Film Previews

Film Preview: Private Number (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

May 1, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A series of cryptic phone messages and visions haunt a writer while he struggles to finish a novel. As they increase in intensity, he loses his grip on reality, eventually obsessing over an old mystery that will lead to horrific revelations about both him and his loyal wife.”

Poster: C

Review: While it’s a bit of a head trip, it only loosely ties into the film its trying to sell.

Trailer: C-

Review: A formulaic, predictable thriller about a man terrorized by a ghost of his past. It’s been done so often that the images cobbled together for this trailer almost blend together.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 12, 2015) Original

Film Preview: Blackbird (2015)

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Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 26, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A young singer struggles with his sexuality and the treatment of others while coming of age in a small Southern Baptist community.”

Poster: B+ / C+

Review: (#1) The stained glass approach isn’t a very common one, which makes the use here fascinating. It may not speak much to the film’s themes, but it is fitting within the general framework. (#2) While I admire the attempt to go a new route with color usage, the design is a bit too detail-light to be interesting.

Trailer: C

Review: This generic trailer construction sets out the film’s premise, but doesn’t do a very good job of making the story seem important or crucial.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 12, 2015) Original

Film Preview: Loitering with Intent (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

January 16, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Two male actors/close friends want to jumpstart their careers. They end up making a big shot producer think that they have a hot script that everyone wants to get their hands on. The 2 men then drive to upstate New York and hole up in a family member’s country home- with 10 dedicated days to write said script. Dominic and Raphael then get derailed by a beautiful gardener, Ava and Dominic’s sister, Gigi. Both women appear at the house, which was supposed to be serene enough to focus on the task at hand. But to add to the problems, Gigi’s boyfriend Wayne arrives, still suffering from PTSD, and his brother Devon as well, creating even more havoc. A looming deadline and complicated personal histories create scenes that are humorous and emotional.”

Poster: B

Review: This design has an almost otherworldly charm to it, feeling much like a design that might have accompanied a drama set in the Antebellum South. It’s an interesting concept even if it’s otherwise unimpressive.

Trailer: B-

Review: The trailer is all over the place in terms of tone, shifting from drama to comedy and back again without feeling natural. The story seems very cluttered and difficult to follow, though there are enough interesting elements to make it a passable DVD offering.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 12, 2015) Original

Looking at the Weekend: Apr. 17-19, 2015

Another week at the top for Furious 7 is likely, but Paul Blart may be a tough comeptitor.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: Unfriended might be interesting, but Child 44 is probably the better option.
Peter J. Patrick: Some of this week’s new films seem moderately interesting, but nothing really screams “must-see”.
Tripp Burton: Lots of genre fare this week, so pick what suits your fancy!
Thomas LaTourrette: Monkey Kingdom and Child 44 sound like very diverse winners and could be worth seeing. The other two don’t excite me much.

Click here to continue reading this article

2015 Tentpole Season Preview: Introduction

This Summer promises to be explosive with more sequels, remakes and reboots than you could possibly shake a stick at. Some of the most popular franchises in history have a new movie coming out, which should make for huge box office hits.

To introduce you to the upcoming films, there will be two preview articles every month and this introduction every four months. The Season Preview article will focus on one of three seasons Spring Season (January through April), Tentpole Season (May through August) and Oscar Season (September through December). In these introductory articles, I will give you the current release schedule for the specified season, which may change as the release dates get closer.

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Film Preview: No Escape (2015)

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Trailer Link

Release Date:

September 2, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “In their new overseas home, an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape in an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.”

Poster: C-

Review: Action heavy, but devoid of excitement or creativity. This is the kind of design you expect for a film that will bypass theaters entirely and go direct to video on demand.

Trailer: B

Review: The editors do a good job of conveying the dire stakes at play here, setting this up as a daring escape film as crises and danger surround our hero and his family.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 12, 2015) Original

Film Preview: The Walk (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

October 2, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “The story of French high-wire artist Philippe Petit’s attempt to cross the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974.”

Poster: B+

Review: A pastiche design that conjures elements of 1970’s poster design and creatively creates a sense of vertigo and dimension.

Trailer: B+

Review: This uncomplicated trailer does what it sets out to do. It creates a sense of tension and depth from a terrifying height. It’s an effective teaser.

Oscar Prospects:

With Robert Zemeckis, you should never count him out of the Oscar race. In spite of a rocky start to awards season, his last film, Flight, still managed to hang on for two Oscar nominations. This film might have a bit more challenging a time in the big categories, but the visual effects are certain to get some buzz.

Revisions:

(April 12, 2015) Original

Weekend Preview: Apr. 17-19, 2015

Below are nine previews for films opening next weekend.
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Film Preview: The Road Within (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 17, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A young man with Tourette’s Syndrome embarks on a road trip with his recently-deceased mother’s ashes.”

Poster: C

Review: A generic design for a road trip/teen-oriented melodrama.

