This Day in Oscar History: January 21 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died


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Trailer Watch: Sleepless (2017) Updated

New Trailer (#2)

Sleepless, updated

Preview Link: CLICK HERE for all of the new content as well as the original.

Oscar in Box Office History (Week 3, 2017)

Every week, we’ll take a look back in 5-year intervals at the box office past to explore how Oscar’s nominees were doing at the box office each weekend historically. All data is collected from Box Office Mojo. The first section under each year is the positioning of all Oscar nominees during that weekend at the box office (as well as a section looking at the inflation-adjusted numbers). The third section is an alphabetical list of those films and the categories in which they were nominated. And to start each week off, we’ll be looking at the films releasing over the weekend that have the best chance of getting Oscar nominations and specifying the categories where we think they have the best shots at this stage of the game. If you have any suggestions for more data you’d like to see, please let us know.

This Year: Potential Oscar Nominees Releasing This Weekend

The Founder (Wide)

Oscar Potential: Actor (Michael Keaton).

The Red Turtle (Limited)

Oscar Potential: Animated Feature.

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The NEW Friday Face-Off #182

We are now tackling the first round of the losers bracket.

Here is this week’s five (or fewer) face-offs. So, let’s get started.

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2017’s Anticipated Movies

Now that 2016 is in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look honestly at the films that are going to be releasing in the calendar year 2017. Some weekends have already passed, but those films, plus a raft of others await eager audiences hoping for something grand to help them forget their miseries if only for a couple of hours.

Each year is filled with films that have the potential to be great and the potential to be awful. Sometimes, the films we most anticipate are the ones that end up disappointing us so much. As I survey the long list of features on the horizon for the rest of the year, I can’t help but be filled with equal parts excitement and revulsion. On top of that, there are more films that I have serious reservations about than I ever would have expected before looking specifically at a long list of upcoming releases.

Today, I’ll be recounting all of the films due to be released this year (and a couple that have already released). I’ve broken my commentary up into three sections. I’ll look at my most and least anticipated films, plus those films that I have hope for, but a lot of reservations about.

I have tried, to the best of my abilities, find images for each film and post them with the commentary below. Unfortunately, since some of these are far from release, promotional photos are few and far between. Also, where possible, I’ve put in a link to my current Film Preview article.

To start things off, I’m going to do a rundown of all the movies that fall into the category of least anticipated. We start with a look at those 17 films that I’m least looking forward to in 2017 (in alphabetical order).

2017’s Least Anticipated Movies:

Baywatch – The TV series was just plain awful, but studios are heavily invested in reviving 1980s and 1990s television programs on the big screen thanks to the success of films like 21 Jump Street. Doing so carries with it great risks, namely a box office flop. Unfortunately, with Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron attached, it will surely do well.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

CHiPs – Coming from a slightly earlier period than Baywatch, CHiPs is no less a product of its time. The hit police drama was just that, a drama with a few comedic bits thrust in. Like the 21 Jump Street reboot, CHiPs seems to be going all-in on the comedy angle, putting in Michael Pena, a respectable enough actor, but a far cry from Erik Estrada, and Dax Shephard, who’s also directing. Shephard isn’t funny. His schtick is grating at best making this film as frightening as the prospects presented in the utterly terrifying trailer.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

The Emoji Movie – If there was ever a movie concept that was utterly unnecessary and designed solely to take advantage of families at the box office, this is it. The studios likely jumped quickly on the concept as it would be cheap to produce and hopefully be a hit. The first trailer has corny humor and nothing particularly exciting to show the audience, but it’s such a cruddy concept that it’s bound to make bank.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Friday the 13th – This will mark the third attempt to reboot the venerable slasher series. The 2009 attempt was a colossal disaster, but they are trying again. Even when the series was dragging to its conclusion, it had significant style and content issues that made the first few sequels seem quite a bit fresher. However, it will be a difficult task to revitalize the franchise in a way that isn’t a disaster.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Not Presently Available

Gold – Matthew McConaughey alone is enough reason for me to worry about the film. The unimpressive trailers are further worrisome. This is a movie that seems akin to a lot of his previous efforts, except he’s playing with a bald cap. All the most annoying and unflattering elements of McConaughey’s style are on display and that’s why I am not looking forward to it.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

