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Trailer Snark (March 31, 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, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris).  Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!

Ghost in the Shell (Paramount) – Action/Crime/Drama
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, suggestive content and some disturbing images
Tag Line: None
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbaek, Takeshi Katano
Plot: In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals.
Running Time: 107 minutes

Chris: I have never read the source material, but the trailer looks to be action packed and further cements Scarlet Johansson as a certified female action star.
Jim: Looks freaky-interesting, but I’m a bigger fan of actress Scarlett than I am of action hero Scarlett. We’ll see.

The Boss Baby (Twentieth Century Fox) – Animation/Family
Rated PG for some mild rude humor
Tag Line: Born leader.
Starring: Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi
Plot: A suit-wearing briefcase-carrying baby pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.
Running Time: 97 minutes

Jim: A mashup of every animated comedy in the last 20 years, but looks amusing enough to rent.
Chris: Mildly entertaining trailer, but I have been overloaded on kiddie animation thanks for my better half. 🙂

The Zookeeper’s Wife (Focus Features) – Biography/Drama/History
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, disturbing images, violence, brief sexuality, nudity and smoking
Tag Line: They gave all they had to save all they could.
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh
Plot: The Zookeeper’s Wife tells the account of keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, Antonina and Jan Zabinski, who helped save hundreds of people and animals during the German invasion.
Running Time: 124 minutes

Chris: Ripe with Schindler’s List type themes, and based on a true story.  This is my kind of historical movie.  I am sure it will be moving, and hopefully honors the people whose story it is.
Jim: No disrespect for the source material intended, but this looks like The Pianist meets We Bought A Zoo. I don’t know, maybe I just see too many movies. That said, it could be something to see.

Tickets Purchased:  One for The Zookeeper’s Wife (Chris) while Jim stays home and rents The Girl on the Train.

zoo

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Trailer Snark (April 21st, 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: Jungle Book was the run-away winner this week taking in $103.5M in its debut.  Second place belonged to another new entry, Barbershop Next Cut with $20.2M in receipts.  The Boss dropped to third ($10.1M/$40.3M).  Meanwhile, Batman v. Superman winds down in fourth place ($9M/$311.3M).  Zootopia held fifth ($8.2M/$307.4M).  The rest of the top ten went as follows:  Criminal ($5.8M/NEW), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 ($3.2M/$52M), Miracles from Heaven ($1.9M/$56.9M), Gods Not Dead 2 ($1.7M/$16.9M), and Eye in the Sky ($1.5M/$16.9M).  This week’s new releases are heavy on royalty…..let’s check them out.

The Huntman: Winter’s War (Universal) – Action/Adventure/Drama
Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence and some sensuality
Tag Line: None
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Charlize Theron
Plot: As a war between rival queen sisters Ravenna and Freya escalates, Eric and fellow warrior Sara, members of the Huntsmen army raised to protect Freya, try to conceal their forbidden love as they combat Ravenna’s wicked intentions.
Running Time: 114 minutes

Ken: The visuals look snazzy and I’m all for returning fairy-tales to their dark origins. But a prequel to Snow White? Snow thanks.
Jessica: Eh. I liked the first one and am very happy that Stewart is not in here, but I’m on the fence. It looks gorgeous but the heavy effects tend to get boring if there isn’t a good story attached. Though Theron was the best part of the first one … Totally on the fence on this one.
Chris:  Does anyone else think Hemsworth would make a great Kristoff?  But I digress…..looks good and I am sure the wife would agree!

Elvis and Nixon (Bleecker Street Media) – Comedy/History
Rated R for some language
Tag Line: On December 21st, 1970, two of America’s greatest recording artists met for the first time.
Starring:  Michael Shannon, Kevin Spacey
Plot: The untold true story behind the meeting between the King of Rock ‘n Roll and President Nixon, resulting in this revealing, yet humorous moment immortalized in the most requested photograph in the National Archives.
Running Time: 86 minutes

Chris:  I think this one might be good for a chuckle on a low key night at home.  By the way, I like Ken’s title recommendation below!
Ken: A better title would have been The President and The King. Looks interesting enough, but not enough for a trip to the theater.
Jessica: Oh this looks like a hoot. Great actors, a compelling story. Love it.

