Film Previews

Trailer Watch: Mr. Holmes, updated (2015)

New Trailer (#2)

Mr. Holmes, updated

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

Weekend Preview: May 15-17, 2015

Below are nine previews for films opening next weekend.
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Film Preview: Where Hope Grows (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

May 15, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A self-destructive former pro ball player is given a serious lesson in living life with courage when he befriends a grocery store clerk with Down syndrome.”

Poster: D

Review: There’s nothing original or compelling about this design and it never seems to get at the heart of what the film’s premise is because it only lightly touches on it.

Trailer: C

Review: An alcoholic seeking redemption and finding it in a supermarket employee with Down Syndrome. I’m not saying that the concept doesn’t have its merits, but as portrayed in this trailer, I can’t imagine this being a theatrical release and not an easily forgotten or avoided direct-to-video release.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(May 10, 2015) Original

Film Preview: I’ll See You in My Dreams (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

May 15, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A widow and former songstress discovers that life can begin anew at any age.”

Poster: C-

Review: A beautiful sunset motif doesn’t makeup for the complete lack of creativity at play here. Simple character insets, romantic entanglements and a lack of suitable depth.

Trailer: C+

Review: With Blythe Danner, it’s impossible not to be charmed by a film with as hokey a premise as this, but she makes it seem like it could work. When she’s off-screen or alongside Rhea Perlman, however, that interest decreases quickly.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(May 10, 2015) Original

Film Preview: The Film Critic (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

May 15, 2015

Synopsis:

From Apple Trailers: “A playful yet heartfelt take on the rom-com genre, THE FILM CRITIC follows Victor Tellez, a world-weary Buenos Aires film critic who prefers to think in French and eschews romantic clichés… until he finds himself living one. Riddled with ennui and the maladie du cinema, Tellez drifts from screening to screening in search of cinematic perfection, casting judgment on filmmakers and their films with scathing incisiveness. But when a chance meeting throws him into the jarring world of gorgeous thrill-seeker Sofia (Dolores Fonzi), he starts to question his meticulous, intellectual routine and realizes there’s more to his story than he ever dreamed.”

Poster:

Review: There was no poster immediately available for my review. Should one become available in the future, this section will be updated.

Trailer: C

Review: The tagline “What if your life became a movie that you hate” is an interesting concept in itself. However, the trailer doesn’t play into that narrative very well and instead this looks like a screenwriter with writer’s block who can’t seem to find that great story he’s looking for while his life changes around him. That’s an interesting concept too, but not as outlined in this trailer.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(May 10, 2015) Original

Film Preview: Every Secret Thing (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

May 15, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A detective looks to unravel a mystery surrounding missing children and the prime suspects: two young women who, seven years ago, were put away for an infant’s death.”

Poster: C

Review: While it’s certainly bleak, it does little to move the film out of genre expectations. The elements are there, but will anyone care?

Trailer: C-

Review: A slip-shod trailer brings in characters and situations that feel so utterly generic that one cannot seem to find a reason why this wasn’t made as a Lifetime movie, even using the same actors.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(May 10, 2015) Original

Film Preview: The Connection (2015)

Poster


Poster #1

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

May 15, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A French police magistrate spends years trying to take down one of the country’s most powerful drug rings.”

Poster: B / C+ / C+ (6) / C+

Review: (#1) Apart from the color scheme, this pastiche of common film noir styles works incredibly well even if it feels somewhat old hat. (#2) It has a certain minimalist style, but being too vacant isn’t distracting, which means most won’t give it a second glance. (#3-#8) Most big budget actioners have character posters that have distinct backgrounds with characters out of place, but symbolically represented by the background. This series of designs just puts the characters in an environment from the film, with a touch of 1970’s color saturation for effect. (#9) Playing off the character designs, this one is a bit more like traditional posters and has a nice color palette, but isn’t very memorable otherwise.

Trailer: C-

Review: They make a brief reference to The French Connection, but nothing about this film seems too reminiscent of that William Friedkin classic. That may not be a bad thing, but the trailer is so chock full of data that it’s difficult to parse it all in one sitting, which might make it hard to resonate with audiences.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(May 10, 2015) Original

Additional Posters



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Poster #8Poster #9

Film Preview: Animals (2015)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

May 15, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “ANIMALS tells the story of Jude and Bobbie: a young couple that exist somewhere between homelessness and the fantasy of their imaginations. Though they masterfully con and steal in an attempt to stay one step ahead of their addiction, they are ultimately forced to face the reality of their situation when one of them gets hospitalized.”

Poster: C

Review: Something a bit more trippy might have been appropriate for a film like this, but that would probably be overzealous for a film that isn’t more than a specialty box office drama.

