Category: Film Previews

Film Preview: Luxor (2020)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(October 18, 2020) Original

Release Date:

December 4, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “When British aid worker Hana returns to the ancient city of Luxor, she comes across Sultan, a talented archaeologist and former lover. As she wanders, haunted by the familiar place, she struggles to reconcile the choices of the past with the uncertainty of the present.”

Poster Rating: C- / C

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Review: (#1) Apart from the interesting title font and its arrangement, the background image isn’t remotely appealing. (#2) There’s more visual diversity in this design, but it’s built on an over-used design concept that never seems to work.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: The similarities between the film depicted in this trailer and Richard Linklater’s Before Trilogy are stark enough to give fans of those films hope that it will be of similar quality. Meanwhile the trailer itself goes out of its way to feel as dull and lifeless as it possibly can.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: I’m Your Woman (2020)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(October 18, 2020) Original

Release Date:

December 11, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “In this 1970s set crime drama, a woman is forced to go on the run after her husband betrays his partners, sending her and her baby on a dangerous journey.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: Compelling balance don’t make up for the empty space in the design. It draws the eye as it should, but does little visually to compel the viewer.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: While some elements of the film look very conventional, the trailer does a decent job making this look like a mob film crossed with a Sirkian melodrama. Whether the end result is anything close to that is indeterminate after this trailer.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Shirley (2020)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(October 18, 2020) Original

Release Date:

June 5, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A famous horror writer finds inspiration for her next book after she and her husband take in a young couple.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: While the Photoshopping job isn’t entirely unnoticeable, the end result almost looks naturalistic. It then speaks decently well to the concept of the central figure being a writer, but not to the film itself.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: When trying to get the audience to see a film, make a film that’s modestly confounding doesn’t quite work. This film has a plot that never quite gets the attention it deserves, making it look almost interesting, but nowhere near as detailed as it should.

Oscar Prospects:

Elisabeth Moss is certainly well regarded and this could be her ticket to her first Oscar nomination.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Black Bear (2020)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(October 18, 2020) Original

Release Date:

December 4, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A filmmaker at a creative impasse seeks solace from her tumultuous past at a rural retreat, only to find that the woods summon her inner demons in intense and surprising ways.”

Poster Rating: –

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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: What works for the film works against the trailer as a confusing plot is confused further by the trailer trying to keep audience expectations off-kilter. That lack of thematic cohesiveness might serve the film’s premise well, but it won’t quite sell the film to an audience.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Princess of the Row (2020)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(October 18, 2020) Original

Release Date:

November 27, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “The inspiring tale of a runaway foster child who will stop at nothing to live with the only family she knows: her homeless, mentally-ill veteran father who lives on the streets of LA’s skid row.”

Poster Rating: –

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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: The trailer almost hits the nail on the head about what makes the film’s premise so interesting. Unfortunately, but trying to fit in as much information as possible, the designer has inadvertently undercut the film’s potential potency.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Sylvie’s Love (2020)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(October 18, 2020) Original

Release Date:

December 25, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A woman working at her father’s record store in Harlem in the late 1950s meets an aspiring saxophone player.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: A strange balance of colors that almost work if only the design didn’t feature such a dull set of images and a backdrop that don’t quite fit together.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: While the premise comes from a really fascinating place, the trailer doesn’t quite know what to do with it. Is this a film about a lost romance or is it a film about a woman finding new meaning in a career and profession she has long dreamed about. That story is far more fascinating than the romantic drama that’s otherwise identified.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Half Brothers (2020)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(October 18, 2020) Original

Release Date:

December 4, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A story about the complex connection with a brother who is based in Mexico, meant to be a metaphor of the relationship between neighboring countries The United States of America and Mexico.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: Interesting colors, but the Photoshopping touch-ups and blurring make for an uneven texture that feels unrealistic in spite of being partly pulled from a specific moment in the film itself.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: The trailer doesn’t quite do the film the justice it deserves. The conventional nature of the film’s screenplay is given a few interesting comic touches, but then struggles to turn those into something cohesive.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: On the Rocks (2020)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(October 18, 2020) Original

Release Date:

October 23, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A young mother who reconnects with her larger-than-life playboy father on an adventure through New York.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: A dull, lifeless design that speaks little to the characters’ states of mind and apart from having a recognizable star, it says nothing at all about the film’s purpose.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: Knowing the stars and director, this trailer should be a much bigger slam dunk for drawing an audience to the film. Yet, the whole feels a bit rudimentary and lacking in thematic cohesiveness. It never quite finds a rhythm that makes it look insanely good as it should.

