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Film Preview: Begin Again (2014)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

July 4, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "A dejected music business executive forms a bond with a young singer-songwriter new to Manhattan."

Poster: C

Review: Why do posters always need to look like a high school boy with a crush on a pretty girl needs to make it look like they've been out on a date together and photoshopped the two of them together. This is what that might look like.

Trailer: B-

Review: I like Mark Ruffalo a lot. Any movie he's in as my interest even if the trailer doesn't make the film look like it's going to be very good. Ruffalo and Keira Knightly both have talent, though they may not have much chemistry. This trailer is filled with some cheesy moments, which doesn't improve its potential.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 13, 2014) Original

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Film Preview: The Other Woman (2014)

Poster

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 25, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "After discovering her boyfriend is married, Carly soon meets the wife he's been cheating on. And when yet another affair is discovered, all three women team up to plot mutual revenge on the three-timing SOB."

Poster: C- / C / D+

Review: Generic and cheesy. That's the easiest way to describe all three of the posters for this film. The first is the one everyone's going to see leading up to the film's release. No one will care much. The second was the teaser that at least tried something new even if it was featured on a non-descript white background. The third design replaces a good deal of the content on the page with emojis hoping to appeal to very young audiences. It's not going to work.

Trailer: B+

Review: A poster can't always sell a film, but a good trailer will. I'll admit that most of what happens in the trailer is entirely predictable. There are dozens of films about women exacting revenge against the men who spurned them. Yet, Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann make this one look particularly funny.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 13, 2014) Original

Additional Posters

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Weekend Preview: Apr. 18-20, 2014

Below are ten previews for films opening next weekend.
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Film Preview: Tasting Menu (2014)

Poster

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 18, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "A couple makes a reservation for the best restaurant in the world for a year later. When the day arrives, they're separated and it is the last night the restaurant will be open. None of them will miss the culinary event."

Poster: B+ (3)

Review: A trio of similar posters that employ older techniques into a visually palatable blend of images. It's so tastefully done that others who try similar things should look to these for inspiration.

Trailer: B+

Review: A delectable premise is carefully crafted into a compelling trailer that entice's the audience's taste buds and their cinematic curiosity.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 13, 2014) Original

Additional Posters

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Film Preview: Make Your Move (2014)

Poster

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 18, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "A pair of star-crossed dancers in New York find themselves at the center of a bitter rivalry between their brothers' underground dance clubs."

Poster: C / C+ / C- / C- / C

Review: What's most disturbing (and disappointing) about the first, second and fourth designs is that they take the exact same cutouts of the film's two stars and re-size and reposition them to try and make something new. The backgrounds and color schemes are new in each, but it doesn't make them look any less cheap. The third design is chaotic and visually overbearing, looking more like an attempt to remind the audience of the Step Up franchise rather than to distinguish itself. The fifth design is completely different from the others, thus an improvement, but is far too dark and undistinguished to be of much good.

Trailer: C

Review: Like the Step Up films and other similar movies, the intriguing aspect is the choreography. Street dancing has been plenty creative and each film focuses on trying to be more creative than the last. That creativity is what makes the films engaging. What doesn't is the hokey relationship elements that are pasted together with untalented thespians hoping the audience will be distracted by the dancing and not turned off by the plot.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 13, 2014) Original

Additional Posters

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Film Preview: Kid Cannabis (2014)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 18, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "An eighteen year old high school drop out and his twenty-seven year old friend start trafficking marijuana across the border of Canada in order to make money and their lives are changed forever."

Poster: -

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

Trailer: D+

Review: I wouldn't say a film like this is teen-targeted, but featuring teens partying and getting high is genuinely disturbing, especially when it's not adequately treated as a cautionary tale.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 13, 2014) Original

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Film Preview: Antboy (2014)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 16, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "12-year-old Pelle is bitten by an ant and develops superpowers. Aided by comic book nerd Wilhelm, Pelle creates a secret identity as superhero Antboy. When a super villain The Flea enters the scene, Antboy must step up to the challenge."

Poster: B-

Review: This is probably the best you can expect out of a low-budget foreign indie and it doesn't look that much worse than what Hollywood's putting out these days, so it's technically a win.

Trailer: C+

Review: It's a cheesy premise to be sure, but the filmmakers are committed. Unfortunately, this looks like a movie written for children by children and thereby has few serious or compelling reasons to be released theatrically.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 13, 2014) Original

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Film Preview: Heaven Is for Real (2014)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 16, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "A small-town father must find the courage and conviction to share his son's extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world."

Poster: C+

Review: The symbolism is heavy handed for sure and the darker spaces are too overburdened with white text. Still, it's better than a lot of what's out there.

Trailer: D

Review: This is what happens when producers focus on pleasing Christian audiences and ignoring all others. The actors they hire don't seem that interested in participating and the result is a film that lacks acting chops in spite of having very talented participants and a premise that's so hackneyed that the Hollywood Production Code called and wanted its guidelines back.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 13, 2014) Original

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Film Preview: Hercules (2014)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

July 25, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "Having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord."

Poster: D+

Review: It's little more than a teaser, so we should expect many more designs in the future. However, as a teaser, it's a weak and boring one.