A Hologram for the King (Lionsgate) – Drama
Rated R for some sexuality/nudity, language and brief drug use
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Tom Hanks, Sarita Choudhary, Tom Skerritt
Plot: A failed American businessman looks to recoup his losses by traveling to Saudi Arabia and selling his idea to a wealthy monarch.
Running Time: 97 minutes

Jessica: I’m more intrigued after seeing this trailer, but this would be a home viewer, if at all.
Chris: I am having trouble caring at all about the story. 
Ken: It had me with the quirky Talking Heads opening but then lost me shortly after.

Tale of Tales (IFC Films) – Fantasy/Horror/Romance
Not rated
Tag Line:  A feast for the imagination.
Starring:  Salma Hayek, John C Reilly, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones
Plot: From the bitter quest of the Queen of Longtrellis, to two mysterious sisters who provoke the passion of a king, to the King of Highhills obsessed with a giant Flea, these tales are inspired by the fairytales by Giambattista Basile.
Running Time: 133 minutes

Ken: No idea what I watched, but the music was beautiful and the production design looks both gorgeous and terrifying. Rent it and hope for the best.
Jessica: I don’t … What the Heck? I don’t get it. I don’t know if i WANT to get it and then again, I kind of do. What the heck I say!
Chris:  I, for one, am happy to have not heard this fairy tale as a child.  But as an adult, I may be more willing to open this little Pandora Box.

Compadres (Pantelion Films) – Action/Comedy
Not Rated
Tag Line:  None
Starring: Omar Chaparro, Joey Morgan, Eric Roberts
Plot: As former cop Garza seeks revenge on Santos, the crime lord who framed him, he forms an unlikely team with a young hacker who successfully stole $10 million from Santos.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Chris:  Eric Roberts is the kiss of “B” movie death….pass.
Ken: Dios mio, no.
Jessica: No. No. A thousand times NO.

The Meddler (Sony Picture Classics) – Comedy/Drama
Rated PG-13 for brief drug content
Tag Line: None
Starring: Susan Sarandon, Rose Byrne, J.K. Simmons
Plot: An aging widow from New York City follows her daughter to Los Angeles in hopes of starting a new life after her husband passes away.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Jessica: Eh. Looks cute and that’s about it.
Chris: A movie for moms and daughters everywhere….in other words, pass.
Ken: This is my mother, no exaggeration. Looks charming enough for a stream.

Tickets Purchased: One for Elvis and Nixon (Jessica), One for The Huntsman: Winter’s War (Chris) and Ken “takes the black” to find out what happened to Jon Snow.

While we are at it Treasury Department....
While we are at it Treasury Department….
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Trailer Snark (October 2, 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: Animated Adam Sandler takes the top of the box office and virtually guarantees us a second sequel to Hotel Transylvania with over $47 million in its opening weekend.  The Intern, which was collectively panned by our panel, took second place with over $18 million.  The rest of the world must have seen a different trailer to sell that many tickets!  Scorch Trials, last week’s box office champ, slipped to third place ($14M/$51.6M).  Everest came in fourth place as it expanded to more theaters ($13M/$23M).  Black Mass was fifth ($11.5M/$42.6M).  The Visit in sixth ($6.7M/$52.2M).  The Perfect Guy took seventh ($4.7M/$48.8M).  War Room was eighth ($4.2M/$55.9M).  In ninth place was the debut of Eli Roth’s The Green Inferno with $3.5M.  And Sicario continued its slow expansion into more theaters for tenth place ($1.7M/$2.3M), but it will be in much wider circulation this week.  And now on to this week’s contenders….

The Martian (20th Century Fox) – Drama
Rated PG-13 for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity.
Tag Line: Help is only 140 million miles away.
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Sean Bean
Plot: During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.
Running Time: 141 minutes

Chris: The last time Matt Damon was stranded on a planet, he turned out to be a real jerk.  This is his chance for a do-over!  BTW, the movie looks fantastic!
Rob: Finally a film I can sink my teeth into.  Looks amazing and with all the amazing discoveries being made about the red planet by NASA currently, it will be interesting to see how close the film comes to still fitting in with our new picture of Mars.
Jessica: This is what I’ve been waiting for!
Ken: I wanted to go into space so badly when I was a kid, and if I’m being totally I honest I still do. That trailer was awesome. It had me feeling like 6 years old again. I can’t wait to see this. We can watch the rest of the trailers, but this is my pick.

