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Trailer Snark (March 24, 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!

Power Rangers (Lionsgate) – Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, language, and for some crude humor
Tag Line:  Back to action!
Starring: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, Bill Hader
Plot: A group of high-school kids, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities in order to save the world.
Running Time: 124 minutes

Chris: I missed the boat on Power Rangers as a child (a little after my time) and I really have no interest in this re-imagining.
Jessica: I am of two minds of this, one it looks just ridiculous and two, it looks like it might actually be okay. I never watched the show and really am not what I would consider a fan so I don’t really care either way. But I do enjoy a GOOD action, superhero film, so maybe this will be that. Maybe…
Jim: I used to watch the show with my daughter and could feel my brains leaking out of my ears.

Life (Columbia) – Horror/Sci-Fi/Thriller
Rated R for language throughout, some sci-fi violence and terror
Tag Line:  Be careful what you search for.
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds
Plot: A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form, that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.
Running Time: 103 minutes

Jim: Seriously? Why don’t they just call it Alien 20? Are there ANY new ideas anymore?
Chris: I have been jonesing to see this movie since I started seeing trailers last year.  The second trailer (featured here) gives you a bit more than the first, but it all look deliciously intense.
Jessica: Oh my goodness, Ryan and Jake in one movie? About alien life? SIGN ME UP.

CHiPS (Warner Bros) – Action/Comedy
Rated R for crude sexual content, graphic nudity, pervasive language, some violence and drug use.
Tag Line: Chip happens.
Starring: Michael Pena, Dax Shepard
Plot: A rookie officer is teamed with a hardened pro at the California Highway Patrol, though the newbie soon learns his partner is really an undercover Fed investigating a heist that may involved some crooked cops.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Jessica: <Sigh>. I mean, maybe…No, <sigh>.
Jim: Dumb fun for the most part, rental.
Chris: I can see why Erik Estrada is super upset about this one since they really jazzed up the pervertedness and went total comedy.  I grew up with Ponch and John, and it was considered action drama fare.  I guess he feels disrespected.  I’ll catch it on the small screen.

Wilson (Fox Searchlight) – Comedy
Rated R for language throughout and some sexuality
Tag Line: Positively negative
Starring:  Woody Harrelson, Sandy Oian, Shaun Brown
Plot: A lonely, neurotic and hilariously honest middle-aged man reunites with his estranged wife and meets his teenage daughter for the first time.
Running Time: 94 minutes

Chris: Woody Harrelson plays so many types of roles.  This one is about as off-beat as some of his most left of center.  Check it!
Jessica: AHHHHH I LOVE WOODY HARRLESON, he’s the reason I saw any of the Hunger Games movies, and this looks fun and weird and everything I love about him.
Jim: This looks like a blast, Woody and a great cast (love Laura Dern!).

Prevenge (Shudder) – Comedy/Drama/Fantasy
Not Rated
Tag Line:  None
Starring:  Jo Hartley, Gemma Whelan, Alice Lowe
Plot: Widow Ruth is seven months pregnant when, believing herself to be guided by her unborn baby, she embarks on a homicidal rampage, dispatching anyone who stands in her way.
Running Time: 88 minutes

Jim: Delightfully sick and twisted-looking with a premise worthy of Stephen King.
Chris: Pickles, ice cream, and sharp knives.  Cut straight to the C Section.  No thanks.
Jessica: Oh this just looks like a good time. I was laughing at the trailer. Sick, twisted, right up my alley.

The Levelling (Monterey Media) – Drama
Rated R for language and brief nudity
Tag Line:  None
Starring: Ellie Kendrick, David Troughton
Plot: After he brother dies, Clover returns to her family farm in Someset, where she discovers her estranged father is a shell of his former self and the farm is in shambles due to floods that destroyed the area six months earlier.
Running Time: 83 minutes

Jessica: This looks really intense, so I’ll pass. I have enough intensity with school and work thank you, but seriously, this looks like an interesting, well-done and very sad film that I’d watch at home when I needed a good cry.
Jim: Got the TV movie blahs about halfway through.
Chris: A whole lot of high emotion drama in this trailer, but a whole lot of I could care less in my mind.

Slamma Jamma (RiverRain Productions) – Drama/Sports
Rated PG for thematic elements, some violence and language
Tag Line:  Sometimes redemption is found above the rim.
Starring: Chris Staples, Michael Irvin, Jose Canseco
Plot: Wrongfully accused and sent to prison, a former basketball star prepares for the national slam dunk competition while finding redemption in himself and in those he loves.
Running Time: 104 minutes
Chris: Looks like an inspirational sports film….made for TV. I’ll pass on that ball.
Jessica: I got dumber typing that title and I didn’t make it through the trailer, I just got annoyed and turned it off so clearly it’s going to be my pick of the week.  😉
Jim: Yeah, not a fan of this title either. Nice trailer, but still  feel I’ve seen it all before.

