Category: Film Previews

Film Preview: The Adderall Diaries (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 19, 2016) Original

Release Date:

April 15, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Writer and Adderall enthusiast Stephen Elliott reaches a low point when his estranged father resurfaces, claiming that Stephen has fabricated much of the dark childhood that that fuels his writing. Adrift in the precarious gray area of memory, Stephen is led by three sources of inspiration: a new romance, the best friend who shares his history, and a murder trial that reminds him more than a little of his own story.”

Poster Rating: D

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Review: A formulaic, uninspired design that is so forgettable, you have to look at it multiple times to even remember what it looks like.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: While there is something haunting underlying this story, it’s such a generic story that you can’t develop sufficient interest to care what’s going on.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Kill Command (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 19, 2016) Original

Release Date:

Coming Soon

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Set in a near future, technology-reliant society that pits man against killing machines.”

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

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Review: Man versus machine is such a common thread of science fiction films that when you see it used ineffectively, it feels almost destructive. This film has a few things going for it, but it has quite a bit more that seems to be actively working against it.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Trust (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 19, 2016) Original

Release Date:

May 13, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A pair of cops investigating a drug invasion stumble upon a mysterious bank vault.”

Poster Rating: D / B / C-

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Review: (#1) The actors. The background. The entire lack of visual depth. This is an unmitigated disaster. (#2) With a few tweaks and some interesting details, you suddenly have a poster design that’s modestly compelling. (#3) Then you take the figures from the first design and superimpose them over a vault door. It doesn’t help much.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: The trailer establishes a strange relationship with the audience playing itself off as simultaneously a heist thriller and a heist comedy, not quite understanding the connection between the two or solidifying in the viewer’s mind which type is really should be.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Mothers and Daughters (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 19, 2016) Original

Release Date:

May 6, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Interwoven stories of what it is to be a mom seen through the lens of photographer Rigby Gray.”

Poster Rating: D+

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Review: Simple doesn’t always work, especially with a series of images that aren’t that interesting surrounded by a cheaply decorated color tableau.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: The actors in this film give it a boost of substance, but the premise feels antiquated and unoriginal. This is the kind of trailer that resulted in a film like Mother’s Day crashing at the box office.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Looking at the Weekend: Jun. 24-26, 2016

Can one of the biggest hits of the 1990s turn into a big hit for the 2010s? If you look at Jurassic World for a sign, then the answer would be yes. However, with no advanced screenings for critics and a rather lackluster advertising campaign going on, the film could end up a dud. It may still win the weekend, but it may not top the second week of Finding Dory.

Our Highest Rated Films: Hunt for the Wilderpeople, The Kind Words, Weiner-Dog
Our Best Awards Ratings: Independence Day: Resurgence (Oscars), Free State of Jones (Globes)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words
From This Day Forward
Raman Raghav 2.0
Three

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2016 Blockbuster Season Preview: July

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

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Film Preview: Jane Wants a Boyfriend (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 19, 2016) Original

Release Date:

March 25, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A young woman with Asperger’s tries to find her first boyfriend with a little help from her older sister.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: It’s a little off kilter, but that’s what we should expect. It hearkens back to the French New Wave in a sense, but that may just be an optimistic interpretation.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: A film about a young woman with Asperger’s trying to seek out happiness while the one person who is accepting her ability to stretch beyond her condition isn’t a member of her family. That has a quiet evocative power even if the film’s structure isn’t well displayed.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Moana (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 19, 2016) Original

Release Date:

November 23, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A young woman uses her navigational talents to set sail for a fabled island. Joining her on the adventure is her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui.”

Poster Rating: D / C+

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Review: (#1) It’s a teaser, but an ineffective one. Sure Disneyphiles won’t need this poster to run out and buy a ticket, but the lack of creativity is dispiriting. (#2) A more creative temperament is at play in this design. It’s still unnecessarily simplistic, but the tribal symbolism is most fascinating.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: Long gone are the days of majestic teaser trailers that establish a film easily and evocatively. The Lion King did this very well. This trailer isn’t even a pale imitation.

Oscar Prospects:

Disney’s third Best Animated Feature entry is here. One of them may not make the cut, but which one I’m not sure. I’m leaning towards the film going into the Good Dinosaur slot…that’s this one.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: No Stranger Than Love (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 19, 2016) Original

Release Date:

June 17, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “What is stranger than the big hole that opens up in Lucy Sherrington’s living room floor? As it turns out, love.”

Poster Rating: C+ / D

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Review: (#1) This design has a lot to say about the film’s central premise, which might intrigue viewers enough to bring them to the theater. (#2) Meanwhile, you have a lackluster design like this that has almost nothing going for it.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: Such a quirky trailer here that indie fans should instantly connect to the story and the weirdness, giving it a nice boost when it makes its way into the specialty market.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Denial (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 19, 2016) Original

Release Date:

September 30, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Acclaimed writer and historian Deborah E. Lipstadt must battle for historical truth to prove the Holocaust actually occurred when David Irving, a renowned denier, sues her for libel.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: To an extent Timothy Spall’s charcter is denying Rachel Weisz’s character, but that may be a circumstantial interpretation.

Trailer Rating: B+

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Review: This trailer creates the sense of an important historical drama trying to destroy the credibility of a Holocaust denier. It’s a metaphor for trying to expose the conspiracy theorists today as frauds while setting up a genuine look at the cult of belief.

Oscar Prospects:

This seems like a film that would be right up the Academy’s alley. However, that September release date is worrisome. The Bodyguard director and Emmy winner Mick Johnson is making it; Oscar nominee David Hare is writing it; and Oscar winner Rachel Weisz stars. I wouldn’t rule it out entirely, but we’ll see how critics like it first.

Trailer #1

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Trailer Watch: Nine Lives (2016) Updated

New Trailers (#2 & #3) / New Poster (#2)

Nine Lives, updated

Preview Link: CLICK HERE for all of the new content as well as the original.

Weekend Preview: Jun. 24-26, 2016

Below are ten previews for films opening next weekend.
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Film Preview: Wiener-Dog (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 19, 2016) Original

Release Date:

June 24, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Chronicles the life of a dog as it travels around the country, spreading comfort and joy.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: You know it’s a dachshund because the butt doesn’t lie. However, the lack of background details, the bland color scheme. It just doesn’t have enough oomph.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: There’s a cutesy element to the trailer that gets cloying, as do the performances on display in it. There’s something inauthentic about the whole thing even if the dog is adorable.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Kind Words (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 19, 2016) Original

Release Date:

June 24, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Follows three brothers who are going to discover the greatest secret of their late mother. This trip is going to change their lives.”

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: This Israeli drama looks like a fascinating melodrama, though its goals and premise aren’t nearly as clear as it could possibly be.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Page Revisions:

(June 19, 2016) Original

Release Date:

June 24, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.”

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

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Review: (#1) A somewhat childish rendition of something you might see advertising a Wes Anderson film. The details aren’t that exciting, but it’s sufficient. (#2) When your concept doesn’t translate well to the audience, you get a head-scratching design like this one. (#3) An interesting, hand-drawn design that conjures memories of old school Hollywood’s most interesting designs.

(#4) This is also faintly reminiscent of Wes Anderson, but completely misses the point of those kinds of designs. (#5) A more naturalistic design doesn’t give the audience any compelling interest. (#6) Dull, strange and won’t drive curiosity in the least.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: There are some fairly daffy elements to this trailer, which plays into its status as a comedy. There are some questionable choices in places, but overall, it looks like it could be a modestly entertaining diversion.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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