The Walk (Sony) – Drama/Biography
Rated PG for thematic elements involving perilous situations, and for some nudity, language, brief drug references and smoking
Tag Line:  Every dream begins with a single step.
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte LeBon
Plot: In 1974, high-wire artist Philippe Petit recruits a team of people to help him realize his dream: to walk the the immense void between the World Trade Center towers.
Running Time: 123 minutes

Ken: This would make for an amazing iMax experience. Spoiler alert, Philippe Petit the guy whose life this movie is based on, still alive.
Chris: Not saying it does not look good, but Man on a Wire was the genuine article and available for all to see.
Rob: An interesting story, but not for the big screen.  Renter.
Jessica: It’s not The Martian? Yeah, don’t care.

Freeheld (Lionsgate) – Biography/Drama
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements, language and sexuality
Tag Line: A true story of love and injustice.
Starring: Julianne Moore, Ellen Page, Michael Shannon, and Steve Carell
Plot: New Jersey police lieutenant, Laurel Hester, and her registered domestic partner, Stacie Andree, both battle to secure Hester’s pension benefits when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Running Time: 103 minutes

Jessica: Let’s see, no Mars, no space hijinks? All set.
Ken: This one is sure to be a hit with the Westboro crowd. I love seeing Ellen Page playing an openly gay character and making an honest argument for marriage equality.
Chris: Partner rights are the subject for a same sex couple, coming on the heels of the Civil Rights themed Stonewall film released last week.  Julianne Moore is a quality performer, and I am sure I will catch this one on the small screen.
Rob: Powerful story about equality in love and basic human rights.  Worth a look on the small screen IMO.

Shanghai (RADiUS-TWC) – Mystery/Drama
Rated R for strong violence, some drug use and brief language
Tag Line: In a world filled with secrets, solving a mystery can be murder.
Starring: John Cusack, Li Gong, Yun-Fat Chow
Plot: A ’40s period piece which revolves around an American expat who returns to Shanghai in the months before Pearl Harbor due to the death of his friend.
Running Time: 105 minutes

Rob: Could be decent.  Yun-Fat always impresses me, but not compelling enough to draw me to the theater based on this trailer.
Jessica: Matt Damon, where are you??
Ken: Having spent almost 3 years living in Shanghai, I was very interested in the idea of a period piece set in the Paris of Asia. But the trailer was sort of meh, and the all star cast makes me think the budget for this film must have been huge. The fact that it is being released in the States 5 years after its international release makes me think the rest of the world didn’t think too much of it.
Chris: I was intrigued until I found out the movie was made and released overseas in 2010.  Yeah, you read that right.  Why did it take so long to make it to the US?  Warning bells….

Partisan (Well Go USA Entertainment) – Drama/Thriller
Not Rated
Tag Line:  None
Starring:  Vincent Cassel, Jeremy Chabriel
Plot: Alexander, a boy who has been raised in a sequestered commune, finds that his increasing unwillingness to fall in line puts him on a collision course with Gregori, the society’s charismatic and domineering leader.
Running Time: 98 minutes

Chris: Subversive counter-culture political leader runs his own commune promising shocking and disturbing results…..not getting me to the theater.
Ken: When you create a society built on the principals of rebellion against the established authority, can you really be that surprised when the children, ya  know, rebel against authority?
Rob: Looks disturbing.  A man and women raise a group of children to live outside of societal norms in their own little kingdom, but the oldest boy turns towards darkness.

Addicted to Fresno (Gravitas Ventures) – Comedy
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Natasha Lyonne, Judy Greer, Molly Shannon, Aubrey Plaza, Ron Livingston
Plot: This comedy tells the story of two sisters, a lesbian and a sex-addict, who work as maids at a hotel in a city named Fresno. Their lives change when one of the sisters thinks that they might have accidentally killed a man.
Running Time: 85 minutes

Rob: Co-Dependent sisters and their raunchy escapades as maids in Fresno.  Could be funny.  Could be awful.  Can’t decide, but leaning towards awful.
Ken: Looks very weird and offbeat but it is being driven by a stellar cast of comedians who excel at oddball humor.  I also think it could be funny, could be awful, but unlike Rob I’m leaning more towards funny.
Jessica: Nope. It’s not on Mars.
Chris: Was that trailer supposed to be funny?

Tickets Purchased:  Four tickets for the unanimous winner….The Martian

Matt Damon studies the oft-overlooked dermatological effects of deep space travel
Matt Damon studies the oft-overlooked dermatological effects of deep space travel