Poll: Now That You’ve Seen “Independence Day: Resurgence”

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Now That You’ve Seen Independence Day: Resurgence…?

Cinema Sight Asks: Now that you've seen "Independence Day: Resurgence," which alien invasion film of the 2010s is best?

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Film Preview: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 26, 2016) Original

Release Date:

October 21, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Jack Reacher returns to the headquarters of his old unit, only to find out he’s now accused of a 16-year-old homicide.”

Poster Rating: –


Review: There was no poster immediately available for my review. Should one become available in the future, this section will be updated.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: If you’re looking for the typical Tom Cruise ego, this is it. While that’s not a bad thing for this type of character, it does become tiresome. The trailer is modestly engaging and suggests it might be more than meets the eye.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Trailer Watch: Miss Peregrine’s Home (2016) Updated

New Trailer (#2) / New Posters (#2-#10)

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, updated

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

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jun. 24-26, 2016

We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Independence Day: Resurgence

Twenty years ago, Roland Emmerich made his biggest hit to date, an alien invasion drama that earned two Oscar nominations for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound, winning for its mixture of traditional effects and CGI. Since then, his films have been hard-pressed to find support with the Academy.

With the sequel to that Oscar-winning film, Emmerich hopes to return to the category he won so long ago. Best Visual Effects is shaping up to be one of the most competitive categories this year with countless potential contenders all clamoring for recognition. With so many options these days, the Academy has been more likely to recognize Oscar-friendly fare and well reviewed pictures.

Since Independence Day: Resurgence is neither Oscar-friendly nor well reviewed, I have doubts that it can pull out a nomination. It may make the bake-off shortlist from the visual effects branch, but a nomination seems unlikely at this juncture.

The Morning After: Jun. 27, 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:

Independence Day: Resurgence


When Roland Emmerich brought audiences this alien invasion disaster epic in 1996, audiences were enthralled making it the year’s number one film and bringing in an inflation-adjusted $594 million. While blockbusters had been a solid staple of the 1980s and 1990s, Independence Day turned what was a trend towards quality writing within a production into one where sheer spectacle was more important.

Like the Irwin Allen disaster films of the 1970s, Emmerich understands how to engage the audience with nifty effects that support massive destruction. He doesn’t quite know how to write fully developed characters, but even without much depth, the audience still cares about their successes and failures. That’s how the original film made its mark. Independence Day: Resurgence employs many of those techniques, but this time with decidedly mixed results.

This is the type of film Emmerich excels at, so it’s got all the requisite elements to be an exciting adventure. Most of the time it works as such. Unfortunately, his penchant for weak characters, corny and sappy dialogue, and vast leaps of scientific logic have soured what could have been a more conventional blockbuster. This is a film that ratchets up the excitement while dialing back the narrative quality, at least compared to prior efforts. Emmerich might be better suited to a screenplay that he hasn’t written, especially if the screenplay understand how to make human emotion more than a series of throw-away scenes that move on before the audience realizes they are supposed to be more that lightly affected.

This Day in Oscar History: June 27 (2016)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released


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Poll: What Are You Most Anticipating? (Jul. 2016, Limited)

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What Are You Most Anticipating? (Jul. 2016, Limited)

Cinema Sight Asks: Which July 2016 limited release are you most anticipating?

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Film Preview: Memoria (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 19, 2016) Original

Release Date:

April 8, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Ivan Cohen is a young boy living in Palo Alto, California. Unsatisfied by his slacker group of friends, his love for a girl who doesn’t know he exists and a dysfunctional family life, he is struggling to find his place in the world.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: This type of cobbled-together poster design doesn’t work when there’s no cohesive visual style.

Trailer Rating: D

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Review: If there’s a nightmare for any independent cinema lover, it’s a coming of age drama that tries desperately to make itself about something, but fails. This trailer suggests just such a film.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Collide (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 19, 2016) Original

Release Date:

August 19, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “An American backpacker gets involved with a ring of drug smugglers as their driver, though he winds up on the run from his employers across Munich’s high-speed Autobahn.”

Poster Rating: D

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Review: Run with me friends! The world has tilted sideways! Otherwise, we won’t survive! Then no one will care.

Trailer Rating: D+

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Review: While the reason the film got pushed back is because of studio woes, this trailer suggests that perhaps there’s a reason the studio was having woes in the first place.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Weekend Preview: Jul. 1-3, 2016

Below are six previews for films opening next weekend.
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Film Preview: Satanic (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 26, 2016) Original

Release Date:

July 1, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Four friends on their way to Coachella stop off in Los Angeles to tour true-crime occult sites, only to encounter a mysterious young runaway who puts them on a terrifying path to ultimate horror.”

Poster Rating: D

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Review: This looks so unbelievably corny that I’m surprised it made it out of the design stage and into production. It looks cheap, blatant and visually pointless.

Trailer Rating: C-

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Review: When the weak performances shine through in your trailer, you know you have a problem. This film looks like it steals every concept it has from other, much better films. It’s a hodge podge of unoriginal elements strung together cheaply to deliver a substandard product.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Our Kind of Traitor (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 26, 2016) Original

Release Date:

July 1, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A couple find themselves lured into a Russian oligarch’s plans to defect are soon positioned between the Russian Mafia and the British Secret Service, neither of whom they can trust.”

Poster Rating: C / C- / C- / C / C+

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Review: (#1) Visually unimpressive, but it blocks out the stars sufficiently. (#2) This feels surprisingly more generic than its predecessor even if it’s a little more off-kilter. (#3) A weak, colorless affair that tries to be new while being incredibly old.

(#4) Like the other designs, this one borrows heavily from other creations and does so without a sense of playfulness or inventiveness. (#5) While certainly not original, it’s distinctive and that’s enough to make it the best of this sorry bunch.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: Hopefully, interest in the film is derived from the trailer. This film plays like a fairly standard spy thriller, but with a cast that seems like it wants to make a great film, at least the potential is there and that may be all that gets it seen. If they don’t bother to look at the posters.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Innocents (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 26, 2016) Original

Release Date:

July 1, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “In 1945 Poland, a young French Red Cross doctor who is sent to assist the survivors of the German camps discovers several nuns in advanced states of pregnancy during a visit to a nearby convent..”

Poster Rating: B-

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Review: Like the pure fallen snow, this film’s title suggests characters lost in innocence that might not ultimately be so innocent.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: Visually reminiscent of Oscar winner Ida, this film may not be filmed in black and white, but the photography is stark and unrelenting. The premise is suggested while not overtly acknowledged, which lends the film a bit of mystery. Those two elements combine to create a film that looks like it could be most engaging.

Oscar Prospects:

It has the sensibilities of a film that pleases critics, but it’s not the kind of movie that breaks out from a more bountiful pack of contenders to shine through for nominations.

Trailer #1

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This Day in Oscar History: June 26 (2016)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born


Died

Released


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Film Preview: Backtrack (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 19, 2016) Original

Release Date:

February 26, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Psychologist Peter Bower’s life is thrown into turmoil when he discovers a strange secret about his patients. Risking his own sanity, Peter delves into his past to uncover a terrifying secret which only he can put right.”

Poster Rating: C / C

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Review: (#1) The railroad motif isn’t that interesting, though the coloring and creepy nature of the design give it a boost. (#2) This is almost the exact opposite of the first design. This one has a better rail design, but doesn’t feel that interesting or haunting.

Trailer Rating: C-

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Review: The trailer lacks a driving narrative that hooks the audience. What appears to be a formulaic emotional drama doesn’t push those notions very effectively on the viewer.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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