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Trailer Snark (April 14, 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!

The Fate of the Furious (Universal) – Action/Crime/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for prolonged sequences of violence and destruction, suggestive content, and language
Tag Line:  The ride isn’t over.
Starring: Vin Diesel, Kurt Russell, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham
Plot: When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.
Running Time: 136 minutes

Chris: If you ask my kids, this is the best series to have ever been created.  It’s descent enough cinema.
Jim: I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve only seen the first in the series (and liked it). I’ll have to catch up. This has an amazing cast and plenty of action, worth a look.

Spark: A Space Tail (Open Road Films) – Animation/Adventure
Rated PG for some action and rude humor
Tag Line:  None
Starring: Jessica Biel, Susan Sarandon, Patrick Stewart, Hillary Swank
Plot: Spark, a teenage monkey and his friends, Chunk and Vix, are on a mission to regain Planet Bana – a kingdom overtaken by the evil overlord Zhong.
Running Time: 90 minutes

Jim: Where? Not under me to get me to see this cheap-looking kid flick.
Chris: Did anyone else see the nod to StarBlazers?  That was pretty cool….not cool enough though.

The Lost City of Z (Amazon) – Action/Adventure/Biography
Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, brief strong language and some nudity
Tag Line: In 1925, Percy Fawcett ventured into the Amazon in search of a myth. What he discovered became legendary.
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattison, Sienna Miller
Plot: A true-life drama, centering on British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who disappeared while searching for a mysterious city in the Amazon in the 1920s.
Running Time: 141 minutes

Chris: Now, here is some real Indiana Jones style stuff going on.  I like it!
Jim: Blessedly short and to the point,  a trailer that actually makes me want to see the movie.

A Quiet Passion (Music Box Films) – Biography/Drama
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, disturbing images and brief suggestive material
Tag Line: None
Starring: Cynthia Nixon, Jennifer Ehle
Plot: The story of American poet Emily Dickinson from her early days as a young schoolgirl to her later years as a reclusive, unrecognized artist.
Running Time: 125 minutes

Jim: One of those movies that looks tasteful and well-acted and will probably win an award somewhere. But there will always be a part of me that screams “No!” at the prospect of seeing a movie where people sit around in immaculate drawing rooms.
Chris: Finely cut trailer, but I have zero interest, as I am clearly not the target audience.

Tickets Purchased: Two for The Lost City of Z (Jim and Chris) and One for The Fate of the Furious (Jessica)

Lost

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Trailer Snark (January 20, 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!

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage (Paramount) – Action
Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of gunplay and violent action, and for sexual material and language
Tag Line: Kick some ass, get the girl, and try to look dope while you’re doing it.
Starring: Vin Diesel, Donnie Yen, Deepika Padukone, Samuel Jackson
Plot: Xander Cage is left for dead after an incident, though he secretly returns to action for a new, tough assignment with his handler Augustus Gibbons.
Running Time: 107 minutes

Chris: I didn’t like the original, and I don’t plan on entertaining the sequel.  Vin Diesel is probably the most overrated action star in Hollywood.
Jessica: NO THANK YOU. I got mad love for Vin, but I didnt like the first one, I don’t want to see a second one.
Jim: This was going along well until that cheesy shot of him running out of the plane at the end. I dunno…

Split (Universal) – Horror/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for disturbing thematic content and behavior, violence and some language
Tag Line: Kevin has 23 distinct personalities. The 24th is about to be unleashed.
Starring: James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy
Plot: After three girls are kidnapped by a man with 24 distinct personalities they must find some of the different personalities that can help them while running away and staying alive from the others.
Running Time: 117 minutes

Jim: In 18 years, M Night has made one good movie, The Sixth Sense. Pass.
Chris: I am the sad fool who keeps hoping that Shymalan is not the one trick pony that he is known to be.  And like so many of his trailers, this one seems to be full of the promise of a creepy and entertaining ride.  But that has been a familiar feeling with each release after The Sixth Sense.
Jessica: I adore McAvoy, but I detest Sxamalanan, oh however you spell it, I really really really REALLY don’t like this movies. Really don’t. So just in case you’re wondering, this is a pass for me.

The Founder (Weinstein Company) – Biography/Drama/History
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Tag Line: He took someone else’s idea and America ate it up.
Starring: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman
Plot: The story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers’ fast food eatery, McDonald’s, into one of the biggest restaurant businesses in the world.
Running Time: 115 minutes

Jessica: I love seeing Keaton back in the movies and this looks really interesting. Totally something I’d want to see.
Jim: Yes! Another part of the triumphant return of Michael Keaton. Definitely a must-see.
Chris:  Aside from the fact that Michael Keaton is a national treasure, I find the birth of industry and commercial enterprise fascinating.  To see the humble beginnings of what would soon become a giant makes for great entertainment.