It – This was one of my favorite novels as a High Schooler. Brought to life with perfection in a 1990, Tim Curry was the perfect embodiment of Pennywise the Clown and that fact alone will make any attempts to re-adapt the novel that much harder to accept. What’s worse is that Stephen King’s books are all extremely long, perhaps unnecessarily so. They fit better with the miniseries format, which was why the 1990s versions were so good. Cramming that entire book into a single movie is ripe for failure.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Not Presently Available

Jumanji – The Robin Williams children’s adventure of 1995 is a key memory in the minds of most children and teens of that period. There’s little purpose to remaking this movie, except as a nostalgia cash grab and putting Dwayne Johnson into the Williams role is exactly that. Johnson may have some small talent, but it will never be enough to equate to our memories of Williams and this film may be the best testament to this that we can imagine.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Not Presently Available

King Arthur – How many times has the Arthurian legend been adapted to the big screen? Many, and they’ve yet to synthesize the perfect film. Guy Ritchie is definitely not the director to accomplish that. The first trailer is an exercise in failures to attempt to create excitement. That alone should give anyone pause.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Kong: Skull Island – There have been, to date, three attempts to tell the story of King Kong and his capture and subsequent death in New York City. This film wants to go a different direction and explore his origin and the symbiosis he has with his island home. Of course there will be danger and the trailers have tried very hard to make it look exciting, but have yet to accomplish that. John C. Reilly as comic relief adds insult to injury.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

The Mummy – Universal is hoping to create its own marvelous cinematic universe like Disney, 20th Century-Fox, and Warner Bros. have done. They are taking their original monster movies and tying them all together in one universe, with several movies planned to modernize the stories. Part of that is this Tom Cruise film that looks as far removed from those classic horror stories as you could possibly get. What made those films great was the suspense and tension, not the reliance on cheap thrills and theatrics. This film just scares me and not in a good way.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – The first film was fun, the second less so, and the third was borderline frustrating. They’ve gone far beyond what they should have and the series is beginning to feel like it’s flush with desperation. That the first trailer for the film doesn’t even include the man that made the series successful is modestly telling.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter – After that first movie, I was done with these films. Based on the popular video games, these films have been heavy on the action violence and light on the conceptual creativity. While this appears to be the final film, there’s nothing in the trailer to suggest they’ve learned any lessons.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Rock Dog – I like animated films, but there is a point where you just have to stop and ask why. Why is this particular concept the one that is making it to the big screen? Why is something with weak animation styles being pushed so heavily? The trailer does not give one hope in the potential of the film.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Snatched – Goldie Hawn is an amazingly talented and funny actress. She’s also been semi-retired for several years. Being brought back to the limelight by a modern comedienne like Amy Schumer seems like a great idea on paper, but the first trailer suggests that the concept may be more miss-than-hit. Their Golden Globes presenter pairing may have done a modest amount to allay my concerns, but this film still feels like a waste of both of their talents.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

The Space Between Us – Cornball teen romance stories are a dime a dozen and this appears to be the latest in a series of similar films that exemplify the point. What makes the film seem even more irritating is that it takes a science-fiction thematic element and uses it as a cheap narrative device rather than as a key component to explore science in a meaningful way.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Transformers: The Last Knight – After trying a couple of times to break out from the Transformers franchise, Michael Bay has discovered that the only thing he can still do successfully is this series of loose adaptations of a classic 1980s cartoon. The end result after the passable first effort has been a cascading failure. These movies have long outlived their usefulness and the trailer for this latest in the set makes that assertion certain.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Underworld: Blood Wars – The first film was an absolute mess. A misogynistic mess of a story that tried very hard to make it self feel feminist. The series doesn’t appear to be stopping, though I really wish that it would. Perhaps it’s become more feminist with old age, but I suspect it’s still the same faux-feminist claptrap that the first turned out to be.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Now that we’ve got the likely detritus out of the way, looks look at the 17 titles that I have a modicum of hope for, but also serious reservations about just how well they will ultimately turn out.

