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Weekend Preview: Feb. 27-Mar. 1, 2015

Below are seven previews for films opening next weekend.
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Film Preview: Wild Canaries (2015)

Poster



Trailer Link

Release Date:

February 25, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "A Brooklyn couple suspects foul play when their rent controlled neighbor suddenly drops dead."

Poster: B- / B

Review: (#1) Symbolically, this design has a lot of positives, especially if you've seen the trailer. However, the colors are perhaps a bit too bold. (#2) This is a quirky design that tries on some new elements that are very striking and perhaps a little out there enough to be appealing.

Trailer: B+

Review: The marketers reference the screwball comedies as a badge of honor and it would be if the trailer even looked like such. It seems more rooted in modern happenstance comedy. Yet, there are some interesting similarities to Woody Allen's Manhattan Murder Mystery, which might be enough to get it a few extra attendees.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(February 22, 2015) Original
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Film Preview: Everly (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

February 27, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "An action/thriller centered on a woman who faces down assassins sent by her ex, a mob boss, while holed up in her apartment."

Poster: D+

Review: It's supposed to be sexy and suggestive, but it's utterly bland and forgettable.

Trailer: C+

Review: The single-set mentality feels overdone even when it isn't. This trailer makes the film look like the latest gimmick film that fails to impress.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(February 22, 2015) Original
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Film Preview: A La Mala (2015)

Poster


Poster #1

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

February 27, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "When aspiring actress Maria Laura's best friend begs her to flirt with her boyfriend to test his fidelity, Maria finds a lucrative new career. After being hired by women across the city, Maria is given a gig that should be business as usual until she ends up falling head over heels for her latest mark."

Poster: B / C / B- (3)

Review: (#1) The first design tries to make the film seem like a romantic comedy and that might work for those who haven't seen the trailer. (#2) Making everything look more like a romantic drama doesn't alleviate the struggles of the first poster, especially when this one is sparsely bleak. (#3-#5) These posters don't have the impact if they don't have the trailer to go along with it. Once you've seen the trailer, though, these become rather fascinating.

Trailer: C

Review: Generic comedic and romantic elements don't improve the trailer design. Focusing on the burgeoning romance in spite of all that's going on around them only serves to keep things feeling shiftless and boring in spite of some clever concepts meandering at the edges.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(February 22, 2015) Original

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Film Preview: The Lazarus Effect (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

February 27, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "A group of medical students discover a way to bring dead patients back to life."

Poster: D+

Review: Do marketers even try to create something fresh and memorable? Because this is as dismissable and forgettable as anything out there and, for a horror film, that doesn't give you a boost.

Trailer: C / C-

Review: (#1) The first trailer establishes the storyline a little more succinctly giving the audience an idea of why the events are happening. It's not as tense or creepy as the second trailer, but that's sufficient for many. (#2) Stepping up the frightening elements and attempting to maximize the potential carnage, the second trailer prevents the film from finding a new audience, sticking to common tropes and finding nothing new in the material.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(February 22, 2015) Original
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Film Preview: Focus (2015)

Poster


Poster #1

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

February 27, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "In the midst of veteran con man Nicky's latest scheme, a woman from his past - now an accomplished femme fatale - shows up and throws his plans for a loop."

Poster: F / C+ / D / C- (3)

Review: (#1) Nothing going on here. Nothing exciting. Not even Will Smith could sell a film with something this unimpressive. (#2) Shifting the poster design image out of focus doesn't alleviate the issues with selecting a better image to accompany it. (#3) More boredom from a poster design. Perhaps this would have been shocking or forward-thinking thirty years ago, but today it's forgettable. (#4-#6) These overly simplistic character posters might appeal to fans of the actors wanting nothing but them on their walls, but this isn't the 1980's and these are not posters from a teen magazine.

Trailer: D+ / D+

Review: (#1 & #2) There isn't a whole hell of a lot of difference between this trailers. Not that they don't present varying images and look almost entirely different, but the story is so simplistic and uninteresting that you can't quite figure out which trailer you just watched because neither makes the film seem like it's something you should want to watch or even remember after you do.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(February 22, 2015) Original

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Trailer Watch: Cinderella, updated (2015)

New Trailer #2 / New Posters #3-#5

Cinderella, updated

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

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Trailer Watch: Minions, updated (2015)

New Trailer #2 / New Poster #2

Minions, updaetd

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

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Film Preview: The Water Diviner (2015)

Poster


Poster #1

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 24, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "An Australian man travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli to try and locate his three missing sons."

