2016 Blockbuster Season Preview: August

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

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This Day in Oscar History: July 20 (2016)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released


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Film Preview: When the Bough Breaks (2016)

Page Revisions:

(July 17, 2016) Original

Release Date:

September 16, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A surrogate mom for a couple becomes dangerously obsessed with the soon-to-be father.”

Poster Rating: B / C+

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Review: (#1) Sultry and symbolic in all the best ways. This is how to make a minimal design pop with creativity. (#2) Then there’s the decent, but not great effort that puts a murderous wedge between the protagonists. It’s not very inventive even if the symbolism is solid.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: It may be your garden variety thriller, but the trailer gives it a sharp focus, a keen purpose, and an enticing spirit.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Trolls (2016)

Page Revisions:

(July 17, 2016) Original

Release Date:

November 4, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “From the creators of Shrek comes the most smart, funny, irreverent animated comedy of the year, DreamWorks’ Trolls. This holiday season, enter a colorful, wondrous world populated by hilariously unforgettable characters and discover the story of the overly optimistic Trolls, with a constant song on their lips, and the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomach. Featuring original music from Justin Timberlake, and soon-to-be classic mash-ups of songs from other popular artists, the film stars the voice talents of Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Russell Brand, James Corden, Kunal Nayyar, Ron Funches, Icona Pop, Gwen Stefani, and many more. DreamWorks’ TROLLS is a fresh, broad comedy filled with music, heart and hair-raising adventures. In November of 2016, nothing can prepare you for our new Troll world.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: The obnoxious swirl of color might be fitting to the film’s sugary richness, but it makes for a poor poster design, especially without any richness of detail.

Trailer Rating: F / B

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Review: (#1) This teaser trailer is obnoxious and annoying. How they could make something so trifling is beyond me. (#2) On the other hand, the first full trailer is endearing in a childish way. The film certainly looks like it will only appeal to children, but that’s not always a bad thing. It also shows just how far DreamWorks has faded in recent years.

Oscar Prospects:

It’s a longshot. I don’t say that because it looks too simplistic and kid-friendly, though that is a mitigating factor, but because DreamWorks has weakened and the film has way too much competition this year.

Trailer #1

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The DVD Report #493

Man_for_All_SeasonsLast month I took a look at film versions of Broadway musicals of the Tony era (1947 to the present) on DVD. Now it’s time to do the same for straight plays. Because of the sheer volume of Broadway plays filmed, I’ll concentrate on the Tony nominees and winners for Best Play that were also nominated for or won Oscars in the Best Picture and acting categories.

There was no winner for Best Play at the first awards in 1947. From 1948 through 1955 only winners were announced. Seven have been made into films. Only T.S. Eliot’s The Cocktail Party from 1950 has not. Five of those seven have been commercially released on DVD. The remaining two, The Fourposter and the first film version of The Crucible, have not. The 1996 remake of the latter with Oscar nominee Joan Allen has, and is available on DVD.

The first Tony winner for Best Play was Mister Roberts, which was nominated for a 1955 Best Picture Oscar. Henry Fonda, repeating his stage role, returned to the screen for the first time since 1948’s Fort Apache and was welcomed back with open arms. His co-stars were James Cagney, William Powell, and Jack Lemmon who won an Oscar for his Ensign Pulver, a role that won David Wayne a 1948 Tony. It’s available on DVD.

The second winner was Death of a Salesman, which has since been filmed several times for television. Its sole theatrical release was the 1951 film starring Fredric March, Mildred Dunnock, and Kevin McCarthy, all in Oscar-nominated performances. It’s on DVD, but hard to find. The other available winners from the first eight years are The Rose Tattoo, a later Oscar nominee for Best Picture and winner for Anna Magnani; The Teahouse of the August Moon; and The Desperate Hours. All three are available on DVD.

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The Morning After: Jul. 19, 2016

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:

Ghostbusters


I saw the original Ghostbusters in the theater. The cultural zeitgeist was astounding. I remember it fondly and cannot recall how many times over the years I’ve seen it. That said, it’s been more than 30 years now and a new team is on the scene and the end result is immeasurably entertaining.

