Category: Film Previews

Film Preview: American Skin (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(February 14, 2021) Original

Release Date:

January 15, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A Marine veteran working as a school janitor tries to mend his relationship with his son after a divorce. When his son is killed by a police officer found innocent without standing trial, he takes matters into his own hands.”

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

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Review: (#1) Simple, yet mildly effective, but perhaps too simple. (#2) Evocative and perfectly toned to the concept of the film and American society in general. (#3) It takes too much time to figure out what the image is supposed to be and feels utterly reductive. (#4) While the symbolism makes sense, the end result is rather dull and overly simplified.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: It’s surprising that Nate Parker is still being allowed to make films in Hollywood right now considering his sexual assault history, but here we are. While there are some intriguing prospects here, the trailer is framed entirely in anger without a hint of redemption and that just doesn’t make for a good film.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Love Sarah (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(February 14, 2021) Original

Release Date:

January 15, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A young woman wishes to fulfill her mother’s dream of opening her own bakery in Notting Hill, London. To do this, she enlists the help of an old friend and her grandma.”

Poster Rating: C+ / C-

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Review: (#1) Designs like this only make the desire to have actual casts pose for actual posters seem like a better idea. Shoot some promotional stuff during filming, don’t rely on shoddy PhotoShopping to get it done. (#2) The top half of this design is more like what we’re discussing, though the layout leaves far too much to be desired.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: While the incident that propels this story forward looks unique, the end result is not. There have been so many other films to follow a similar pattern to this that it’s surprising this got made at all.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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2021 Spring Season Box Office Preview: March

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

March 5, 2021

Boogie

Premise: From IMDb: “Set in contemporary New York City and follows a Chinese-American basketball phenom who struggles to balance the expectations of his immigrant family with his own dreams of becoming a player for the NBA.”
Box Office Prospects: $5 M
Expectations: Uncertain. The pandemic box office is still in full swing and as last week’s weak debut for Judas and the Black Messiah showed, films with minority characters, especially in hard-hit (pandemic) populations, aren’t willing to risk their safety for a movie.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

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Looking at the Weekend: Feb. 19-21, 2021

No more new wide releases this weekend and with the anemic box office of the President’s Day holiday weekend, there’s no telling what film will take the spotlight.

Our Highest Rated Films: Body Brokers, Days of the Bagnold Summer, Silk Road
Our Best Awards Ratings: No consensus

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Angelique’s Isle (Limited)
Blithe Spirit (Limited)
The Courier (Limited)
Test Pattern (Virtual)
Truth to Power (Limited)
The Violent Heart (Limited)

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Film Preview: Breaking Fast (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(February 14, 2021) Original

Release Date:

January 22, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Mo, a practicing Muslim living in West Hollywood, is learning to navigate life post heartbreak. Enter Kal, an All-American guy who surprises Mo by offering to break fast with him during the holy month of Ramadan.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: While it’s no longer risky to feature a male-male or female-female couple, the baseline decision to just have a scene from the film on a poster design has little artistic value.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: It isn’t that this story has been told a lot or the trailer doesn’t put forth a charming narrative. It just all feels a bit too familiar and a bit too predictable to be as interesting as it needs to be.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Baby Done (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(February 14, 2021) Original

Release Date:

January 22, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Wannabe-adventurer Zoe freaks out when she falls pregnant to her long-term boyfriend Tim. As Tim embraces the prospect of fatherhood, Zoe attempts to rush through her dreams.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: There’s a lot in this design, but it feels rather bland. The color scheme and dull backdrop make for an uninspired choice.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: As funny as the lead is and how fresh the idea is, the trailer does everything in its power to make it all seem far too familiar and far less interesting.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Killing of Two Lovers (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(February 7, 2021) Original

Release Date:

February 23, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “David desperately tries to keep his family of six together during a separation from his wife. They both agree to see other people but David struggles to grapple with his wife’s new relationship.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: Dull posters are absolutely no fun and there’s nothing here that speaks to the film’s theme or subtext or any subtle attempt to pique the viewer’s interests.