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

Review: (#1) Some nice colors, but the backgrounds look cobbled together and ill-fitting with the overall design. (#2) Similar to #1, the colors are a little more toned down, which helps alleviate some of the tedium of the background images. (#3) Perhaps more traditional for major epics, this design blends colors effectively, though the choice of images isn't ideal. (#4) This uses even fewer interesting images and employs a blander color palette. (#5) This design isn't really even trying to be interesting or significant.

Trailer: B-

Review: Much of the emotional potential of the film seems absent in this trailer, which focuses on the epic story of a father seeking his missing sons. Ultimately, the trailer doesn't successfully make the adventure look that interesting or important.

Oscar Prospects:

The advertisements highlight the fact that this film won three Australian Academy Awards, including Best Picture. That suggests the film could be good enough compete, but the April release date suggests otherwise.

Revisions:

(February 15, 2015) Original

Additional Posters



Poster #2Poster #3Poster #4

Poster #5
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Looking at the Weekend: Feb. 20-22, 2015

Although I doubt it will beat out Fifty Shades of Grey in its second week, of the three new wide releases, Hot Tub Time Machine has what it takes to be the top new wide release.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: None of this week's wide releases seem that interesting, though Wild Tales might be.
Peter J. Patrick: Stay home this weekend and watch the Oscars.
Tripp Burton: The mainstream films this week don't look too urgent, so I'll be watching awards shows all weekend.
Thomas LaTourrette: Except for Wild Tales, it is another sad set of films being released.

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2015 Spring Season Preview: March

The end of the year brings the most combative environment for films trying to become Oscar winners. The next four months will be an interesting proving round.

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Film Preview: What We Do in the Shadows (2015)

Poster


Poster #1

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

February 13, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav are vampires who are finding that modern life has them struggling with the mundane - like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts."

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

Review: (#1) This is an eclectic, visually delicious poster design. Some elements are a bit too simplistic, but it's so much better than the other designs for this film. (#2) It reminds me of The Addams Family with a bit of Roseanne mixed in. I doubt that was intended, though. (#3) The same general formatting as #2, but with a title block in a rather awful color. (#4) It might seem funny at first but it's extraordinarily simple and overly self-congratulatory.

Trailer: B

Review: There are some very amusing elements in the trailer, but in trying to convey the film's detailed plot, they've presented far too much of the film to the audience, eliminating a bit too much suspense.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(February 15, 2015) Original

Additional Posters



Poster #2Poster #3Poster #4
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Film Preview: Crimson Peak (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

October 16, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "In the aftermath of a family tragedy, an aspiring author is torn between love for her childhood friend and the temptation of a mysterious outsider. Trying to escape the ghosts of her past, she is swept away to a house that breathes, bleeds...and remembers."

Poster: C+

Review: A stylized, but uneventful poster design that evokes Gothic horror elements without committing to them.

Trailer: B+

Review: Guillermo del Toro certainly has an unusual mind. This comes out plainly and effectively in this new trailer. Bending Gothic horror conventions to create a fascinating period thriller seems like a great idea for this kind of director and seeing where it goes will be fascinating.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(February 15, 2015) Original

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Weekend Preview: Feb. 20-22, 2015

Below are four previews for films opening next weekend.
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Film Preview: Wild Tales (2015)

Poster


Poster #1

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

February 20, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "A story about love deception, the return of the past, a tragedy, or even the violence contained in an everyday detail, appear themselves to push them towards the abyss, into the undeniable pleasure of losing control."

Poster: B- / D+ / C- / C / D / B- / C (6) / A (6)

Review: (#1) A brief glimpse into the six stories being told in the film. It's not original, but it flows visually. (#2) This is a crappy, cheap design that isn't even remotely interesting. (#3) Like #2 in simplicity, but adding a touch of color and added designs within the title, which helps a fraction. (#4) This one isn't very interesting, nor is it very distinctive. (#5) Even less distinctive than all the prior designs combined. (#6) An interesting three-dimensional design that begs the viewer to look deeply to explore the film.

(#7-#12) Individual character posters that tell nothing of the story and have very little imagination apart from being different color tints. (#13-#18) These are a clever sextet of designs that symbolically evoke the six stories at play in the film.

Trailer: B-

Review: The trailer takes time to get going, but when it does, it begins to look like a fascinating anthology film that might be better than a lot of what Quentin Tarantino has been known for doing.

Oscar Prospects:

A nominee for the 87th Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film, the movie doesn't seem like the kind of thing the Academy would go for. I suspect they will go with another film for the prize.

Revisions:

(February 15, 2015) Original

Additional Posters



Poster #2Poster #3Poster #4

Poster #5Poster #6Poster #7

Poster #8Poster #9Poster #10

Poster #11Poster #12Poster #13

Poster #14Poster #15Poster #16

Poster #17Poster #18
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