2017’s Modestly Anticipated Movies:

Cars 3 – The Pixar sequels have been a mess lately and no film better exemplifies this than Cars 2, a complete deviation from the charm of the first film. The first teasers have arrived for the new film and while I’m excited to see that it might be trying to return to its roots, there’s still a lot of concern left after Cars 2 and the Disney-crafted Planes and its sequel.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Coco – Normally, each new Pixar film is something I anticipate greatly. While Inside Out was certainly a marvel, their other output lately has been lackluster at best. As such, I look towards each new film with more trepidation than I had ever hoped I would. This marks two outings for Pixar this year (as referenced in the prior paragraph for Cars 2, so here’s hoping at least one of them is good, preferably both.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Not Presently Available

The Dark Tower – I never got a chance to read Stephen King’s Gunslinger series, but I’ve heard a lot of great things from those who have. With Idris Elba in the film it could be much better than I expect, but one of my other bête-noire, Matthew McConaughey, is in the lead, which makes me wonder if the director will reign him in or let him run roughshod over the production.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Not Presently Available

A Dog’s Purpose – Who doesn’t love dogs? People who have no happiness in their lives. That’s not entirely true, but the power of love exhibited by dogs is one of the most wonderful things. As such, a film about one dog being reborn into various bodies to make others happy has a certain sweet charm. It has also has a cloying sentimentality that makes this film look like it may be too “sweet” for its own good. (NOTE: This commentary was written prior to the announcement that one of the dogs used in the film was forced into a dangerous situation it did not want to be in. As such, I cannot in good conscience give this film my money.)

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Flatliners – The 1990s science-fiction film was a fun experiment starring several key talents from that period, like Kevin Bacon, Kiefer Sutherland, and Julia Roberts. It wasn’t a great film, but it was entertaining. This makes the decision to reboot it a bit of a head-scratcher. While the concept could play decently today, they’ve populated with a bunch of young actors who most audiences won’t immediately recognize. Could it be a hit? Sure. I’m cautious about it.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Not Presently Available

The Great Wall – Zhang Yimou is one of the greatest filmmakers currently working. His Hero is a gorgeous martial arts extravaganza. With Matt Damon by his side, this film has great potential for both success and failure. As House of Flying Daggers squandered the greatness of Hero it’s entirely possible that Zhang will struggle to live up to the high expectations so often attribute to him.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

The Greatest Showman – Hugh Jackman plays P.T. Barnum in this biopic about the legendary showman who created the legendary Barnum & Bailey Circus. It’s also a musical. While I am utterly excited about that concept, I’m not 100% sold on how everything will turn out. The director, Michael Gracey, has no major experience directing a film this size or complexity, so lots could go wrong.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Not Presently Available

Justice League – Zac Snyder’s Warner Bros. DC adaptations have been a mixed back. They’ve succeeded at the box office, but fans have been frustrated by the darkness that permeates them in not so pleasing ways. The characters are brooding, easily angered, and egomaniacal. The characters don’t quite match their comic book counterparts, which is frustrating. As such, this unified team film promises to be more of the same, but that doesn’t mean one can’t anticipate what’s coming.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Life – Science fiction, when done right, can be most engaging. That’s why this film falls into the most anticipated column with reservations. Sure, it has some big names attached, but it feels too familiar. Director Daniel Espionza doesn’t have a filmography that gives me a lot of hope, though writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick of Deadpool and Zombieland fame certainly do. Of course, those were comedies and this doesn’t look one. This is why I’m not yet sold on it.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Murder on the Orient Express – The Sidney Lumet film from 1974 is one of the best adaptations of an Agatha Christie novel ever. With a star-studded, international cast and a gorgeous score and production design, it was a film not easily replicated. Yet, actor/director Kenneth Branagh is trying, taking on the role of the renowned super sleuth Hercule Poirot while also directing. It’s hard not to be wary when the original cast compared to the modern cast is very broadly different. The original was filled with Oscar nominees and winners while the latter has a small number of them. The star wattage of the original far outshines even the most recognizable name on the current cast list. Still, it could be worth it, especially if Christie makes a star-studded return to the Silver Screen.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Not Presently Available

The Six Billion Dollar Man – Another television adaptation, adding three series to the end, see the Lee Majors TV staple reinvented for a new generation. Without benefit of knowing who will be taking on the starring role and who will direct, it’s impossible not to feel concerned about the prospects. After all, the 1970s haven’t done very well in terms of cinematic adaptations in recent years.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Not Presently Available

