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Trailer Snark (July 22, 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 Secret Life of Pets remained at the top of the box office for a second straight week with $50.5M to add to its $203M domestic total.  That makes it five straight wins for animated movies (Finding Dory was the champ for three weeks before the current champ’s run).  Ghostbusters debuted in second with $46M.  The Legend of Tarzan was third with $11.3M to add to its $103M total.  The aforementioned Finding Dory was fourth with $11M and an astounding $445.5M overall, while fifth place belonged to Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates ($7.5M/$31.3M).  The rest of the top ten went as follows: The Purge: Election Year ($6/$71M), Central Intelligence ($5.3M/$117.5M), The Infiltrator ($5.2M/$6.7M), The BFG ($3.7M/$45.3M), and Independence Day: Resurgence ($3.4M/$98.5M).  Let’s take a look at this weekend’s new releases….

Star Trek: Beyond (Paramount) – Sci-Fi/Adventure
Rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action and violence
Tag Line: None
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban
Plot: The USS Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a new ruthless enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.
Running Time: 120 minutes

Chris: Abrams made me a fan of the franchise.  I know he is not involved in this outing, but momentum is a strong attractant, and I am looking forward to seeing where they are bringing this story.
Jessica: I really have enjoyed these “new” Star Trek movies but not having JJ Abrams on board this one makes me very leery of it. The trailer also does nothing for me. I’ll watch this, but at home. I don’t believe I’ll make the trip to the theater.
Ken: I’ve really enjoyed Abram’s reboot of the classic Trek, and I probably have it in me to see one more. I’d really like it if they did a movie reboot based on the Next Generation crew.

Ice Age: Collision Course (20th Century Fox) – Family/Animation
Rated PG for mild rude humor and some action/peril
Tag Line: One small step.  One giant mess.
Starring: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo
Plot: Manny, Diego, and Sid join up with Buck to fend off a meteor strike that would destroy the world.
Running Time: 94 minutes

Ken: Never got into this franchise, won’t be starting now. I’d rather watch 2 hours of the squirrel trying to get the acorn.
Chris: Amusing for a small screen outing.  The acorn may be the best inanimate supporting actor in a movie ever.
Jessica: Nope. Haven’t seen any of these and never will.

Lights Out (Warner Bros) – Horror
Rated PG-13 for terror throughout, violence including disturbing images, some thematic material and brief drug content
Tag Line: You were right to be afraid of the dark.
Starring: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Maria Bello
Plot: When her little brother, Martin, experiences the same events that once tested her sanity, Rebecca works to unlock the truth behind the terror, which brings her face to face with an entity that has an attachment to their mother, Sophie.
Running Time: 81 minutes

Jessica: Looks fun! I love an inventive horror flick!
Ken: Like I need another reason to be scared of the dark. That did look genuinely creepy and I’ll probably catch it at home. Where I can watch with all the lights on.
Chris: Creepy as heck!  YES!

Absolutely Fabulous (Fox Searchlight) – Comedy
Rated R for language including sexual references, and some drug use
Tag Line: It’s a huge great bloody movie, sweetie!
Starring: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley
Plot: After attracting both media and police attention for accidentally knocking Kate Moss into the River Thames, Edina and Patsy hide out in the south of France.
Running Time: 90 minutes

Chris: RUN AWAY!
Jessica: Oh gosh, this show always cracked me up, though I wasn’t a die-hard fan when it was on. I’d watch this at home. These ladies still look fabulous and funny.
Ken: Absolutely not.

Don’t Think Twice (The Film Arcade) – Comedy/Drama
Rated R for language and some drug use
Tag Line:  The spotlight’s not on everyone.
Starring: Keegan Michael-Key, Gillian Jacobs
Plot: When a member of a popular New York City improv troupe gets a huge break, the rest of the group – all best friends – start to realize that not everyone is going to make it after all.
Running Time: 92 minutes

Ken: Looks hugely charming but only a little funny. Renter, maybe.
Chris: Appealing little story of struggling artists trying to get their break.  Another small screen viewer.
Jessica: A lot of heart in this one, it’s not a theater viewer, but I would rent it or redox it or Amazon it, whatever the zillion options are today for home viewing.