Two paranormal researchers who had a falling out are reunited when an apparition appears at a local historical building. From there, the two women plus their quick-working engineering partner begin taking down ghosts as they discover a plot to crack open the world and release thousands of ghosts onto the city.

Director Paul Feig brings back his favorite comic muse, Melissa McCarthy and collects three other talented and funny women to power his all-female team. Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon join McCarthy in infusing their roles with wit and humor perfectly. The casting is perfect. Toss in a nimbly comedic turn by Chris Hemsworth and you have a brilliantly humor-laced production that engages and delights its audience with only a handful of questionable narrative choices to get in the way.

This Day in Oscar History: July 19 (2016)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died


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Poll: Now That You’ve Seen “Ghostbusters”

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Now That You’ve Seen Ghostbusters…?

Cinema Sight Asks: Now that you've seen "Ghostbusters," which Ghostbuster is best?

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Film Preview: The 9th Life of Louis Drax (2016)

Page Revisions:

(July 17, 2016) Original

Release Date:

September 2, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A psychologist who begins working with a young boy who has suffered a near-fatal fall finds himself drawn into a mystery that tests the boundaries of fantasy and reality.”

Poster Rating: –


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

Trailer Rating: B+

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Review: Occasionally, you come across a trailer that is so strange and unique that you discover an immediate interest in seeing it. Even if the movie is plain awful, it like visually enthralling.

Oscar Prospects:

It’s a bit quirky, which might earn its some plaudits in creative categories, but the premise doesn’t sound like something Oscar voters would sidle up to.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Loving (2016)

Page Revisions:

(July 17, 2016) Original

Release Date:

November 4, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial couple, are sentenced to prison in Virginia in 1958 for getting married.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: Simple. Perhaps too simple. Yet, considering what the film is about, it works well enough.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: The worst part of this trailer is when the lawyer knowingly winks that perhaps their case might even end up at the Supreme Court. That’s a bit sloppy for a film. It’s weak writing. However, the scenes and events surrounding this lay out a film about a couple struggling to be accepted in a world in which they are despised. It may well resonate with a lot of audiences.

Oscar Prospects:

This is one of the year’s prime Oscar contenders. The story that led to one of the most important legal decisions in U.S. Supreme Court history could be a key player this year, especially if the Academy is looking to prove its diversity bona fides. Then, if it’s actually good, they won’t look like opportunists.

Trailer #1

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Jul. 15-17, 2016

We had two films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Ghostbusters

At the Academy Awards for 1985, the original Ghostbusters secured two nominations. The first was for Best Original Song, the iconic theme “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr. The other was for Best Visual Effects. Since the new film contains no original music, at least none that doesn’t heavily sample the original song, that category is out of the question. If the film were to only be able to compete for one category, we might just say Best Visual Effects was its only option. That may be true, but there are three others, one possibly a very controversial idea.

When I first saw the trailer for this rebooted Ghostbusters, the effects looked rather disappointing; however, once you get into the movie they are really something spectacular. Some of the elements of the effects, specifically the sliming, are a bit cheesy; however, the visual creations themselves are strong enough that I could see the film doing quite well in terms of precursor attention and ultimate Oscar nominations.

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This Day in Oscar History: July 18 (2016)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died


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Poll: What Are You Most Anticipating? (Aug. 2015, Wide)

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What Are You Most Anticipating? (Aug. 2015, Wide)

Cinema Sight Asks: Which August 2015 wide release are you most anticipating?

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Film Preview: Southside with You (2016)

Page Revisions:

(July 10, 2016) Original

Release Date:

August 26, 2016

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Chronicles the summer 1989 afternoon when the future President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, wooed his future First Lady on an epic first date across Chicago’s South Side.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: Nice colors complimenting each other, but the design is otherwise a generic template design that does little to convey the important emotional aspects of the story.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: They call it the greatest first date of all-time, and I get the comment, but the trailer does a poor job conveying the importance or even significance of this story. Sure, it’s about the President of the United States when he met and fell in love with his wife, but there’s nothing romantic about this trailer.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Trailer Watch: War Dogs (2016) Updated

New Trailer (#2) / New Poster (#2)

War Dogs, updated

Preview Link: CLICK HERE for all of the new content as well as the original.

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