Spider-Man: Homecoming – When Spider-Man rebooted the second time, they had found the perfect young cast: Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, two actors that gave the film weight while giving the audience their best adaptation of the character yet. However, after the disastrous sequel, the studio relinquished joint-control of the character to Disney and thus the second reboot in the last decade is here. The character wasn’t that impressive in his first outing in Captain America: Civil War and the initial trailer isn’t nearly as exciting as it should be. There’s a lot to be cautious about, especially in his third incarnation since 2002.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Star Wars: Episode VIII – While Star Wars: The Force Awakens was precisely the sequel everyone wanted, there were a lot of questions coming out of the film that still need to be answered and considering how often we’ve been burned by reboots, it’s safe to say that I’m cautiously optimistic that this eighth film in the overall saga will be better than its predecessor.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Not Presently Available

Thor: Ragnorok – The two prior Thor films have been good, but nowhere near as good as other films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Thus, the worry that this third solo film will suffer similarly. There are a lot of things to give one hope for it, but the character has always been better served as part of a team rather than as a solo character and that will get a small boost with the addition of Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk to the cast.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Not Presently Available

Untitled Saw Film – When it came to a conclusion, the Saw franchise had fallen far from its grand beginning. After the first two films, there was a measure of diminishing returns with each successive chapter and, by the end, it just wasn’t as good as it once was. That the series is being restarted suggests they want more money out of it, I just hope it also means that they’ll get back to their roots instead of continuing down the convoluted pathway they created with the prior films.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Not Presently Available

Wonder Woman – The only character so far created in the DC Extended Universe at Warner Bros. that seemed to be more positive and uplifting than the others is finally getting her own movie. The first female-led superhero film to date. That’s great news, except that reports of production difficulties and studio interference are everywhere. That makes the possibilities frustrating.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

xXx: Return of Xander Cage – When the original film came out, I was pleasantly entertained by it. It’s been so long, however, that I’m afraid the charm and creativity of the character has worn off. The new trailer isn’t particularly encouraging and Vin Diesel’s ego has outgrown the character somewhat, which may make the end result something of a conundrum.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Now that we’re done with the modestly anticipated selections, it’s time to look at the films I am unabashedly excited about seeing. I may have a couple of small concerns about them, but those details aren’t quite enough to dampen my enthusiasm. Here are the 16 films I’m most looking forward to this year.

2017’s Most Anticipated Movies:

2017 Cloverfield Movie – Normally, I loath everything that J.J. Abrams and his and his band of Mystery Box writers puts together, but after seeing 10 Cloverfield Lane, I’m genuinely excited about the possibilities of this third Cloverfield film. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of problems with the original, but if they can bottle what worked best about 10 Cloverfield Lane and keep doing that, I’ll be more than pleased.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Not Presently Available

Alien: Covenant – How bad was Ridley Scott’s prior attempt to resuscitate the Alien franchise? Prometheus was a tolerable, but poorly-constructed sci-fi spectacle that wanted to be smarter and more philosophically wise than it was. What makes Covenant feel like it might succeed where Prometheus failed is that first trailer, which reminds me more of the original Alien and its immediate sequel than anything in Prometheus did.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Beauty and the Beast – My favorite Disney animated film has quickly become my most anticipated film of the year. With the few trailers that have come out and the snippet of Emma Watson singing, everything about this film seems better and better. Director Bill Condon, who did one of my favorite musicals of the last twenty years, Dreamgirls, is at the helm, so there’s little that could possibly go wrong.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Blade Runner 2049 – It’s been three decades since the original Blade Runner became one of the biggest cult sci-fi films in history. The first trailer is a bit of a disappointment, but in spite of my weak reservations, I can’t help but wonder if it can live up to that first film’s expectations. With director Denis Villeneuve at the helm and Ryan Gosling in the lead, I have a lot of faith in what could become of it.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

