Looking at the Weekend: Jun. 28-30, 2019

With the second weekend of Toy Story 4 likely dominating the box office, it comes down to two new films, one fresh and one an extension. The extension in question is the latest cash grab in the Conjuring and Annabelle universes, bring them both together in Annabelle Comes Home unless audiences have tired of the series, it should put up a strong fight for the second position at the weekend box office. That leaves the newer film, the clever narrative of Yesterday, to fight for third against a slew of holdovers suffering from intense amounts of diminishing returns. That could help bolster its chances, that is if audiences will give it a chance.

Our Highest Rated Films: Yesterday; Ophelia
Our Best Awards Ratings: Yesterday

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

The Last Whistle
Maiden
The Other Side of Heaven 2: Fire of Faith
Three Peaks

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2019 Oscar Nominations Predictions: June

As is our tradition, May begins our first predictive look at the year’s Oscar hopefuls. A lot of factors will play into how well our guesses hold up. Expect many of them to fall by the wayside as the year progresses and new contenders to rise into their places.

For our second month of predictions, we look at how little has changed. With few films having been released to give us a glimpse into the fall, the only notable is that The Irishman may be delayed due to some last-minute de-aging effects. That could completely change our predictions. For now, however, we seem fairly unified on its inclusion, though not much agreement for many other films.

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This Day in Oscar History: June 26 (2019)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Film Preview: The Other Story (2019)

Page Revisions:

(June 23, 2019) Original

Release Date:

June 28, 2019

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Two rebellious young women – one fleeing the chaos of secular hedonism for the disciplined comforts of faith; the other desperate to transcend her oppressive religious upbringing for sexual and spiritual freedom-cross paths unexpectedly in Jerusalem, to startling consequences.”

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+

SEE ALL TRAILERS BELOW
Review: The trailer goes to great lengths to sell this as a pinnacle of Israeli cinema achievement, yet the trailer’s visuals and storyline don’t suggest anything remotely fitting to that. Credit is given to the stellar title design we’re treated through in bits and pieces throughout.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir (2019)

Page Revisions:

(June 23, 2019) Original

Release Date:

June 20, 2019

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Ajatashatru Lavash Patel has lived all his life in a small Mumbai neighborhood tricking people with street magic and fakir stunts. He sets out on a journey to find his estranged father, but instead gets dragged on a never-ending adventure.”

Poster Rating: C+ / C / C

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Review: (#1) There is a little bit of interest here, namely the colorful and stickered design of the valise. However, the lackluster backdrop and absence of notable action make it less than spectacular. (#2) Some of the good elements from the prior design with an even more vacant backdrop and only a minimal uptick in action. (#3) This is an improvement form the second design in several ways, but the swap to a dull golden yellow backdrop doesn’t improve matters at all.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: There’s a generous energy to the trailer that may engage the audience in ways that will give it a small boost of attendance; however, it feels very familiar and predictable, which might turn away just as many as it would possibly bring in.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Gallery: Shaft (2019)

Below is a gallery for the upcoming film Shaft.

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Gallery: Annabelle Comes Home (2019)

Below is a gallery for the upcoming film Annabelle Comes Home.

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The DVD Report #626

Hotel Mumbai marks the feature film debut of Australian director Anthony Maras who co-wrote the screenplay with veteran Scottish writer John Collee (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Happy Feet).

This non-stop thriller is a highly suspenseful action-packed account of the 2008 attack on the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel aka “the Taj” and other locations in Mumbai, India. Although other attacks are shown, the emphasis of the film is on the attack on the five-star luxury hotel, which first opened its doors in 1903.

While the screenplay is a composite of actual and fictional events, the attack by an Islamic terrorist group out of Pakistan was based on hundreds of hours of interviews with survivors and witnesses. A significant amount of dialogue was taken verbatim from intercepted cell phone calls made during the three-day siege.

