Category: Film Previews

Looking at the Weekend: Aug. 7-9, 2020

It’s another week with no wide releases and the trend doesn’t look to be stopping anytime soon.

Our Highest Rated Films: Out Stealing Horses
Our Best Awards Ratings: No consensus.

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Black Water: Abyss (Limited)
Creem: America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine (Limited)
SamSam (Limited)
Trump Card (Limited)
The Green Years (Virtual)
You Never Had It: An Evening With Bukowski (Virtual)

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Film Preview: Valley of the Gods (2020)

Page Revisions:

(August 2, 2020) Original

Release Date:

August 11, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Entwines Navajo lore with a reclusive trillionaire and his would-be biographer, creating a fascinating, mysterious and idiosyncratic vision of America.”

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: There are two competing mythos at work in this film, the Navajo and the Ancient Egyptian. Those religious structures never quite mesh in the trailer, making it feel disjointed and unfocused.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Sputnik (2020)

Page Revisions:

(August 2, 2020) Original

Release Date:

August 14, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “The lone survivor of an enigmatic spaceship incident hasn’t returned back home alone-hiding inside his body is a dangerous creature.”

Poster Rating: C / C-

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Review: (#1) The shadow play here is weakly done, becoming far too obvious for its own good. (#2) The worse decision, though, would be to make it still as obvious, but less clear. I cannot imagine anyone seeing this and wanting to watch this film.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: This horror concept is handled well with fleeting glimpses of the parasitic monster at the core of the film’s terror. That said, it also feels a bit too much like Alien for its own good.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Legacy of Lies (2020)

Page Revisions:

(July 26, 2020) Original

Release Date:

July 28, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “An ex-MI6 agent is thrown back into the world of espionage and high stakes to uncover the shocking truth about operations conducted by unknown secret services.”

Poster Rating: B-

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Review: There’s a lot of wasted space here, but the swath of red in the background is effectively and creatively used.

Trailer Rating: C-

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Review: If you’ve seen one action-spy thriller, you’ve seen them all. At least that’s the impression one gets from this MMA-inspired, MI6-adjacent debacle.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Weekend Preview: Aug. 7-9, 2020

Below are eight previews for films opening next weekend.

 

After We Collided (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

The Burnt Orange Heresy (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

I Used to Go Here (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Made in Italy (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Out Stealing Horses (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Paydirt (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

The Tax Collector (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Peninsula (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 

Film Preview: Peninsula (2020)

Page Revisions:

(August 2, 2020) Original

Release Date:

August 7, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Sequel to the 2016 South Korean zombie film.”

Poster Rating: C+ / C / C- / B- / C

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Review: (#1) “…though I walk through the valley of the shadow of doubt, I shall fear no evil.” This design would be a lot more interesting if it didn’t have a lot of empty or uninteresting space. (#2) This design is a lot more energetic than the prior, but it also feels more staged. (#3) If this looks at all familiar to you, you may have seen one of the designs for Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s not like the concept is original, but the colors and the structure feel too derivative. (#4) Another solid effort for an IMAX design. Perhaps someone is paying attention to how dull prior designs have been. That said, there’s a lot of wasted space on this design, but there’s also a lot of interesting detail and getting to see more about the film is certainly helpful. (#5) The 4DX logo feels out of place and the design looks like it’s trying too hard to fuel viewers’ imaginations.

Trailer Rating: B- / B-

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Review: (#1 & #2) Both trailers look at the film from different angles, but have the same capability of enticing audiences. There’s plenty of shambling zombie action, enough of a connection to the prior film to encourage attendance by the fans, and just enough gritty excitement to pull in people a handful of non-subtitle folks.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Tax Collector (2020)

Page Revisions:

(August 2, 2020) Original

Release Date:

August 7, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A “tax collector” for a crime lord finds his family’s safety compromised when his boss’s old rival shows up in LA and upends his business.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: This semi-symmetrical design has a lot of grating colors at work with few compelling details.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: There’s not a lot here that doesn’t feel overfly familiar and without a gripping reason to entice audiences, the action alone isn’t really going to help.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: I Used to Go Here (2020)

Page Revisions:

(August 2, 2020) Original

Release Date:

August 7, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Following the launch of her new novel, 35-year-old writer Kate is invited to speak at her alma matter by her former professor. After accepting the invitation, Kate finds herself deeply enmeshed in the lives of a group of college students.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: Certain touches of this design suggest the creator knows that the arrangement of pieces in this design is a bit staid and tries their best to correct for it. Unfortunately, it just isn’t enough.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: This return-to-college concept doesn’t look at all interesting and it suggests that Gillian Jacobs is struggling to find good post-Community work and is most definitely not succeeding.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: After We Collided (2020)

Page Revisions:

(August 2, 2020) Original

Release Date:

August 7, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Based on the 2014 romance novel of the same name, this follows the love life of two young adults.”