A Cure for Wellness – The strangest thing I’ve said since seeing this film’s trailer is that I’m actually excited to check out a Gore Verbinski film. The first trailer was such a mind-bending, aurally twisted success that I instantly became enamored with its odd visual style and suggestion of surrealist underpinnings. The second trailer was less interesting, but I’m still uite intrigued by the possibilities.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Despicable Me 3 – If you toss out the Minions movie, this franchise is one of the best there currently is. The original Despicable Me was a surprisingly sweet spy comedy thriller that had at its heart a wonderful, beautiful story of single parenthood. The sequel deviated slightly from this, but was still an engaging, lighthearted caper. I hope that this third film, already well represented by a humorous trailer featuring Michael Jackson’s “Bad,” should hopefully continue the trend.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Dunkirk – Christopher Nolan has had two duds to date, the third Dark Knight film and Interstellar, yet even those films have their fans. This will be the first time he has struck out into historical drama and the first trailer suggests something visually striking. Until he gives me a reason not to believe he can do something great, I will maintain hope that his movies will be incredibly good.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Free Fire – This is an odd film to put into my list. The only thing that gives me interest in the film is that hilarious trailer. The film is about a group of gun smugglers all fighting over the same shipment. Starring Oscar winner Brie Larson alongside talented actors Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, and Sharlto Copley among others, this period action thriller comedy has a lot of elements going for it, including a bit of buzz out of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Get Out – My first encounter with the film’s trailer was not one of a good impression. However, as I’ve pondered on this unique take on horror by comedy mastermind Jordan Peele, I’ve become more interested in its subject matter. Exploring racism in an unusual and somewhat pointed manner may give it an edge I wouldn’t have otherwise expected it to have, which is one of the reasons my interest in it is high.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – My personal feelings about Chris Pratt aside, the original film was one of the grandest experiences of the cinema in 2014. Director James Gunn is back at the helm with Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel back in tow. Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, and Benicio Del Toro are also, thankfully, back. While it’s possible the wonderment will have worn off the original, it should still be quite fun.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

The Lego Batman Movie – I’ve often criticized The Lego Movie for its live-action sequence near the end of the picture. The whole segment felt self-serving, out of place, and brought the viewer out of the action. The rest of the film was quite engaging. However, from the first trailer of this film, I’ve become absolutely enamored with its possibilities. The *rip* running gag alone has me amused, and that’s only a small portion of what we’ve seen so far.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

Logan – The 20th Century Fox Marvel films are among my favorites, even when they suffer from overbearing storylines. What strikes me most about Logan is just how much of a departure it is from all that have come before it. A post-apocalyptic universe where mutant kind has largely died off and all that remains is an aging Wolverine and a Alzheimer’s-afflicted Professor Xavier, plus a new young new mutant pursued by nefarious people makes for a compelling placement for this type of story. It humanizes the situations and puts them into a more naturalistic environment. The excellent use of Johnny Cash in the trailer definitely enhances that mood.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

The Snowman – I’ve heard very little about this film so far. What piques my interest about it is the creative team behind it. Director Tomas Alfredson has two utterly brilliant efforts in his resume, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Let the Right One In; co-screenwriter Hossein Amini has the brilliant The Wings of the Dove and Drive to his credit, and the film features a collection of some of the finest actors currently working including Michael Fassbender in the lead along with Rebecca Ferguson, J.K. Simmons, Chloe Sevigny, James D’Arcy, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Toby Jones. That kind of quality as a foundation is enough to make anyone excited.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Not Presently Available

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – Apart from his Lucy suffering from the use of a scientific fallacy, director Luc Besson has a fascinating filmography and this returns him to a genre he hasn’t often tackled: science fiction. His last attempt, The Fifth Element, was easily one of his best films, a comedic romp starring Bruce Willis that left an indelible impression in my mind. The first trailer suggests the magic that exemplified that film is in abundance here, which should make for a good time even if it can’t live up to Fifth Element-sized expectations.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

War for the Planet of the Apes – The two prior Planet of the Apes outings are among the best post-apocalyptic fiction films currently in release. They were well written with superb visual effects and a layer of humanity that is both robust and relatable. As the series picks up its third effort, I fully expect plenty of moral and ethical questions posed and answered in its length while the war depicted in the trailers rages on behind the scenes. Two great experiences should lead to a third.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Available

World War Z 2 – Two different styles of films were at war with each other in the original film World War Z. However, they ultimately produced a film that was a stark departure from the zombie aesthetic that has become commonplace in the cinema and on television. Although little is known about the sequel, I can’t help but be fascinated by the myriad possibilities. This is the one film on my most anticipated list that could easily drop to the prior list should the initial trailers not hold up my hopes.

Cinema Sight Preview Article: Not Presently Available

As studios continue to flood the cineplex with sequels, prequels, remakes, re-adaptations, reboots, and myriad other methods of turning pre-existing hype into box office dollars, the number of films that will fall into one of these three categories will only increase. For now, 2017 has a lot of potential. It also has a lot going against it, so it will be fascinating to see just how things ultimately turn out.

