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Trailer Snark (September 11th 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: In a bit of a shock, the faith-based power of prayer movie War Room took the number one spot at the box office in its second week in release, finally knocking Straight Outta Compton from the summit.  It was a relatively weak ticket sale weekend where the top dog took in just under $10 million.  Straight Outta Compton took about $8.8 million bringing its total domestic haul to $147.7 million.  The highest debut came from third place A Walk in the Woods with $8.4M in receipts.  Mission Impossible held in the top four ($7.1M/180M) and The Transporter Refueled managed a top five finish with $7M.  While the rest of the top ten did anemic box office numbers, Jurassic World and Ant-Man finally dropped from sight.  What movies are debuting that could possibly jump-start the sagging theater business?  Here are your candidates…..

The Visit (Universal) – Comedy/Horror
Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic material including terror, violence and some nudity, and for brief language
Tag Line:  Nobody loves you like your grandparents
Starring: Olivia DeJonge, Ed Oxenbould, Deanna Dunegan, and Peter McRobbie
Plot: A single mother finds that things in her family’s life go very wrong after her two young children visit their grandparents.
Running Time: 94 minutes

Jessica: I saw this trailer awhile back and thought two things, first thought was, oh cool, looks fun and creepy and then … M. Night Shymalan – oh crap no. I have absolutely NO faith in his writing or directing abilities after the horrible “Village” and that suck-fest, “The Happening.” I’ll pass on this.
Chris: Like fools, we all keep trying.  Yeah, that is me every time there is a new M. Night Shymalan movie.  I just want to recapture all of the things I liked about The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs.  Come on brother…I know you have it in you to thrill me again, in spite of a parade of disappointments!
Ken: Like the boss man, I just don’t know how to quit Shyamalan.  It would be an amazing twist if this film doesn’t end up a mediocre load of garbage.  Looks creepy but the M Knight needs to regain my trust before I plunk down money to watch his films in the theater.
Rob: Creepy ass grandparents and kids in jeopardy.  No thanks.

The Perfect Guy (Screen Gems) – Thriller
Rated PG-13 for violence, menace, sexuality and brief strong language.
Tag Line: Trust one, fear the other
Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Morris Chestnut, and Michael Ealy
Plot: After breaking up with her boyfriend, a professional woman gets involved with a man who seems almost too good to be true.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Rob: Next up, creepy ass stalker guy flick.  No thanks.
Jessica: Saw the “twist” coming a mile away. Trite nonsense that has been done to DEATH. I’ll admit it had a few creepy moments so perhaps I’ll catch it on streaming or DVD.
Chris: Looks like an entertaining enough thriller.  Don’t expect any twists or air of mystery though.
Ken: So spoiler alert, turns out the guy’s actually not perfect. Shocking, I know. A movie so bad they had to put a twist into the title. They should have called it “A Good Movie”.

90 Minutes in Heaven (Samuel Goldwyn Films) – Drama
Rated PG-13 for intense accident and injury images
Tag Line: Hope lives
Starring: Hayden Christensen and Kate Bosworth
Plot: A man involved in a horrific car crash is pronounced dead, only to come back to life an hour and a half later, claiming to have seen Heaven.
Running Time: 121 minutes
Ken: This movie wouldn’t have been as interesting if the guy had been miraculously saved by doctors and medical science.
Rob: Guy “died” and “went to Heaven” after horrific car accident.  Based on a “true” story…  Mhmm…
Jessica: I couldn’t even get through the trailer. It was simply too sickly over the top for me. Great that it’s a true story but I’m all set with this one.
Chris: There is a place in our world for powerful spiritual messages.  Especially in a world that is so obsessed with tragedy.  Triumph may not be as chic, but it is good for the soul.

Sleeping with Other People (IFC Films) – Comedy
Rated R for strong sexual content, language including sexual references, and some drug use
Tag Line: A romantic comedy with commitment issues
Starring: Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis
Plot: A good-natured womanizer and a serial cheater form a platonic relationship that helps reform them in ways, while a mutual attraction sets in.
Running Time: 95 minutes

Chris: For me it is more like Sleeping Next to Other People in the theater.  Skip.
Ken: I wanted to dislike the trailer when I heard the hook but I’ll admit it, Sleeping with Other People looked like good, raunchy fun to me.
Rob: A couple of sex addicts fall in love.  Might have a few good laughs, but I want more from a flick.
Jessica: Jason Sudekis is funny, sure, but he seems to play the SAME guy in every movie. This might have some laughs, it might not. Not going to risk my money on it though. This is an at-home viewer.

A Brilliant Young Mind (Samuel Goldwyn Films) – Drama
Not Rated
Tag Line: Is there a formula for love?
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Rafe Spall, and Sally Hawkins
Plot: A socially awkward teenage math prodigy finds new confidence and new friendships when he lands a spot on the British squad at the International Mathematics Olympiad.
Running Time: 111 minutes

Jessica: Loved this trailer, maybe because I know a kid on the spectrum so it meant something more to me than others but seems like a solid cast, good story and I had some feels while watching the trailer. Not all the feels, but some of them.
Chris: Movies such as these help us to understand those that are different.  Probably the best lessons we can take away from such art.
Rob: Looks like it has some heart, but not my cup of tea either.
Ken: Yup.

