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Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Rating

Director
Dean DeBlois
Screenplay
Dean DeBlois (book series by Cressida Cowell)
Length
102 min.
Starring
Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, Djimon Hounsou, Kit Harington
MPAA Rating
PG for adventure action and some mild rude humor
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Review: Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

Edge of Tomorrow

Rating

Director
Doug Liman
Screenplay
Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth
Length
113 min.
Starring
Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Brendan Gleeson, Bill Paxton, Jonas Armstrong, Tony Way, Kick Gurry, Franz Drameh, Dragomir Mrsic, Charlotte Riley, Masayoshi Haneda, Terence Maynard, Noah Taylor, Lara Pulver
MPAA Rating
PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence, language and brief suggestive material
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This Day in Oscar History: July 28 (2014)

Here's what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released


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Poll: What Are You Most Anticipating? (Aug. 2014, Limited)

Return Links

Polls

What Are You Most Anticipating? (Aug. 2014, Limited)

<a href="http://www.sodahead.com/entertainment/cinema-sight-asks-which-august-2014-limited-release-film-are-you-most-anticipating/question-4426325/" onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.sodahead.com']);" title="Cinema Sight Asks: Which August 2014 limited release film are you most anticipating?">Cinema Sight Asks: Which August 2014 limited release film are you most anticipating?</a>
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The Inbox (Jul. 19-25, 2014)

Every week, I get several press releases, screening invitations and other notifications from a handful of studio contacts. While I won't be sharing any information regarding my screening invites, some of the press releases might be of interest to my readers, so I thought I'd start sharing them in toto with all of you. These could include new image galleries for various films or important updates to upcoming releases from various smaller studios and art house production companies.

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Gallery: Into the Storm (2014)

Below is a gallery for the upcoming film Into the Storm.

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Weekend Preview: Aug. 1-3, 2014

Below are seven previews for films opening next weekend.
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Film Preview: What If (2014)

Poster



Trailer Link

Release Date:

August 1, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "Medical school dropout Wallace has been repeatedly burned by bad relationships. He meets Chantry, an animator who lives with her longtime boyfriend Ben, and they form an instant connection, striking up a close friendship. Still, there is no denying the chemistry between them, leading the pair to wonder, what if the love of your life is actually your best friend?"

Poster: C / C-

Review: Two designs that lack more than basic simplicity. There's no attempt at creativity, which makes for a dull visual disruption. The second design is less interesting than the first.

Trailer: B-

Review: Perhaps there's a humorous, romantic comedy here but the trailer seems stoked in trying to associate itself with the legion of Harry Potter fans who are just not likely to give this one the time of day, no matter how youth-oriented it is.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(July 27, 2014) Original

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Film Preview: Louder Than Words (2014)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

August 1, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "After the unexpected death of their daughter, a couple work to build a state of the art children's hospital where families are welcomed into the healing process."

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 takes a long time to get to its dramatic center, which isn't necessary. Trailers don't need to establish the characters or set a somber tone, they are meant to sell a film and this one just doesn't get going fast enough to do that. There could be some interesting elements, but you have to escape the feeling of dullness to get interested in seeing it.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(July 27, 2014) Original

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Film Preview: Child of God (2014)

Poster



Trailer Link

Release Date:

August 1, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "A dispossessed, violent man's life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. Successively deprived of parents and homes and with few other ties, Ballard descends to the level of a cave dweller as he falls deeper into crime and degradation."

Poster: C+ / C-

Review: Part of me wants to give the second design the higher grade, simply because it's not the razor-sharp jagged cutting of the first design. However, the second design just doesn't scream "watch me." It may scream "slightly creepy," but that's not enough.

Trailer: C+

Review: Positioning this film as a tantalizing thriller is tough and there are some interesting ideas here, but they are jumbled together a little to jarringly, diverting the audience from trying to get a grip on the action and the reason they should want to give the film time.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(July 27, 2014) Original

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Film Preview: Calvary (2014)

Poster


Poster #1

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

August 1, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "After he is threatened during a confession, a good-natured priest must battle the dark forces closing in around him."

Poster: C- / C / D

Review: All three designs lake cohesiveness and I'm not referring to how they go together, they don't. The first design is a little too "precious" using bullet holes to create a cross. The second is more traditional, but also a bit boring. The third is the most tedious and underwhelming of all.

Trailer: B

Review: A stark contrast to the posters, the trailer is engaging, fast-paced and promises to be something a little more exciting than the common thrillers we've been getting in the U.S. lately.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(July 27, 2014) Original

Additional Posters



Poster #2Poster #3
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Film Preview: Behaving Badly (2014)

Poster



Trailer Link

Release Date:

August 1, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "Teenager Rick Stevens, has a crush on Nina Pennington, they form a friendship and embark on a rock n' roll journey together while Nina deals with her overbearing boyfriend, Kevin."

Poster: B / D+

Review: The first design at least tries for creativity even if it doesn't entirely succeed. It reminds me of a poster design that might be used to sell soft-core porn. The second design is utterly disappointing trying to look a bit too much like American Pie without the semblance of originality.

Trailer: C-

Review: Little about this film says it should be seen. It looks like your common, garden variety teen sex comedy with no new insights or gags to entertain the audience.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(July 27, 2014) Original

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This Day in Oscar History: July 27 (2014)

Here's what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died


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This Day in Oscar History: July 26 (2014)

Here's what happened today in Oscar History.

Born


Died

Released


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Film Preview: Aftermath (2014)

Poster



Trailer Link

Release Date:

July 18, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "Searching for a happy ending to a tale of unimaginable disaster and horror, nine strangers find themselves holed up together in a farmhouse cellar in rural Texas. The United States has hastily become embroiled in World War 3. A young doctor named Hunter survives the nuclear attack and is thrown together by happenstance with a group of wounded and frightened victims, including Elizabeth, a strong-willed confidant to Hunter, Brad - an antagonistic redneck jackass, and Jennifer, a barely coherent young woman suffering from severe post-traumatic stress. Together, they attempt to endure the devastating holocaust as they struggle with claustrophobia and conflicting personalities. In a makeshift shelter, Hunter and his dying companions wait for news from the government while fending off hunger, radiation sickness, and a horde of frightened and dying refugees."

Poster: C / D

Review: The radiation symbol isn't a unique touch and it may be one of the problems with both designs. The first tries to upend our expectations by flipping the earth to the top of the poster and leaving the production credits in the sky at the bottom. It then plasters a large sepia-toned hazard symbol unnecessarily in the center. The second poster gets far worse using a gas mask (which can't really protect you from nuclear fallout) and covering its eyes with more hazard symbols. This motif doesn't work at all and seems far too cheesy to be important.

Trailer: C-

Review: The trailer makes the film look like a post-apocalyptic version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre without the blood, violence or Leatherface. If you can create the tonality of such a film in a trailer without the intrigue, you don't have a very competent trailer, especially if everything looks like it was made on the cheap and your plot is a rehash/combination of every other such film made in the last thirty years.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(July 20, 2014) Original

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