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The Foreigner – The Dope Sheet Movie Review

Release Date:  October 13, 2017
Rating:  R
Run Time:  1 hour 54 min
After Credit Scene:  NO
IMAX Viewing:  NO
3D Viewing:  NO
Reviewer:  Wayne Demers
The Dope Sheet Score:  7.7 out of 10

A non-spoiler review.

“A humble businessman with a buried past seeks justice when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism.  A cat-and-mouse conflict ensues with a government official, whose past may hold clues to the killers’ identities.”

What works:  Finally a Jackie Chan movie that allows him to act, truly act (ok, he isn’t going to get any acting award nominations), without any comedic moments between moments of action.  He may be older, but the man still has the action scenes down.  Pierce Brosnan plays a government official with ties to the IRA and is caught in the middle of law officials and a mourning father whom want information.  You get solid performances from both and there is plenty of action for everyone to appreciate.  If Rambo and Jason Bourne were to run into Jackie Chan, I feel like they all would have their hands full.

What doesn’t work:  The supporting cast, specifically the terrorists, feel very empty and the acting takes a hit.  I’m always wondering where all these people always seem to have martial arts training.  Jackie Chan’s character always seems to have a way out and we’re supposed to just fill in the blanks that he gets away and moves on.  There is a romance in the film that just doesn’t seem to fit and honestly, we could have done without that entire subplot. 

All in all, I enjoyed the film.  I enjoyed it most because this is not your stereotypical Chan movie because the story is a bit more grounded and Jackie gets a chance to act.  Yes, we get some of the martial arts flavor that we see in many of his movies, but it is toned down and fits well into the story.  Let’s hope we can see Jackie in more serious movie roles that don’t focus on what he is mostly known for, antic ridden martial arts fighting.

On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, I give The Foreigner a 7.7.  Grab some concessions and enjoy some action, Rambo style.

Did you see the film?  Tell us your opinion below.

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Trailer Snark (October 13, 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!

Marshall (Open Road Films) – Drama/Biography
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, sexuality, violence and some strong language.
Tag Line: His Name Means Justice
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad
Plot: About a young Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, as he battles through one of his career-defining cases.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Rob F: Chadwick Boseman showed us the story of Jackie Robinson, and now he will show us that of Thurgood Marshall. With the ugliness of racism still far too prevalent in society, maybe this is film we should all watch and try to learn from.
Chris: Now, here is a piece of history I would like to learn more about.  Nicely cut trailer, and Chadwick Boseman is one of my new favorites on the scene today.
Wayne: Looks like a very interesting story and one I would pay to see. Buying a ticket.

The Foreigner (STX Entertainment) – Action/Thriller
Rated R for violence, language and some sexual material
Tag Line: Never push a good man too far.
Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Jackie Chan, Katie Leung
Plot: A humble businessman with a buried past seeks justice when his daughter is killed in an act of terrorism. A cat-and-mouse conflict ensues with a government official, whose past may hold clues to the killers’ identities.
Running Time: 114 minutes

Wayne: I want to see Jackie Chan in a role where it isn’t with some silly detective. High hopes for this film. Buying a ticket.
Rob F: Jackie Chan is not someone I would want to piss off, but this looks mediocre at best. Pass.
Chris:  Refreshing change of pace from cop buddy and silly roles for the talented Chan.  I am very excited to see him square off against Brosnan in what looks to be an intense film.

Happy Death Day (Universal Pictures) – Horror/Mystery
Rated PG-13 for violence/terror, crude sexual content, language, some drug material and partial nudity
Tag Line: Get Up. Live Your Day. Get Killed. Again.
Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard
Plot: A college student relives the day of her murder with both its unexceptional details and terrifying end until she discovers her killer’s identity.
Running Time: 96 minutes

Chris: Similar feel to Final Destination but a lot less fun it seems.  I like my horror movies, but this one is not calling me to the theater.
Wayne: I’ve seen Ground Hog Day and this is a twist on it. Not so sure I would enjoy seeing this one though. I’m going to pass.
Rob: Groundhog Day meets Scream. Good laughs I am sure, and I have a free pass that I might burn on this one.

Breathe (Bleecker Street Media) – Biography/Drama/Romance
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material including some bloody medical images
Tag Line: An inspiration love story.
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, Tom Hollander
Plot: The inspiring true love story of Robin and Diana Cavendish, an adventurous couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. Their heartwarming celebration of human possibility marks the directorial debut of Andy Serkis.
Running Time: 117 minutes

Rob F: Looks like a good film, but not a big screen one for me. 
Wayne: An excellent cast with a compelling story. I may not see it in the theater, but it is worth seeing. Buying a ticket.
Chris: I have this feeling that we are going to be very sad in the end.  Love is complicated and beautiful even in the face of hopelessness.  I’ll wait for the small screen though.

