Category: Film Previews

Film Preview: Dumbo (2019)

Page Revisions:

(June 17, 2018) Original

Release Date:

March 29, 2019

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Plot TBA”

Poster Rating: B-

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Review: It’s an interesting design that conjures up memories of run down circuses of a long-past era, but only in the minds of those who might recall Dumbo with anything more than a passing familiarity.

Trailer Rating: B+

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Review: If you have any memory of the Disney classic Dumbo, the song alone should be enough to engage your memories, but there’s plenty here to be interested by even without that familiar tune.

Oscar Prospects:

It could be a major player in the creative categories, but Disney has never had luck with the upper categories, so don’t expect it to move beyond Production Design, Costume Design, and effects categories.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Sisters Brothers (2018)

Page Revisions:

(Jun. 10, 2018) Original

Release Date:

Coming Soon

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “In 1850s Oregon, a gold prospector is chased by the infamous duo of assassins, the Sisters brothers.”

Poster Rating: C- / C

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Review: (#1) It’s an attempt to be clever, the horseback riding figures leaving a trail of dust in its wake that just so happens to form into a skull. The colors are dull and the images faded, which won’t appeal much to those not sold by the trailer. (#2) This time, they are leaving a burning building, which they presumably set. Slightly more interesting than the other design, but still not great.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: A haphazard trailer that hearkens back to the glory days of westerns while making it briefly clear that this is something of a comedy, which dispels some of its interesting potential.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)

Page Revisions:

(Jun. 10, 2018) Original

Release Date:

February 8, 2019

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are facing a huge new threat: LEGO DUPLO® invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: It reminds the audience of the first film only in reflection, but is otherwise unappealing and insignificant.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: In a dystopian future, we’re given a new plot that’s not particularly interesting. It tries to tie itself into the prior film, but feels quite distant. Then, the funniest joke in the entire film regarding men getting all the credit for the strong women doing all the work is completely gutted by the subsequent scenes painting this as little more than a rescue of the damsel in distress, which it was just chastising.

Oscar Prospects:

The first movie failed to earn an Oscar nominated for Best Animated Feature in something of a shock. It did pick up an Original Song nomination, so this film could follow in its footsteps. However, it’s possible the second film will also fail to earn a nomination especially since sequels already struggle when it comes to Animated Feature Oscar nominations. It still has a chance with a new original song, but there’s no sign of such a thing at this point.

Trailer #1

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Weekend Preview: Jun. 22-24, 2018

Below are four previews for films opening next weekend.

 

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Wide)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Boundaries (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Damsel (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

GhostLand (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 

Film Preview: GhostLand (2018)

Page Revisions:

(June 17, 2018) Original

Release Date:

June 22, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “The story follows a mother of two who inherits a home from her aunt. On the first night in the new home, she is confronted with murderous intruders and fights for her daughters’ lives. Sixteen years later when the daughters reunite at the house, things get really strange.”

Poster Rating: C+ / D / C

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Review: (#1) This design is interesting to an extent, but the trailer doesn’t give us any indication why a geisha-like veneer would be crumbling. (#2) Garish and bright, it’s going to grab the viewer’s attention, but it won’t make anyone interested. (#3) We shouldn’t be surprised that American audiences are given an overused poster design that tries to tie the film into the Conjuring universe without feeling a part of it.

Trailer Rating: D+

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Review: This unwieldy trailer tries to put forth its premise while setting the audience up for chills and scares, but ultimately fails to form anything in the way of a cohesive premise or even an enticing one.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Boundaries (2018)

Page Revisions:

(June 17, 2018) Original

Release Date:

June 22, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Laura and her son Henry are forced to drive her estranged, pot-dealing, carefree father Jack across country after being kicked out of a nursing home.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: A warm poster without much in the way of vacant space, but it’s also not compelling enough to be interesting.

Trailer Rating: C-

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Review: While some independent filmmakers are struggling to get their films made, others are trading on overly familiar tropes and plots to bore audiences with predictable flotsam.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2018)

Page Revisions:

(Jun. 10, 2018) Original

Release Date:

November 9, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Young computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist find themselves caught in a web of spies, cybercriminals and corrupt government officials.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: The dragon tattoo gets in there, which is the film’s only real connection to the books or the prior David Fincher film. Otherwise, the poster design is dull and lifeless.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: Some films have turned key scenes into solid marketing campaigns, but this one might not work. While it establishes a bit of character, it doesn’t establish much style and definitely not enough glimpses into the plot.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: A Star Is Born (2018)

Page Revisions:

(Jun. 10, 2018) Original

Release Date:

October 5, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A musician helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career into a downward spiral.”

Poster Rating: C / C (2)

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Review: (#1) Black-and-white with a golden lettering scheme. It’s clear they are going for a theme, just not a very good looking one. (#2-#3) These character posters pull the color theme of the first poster and run with it. They are interesting only in who they depict, not necessarily their design.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: Looking a bit like The Weary Kind rather than another version of the films A Star Is Born, the trailer doesn’t entirely whet the appetite, but it doesn’t push the audience away either.

