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Trailer Snark (September 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!

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (20th Century Fox) – Action/Adventure/Comedy
Rated R for sequences of strong violence, drug content, language throughout and some sexual material
Tag Line: Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
Starring: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore
Plot: When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman’s journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy.
Running Time: 141 minutes

Rob F: I pledge my spear and sword to Prince Oberyn of House Martell. Pedro Pascal is a phenomenal actor and he isn’t even listed in the credits. Halle Berry isn’t half-bad either. Overall, this looks like an action-packed, fun romp through “The Secret Service” comic world created by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons. Sign me up.
Wayne: Action packed with a killer cast. I hope this one lives up to the hype. The first one was surprisingly good and has set the bar high for the sequel. I’m buying this.
Chris: The very first time I read Mark Millar’s The Secret Service #1, I knew this Kingsman property was something special. The first movie only solidified that position. We may not get Samual L Jackson’s villainous lisp, but you know what we get is going to be good.
Jim: First one was a decent actioner, this one looks to be more of the same—rental. In the barrage of images laboring to get my attention, the coolest was of Colin Firth firing from his umbrella. 

The Lego Ninjago Movie (Warner Bros) – Animation/Action/Adventure
Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor
Tag Line: Find your inner piece.
Starring: Jackie Chan, Dave Franco, Fred Armisen, Michael Pena
Plot: Six young ninjas Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Cole, Zane and Nya are tasked with defending their island home, called Ninjago. By night, they’re gifted warriors, using their skills and awesome fleet of vehicles to fight villains and monsters. By day, they’re ordinary teens struggling against their greatest enemy: high school.
Running Time: 101 minutes

Jim: More high octane humor from the Lego people, quips and gags whipping by faster than the human brain can process them. Rental.
Rob F: My six year old would never forgive me if I didn’t bring her to see this one. She’s been talking about it for months and is a huge fan of the toys and the seven seasons of the show. What’s not to love? Legos plus ninjas plus time with my youngest. Hard to beat that! It’s spinjitsu time!
Wayne: Who doesn’t like Lego’s? I don’t think this will be as successful as Lego Batman, but kids love this stuff and it has spilled over to adults with the Lego Movie. Ya, I’ll check it out. I’m buying this.
Chris: I previously doubted the Lego Batman movie based on the trailer, and was proven wrong. I am not going to doubt the creators again, but it won’t be on the big screen for me.

Battle of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight) – Biography/Comedy/Sports
Rated PG-13 for some sexual content and partial nudity
Tag Line: He made a bet.  She made history.
Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough
Plot: The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.
Running Time: 121 minutes

Chris: It’s 40 Year Old Wash-up vs. Billy Jean Tennis Queen. Yeah, I am interested, but again it won’t be in the cineplex.
Jim: Now we’re cookin.’ Two great actors in a story worth constructing a movie around.
Rob F: Emma Stone vs. Steve Carell; Billy Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs. Based on the true story of a fabled tennis match that took place in 1973 at the Houston Astrodome. It may still be the most viewed tennis match in history. The build up was intense and showcased emerging feminism and of course it’s counterpart. “I’m gonna put the show back in chauvinism.” ~Bobby Riggs. Looks entertaining, and would definitely watch at home, but not a big screen take for this moviegoer.
Wayne: I’m old enough to remember seeing this on Wide World of Sports. I’m not certain this movie will be overly successful, but the cast alone has me sold and I’m interested in the story of how this came together. I’m buying this.

Friend Request (Entertainment Studios) – Horror/Thriller
Rated R for horror violence, disturbing images, and language
Tag Line: Evil is trending.
Starring: Alycia Debnam-Carey, William Mosely
Plot: A popular college student graciously accepts a social outcast’s online friend request, but soon finds herself fighting a demonic presence that wants to make her lonely by killing her closest friends.
Running Time: 92 minutes

Wayne: (yawn) Ya, not buying this. Moving on.
Chris: This is my genre, but this looks woefully bad. Deleting this Friend Request.
Jim: Laughable, but fascinating. It’s schlock, but might be worth looking at for the cheese factor alone.
Rob F: Paranormal unfriend request on Facebook. Meh. Not my genre.

Victoria & Abdul (Focus Features) – Biography/Drama/History
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and language
Tag Line: History’s most unlikely friendship.
Starring: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal
Plot: Queen Victoria strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.
Running Time: 112 minutes

Rob F: Judi Dench as Queen of England and Empress of India. Based on a true and what looks to be interesting story about an unlikely friendship and the evolving human condition. Not a big screen flick, but I’d enjoy it.
Wayne: This looks like a charming story, but not enough to pull me into a theater. I will check it out when it comes to Netflix. Going to sell this.
Chris: Long Live the Queen! Judi Dench is a fantastic actress, and this one could be one of those understated gems, humanizing the British royalty. But didn’t we just see virtually the same film just a few weeks back (The Viceroy’s something or other), except that one was in India.
Jim: And one for the Mahstahpiece Theatuh crowd—Dame Judi’s always worth watching, looks worthwhile.

Stronger (Lionsgate) – Biography/Drama
Rated R for language throughout, some graphic injury images, and brief sexuality/nudity
Tag Line: Strength defines us.
Starring: Jake Gylenhaal, Tatiana Maslany, Miranda Richardson
Plot: Stronger is the inspiring real life story of Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become a symbol of hope following the infamous 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.
Running Time: 116 minutes

Jim: Yeah, I tried to fight it, but it got me. I felt the lump forming in my throat about 15 seconds in.
Rob F: I can’t. I just can’t watch this. It’s too soon. When I do watch it, you can bet it will be in the privacy of my own home. #BostonStrong #FTerrorism
Wayne: This movie is primed to pull at your heart strings. I’m going to sell this though. The struggle is real for this person, but I’m just not compelled to see it in the theater.
Chris: My heart was just ripped from my chest with that trailer. Yeah, I am in.

Woodshock (A24) – Drama/Thriller
Rated R for drug use, language and a scene of violence
Tag Line: None
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Joe Cole
Plot: A woman falls deeper into paranoia after taking a deadly drug.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Chris: I love Kirsten Dunst, but this movie looks a bit too psychedelic for my taste. Cheech & Chong meets Cabin Fever weird.
Jim: Huh?
Rob F: Pass. Not even really sure what was happening in that trailer, but I think that was their goal.
Wayne: After seeing Mother!, I’m gun shy about going into a movie that I’m not certain what I’m going to get. This looks strange and familiar and I’m not willing to put my money on the line that I’m going to get a story worth seeing. I’m selling this.

Tickets Purchased: Two for Kingsman (Wayne and Chris), One for Ninjago (Rob), and One for Battle of the Sexes (Jim)

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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