Category: Film Previews

Weekend Preview: Sep. 15-17, 2017

Below are five previews for films opening next weekend.

 

American Assassin (Wide)

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mother! (Wide)

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Brad’s Status (Limited)

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Vengeance: A Love Story (Limited)

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The Wilde Wedding (Limited)

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Film Preview: The Wilde Wedding (2017)

Page Revisions:

(September 10, 2017) Original

Release Date:

September 15, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A retired film star’s wedding to her fourth husband brings chaos when their families (and her ex-husband) shows up for the festivities.”

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: Such a great array of actors in what appears to be a trifle of a film. Glenn Close and John Malkovich re-team almost exactly 30 years after starring together in Dangerous Liaisons. Now they play ex-spouses. Yet, of all the amusing elements in the trailer, it feels incredibly trite, overworked, and meagerly acted.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Vengeance: A Love Story (2017)

Page Revisions:

(September 10, 2017) Original

Release Date:

September 15, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A gulf war veteran seeks vengeance against those who assaulted a single mother.”

Poster Rating: D

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Review: A cheaply-crafted poster with cheesy explosion elements, garishly bold lettering, and little aesthetic value.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: The premise is interesting if dated. You get most of the film’s plot laid out in the trailer, which can’t make it that interesting to sit through.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Alpha (2018)

Page Revisions:

(September 3, 2017) Original

Release Date:

March 2, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A story of survival set 20,000 years ago during the last Ice Age.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: Modestly primal, but also cheaply designed. It has some interesting textures and the colors are fitting, but the flame aesthetic is trite and overused.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: The trailer suggests that the relationship between the young native and the wolf is somehow pivotal to human civilization, but the trailer’s story and imagery suggests instead a film that is more interested in the bonding adventure than some overarching commentary.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Bushwick (2017)

Page Revisions:

(September 3, 2017) Original

Release Date:

August 25, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “When a Texas military force invades their Brooklyn neighborhood, 20-year-old Lucy and war veteran Stupe must depend on each other to survive.”

Poster Rating: B- / C / C+ (3)

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Review: (#1) Without the poorly-blended background locales and the requisite protagonist inclusions, the simple American flag with various stars marked out to represent the fracturing of a nation might be more compelling. (#2) Perfunctory post-apocalyptic poster with posed and posturing protagonists. Pointedly plain and pointlessly practiced.

(#3-#5) The red, white, and blue posters are identical with three exceptions. The first and most obvious is the color scheme. The second and noticeable, but inconsequential is the two stars in different poses on each design. The third, and seemingly pointless is that the background cityscape and cloud banks are precisely identical except for two items on the blue poster and one on the red. In the space between the legs of the “K,” there’s a statue missing in the blue design. Also the blue design is adds a plume of smoke just to the right of the outside edge of the “K.” The red design has a noticeable blemish above the head of the posed young woman. These minute differences make the designs fare more interesting than they should be.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: The reference to Red Dawn is most interesting since I just finished watching both of those films. It’s easy to spot the similarities in storylines, but that comparison, especially considering how weakly received those films were, isn’t much of a selling point. As it stands, the movie looks fairly plain and while the plaudits reference the non-stop action, the trailer seems notably devoid of it.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Novitiate (2017)

Page Revisions:

(September 3, 2017) Original

Release Date:

October 27, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Set in the early 1960s and during the era of Vatican II, a young woman in training to become a nun struggles with issues of faith, the changing church and sexuality.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: Why the creators felt the need to blend these two women’s habits together is a question that doesn’t have a lot of importance considering the rest of the design isn’t very compelling or appealing.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: Although my tolerance for films that tackle religion has become weaker in recent years, the story of a nun attempting to regain the basics of her faith that are being threatened by ecumenical rule changes has a lot of merit, but why it has to be reflected in the eyes of a novitiate ins’t particularly clear in the trailer.

Oscar Prospects:

Melissa Leo has gotten some chatter as a contender for Best Supporting Actress, but the film doesn’t seem to have a lot of prospects outside of that.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Brad’s Status (2017)

Page Revisions:

(September 3, 2017) Original

Release Date:

September 15, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A father takes his son to tour colleges on the East Coast and meets up with an old friend who makes him feel inferior about his life’s choices.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: The gulf between father and son is actual not just metaphorical or philosophical. That’s what this conceptually interesting, but executionally simplistic design puts forth.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: Brad’s Status appears to be a straightforward father-son bonding film that puts the father (Ben Stiller) into a position that would make that dynamic feel like a superfluous one as it’s all about his own feelings of inadequacy. They could be blended together well and the trailer offers the option that it might, but the general necessity of the film isn’t all that exciting.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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2017 Spring Season Preview Wrap-Up: April

April 7, 2017

The Case for Christ

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: Still None.
Box Office Prospects: $40 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Decent. The producers are hoping for a result similar to God’s Not Dead, but are more likely to deliver in the Soul Surfer range.”
Box Office Results: $14.7 M
Thoughts: [Flop] Proof that all Christian films cannot automatically become box office sensations.