Trailer Rating: C-

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Review: Indie dramas have a tendency to think their audience wants to see an unappealing concept expanded from a terribly dull and uninteresting trailer. There’s nothing here that would give anybody but the morbidly curious an interest in catching it in theaters or even on video.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Body Brokers (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(February 7, 2021) Original

Release Date:

February 19, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Utah (Jack Kilmer) and Opal (Alice Englert) are junkies living on the streets of rural Ohio until a seemingly chance encounter with the enigmatic Wood (Michael Kenneth Williams) brings them to Los Angeles for drug treatment. Utah appears to find sobriety with the help of treatment center shrink, Dr. White (Melissa Leo), and tech turned love interest, May (Jessica Rothe). They soon learn that drug treatment is but a cover for a predatory business, enlisting addicts to recruit other addicts. Utah is no exception. Wood and his drug treatment mogul partner, Vin (Frank Grillo), take Utah under their wing, introducing him to the good life, though Utah’s addiction remains his biggest obstacle.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: If it weren’t for that blank background and the perfect image with fake distressing, this might have been a fascinating play on the film’s premise.

Trailer Rating: C-

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Review: Sometimes, you have an interesting enough concept that it should be explanatory enough to elicit excitement while compelling enough to make it a must-see. The stars of the film as well as the execution of the trailer do everything possible to ruin whatever interest someone might have in seeing the film.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Mafia Inc (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(February 14, 2021) Original

Release Date:

February 19, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “The Gamache, tailors from father to son, have been dressing the Mafia family Paternò for three generation. Vince works on behalf of Frank the godfather with his eldest son Giaco. Vince seeks to earn his stripes by impressing the godfather.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: There isn’t enough to this design to make it appealing. It’s also misleading since the word mafia isn’t language-specific and the film is in Canadian French.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: It isn’t often that we hear about the Canadian Mafia (did anyone really think they wouldn’t have one), but this trailer does a lot of things we’ve seen in other similar films without giving the audience someone to glom onto as a charismatic protagonist.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Crisis (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(February 7, 2021) Original

Release Date:

February 26, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Three stories about the world of opioids collide: a drug trafficker arranges a multi-cartel Fentanyl smuggling operation between Canada and the U.S., an architect recovering from an OxyContin addiction tracks down the truth behind her son’s involvement with narcotics, and a university professor battles unexpected revelations about his research employer, a drug company with deep government influence bringing a new “non-addictive” painkiller to market.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: The attempt to create an inset of the three stars ultimately fails with the touching up of the edges making things look cheap and lazy and the added gun feeling fake, the lower part of the image is less interesting or striking.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: There likely was never a great concept at work behind the scenes of this trailer, so how it managed to attract someone like Gary Oldman is unknown. Everyone else is used to appearing in films that just don’t meet expectations and this trailer certainly satisfies that suspicion.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Days of the Bagnold Summer (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(February 7, 2021) Original

Release Date:

February 19, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A teenager spends his summer listening to heavy metal music and trying to get along with his librarian mom.”

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: C

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Review: Another indie seriocomedy that never finds its footing in a trailer that’s overlook and excessively explanatory without making the core premise enticing.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Test Pattern (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(February 7, 2021) Original

Release Date:

February 12, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Test Pattern follows an interracial couple whose relationship is put to the test after a Black woman is sexually assaulted and her white boyfriend drives her from hospital to hospital in search of a rape kit.”

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: C

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Review: With such a potent story at the core of the film, the trailer does very little right in expressing that importance to the viewer, making it feel like a throw-away indie sexual assault drama.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Sinners (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(February 7, 2021) Original

Release Date:

February 19, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “An A-List Girl clique starts a secret cult where each of them must embody one of the seven deadly sins. They realize there’s more to their small religious town after they go missing one by one.”

Poster Rating: C / C- / C+ / C (8)

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Review: (#1) The poor use of color, the accentuating of those colors, and the fake-looking staging don’t give the viewer enough information to care. (#2) Another dull use of color, which might explain the title change, but the end result isn’t something you would decide to see a movie based off of. (#3) The core image that leads to the subsequent character poster series is interesting enough, but also rather dull. (#4-#11) There isn’t enough difference between these character designs to make them feel like a necessary addition to your movie poster collection. They certainly wouldn’t draw viewers to the film itself.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: Add four more Heathers and you might just have what this film is trying to be…at least if you remember the film Heathers. Unfortunately, there’s no black comedy on display here, just faulty horror tropes that make it look like a dull cross between the aforementioned Heathers and Brian De Palma’s Carrie.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Silk Road (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(February 7, 2021) Original

Release Date:

February 19, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Philosophical twenty-something Ross Ulbricht creates Silk Road, a dark net website that sells narcotics, while DEA agent Rick Bowden goes undercover to bring him down.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: While the colors certainly draw your attention, it’s not kept long as there’s very little of import or interest here. Sure, you might spend time to find all the words highlighted in the background, but it still wouldn’t tell you much about it.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: There’s no doubt that there could be a very interesting story using this background information as a basis; however, the trailer makes absolutely no case for this film being the best attempt at it.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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