Hillary’s America:  The Secret History of the Democratic Party – Documentary
Rated PG-13 for some violence, thematic elements and smoking
Tag Line: None
Starring: Dinesh D’Souza, Jonah Goldberg
Plot: Documentarian Dinesh D’Souza analyzes the history of the Democratic Party and what he thinks are Hillary Clinton’s true motivations.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Jessica: Why is the “secret” history of the Democratic party dubbed “Hilary’s America”? I get what he’s trying to accomplish, but I shy away from such biased films. I much prefer something balanced that talks about both sides since both sides are deeply, deeply fractured.
Ken: This year’s Presidential election can be summed up thusly, “would you like your turd sandwich cold or toasted?” I have no love for Hillary, but this made me want to puke.
Chris: A bit too theatrical for my taste.  Just give me the facts, Dragnet-style.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for Star Trek Beyond (Ken and Chris) and Jessica stays home to enjoy the Director’s Cut of Superman v Batman.

...because we just had to
…because we just had to
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Trailer Snark (February 5, 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:  Po’s Kung Fun is strong apparently.  The third in the kid’s series of animated films took in $41M in its debut to top the box office this past week.  Meanwhile, The Revenant slipped to second place with $12.4M/$138M.  Star Wars:  The Force Awakens is still doing solid business in third with $10.7M/$895.4M.  The Finest Hours debuted at number four with $10.3M.  Ride Along 2 was fifth with $8.3M/$70.7M.  The rest of the top ten went as follows:  The Boy ($7.8M/$21.5M), Dirty Grandpa ($7.5M/$22.8M), The 5th Wave ($7M/$20.1M), Fifty Shades of Black ($6.1M/NEW), and 13 Hours ($6M/$42.5M).  This week’s new entries are an eclectic mix…let’s check them out.

Hail, Caesar (Universal Pictures) – Comedy/Drama/Musical
Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and smoking
Tag Line:  Lights.  Camera.  Abduction.
Starring:  George Clooney, Josh Brolin, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlet JohanssonPlot: A Hollywood fixer in the 1950s works to keep the studio’s stars in line.
Running Time: 106 minutes

Jessica:  I LOVE the Coen Brothers so this is a no-brainer. Top-notch talent, a fun story and kooky-crazy storytelling. Yes indeed. This looks to be a winner.
Chris:  There is a certain element to every Coen Brothers film that makes them hard to dismiss.  And with the cast lined up for this one, I will be certain to catching it at some point, even if not in theaters. 

The Choice (Lionsgate) – Drama/Romance
Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some thematic issues
Tag Line: Let your heart decide.
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer, Maggie Grace
Plot: Travis and Gabby first meet as neighbors in a small coastal town and wind up in a relationship that is tested by life’s most defining events.
Running Time: 111 minutes

Chris:  Did you know that Nicholas Sparks has his own film production company?  Yeah, that didn’t make my day either.
Jessica:  Oh gag me. I swore in a very unlady-like fashion when I saw the “Nicholas Sparks” at the top of the trailer and turned it off. Melodramatic, boring, all the bad things about movies. P A S S.

Regression (RADiUS-TWC) – Crime/Thriller
Rated R for disturbing violent and sexual content, and for language
Tag Line: Fear always finds its victim.
Starring: Emma Watson, Ethan Hawke
Plot: A detective and a psychoanalyst uncover evidence of a satanic cult while investigating the rape of a young woman.
Running Time: 106 minutes

Jessica: Looks intriguing and like a good thriller. I’d watch this at home.
Chris:  Ethan Hawke is one of my favorite actors and I have always been a sucker for a religion-based thriller.  Game on!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Sony Pictures) – Action/Horror/Romance
Rated PG-13 for zombie violence and action, and brief suggestive material
Tag Line: Bloody lovely.
Starring: Lily James, Suki Waterhouse, Sam Riley
Plot: Jane Austen’s classic tale of the tangled relationships between lovers from different social classes in 19th century England is faced with a new challenge — an army of undead zombies.
Running Time: 108 minutes

Chris: I remember seeing this book in the stores and doing a double-take.  After one look at the trailer, I am not inclined to a similar reaction.  Perhaps if buzz is positive, I’d catch it on small screen.
Jessica: Sigh. I’m torn on this one. I read the book (both of them actually and a few others with the addition of monsters) and I enjoyed it but this trailer leaves me feeling really indifferent about it. Probably a pass for me.

