Oscar Preview: Weekend of Sep. 20-22, 2019

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

Ad Astra

In recent years, sci-fi has played a significant role at the Academy Awards. Films like Arrival, The Martian, Gravity, Her, Inception, District 9, and Avatar managed Best Picture nominations in the expanded Best Picture slate, giving Oscar chances to major directors working in a more Academy-friendly medium than perhaps they were used to.

For Denis Villeneuve (Arrival), Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), and Christopher Nolan (Inception), their science fiction efforts gave them their first Best Picture citations. while Ridley Scott (The Martian), Spike Jonze (Her), and James Cameron (Avatar) each made major returns to Academy favor with theirs. Only Neill Blomkamp (District 9) didn’t have a career prior to his sci-fi success.

Director James Gray would fall into the former category of a well respected director finally making it to the big time, but Ad Astra wasn’t nearly the success that these other films were. With the exception of Her, all of these sci-fi spectacles made over $100 million at the box office, with all but Arrival and District 9 topping $200 million. For Ad Astra, the former possibility remains a pipe dream while the latter is all but impossible with its meager $19 million opening.

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This Day in Oscar History: September 23 (2019)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Poll: What Are You Most Anticipating? (Oct. 2019, Limited)

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Polls

What Are You Most Anticipating? (Oct. 2019, Limited)

Cinema Sight Asks: Which October 2019 limited release are you most anticipating?

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Film Preview: Cuck (2019)

Page Revisions:

(September 15, 2019) Original

Release Date:

October 4, 2019

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “When a frustrated loner gains popularity as an Alt-Right vlogger, the online echo chamber turns his fears into a deadly rage.”

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: F

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Review: This odious trailer doesn’t forcefully reject the ideology on display within it, making it a dangerous film that doesn’t deserve to be seen as presented.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Semper Fi (2019)

Page Revisions:

(September 15, 2019) Original

Release Date:

October 4, 2019

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A police officer who serves in the Marine Corps Reserves is faced with an ethical dilemma when it comes to helping his brother in prison.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: Apart from this having no reason to exist (the film or he poster), there’s just nothing that stands out here. It’s all standard fare for a film that seems limited on the action.

Trailer Rating: C-

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Review: This kind of film has been done ad nauseum and seldom with any underlying story that warrants its existence and this trailer isn’t justification.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Weekend Preview: Sep. 27-29, 2019

Below are six previews for films opening next weekend.

 

Abominable (Wide)

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The Day Shall Come (Limited)

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First Love (Limited)

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The Golden Glove (Limited)

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Judy (Limited)

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Prey (Limited)

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Film Preview: First Love (2019)

Page Revisions:

(September 22, 2019) Original

Release Date:

September 27, 2019

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A young boxer and a call girl get caught up in a drug-smuggling scheme over the course of one night in Tokyo.”

Poster Rating: B

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Review: The colors are a bit too vibrant, but they do a solid job of intensifying the violence suggested by the poster.

Trailer Rating: C+ / B

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Review: (#1) This teaser appears to be a garden-variety martial arts drama with nothing of apparent value to offer the audience.

(#2) The full trailer; however, does a tremendous job of showing the audience the ultra-violent and broadly exciting action coming the viewer’s way. That the film’s premise feels a bit flimsy is almost an unwarranted concern.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Gallery: Joker (2019)

Below is a gallery for the upcoming film Joker.

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This Day in Oscar History: September 22 (2019)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Film Preview: Along Came the Devil 2 (2019)

Page Revisions:

(September 15, 2019) Original

Release Date:

October 11, 2019

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “After receiving an unsettling voicemail, Jordan (Wiggins) returns home, looking for answers, only to find her estranged father and even more questions. A demonic force has attached itself to the town and no one is safe. The only one who seems to know anything is the small town’s Reverend.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: An unimpressive color selection makes this look particularly cheap.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: Your garden variety supernatural horror film. The trailer never finds its rhythm and presents no genuine scares and thus builds no interest in the viewer.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Trailer Watch: Ne Zha (2019) Updated

New Trailer (#2)

Ne Zha, updated

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

This Day in Oscar History: September 21 (2019)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

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Film Preview: Mister America (2019)

Page Revisions:

(September 15, 2019) Original

Release Date:

October 11, 2019

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Mister America follows Heidecker’s attempt to enter the world of politics. After beating a murder charge for selling faulty e-cigarettes at an EDM festival, Tim seeks revenge by running a campaign to unseat the San Bernardino District Attorney. Fueled by ego and ignorance, he tries to surmount a lack of experience, funds and likability by personally connecting with unsuspecting constituents. It does not go well.”

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: C

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Review: This mockumentary looks quite real at first, which might bolster its claim to its own story, but will easily turn off casual viewers.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Prey (2019)

Page Revisions:

(September 15, 2019) Original
(September 22, 2019) New Poster (#1)

Release Date:

September 27, 2019

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “To help rehabilitate a high school senior for behavioral issues, he is placed on a uninhabited island, but soon finds he is not alone. Being discovered could prove deadly.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: A handful of details in the background don’t make up for the shoddy construction of the design.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: This concept seems a bit unusual and isn’t presented well enough to evoke interest. This strange, horrific island doesn’t look terribly fun to watch.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Oscar in Box Office History (Week 38, 2019)

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

Ad Astra (Wide)

Oscar Potential: Actor (Brad Pitt), Original Screenplay, Original Score, Film Editing, Cinematography, Production Design, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, Visual Effects.

Downton Abbey (Wide)

Oscar Potential: Production Design, Costume Design.

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