Posted on

Trailer Snark (January 29, 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: The Force Awakens was finally dethroned as Box Office Champion, and it wasn’t even a brand new debut that managed it.  The Revenant with Leonardo DiCaprio took the top spot with $16M in receipts to bring its domestic haul to $119M.  The aforementioned Star Wars sequel placed second with $14.2M added to its astounding $879.2M domestic total.  In third was Ride Along 2 with $12.9M ($59.1M overall).  A trio of new releases occupied the next slots and all came in with very closely matched numbers.  Dirty Grandpa led this group with $11.5M, The Boy with $11.2M in the fifth overall spot, and 5th Wave in sixth with $10.7M.  13 Hours fell to seventh ($9.7M/$33.4M), Daddy’s Home in eighth ($5.2M/$138.7M), Norm of the North tumbling to ninth ($4.1M/$14.2M), and The Big Short closing out the top ten ($3.5M/$56.7M).  This week is a bit light on the release schedule, and here is the lineup.

Kung Fu Panda 3 (Dreamworks) – Animated/Family
Rated PG for martial arts action and some mild rude humor
Tag Line: Grab destiny by the rice dumplings.
Starring:  Jack Black, Bryan Cranston
Plot: Continuing his “legendary adventures of awesomeness”, Po must face two hugely epic, but different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to his home.
Running Time: 95 minutes

Jim: My daughter and I love these movies so, sorry, I’m biased. We’re definitely seeing Po this weekend.
Rob: We love this series of films too.  Will probably just wait and buy it digitally in a few months though unless my youngest forces the issue.
Jessica: I loved the first one but never saw the 2nd and so maybe I’ll have a marathon someday to catch up but also, maybe not.
Ken: The adorable meter is off the charts. More of an at home kind of movie.
Chris:  I prefer Hong Kong Phooey.

The Finest Hours (Disney) – Drama/Action
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of peril
Tag Line: 32 survivors.  Room for 12.
Starring: Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster
Plot: The Coast Guard makes a daring rescue attempt off the coast of Cape Cod after a pair of oil tankers are destroyed during a blizzard in 1952.
Running Time: 117 minutes

Chris:  The sea terrifies me, which only ups the dramatic scale.  Count me in!
Jim: If I weren’t from New England, would I have such an issue with Hollywood’s bogus New England accents? Actors must study old tapes of JFK and think they’ve nailed it. Once I get past the annoying accents, the movie might be worth a look.
Rob: Looks pretty decent.  I’d hit up a Red Box for this down the road.
Jessica: Their accents don’t bug me at all. I love a true story like this and I enjoy Chris Pine so I’d watch this at home.
Ken: Could be a fun one to watch on the big screen. Because you know they live.

Fifty Shades of Black (Open Road Films) – Comedy
Rated R for strong crude sexual content including some graphic nudity, and for language throughout.
Tag Line: Way shadier than gray.
Starring: Marlon Wayans, Kali Hawk, Fred Willard, Jane Seymour
Plot: An inexperienced college student meets a wealthy businessman whose sexual practices put a strain on their relationship.
Running Time: 92 minutes

Ken: Should have been called Fifty Shades of White. How many black people do you know with the last name Black?  This movie looks so bad… you’re a cruel overlord for making us watch that trailer.
Chris: The source material was a bad joke to start.  Did we really need a spoof?
Jim: As if Fifty Shades of Gray wasn’t hilarious enough. This looks dumb enough to be enjoyable.
Rob: Pass.  I’d pass twice if that’s an option.
Jessica: Eh. The original movie is funnier than this stuff.

Jane Got a Gun (Weinstein Company) – Action/Drama/Western
Rated R for violence and some language
Tag Line: Strength, justice, power, vengeance.
Starring:  Natalie Portman, Ewan MacGregor, Joel Edgerton
Plot: A woman asks her ex-lover for help in order to save her outlaw husband from a gang out to kill him.
Running Time: 98 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsTWArbgeD8
Jessica: Hmmm…intriguing but not movie theater intriguing.
Ken: McGregor channeling Burt Reynolds into that mustache. I’m usually down for a good, old-timey Western, but I’m not sure that Jane is going to qualify. TV, maybe.
Chris: I wanted to like this trailer more than I did.  Hope it pleasantly surprises me on the small screen.
Jim: This touches upon just about every Western cliché in existence, but still looks engrossing. Hopefully this is Black Swan- level Natalie and not Star Wars prequels- level Natalie.
Rob: Natalie Portman!   Ok, I’ll rent this one too down the road.

Tickets Purchased: Two for The Finest Hours (Ken and Chris), two for Kung Fu Panda 3 (Jim and Jessica), and Rob goes to see Star Wars for the tenth time.