Oscar Prospects:

The last time Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray teamed up, they had an Oscar hit. Early reviews suggest it could happen again.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Miss Juneteenth (2020)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(October 18, 2020) Original

Release Date:

June 19, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A former beauty queen and single mom prepares her rebellious teenage daughter for the “Miss Juneteenth” pageant.”

Poster Rating: C / C

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Review: (#1) There’s not much here to tell us the film’s premise or reason for it being worth watching. (#2) As much as this has more detail relevant to the film, the design is so heavily Photoshopped and so cheaply constructed that the excess empty space only draws attention to its worst features.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: The heavy lifting in this trailer is from the viewer filling in the blanks between what’s presented and the film’s themes, which aren’t efficiently connected. This trailer does a modest job of telling the audience what its about, but that won’t be picked up on by enough people who see it.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Looking at the Weekend: Oct. 23-25, 2020

Without a single trailer announcing its release, a film called The Empty Man opens wide this weekend. It is a horror film from the Fox banner, which may explain why it’s being unceremoniously dumped into the pre-Halloween frame. What Disney hopes to accomplish with this move is uncertain, but a great weekend at the box office will not be the end result.

Our Highest Rated Films: Synchronic
Our Best Awards Ratings: None

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

The Empty Man (Wide)
Bang Bang (Limited)
Conundrum: Secrets Among Friends (Limited)
Friendsgiving (Limited)
Nationtime (Virtual)

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Film Preview: Hillbilly Elegy (2020)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(October 18, 2020) Original

Release Date:

November 24, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A Yale law student drawn back to his hometown grapples with family history, Appalachian values and the American dream.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: The winding road is symbolic, but it doesn’t aid the overall design. It all feels unnecessarily dull and thematically weak.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: Apart from what look to be stellar performances, the trailer never quite picks up on what it wants to be. Is it a treatise on circumstance and improvement or a look at a wayward mother at odds with her own mother and her child. The trailer looks to be a bit of both, but without being completely compelling.

Oscar Prospects:

Ron Howard is always in the Oscar conversation, even when he disappoints. However, this doesn’t look that disappointing and both Amy Adams and Glenn Close could be Oscar winners with this film after both having secured several nominations and no wins.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Sound of Metal (2020)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(October 18, 2020) Original

Release Date:

November 20, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A heavy-metal drummer’s life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: Too much empty space, not enough detail to tell the audience the film’s purpose. The tagline only speaks to the viewer if they’ve already seen the trailer.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: The premise is well executed in this trailer, giving the audience an idea of the enormity of the central character’s ailment. The trailer doesn’t stick with the aural motif that makes it so interesting at the start, but it does a sufficient job suggesting it might not be completely abandoned in the film itself.

Oscar Prospects:

It could find itself in the Best Sound race, but it’s unclear what its competition will be at this juncture.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Echo Boomers (2020)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(October 18, 2020) Original

Release Date:

November 13, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Based on a true story, five college graduates decide the best way to get back at the unfair economy and live the life they’ve always wanted is to steal from Chicago’s richest and give to themselves.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: The shattered glass motif is over-used. There’s too much empty space and the central image doesn’t speak well to the film itself.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: It’s a concept that does more heavy lifting than the trailer itself with a straight forward narrative that’s been heavily overdone with a few stylistic tweaks and suggestions of originality keep the whole from utterly collapsing on itself.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Dating Amber (2020)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(October 18, 2020) Original

Release Date:

November 13, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Two school friends decide to start a pretend straight relationship in an effort to fit in.”

Poster Rating: C / C

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Review: (#1) The empty yellow space is unappealing. The pride symbols look manipulative and the inset actors aren’t compelling. (#2) The yellow background here at least makes visual sense, but there’s not much more here that’s terribly interesting.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: In spite of itself, this trailer ends up presenting a potentially engaging coming of age story about two misfits protecting one another in a cruel world. The trailer is quite conventional and hits as many expected beats as possible without be genuinely excellent.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Trailer Watch: Possessor (2020) Updated

Possessor posterNew Trailer (#2)

Possessor, updated

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