Film Previews

Film Preview: Suicide Squad (2016)

Poster

Film Preview: Suicide Squad (2016)

Trailer Link

Film Preview: Suicide Squad (2016)

Release Date:

August 5, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency.”

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: This teaser trailer gives just enough information to tantalize DC fans, but not enough to give away the plot. There are plenty of shots of some characters, but never enough of all of them. Unfortunately, it looks like Will Smith is playing himself, Jared Leto’s Joker isn’t crazy enough and Margot Robbie isn’t going full-on psycho as Harley Quinn.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(July 19, 2015) Original

Trailer Watch: Batman v. Superman, updated (2016)

Trailer Watch: Batman v. Superman, updated (2016)New Trailer (#2) / New Posters (#1 & #2) / Synopsis Added

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, updated

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

Weekend Preview: Jul. 24-26, 2015

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

Poster

Film Preview: Phoenix (2015)
Poster #1

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Film Preview: Phoenix (2015)

Release Date:

July 24, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A disfigured concentration-camp survivor (Nina Hoss), unrecognizable after facial reconstruction surgery, searches ravaged postwar Berlin for the husband (Ronald Zehrfeld) who might have betrayed her to the Nazis.”

Poster: D+ / D / D

Review: (#1) Visually, this is the film’s most daring design. Unfortunately, it’s about as daring as sticking your gum to the underside of a park bench. (#2) Remember the Death Camps! That seems to be partly what this design is saying, which makes it horrendously out of place. (#3) There isn’t much going on here, but we retain focus on our protagonist and that’s all that matters! Right? No.

Trailer: B

Review: Can you find the problem with this film? Probably not. There seems to be some kind of twist brewing, but the narrative doesn’t want to focus on that. It gives the film something of a mysterious quality, but ultimately it lacks that defining moment that demands it be seen.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(July 19, 2015) Original

Additional Posters


Film Preview: Phoenix (2015)Film Preview: Phoenix (2015)
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Film Preview: Samba (2015)

Poster

Film Preview: Samba (2015)
Poster #1

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Film Preview: Samba (2015)

Release Date:

July 24, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Samba migrated to France ten years ago from Senegal, and has since been plugging away at various lowly jobs. Alice is a senior executive who has recently undergone a burn-out. Both struggle to get out of their dead-end lives. Samba’s willing to do whatever it takes to get working papers, while Alice tries to get her life back on track until fate draws them together.”

Poster: C- / C- / D / D (4)

Review: (#1) The design style is overly busy and doesn’t fit very well within the theme of the film. (#2) Likewise, we have a poster that’s completely generic, unexciting and doesn’t even come close to discussing theme. (#3) Then there’s the four-quadrant face design that takes the originality of poster design and cedes its control to someone who doesn’t really care. (#4-#7) Of course, when you then take those same four individuals and give them their own character posters, it’s usually advisable to use different shots than prior designs.

Trailer: B-

Review: This chaotic trailer turns a character drama about immigration into one that’s part action film, part romance. The pieces don’t quite come together, but it looks like it might have some potential.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(July 19, 2015) Original

Additional Posters


Film Preview: Samba (2015)Film Preview: Samba (2015)Film Preview: Samba (2015)
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Film Preview: Unexpected (2015)

Poster

Film Preview: Unexpected (2015)
Film Preview: Unexpected (2015)

Trailer Link

Film Preview: Unexpected (2015)

Release Date:

July 24, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “An inner-city high school teacher discovers she is pregnant at the same time as one of her most promising students and the two develop an unlikely friendship while struggling to navigate their unexpected pregnancies.”

Poster: C / C-

Review: (#1) A scene where the actors engage naturally is a good, but bland concept. It’s better than a concept like (#2) wherein the characters are heavily Photoshopped and put against an artificial background to look totally lifeless.

Trailer: C+

Review: There’s something old fashioned in this trailer and it may be one of the reasons it doesn’t work very well. Paralleling two stories about women keeping babies and not putting honest decisions into their hands makes this feel more like propaganda than creative invention.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(July 19, 2015) Original

Film Preview: The Vatican Tapes (2015)

Poster

Film Preview: The Vatican Tapes (2015)
Film Preview: The Vatican Tapes (2015)

Trailer Link

Film Preview: The Vatican Tapes (2015)

Release Date:

July 24, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A priest and two Vatican exorcists must do battle with an ancient satanic force to save the soul of a young woman.”