Time Out of Mind (IFC Films) – Drama
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Richard Gere, Jena Malone, and Steve Buscemi
Plot: George seeks refuge at Bellevue Hospital, a Manhattan intake center for homeless men, where his friendship with a fellow client helps him try to repair his relationship with his estranged daughter.
Running Time: 120 minutes

Ken: Great track, Nick Cave and the Bad Seed’s Far From Me.  Numbers vary, but it’s estimated that somewhere around 25% of persistently homeless adults suffer from some form of mental illness. Trailer looked pretty good too.
Jessica: Sigh. I mean … sigh. I just don’t know, the trailer depressed me.
Chris: This movie trailer makes me sad.  It would make me sadder to lighten my wallet to only increase my depressive state after watching it.
Rob: Richard Gere as a drunk homeless man.  Looks pretty damn depressing.  Why would anyone pay to go be depressed?

Tickets Purchased:  One for A Brilliant Young Mind (Ken) and one for The Visit (Chris).  Jessica and Rob, once again, home on the couch counting their money saved.

This week proves that all Grandparents are so innocent and loveable!
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Trailer Snark (July 24th 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!

Last Week: (Chris Comments) Something tells me that Rob may have missed the mark on his Ant-Man analysis last week….oh yeah,that something was my eyes, ears, heart, and the fist that went flying in the air in triumph after watching Marvel’s latest on the big screen this past weekend.  And it appears that Jessica, Ken, and I were not alone at its opening weekend as Ant-Man claimed first place with a $58 million haul.  Now, that may not seem so much considering the openings of most of Marvel’s films of late, but it could be great word of mouth that prevents a big second week drop-off.  Here is to hoping that some of those Pym Particles can boost up the box office returns Ant-Man so richly deserves.  Coming in at number two was Minions (my wife’s pick to be number one again this week) with another $50 million ($217 million overall),  Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck premiered in third place with $30 million.  A huge drop off in box office receipts after that with Inside Out and Jurassic World battling it out with just over $11 million a piece (Inside Out cracked $300 million and Jurassic World went over an astounding $600 million overall).  Terminator: Genisys, Magic Mike XXL, The Gallows, and Ted 2 were all next with the tenth spot occupied by the debut of Mr. Holmes.

Pixels (Columbia Pictures) – Comedy/Action/Sci-Fi
Rated PG-13 for some language and suggestive comments
Tag Line: Game On.
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Peter Dinklage, Dan Akroyd, Michelle Monghan, Sean Bean, and more
Plot: When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games.
Running Time: 105 minutes

Rob: Mindless fun based on the video games of our 8-bit youth.  Yeah, you heard me right you young whipersnappers only 8-bit!
Chris: Adam Sandler has been due for a hit…actually, he is due for a decent movie.  Pixels is certainly tapping into nostalgia for the forty-something crowd which could be a magnet to those parents who hope to make a connection with their video-game culture kids.
Ken: Rated M for middle aged. I don’t think the nostalgia factor will be enough to drive a thin premise for almost 2 hours and I’m afraid that the retro arcade references will be lost on younger audiences.  I love the spirit of this movie but I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s gonna suck.
Jessica: Actually this one surprised me, I might actually see this though Adam Sandler and Kevin James don’t fill me with confidence the story seems funny/interesting and it might actually be good. Or it could suck big time, hard to tell.

Southpaw (The Weinstein Company) – Drama/Action/Sports
Rated R for language throughout, and some violence
Tag Line: Believe in Hope.
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel McAdams, Forest Whitaker, and Curtis Jackson
Plot: Boxer Billy Hope turns to trainer Tick Willis to help him get his life back on track after losing his wife in a tragic accident and his daughter to child protection services.
Running Time: 123 minutes

Jessica: So all over this one! I’m a fan of Gyllenhaal and I love a good boxing/redemption story.
Ken: This is essentially a vehicle for Eminem to promote himself. That’s his name on the title track, his boy Fitty acting in it, and his life story being told, except he’s a boxer in the movie. Metaphors like metafives.
Chris: It’s Jacked Gyllenhaal vs the System as a parent coping with family tragedy, dangerous career, and questionable life choices.  After his total creep turn in Nightcrawler, I find myself interested in Jake’s movie roles.
Rob: Looks promising if it can focus more on the main character’s  ambitions as a father instead of those of a boxer.

