Film Preview: Default (2018)

Page Revisions:

(November 11, 2018) Original

Release Date:

November 30, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Si-hyun(Hye-su Kim), the monetary policy manager at the Bank of Korea, predicts a massive national financial crisis and reports it to the Director. The Director doesn’t schedule an emergency summit until 10 days later but does it without notifying the public of the situation. Si-hyun urges for the crisis to be announced in order to warn people of the looming disaster, but her plea is ignored. The summit is held behind closed doors. Jung-hak(Ah-In Yoo), a financial consultant, notices Korea is suddenly hemorrhaging foreign funds, and he learns the reason is that international finance firms have ordered an all-out investment withdrawal from the country, which has caused the credit rating to plummet. He hands in his resignation and decides to play the odds on what he’s sure is a coming crisis. He secretly starts gathering investors willing to do the same. Gap-su(Jun-ho Heo), a family man who runs a small tableware factory, has a big break and wins a contract with a department store. The fact that the price settlement terms equal to little more than a promissory note concerns him only briefly, and oblivious to the looming financial upheaval, Gap-su signs the contract. The Managing Director of IMF(Vincent Cassel) comes to Korea just one week before the country goes bust, and that is when those who try to prevent the crisis, those who seek to take advantage of it, and those only trying to protect their livelihood are caught in the wake of a national bankruptcy.”

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: C+

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Review: The Korean bankruptcy gets a modestly tense trailer that suggests a film that tries to make government collapse sound interesting.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (2018)

Page Revisions:

(November 11, 2018) Original

Release Date:

November 16, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “An anthology western following six different storylines centering on a man named Buster Scruggs.”

Poster Rating: C+ / B-

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Review: (#1) The cracked desert landscape makes an interesting backdrop for this poster design with horses and carriages traveling out from the central title. The colors are a bit dull and it doesn’t have nearly the visual heft it needs. (#2) This leather-bound version of the first poster is more fitting to the story, which seems to use a carriage-based tale-telling as a framing device. That makes the design, which is also more colorful and distinctive stand out better.

Trailer Rating: B- / C+

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Review: (#1 & #2) The first trailer does a better of exploring the framing device for the film, which makes it seem more mysterious. The second trailer gives more detail about what’s going on, which makes things a bit clearer, but also less interesting.

Oscar Prospects:

You always have to consider the Coen Brothers as Oscar contenders and this could be the best test yet of whether Netflix can overcome its selfish release strategy to break into the Oscar race stronger than it has yet.

Trailer #1

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The DVD Report #594

BlacKkKlansman is easily Spike Lee’s best film in decades. Taken from Ron Stallworth’s 2014 memoir of his experiences as an undercover black detective in Colorado Springs, who in 1979 posed as a white man in order to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan, the action in the film is moved back to 1972 to encompass Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign, allegedly supported by the Klan.

John David Washington, who made his film debut as a six-year-old in Lee’s 1992 film Malcolm X starring his father, Denzel Washington, has the lead as Stallworth. Adam Driver co-stars as his partner, a Jewish detective who stands in for Stallworth when he meets with the Klan, not only pretending to be a black cop pretending to be white but having to hide his own heritage from the dangerous, hate-filled Klan. Both actors turn in excellent performances, making this riveting drama totally believable from start to finish.

Robert John Burke as Stallworth’s supportive police chief and Topher Grace as the Klan’s Grand Wizard are also outstanding in their roles. The one scene that doesn’t seem real is the penultimate one in which Stallworth reveals himself to Duke on the phone. Factchecking reveals that this never happened. Duke didn’t learn until 2006 that he had been duped.

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This Day in Oscar History: November 13 (2018)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

(more…)

Poll: Now That You’ve Seen “The Grinch”

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Now That You’ve Seen The Grinch…?

Cinema Sight Asks: Now that you've seen "The Grinch," which Illumination Entertainment film is best?

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Film Preview: Jinn (2018)

Page Revisions:

(November 11, 2018) Original

Release Date:

November 15, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Summer is a 17-year old carefree black girl, whose world is turned upside down when her mother, a popular meteorologist named Jade Jennings, abruptly converts to Islam and becomes a different person, prompting Summer to reevaluate her identity.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: It’s a nice color scheme, but it doesn’t identify the film very well to a potential audience.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: There are some clunky elements in the trailer, but the film itself looks like a strongly designed feature about breaking out from societal expectations to be yourself.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Anna and the Apocalypse (2018)

Page Revisions:

(November 11, 2018) Original

Release Date:

November 30, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “When the zombie apocalypse hits the sleepy town of Little Haven – at Christmas – teenager Anna and her high school friends have to fight, sing and dance to survive, with the undead horde all around them. Teaming up with her best friend John, Anna has to fight her way through zombified snowmen, Santas, elves and Christmas shoppers to get across town to the high school, where they’ll be safe. But they soon discover that being a teenager is just as difficult as staying alive, even at the end of the world.”

