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Film Preview: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

July 31, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate – an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF.”

Poster: D

Review: Pulling a single scene from the trailer doesn’t always work and while this will, no doubt, be a very adrenaline-heavy sequence, on a poster, it just seems forgettable.

Trailer: B

Review: As anyone who’s enjoyed the Mission: Impossible films will tell you: reminding them of how much you enoyed the prior outings only serves to whet your appetite. This did just that.

Oscar Prospects:

The Mission: Impossible franchise is much much younger than the James Bond franchise, so I don’t think it will have much luck at the Oscars, though some sound nods might not be unexpected.

Revisions:

(March 29, 2015) Original

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Mar. 27-29, 2015

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

Home

DreamWorks is almost always guaranteed a slot at the Oscar nomination table. That gives Home an advantage that I don’t think it would have otherwise.

Although it’s opening to strong box office, Home is one of the worst reviewed DreamWorks films ever, scoring an abysmal 49% fresh at Rotten Tomatoes and 55 rating from MetaCritic. This may test the DreamWorks guaranteed slot because animators tend not to reward mediocre films. Even the ones that weren’t that great like Puss in Boots managed to land nominations, but they had much better reviews.

This could mean that a power vacuum is approaching. Disney & Pixar have one outing each this year. DreamWorks only has one. That leaves the likes of Universal’s Minions, Fox’s Peanuts Movie and Paramount’s Monster Trucks as potential power fillers. Assuming Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur are both nominated, that leaves three slots that could go to films other than Home. Of course, things may not be entirely bleak and it could still get a nomination, but at this juncture, I’m not seeing the likelihood.

The Morning After: Mar. 30, 2015

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:

I began watching Up Close and Personal and got halfway through before the DVD stopped playing correctly. I’ve requested a replacement form Netflix. I also tried to watch Pitch Perfect, but it’s on the newest DVD format, which doesn’t always work with my player, so I have to do something different. Maybe next week.

Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Rating

Director
Wes Anderson
Screenplay
Wes Anderson
Length
100 min.
Starring
Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson, Tony Revolori, Larry Pine, Giselda Volodi, Florian Lukas, Karl Markovics, Volker Michalowski, Neal Huff, Bob Balaban, Fisher Stevens, Wallace Wolodarsky, Waris Ahluwalia
MPAA Rating
R for language, some sexual content and violence
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Review: Birdman (2014)

Birdman

Rating

Director
Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Screenplay
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., Armando Bo
Length
119 min.
Starring
Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Katherine O’Sullivan, Merritt Weaver, Amy Ryan, Lindsay Duncan
MPAA Rating
R for language throughout, some sexual content and brief violence
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Review: Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl

Rating

Director
David Fincher
Screenplay
Gillian Flynn (Novel: Gillian Flynn)
Length
149 min.
Starring
Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit
MPAA Rating
R for a scene of bloody violence, some strong sexual content/nudity, and language
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This Day in Oscar History: March 30 (2015)

Born

Died

Released

Ceremonies


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Weekend Preview: Apr. 3-5, 2015

Below are five previews for films opening next weekend.
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Film Preview: Woman in Gold (2015)

Poster


Poster #1

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 3, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee, takes on the government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family.”

Poster: C+ / D / C / C-

Review: (#1) I’ll give them credit for trying to be original, but there’s something cheesy about this design, which makes it somewhat offensive given what it’s describing. (#2) Were the two split images stylistically similar, the design might be a fraction more appealing, but they are physically and tonally dissimilar, which makes it distracting.

(#3) This one has a bit of visual flair, but it doesn’t seem to evoke the necessary emotional connection or thematic emphasis to be effective. (#4) A hodge podge of images that languishes behind sepia-toned blandness.

Trailer: C-

Review: It’s the kind of story that seems familiar. The theft of artwork by the Nazi regime and the deplorable lengths the original owners have had to go through to get them back, would seem like a perfectly engaging premise, but the trailer comes off feeling like a rudimentary excursion into historical tedium.

Oscar Prospects:

There’s a reason the film is releasing so early in the year. In spite of having an Oscar-friend ensemble and premise, the film looks a bit too mawkish to be able to hold the Academy’s attention and secure any nominations.

Revisions:

(March 29, 2015) Original

Additional Posters



Poster #2Poster #3Poster #4

Film Preview: The Living (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 3, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “After an alcohol induced blacked-out night of drinking, Teddy discovers he has severely beaten his wife, Molly. As he attempts to redeem himself to her she must decide whether or not she will take him back as her mother, Angela, continuously expresses her disapproval, all the while her brother, Gordon, falls in way over his head as he tries to hire an ex-con, Howard, to kill Teddy.”

Poster: D

Review: A generic, chunky design that lacks grit or style. It would be nearly impossible to distinguish this from the many others of its ilk.

Trailer: C

Review: For being a film about spousal abuse and revenge killings, the trailer is surprisingly banal, dragging on to length without making itself feel relevant or necessary.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(March 29, 2015) Original

Film Preview: Cheatin’ (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 3, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “In a fateful bumper car collision, Jake and Ella meet and become the most loving couple in the long history of romance. But when a scheming “other” woman drives a wedge of jealousy into their perfect courtship, insecurity and hatred spell out an untimely fate. With only the help of a disgraced magician and his forbidden “soul machine”, Ella takes the form of Jake’s numerous lovers, desperately fighting through the malfunction and deceit as they try to reclaim their destiny.”

Poster: C

Review: A simple expression of the film’s artistic style with color and depth not seen in many poster designs of recent years. Yet, it’s not likely to be very appealing to the mainstream or to anyone who isn’t already familiar with the artist.

Trailer: B-

Review: The faked MPAA green screen trailer preview suggests that parents who take their kids to this film are good parents. Yet, the material featured in the trailer suggests a film that wouldn’t be terribly appropriate for young children, perhaps teenagers would be able to understand its ramifications, but not children.

Oscar Prospects:

Bill Plympton is a well regarded animator and could be a dark horse Best Animated Feature nomination contender. However, the style of animation here and the likely stiff competition from the majors may keep his film out of the running.

Revisions:

(March 29, 2015) Original

This Day in Oscar History: March 29 (2015)

Born

Died

Ceremonies


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This Day in Oscar History: March 28 (2015)

Born

Died

Ceremonies


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Film Preview: Good Kill (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

May 15, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A family man begins to question the ethics of his job as a drone pilot.”

Poster: D

Review: I know the producers are trying to go for minimalist, but minimalism needs more than a simple background and a single image within it to be evocative.

Trailer: C

Review: As much as I like Andrew Niccol, this film doesn’t look like it’s going to be that interesting. We’ve seen so many films in recent years that have dealt with similar subjects, I’d be surprised if it had anything new or effective to say.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(March 22, 2015) Original

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