Trailer Round-Up – 1/21/19

Little Woods

What Men Want special look

Spider-Man: Far From Home teaser trailer

Spider-Man: Far From Home international teaser trailer

High Life

Five Feet Apart

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

The Hummingbird Project

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase


Which of these films are you excited to see?

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Hall Pass Review

Hall Pass movie posterSynopsis
Rick (Owen Wilson) and Fred (Jason Sudeikis) receive hall passes from their wives, who are becoming frustrated in their marriages, allowing them to do whatever they want with other women without consequences for a week.

Review
There are times when you watch a movie and really enjoy it, then you don’t watch it for years. Eventually, you come across it again and remember enjoying it all those years ago so you watch it. Except this time, you don’t find it as enjoyable as you did before. That’s Hall Pass for me. When you see Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis at the top of the billing, you know exactly what kind of comedy you’re in for; It’s the kind of comedy that is my bread and butter. However, it doesn’t seem to have aged as well as other similar films I can watch over and over. Wilson and Sudeikis make a great pair and the two of them together is when I laughed the most. The leading ladies, Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate, are excellent as well. Even the supporting cast is fun to watch, especially Rick’s (Wilson) and Fred’s (Sudeikis) group of friends. The chemistry was there, so the cast isn’t the problem. Rather the writing was this films biggest weakness. When a joke or gag was funny, it was hilarious. But not many of them were funny. For a comedy, that’s the exact opposite of what you want.

I thought Hall Pass was OK 😐 When I laughed, I laughed hard. Unfortunately, those laughs felt few and far between. The entire cast was great but the script wasn’t there to support them. I was expecting more from the Farrelly Brothers.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Bobby Farrelly – Director / Screenplay
Peter Farrelly – Director / Screenplay
Pete Jones – Story / Screenplay
Kevin Barnett – Screenplay

Owen Wilson – Rick
Jason Sudeikis – Fred
Jenna Fischer – Maggie
Christina Applegate – Grace
Nicky Whelan – Leigh
Derek Waters – Brent
Stephen Merchant – Gary
Larry Joe Campbell – Hog-Head
JB Smoove – Flats
Joy Behr – Dr. Lucy
Bruce Thomas – Rick Coleman
Tyler Hoechlin – Gerry
Richard Jenkins – Coakley
Alexandra Daddario – Paige
Kristin Carey – Aunt Meg

Gabriel Review

Gabriel movie posterSynopsis
In purgatory, archangels and the fallen battle for the souls who have traveled there. Gabriel (Andy Whitfield), the last archangel to join the fight, must find his fellow archangels and defeat the leader of the fallen, Sammael (Dwaine Stevenson).

Review
Within the first few minutes, I was able to guess the time period of Gabriel‘s release. My initial guess was around 2004. Its actual release date is 2007. I bring this up because this movie’s style is such a product of its time. Not that that is a bad thing but all this movie has is style. The action scenes are clearly influenced by movie like The Matrix and Equilibrium but it doesn’t understand what made the action work in those films. The fight choreography in Gabriel was good and exciting. Unfortunately, the movie tries too hard to add flare to the cinematography of these scenes that it becomes detrimental the scene itself. I couldn’t see what was happening half of the time. For example, one fight scene takes place in a club with a strobe effect, one fight scene takes place in a hallway where the characters could only be seen through the door frames, and another takes place during a thunderstorm where the only source of light is the lightning. Frequently, there were many weird lighting choices that made the scenes hard to see and difficult to follow. And that’s not including all the cutaways, an obvious influence of The Bourne Identity.

Ignoring the poorly filmed action scenes, the story doesn’t do this film any favors. There is text and exposition in the opening to set up the concept of the fight between archangels, the fallen, and their fight in purgatory. It sets up rules for the fight between the light and the darkness and for the souls of those in purgatory but isn’t clear about what needs to be done to save those stuck between heaven and hell. Also, the revelation at the end was obvious and I called it halfway through the film. Maybe I’m thinking too much about this and should have just shut my brain off and (attempted to) enjoy the action sequences but there is too much about the story that wasn’t made clear that I just wanted to understand.