Trailer: C-

Review: All action and no plot, that's what this pointless action chronicle of the Greek myth of Hercules. That could be why they chose an actor with limited range to portray their protagonist. He looks perfect for this particular role and that's not a compliment.

Oscar Prospects:

There are chances in the creative and tech categories, but not many.

Revisions:

(Apr. 6, 2014) Original

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Film Preview: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

August 8, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "From their home in the storm sewers of Manhattan, four Ninjitsu-trained turtles, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello and their sensei, Master Splinter, battle evil."

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 bonus for those worried about the direction of the new movie, they may get more concerned after this trailer, only if they were expecting something quite serious. The cheesy one-liner at the end of the trailer pretty much assures the audience that this film will be entirely tongue-in-cheek with a side of excessive action.

Oscar Prospects:

The tech categories aren't certain, but they are strong possibilities, especially Visual Effects. However, that's as far as this one goes.

Revisions:

(Apr. 6, 2014) Original

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Film Preview: The Drop (2014)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

September 19, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "A crime-drama centered around a lost pit bull, a wannabe scam artist, and a killing."

Poster: B-

Review: Clever execution, but not particularly original, forward thinking or evocative of the film's themes.

Trailer: B-

Review: The concept is old, very old, which could be why it's from Dennis Lehane. Films based on his writing aren't terribly inventive or forward thinking, but they are pulp crime thrillers that have potential even when squandered.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(Apr. 6, 2014) Original

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Looking at the Weekend: Apr. 11-13, 2014

It'll be a tight weekend this week...for second place. Captain America: The Winter Soldier will easily take first place, but which film will come in second? It could be any of the three new releases, but my guess is Rio 2.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: Oculus could be interesting, but I'm not particularly psyched about any of them.
Peter J. Patrick: I'm looking forward to seeing The Railway Man even if no one else is.
Tripp Burton: The studios are starting to turn out some more high profile films as Spring arrives, but I'm still not very interested in any of them.

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2013 Oscar Season Preview Wrap-Up: November

This was the first time I inadvertently worked up two different preview articles. After I noticed the duplication, I blended the two together into one. What's most interesting is just how often I managed to choose the exact same box office gross for both versions. Below are my comments from the "Updated" lists as well as the revised box office prediction and a mention of what I had originally predicted. I'll try to discuss whether I was wrong or right in my shifted expectations.

Note also that The Wolf of Wall Street was originally scheduled for November when I wrote the first article, but by the time I wrote the second, it had been shifted to December. As such, I will be recapping that film's performance in my December article. Since the box office totals are the same, I won't worry about carrying forward my commentary.

November 1-3, 2013

Ender's Game

Oscar Prospects: What I said: "Uncertain. Early reviews haven't been great and while that doesn't always mean Oscar failure, the films that have surmounted negative reviews to gain Oscar nominations have typically been films that were box office hits. With strong competition on release weekend from Last Vegas, Ender's Game could have a tough time finding a toe-hole in its climb up the box office mountain and if that's the case, no manner of great visual effects will give it an edge up over better received and better rewarded sci-fi films already in release this year."
Oscar Results: When you base your film on an acclaimed book, you had better hope critics are on your side. Without them, this kind of thing happens and thanks to the added box office disappointment, the film was an Oscar afterthought.
Box Office Prediction: $80 M (revised from $80 M)
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: "Good. Even if reviews are mediocre, the likelihood of this late-year sci-fi picture being successful is high. While it won't meet Gravity-size expectations, it should still do decent business. Of course, comparisons to Gravity might diminish the film's potential as it adheres to a Star Wars-esque sensibility towards the genre and not a 2001: A Space Odyssey approach."
Box Office Results: $61.7 M
Thoughts: [Minor Flop] Critics didn't give it legs and fans of the film didn't turn out enough or as frequently to turn this into a box office success. You have to be as good as your source to do well in this business.

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Film Preview: Lucy (2014)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

August 8, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "A drug mule accidentally swallows her cargo and finds she now has superpowers."

Poster: -

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

Trailer: B

Review: The trailer starts off slow with a rather unappealing concept that eventually morphs into one of the most broadly interesting tales you could possibly hope for from Luc Besson. It does seem a bit too self-serious at times, but it could be better than the preview suggests.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(Apr. 6, 2014) Original

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Film Preview: Venus in Fur (2014)

Poster



Trailer Link

Release Date:

June 20, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "An actress attempts to convince a director how she's perfect for a role in his upcoming production"

Poster: B- (2)

Review: The symbolism of the French poster was so enticing to the producers that they turned it from hand-drawn into reality. It works for he themes of the film, but may give the wrong impression to some passers-by.

Trailer: B+

Review: Most of my familiarity with Roman Polanski has been his dramas and while this certainly feels like a drama, it has some comedic elements to it and it feels like the director's having some of the most fun he's had in a long while.

Oscar Prospects:

Normally, you should say: "never count out Polanski." However, in this case, you should probably count him out a psycho-sexual play will just be too uncomfortable for the Academy members who favor things like The King's Speech and reject things like Shame. It's possible the film makes a small play in writing and directing, but I doubt either comes to fruition.

Revisions:

(Apr. 6, 2014) Original

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