Category: Film Previews

Film Preview: Zola (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(May 9, 2021) Original

Release Date:

June 30, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A stripper named Zola embarks on a wild road trip to Florida.”

Poster Rating: C / C

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Review: (#1) The almost kaleidoscopic effect here is interesting, but there aren’t enough details to be interesting. (#2) The same basic color scheme as the prior with the same kaleidoscope effect, but this is also equally uninteresting.

Trailer Rating: C-

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Review: A chaotic, messy trailer that tells us there’s an overarching story at play in the film that the audience will know up front, but we never get an understanding of what it is or why it’s important.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Weekend Preview: May 21-23, 2021

Below are six previews for films opening next weekend.

 

Army of the Dead (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Blast Beat (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Dream Horse (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

The Dry (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

New Order (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Seance (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 

Film Preview: Seance (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(May 16, 2021) Original

Release Date:

May 21, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Camille, a young woman who arrives at the Fairfield Academy following one of the student’s untimely and violent death.”

Poster Rating: C- / D+

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Review: (#1) This design does nothing to tell us about the premise, at least without rudimentary and uninspired details. (#2) The colors are hideous and the hands look fake with the cheesy skeletal hands adding a dose of cheapness.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: Some nice touches make this rudimentary girls school horror film almost feel like it’s going to be something better than it is. The trailer itself is rather boring, which might make it more difficult to find an audience.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Blast Beat (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(May 16, 2021) Original

Release Date:

May 21, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Two young brothers from Colombia struggle to fit into their new lives in suburban America.”

Poster Rating: B- / C-

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Review: (#1) A nice array of underutilized colors with a surprising lack of detail. (#2) The design features the protagonists, but nothing of the film’s themes while making it look particularly dull.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: The trailer goes out of its way to muddy the waters of the narrative, making the film look like it wants to be something, but doesn’t quite know how to anchor itself.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Werewolves Within (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(May 9, 2021) Original

Release Date:

June 2, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Feature adaptation of the video game where werewolves attack a small town.”

Poster Rating: B

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Review: It’s a cute little design that says a lot about the nature of the film and its homespun charm. A very effective effort.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: Contrary to the poster design, the trailer is unfocused, keeping the audience form latching onto its core narrative with anything more than cursory exposition. Without knowing a film’s premise or purpose, it really makes it hard to get excited.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Gaia (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(May 9, 2021) Original

Release Date:

June 18, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “On a surveillance mission in a primordial forest, a park ranger encounters two survivalists following a post-apocalyptic lifestyle. The boy and his philosophical father seem to have their own religion, and a mysterious relationship to nature. There are many suspicious aspects to their existence, but when the cabin is attacked by strange, post-human beings one night, she learns that there is a greater threat in this emergent wilderness.”

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: A dull trailer with some gross imagery, but little in the way of narrative thrust. Combine that with the non-English dialogue and it makes the film difficult to understand both thematically and subjectively.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Trailer Watch: In the Heights (2021) Updated

In the Heights posterNew Trailer (#5) — New Poster (#8)

In the Heights, updated

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

Trailer Watch: Wrath of Man (2021) Updated

Wrath of Man posterNew Trailer (#2) — New Poster (#2)

Wrath of Man, updated

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

2021 Oscar Season Box Office 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.

December 4, 2020

All My Life

Oscar Prospects: What I said: “None.”
Oscar Results: None.
Box Office Prospects: $5 M
Box Office Expectations: What I Said: “Weak. The premise doesn’t sound like something holiday audiences will want to catch at the box office, but a weepy might find some small audience. It’s just not certain.”
Box Office Results: $0.914 M
Thoughts: [Unexceptional] Even during a pandemic box office, this result makes it a clear dud.

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Looking at the Weekend: May 14-16, 2021

The busiest weekend of the late-pandemic box office yet finds four films releasing wide this weekend. Finding You seems like the kind of film that never quite matches studio expectations. Profile doesn’t have the kind of premise that plays well to broad audiences. Spiral will test whether the horror box office numbers are ready to rebound as this is one of the genres that’s most struggled during the pandemic, but it’s also the only film releasing this weekend that seems like a chart-topping winner. Those Who Wish Me Dead is likely to compete for second with Angelina Jolie in peril, which might just bring a few people to the box office.

