Coming Soon Trailers: Arrival, Shut In, Almost Christmas.

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Coming Soon Trailers: Arrival, Shut In, Almost Christmas.

We’ve got a wide selection of wide releases, from holiday comedy to Sci-Fi thriller, and three on demand titles with retro vibes.

This week runs the gamut of genres, most of which should find some breathing room despite Marvel’s latest super hero romp still going strong.  Arrival has a stellar cast and solid critical praise, though I don’t think they’re really impressing anyone with that “100% on Rotten Tomatoes” angle they seem intent on hawking.

Coming Soon Trailers: Arrival, Shut In, Almost Christmas.
The visuals, on the other hand…
Coming Soon Trailers: Arrival, Shut In, Almost Christmas.
God preserve me from another modern noir heist movie!

Looking at our selection of on demand titles, we also get three very different films, but they all seem to share a vintage fetish.  The Monster makes me think of a throwback horror film from the 1970’s, in a good way.  Dreamland feels like the ghost of Sinatra is hanging over the film, but it has a very talented cast that could catch your eye.  Finally, The Frontier is definitely channeling a 1970’s drive-in crime motif.  As always, let’s get cracking.

Wide Release

Arrival

Mysterious objects from space appear all over the globe, and a team of scientists and soldiers scramble to decode the cryptic signals coming from the vessels.

See It?:  Yes.

The film is well-cast and visually engaging, and while the story is not exactly a Sci-Fi revolution, the devil is in the details when it comes to “first contact” movies.  I’m intrigued.

Shut In

After a tragic accident that leaves a woman widowed and caring for her comatose son, she becomes embroiled in the case work of another young man without a family.  A mysterious tragedy strikes soon after she takes charge of the boy, and she discovers that malevolent powers have her trapped in her isolated New England home.

See It?:  Rent it.

I still haven’t seen enough from this film to warrant an immediate viewing.  If positive reviews come pouring in, it may be worth investigating.  It’s just not pressing my buttons right now.

Almost Christmas

Four generations struggle to spend the holiday together without burning down the house or killing each other with Christmas spirit.

See It?:  Skip it.

As much as like the cast, the jokes here seem like a holiday fruitcake, passed around from generic Christmas family get-togethers each year, quickly losing their appeal and flavor.  Plus, I’m still salty as hell with Danny Glover for making that epic piece of crap: Checkmate.

Video on Demand

The Frontier

A young woman passing through a sleepy town finds herself forced to stay by less-than-welcoming locals, and quickly becomes caught up in the maneuverings of several outlaws looking to lay low and split the proceeds from a string of armored car robberies.

See It?:  Skip It.

I want very much to like this one, but I’ve been burned by heist films one too many times this year.  They all try to be slick and stylish while dropping clunky dialogue, creating threadbare characters, and preening endlessly in front of the camera instead of creating intrigue.

The Monster

A mother and her young daughter break down in the woods after running over an animal, but while they wait for rescue they realize something larger and more vicious than a normal woodland creature is stalking them from the shadows.

See It?:  Yes.

Despite the AWFUL music in the trailer (that corny lullaby has got to go!) I’m interested in this film.  A small cast and a very small setting (inside of a car,) is quite a tall task to set oneself as a horror film maker.  How can you sustain tension with few potential victims and one transparent location?  I’ll check this out just to see if they can pull off a modern day Cujo here.

Dreamland

A young man with big dreams and no cash wants to open a piano bar, but can’t find his footing.  When he meets a seductive married woman who takes him under her wing, he feels that the odds are breaking his way.  Unfortunately, the affair threatens to crush his dreams before he can make them a reality.

See It?:  Yes, when it’s cheap.

The characters are not endearing, but the cast is superb.  A feel like these people are going to be interesting even when unlikable, much like the flawed characters in a Wes Anderson movie.  The retro, nostalgic vibe is well done.  This could go either way, but gets my tentative nod.

 

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