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Trailer Snark (December 11, 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: The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part Two bested the competition again this week taking in $18.6M (added to its domestic haul of $227M).  Krampus was the highest and only debut in the top ten coming in at number two with $16M holiday horror dollars.  Creed and The good Dinosaur came in at three and four at a virtual $15.5M tie (Creed has achieved $65M domestically, while The Good Dinosaur has gone to $75.9M overall).  The fifth spot belonged to that British superhero James Bond as Spectre took in $5.4M ($184M overall).  The rest of the top ten went as follows:  The Night Before ($4.9M/$31.9M), The Peanuts Movie ($3.5M/$121.4M), Spotlight ($2.9M/$16.6M), Brooklyn ($2.4M/$11.2M), and The Secret in Their Eyes ($1.9M/$17.2M).   What does this weekend have in store for us?

In the Heart of the Sea (Warner Bros) – Adventure/Biography
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and peril, brief startling violence, and thematic material
Tag Line: Experience the true encounter that inspired the myth Moby Dick.
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson
Plot: Based on the 1820 event, a whaling ship is preyed upon by a giant whale, stranding its crew at sea for 90 days, thousands of miles from home.
Running Time: 121 minutes

Chris:  Man vs Whale.  What does the tale of the tape say?  I never read the classic, I am ashamed to admit, but the trailer makes me want to order up some seafood!
Jessica: Looks good though I’ll admit I HATED “Moby Dick” when I had to read it in High School. Hopefully the movie is better – it certainly looks mighty exciting.
Jim: Looks epic and exciting, Ron Howard seldom disappoints.
Ken: I was really hoping this was going to be terrible so that I could make the “thar’ she blows” joke again, but that actually did look pretty good. Ron Howard may be on to something here, trading the book’s dense symbolism for CGI sea monsters.

American Hero (Screen Media) – Action/Comedy/Sci-Fi
Not Rated
Tag Line: From zero to superhero
Starring:  Stephen Dorff, Eddie Griffin
Plot: Melvin, a reluctant Superhero, lives only for crime, women and drugs – until he realizes that the only way he will ever get to see his estranged son is to go straight and fulfill his potential as a crime fighter.
Running Time: 116 minutes

Ken: (Agree with Jim below) I feel like we’ve seen this flick before (don’t forget Hancock). It’s essentially an alternate reality where Magneto is white trash and Prof X is black.
Chris: It’s the Greatest American Hero, the even bigger LOSER edition.
Jessica: Ugh. I really dislike Dorff, I find him tedious at best and this movie looks to highlight everything I find annoying about him.
Jim: This sort of thing has been done before (Hero, Chronicle), but it’s a good premise—looks like it could be fun!

The Big Short (Paramount) – Biography/Drama
Rated R for pervasive language and some sexuality/nudity
Tag Line:  This is a true story.
Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt, Marisa Tomei
Plot: Four outsiders in the world of high-finance who predicted the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s decide to take on the big banks for their lack of foresight and greed.
Running Time: 130 minutes

Jim: A great cast, looks interesting. Not a theater pic, but definitely a rental.
Ken: Very solid trailer, stellar cast and Zeppelin on the soundtrack doesn’t hurt none either.
Chris: The most significant economic event of the last decade on screen with an all-star cast.  Count me in.
Jessica: A lot of good people here. I enjoyed Moneyball and The Blind Side and the story is a compelling one.  Not a theater flick for me but at home viewing for sure.

The Lady in the Van (Sony Picture Classics) – Biography/Comedy/Drama
Rated PG – 13 for a brief unsettling image
Tag Line:  A mostly true story.
Starring: Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Domenic Cooper
Plot: A man forms an unexpected bond with a transient woman living in her car that’s parked in his driveway.
Running Time: 104 minutes

Jessica: Dame Maggie looks fantastic in this one. I’d watch it at home.
Jim: Looks “cute” enough I suppose, but…..naaaaaaaaah.
Ken: I’m gonna need subtitles here. Yup, nope I’m lost. Can’t understand a word of what’s being said, but it looks charming.
Chris:  “I am not the carer.  I am here, she is over there.  There is no caring.”  Yep.  That about sums it up for me.

The Dark Horse (Broad Green Pictures) – Drama
Rated R for language throughout, and drug use
Tag Line:  Bravery is contagious.
Starring: Cliff Curtis, James Rolleston
Plot: An emotionally charged and inspiring drama about a man who searches for the courage to lead, despite his own adversities – finding purpose and hope in passing on his gift to the children in his community.
Running Time: 124 minutes

Chris:  Not my idea of entertainment.
Jessica: What is it with the chess movies lately? I feel like there have been a couple before this. Anyway, looks interesting but not interesting enough for me to actively see it in a theater or at home honestly.
Jim: I wouldn’t have thought Searching For Bobby Fischer would be worth my time, but it turned out to be a great movie. This looks interesting, but not enough for me to run to see another chess movie.
Ken: An unstable yet brilliant individual tries to help the youth in his community by teaching them love for a game.  Classic.

Don Verdean (Buffalo Film Company) – Comedy
Rated PG-13 for crude and suggestive content, some language and brief violence
Tag Line: Fraud works in mysterious ways.
Starring:  Sam Rockwell, Leslie Bibb, Danny McBride
Plot: A self-professed biblical archaeologist who has fallen on hard times starts to bend the truth in order to continue inspiring the faithful.
Running Time: 90 minutes

Ken: Pretty sure this trailer is one of the signs of the Apocalypse.
Chris:  From the looks of the trailer, this is going to be a cult classic or a very large bag of refuse.
Jessica: Oh this looks ridiculous in the best possible way. Rockwell is a personal favorite and Clements has always tickled my funny bone ever since “Flight Of The Concourds” so I would totally go see this.
Jim: Ok, it was time to retire people getting hit in the midsection for laughs about 30 years ago. A good cast, but the trailer tries too hard to be “wacky.” Pass.

Tickets Purchased:  One for Don Verdean (Jessica), one for Dark Horse (Ken), one for American Hero (Jim), and one for In the Heart of the Sea (Chris)…a four-way tie!

Superhero Don Verdean escapes the stomach of Moby Dick to retrieve Jonah's fabled chess set.....or something.
Superhero Don Verdean escapes the stomach of Moby Dick to retrieve Jonah’s fabled chess set…..or something.
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The Front Row View: American Graffiti

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.

americangraffiti

The best end-of-summer movie IMHO is George Lucas’ 1973 American Graffiti. I first saw this on a reissue and thought it was the best movie that I had ever seen in my 13 years of existence. It’s great cast made up of many soon-to-be stars (Richard Dreyfuss, “Ronny” Howard, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie Phillips, Harrison Ford, Charles Martin Smith, Suzanne Sommers, Kathleen Quinlan), it’s neon jukebox look, arguably the best rock ‘n roll soundtrack of all time—pretty amazing stuff for someone who was a few years away from getting his driver’s license. 37 years after seeing it (yikes), it still remains a favorite!

-Jim