Our Highest Rated Films: Profile, Those Who Wish Me Dead
Our Best Awards Ratings: None

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

Finding You (Wide)
Profile (Wide)
Spiral (Wide)
Those Who Wish Me Dead (Wide)
The Djinn (Limited)
Georgetown (Limited)
Los Hermanos/The Brothers (Limited)
The Killing of Two Lovers (Limited)
The Man in the Hat (Limited)
The Perfect Candidate (Limited)
La piscine (Limited)
Punk the Capital (Limited)
Riders of Justice (Limited)
RK/RKAY (Limited)
There Is No Evil (Limited)
Us Kids (Limited)

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Film Preview: Plan B (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(May 9, 2021) Original

Release Date:

May 28, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Follows a straight-laced high school student and her slacker best friend who, after a regrettable first sexual encounter, have 24 hours to hunt down a Plan B pill in America’s heartland.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: The central image and its narrative connection is compelling, but the background is bland.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: While the trailer isn’t nearly as funny as it could be, there’s just enough humor to put this squarely in the comedy category and positioning the film as a statement on the difficulty of abortifacient access makes for an interesting comparison.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Night House (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(May 9, 2021) Original

Release Date:

July 16, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A widow begins to uncover her recently deceased husband’s disturbing secrets.”

Poster Rating: C+ / B- / C

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Review: (#1) The see-through hand is the most interesting element in this design. The colors are commonplace, but handled modestly well. (#2) Again the same color scheme, but still well placed and the image is simple and somewhat evocative. A compositionally solid arrangement. (#3) This design isn’t terribly inventive or otherwise appealing. It’s a dull set of colors with few intriguing details.

Trailer Rating: A-

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Review: While some trailers need narrative details to give the audience something to latch onto, this trailer does little with that and still manages to create an air of mystery that pulls the audience in. A fascinating approach that works surprisingly well here.

Oscar Prospects:

Could this be one of the rare inventive horror films that can nab a Best Actress nominee? Rebecca Hall has been circling Oscar nominations before in critically-favored roles, but the Academy’s aversion to horror has kept many actresses from securing nominations for such. Even Emily Blunt couldn’t ride the wave of popularity of The Quiet Place to an Oscar nomination, so I doubt the less “overdue” Hall is going to have a steeper hill to climb.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Spirit Untamed (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(May 2, 2021) Original

Release Date:

June 4, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Lucky Prescott’s life is changed forever when she move from her home in the city to a small frontier town and befriends a wild mustang named Spirit.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: If the designer’s intentions were to sell this film to the stereotype of girls, comprising their image primarily of warm, yellows, pinks, and purples while featuring the female protagonist and her equally stereotypical love of a horse, they might succeed, but the overly bright and chipper design won’t appeal to nearly as many as they would hope.

Trailer Rating: C-

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Review: The cheap-looking Spirit Stallion of the Cimarron has spawned what looks almost nothing like a sequel, but might well be one. Either way, we’ve seen a lot of great CGI animation in recent years, so why is the studio stepping back for something this uninspired.

Oscar Prospects:

An entry in the year’s Animated Feature race, but one that’s likely to be ignored.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(May 2, 2021) Original

Release Date:

June 4, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them beyond anything they’d ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: The light cast on her face in the shape of a cross is cheaply theatric and the dullness of the accompanying image isn’t terribly enticing.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: I remain unimpressed with these trailers that suggest that the paranormal shysters whose “case files,” the studio shamelessly keeps pulling from. They defrauded countless families and Warner Bros. insists on making tons of money off their lies. Aside from that, the effectiveness of trailers for this series are diminishing as we’re given new stories that seem like the old stories without a growth in originality that should have long ago decreased the series’ ability to draw an audience.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Weekend Preview: May 14-16, 2021

Below are eight previews for films opening next weekend.

 

Finding You (Wide)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Profile (Wide)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Spiral (Wide)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Those Who Wish Me Dead (Wide)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

The Djinn (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

The Killing of Two Lovers (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

The Man in the Hat (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview
 
 
 

Riders of Justice (Limited)

Cinema Sight Preview