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!
The Birth of a Nation (Fox Searchlight Pictures) – Biography/Drama
Rated R for disturbing violent content, and some brief nudity
Tag Line: None
Starring: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller
Plot: Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher in the antebellum South, orchestrates an uprising.
Running Time: 120 minutes
Chris: Emotionally stirring. Any story that speaks to our natural God-given right for freedom sings to me. It is in our DNA.
Jim: Who can resist any trailer like this? There are a few genres I’d like to see put to bed, but anything with an anti-slavery message will never be included.
Jessica: Definitely a must watch in my house. Looks amazing.
Ken: I have conflicting views about this movie. On one hand, I think this looks like a beautiful, deeply courageous and spiritual film about of a slave’s fight for humanity. On the other hand, and I know this won’t be a popular opinion, with the already abysmal state of race relations in this country today, I worry that the movie is framing violence and vengeance as a justifiable response to social injustice. Nat Turner’s rebellion murdered white men, women and children indiscriminately. Was the killing of innocents justified? Was the Dallas police shooter justified in his actions? How about Jihadists? I don’t think there are any easy answers here, which is why I can’t completely get behind this one with the rest of you.
Rob: Looks like a powerful film to say the least. Would definitely watch on Netflix down the road.
The Girl on the Train (Universal Pictures) – Mystery/Thriller
Rated R for violence, sexual content, language and nudity
Tag Line: Based on the novel that shocked the world
Starring: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson
Plot: A divorcee becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation that promises to send shockwaves throughout her life.
Running Time: 112 minutes
Rob: Looks like a solid thriller. Would rather read the book though.
Chris: Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good mystery. It was true when I was a wee bit lad and fell in love with Mystery Incorporated, and remains true to this day. Count me in.
Jim: A gripping book (better than the over-hyped Gone Girl, I thought) looks like it was made into a good move. Emily Blunt is a plus.
Jessica: I loved Gone Girl and while I haven’t read this book yet, I have heard a ton about it. It looks like a good movie too, I’m in!
Ken: Looks thrilling. I’m on board.
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (CBS Films) – Comedy
Rated PG for rude humor throughout, language and thematic elements
Tag Line: Rules aren’t for everyone.
Starring: Griffin Gluck, Lauren Graham, Alexa Nisenson
Plot: Imaginative quiet teenager Rafe Katchadorian is tired of his middle school’s obsession with the rules at the expense of any and all creativity. Desperate to shake things up, Rafe and his best friends have come up with a plan: break every single rule in the school and let the students run wild.
Running Time: 92 minutes
Ken: Listen kid, if you think that middle school is bad, just wait until you get a job. Soul. Crush.
Jessica: I can’t even stand seeing the trailers on TV. BIG PASS on this one. Looks awful.
Chris: I found myself headbanging to the trailer with the old school Twisted Sister. Actually looks mildly humorous and worth a “Home Alone” view.
Rob: Looks kinda funny, but certainly not something I’d go see in theaters. I also agree that Twisted Sister rocks!
Jim: I second Chris on this (unless my daughter drags me to see it).
Tickets Purchased: Four for The Girl on the Train (Jessica, Ken, Jim, and Chris) and Rob stays home to save his hard-earned dollars for the upcoming Rogue One!