Poster Rating: C / B+ / C / C+

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Review: (#1) This art style isn’t one of my favorites and in this context it doesn’t work terribly well. It makes the film look cheaper than it wants to be. (#2) There’s a lot of dead space here, but that doesn’t matter as the core design elements are creative enough to mostly make up for it. With branches that are comprised of grasping hands, the entire aesthetic works well. (#3) With the grasping hand motif applied inappropriately, you get a design that isn’t particularly exciting or compelling with an overuse of the black-white-red color scheme. (#4) This cleaner version of the first design works a bit better as the details aren’t as dominant or cheap-looking.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: Campy is definitely a word that could be used to describe this film. Another might be fun. While it’s difficult to tell if the music is worth giving a try, the premise and presentation make it certainly look like a great deal of entertainment.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Oct. 9-11, 2018

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

The Grinch

Dr. Seuss’s classic story about a mean-spirited grump who steals Christmas from the holiday-loving people of Whoville was told to great acclaim in 1966 with the television movie How the Grinch Stole Christmas!. The perennial TV staple stood for thirty-four years as the only telling of the classic children’s book when Ron Howard directed Jim Carrey in a live-action version of the story with the same title sans exclamation point. While the film did well at the box office, it was poorly received and the original TV version remains the gold standard.

Illumination, which has once before taken a Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) story and adapted to the big screen, 2012’s Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax decided to adapt yet another Seuss story to the big screen. In choosing The Grinch in lieu of any of Geisel’s other adventures, they set themselves up for direct comparison to the Chuck Jones-crafted animated feature. Suffice it to say critics have been less than enthused by this particular retelling, some of them wondering what the need was considering the original’s legendary status.

That presents a major obstacle to the film’s Oscar chances for a nomination. Audiences have responded positively to it, but that’s a given for almost any major animated feature, especially from a company like Illumination, which has earned countless dollars off its myriad films. Illumination is the second mark against the film’s favor. Outside of Despicable Me 2, none of their other films have earned Oscar nomination. Could this be the film to bring them back to the competition? With critical reception mediocre, the third worst in the company’s history, the film’s chances are slim. However, with a dearth of competition this year, it’s possible the film could sneak into one of the weaker spots, especially if the change to voting rules for the branch promotes more populist fare.

This Day in Oscar History: November 12 (2018)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

(more…)

Poll: Best of Nov. 2017, Limited

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What’s the Best of Nov. 2017, Limited?

Cinema Sight Asks: Which November 2017 limited release film is best?

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Film Preview: Haunting on Fraternity Row (2018)

Page Revisions:

(November 4, 2018) Original

Release Date:

November 2, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A fraternity house throws their big “Winter Luau” party but when fraternity brothers and coeds begin dying horrible deaths they discover an evil entity has taken over the house.”

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: D+

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Review: A dull, rather witless horror creation that tries to blend found footage and possession storylines with the kind of cheap thrills that made Paranormal Activity a success without being able to deliver on that promise.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Clovehitch Killer (2018)

Page Revisions:

(November 4, 2018) Original

Release Date:

November 16, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A picture-perfect family is shattered when the work of a serial killer hits too close to home. Dylan McDermott stars in this chilling portrait of all-American evil.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: The ominous nature of a stranger being in your house is an evocative sensation that is almost given genuine control over this poster.

Trailer Rating: C-

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Review: This looks like the kind of movie that tries very hard to turn a likable figure into a serial killer without feeling organic. The trailer can’t quite dissuade that sensation.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Weekend Preview: Nov. 16-18, 2018

Below are six previews for films opening next weekend.

 

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Wide)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Instant Family (Wide)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Widows (Wide)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

At Eternity’s Gate (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Green Book (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Jonathan (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 

Film Preview: Jonathan (2018)

Page Revisions:

(November 11, 2018) Original

Release Date:

November 16, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Jonathan leaves the office everyday at noon. When he gets home, he goes to sleep. Every morning he wakes up and there is a breakfast prepared for him along with a video telling him about the second part of his day.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: The split-personality element is used modestly well in this poster, though the overall visual style isn’t appealing.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: While you pick up on what’s going on early in the trailer, it still plays out in an appealing way. The film looks like second-tier thriller material, but could be quite fun.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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This Day in Oscar History: November 11 (2018)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

(more…)

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