Poster: C / D+

Review: (#1) The dangling feet aren’t really that interesting, nor is the stark white setting. However, it tries for a concept and design style that’s at least a little more forward than its contemporaries. (#2) On the other hand, you have a design like this which suggests they want nothing to do with originality.

Trailer: C-

Review: You can put well known character actors into a genre piece and get interesting results or, at least by the look of this trailer, yu can waste their talents on frivolous, trivial, old hat conventions and not try to do anything different.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(July 19, 2015) Original

Film Preview: Masterminds (2015)

Poster

Film Preview: Masterminds (2015)
Poster #1

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Film Preview: Masterminds (2015)

Release Date:

August 19, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A night guard at an armored car company in the Southern U.S. organizes one of the biggest bank heists in American history.”

Poster: D+ / F / C- (4)

Review: (#1) Sure, it has the four principles in front of a pile of cash, but it’s such an easy, bloated decision that the simplicity of the rest of the design makes it feel even less interesting. (#2) This is just a single scene from the film, one that isn’t particularly funny and doesn’t really deserve its own poster. (#3-#6) These character designs are among the most generic, uninteresting selections you could hope for. The only saving grace is that the designers chose a color palette directly from the image to fashion the titles from, which works better than the poster en toto.

Trailer: C+ / C

Review: (#1) Funnier than it has any right to be, this first trailer doesn’t tell us much about the plot, but it presents us with some modestly funny moments, each of which could entice unsuspecting viewers to the theater. (#2) Expanding the first trailer and turning it into a lot of plot exposition and minimal substance uses many of the same jokes, which fall flat on second viewing.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(July 12, 2015) Original

Additional Posters


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Film Preview: Goosebumps (2015)

Poster

Film Preview: Goosebumps (2015)

Trailer Link

Film Preview: Goosebumps (2015)

Release Date:

October 16, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A young kid teams up with the niece of young adult horror author R.L. Stine after the writer’s imaginary demons are set free on the town of Greendale, Maryland.”

Poster: B

Review: Taking its cues from many other adventure-themed film posters of the past, this works on the same level as those, compelling the viewer to rest a moment to explore the various details in the design, which might subsequently entice the viewer to see the film.

Trailer: C+

Review: What appears to be a mash-up of Night at the Museum and Jumanji, this ham-fisted trailer does everything it can to appeal to the lowest common denominator while those of us who grew up on Goosebumps and shows like Are You Afraid of the Dark end up sorely disappointed.

Oscar Prospects:

Perhaps a contender for a Best Visual Effects nomination, but I doubt it.

Revisions:

(July 12, 2015) Original

Film Preview: She’s Funny That Way (2015)

Poster

Film Preview: Shes Funny That Way (2015)
Poster #1

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Film Preview: Shes Funny That Way (2015)

Release Date:

July 24, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “From renowned director Peter Bogdanovich, SHE’S FUNNY THAT WAY is a screwball comedy featuring the interconnected personal lives of the cast and crew of a Broadway production. When established director Arnold Albertson (Owen Wilson) casts his call girl-turned-actress Isabella “Izzy” Patterson (Imogen Poots) in a new play to star alongside his wife Delta (Kathryn Hahn) and her ex-lover Seth Gilbert (Rhys Ifans), a zany love tangle forms with hilarious twists. Jennifer Aniston plays Izzy’s therapist Jane, who is consumed with her own failing relationship with Arnold’s playwright Joshua Fleet (Will Forte), who is also developing a crush on Izzy.”

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

Review: (#1) Of all the posters using the new title “She’s Funny That Way,” this is the best of them simply because the color scheme is richly constructed around specifically selected images. (#2) This is so perversely colorful that it’s almost an eyesore. (#3) This is at least an energetic departure over the standard fare, but still fairly unimpressive. (#4) This is an eyesore, a jumble of poorly selected colors and character insets of no substantive value.

(#5) Strangely, the posters with the original title “Broadway Therapy” are much more compelling. This first design is easily the best, a cheap, but quick nod to the theatre. (#6) This is more compelling from a theatre standpoint, but the color scheme is a shade of awful.