Tickets Purchased: Two for Life (Jessica and Chris) and One for Wilson (Jim)

Life

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Trailer Snark (October 7, 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!

The Birth of a Nation (Fox Searchlight Pictures) – Biography/Drama
Rated R for disturbing violent content, and some brief nudity
Tag Line: None
Starring: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller
Plot: Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher in the antebellum South, orchestrates an uprising.
Running Time: 120 minutes

Chris: Emotionally stirring.  Any story that speaks to our natural God-given right for freedom sings to me.  It is in our DNA. 
Jim: Who can resist any trailer like this? There are a few genres I’d like to see put to bed, but anything with an anti-slavery message will never be included.
Jessica: Definitely a must watch in my house. Looks amazing.
Ken: I have conflicting views about this movie.  On one hand, I think this looks like a beautiful, deeply courageous and spiritual film about of a slave’s fight for humanity. On the other hand, and I know this won’t be a popular opinion, with the already abysmal state of race relations in this country today, I worry that the movie is framing violence and vengeance as a justifiable response to social injustice. Nat Turner’s rebellion murdered white men, women and children indiscriminately. Was the killing of innocents justified? Was the Dallas police shooter justified in his actions? How about Jihadists? I don’t think there are any easy answers here, which is why I can’t completely get behind this one with the rest of you.
Rob: Looks like a powerful film to say the least.  Would definitely watch on Netflix down the road.

The Girl on the Train (Universal Pictures) – Mystery/Thriller
Rated R for violence, sexual content, language and nudity
Tag Line: Based on the novel that shocked the world
Starring: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson
Plot: A divorcee becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation that promises to send shockwaves throughout her life.
Running Time: 112 minutes

Rob: Looks like a solid thriller.  Would rather read the book though.
Chris: Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good mystery.  It was true when I was a wee bit lad and fell in love with Mystery Incorporated, and remains true to this day.  Count me in.
Jim: A gripping book (better than the over-hyped Gone Girl, I thought) looks like it was made into a good move. Emily Blunt is a plus.
Jessica: I loved Gone Girl and while I haven’t read this book yet, I have heard a ton about it. It looks like a good movie too, I’m in!
Ken:  Looks thrilling. I’m on board.

Middle School:  The Worst Years of My Life (CBS Films) – Comedy
Rated PG for rude humor throughout, language and thematic elements
Tag Line: Rules aren’t for everyone.
Starring: Griffin Gluck, Lauren Graham, Alexa Nisenson
Plot: Imaginative quiet teenager Rafe Katchadorian is tired of his middle school’s obsession with the rules at the expense of any and all creativity. Desperate to shake things up, Rafe and his best friends have come up with a plan: break every single rule in the school and let the students run wild.
Running Time: 92 minutes

Ken: Listen kid, if you think that middle school is bad, just wait until you get a job. Soul. Crush.
Jessica: I can’t even stand seeing the trailers on TV. BIG PASS on this one. Looks awful.
Chris: I found myself headbanging to the trailer with the old school Twisted Sister.  Actually looks mildly humorous and worth a “Home Alone” view.
Rob: Looks kinda funny, but certainly not something I’d go see in theaters.  I also agree that Twisted Sister rocks!
Jim: I second Chris on this (unless my daughter drags me to see it).

Tickets Purchased:  Four for The Girl on the Train (Jessica, Ken, Jim, and Chris) and Rob stays home to save his hard-earned dollars for the upcoming Rogue One!

The Girl on this Train Don't Know Deadpool!
The Girl on this Train Don’t Know Deadpool!
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Trailer Snark (July 31st 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!

Before we tell you about last week’s Box Office results, the team would like to give a shout out to our friend Jim (Front Row View) who has not blogged with us for a few weeks due to having surgery.  We are pleased to report that his recovery is going very well and we hope to have him back with us soon!  Thanks for joining us in wishing him a continued speedy recovery!

Last Week:  Ant-Man dominated the box office for the second week in a row ($25 million for a total of $106 million), fending off a challenge from Adam Sandler’s Pixels (debuting with $24 million), while Minions proved its staying power with a strong third place (adding $22 million for a total of $262 million).  And Rob has still not gone to see it!  Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck was in fourth bringing its two week total to just over $61milliion, and Southpaw took the number five slot with a $16.5 million haul in its debut week.  The teen drama Paper Towns was in sixth ($12.5 million).  Inside Out (now over $320 million), Jurassic World (now over $628 million), Mr. Holmes (just over $6 million), and Terminator: Genisys (just over $85 million) rounded out the top ten.  And now for this week’s releases……