Po Panda!
Po Panda!
Posted on

Trailer Snark (October 16, 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: Matt Damon’s The Martian once again claims the top spot this past week with an additional $37M added to its $108.7M total.  The animated Sandler sequel Hotel Transylvania also managed to stay in its second place spot with $20.5M and $116.8M overall.  The debuting Pan came in third amidst mediocre reviews with $15.5M.  The Intern was bumped one spot to fourth ($8.6M/$49.5M).  Sicario took fifth ($7.3M/$26.7M).  The rest of the list lacked any surprises or new debuts and was as follows:  Maze Runner: Scorch Trials ($5.2M/$70.6M), The Walk ($3.6M/$6.3M), Black Mass ($3.1M/$57.5M), Everest ($3M/$38.2M), and The Visit ($2.4M/$61M).  Let’s see who the contenders are this week……

Goosebumps (Columbia) – Action/Comedy/Adventure
Rated PG for scary and intense creature action and images, and for some rude humor
Tag Line: The stories are alive.
Starring: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush
Plot: A teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R.L. Stine after the writer’s imaginary demons are set free on the town of Greendale, Maryland.
Running Time: 103 minutes

Chris: We have Jack Black as the curmudgeon gatekeeper/author of every Goosebump ever written and about the be unleashed on humanity.  I was actually pleasantly surprised by the trailer, with an assist from low expectation.
Jessica: Didn’t read the books, don’t care about the movie.
Ken: Is Jack Black supposed to be playing R.L. Stein? I read a lot of Goosebumps as a child and I only felt the slightest twinge of nostalgia.

Crimson Peak (Legendary Pictures) – Drama/Fantasy/Horror
Rated R for bloody violence, some sexual content and brief strong language
Tag Line: Beware.
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston
Plot: In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds…and remembers.
Running Time: 119 minutes

Ken: The visuals look amazing. And who doesn’t like a good haunted house story around Halloween?
Chris: Guillermo del Toro is a true artist (see Pan’s Labrynth as evidence).  This looks to be a clear winner by my eyes and ears.  If you like stylistic horror, look no further.
Jessica: I love me some Guillermo so I’m in! I love a good spooky flick, plus it has Loki and Jax!

Bridge of Spies (Disney) – Biography/Drama/History
Rated PG-13 for some violence and brief strong language
Tag Line: In a world on the brink the difference between war and peace was one honest man.
Starring: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda
Plot: An American lawyer is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union.
Running Time: 141 minutes

Jessica: What? I fell asleep again. BORING.
Ken: A lot of marquee names on this one: Spielberg, Hanks and the Coen brothers. I’ll check it out when it comes to streaming.
Chris: Spielberg and Hanks are at it again.  This time tackling the Cold War between the us and the Soviets.  Good timing as the Russian bear seems to be rising again to fill the world power vacuum.  Definitely has my attention.

Truth (Sony Pictures Classic) – Biography/Drama
Rated R for language and a brief nude photo
Tag Line: None
Starring: Cate Blanchett, Robert Redford, Tpher Grace, Dennis Quaid, Bruce Greenwood
Plot: Newsroom drama detailing the 2004 CBS 60 Minutes report investigating then-President George W. Bush’s military service, and the subsequent firestorm of criticism that cost anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes their careers.
Running Time: 121 minutes

Chris: Docu-drama on the forged military service documents of President George W Bush.  Apologist piece or objective presentation?  Who knows…maybe I will catch it on the small screen?
Jessica: This looks really fascinating, stellar, star-packed cast and an intriguing story about fighting the good fight and asking the hard questions. Totally want to see this.
Ken: I think I’m digging this movie’s message, but let’s just all take a moment and acknowledge that G. W. should never have been president in the first place.

Room (A24) – Drama
Rated R for language
Tag Line: Love knows no boundaries.
Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, William H Macy
Plot: After 5-year old Jack and his Ma escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Ken: Looks like a good story that doesn’t interest me.
Chris: An escape to the real world?  I am not sure what this movie is really about from the trailer, but it looks like it wants to pull the heart strings.
Jessica: Looks intriguing. I’d totally check this out at home.

Woodlawn (PureFlix Cinema) – Drama
Rated PG for thematic elements including some racial tension/violence
Tag Line: One hope.  One truth. One way.
Starring: Caleb Castille, Sean Astin, Jon Voight
Plot: A gifted high school football player must learn to embrace his talent and his faith as he battles racial tensions on and off the field.
Running Time: 123 minutes

Jessica: Looks like an uplifting story about acceptance and faith. I’d check this out at home and I do have mad love for Samwise Gamgee.
Ken: Sean Astin needs to stop doing football movies. Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!
Chris: Faith-based football movie dealing with racism in the Deep South (a popular subject of film-making) in the early 70’s…..actually looks pretty good.  I kind of dig football movies.

Momentum (Starz Digital Media) – Action/Thriller
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Olga Kurylenko, James Purefoy, Morgan Freeman
Plot: Alex, a mysterious thief, is pulled in by her former partner for one last heist. She quickly finds it was never just about the diamonds. A brutal murder sparks a cat and mouse chase between…
Running Time: 96 minutes

Chris: Olga Kurylenko does non-Bond action thriller.  This one looks a bit more hard core than the shaken, not stirred English gentleman variety action film.
Jessica: Eh. This didn’t do a whole lot for me. Though, on an interesting note, I did a transcription of an interview between the director of this movie (it’s his first film. he has been Clint Eastwood’s main cameraman for YEARS), seems like a really passionate film guy, gotta respect that.
Ken: There’s just something about foreign accents that makes bad dialogue in action films bearable.

Tickets Purchased:  Three for Crimson Peak

It's that time of fear...er, we mean year!
It’s that time of fear…er, we mean year!