Film Preview: Rememory (2017)

Page Revisions:

(August 20, 2017) Original

Release Date:

September 8, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “The widow of a wise professor stumbles upon one of his inventions that’s able to record and play a person’s memory. ”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: The attempt to be creative is laudable. The end result isn’t so much. The concept is fascinating, though the lack of background detail, while accentuating the central image, creates too much blank space.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: The concept is fascinating and might make a compelling novel, but the film doesn’t look as interesting even if it approaches things methodically.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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The DVD Report #530

Murdoch Mysteries: Season 10 has been released on Blu-ray and standard DVD.

It’s hard to believe that the innovative Canadian detective series, initially set in the 1890s, has been around for ten years, churning out thought-provoking murder mysteries week in and week out during its annual run. Retitled The Artful Detective on Ovation TV, the series can be first seen in the U.S. under its original name on Acorn TV’s streaming service.

Most series that last this long routinely undergo major cast changes and while Murdoch has added and lost major peripheral characters throughout its so far ten seasons, it has retained all four of its initial stars in the roles that have endeared them to the show’s large audience. Yannick Bisson, the show’s executive producer and occasional director, is the mostly unflappable square-jawed detective who uses the latest discoveries in forensic science to help him solve murders in late 19th Century and early 20th Century Toronto. Helene Joy is the coroner turned psychiatrist turned lecturer turned coroner again who he finally married two seasons ago. Thomas Craig is the blustery, yet good-hearted inspector who has Murdoch’s back, and Jonny Harris is the savvy constable who never seems to be able to find the right girl.

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This Day in Oscar History: August 22 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

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Poll: Now That You’ve Seen “The Hitman’s Bodyguard”

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Now That You’ve Seen The Hitman’s Bodyguard…?

Cinema Sight Asks: Now that you've seen "The Hitman's Bodyguard," which Samuel L. Jackson performance is best?

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Film Preview: Molly’s Game (2017)

Page Revisions:

(August 20, 2017) Original

Release Date:

November 22, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “The true story of an Olympic-class skier who ran the world’s most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target. Her players included movie stars, business titans and unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob.”

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: An interesting premise bungled by a poor trailer execution. Everything unravels too quickly and seems like we end up with too much of the story given away to us. What’s the point of seeing a movie if we think we’ve already seen it.

Oscar Prospects:

Jessica Chastain is a solid Oscar contender and Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay will be in the running, but whether the film can move beyond those two categories will depend on how good the film actually is.

Trailer #1

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Aug. 18-20, 2017

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

The Morning After: Aug. 21, 2017

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:

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets


Luc Besson is nothing if not imaginative. Although his previous film, Lucy, was predicated on a long-disproven scientific fallacy, his The Fifth Element was a masterful use of form to create a unique universe populated with fascinating characters and events. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is almost a return to form for Besson.

Set more than half a century from the present, the Earth-orbiting International Space Station has grown and expanded giving the myriad races of the galaxy a place to unite and live peacefully, allowing governments to coordinate freely and share scientific advancement. Alpha, nicknamed the City of a Thousand Planets, has been invaded by a mysterious force that has worried the Earthly government. Agents Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) have been sent on a mission to bring back the last Mül converter in existence, a creature that can eat and then slough off duplicates of whatever it consumed. The creature, from a long-ago destroyed planet provides the key clue to a massive secret that might unravel the space station.

DeHaan and Delevingne are adequate for the film, though they lack the charm of prior Besson stars like Bruce Willis and Scarlett Johansson. They are fitting as a bickering partners. Clive Owen is over-the-top as the commander, and Rihanna and Ethan Hawke are fine in their cameo roles. What sets the film apart is not its run-of-the-mill script, but the way this universe has been created. Besson’s brilliant imagination has concocted a most magical universe, one that is, admittedly, adapted from a prominent graphic novel. That fact shouldn’t dismiss the gorgeous settings, aliens, and costumes that have been boldly crafted for the film.