Oscar Prospects:

All three prior incarnations of the film have been Oscar nominees. In 1937, Janet Gaynor and Fredric March were Oscar nominees along with Best Picture and four other nominations. It won the Oscar for Best Original Story and the film’s cinematographer won an special award for his color photography. In 1955, James Mason and Judy Garland were the nominees along with four other citations, but that film didn’t earn a Best Picture nomination. It went home empty-handed. In 1976, neither of the leads, Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand, pulled off nominations and the film only earned four, winning for Best Original Song for the legendary “Evergreen.” We are now 42 years removed from the last incarnation and we have Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in the leads. Cooper is a prior Oscar nominee, as is Lady Gaga, albeit only for songwriting. This is also Cooper’s directorial debut. Early word has been positive, suggesting it could be an Oscar contender, but it’s hard to see too many places where it could contend. Original Song for sure. Cooper is the next most likely competitor and Lady Gaga is a darkhorse contender. Beyond that, I don’t suspect much will become of the film in terms of Oscar glory.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: First Man (2018)

Page Revisions:

(Jun. 10, 2018) Original

Release Date:

October 12, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: It’s surprising just how much action movement the design has in spite of being only a headshot of Ryan Gosling in a space suit. That’s a lot of mileage, but not truly exciting mileage.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: There are elements here that seem most thrilling, but there are some elements that don’t seem exciting enough. The drama at the core of the film isn’t terribly appealing in spite of it being based on actual events.

Oscar Prospects:

Damien Chazelle has two prior films and two prior Oscar winners on his hands. He even has an award for Best Directing. That celebrity, combined with the setting and story of the film should make this one of the year’s major Oscar players.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Operation Finale (2018)

Page Revisions:

(Jun. 10, 2018) Original

Release Date:

September 14, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “15 years after World War II, a team of secret agents are brought together to track down Adolf Eichmann, the infamous Nazi architect of the Holocaust.”

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: There are plenty of good dramas that have come out of the horrifying period of world history known as the Final Solution, and this film looks like it might join them, but it also feels a bit too much like Munich and Valkyrie albeit from entirely different angles of each.

Oscar Prospects:

The subject matter is Oscar catnip and if the film is even remotely good, it will be a major player.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)

Page Revisions:

(Jun. 10, 2018) Original

Release Date:

March 1, 2019

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Continues the adventure of Hiccup and his dragon Toothless.”

Poster Rating: C / C+

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Review: (#1) The neon color scheme adds contrast to the black-and-white, yin-and-yang dichotomy of the two lead dragons; however, it doesn’t add depth or intrigue. (#2) I like the concept of a reflection of younger times; however, it doesn’t have a lot of connectivity to the trailer we’ve so far seen.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: Fans of the original films will be instantly drawn into this trailer. The plot doesn’t feel to distinct from prior outings, but there are some incredibly funny moments in the trailer, most notably the one at the end.

Oscar Prospects:

The second film may have come the closest yet to an Oscar, but this third film will face an ever-mounting push against sequels in the Best Animated Feature race.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Widows (2018)

Page Revisions:

(Jun. 10, 2018) Original

Release Date:

November 16, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Set in contemporary Chicago, amidst a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.”

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 read about this film before seeing the trailer, you might get the wrong impression of it. That said, the impression the trailer gives is a solid one and definitely makes it look like something worth catching.

Oscar Prospects:

With the cast, you might think this was a solid Oscar contender; however, looking at the trailer for the first time, I suspect it won’t be as much of a player as we once thought.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Suspiria (2018)

Page Revisions:

(Jun. 10, 2018) Original

Release Date:

November 2, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the troupe’s artistic director (Swinton), an ambitious young dancer (Johnson), and a grieving psychotherapist (Ebersdorf). Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.”

Poster Rating: C+ / D / D+ (4)

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Review: (#1) Bloody tantalizing and that’s about it. It’s fitting for the film, but not very attractive. (#2) The “S” isn’t nearly as interesting as the designer clearly thinks. (#3-#6) These four posters differ from design #2 only in that they each have different phrases within the “S.” That makes for interesting reading, but not interesting viewing.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: If you’re a fan of the original, this won’t look too derivative, but it’s trying too hard to borrow the cachet of the previous. That said, the structure, editing, sound and visual, make for a fascinating watch regardless.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Halloween (2018)

Page Revisions:

(Jun. 10, 2018) Original

Release Date:

October 19, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Laurie Strode comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: It’s an iconic mask. The contours, age lines, and pock marks certainly add to its thematic relevance. It’s also got a lot of, pardon the pun, dead space.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: Fans of the original John Carpenter film will find a lot of intriguing elements to this trailer, even without the wonderful use of the chilling Carpenter-written theme. There’s not enough Jamie Lee Curtis in it, but there’s just enough to make this look like it might be good Autumn fun.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Looking at the Weekend: Jun. 15-17, 2018

The first film opened to $70 million at the box office. In 2004. That’s 14 years of inflation to account for. Had it opened today, that gross would have been just over $100 million. A sequel has been clamored for year after year since the film debuted. That should enable it to top $100 million easily. Finding Dory holds the current Pixar record for highest opening weekend with $135 million. Toy Story 3 is second with $110 million. The latter seems likely, but the former might be a stretch. However, it’s possible that since Finding Nemo opened slightly lower than The Incredibles a year apart, Incredibles 2 could also open just slightly higher than the Nemo sequel.

Our Highest Rated Films: Incredibles 2
Our Best Awards Ratings: Incredibles 2 (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Eating Animals
Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf

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