The Morning After: Jun. 19, 2017

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:

Cars 3


What made the original Cars such a charmer was its desire to not only dig into Americana in a way that animated films don’t seem capable of doing, it also explored the ideas of drive, experience, selflessness, and more. When Cars 2 took the series in a whole different direction, embracing a crass, commercialized espionage thriller veneer, with an excessive amount of Mater, everything fell apart. The wholesomeness and familial energy evaporated.

With Cars 3, we return to the style and direction of the original film, a refreshing step back to what made the series work in the first place. Although the film does have a lot of similar threads to the original film, they work themselves out in unique and interesting directions. The voice cast fades in places, but strikes out wonderfully in others. Nathan Fillion does a fine job as the new head of Rusteze while the ever-annoying Larry the Cable Guy continues to disappoint (and really deserves to be junked at this point). Owen Wilson is uneven as Lightning McQueen and Cristela Alonzo is given little material into which she can sink her teeth.

This time out, the visuals are spectacular. In the 11 years since the original hit the big screen, the technology has improved and so too have the visuals in this film. Still popping with color, the rich details are impressive, most notably the natural environments through which McQueen and company traverse. If it suffers, it’s because the plot is so familiar and predictable. Pixar trends often in that direction, but here things lack that typical Pixar spark that push the movie beyond the commonplace animated feature. A fitting follow-up to the original and a superb step up from the second film, Cars 3 suggests there’s still life left in the ailing series, though a fourth film needs to take things in a similar, but less formulaic direction.

This Day in Oscar History: June 19 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Poll: What Are You Most Anticipating? (Jul. 2017, Wide)

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What Are You Most Anticipating? (Jul. 2017, Wide)

Cinema Sight Asks: Which July 2017 wide release are you most anticipating?

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Film Preview: Blind (2017)

Page Revisions:

(June 11, 2017) Original

Release Date:

July 14, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A novelist blinded in a car crash which killed his wife rediscovers his passion for both life and writing when he embarks on an affair with the neglected wife of an indicted businessman.”

Poster Rating: D

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Review: A horrid split-screen poster design that uses garish colors and titling to sell a film on its two leads, one of whom doesn’t seem as excited about the film as the other.

Trailer Rating: C-

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Review: Formulaic, generic, and perceptibly sexist. This is the kind of movie that once ended up on Lifetime, but even they have better programming sense these days.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Weekend Preview: Jun. 23-25, 2017

Below are six previews for films opening next weekend.

 

Transformers: The Last Knight (Wide)

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The Bad Batch (Limited)

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A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff (Limited)

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The Beguiled (Limited)

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The Big Sick (Limited)

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Ripped (Limited)

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Film Preview: Ripped (2017)

Page Revisions:

(June 18, 2017) Original

Release Date:

June 23, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Comedy that tells the story of two free spirited stoners who, after smoking some top secret pot created by the CIA in 1986, find themselves catapulted into 2016. With 30 years of their lives lost, our now balding and overweight friends use their uncomplicated enthusiasm to get their lives back on track and figuring out the modern world.”

Poster Rating: D

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Review: A little bit stoned, a whole lot of bland. It’s a colorless, cheap design put together by someone who should have no business designing posters.

Trailer Rating: D

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Review: This stoner comedy seems like it wants to be a Cheech & Chong version of Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion without the humor.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: A Beginner’s Guide to Snuff (2017)

Page Revisions:

(June 18, 2017) Original

Release Date:

June 23, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “”A Beginners Guide To Snuff” is a pitch black comedy thriller in the vein of early Coen Brothers films.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: Not quite abstract, but an interesting, though inconsequential design.

Trailer Rating: C-

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Review: This is supposed to be a dark comedy, which is somewhat apparent, but the premise is poorly revealed in this perfunctory, unexciting trailer.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Gallery: The House (2017)

Below is a gallery for the upcoming film The House.

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This Day in Oscar History: June 18 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Film Preview: First Kill (2017)

Page Revisions:

(June 11, 2017) Original

Release Date:

July 21, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A Wall Street broker is forced to evade a police chief investigating a bank robbery as he attempts to recover the stolen money in exchange for his son’s life.”

Poster Rating: D+

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Review: A bland, wet design that tries to get the stoic Bruce Willis to sell the film, but fails in its utter cheapness.

Trailer Rating: C-

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Review: Apart from a slight twist on an exceedingly common narrative plot, this trailer is plodding and limitedly adventurous, which doesn’t make it very exciting.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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This Day in Oscar History: June 17 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Film Preview: Ingrid Goes West (2017)

Page Revisions:

(June 11, 2017) Original

Release Date:

August 4, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Ingrid Thorburn (Plaza), a mentally disturbed young woman, becomes obsessed with Taylor Sloane (Olsen), a social media star who appears to have the perfect life. But when Ingrid decides to drop everything and move west to befriend Taylor, her behavior turns unsettling and increasingly dangerous.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: A generally vacuous design that employs color and overlay well. It isn’t a work of great art, but it’s interesting enough to be distinctive in the marketplace.

Trailer Rating: C / C+

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Review: (#1 & #2) Here we have another pair of green- and red-band trailers where they key difference is language. While typically the trailers don’t benefit one way or the other from such posturing, the red band trailer for this film is more compelling simply because it doesn’t seem afraid to launch itself full-throated into the R-rated elements of its dialogue.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Oscar in Box Office History (Week 24, 2017)

Every week, we’ll take a look back in 5-year intervals at the box office past to explore how Oscar’s nominees were doing at the box office each weekend historically. All data is collected from Box Office Mojo. The first section under each year is the positioning of all Oscar nominees during that weekend at the box office (as well as a section looking at the inflation-adjusted numbers). The third section is an alphabetical list of those films and the categories in which they were nominated. And to start each week off, we’ll be looking at the films releasing over the weekend that have the best chance of getting Oscar nominations and specifying the categories where we think they have the best shots at this stage of the game. If you have any suggestions for more data you’d like to see, please let us know.

This Year: Potential Oscar Nominees Releasing This Weekend

Cars 3 (Wide)

Oscar Potential: Animated Feature, Original Song, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing.

The Journey (Limited)

Oscar Potential: Actor (Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney).

Maudie (Limited)

Oscar Potential: Actress (Sally Hawkins).

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The NEW Friday Face-Off #203

We are currently working on the losers bracket.

Here is this week’s ten (or fewer) face-offs. So, let’s get started.

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This Day in Oscar History: June 16 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

(more…)

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