Poster Rating: C- / C-

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Review: (#1) Suggestive, but also confusing. This poster, at first, looks like a man laying on a woman. At deeper investigation, it looks like the woman has no torso. Not the kind of thing you want your poster to suggest on a romantic drama. (#2) Featured prominently in both trailers and now in poster form, showering seems to be the most key element to this film’s success, but we know that not to be true. Otherwise, it’s simply not as titillating as they want it to be.

Trailer Rating: C- / C

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Review: (#1) The first trailer does little but establish that one of the actors has an accent and that this film isn’t very aspirational or inspiration. (#2) The second attempt does decently at trying to convey plot and likability in the actors, but none of them seem well drawn enough to be of interest.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Secret: Dare to Dream (2020)

Page Revisions:

(July 26, 2020) Original

Release Date:

July 31, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A widow struggling to get by meets a stranger who subscribes to a philosophy of positive thinking.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: A nice sunset adds to the image’s beauty, but it’s a rudderless concept that doesn’t seem to have any purpose.

Trailer Rating: C / C

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Review: (#1) Based on the documentary and self-help book The Secret, this film tries to exemplify those concepts in visual form with a story that feels like a cheap and simplistic ploy to appeal to fans of the book without being any good. (#2) The second trailer is almost identical the prior and without a shot-by-shot comparison, it’s impossible to dislodge that idea.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Out Stealing Horses (2020)

Page Revisions:

(July 26, 2020) Original

Release Date:

August 7, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A grieving widower moves to the country where a chance encounter rekindles memories from his past.”

Poster Rating: C- / C+

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Review: (#1) Seems to have nothing to do with the film, at least through the frame of reference of the trailer. It’s also an overly simplified and unappealing design. (#2) There is some creative energy here, but the white background and the not-so-subtle breaks between images makes for an inconsistent design.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: The past-and-present concept has been used frequently and often better in the past with this film about an accident and a tortured subsequent life that feels overly familiar and completely dull.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Lake Michigan Monster (2020)

Page Revisions:

(July 26, 2020) Original

Release Date:

July 31, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “An eccentric ship captain and a crew of specialists plot revenge against the most mysterious creature of the deep — the Lake Michigan Monster.”

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: Another cheesy looking sci-fi feature wants to claim as much attention as it can while audiences are left with little at cinemas to entertain them. The concept has potential, but some of the choices in the trailer are just too cheesy for their own good.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Endless (2020)

Page Revisions:

(July 26, 2020) Original

Release Date:

August 14, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “When madly in love high school graduates Riley (Alexandra Shipp) and Chris (Nicholas Hamilton) are separated by a tragic car accident, Riley blames herself for her boyfriend’s death while Chris is stranded in limbo. Miraculously, the two find a way to connect. In a love story that transcends life and death, both Riley and Chris are forced to learn the hardest lesson of all: letting go.”

Poster Rating: C / D+

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Review: (#1) The subtle colors of sunset are a nice touch, but it’s otherwise an uninspiring design. (#2) Colors that clash. Images that overwrite one another. There’s little about this design that works.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: With a decent actress as the female lead, the film has a chance to be something more than this rather predictable and familiar story would hope.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Looking at the Weekend: Jul. 31-Aug. 2, 2020

There was one wide release film scheduled for release this weekend (Unhinged), but like several others, it was pulled from release. All we have are limited releases this weekend.

Our Highest Rated Films: The Cuban
Our Best Awards Ratings: None

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

23 Walks (Limited)
Boys State (Limited)
The Fight (Limited)
A Most Beautiful Thing (Limited)
Rebuilding Paradise (Limited)
Save Yourselves! (Limited)

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Film Preview: Tesla (2020)

Page Revisions:

(July 26, 2020) Original

Release Date:

August 21, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A freewheeling take on visionary inventor Nikola Tesla, his interactions with Thomas Edison and J.P. Morgan’s daughter Anne, and his breakthroughs in transmitting electrical power and light.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: The colors are a bit odd, but the neon title with electricity does add some creative energy to an otherwise unimpressive design.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: This chaotic trailer hints at something unique and interesting, but presents a lot of scenes that feel old and pre-used. It has just enough intrigue to make it potentially compelling, so it might just appeal to fans of the work of Tesla.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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