Goodbye Christopher Robin (Fox Searchlight) – Biography/History/Family
Rated PG for thematic elements, some bullying, war images and brief language
Tag Line: Inspired by the true story.
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie
Plot: A behind-the-scenes look at the life of author A.A. Milne and the creation of the Winnie the Pooh stories inspired by his son C.R. Milne.
Running Time: 107 minutes

Chris: Wow, I was taken by surprise with this one.  Captured me right from the get-go, and I will definitely be seeing this one.  Decidedly not Hollywood Poo(h). 
Rob F: No thanks. Animated I can tolerate some Pooh, but not a big enough fan to see this.
Wayne: I’m not a fan of this time period but the actors have me interested. Still, going to pass.

Professor Marston & the Wonder Woman (Annapurna Pictures) – Drama
R for strong sexual content including brief graphic images, and language.
Tag Line: Meet the women behind the man behind the woman.
Starring: Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote
Plot: The story of psychologist William Moulton Marston, the polyamorous relationship between his wife and his mistress, the creation of his beloved comic book character Wonder Woman, and the controversy the comic generated.
Running Time: 108 minutes
Wayne: I’m curious about this story only because I’m a fan of Wonder Woman, but feel this film will fall flat on viewers. I’m going to pass.
Chris:  Hey, it’s the pervy comic book creator origin story! 
Rob F: I’d probably rent it because of its relation to comics.  

Tickets Purchased: Two for The Foreigner (Chris and Wayne) and One for Marshall (Rob)

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Trailer Snark (August 11, 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!

Annabelle: Creation (Warner Bros) – Horror/Mystery/Thriller
Rated R for horror violence and terror.
Tag Line: You don’t know the real story.
Starring: Stephanie Sigman, Miranda Otto
Plot: Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.
Running Time: 109 minutes

Wayne: I’m selling this movie. Uses so many tricks to get a jump out of you. I’m not a fan of giving a doll an origin story. 
Chris: Am I alone in not knowing that Annabelle was tied to the Conjuring series? Well, this is no Conjuring from what I have seen.
Jessica: I LOVE the Conjuring, and the sequel was okay, this looks like a big pile of poo.
Jim: Jim Asleep

The Glass Castle (Lionsgate) – Bigoraphy/Drama
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving family dysfunction, and for some language and smoking
Tag Line: Home goes wherever we go.
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Brie Larson
Plot: A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who’s an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children’s imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.
Running Time: 127 minutes

Jim: Woody is awesome, but I was beaten a little too much with the Inspirational Movie Stick during the trailer.
Wayne: I’m selling this movie. A story that isn’t going to get us anywhere. I like the casting, but don’t believe this to be worth seeing in a theater.
Chris: Wake me when it’s over.
Jessica: I LOVE Woody Harrelson but this looks like a great film to take a nap to.

The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature (Open Road Films) – Animation/Family
Rated PG for action and some rude humor
Tag Line: Get ready. Get set.  Get nuts!
Starring: Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Jackie Chan
Plot: Following the events of the first film, Surly and his friends must stop Oakton City’s mayor from destroying their home to make way for a dysfunctional amusement park.
Running Time: 91 minutes

Jessica: I don’t even have the words for how stupid this looks. Oh wait, I do, it looks stupid.
Jim: Was the first one even a hit? I remember seeing the trailer for the first one and hoping my daughter didn’t ask me to take her to see it. Mercifully, she didn’t. Man, this is one lame summer for movies.
Wayne: I’m selling this movie. Only a week out and now we’re seeing the push for this movie? Also opening late in the summer tells me they don’t have confidence in the film and neither do I.  
Chris: This first felt like a direct to DVD family film. I suspect this will be no better.

The Only Living Boy in New York (Roadside Attractions) – Drama
Rated R for adult situations
Tag Line: None
Starring: Jeff Bridge, Pierce Brosnan, Callum Turner, Kate Beckinsale
Plot: Adrift in New York City, a recent college graduate’s life is upended by his father’s mistress.
Running Time: 88 minutes

Chris: Mildly interesting, if only for Beckinsale and Bridges. Could be a good choice for the small screen.
Jessica: Pretentious drivel. I do enjoy Jeff Bridges, but you’d have to pay me to see this in theaters, or at home.
Jim: The good cast makes it a possible rental.
Wayne: I’m buying this. An interesting story and hey, it has KATE! 

The Trip to Spain (IFC Films) – Comedy/Drama
Not Rated
Tag Line:  The two amigos are back.
Starring: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon
Plot: Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon embark on a six-part episodic road trip through Spain, sampling the restaurants, eateries, and sights along the way.
Running Time: 108 minutes

Wayne: I’m buying this. While the ladies of the summer have had their share of girl only fun, time for the guys to get their chance with some old fart trip to Spain. Interesting story and will check it out.
Chris: I still have not seen the first two movies, but this one looks like a good reason to hunt it down quickly.
Jessica: I didn’t see the first two either Chris, but this looks fun, as do the ones that came before.
Jim: The Trip, The Trip to Italy, and now this. I thought the first two were a blast, this looks to be the same. Picturesque locations, great-looking food, and some witty bantering from these two likable comedians (love the Roger Moore bit). If only more movies were as enjoyable on a simple level as these are.

