Category: Previews

Film Preview: Demonic (2021)

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Page Revisions:

(July 25, 2021) Original

Release Date:

August 20, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A young woman unleashes terrifying demons when supernatural forces at the root of a decades-old rift between mother and daughter are ruthlessly revealed.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: The digitalization of the cross makes sense within the concept of the film, but it’s not part of an appealing design.

Trailer Rating: B- / C+

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Review: (#1 & #2) The concept of demonic possession has been a part of cinema for decades. Most of these kinds of films follow a similar formula, especially those released in the last couple of decades. Yet Neill Blomkamp definitely looks like he’s trying to do something new with his quasi-futuristic Cell-like notion of invading another person’s mind. Where it goes is somewhat easy to tell, unless he’s better at subverting expectations than audiences are at setting them. The first trailer is quite a bit more appealing than the second, but neither is terribly impressive.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Dune (2021)

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Page Revisions:

(July 25, 2021) Original

Release Date:

October 22, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Feature adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel, about the son of a noble family entrusted with the protection of the most valuable asset and most vital element in the galaxy.”

Poster Rating: C (14)

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Review: This series of character designs are intended to stoke interest in fans of the novel. They won’t do much for general audiences, especially since they are very limited in terms of artistic quality.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: A drab, but exciting trailer features moments of wonder combined with witless attempts at humor. It’s going to appeal to sci-fi fans mostly, especially those who’ve read the actual novel.

Oscar Prospects:

One of the year’s bigger Oscar contenders, Denis Villeneuve’s big screen take on Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel has plenty of potential and a starry cast that could struggle with Oscar voters while the production values alone could net it several below-the-line nominations with a Best Picture nod coming in tandem.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Swan Song (2021)

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Page Revisions:

(July 25, 2021) Original

Release Date:

August 13, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A formerly flamboyant hairdresser takes a long walk across a small town to style a dead woman’s hair.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: At first it’s easy to mistake Udo Kier for Terence Stamp, but after that, the flamboyance comes through well with a color scheme that is heavily complimentary if not simplistic.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: This looks like a number of simplistic stories of former gay luminaries trying to find their way back into the limelight. It feels both familiar and fresh.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Last Duel (2021)

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Page Revisions:

(July 25, 2021) Original

Release Date:

October 15, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “King Charles VI declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by challenging him to a duel.”

Poster Rating: B-

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Review: As simple as this design is, it harkens back to a Bergman-esque style with the simple line art and the Seventh Seal-styled figure.

Trailer Rating: B+

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Review: If we’ve seen a film like this one before, it’s been a very long time. The period storyline makes for an interesting backdrop and the narrative looks compelling.

Oscar Prospects:

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon won Oscars for writing the script to 1997’s Good Will Hunting. It’s now been 24 years and they could be in the hunt again alongside Can You Ever Forgive Me? screenwriter Nicole Holofcener. Directed by Ridley Scott, it could also be a return for him as the film feels like a major contender at this juncture.

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Film Preview: Jolt (2021)

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Page Revisions:

(July 18, 2021) Original

Release Date:

July 23, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A bouncer with a slightly murderous anger-management problem that she controls with the help of an electrode-lined vest she uses to shock herself back to normalcy whenever she gets homicidal. After the first guy she’s ever fallen for is murdered, she goes on a revenge-fueled rampage to find the killer while the cops pursue her as their chief suspect.”

Poster Rating: C+

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Review: The layers of puns aren’t that helpful. The colors are bright and appealing, but the design is lackluster and staid.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: The narrative sounds predictable in spite its elements of originality. The trailer itself highlights plenty of action, but never makes the film feel more than adequate.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Queenpins (2021)

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Page Revisions:

(July 18, 2021) Original

Release Date:

September 10, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A pair of housewives create a $40 million coupon scam.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: This two-panel design has little of interest in it and the actors don’t make it look terribly appealing.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: The lack of humor in a comedy film trailer hints at more than a handful of problems for the picture and its potential lack of hilarious qualities.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: The Exchange (2021)

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Page Revisions:

(July 18, 2021) Original
(July 25, 2021) New Poster (#1)

Release Date:

July 30, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Hoping to find friendship with a French exchange student, an awkward teenager discovers that the student is not as sophisticated and cultured as he assumed.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: The balance of the red-white-and-blue color scheme is well handled, but the end result isn’t something particularly appealing.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: A film about a troublemaking charismatic foreign exchange student has a lot of potential, but the trailer doesn’t quite provide the supporting documentation to compel the audience to give the film a try.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Beckett (2021)

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Page Revisions:

(July 18, 2021) Original

Release Date:

August 13, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Following a tragic car accident in Greece, Beckett, an American tourist, finds himself at the center of a dangerous political conspiracy and on the run for his life.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: This design says nothing about the kind of film it is. Sure, there’s the gun and the arm cast, but that’s it, which is not enough to be appealing.