This Day in Oscar History: January 20 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released


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Poll: Cinema Sight @ 20 – Best of 2010

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Best of 2010

In honor of our 20th year on the internet, we’re beginning a series of polls aimed at the results of the last 20 years and picking what the best of the Oscar nominees were. Here are all of the categories for this year.

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Film Preview: Leap! (2017)

Page Revisions:

(January 15, 2017) Original

Release Date:

March 3, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Set in 1879 Paris. An orphan girl dreams of becoming a ballerina and flees her rural Brittany for Paris, where she passes for someone else and accedes to the position of pupil at the Grand Opera house.”

Poster Rating: C / B / C / C-

SEE ALL POSTERS BELOW
Review: (#1) It is daunting, but is it that interesting? No. (#2) Lots of interesting details in this design, which makes it almost beautiful. (#3) If the audience were interesting in a young ballerina, maybe they’d be interested in this. I doubt it, though. (#4) Here are your characters, a pale background and a previously-used core image. So exciting.

Trailer Rating: C- / C

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Review: (#1) The film looks overly precious. It also looks like something that might have been made by a small direct-to-video outlet hoping to make money by knocking off Disney films. (#2) The second trailer improves some on the prior trailer, but the animation is so chunky and off-putting in places that I’d be surprised if it actually succeeded.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Oscar Profile #323: Mary Steenburgen

Born February 8, 1953 in Newport, Arkansas to Nellie May (Wall) and Maurice Steenburgen, a freight-train conductor, Mary Steenburgen grew up tap-dancing her way through talent shows and school functions. Active in school drama classes as well, she appeared in numerous high school plays, enrolling in Hendrix College upon graduation. At the recommendation of her drama professor, she left college in 1972 and moved to New York to audition for the Neighborhood Playhouse to continue her education and won a spot.

Steenburgen worked a series of jobs while continuing to study at the Neighborhood Playhouse and was discovered by Jack Nicholson at Paramount’s New York offices six years later. He immediately cast her as his leading lady in 1978’s Goin’ South. She met and fell in love with future husband Malcolm McDowell, the star of her second film, 1979’s Time After Time, on the set of the film. Her third film, 1980’s Melvin and Howard, won her an Oscar. She would receive a Golden Globe nomination for her fourth, 1981’s Ragtime.

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This Day in Oscar History: January 19 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released


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Poll: What Are You Watching? (Jan. 20-22, 2017)

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What Are You Watching? (Jan. 20-22, 2017)

Cinema Sight Asks: What are you watching? (Jan. 20-22, 2017)

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Film Preview: 100 Streets (2017)

Page Revisions:

(January 15, 2017) Original

Release Date:

Coming Soon

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Three people, three extraordinary stories. All lived out within a hundred London streets.”

Poster Rating: B / C+

SEE ALL POSTERS BELOW
Review: (#1) One of the first things I complain about in poster design is the use of white backgrounds. They add nothing to the design. However, there are some cases where it works. This is one such case. That’s because the lettering and content is so large, the white background allows the rest of the content to pop. The use of images isn’t perfect, but the conceptual execution of the large lettering works. (#2) This is a more conventional design and it takes an overused “city skyline” motif and doubles down on it. I guess you can’t have one as that would only be a singular “street.” That doesn’t make it more effective. Nor does the unsatisfying layout.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: If you want a generic action thriller, this trailer suggests you’ll get that. While some elements look modestly entertaining, the whole doesn’t fashion itself into anything special.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Looking at the Weekend: Jan. 20-22, 2017

We’ll have a new film to crown #1 at the weekend box office with xXx: Return of Xander Cage beating Split out for the mantle.

Our Highest Rated Films: The Red Turtle, Staying Vertical
Our Best Awards Ratings: The Red Turtle (Oscars), The Founder (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

20th Century Women (See our Looking at the Weekend commentary for this film here)
The Sunshine Makers

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2017 Spring Season Preview: February

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

February 3, 2017

The Comedian

Premise: From IMDb: “A look at the life of an aging insult comic.”
Box Office Prospects: $25 M
Expectations: Doubtful. The film was positioned for an Oscar run, but never materialized the requisite buzz. Now it’s a February release hoping to take Robert De Niro’s name and use it as a clever marketing tool. So far, it doesn’t appear to be working.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

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This Day in Oscar History: January 18 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released


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