Category: Film Previews

Film Preview: The Wretched (2020)

Page Revisions:

(April 6, 2020) Original

Release Date:

May 1, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A defiant teenage boy, struggling with his parent’s imminent divorce, faces off with a thousand year-old witch, who is living beneath the skin of and posing as the woman next door.”

Poster Rating: C / C

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Review: (#1) Trying to merge sexy and creepy doesn’t exactly work. (#2) Adding better background details and a frontal approach doesn’t improve matters.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: The trailer tries some of the normal jump scares without much success. Where it works best is setting up a rather creepy premise that isn’t quite as evident as it at first appears.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Selah and the Spades (2020)

Page Revisions:

(April 6, 2020) Original

Release Date:

April 17, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Five factions run the underground life of Haldwell School, a prestigious east coast boarding school. At the head of the most powerful faction – The Spades – sits Selah Summers, walking the fine line between being feared and loved.”

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: This teaser gives the audience an immediate impression of its politically charged and compelling theme even if it doesn’t tell the audience much about the actual narrative.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Arkansas (2020)

Page Revisions:

(March 29, 2020) Original

Release Date:

May 1, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Kyle and Swin live by the orders of an Arkansas-based drug kingpin named Frog, whom they’ve never met. But when a deal goes horribly wrong, the consequences are deadly.”

Poster Rating: C / C-

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Review: (#1) A somewhat interesting design that uses symmetry and alignment to make things look detailed even if the design doesn’t have much in the way of actual detail. (#2) Burying a body or money doesn’t matter. This looks like a still from Santa Clarita Diet, yet a lot less interesting.

Trailer Rating: C-

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Review: It looks like a cheap satire about drug running in Arkansas that looks nothing like the state or its citizens with everyone trying hard to use the right accent and not succeeding terribly well.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Almost Love (2020)

Page Revisions:

(April 6, 2020) Original

Release Date:

April 3, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “An ensemble comedy about romance in the smartphone era.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: A simplistic title that says a lot more than the image itself does. Kerning is your friend.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: The trailer doesn’t quite put its finger on the crux of why this film has a lot of potential. It tries very hard to get there, but the formulaic nature of the trailer forces the film to feel rather familiar.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: True History of the Kelly Gang (2020)

Page Revisions:

(March 29, 2020) Original

Release Date:

April 24, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Based on Peter Carey’s novel. The story of Australian bushranger Ned Kelly and his gang as they flee from authorities during the 1870s.”

Poster Rating: D+ / C

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Review: (#1) A batch of ugly colors in a dull layout. (#2) I assume this is intended to look more interesting than it really is. There a lot of details here, but they all seem poorly implemented and looking messy.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: A haphazard trailer that tries to set up the narrative while making things look interesting and doesn’t succeed on either count.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Working Man (2020)

Page Revisions:

(March 29, 2020) Original

Release Date:

March 27, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “When a factory closure threatens a small Rust Belt town, one older factory worker continues going to his former job every day, despite the shutdown. His peculiar decision has a profound effect on the whole community, though his actions yield an outcome that no one ever expected.”

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 working class drama looks very much like the films of Ken Loach by way of Stephen Daldry. It looks more accessible than Loach, but not nearly as deep.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Behind You (2020)

Page Revisions:

(March 29, 2020) Original

Release Date:

April 17, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Two young sisters find that all the mirrors in their estranged aunt’s house are covered or hidden. When one of them happens upon a mirror in the basement, she unknowingly releases a malicious demon.”

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: Your garden variety jump-scare horror film that wants you to think it’s original, but ultimately feels like a derivative cross between films like Candyman and The boy

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Trailer Watch: Fatima (2020) Updated

New Trailer (#2)

Fatima, updated

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

2019 Oscar Season Preview Wrap-Up: November

Below is a wrap-up of the predictions I made several months ago, an exploration of what succeeded and what failed, and how I observe things to have gone.