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Looking at the Weekend: Sep. 8-10, 2017

After three weeks of dreadful box office, the cineplexes are about to get an influx of attendees thanks to two major new releases. The romantic comedy Home Again may struggle in spite of the heavy promotion the film is getting against the first major horror film to give audiences something to get excited about. The adaptation of Stephen King’s It, problematic as it seems on paper, has earned some strong early buzz, which should easily help it top the box office.

Our Highest Rated Films: The Unknown Girl; Home Again; Napping Princess
Our Best Awards Ratings: Napping Princess (Oscars)

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Memoir of a Murder
Paradise Club
School Life
Trophy
Twenty Two
Year by the Sea

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Film Preview: Downsizing (2017)

Page Revisions:

(September 3, 2017) Original
(September 17, 2017) New Trailer (#2)

Release Date:

December 22, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A social satire in which a guy realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself.”

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 / B

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Review: (#1) A teaser trailer promising a full trailer on the 12th of September. There are some very interesting images in this teaser, but the extent of the story’s shrinking element is only briefly referenced at the end when the title card is being displayed. That should create just enough intrigue to bring audiences to the new trailer.

(#2) Sometimes, a premise is so fascinating that it just encourages people to check it out at the theater. That’s what this trailer puts forth, a strange semi-futuristic world where miniaturization can be a blessing. It only briefly hints at the dark recesses hidden beneath the surface, thus making the journey more enticing.

Oscar Prospects:

The reviews have been outstanding out of the festivals, that marks this as one of the key competitors. Whether it’s unusual enough to win Best Picture is uncertain, but it’s sure to wrack up high single digits nominations.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House (2017)

Page Revisions:

(September 3, 2017) Original

Release Date:

September 29, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “The story of Mark Felt, who under the name “Deep Throat” helped journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncover the Watergate scandal in 1974.”

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: A tumultuous time in American history is covered from a different perspective in this examination of Mark “Deep Throat” Felt’s patriotic service to the nation by helping to surreptitiously expose corruption in the White House in the administration of Richard Nixon. That it has such brazen parallels to current American politics gives it a bit more relevance than the trailer obviously deserves. However, what’s presented does offer a compelling look at a historical even that the younger generation didn’t get to experience first-hand.

Oscar Prospects:

The subject matter has relevance, but the film has gotten little to no attention before now, so I suspect it will be all but forgotten, even for Liam Neeson’s performance.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Naked (2017)

Page Revisions:

(August 27, 2017) Original

Release Date:

August 11, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Nervous about finally getting married a guy is forced to relive the same nerve-wracking hours over and over again until he gets things right on his wedding day.”

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: Groundhog Day if it starred Damon Wayans naked in an elevator. The premise is weak, that much is certain (at least according to the first trailer), but it does feature a handful of potentially funny moments. They don’t play particularly well in the framework of a trailer, but they might be more interesting in the proper context.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Weekend Preview: Sep. 8-10, 2017

Below are seven previews for films opening next weekend.

 

9/11 (Movie) (Wide)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Home Again (Wide)

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It (Wide)

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Napping Princess (Limited)

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Poster Boys (Limited)

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Rebel in the Rye (Limited)

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The Unknown Girl (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 

Film Preview: The Unknown Girl (2017)

Page Revisions:

(September 3, 2017) Original

Release Date:

September 8, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A woman gets obsessed with the case of a dead woman after learning that the woman had died shortly after having rung her door for help.”

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: It should be said that Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne are one of cinemas modern masters. They have made a number of films that have been celebrated in the last several years. That this film has such parentage is promising. However, the trailer is fairly dull. There’s supposed to be a mystery our protagonist is investigating, but apart from a faint curiosity, the trailer doesn’t do much to sell that mystery to the audience.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Poster Boys (2017)

Page Revisions:

(September 3, 2017) Original

Release Date:

September 8, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Life of three men comes in trouble when their photos appear on advertisement for sterilization.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: This poorly crafted poster is a clear attempt to set the film up as a comedy, which it is. It’s also a clear attempt to be creative, which it isn’t. The design is a haphazard mix of colors and images that don’t work particularly well together.

Trailer Rating: C-

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Review: Following a film about three men used unceremoniously, and without their approval, as poster-boys for vasectomies seems like it was tailor-made for the Three Men and a Baby acting trio at the tail end of the 80s when such zany comedies were common. It is little more than antiquated now.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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