Trailer: B+

Review: Although the film seems like it might be a cross between The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Short Term 12, the characters are endearing and the premise seems like one that might be fun to get into.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 12, 2015) Original

Film Preview: Felix and Meira (2015)

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Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 17, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “In Félix and Meira, an unusual romance blossoms between two lost souls who inhabit the same neighborhood but vastly different worlds.”

Poster: C+ / D+

Review: (#1) Briefly in the trailer, you see Felix give Meira an amateur drawing. It seems like this would be a central focus in the story, but the trailer doesn’t go into more detail. So this image may be a copy of that drawing or a simulacrum, which gives it some thematic connection, though it’s rudimentary nature isn’t likely to be compelling to the casual observer. (#2) On the other end of the spectrum is a design that looks more like one assigned to a horror film than to a foreign art film.

Trailer: B-

Review: There’s just a hint of importance in the trailer, talking about the internalizing of individuality in cultures that prefer the status quo. However, the trailer never gets more than passively interesting, which can be a problem with enticing viewers to the theater.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 12, 2015) Original

Film Preview: The Dead Lands (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 17, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “After his tribe is slaughtered through an act of treachery, Hongi, a Maori chieftain’s teenage son, must avenge his father’s murder in order to bring peace and honor to the souls of his loved ones. Vastly outnumbered by a band of villains, Hongi’s only hope is to pass through the feared and forbidden Dead Lands and forge an uneasy alliance with the mysterious Warrior, a ruthless fighter who has ruled the area for years.”

Poster: C / C- / C- (3)

Review: (#1) Simple, suggestive, but ultimately milquetoast. (#2) The color scheme is dreadful and the style is blatantly uninteresting in spite of its attempt to be exciting. (#3-#5) These character designs use the same palette as the second and they are no better for it.

Trailer: C

Review: If you are into foreign language films, especially ones about conflict between tribes, this film might be for you. For everyone else there’s plenty of films that are generally more exciting.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 12, 2015) Original

Film Preview: Unfriended (2015)

Poster



Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 17, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A group of online chat room friends find themselves haunted by a mysterious, supernatural force using the account of their dead friend.”

Poster: C+ / D

Review: (#1) Not a very inspiration pair of poster designs, though this first design, with the film’s present title, at least plays on the concept of the internet/Google age with knowledge and subtle, if uncomplicated, wit. (#2) The original title certainly made the film seem like a tacky riff on the Paranormal Activity films. They wisely changed the title and the artwork.

Trailer: A-

Review: You know from the general concept that the end result probably not going to be that good, but this trailer does a smashing job of creating tension and a compelling reason to watch the film to see just how far it pushes the boundaries of the genre.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 12, 2015) Original

Film Preview: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015)

Poster


Poster #XXX

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 17, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “After six years of keeping our malls safe, Paul Blart has earned a well-deserved vacation. He heads to Vegas with his teenage daughter before she heads off to college. But safety never takes a holiday and when duty calls, Blart answers.”

Poster: C- / C+ / D / B-

Review: (#1) It has the frivolity inherent in a poster design for this type of film, but it’s also pretty uneventful. (#2) This is more suggestive and quite a bit more interesting, though it could be a little more exciting. (#3) A take on the second design that’s fairly awful and unnecessary. (#4) Whereas the first design takes this concept and seems lifeless in spite of its “action” elements, this design creates excitement through action with snarky commentary about the city of Las Vegas. Dolphins for the win.

Trailer: C / C+

Review: (#1) Making the film seem like a mall cop version of Die Hard may not have been a wise ideas the film comes off looking like fairly cheap homage. (#2) The second trailer, although still not very funny, is a lot more interesting because it’s an interruption of a vacation, and not a new job gone wrong.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 12, 2015) Original

Additional Posters



Poster #2Poster #3Poster #4

Trailer Watch: Entourage, updated (2015)

New Trailer (#2) / New Poster (#2)

Entourage, updated

Preview Link: CLICK HERE for link to the trailer, more posters (if available) and other commentary not featured here.

Film Preview: Son of a Gun (2015)

Poster


Poster #1

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

January 16, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “JR busts out of prison with Brendan Lynch, Australia’s most notorious criminal, and joins Lynch’s gang for a gold heist that soon pits the two men against one another.”

Poster: C / B- / C / D / D+ / D / D+

Review: (#1) I assume that these two individuals are father and son, though the title is the only clue to that. The split screen technique has become more frequent lately and it’s not a good thing. (#2) This has a lot of symbolism that is only noticeable when you’ve seen the trailer and then only if you catch the couple of hints referencing a gold processing plant. (#3) It’s gritty, but forgettable.

(#4) Big lettering doesn’t make an eye-catching poster. The background content is disposable. (#5) Another split technique that doesn’t improve on the previous and looks even less interesting. (#6) A copy of the third design in more ways than one. (#7) A further copy of design #3, just a little farther back visually.

Trailer: C+

Review: A chaotic, haphazardly constructed trailer that doesn’t give the audience enough of an interest in the subject matter to turn it into more than a direct-to-DVD misfire.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 5, 2015) Original

Additional Posters



Poster #2Poster #3Poster #4

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