This is a movie where visual splendor is more important than narrative heft. The plot is fairly straight forward, but unfolds well, giving the audience hints along the way, but keeping the bulk of the revelations for the final act. That the film runs nearly two-and-a-half hours gives the viewer more to look at, but stretches the premise thinner than it needs to be. Tossing in the hackneyed love story makes the film feel like cheap male fantasy rather than comprehensive character study. Delevingne isn’t as narrowly-drawn as Leeloo is in The Fifth Element, but that kind of growth, twenty years removed, is entirely inadequate.

Review: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Rating

Director

Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg

Screenplay

Jeff Nathanson, Terry Rossio

Length

2h 9m

Starring

Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Golshifteh Farahani, David Wenham, Stephen Graham, Angus Barnett, Martin Klebba, Adam Brown, Giles New

MPAA Rating

PG-13 for sequences of adventure violence, and some suggestive content

Original Preview

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Review: Alien: Covenant (2017)

Alien: Covenant

Rating

Director

Ridley Scott

Screenplay

John Logan, Dante Harper

Length

122 min.

Starring

Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demian Bechir, Carmen Ejogo, Callie Hernandez, Amy Seimetz, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, Benjamin Rigby, Uli Latukefu, Tess Haubrich, Lorelei King

MPAA Rating

R for sci-fi violence, bloody images, language and some sexuality/nudity

Original Preview

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This Day in Oscar History: August 21 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

Our Site Milestones

2010: Oscar Week in Review by Tripp Burton (1)

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Poll: What Are You Most Anticipating? (Sep. 2017, Wide)

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What Are You Most Anticipating? (Sep. 2017, Wide)

Cinema Sight Asks: Which September 2017 wide release are you most anticipating?

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Film Preview: The Star (2017)

Page Revisions:

(August 13, 2017) Original

Release Date:

November 10, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A small but brave donkey and his animal friends become the unsung heroes of the first Christmas.”

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: When Prince of Egypt came out, the trailer was pleasantly appealing the the film’s content was straightforward and easy-going. This film takes on a slightly different story, but does so in a chunky, crass, humorless way that feels like it’s trying very hard to push and brow-beat the audience into seeing it.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Weekend Preview: Aug. 25-27, 2017

Below are nine previews for films opening next weekend.

 

All Saints (Wide)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Birth of the Dragon (Wide)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Leap! (Wide)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Good Time (Expanding)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Beach Rats (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Ghost House (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Legend of the Naga Pearls (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Red Christmas (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

The Villainess (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 

Film Preview: The Villainess (2017)

Page Revisions:

(August 20, 2017) Original

Release Date:

August 25, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Sook-hee is a trained assassin who was born to kill. She was just a little girl when the training started in Yanbian, China. After the death of her mentor, when the chance of starting a new life was given to her, she came to South Korea as a government agent. They promised her that she will be free after ten years of service. So she begins her new life as a theatre actress. But soon two men Joong-sang and Hyun-soo appear in her new life. And she started to find deep dark secrets about her past. Eventually she take matters into her own hands.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: The pink kanji on the ground might look a bit like streaks of blood, but they are entirely the wrong color. Is this because the “hero” is a woman? Is it because sensors don’t want blood to be present on the poster? Either way, it’s distracting and the surrounding scene doesn’t balance it enough.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: If not for the premise, this film would look like a hopelessly generic action thriller. That it doesn’t quite shrug off that genericism to give the premise more weight is its biggest failing.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Red Christmas (2017)

Page Revisions:

(August 20, 2017) Original

Release Date:

August 25, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A mother must protect her family on Christmas Day from a demented stranger who is hell-bent on tearing them apart.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: This looks more like an 80s mystery novel book cover than a poster for a horror comedy. It isn’t terribly interesting and the font layout, coloring, and style are too chunky.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: The trailer doesn’t quite give the audience an idea whether this is a genuine horror film, a horror comedy, some combination of the two, or something altogether different. Failing to deconstruct the genre effectively in a trailer won’t grab the attention of many moviegoers.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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