Film Preview: Dad’s Army (2016)

Page Revisions:

(February 7, 2016) Original

Release Date:

February 5, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “The Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard platoon deal with a visiting female journalist and a German spy as World War II draws to its conclusion.”

Poster Rating: B- / C+ (4)

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Review: (#1) You get the impression right away that this is a British comedy and that’s precisely what is needed. While it’s not the greatest or most original design, it works precisely as it needs to. (#2-#5) These paired character posters are interesting in their dynamics, but are largely lifeless in their backgrounds. That’s not the best way to sell your designs beyond theaters, though.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: The humor’s sporadic, but fun. The story doesn’t seem very original and no one would be surprised if the “spy” was easily identified from this overlong trailer.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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The DVD Report #470

Bridge of Spies PosterOne of Steven Spielberg’s best films and arguably the best studio film of 2015, Bridge of Spies tells the fascinating story behind an exchange of prisoners between the U.S. and the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

In 1957, attorney James B. Donovan reluctantly defended accused Soviet spy Rudolf Abel, losing the case but successfully preventing his execution with the argument that he could at some point be used as collateral in an exchange of prisoners with the Soviets. Five years later Gary Francis Powers’ U-2 spy plane was shot down while flying over Russia. Convicted of espionage and sentenced to hard labor, the CIA recruited Donovan to secretly negotiate an exchange of Abel for Powers.

Tom Hanks gives one of his finest performances as Donovan, whether walking simply down lonely streets, riding trains in quiet distress, arguing in court, negotiating with slick operatives on both sides of the equation, or enduring attacks on his home and family while being denounced in the press. His validation at the end of the film as President Kennedy’s spokesman mentions his name on national TV to the astonishment of his family is an aw-shucks moment worthy of comparison to the emotional high points of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial or Schindler’s List.

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The Rundown 2015: Production Design

For our seventh Rundown article, we look at the foundation of a film’s look and feel. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Production Design as well as general commentary about the race. Wednesday, we’ll cover the category that most closely aligns with Best Picture that isn’t Best Film Editing.
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This Day in Oscar History: February 9 (2016)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Ceremonies


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Poll: Now That You’ve Seen “Hail, Caesar!”

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Now That You’ve Seen Hail, Caesar!…?

Cinema Sight Asks: Now that you've seen "Hail, Caesar!," which Coen Bros. comedy (that's not "Fargo") is best?

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Trailer Watch: Demolition, updated (2016)

New Trailer (#2) / New Poster (#1)

Demolition, updated

Preview Link: CLICK HERE for link to the trailer, more posters (if available) and other commentary not featured here.

Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 11

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

There’s only one major group left to give out prizes and I’m not talking about the uncharacteristic Writers Guild of America. The British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) will be announcing its winners next weekend, which means we might have a few prominent Oscar races settled. The Writers Guild also hands out prizes next weekend as do the Satellite Awards and the Online Film & Television Association.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 12

Fri. 12 – Academy Awards Voting Begins (Oscars) (Official)
Sat. 13 – Sci-Tech Awards (Oscars) (Official)
Sat. 13 – Writers Guild (Awards) (Official)
Sun. 14 – British Academy (Awards) (Official)
Sun. 14 – Cinematographers (Awards) (Official)
Sun. 14 – Online Film & TV Association (Awards) (Official)
Sun. 14 – Satellites (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Mon. 15 – Grammy Awards (Awards) (Official)

Big Winners

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The Morning After: Feb. 8, 2016

Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I’ve seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.

So, here is what I watched this past week:

Anomalisa


If you ever questioned how twisted the mind of Charlie Kaufman was, take one look at his new stop-motion animated feature Anomalisa and you’ll get it. Starring the voices of David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tom Noonan, Kaufman and co-director Duke Johnson have meticulously crafted a compelling feature about the mundanity of life and the need to find something different.

Thewlis voices Michael Stone, a motivational writer and speaker whose insights into customer service have garnered him fame and attention. Arriving at a speaking engagement in Cincinnati, Stone tries desperately to seek out companionship that will get him away from his lackluster home life in this far-away city. After a meeting with an ex-lover doesn’t pan out, his night is turned upside down when he hears the lovely and distinctive voice of a young woman, Lisa Hesselman, who provides him with a unique outlook on life. An outlook that might never last, as most one-night stands often don’t.

Kaufman is accustomed to jarring his audience with strange stories, unusual situations and a frankness that belies his depravity. This animated feature is not appropriate for children, its adult humor, language and sexual encounters push it right into the adults-only arena where it really needs to be. Like Richard Linklater, Kaufman wants to use the medium to explore areas that aren’t always easily accessible. Could this have been done with live actors, yes, but some of its impact would have been muted. As a forewarning, if all the voices start to blend together in you’re mind, just know you aren’t going crazy. Noonan literally voices everyone else in the film, both men and women. It’s initially disconcerting, but it has a point that won’t fully realize itself until Leigh’s character arrives.

The Rundown 2015: Supporting Actress

For our sixth Rundown article, we’re looking at a category where leads slum and supporting players get left out. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Supporting Actress as well as general commentary about the race. Tuesday, we’ll cover a design category where the overall look of a film is crucial.
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This Day in Oscar History: February 8 (2016)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born


Died

Released


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Poll: Best of Feb. 2015, Wide

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What’s the Best of Feb. 2015, Wide?

Cinema Sight Asks: Which February 2015 wide release is best?

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Trailer Watch: Gods of Egypt, updated (2016)

New Trailer (#2) / New Posters (#9-#12)

Gods of Egypt, updated

Preview Link: CLICK HERE for link to the trailer, more posters (if available) and other commentary not featured here.

Weekend Preview: Feb. 12-14, 2016

Below are eight previews for films opening next weekend.
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Film Preview: Where to Invade Next (2016)

Page Revisions:

(February 7, 2016) Original

Release Date:

February 12, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “To learn what the USA can learn from other nations, Michael Moore playfully “invades” them to see what they have to offer.”

Poster Rating: D

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Review: This is why most people have such a problem with Michael Moore. This is one of the most egocentric poster designs imaginable and even if you discard that, it’s utterly bland and forgettable.

Trailer Rating: B+

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Review: While his ego may be a key part of this film, the trailer suggests an important and vital global political narrative that needs to be seen. That might not be enough for everyone, but it may be enough for many.

Oscar Prospects:

It was eligible for nomination last year and made the shortlist, but didn’t make the final five, so it’s out.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Touched with Fire (2016)

Page Revisions:

(February 7, 2016) Original

Release Date:

February 12, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Two manic depressives meet in a psychiatric hospital and begin a romance that brings out all of the beauty and horror of their condition.”

Poster Rating: C+ / C

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Review: (#1 & #2) These two designs play off the film’s use of “Starry Night,” but neither add particular depth to it, which makes them feel unimportant as a result.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: A moderately tedious, unexceptional trailer that creates a film that might appeal to those wanting a quirky, dysfunctional romantic drama even if that’s a very small audience.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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