The Sunshine Makers (FilmRise) – Documentary
Not Rated
Tag Line:  None
Starring: Nick Sand, Tim Scully
Plot: The story of Nicholas Sand and Tim Scully, the unlikely duo at the heart of 1960s American drug counter-culture.
Running Time: I don’t know man…I’m freakin’ out here. 101 minutes.

Chris: Watching this for me is akin to watching people orchestrating a train wreck.  I suggest art and sport as escapism.  Screw the drugs.
Jessica: This had me at LSD.
Jim: Looks freaky, man.

The Resurrection of Gavin Stone (High Top Releasing) – Comedy/Drama
Rated PG for thematic elements including a crucifixion image.
Tag Line: If church can change him it will be a miracle.
Starring: Brett Dalton, Shawn Michaels, Anjelah Johnson-Reyes
Plot: A washed-up former child star, forced to do community service at a local megachurch, pretends to be a Christian to land the part of Jesus in their annual Passion Play, only to discover that the most important role of his life is far from Hollywood.
Running Time: 92 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J2AiW2iQis
Jim: Been done before, but it looks entertaining enough.
Chris: Looks charming enough, but has a total tv movie feel to it.  Nice to see Brett Dalton again though.
Jessica: Oh Brett Dalton, this is such a … Massive cliche. Though that being said, if I was sad and bored and it was free, I might watch it.

Detour (Magnet Releasing) – Thriller
Rated R for some strong violence, sexual content, nudity, drug use, and language throughout
Tag Line: None
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Emory Cohen
Plot: A young law student blindly enters into a pact with a man who offers to kill his stepfather, whom he feels is responsible for the accident that sent his mother into a coma.
Running Time: 97 minutes

Jessica: I have a weird suspicion this has a twist, like a “Fight Club” twist going on…Meh
Jim: Worth a look if it’s free.
Chris: Absorbed me with the dual personality trailer.  Not sure I’d hit the theaters to see it, but I’ll be putting this one on my watch list.

The Red Turtle (Sony Picture Classics) – Animation/Fantasy
Rated PG for some thematic elements and peril
Tag Line: None
Starring: A red turtle and some dude
Plot: The dialogue-less film follows the major life stages of a castaway on a deserted tropical island populated by turtles, crabs and birds.
Running Time: 80 minutes

Chris:  No dialogue animated film.  I appreciate the interpretive nature of such films, but at the end of the day, it does not hold much interest for me.  I think I might max out at about 20 minutes before losing interest.
Jessica: Interesting.
Jim: Another beautiful and amazing-looking effort from Ghibli. I’m a sucker for things like this.

Tickets Purchased: Three for The Founder (Jim, Chris, and Jessica) and Jim pulls double duty with a showing of The Red Turtle.

McDonald's Fries should be sanctioned by theaters, and mandatory concession snack for showings of The Founder
McDonald’s Fries should be sanctioned by theaters, and mandatory concession snack for showings of The Founder

 

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Trailer Snark (November 11, 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!

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Sony) – Drama
Rated R for language throughout, some war violence, sexual content, and brief drug use
Tag Line: None
Starring: Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel, Steve Martin
Plot: 19-year-old Billy Lynn is brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle. Through flashbacks the film shows what really happened to his squad – contrasting the realities of war with America’s perceptions.
Running Time:  110 minutes

Jessica: I usually enjoy a well done war movie, but I’m not sure about this one. The trailer really doesn’t tell me much about why it’s called “The Long Halftime Walk”, but then again, I can’t take Vin Diesel as a serious actor so that might be why i feel so lukewarm to this one!
Jim: This week’s trailers don’t bode well for the Holiday Movie season. The solemn chorus is telling me that I should feel moved, but have to admit it left me cold. Still, the fact that it’s an Ang Lee movie gives me hope.
Chris:  It’s a double dose of heck no with both Vin Diesel and Kristen Stewart in starring roles.  That is enough to kill my interest.

Almost Christmas (Universal) – Comedy/Drama
Rated PG-13 for suggestive material, drug content and language
Tag Line: Five days together?  Oh joy!
Starring: Kimberly Elise, Omar Epps, Danny Glover
Plot: A dysfunctional family gathers together for their first Christmas since their mom died.
Running Time: 112 minutes

Chris: This one seems full of yuletide jeer……pass.
Jessica: Blah. I’d rather see Bad Santa 2!
Jim: Looks more like Festivus. Nah.

