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Trailer Snark (April 15th, 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 Boss was in charge of last weekend’s box office taking in $23.4M in its debut.  Batman v Superman slipped to second place with an almost identical $23.4M.  It’s total domestic gross is at $296.6M.  Zootopia placed third with $14.3M and $296M overall.  Fourth place belonged to My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 ($6.4M/$46.7M) and Hardcore Henry debuted in fifth with $5M.  The rest of the top ten went as follows:  Miracles from Heaven ($4.8M/$55.8M), God’s Not Dead 2 ($4M/$13.8M), Allegiant ($3.6M/$61.8M), 10 Cloverfield Ln ($3M/$67.9M), and Eye in the Sky ($2.8M/$10.4M).  Taking a look at this week’s new releases we have another Disney film entry, a sequel to a successful comedy, and others….Let’s take a look.

The Jungle Book (Disney) – Family
Rated PG for some sequences of scary action and peril
Tag Line: The legend will never be the same.
Starring: Bill Murray, Ben Kinglsley, Idris Elba, Neel Sethi
Plot: The man-cub Mowgli flees the jungle after a threat from the tiger Shere Khan. Guided by Bagheera the panther and the bear Baloo, Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery, though he also meets creatures who don’t have his best interests at heart.
Running Time: 105 minutes

Chris: I was pleasantly surprised by Maleficent and then disappointed in the live action Cinderella.  This one actually looks promising to me.
Jessica: Eh. I have never been big fan of this story but that being said, this looks interesting enough for me to want to watch at home.
Jim: Looks like a good, solid epic. Always thought the ’67 Disney flick was one of his best. I’m in!
Ken: My favorite Rudyard Kipling book turned animated Disney film makes the jump to live action movie and it looks epic. Wish they didn’t go so heavy on the celebrity voice actors.

Barbershop:  The Next Cut (Warner Bros) – Comedy
Rated PG-13 for sexual material and language
Tag Line:  Everybody’s back for a fresh cut.
Starring:  Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Regina Hall, Sean Patrick Thomas
Plot: As their surrounding community has taken a turn for the worse, the crew at Calvin’s Barbershop come together to bring some much needed change to their neighborhood.
Running Time: 112 minutes

Ken: Not a big screener. Maybe not even a small screener.
Chris: I never saw the original.  Should I?  I don’t know…meh.
Jessica: Do not care.
Jim: Didn’t see the original, but this looks funny. Rental.

Criminal (Lionsgate) – Action/Crime/Drama
Rated R for strong violence and language throughout
Tag Line: The mission is in the memories.
Starring: Kevin Costner, Ryan Reynolds
Plot: In a last-ditch effort to stop a diabolical plot, a dead CIA operative’s memories, secrets, and skills are implanted into a death-row inmate in hopes the he will complete the operative’s mission.
Running Time: 113 minutes

Jim: Costner does play a good bad guy and Mr. Brooks was great. He’s due for a hit, looks like this deserves to be one.
Ken: All star cast, interesting premise and explosions all over the place. I’m in.
Chris: Costner plays a great bad guy.  Just go see Mr. Brooks for absolute proof.  This could be a diamond in the rough.
Jessica: I’m half and half on this one, I saw an extended trailer before BvS and the story sounded interesting Add to that Mr. Deadpool, Tommy Lee Jones and Gary freakin Oldman, on top of Kevin Costner and Wonder Woman and it does make me want to see it. I also agree Costner as a bad guy is fantastic to watch.

Green Room (Broad Green Pictures) – Crime/Horror/Thriller
Rated R for strong brutal graphic violence, gory images, language and some drug conten
Tag Line: Now. Whatever you saw or did. Is no longer my concern. But let’s be clear. It won’t end well.
Starring: Patrick Stewart, Anton Yelchin, Imogen Poots
Plot: After witnessing a murder, a punk rock band is forced into a vicious fight for survival against a group of maniacal skinheads.
Running Time: 94 minutes

Chris: What a departure from type for Patrick Stewart!  Not going to get me to the theater though.
Jim: Ooohhh, scary Picard. Rental.
Ken: I might rent it to see Patrick Stewart playing the villain role, but otherwise totally uninterested.