Vacation (New Line Cinema) – Comedy
Rated R for crude and sexual content and language throughout, and brief graphic nudity
Tag Line: What could go wrong?
Starring:  Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Chevy Chase, Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann, Beverly D’Angelo
Plot: Rusty Griswold takes his own family on a road trip to “Walley World” in order to spice things up with his wife and reconnect with his sons.
Running Time: 99 minutes

Jessica: I’ll admit, I was skeptical at first but the trailer has me laughing (I mean, Thor alone cracked me up for a few good minutes) and I do enjoy Ed Helms. I’ll definitely be seeing this one.
Chris: Looks like some goofy fung…I mean fun.
Ken: Rusty Griswald following in his old man’s legacy. I was really enjoying the trailer until that last scene. That was just too gross. Yuck, Chevy Chase.
Rob:  I am on vacation with Vacation. (Rob unreachable for further comments..<snicker>)

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (Paramount) – Action
Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, and brief partial nudity
Tag Line: Go rogue.
Starring: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames
Plot: Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.
Running Time: 131 minutes

Ken: I’ve never been a huge fan of the MI series so this is a pass, although they almost had me with the flute gun.
Chris: I was also one of those who could not stand the first one, but this series has gotten progressively better in my opinion.  Hoping they can continue that trend….the outlook is promising.
Jessica: I’ll admit, I think the first few MI movies are dull as dirt (actually, they might be duller than dirt) but the last one was a lot of fun and this one looks to be just as fun and hey, Tom Cruise REALLY did hang off that plane while it flew, pretty bad ass if you ask me!

Listen to Me Marlon (Passion Pictures) – Documentary/Biography
Not Rated
Tag Line:  The definitive Brando in his own words.
Starring:  Marlon Brando
Plot: A documentary that utilizes hundreds of hours of audio that Marlon Brandon recorded over the course of his life to tell the screen legend’s story.
Running Time:  95 minutes

Chris: I recognize that Marlon Brando is a Hollywood icon, but I just don’t much care for this behind the scenes introspection.  I don’t think anyone on this blog team is pretentious enough to make this their pick of the week.  😉
Ken: I’m not a film buff and my exposure to Brando is limited to his later work like Apocalypse Now and The Godfather. Still I’ve always been curious about the man many consider one of the greatest American actors. Looks interesting enough, could be a contender.
Jessica: A fascinating look into a fascinating man.

Best of Enemies (Magnolia) – Documentary/History
Rated R for some sexual content/nudity and language
Tag Line: Buckley vs. Vidal. 2 Men. 10 Debates. Television Would Never Be The Same.
Starring: William F. Buckley Jr., Gore Vidal
Plot: A documentary on the series of televised debates in 1968 between the liberal Gore Vidal and the conservative William F. Buckley Jr.
Running Time: 87 minutes

Ken: Two opposing cultural ideologies going head to head during one of the most tumultuous periods in US history. Another good history lesson.  
Jessica: Oh my gosh, this looks wildly entertaining and informative. Totally into it.
Chris: At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, considering my thoughts on celebrity voyeurism, I admit to being very intrigued by the real life relationship between Gore Vidal and William Buckley.  The narrators of political history unfolding before us in the 1960
tumults and beyond.

The End of the Tour (A24) – Drama
Rated R for language including some sexual references
Tag Line:  Imagine the greatest conversation you’ve ever had.
Starring: Jason Segal, Jesse Eisenberg, Anna Chlumsky, Joan Cusack, and Ron Livingston
Plot: The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking epic novel, ‘Infinite Jest.’
Running Time: 106 minutes

Jessica: As an author myself this one really appeals to me AND I have mad love for Jason Segal. This looks like a  story that’s been told loads of times but the actors are engaging and the story looks good.
Ken: Insightful, honest and devastatingly tragic. I didn’t know this movie existed until now but I desperately need to see it.
Chris: Seems that Segal and Eisenberg boast some real nice chemistry from the trailer.  Could be good.

A Lego Brickumentary (RADiUS-TWC) – Documentary
Rated G
Tag Line:  N/A
Starring: Jason Bateman
Plot: A look at the global culture and appeal of the LEGO building-block toys.
Running Time: 93 minutes

Chris: I run a pop culture company.  How could this not be required viewing?  Just maybe not in the theater.
Ken: Legos, the original Minecraft. I love that Jason Bateman is the narrator and wonder if he got cast because of his “twenty miles to Lego Land” line from Arrested Development.
Jessica: Oh heck yeah! Having lived with little boys who LOVE Lego’s I would love to watch something all about LEGO’s, totally in.

Tickets Purchased:  2 tickets for Vacation (Jessica and Rob), 1 ticket for Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (Chris), and 1 ticket for The End of the Tour (Ken)

Grumpy Jonathan Toews cat, FTW!
Grumpy Jonathan Toews cat, FTW!

What will you be seeing in theaters this weekend?
-The Great Stories Team