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The Morning After: Aug. 18, 2014

Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I've seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.

So, here is what I watched this past week:

That Thing You Do!


Tom Hanks' big screen directorial debut is that of an assured filmmaker who's worked with some major talents throughout his career. That Thing You Do! is an entertaining glimpse into the rise and flame-out of a small garage band in the pop-fueled days following the success of The Beatles.

Starring an interesting, talented group of young stars (and a couple future celebrities), Hanks takes his first screenwriting effort and turns it into a fascinating exploration of group band dynamics, ego and talent that brims with wit, experience and homage. Superbly researched, the film paints its protagonist (Tom Evertt Scott) as a jazz aficionado whose affinity for the drums leads him to sit in for a broken arm, turning a ballad into a popular hit that takes the from playing a small talent show to a national stage where their record steadily climbs the charts.

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Review: Veronica Mars (2014)

Veronica Mars

Rating

Director
Rob Thomas
Screenplay
Rob Thomas, Diane Ruggiero
Length
107 min.
Starring
Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Enrico Colantoni, Chris Lowell, Percy Daggs III, Tina Majorino, Krysten Ritter, Martin Starr, Gaby Hoffmann, Andrea Estella, Jerry O'Connell, Francis Capra, Ryan Hansen, Brandon Hillock, Maury Sterling, Sam Huntington, Max Greenfield
MPAA Rating
PG-13 for sexuality including references, drug content, violence and some strong language
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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guadians of the Galaxy

Rating

Director
James Gunn
Screenplay
James Gunn, Nicole Perlman (Comic Book: Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning)
Length
121 min.
Starring
Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, Benicio del Toro, Laura Haddock, Sean Gunn
MPAA Rating
PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and for some language
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Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Rating

Director
Matt Reeves
Screenplay
Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver (Novel: Pierre Boule)
Length
130 min.
Starring
Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Toby Kebbell, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirk Acevedo, Nick Thurston, Terry Notary, Karin Konoval, Judy Greer
MPAA Rating
PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, and brief strong language
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This Day in Oscar History: August 18 (2014)

Here's what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released


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Poll: Best of Aug. 2013, Limited

Return Links

Polls

What's the Best of Aug. 2013, Limited?

<a href="http://www.sodahead.com/entertainment/cinema-sight-asks-which-august-2013-limited-release-is-best/question-4454631/" onclick="javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackEvent','outbound-article','http://www.sodahead.com']);" title="Cinema Sight Asks: Which August 2013 limited release is best?">Cinema Sight Asks: Which August 2013 limited release is best?</a>
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The Inbox (Aug. 9-15, 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: Dolphin Tale 2 (2014)

Below is a gallery for the upcoming film Dolphin Tale 2.

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Weekend Preview: Aug. 22-24, 2014

Below are eight previews for films opening next weekend.
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Film Preview: The One I Love (2014)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

August 22, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "Struggling with a marriage on the brink of falling apart, a couple escapes for a weekend in pursuit of their better selves, only to discover an unusual dilemma that awaits them."

Poster: C+

Review: The mysterious elements of the film are ignored in favor of employing a common and tedious technique of hand-drawn/painted poster designs. Some artist is clearly making a killing off indie producers, but it's not always the right way to go.

Trailer: B

Review: There's a hint of suspense in the trailer suggesting the commonplace events of a marriage falling apart are somehow twisted and enhanced by a surprise twist. That might help the film escape the feeling of been-there, done-that.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(August 17, 2014) Original

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Film Preview: Are You Here (2014)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

August 22, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "Two childhood best friends embark on a road trip back to their hometown after one of them learns he has inherited a large sum of money from his recently deceased estranged father."

Poster: C

Review: The open field motif doesn't seem to play well within the framework of the presented narrative in the trailer. While it capitalizes on the film's stars quite well, that's simply not enough.

Trailer: C+

Review: There are plenty of comedies that tell the same or similar jokes and presenting the trailer as such isn't likely to bring a new breed of audience to the theaters. The trailer presents a film that is built on a narrow premise and milked for every idiotic joke possible, including using antics for Zack Galifianakis that seem all too familiar for his schtick.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(August 17, 2014) Original

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Film Preview: When the Game Stands Tall (2014)

Poster



Trailer Link

Release Date:

August 22, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "The journey of legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur, who took the De La Salle High School Spartans from obscurity to a 151-game winning streak that shattered all records for any American sport."

Poster: B- (2)

Review: A common practice for poster designs is to employ identical backgrounds with varied images in the foreground. Both of these keep their characters distant or turned enough to eliminate the ability to distinguish between. While this might give the impression that these characters are just like all of us or that we could easily fall into their places, it eliminates the capability of the audience to identify with or focus on specific characters, making it harder for them to relate without having first seen the film.

Trailer: B-

Review: There's little to separate the events of this trailer from every other "Friday Night Lights" kind of film. The plot may be slightly original, but it's played as a familiar, generic story of team-building and self-esteem-building. It will appear to fans of the genre, but others might not be as excited to see it.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(August 17, 2014) Original

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Film Preview: If I Stay (2014)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

August 22, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined."

Poster: C+

Review: This plain, multi-paned design is not particularly original, but does present various facets of our protagonist's life, which gives rise to the titular reasons of why she might want to stay.

Trailer: B+ / A-

Review: (#1-#2) The two trailers are fairly similar, both delve into the events of the film, but the second design does a better job of showcasing the out-of-body experience than the first trailer. Both are somewhat sappy and manipulative, but in a good way with terrific music to match.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(August 17, 2014) Original

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This Day in Oscar History: August 17 (2014)

Here's what happened today in Oscar History.

Born


Died

Released


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This Day in Oscar History: August 16 (2014)

Here's what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released


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