Tickets Purchased: Three for The trip to Spain (Wayne, Chris, and Jim) and One for The Only Living Boy in New York (Wayne) while Jessica gets caught up with a viewing of Dunkirk.

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Trailer Snark (August 28th 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:  Without any true strong competition from the new releases, Straight Outta Compton and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation continued to occupy the top two spots at the box office this past weekend, with $26.7 million and $11.7 million respectively.  Compton has taken in $111.7 million since its debut two weeks ago, while the latest Tom Cruise action sequel has gone to $157.7 million domestically.  The top debut last week was the horror sequel Sinister 2, which took $10.6 million for a third place showing.  Of course, it cost less than $10 million to make, so it is still a success.  Hitman: Agent 47, meanwhile, opened to a disappointing $8.2 million in fourth. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. took in $7.4 million which was good for fifth place, but it has only taken in $26 million against its reported $75 million budget.  The rest of the top ten were as follows:  American Ultra (debut at $5.5M), The Gift ($4.3M/$31M), Ant-Man ($4M/$164.5M), Minions ($3.7M/$319.9M), and Fantastic Four ($3.6M/$49.6M).  And now for this week’s new entries….

We Are Your Friends (Warner Bros) – Drama/Music
Rated R for language throughout, drug use, sexual content and some nudity
Tag Line: None
Starring: Zac Efron, Wes Bentley, Emily Ratajkowski
Plot: Caught between a forbidden romance and the expectations of his friends, aspiring DJ Cole Carter attempts to find the path in life that leads to fame and fortune.
Running Time: 96 minutes

Ken: We live in an age where any clown with a Macbook can  call themself a DJ. Given enough money and minimal talent, all it takes is lights, loud music and lots of pretty people to throw a good party. Can the same be said about movies?
Rob: A movie about a DJ trying to make his mark.  Pass.
Chris: Rave music DJ movie….about the antithesis of my core interests at this age.

No Escape (Weinstein Company) – Action/Drama
Rated R for strong violence including a sexual assault, and for language
Tag Line: Survive together or die together
Starring: Lake Bell, Pierce Brosnan, and Owen Wilson
Plot: In their new overseas home, an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape in an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.
Running Time: 103 minutes

Chris: I remember being pleasantly surprised by Owen Wilson’s serious acting turn in the action movie Behind Enemy Lines, and I look forward to his return to the genre.
Ken: Well wasn’t that a pleasant surprise? I saw Owen Wilson’s dumb face and my brain automatically thought “rom-com” and went into hibernation mode but that got real, real quick. Rescue copter? Nope, machine gun copter!
Rob: A family in jeopardy trying to escape Asian war and get to the US Embassy. Pass.

Z for Zachariah (Grindstone Entertainment Group) – Drama/SciFi/Thriller
Rated PG – 13 for a scene of sexuality, partial nudity, and brief strong language
Tag Line: After the end of the world she thought she was alone. She was wrong.
Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Pine, Margot Robbie
Plot: In the wake of a disaster that wipes out most of civilization, two men and a young woman find themselves in an emotionally charged love triangle as the last known survivors.
Running Time: 95 minutes

Rob: A Post-Apocalyptic Love Triangle.  Pass.
Chris: I saw apocalyspe movie, and I immediately thought another zombie movie. Thankfully it was not.  And it actually looks like it could be a diamond in the rough.
Ken: Z for zzzzzzzzzzz….

War Room (Sony) – Spiritual Drama
Rated PG for thematic elements throughout
Tag Line: Prayer is a powerful weapon
Starring: Priscilla Shirer, T.C. Stallings, and Karen Abercrombie
Plot: A seemingly perfect family look to fix their problems with the help of Miss Clara, an older, wiser woman.
Running Time: 120 minutes

Ken: Is it just me or did that feel a little bit churchy? Dear lord, deliver me from this movie.
Rob: Religious Schlock.  Pass.
Chris: The trailer does not delve into too much except about the plot except that its about the power of prayer, but if you have seen Courageous, you know that the filmmaker’s can make a truly inspiring movie.

Queen of the Earth (IFC Films) – Drama/Thriller
Not Rated
Tag Line: None
Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Katherine Waterston, and Patrick Fugit
Plot: Two women who grew up together discover they have drifted apart when they retreat to a lake house together.
Running Time: 90 minutes

Chris: With the throw-back 1970’s style trailer, I don’t know if I am supposed to take the subject matter seriously or not.  Creepy, quirky, and exploitive…words that come to mind.
Ken: Holy crap that was so unsettling for so many reasons. Foremost being the narrator’s voice.
Rob: A very crappy looking psychological thriller.  Pass.

Tickets Purchased:  2 for No Escape (Ken and Chris) while Rob stays home to re-enact Billy Madison scenes in his bath tub.

Escape is apparently futile
Escape is apparently futile