Welcome to Trailer Snark, a weekly column covering trailers for movies that will be released this week with thoughts from our roster of bloggers (Jessica from The Female Perspective, Ken from The Crank File, Jim from The Front Row View, Rob from Spector for Hire, and Great Stories founder Chris). Thanks for reading, and enjoy the previews!
Last Week: Suicide Squad paid dividends for the DC brand and Warner Bros again this week with a second straight week at number one and $43M in box office dollars bringing its domestic total to $222.8M. The next two entries were the brand new films Sausage Party ($33.6M) and Pete’s Dragon ($22.5M). Paul Greengrass’ Jason Bourne came in fourth ($13.6M/$126.7M). Bad Moms rounded out the top five ($11.4M/$71.4M). The rest of the list went as follows: The Secret Life of Pets ($8.8M/$335.9M), Star Trek Beyond ($6.8M/$139.6M), Florence Foster Jenkins ($6.5M/NEW), Nine Lives ($3.5M/$13.5M), and Lights Out ($3.2M/$61.1M). Let’s take a look at this weekend’s new releases!
Kubo and the Two Strings (Focus Features) – Animation/Family
Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images, action and peril
Tag Line: Be bold. Be brave. Be epic.
Starring: Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes
Plot: A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.
Running Time: 101 minutes
Rob: I have been waiting for years for this one!! It looks awesome. The story is absolutely intriguing, and the origami-stylization of the 3D stop-motion animation is eye-popping. Get me my ticket and my popcorn. This is THE movie to see this week.
Chris: Total renter for me. I could have predicted that Animaniac Rob would be all over this one though.
Jessica: Holy moly does this look amazing! I admit the trailer got me, using “As My Guitar Gently Weeps” as the music was a perfect touch. I’d see this in the theater and I don’t normally go for animated features in the theater.
Jim: Love the design, this looks pretty amazing. This weekend for sure.
Ken: The visuals look unbelievable and that Beatles cover… Origasmi.
Ben-Hur (Paramount) – History/Drama/Adventure
Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and disturbing images
Tag Line: Teacher. Prophet. Savior.
Starring: Jack Huston, Morgan Freeman
Plot: The epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother, an officer in the Roman army. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but finds redemption.
Running Time: 124 minutes
Ken: I dig the gladiator battles, but PG-13? I demand blood! Love the accents in these ancient-timey films. Everyone sounds somewhere between British and Australian. Except Morgan Freeman who just sounds awesome, no accent required.
Rob: Looks great, but we already had remakes in 2010 and 2003. WTF Hollywood? Hire some writers. Create some new stories.
Chris: I know it’s been remade a bunch of times, but it looks EPIC!
Jessica: Not even Morgan Freeman can make me watch this pile of poo. I didn’t even get through the trailer. I’ll stay home and watch “Gladiator” or “300” instead, thanks.
Jim: I’m a big fan of the ancient epics of Old Hollywood. The 1959 version was always a favorite. Doesn’t look like there’s much new here.
War Dogs (Warner Bros) – Comedy/Drama
Rated R for language throughout, drug use and some sexual references
Tag Line: Money, corruption and the American dream
Starring: Jonah Hill, Miles Teller
Plot: Based on the true story of two young men, David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, who won a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm America’s allies in Afghanistan.
Running Time: 114 minutes
Jim: Blah. Couldn’t find anything remotely funny in this.
Ken: This looks more interesting than funny. It’s been Hollywooded up for sure, but it’s a true story. It feels like Blow, except with guns instead of cocaine.
Rob: Might be good for a rental for laughs. Not a big-screen experience though.
Chris: Not even remotely interested.
Jessica: I’m hopefully optimistic about this. It’s association with The Hangover makes me nervous (adore the first on, hate the other 2) BUT, Jonah Hill looks amazingly crazy and I might even be able to deal with Miles Teller. It’s intriguing to say the least.
Morris from America (A24) – Comedy/Drama
Rated R for teen drug use and partying, sexual material, brief nudity, and language throughout
Tag Line: Nothing rhymes with Germany.
Starring: Markees Christmas, Craig Robinson
Plot: The romantic and coming-of-age misadventures of a 13-year-old American living in Germany.
Running Time: 91 minutes
Jessica: This looks like so much more than just a simple movie about a rapper from America in Germany. It looks funny and sweet and a lot of fun.
Jim: No interest whatsoever.
Ken: Having lived overseas for a period in my 20’s and being a bit of a rapper myself, I really connected with this trailer. I’ll watch this at home, away from the haters.
Rob: I couldn’t even make it through the whole trailer. A movie about a young rapper growing up overseas. Pass.
Chris: Go to your room….why? Because you like terrible movie trailers.
Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (Sony) – Animation/Adventure
Rated PG-13 for fantasy violence and action throughout
Tag Line: None
Starring: Lena Headey, Aaron Paul, Sean Bean
Plot: King Regis, who oversees the land of Lucis, commands his army of soldiers to protect the kingdom from the Niflheim empire’s plans to steal the sacred crystal which gives Lucis its magic and power.
Running Time: 110 minutes
Chris: This looks beyond awful. And I usually like this kind of thing.
Jessica: I didn’t even watch it, looks boring if you’re not a Final Fantasy fan (which I am not).
Ken: Looks like the cheese stands alone on this one. I stopped playing FF around number VII, but the best part of those games were the cut scenes. Square Enix made the most jaw-dropping, butt-kicking CG animation you had ever seen. They were always two steps ahead of the competition and I think they’ve done it again. I can’t say much for the story here, but there were a handful of scenes where I couldn’t tell whether I was watching animation or real actors. That alone is worth a play through. This is a video game trailer, right?
Rob: I’ll rent it for the animation, but the story does not look strong by any means.
Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (Magnolia) – Documentary
Tag Line: The virtual evolution of humankind
Starring: Elon Musk, Lawrence Krauss
Plot: Werner Herzog’s exploration of the Internet and the connected world.
Running Time: 98 minutes
Rob: The internet is a manifestation of evil? M’kay. Pass. Even on the rental front. Pass.
Chris: Actually, this looks fantastic. Just not on the big screen. Been a big fan of Herzog’s documentarian output.
Jessica: Looks really interesting, but an at home viewer for sure (and FYI, being able to Tweet THOUGHTS? No thank you!).
Jim: Always good to see a trailer full of something stimulating and intellectually fulfilling. At the very least, a rental for this.
Ken: Lo and be bored.
Tickets Purchased: Four Tickets for Kubo (Rob, Jessica, Jim, and Ken) and One for Ben-Hur (Chris)