On the night of November 28, 2008, a group of young men armed with explosives and AK-47s stormed the hotel with instructions fed to them through an earpiece from a controller called “Brother Bull” who promised them Paradise for killing infidels and money paid to their families for their sacrifice in the name of “Allah.” The local police were overwhelmed and initially did nothing but wait for the Special Forces from New Dehli, hours away, to arrive. Eventually, a handful of brave local police did enter the hotel in a mostly failed attempt to help evacuate guests and employees. In the meantime, it was up to the guests and staff members to fend for themselves.

The film plays out much like the 1974 disaster film The Towering Inferno in which various hotel guests, staff members, and public officials were indiscriminately killed while others survived an attack on the hotel by fire.

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This Day in Oscar History: June 25 (2019)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Poll: Now That You’ve Seen “Toy Story 4”

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Polls

Now That You’ve Seen Toy Story 4…?

Cinema Sight Asks: Now that you've seen "Toy Story 4," which Toy Story is best?

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Film Preview: Doctor Sleep (2019)

Page Revisions:

(June 23, 2019) Original

Release Date:

November 8, 2019

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Years following the events of “The Shining,” a now-adult Dan Torrence meets a young girl with similar powers as his and tries to protect her from a cult known as The True Knot who prey on children with powers to remain immortal.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: Being familiar with the origin is good. Writing everything, including the title and release window in reverse is good. Having little else to look at is very bad.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: The regular touches on the original The Shining make the film feel like a part of that universe without quite selling itself as standing apart or at least giving the audience a new story worth exploring.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Ladyworld (2019)

Page Revisions:

(June 23, 2019) Original

Release Date:

August 2, 2019

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Eight teenage girls become trapped in an endless birthday party after a massive (imaginary?) earthquake. The girls’ sanity and psyches dissolve as they run out of food and water. Eventually, they regress to their baser instincts, exploiting each other’s fears and insecurities.”

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: With hints of Suspiria, this trailer deftly cuts together somewhat disparate scenes to create a cohesive narrative with very little information available making it appealing towards fans of the Dario Argento classic.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jun. 21-23, 2019

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

Toy Story 4

There is no question of if Toy Story 4 gets an Oscar nomination, but whether it can break into Best Picture or not and which other categories it might be seen in.

When the first Toy Story was released in 1995, there was no category for Animmated Feature. As such, it didn’t have a guaranteed nomination. However, it still managed to pull off three nominations in Original Screenplay, Original Song, and Original Musical or Comedy Score. Four years later, the first sequel was released. The category still didn’t exist, but this time, it only managed a single nomination for Original Song. To this point in the series’ history, it had won only a special honorary Oscar for the first film and nothing since.

Fast forward 11 years to the third film in the series. By this point, the Best Animated Feature category existed and had already seen nine winners. To no one’s surprise, Toy Story 3 handily won Best Animated Feature and also picked up the award for Original Song. What was notable about this film, however, was not that the series had finally won competitive Oscars, but that it became the third and most recent film to earn a Best Picture nomination (after Beauty and the Beast in 1991 when there were only five nominees and no Best Animated Feature category and Up the year before Toy Story 3). While it wasn’t necessarily a huge achievement, for this series it was huge. It was also nominated for Adapted Screenplay and Sound Editing.

We are now nine years removed from that auspicious third chapter and with strong reviews from critics and a huge opening weekend, the film is sure to be a Best Animated Feature nominee. What has changed since then, however, is that even the most acclaimed Pixar films haven’t managed to crack the Best Picture race. With even the animation branch at the Academy leery of sequels in general with Toy Story 3 one of a small number even nominated, and the only one to date to have won Best Animated Feature, the climb will be difficult. If any film can, it would be this one. While Best Animated Feature itself isn’t even a lock for a win and the Original Song, Original Score, and Adapted Screenplay categories are also in play along with Sound Editing, the film will certainly pick up at least one nomination, but winning might not be in the cards.

Review: Jackie (2016)

Jackie

Rating

Director

Pablo Larraín

Screenplay

Noah Oppenheim

Length

100 min.

Starring

Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt, Richard E. Grant, Caspar Phillipson, Beth Grant, John Carroll Lynch, Max Casella

MPAA Rating

R for brief strong violence and some language

Original Preview

Click Here
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This Day in Oscar History: June 24 (2019)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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