios made way for a certain superhero battle royal movie.  Let’s see what is on tap!

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (Warner Bros) – Action/Adventure
Rated PG – 13 for intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg
Plot: Fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the man of steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, a new threat, Doomsday, is created by Lex Luthor. It’s up to Superman and Batman to set aside their differences along with Wonder Woman to stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday from destroying Metropolis.
Running Time: 151 minutes

Ken: I don’t care how bad the latest slew of reviews have been, I’m still pretty excited to see Dawn of Justice this weekend. Please be good…
Jessica: I remember a time were advance info and reviews weren’t as easily available and I miss those days. I don’t care what anyone else says, i want to see this bad boy and I have high hopes for it.
Jim: I’m reaching my saturation point with superhero movies, but have to admit this looks like a good one. Hopefully, it’s not just the trailer that’s good. Jesse Eisenberg as Luthor has me hopeful…but then again, so did Kevin Spacey. Ugh.
Chris: I have scoffed at the premise of any scenario where Batman could take on Superman, but comic movies are all about suspending reality anyway, so what the heck.  I am in.
Rob:  Make mine Marvel!

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (Universal) – Comedy/Romance
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material
Tag Line:  Every day of my life is Greek Club.
Starring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett
Plot: A Portokalos family secret brings the beloved characters back together for an even bigger and Greeker wedding.
Running Time: 94 minutes

Rob:  I will probably be forced to watch this with my wife at some point, but will try to resist.
Chris:  I formally renew my vow to not see this film.
Ken: Didn’t see the first, no interest in the sequel.
Jessica: Where’s the caped crusader? The man of steel? Wonder Woman? No superhero’s means I don’t care.
Jim: Jaded Moviegoer is showing up a lot this week—I’ve had it with ethnic family comedies as well—they peaked with Moonstruck.

I Saw the Light (Sony Picture Classics) – Biography/Drama/Music
Rated R for some language and brief sexuality/nudity
Tag Line: None
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen
Plot: The story of the country-western singer Hank Williams, who in his brief life created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. The film chronicles his rise to fame and its tragic effect on his health and personal life.
Running Time: 123 minutes

Jim: Might as well just rent Walk the Line.
Rob:  No interest.  But Hiddleston may be the next Bond, so it may be good to see what he can do.
Chris: Tom Hiddleston seems to take to this role of country legend well.  Color me intrigued.
Ken: Reminds me of Walk the Line, the Johnny Cash movie, but with a much grimmer ending.
Jessica: Nope, nope, nope…No Lex Luthor? All set.

Born to Be Blue (IFC Films) – Biography/Drama/Music
Rated R for drug use, language, some sexuality and brief violence
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Ethan Hawke, Carmen Ejogo
Plot: A re-imagining of jazz legend Chet Baker’s musical comeback in the late ’60s.

Jessica: Music is nice, I bet Batman likes music, moody sad music, oh so jazz is perfect for him!
Jim: I love jazz and Ethan Hawke always surprises me—rental, at the least.
Rob: Looks really good, but rental material.

Chris: Two musical bio-pics in one week.  Country Vs Jazz….FIGHT!
Ken: Another dark, musical biopic. Not familiar with Chet Baker so not very jazzed about this movie.

They’re Watching (Amplify) – Comedy/Horror
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Mia Faith, Kris Lemche
Plot: When an American home improvement TV show visits a remote Eastern European village, the young crew thinks the lack of mocha lattés and free wifi will be the worst of their problems. But after their filming interrupts the superstitious villagers’ private religious ritual, the situation takes a turn for the homicidal… and when the blood starts flowing, that’s when things get really weird. With THEY’RE WATCHING, noted graphic novelists and animators Micah Wright and Jay Lender turn a classic horror premise upside down to create a fresh, funny, eye-popping twist on the genre.
Running Time: 95 minutes

Ken: Literally watched the trailer 3 times, still can’t figure out wtf is going on. Who just yells out “witch” at a strange bar?
Jessica: Um what? Superman would blow this film up with his heat vision.
Jim: WHAT are we watching? Sorry, the SpongeBob reference threw me.
Rob:  Stupidly amusing, and would rent it.  I also love the SpongeBob reference.

Chris:  They is certainly not me.

Tickets Purchased:  Four tickets for the DC throw-down (Ken, Chris, Jessica, and Jim).  Rob stays home and watches more Daredevil.

Whose Side Are You On?
Whose Side Are You On?