Sing Street (The Weinstein Company) – Musical/Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including strong language and some bullying behavior, a suggestive image, drug material and teen smoking
Tag Line: Boy meets girl, girl unimpressed, boy starts band.
Starring: Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Aiden Gillen, Maria Doyle Kennedy
Plot: A boy growing up in Dublin during the 1980s escapes his strained family life by starting a band and moving to London.
Running Time: 106 minutes

Ken: Europeans showing us what a good High School Musical movie looks like.
Chris: This one looks amusing.  I’m in.  Gotta love the 80’s!
Jim: I liked Once and Begin Again, this looks cheerful and tuneful enough to make me want to see it.

Colonia (Screen Media Films) – Drama/History/Romance
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring:  Emma Watson, Daniel Bruhl, Michael Nyqvist
Plot: A young woman’s desperate search for her abducted boyfriend that draws her into the infamous Colonia Dignidad, a sect nobody ever escaped from.
Running Time: 110 minutes

Jessica: I…I am honestly not even sure what i just watched, but it has Hermoine and I love Hermoine…
Ken: Apparently the leaders of this Christian cult were none too pleased about Hermoine transferring over from Hogwarts school of witchcraft.
Jim: nothing I haven’t seen before, but Hermione’s always worth watching.
Chris: Am I the only one that is not typecasting Emma Watson at Trailer Snark?  😉

Tickets Purchased:  Two for The Jungle Book (Ken and Jim), One for Sing Street (Chris), and Jessica stays at home reading her Stephen King book.

The original Jungle Book movie came out 74 years ago!
The original Jungle Book movie came out 74 years ago!
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The Front Row View: Pennies from Heaven

The Front Row View is a regular column by Great Stories contributor Jim Cannizzaro.  He is a veteran community theater leading man, seasoned blogger, movie enthusiast, and family man.

pennies

One of the oddest movie musicals ever made is Herbert Ross’ 1981 Pennies from Heaven. Based on a 6-part BBC serial (starring the late Bob Hoskins), this was Steve Martin’s follow-up to his smash hit The Jerk. The sparse audiences for Pennies from Heaven must have been floored by their comic hero’s opening moments when he, in all seriousness, lip-synched to a wrenching oldie from the 1930s. This might have been too much of a change too soon for Martin and, while he still has his great screen presence (and has an elegant ’30s look), he hadn’t yet developed the polish as an actor that he would show in his later roles. That said, he’s spectacular in the musical numbers. He matches Fred Astaire in the early “Yes, Yes” number in the bank, and at the end, aping Astaire in “Let’s Face the Music and Dance.” He also does a mean vaudeville tap number to “It’s the Girl” with the veterans Tommy Rall (a star of many ’50s musicals). and Robert Fitch (the original Rooster in Annie on Broadway). The other stars strut their stuff, too. Bernadette Peters is sexy and appealing as the mousy schoolteacher forced to toughen up when she’s fired from her job. She’s at her best here in the joyous “Love Is Good for Anything that Ails You” number with an army of children both playing and tap dancing on top of white pianos on glorious white set. And, in the best number in the film, Christopher Walken of all people lip-synchs and dances to “Let’s Misbehave”. People who’ve been watching Walken for years will gawp at his great dancing talent and at how powerfully built he is. The number is the equal of anything that Gene Kelly did in his heyday. Pennies from Heaven isn’t for everyone. The shifts from the tremendous musical numbers to the grim, Depression-era reality can be hard to take. But the look of this movie, with it’s odd yet emotionally powerful plot, is transfixing (shot by the great Gordon Willis, who helmed The Godfather, with sets by Ken Adam, who designed some of the best early James Bond films).You have to admire the risk that this movie took to be made in 1981, long after movie musicals went out of fashion. Ross and Company deserved to take a bow.

-Jim