The Vatican Tapes (Lionsgate) – Horror
Rated PG-13 for disturbing violent content, and some sexual references
Tag Line: For 2,000 years the Vatican has recorded evidence of evil. May God have mercy on their souls.
Starring: Michael Pena, Kathleen Robinson, Dougray Scott, Djimon Housou, and Olivia Taylor Dudley
Plot: A priest and two Vatican exorcists must do battle with an ancient satanic force to save the soul of a young woman.
Running Time: 91 minutes

Chris: After seeing Michael Pena in his goofy role in Ant-Man, this is quite the departure as he plays a priest who may be trying to exorcise the Anti-Christ.  The last image in the trailer recalls the ever so skincrawling Prince of Darkness from the great John Carpenter.
Rob: Horror.  Religion.  Couldn’t be less interested.
Jessica: At first I was very “meh” about this one but there are some good actors in this film and it COULD be an interesting take on the whole exorcism thing. Doesn’t look scary at all but more intriguing. I wouldn’t see in a theater but I’d watch it on Amazon or Netflix for sure.
Ken: Religious horror fascinates me because demonic possessions are recorded events. These things actually happen. This movie however looks fake beyond belief. Not a good sign when the trailer doesn’t scare you.

Paper Towns (20th Century Fox) – Drama/Mystery
Rated PG-13 for some language, drinking, sexuality and partial nudity – all involving teens
Tag Line: Get Lost. Get Found.
Starring: Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff
Plot: A young man and his friends embark upon the road trip of their lives to find the missing girl next door.
Running Time: 109 minutes

Ken: Romantic optimism battles the rebellious, cynicism of youth. Being young was awful, so many conflicting feelings to process. I’m so glad I grew out of it. But I like to remember it fondly.
Jessica: BORING. BORING. BORING. The trailer bores me, I actually have seen it a couple times now before movies and I’m all sorts of set. Teen drama, blah blah blah. I think I’d rather watch anything other than this. Oh wait, I still have to talk about Smoosh. Hold please.
Chris: It’s a coming of age film filled with mystery and possibilities for, especially for a young man who just wanted to be noticed by the girl of his dreams.  Looks like a winner.
Rob: Jogn Green can write and this looks like a fun ride complete with mystery and a search for greater purpose.

Smosh: The Movie (Lionsgate) – Comedy
Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language, some drug content and violence
Tag Line: Based on the YouTube channel “Smosh” launched by Ian Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla in 2005.
Starring: Ian Andrew Hecox and Anthony Padilla
Plot: An embarrassing video of Anthony surfaces online right before his fifth high school reunion. The Smosh dudes then race to pull down the clip before it blows Anthony’s chances of reconnecting with his teen crush Anna.
Running Time: 84 minutes

Jessica: Smosh or Smoosh or whatever it is: NO THANK YOU. I’d rather watch Paper Towns. On repeat, for days.
Chris: Weak….just weak.
Rob: It’s like Bill & Ted took a portal into Youtube only 10,000 times more poorly executed.  Just no.
Ken: I’m probably dating myself horribly when I say this, but I don’t know what a Smosh is or what is going on with this movie. 

American Heist (Lionsgate) – Action/Crime/Drama
Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, some sexual material and brief drug use
Tag Line: N/A
Starring: Adrien Brody, Hayden Christensen, Jordana Brewster, and Akon
Plot: James owes his life to his older brother, Frankie after taking the rap for a crime they committed together. While Frankie served time, James worked to turn his life around, got a steady job and began courting his former girlfriend Emily. Now, Frankie is released and back on the streets with no money and no place to go.
Running Time: 94 minutes

Rob: Thought it might be decent, then I heard Hayden Christensen use a whiny tone of voice.  I’m out.
Ken: The word cliché gets thrown around a lot in this forum.  
Chris: Lionsgate with three movies in one week?  In spite of Hayden Christensen, this movie looks like a good time at the theater.  Adrian Brody is on board, speaking of actors who truly need a successful movie, as he plays a seriously troubled young man who owes favors to all the wrong people.
Jessica: Eh. I like Adrian Brody but this story has been done to death and seriously, Jordana Brewster, stop doing car/heist movies! Yeesh.

Unexpected (The Film Arcade) – Drama
Rated R for language
Tag Line: No one is ever really prepared.
Starring: Cobie Smulders and Gail Bean
Plot: An inner-city high school teacher discovers she is pregnant at the same time as one of her most promising students and the two develop an unlikely friendship while struggling to navigate their unexpected pregnancies.
Running Time: 90 minutes

Ken: The working title for this film was Stand and Delivering Babies.
Rob: A teacher and one of her students both become unexpectedly pregnant and explore the consequences of their choices.  Something maybe they should have thought about first…maybe the film will help some folks do just that.
Chris: Cobie Smothers plays a teacher who finds herself striking a special relationship with one of her students as they both become pregnant.  It looks like a big screen Lifetime movie…..yawn.

Tickets Purchased:  2 for Paper Towns (Ken and Chris) and 2 for Southpaw (Rob and Jessica)

Remember when Jake couldn't punch his way out of a plastic bag?
Remember when Jake couldn’t punch his way out of a plastic bag?
I Ain't No Bubble Boy No More!
I Ain’t No Bubble Boy No More!

What will you be watching this week?
-The Great Stories Team