Trailer Rating: B-

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Review: The thriller elements of the trailer aren’t well focused, making the film feel pathless and derivative.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Turning Red (2022)

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Page Revisions:

(July 18, 2021) Original

Release Date:

March 11, 2022

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A 13-year-old girl turns into a giant red panda whenever she gets too excited.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: Cute, sure, but not detailed enough.

Trailer Rating: B

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Review: More than many animated teasers of late, this trailer looks a little bit more juvenile than prior Pixar/Disney efforts, but that might just be why it’s releasing early in 2022 rather than in summer or winter.

Oscar Prospects:

It’s a bit early, but the film will at least compete for Best Animated Feature if nothing else.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Encanto (2021)

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Page Revisions:

(July 18, 2021) Original

Release Date:

November 24, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A young Colombian girl has to face the frustration of being the only member of her family without magical powers.”

Poster Rating: B- / B

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Review: (#1) Although the capybara, toucan, and parrot are cute, they don’t add much to a satisfactory design. (#2) While it doesn’t entirely speak to the film’s concept, there’s just enough here to be intriguing.

Trailer Rating: B+

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Review: While the trailer is somewhat enchanting, the musical elements are minimized to the point of feeling irrelevant. That kind of deemphasis has doomed more than a handful of potential blockbusters.

Oscar Prospects:

A certain contender for Best Animated Feature and is very likely to compete in Original Song and Original Score as well, which means Sound is, in tandem, a potential.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Ema (2021)

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Page Revisions:

(July 18, 2021) Original

Release Date:

August 13, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A couple deals with the aftermath of an adoption that goes awry as their household falls apart.”

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 doesn’t quite explain the narrative and plotting elements that would make it compelling. What makes it fascinating is the rhythmic, entrancing nature of the music and dance elements. That could be enough to entice curiosity seekers.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Pig (2021)

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Page Revisions:

(July 11, 2021) Original

Release Date:

July 16, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “A truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness must return to his past in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig after she is kidnapped.”

Poster Rating: C- / D

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Review: (#1) Simple, but unappealing. This close up of a pig’s hide adds nothing of measurable importance. (#2) The absence of background detail and the visage of star Nicolas Cage don’t make for a very interesting design, especially in this dark and dull effort.

Trailer Rating: C

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Review: This truffle-hunting pig version of John Wick is a seemingly existential film that doesn’t look terribly appealing or interesting. The trailer is generic, confusing, and lifeless.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Settlers (2021)

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Page Revisions:

(July 18, 2021) Original

Release Date:

July 23, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Mankind’s earliest settlers on the Martian frontier do what they must to survive the cosmic elements and each other.”

Poster Rating: C

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Review: The background is a shade misleading and the foreground while minorly contemplative is not very intriguing.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: As compelling as the concept might sound on paper, the execution provided in the trailer is rote and uninvolving.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Midnight in the Switchgrass (2021)

Film Poster

Page Revisions:

(July 18, 2021) Original

Release Date:

July 23, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “An FBI agent and Florida State officer team up to investigate a string of unsolved murder cases.”

Poster Rating: C-

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Review: There’s nothing much to see here. The background and lower foreground details simply don’t make up for the cheapness of the design.

Trailer Rating: C+

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Review: A surprisingly effective trailer for a film that is very clearly a throwaway effort for all those involved.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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Film Preview: Mandibles (2021)

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Page Revisions:

(July 18, 2021) Original

Release Date:

July 23, 2021

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Two simple-minded friends discover a giant fly in the trunk of a car and decide to domesticate it to earn money with it.”

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: Selling the film on its creator’s previous work (Rubber and Deerskin) could have been more effective, but the strangeness of the events in the trailer, combined with the elements of satire and farce might ultimately make the film more appealing than it might otherwise be.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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