Tumbledown (Starz Digital Media) – Comedy/Romance/Music
Rated R for a sex scene
Tag Line: Turn the page.  Start a new chapter.
Starring:  Dianna Agron, Rebecca Hall, Jason Sudeikis
Plot: A young woman struggles to move on with her life after the death of her husband, an acclaimed folk singer, when a brash New York writer forces her to confront her loss and the ambiguous circumstances of his death.
Running Time: 105 minutes

Jessica: I was fully intending to pass on this one, but darn-it, it got to me. Good actors and an interesting story about loss and music and blah, blah. I’d watch this at home.
Chris:  I don’t think so.

Tickets Purchased:  One for Hail, Caesar (Jessica) and one for Regression (Chris)

Though the weather outside is frightful, movies are so delightful. So curl up and enjoy another Trailer Snark!
Though the weather outside is frightful, movies are so delightful. So curl up and enjoy another Trailer Snark!
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Trailer Snark (December 25, 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:  Who would’ve thunk it (sic)?  Our prediction of Star Wars owning the box office came true.  Pats on the back all around for our deft forecasting and dark horse pick!  LOL.  OK, now we can get serious.  The Force Awakens shattered records far and wide with $238M.  Incredible.  Hard to believe that there were still enough other movie-goers left to give any biz to the other films that had the misfortune of competing, but there were.  Two other films debuted in the top five this week including Alvin and the Chipmunks at number two ($14.4M) and Sisters at number three ($13.4M). Not much else to note about the rest of the list, so lets move on to this week’s Christmas releases!

The Hateful Eight (Weinstein Company) – Drama/Thriller
Rated R for strong bloody violence, a scene of violent sexual content, language and some graphic nudity
Tag Line:  No one comes up here without a good damn reason.
Starring:  Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Plot: In post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunters try to find shelter during a blizzard but get involved in a plot of betrayal and deception. Will they survive?
Running Time:  168 minutes

Chris:  Kurt Russell is the man.  ‘Nuff said.
Jessica: I am A HUGE QT fan so I am there. I. Am. There.

Joy (Fox 2000) – Comedy/Drama
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Tag Line: None
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro, Bradley Cooper
Plot: Joy is the story of a family across four generations and the woman who rises to become founder and matriarch of a powerful family business dynasty.
Running Time:  124 minutes

Jessica: Eh. I like the people in it but the story does nothing for me.
Chris: Yawn……next!

Point Break (Warner Bros) – Action/Crime
Rated PG-13 for violence, thematic material involving perilous activity, some sexuality, language and drug material
Tag Line: No rules.  No limits.
Starring: Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer
Plot: A young FBI agent infiltrates an extraordinary team of extreme sports athletes he suspects of masterminding a string of unprecedented, sophisticated corporate heists. “Point Break” is inspired by the classic 1991 hit.
Running Time: 113 minutes
Chris: No Dead Presidents?  No spendo cashola!
Jessica: I found the original boring and this looks even more boring (if that’s possible). I think I fell asleep in despair watching this trailer. All set.

Daddy’s Home (Paramount) – Comedy
PG-13 for language and suggestive material
Tag Line: Family is worth fighting for.Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, Thomas Hayden Church
Plot: A mild-mannered radio executive strives to become the best stepdad to his wife’s two children, but complications ensue when their freewheeling and freeloading real father arrives, forcing him to compete for the affection of the kids.
Running Time: 96 minutes

Jessica: Eh. It had it’s funny moments but not one I’d rush to see.
Chris: OK, I laughed most the way through this one.  Just might have to check this one out.

Concussion (Columbia) – Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic material including some disturbing images, and language
Tag Line: Even legends need a hero.
Starring: Will Smith, Alec Baldwin
Plot:  In Pittsburgh, accomplished pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu uncovers the truth about brain damage in football players who suffer repeated concussions in the course of normal play.
Running Time: 123 minutes

Chris: Will Smith plays world reknowned pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu, and comes across pretty convincing.
Jessica: This, this looks FANTASTIC. Will Smith looks dynamic and convincing and it’s a compelling story about fighting for what you believe. I’d see this in the theater but Hateful Eight comes first for me.

Tickets Purchased:  Two for The Hateful Eight…another unanimous, even if under-represented, decision!

Not everyone approves of this year's Christmas Carolers.
Not everyone approves of this year’s Christmas Carolers.