November 1, 2019

Arctic Dogs

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: None.
Box Office Prospects: $20 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Weak. This terrible-looking animated feature didn’t even show up on the Academy’s list of Animated Feature submissions, suggesting it’s either too awful to be selected or is about to get pushed into next year. Whatever the reason, it looks like a flop in the making.”
Box Office Results: $5.8 M
Thoughts: [Minor Flop] This animated adventure looked terrible from the start. It’s no surprise it didn’t inspire audiences to give it a shot.

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Film Preview: The Painted Bird (2020)

Page Revisions:

(March 29, 2020) Original

Release Date:

April 17, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A young Jewish boy somewhere in Eastern Europe seeks refuge during World War II where he encounters many different characters.”

Poster Rating: C / C

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Review: (#1) Uncertain what the theme of this design is other than the helplessness that the child feels. It’s otherwise uninteresting. (#2) This one isn’t more or less thematically interesting, but it doesn’t improve anything either.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: The plot isn’t explained and the minimal dialogue doesn’t make it seem all that enticing, nor does the listing of prominent actors who appear in the film.

Oscar Prospects:

It was submitted for Oscar consideration, but wasn’t nominated. It could be the latest black-and-white nominee for Best Cinematogrpahy, but I doubt it’s going to do much at this point.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Willoughbys (2020)

Page Revisions:

(March 29, 2020) Original

Release Date:

April 22, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Convinced they’d be better off raising themselves, the Willoughby children hatch a sneaky plan to send their selfish parents on vacation. The siblings then embark on their own high-flying adventure to find the true meaning of family.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: It features some measure of narrative detail, but audiences aren’t going to pick it up with ease and it’s otherwise not terribly interesting.

Trailer Rating: B+

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Review: There’s a lot in this trailer that will appeal to younger audiences: the bright colors, the simplified humor, and the idea of getting the parents out of the way for awhile. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows as there’s a hidden darkness beneath it all, but whether that comes through in the film or not may depend on how much the viewer reads into things.

Oscar Prospects:

A solid possibility for a Best Animated Feature nomination.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Tape (2020)

Page Revisions:

(March 22, 2020) Original

Release Date:

March 27, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Based on true events and set in New York City, TAPE is the story of an aspiring actress (Isabelle Fuhrman) who crosses paths with the darker side of the entertainment industry.”

Poster Rating: D

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Review: This extreme close-up says nothing about the film, nor its premise and won’t do a lick of good selling the film to consumers.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: This looks like it’s meant to be an exposé of supposed talent scouts, but lacks the specificity and insight one would normally expect from a trailer.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Koko-di Koko-da (2020)

Page Revisions:

(March 22, 2020) Original

Release Date:

March 27, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “As a couple goes on a trip to find their way back to each other, a sideshow artist and his shady entourage emerge from the woods, terrorizing them, luring them deeper into a maelstrom of psychological terror and humiliating slapstick.”

Poster Rating: C- / B-

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Review: (#1) What does the design mean? Maybe the film can explain; however, most people won’t get past the design to see the film, which is a hindrance. (#2) Seeing the trailer will explain a bit more about what the rudimentary design means, which could be enough to stoke interest even if the end result isn’t great.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: This bizarre trailer might appeal to those horror fans who want to find the most unusual films to watch, but it won’t do much for general audiences.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Cut Throat City (2020)

Page Revisions:

(March 22, 2020) Original

Release Date:

April 10, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A heist movie set in the lower ninth ward in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.”

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: Looking at New Orleans post-Katrina and the turf wars that have been built out of it. The concept has potential, but the trailer doesn’t showcase it.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Banana Split (2020)

Page Revisions:

(March 22, 2020) Original

Release Date:

March 27, 2020

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Over the course of a summer, two teenage girls develop the perfect kindred spirit friendship, with one big problem: one of them is dating the other’s ex.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: A very yellow design with not much more to it, which makes things seem rather dull.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: This weird coming of age story has some interesting elements in the trailer, but it never coalesces into something more than astute.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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