Trailer: C+

Review: The trailer doesn’t give us much room to like the characters. Not liking your protagonists is not the way you go about getting people into the theaters.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(May 10, 2015) Original

Film Preview: The 11th Hour (2015)

Poster



Trailer Link

Release Date:

June 12, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Successful businesswoman Maria has achieved everything except what she wants the most – a baby of her own. She decides to deal with the matter by herself and embarks on a desperate and dangerous journey in order to make her dream come true.”

Poster: C- / D+

Review: (#1) I wouldn’t be surprised if this poster made up the entire campaign for Kim Basinger to get an Oscar nomination. On the left, she’s a pretty movie star. On the right, she’s a disheveled mess. The dichotomy is all the nectar many Oscar voters have needed to vote for performances in the past. However, this won’t be enough. (#2) A dreary, plain, uninteresting design that doesn’t even accentuate its star’s potential appeal.

Trailer: C

Review: Trailers are designed to sell a film as the producers want people to pay for their investment. Unfortunately, those investments are often tied to “glamor” projects that are poorly written and executed. The concept displayed in this trailer isn’t a new one and, by the looks of it, isn’t an interesting one.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(May 3, 2015) Original

Film Preview: The Visit (2015)

Poster


Poster #1

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

September 11, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A single mother finds that things in her family’s life go very wrong after her two young children visit their grandparents.”

Poster: B / C+ / C-

Review: (#1) Reminiscent of the design used for Fargo, this quaint down home feel is marred by dirty and bloody handprints. (#2) This is similar in tone to the first design, but a lot more simplistic/less artistic. (#3) From creative to mediocre to garden variety horror pablum.

Trailer: C

Review: Every inch of this trailer reminds me of other generic horror films about unusual situations faced by normal people. This doesn’t seem particularly scary or inventive and that’s without realizing that M. Night Shyamalan is behind it.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(May 3, 2015) Original

Additional Posters



Poster #2Poster #3

Film Preview: Aloft (2015)

Poster



Trailer Link

Release Date:

May 29, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Aloft tells of a struggling mother who encounters the son she abandoned 20 years earlier.”

Poster: C- / C-

Review: (#1 & #2) Both designs employ Jennifer Connelly in a large headshot even though it seems like her presence in the film is minimal according to the trailer. The designs themselves aren’t that revealing or interesting.

Trailer: B-

Review: If you can figure out what this film is about from the trailer, you’d have to be observant. This lengthy ad doesn’t quite get the concept that it must be understandable to sell to any audience even if it’s trying to be artistic, which this isn’t.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(May 3, 2015) Original

Looking at the Weekend: May 8-10, 2015

Avengers will hold the top spot for a second week, but Hot Pursuit should open in second.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: Nothing this week looks really exciting.
Peter J. Patrick: A light release week in which three out of four may actually turn out to be good films.
Tripp Burton: Nothing great-looking this weekend, but most everything looks harmless enough!
Thomas LaTourrette: None of the films sound that appealing, not that terrible but nothing I am really looking forward to seeing.

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2014 Oscar Season Preview Wrap-Up: December

December 5, 2014

The Pyramid

Box Office Prediction: $20 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Weak. If it sounds familiar, you’re probably thinking of trapped-in-the-catacombs-beneath-Paris horror film As Above / So Below. While this film features something hunting the archaeologists and that film featured psychological fate horrors affecting the afflicted, the premise is similar enough to suggest that it’s not going to work that well.”
Box Office Results: $2.8 M
Thoughts: [Major Flop] It’s a rare occurrence where the weekend’s lone wide release fails to surpass a film released at the specialty box office on the same weekend. However, that’s what happened to the latest ill-conceived found-footage horror fiasco known as The Pyramid.

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Film Preview: Aloha (2015)

Poster



Trailer Link

Release Date:

May 22, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A celebrated military contractor returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs and re-connects with a long-ago love while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog assigned to him.”

Poster: B- / C-

Review: (#1) A fairly rote design using stills of the primary actors and beautiful location shots. What makes the design striking is it’s radial segmentation. (#2) Unfortunately, the second design does the exact opposite of what the first was trying: it goes straight for the expected and uninventive.

Trailer: B

Review: Apart from appealing actors in various roles, Cameron Crowe’s last few films have been less than exciting and this one looks like more of the same. It does make you wonder just how much real research he does before putting an idea like this on paper. From Here to Eternity this won’t be.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(May 3, 2015) Original

Trailer Watch: Mad Max: Fury Road, updated (2015)

New Trailer (#3) / New Posters (#8 & #9)

Mad Max: Fury Road, updated

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

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