This Day in Oscar History: August 15 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Poll: Now That You’ve Seen “Anabelle: Creation”

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Polls

Now That You’ve Seen Annabelle: Creation…?

Cinema Sight Asks: Now that you've seen "Annabelle: Creation," which Conjuring Universe film is best?

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Trailer Watch: mother! (2017) Updated

New Trailer (#2) / New Posters (#3-#4)

mother!, updated

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

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Aug. 11-13, 2017

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

The Morning After: Aug. 14, 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:

Red Dawn


In the midst of the Cold War, tensions between the USSR and the United States were incredibly high. Learning how to find and seek safety in bomb shelters was common school practice alongside tornado and other emergency drills. Fear of nuclear annihilation was ever-present and constant strife in nearby nations like Nicaragua and Cuba gripped the nation. Red Dawn gave voice to those fears by positing what would happen if Russia, with the help of the South American nations that despised the U.S. were to launch an assault on the U.S. and take control of a large portion of it.

Starring Patrick Swayze alongside a handful of notable 1980s stars (then and future) like Charlie Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, and Jennifer Grey, the film followed the story of a group of High Schoolers in Calumet, Colorado as they witness an unthinkable invasion and stage an insurrection against the occupying forces. The first film to receive a PG-13 rating, Red Dawn put the isolation and threat of World War III into the background to focus on how youth in the nation might be able to respond to the burgeoning threat of Communist infiltration of America.

Oscar-nominated Apocalypse Now scribe John Milius directed and co-wrote the screenplay for the film, which was a hit in 1984 where it made $38 million, which would be roughly $101 million in 2017 dollars. 28 years later, a remake of the film was released and this re-watch (I haven’t seen the film since it came out in the mid-80s and I was fairly young at the time) is intended to prep me for a comparison of the 2012 version starring Chris Hemsworth.

The opening theme is a terrific piece of music composed by Basil Poledouris, though the rest of the score isn’t particularly memorable. The film itself is poorly-acted (Harry Dean Stanton acts to the rafters as an example) and heavily contrived, but acts as a sort of time capsule for American sensibilities in the mid-80s. There are some rousing images and triumphal sequences that engage the audience’s hopes fears, but it doesn’t resort solely to cheap theatrics or rah-rah patriotism. Its approach to American exceptionalism is abrasive at times without being excessively superficial. It’s most fascinating to look back on it with 30 years of hindsight to create the perfect viewing platform.

Review: Despicable Me 3 (2017)

Despicable Me 3

Rating

Director

Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin

Screenplay

Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio

Length

1h 30m

Starring

Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker, Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier, Nev Scharrel, Pierre Coffin, Steve Coogan, Julie Andrews, Jenny Slate

MPAA Rating

PG for action and rude humor

Original Preview

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Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Rating

Director

Jon Watts

Screenplay

Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers

Length

2h 13m

Starring

Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Bokeem Woodbine, Tyne Daly, Abraham Attah, Hannibal Buress, Kenneth Choi, Selenis Leyva, Angourie Rice, Martin Starr, Garcelle Beauvais, Michael Chernus, Michal Mando, Logan Marshall-Green, Jennifer Connelly

MPAA Rating

PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments

Original Preview

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This Day in Oscar History: August 14 (2017)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Poll: Best of Aug. 2016, Limited

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What’s the Best of Aug. 2016, Limited?

Cinema Sight Asks: Which Aug. 2016, Limited release is best?

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Film Preview: 9/11 (2017)

Page Revisions:

(August 6, 2017) Original

Release Date:

September 8, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A group of 5 people find themselves trapped in an elevator in the World Trade Center’s North Tower on 9/11. They work together, never giving up hope, to try to escape before the unthinkable happens.”

Poster Rating: B

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Review: As much as this film screams cheap, this poster design is evocative and strangely effective.

Trailer Rating: C-

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Review: The film shouldn’t carry the title 9/11. That would imply the film is about the terrorist attacks in a grand and compelling way. This is a slice-of-event film that catalogs one small tale in the massive event. Title issues aside, the film looks like a pale imitation of the grand productions one might have gotten in the 1960s and 1970s. Even those would seem crass by today’s standards, ergo why this doesn’t work.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Weekend Preview: Aug. 18-20, 2017

Below are seven previews for films opening next weekend.

 

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (Wide)

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Logan Lucky (Wide)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Crown Heights (Expanding)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

6 Days (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

The Adventurers (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Gook (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Patti Cake$ (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 

Film Preview: Patti Cake$ (2017)

Page Revisions:

(August 13, 2017) Original

Release Date:

August 18, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “PATTI CAKE$ is centered on aspiring rapper Patricia Dombrowski, a.k.a. Killa P, a.k.a. Patti Cake$, who is fighting an unlikely quest for glory in her downtrodden hometown in New Jersey.”

Poster Rating: D+ / C-

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Review: (#1) Far too much unused space and insufficient detail to entice viewers. (#2) The design still has trouble filling its space, but the content is more visually stark and commanding.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: A conventional trailer for an unconventional story. The film looks like a fascinating look at how appearance damages our chances at success, at least on other people’s terms. It has a potentially uplifting narrative that could play well with the disillusioned. If they can find it.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Gook (2017)

Page Revisions:

(August 13, 2017) Original

Release Date:

August 18, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Eli and Daniel, two Korean American brothers, own a struggling shoe store and have an unlikely friendship with Kamilla, a street wise 11-year-old African American girl. Kamilla ditches school, Eli stresses about the store, and Daniel tries to have a good time. It’s just another typical day at the store until the Rodney King verdict is read and riots break out. With the chaos moving towards them, the trio is forced to defend the store while contemplating the future of their own personal dreams and the true meaning of family.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: The construction isn’t bad, nor is the color scheme, but the excessive lack of background detail hinders the overall flow of it.

Trailer Rating: C- / C+

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Review: (#1) The first trailer didn’t give us any information regarding what the film is about. It seemed to be staking its claim with the black-and-white motif. (#2) The second trailer does a great job conveying the plot, but doesn’t present the viewer with enough impetus to want to check it out.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Adventurers (2017)

Page Revisions:

(August 13, 2017) Original

Release Date:

August 18, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “

Poster Rating: C+ / D (3)

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Review: (#1) Lots of details with minimal unused space. The colors don’t mesh well and the design feels action-heavy without being terribly exciting. (#2-#4) Bland, lifeless attempts with terribly clunky overlays.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: This looks like a foreign knock-off of Mission: Impossible without the style or substance.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: 6 Days (2017)

Page Revisions:

(August 13, 2017) Original

Release Date:

August 18, 2017

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “In April 1980, armed gunmen stormed the Iranian Embassy in Princes Gate, London and took all inside hostage. Over the next six days a tense standoff took place, all the while a group of highly trained soldiers from the SAS prepared for a raid the world had never seen the likes of.”

Poster Rating: C+ / D (4)

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Review: (#1) Decent composition, excess blanks pace, far too many flecks of color. These are weakly put together for maximum effect. (#2-#5) 4 character posters in black-and-white and a sickly yellow overlay. They are not attractive.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: A conventional period thriller that covers an event in history that might not have nearly as much interest as one would think and thus requiring tact and creativity to make it feel like a movie people will want to see. The trailer does an adequate job of that.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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