Trailer: B

Review: A series of amusing scene selections make this seem like a fun, entertaining film of complicated relationships and intense self-loathing. It’s like a Bullets Over Broadway set in the modern world and without the deft hand of Woody Allen at the helm. Though, Peter Bogdanovich is no slouch.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(July 12, 2015) Original

Additional Posters


Film Preview: Shes Funny That Way (2015)Film Preview: Shes Funny That Way (2015)Film Preview: Shes Funny That Way (2015)
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Looking at the Weekend: Jul. 17-19, 2015

Looking at the Weekend: Jul. 17-19, 2015Marvel will once again rule the roost as the weekend’s top new release, but a strong second weekend of Minions could keep Marvel’s newest property out of the top spot.

Individual Commentaries

Wesley Lovell: This is a surprisingly wonderful week for movies. I’m less excited about Ant-Man than other Marvel properties. I’m more excited about Trainwreck than other Apatow properties. I’m more excited about Mr. Holmes than other big screen Sherlock properties.
Peter J. Patrick: Some decent choices this week, with Ant-Man for the blockbuster crowd, Trainwreck for romantic comedy fans and Mr. Holmes for Sherlock lovers.
Tripp Burton: Everything this week looks like it could be at least interesting, so it might be a good weekend; everything also looks like it could fall flat on its face, though, and it could be a horrible weekend.
Thomas LaTourrette: A week of reasonable movies, though none has me on the edge of my seat. Any or all could be very good, but I have reservations about them all too.

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Film Preview: Paper Towns (2015)

Poster

Film Preview: Paper Towns (2015)
Film Preview: Paper Towns (2015)

Trailer Link

Film Preview: Paper Towns (2015)

Release Date:

July 24, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A young man and his friends embark upon the road trip of their lives to find the missing girl next door.”

Poster: D / D

Review: (#1 & #2) There aren’t a lot differences between these designs and neither are particularly compelling to look at and audiences not familiar with the source material probably won’t care.

Trailer: B

Review: I’m not quite sure why a film based on a John Green novel seems so interesting, but the construction of this trailer, as slow moving and limited as it is, makes it seem like it could be a fascinating look at growing up, breaking out and moving on.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(July 12, 2015) Original

Film Preview: Brooklyn (2015)

Poster

Film Preview: Brooklyn (2015)

Trailer Link

Film Preview: Brooklyn (2015)

Release Date:

November 6, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “In 1950s Ireland and New York, young Ellis Lacey has to choose between two men and two countries.”

Poster: B

Review: This isn’t much of a design, but it hearkens back to the long-gone days of New York life in which the film is set. It’s a love letter to a period without much else going for it.

Trailer: B+

Review: The trailer moves a bit slowly and takes time to get going, but the compelling love story between Irish and Italian immigrants is deftly displayed and the emotional struggles of a confused young woman are given brilliant voice by Saoirse Ronan in just a few minutes of the trailer.

Oscar Prospects:

Could this be one of the year’s major Oscar contenders? It’s hard to say since the Irish experience in America hasn’t been a very popular one with Oscar voters. However, Saorise Ronan is looking quite strong here, which might be enough to suggest the film is a player. We’ll have to wait to see the reviews first.

Revisions:

(July 12, 2015) Original

Weekend Preview: Jul. 17-19, 2015

Below are seven previews for films opening next weekend.
Click here to continue reading this article

Film Preview: Trainwreck (2015)

Poster

Film Preview: Trainwreck (2015)

Trailer Link

Film Preview: Trainwreck (2015)

Release Date:

July 17, 2015

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Having thought that monogamy was never possible, a commitment-phobic career woman may have to face her fears when she meets a good guy.”

Poster: C

Review: Nothing particularly engaging, though it’s certainly rare for a major motion picture to feature a woman boozing at the front and pushing the male lead to the back. While I applaud that stylistic decision, it could have been done with a little more visual flare.

Trailer: B

Review: For all its weaknesses, this film is saved by a thoroughly engaging Amy Schumer. Anyone familiar with Judd Apatow will recognize the worst elements of his directing capabilities, but its buoyed by a winning Schumer.

Oscar Prospects:

Could It-Girl Amy Schumer become an Oscar nominee for her screenplay? It would be surprising for a Judd Apatow film to be an Oscar contender, but Schumer has what it takes to transcend the Apatow dislike.

Revisions:

(July 12, 2015) Original

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