Arrival (Paramount) – Drama/Mystery/Sci-Fi
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Tag Line:  Why are they here?
Starring:  Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker
Plot: A linguist is recruited by the military to assist in translating alien communications.
Running Time: 116 minutes

Jim: Yet another Close Encounters/Independence Day knockoff.
Chris: Effective trailer that amps up the drama.  Plus the wife loves Amy Adams (her favorite actress, thanks to Enchanted). 
Jessica: I’ve seen this trailer a lot recently and I just don’t care what’s going on. Something about it just annoys the holy heck out of me.

Shut In (EuropaCorp USA) – Drama/Thriller
Rated PG-13 for terror and some violence/bloody images, nudity, thematic elements and brief strong language
Tag Line: Don’t believe everything you see.
Starring:  Naomi Watts, Oliver Platt, Charlie Heaton
Plot: A heart-pounding thriller about a widowed child psychologist who lives in an isolated existence in rural New England. Caught in a deadly winter storm, she must find a way to rescue a young boy before he disappears forever.
Running Time: 91 minutes

Jessica: Ditto for this one. Look like well trod ground and unless someone can tell me it’s not, I’ll pass.
Jim: (cue Homer Simpson voice) Booooring!
Chris: The trailer left me cold, but without that spine-tingling shiver.  Naomi Watts is always fantastic, but this one is probably better left as a home viewer.

The Love Witch (Oscilliscope) – Comedy/Horror
Not Rated
Tag Line: She loved men….to death.
Starring: Samantha Robinson, Laura Waddell
Plot: A modern-day witch uses spells and magic to get men to fall in love with her, in a tribute to 1960s pulp novels and Technicolor melodramas.
Running Time: 120 minutes

Chris:  Not with Jim’s eyes, and Jess’ wallet.
Jessica:  this was the most horrible, long-winded, horrible trailer I’ve ever seen. I get what they were trying for but they told the ENTIRE STORY in this trailer and it just looks awful. Pass.
Jim: Yeah, this was…UNBELIEVABLY bad. Almost like a fake SNL trailer, except not funny.

Tickets Purchased: One for Arrival (Chris) while both Jim and Jessica stay home to watch old Jack Sparrow movies and eat chocolate.

Can I come crash your house?
Can I come crash your house?

 

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Trailer Snark (October 23, 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: Jack Black as R.L. Stine takes the top of the box office this week as Goosebumps pulled in $23.5M in its opening week.  The Martian dropped one spot to number two taking in another $21.5M ($143.7M overall).  Bridge of Spies debuted at number three with $15.3M followed by the debuting Crimson Peak which took in $12.8M.  Fifth place belonged to Adam Sandler’s animated Hotel Transylvania 2 ($12.2M/$136.4M).  The rest of the top ten went as follows:  Pan ($5.8M/$25.7M), The Intern ($5.4M/$58.7M), Sicario ($4.5M/$34.6M), Woodlawn ($4.1M), and Scorch Trials ($2.7M/$75.4M).  Let’s take a look at this weekend’s lineup of new contenders…..

Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension (Paramount) – Horror
Rated R for language and some horror violence
Tag Line: Every secret will be revealed.Starring: Brit Shaw, Chris Murray
Plot: Using a special camera that can see spirits, a family must protect their daughter from an evil entity with a sinister plan.
Running Time: 88 minutes

Ken: I’m a sucker for found footage horror movies and have seen almost every Paranormal Activity movie made, despite the most terrifying part of the last few has been the decline in quality.  I’ll probably break down and watch it when it comes to streaming.
Jessica: These movies are always good for a laugh and/or maybe a chill up the spine. I’d catch this one at home. I’m sure it’s right in line with all the others of the series.
Chris: I caught the last few on DVD and there was a serious decline in entertainment, but I will say that this trailer seems to have raised the franchise game a bit.