I thought Gabriel was BAD 😦 For an action movie, the action sequences are, while well choreographed, poorly filmed. Plus the story is mucky and unengaging. Unless you’re a fan of bad B-films, chances are you won’t find much in this film that is worth your time.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Shane Abbess – Director / Writer
Matt Hylton Todd – Writer
Brian Cachia – Composer

Andy Whitfield – Gabriel
Dwaine Stevenson – Sammael
Samantha Noble – Jade
Michael Piccirilli – Asmodeus
Jack Campbell – Raphael
Erika Heynatz – Lilith
Harry Pavlidis – Uriel
Kevin Copeland – Ahriman
Matt Hylton Todd – Ithuriel
Brendan Clearkin – Balan
Goran D. Kleut – Moloch
Valentino Del Toro – Baliel
Amy Mathews – Maggie
Paul Winchester – Marcus
Richard Huggett – Max

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Review

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse movie posterSynopsis
Shortly after Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) is bitten by a radioactive spider, he meets Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), the Spider-Man from another dimension. Miles works with Peter to learn how to be Spider-Man and to stop the Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) from tearing apart reality.

Review
There is nothing left for me to say that I haven’t said before on this blog about my love for Spider-Man. And after 6 live-action movies (7 if you include his appearance in Captain America: Civil War), which include three origin stories, since 2001, you would think Sony wouldn’t have anything left to say about the character either. However, Sony dug deep and gave us a new look at the character. In doing so, they circumvented any expectations you might have had, delivering their most memorable and faithful take on the character yet.

The first thing you’re bound to notice when watching this film is its gorgeous animation. I can truly say I have never seen anything like it before. It looks like you’re watching a moving comic book. What blows me away is the way the backgrounds are animated. If it’s not the focus of the shot, it’s blurry and often the colors go outside the lines, like something you might have seen back in the early days of comics. To also go along with the classic comic book style, this movie pulls a 1960s Batman and shows action words with the heroes’ punches and kicks. And if they are tapping something, squiggly lines appear so you know there is contact. I can’t say enough good things about the animation style; I love it!

Miles Morales is a fan favorite character, so it was brilliant to finally tell a story centered around him. Peter Parker is the Spider-Man we all know and love but we’ve gotten to know him and love him on the screen plenty since 2001, so it’s probably time for him to let another spider hero take the spotlight. While this is yet another superhero origin story, and contains many of the tropes you might have come to expect, it still has a lot of heart. As a result, there is a lot of familiarity but it manages to feel different at the same time.

Much like Paul Rudd in Ant-Man, Jake Johnson is not a name I would have picked to portray a super hero. However, Johnson’s take on Peter Parker is great. His voice fits the older version well. I wouldn’t have expected Johnson to ever play a superhero, let alone be a good one.

One of Spider-Man’s signature characteristics is his quips and jokes both in and out of battle. And honestly, as great as several of the live-action films have been, Spider-Man’s humor is something they have consistently missed to varying degrees. However, Into the Spider-Verse nails it on the head. I think this is why Johnson ends up fitting into the role so well. If you’ve seen him in the television series New Girl, you’ll know that he has good comedic timing, which he uses to create a Peter Parker that is more like his comic book counterpart than any big screen iteration of the character to date.

Another thing that I love about this movie is the amount of spider heroes it introduces. Not only did it stray away from having Peter Parker being the main character and not only did it introduce Miles Morales, it introduced a whole group of new characters. Other fan favorites like Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Man Noir (Nicholas Cage), and Spider-Ham (John Mulaney) made appearances and played decently significant roles in the film. I can’t see this kind of story being adapted in a live-action setting so kudos to Sony for using an animated film to tell this story and bring these characters together. The door is now open to the literally endless spider men and women that can show up in future sequels. Personally, I can’t wait to see more.

I thought Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was GREAT 😀 It blows away any expectation I had going into it. I’m excited to see Miles finally getting his own movie, while also bringing in other popular alternative spider heroes. While taking a back seat to Miles, Jake Johnson’s Spider-Man is the most like the comic book of the version character that has been brought to the screen. In taking a chance on doing something different, Spider-Verse has given us the best representation of Spider-Man and the Spider-Man universe on film yet.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Bob Persichette – Director
Peter Ramsey – Director
Rodney Rothman – Director / Screenplay
Phil Lord – Story / Screenplay
Daniel Pemberton – Composer

Shameik Moore – Miles Morales (voice)
Jake Johnson – Peter B. Parker (voice)
Hailee Steinfeld – Gwen Stacy (voice)
Mahershala Ali – Uncle Aaron (voice)
Brian Tyree Henry – Jefferson Davis (voice)
Lily Tomlin – Aunt May (voice)
Zoe Kravitz – Mary Jane (voice)
John Mulaney – Spider-Ham (voice)
Kimiko Glenn – Peni Parker (voice)
Nicolas Cage – Spider-Man Noir (voice)
Kathryn Hahn – Doc Ock (voice)
Liev Schreiber – Wilson Fisk (voice)
Chris Pine – Peter Perker (voice)
Oscar Isaac – Interesting Person #1 (voice)
Greta Lee – Interesting Person #2 (voice)