Jem & the Holograms (Universal) – Drama
Rated PG for thematic material including reckless behavior, brief suggestive content and some language
Tag Line: Every generation needs a voice.
Starring: Aubrey Peeples, Molly Ringwald, Stefanie Scott
Plot: As a small-town girl catapults from underground video sensation to global superstar, she and her three sisters begin a journey of discovering that some talents are too special to keep hidden.
Running Time: 118 minutes

Chris: Not as outrageous as one might expect.
Ken: Oh god, I just threw up a little bit. This looks horrible.
Jessica: Don’t bother with his pile of trash. It’s Jem in NAME only and  a total waste of time for any movie goer. It disgusts my Jem loving heart! I’m going to have to watch a cartoon to wash the ugly taste of Hollywood’s money-making machine from my mouth after seeing this lousy trailer for what can only be a lousy movie. See, I used no foul language! That was hard.

The Last Witch Hunter (Summit Entertainment) – Action/Fantasy
Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images
Tag Line: Live forever. Hunt forever.
Starring: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood
Plot: The last witch hunter is all that stands between humanity and the combined forces of the most horrifying witches in history.
Running Time: 106 minutes
Jessica: I admit that at first I laughed at this one but I have a not so secret love for Vin D. and I would totally watch this at home and probably enjoy the holy heck out of it too. I mean, Frodo Baggins and Alfred Pennyworth are in it with Turetto!
Chris: Looks like the comfort food of movies to me!
Ken: CGI isn’t scary and I can’t understand a word of what Vin Diesel is saying. All that aside, I could watch anything with Rose Leslie in it.  

Rock the Kasbah (Open Road) – Comedy
Rated R for language including sexual references, some drug use and brief violence
Tag Line: Opportunity rocks when you least expect it.
Starring: Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, and Zooey Deschanel
Plot: A down-on-his-luck music manager discovers a teenage girl with an extraordinary voice while on a music tour in Afghanistan and takes her to Kabul to compete on the popular television show, Afghan Star.
Running Time: 100 minutes

Ken: Even Sharif would likes this one.
Jessica: I want to want to see this but it’s a pass for me.
Chris: I did not have any laugh out loud moments in this trailer.  Maybe they saved the good stuff?

Suffragette (Focus Features) – Drama/History
Rated PG-13 for some intense violence, thematic elements, brief strong language and partial nudity
Tag Line: Mothers. Daughters. Rebels.
Starring: Anne-Marie Duff, Carey Mulligan, Grace Stottor
Plot: The foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State.
Running Time: 106 minutes

Chris: We continue our civil right’s theme movie march this week tackling women’s suffrage.  Girls just want to have fun, you know!
Ken: Political radicalism and random acts of destruction. Girl power!
Jessica: This is my JAM! I am SO EXCITED for this one. I think it’ll be emotional and powerful. Can’t wait to check it out.

I Smile Back (Broad Green Pictures) – Drama
Rated R for strong sexual content, substance abuse/disturbing behavior, and language
Tag Line: Love desperately, live recklessly.
Starring: Sarah Silverman, Josh Charles
Plot: Laney Brooks does bad things. Married with kids, she takes the drugs she wants, sleeps with the men she wants, disappears when she wants. Now, with the destruction of her family looming, and temptation everywhere, Laney makes one last desperate attempt at redemption.
Running Time: 85 minutes

Jessica: Sigh, why do awesome comedians always have to make serious films? I enjoy Silverman and this looks good but … I have no idea what else to say about it. I might see it someday.
Chris: I loathe Sarah Silverman (as an entertainer)….there, I said it.  That being said, this is a very un-Sarah Silverman like movie.
Ken: Silverman takes her turn doing serious drama. She looks pretty convincing at playing crazy.

Burnt (The Weinstein Company) – Drama
Rated R for language throughout
Tag Line: Never underestimate a man with nothing to lose.Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller
Plot: Adam Jones (Bradley Cooper) is a Chef who destroyed his career with drugs and diva behavior. He cleans up and returns to London, determined to redeem himself by spearheading a top restaurant that can gain three Michelin stars.
Running Time: 100 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiGJlUVQDGk
Ken: Reminds me of Anthony Bourdain’s absoluitely insane tales from his autobiographical book Kitchen Confidential. This trailer has whet my appetite.
Jessica: This one I will happily NEVER watch and I have love for Cooper but this looks all kinds of terrible and sugary sweet. Blech.
Chris: Bradley Cooper does Hell’s Kitchen…sort of.  Meh….

Tickets Purchased:  One for Burnt (Ken), One for Suffragette (Jessica), and One for The Last Witch Hunter (Chris)…..ah, back to happy disagreement folks!

Can Vin Diesel save the world from civil rights hungry women driven crazy by Chef Bradley Cooper?  Did that make any sense at all?
Can Vin Diesel save the world from civil right’s hungry women driven crazy by Chef Bradley Cooper? Did that make any sense at all?