Coming Soon Trailers: Early Bird Edition.

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Coming Soon Trailers: Early Bird Edition.

Thanks to Turkey Day being this Thursday, 4 wide releases will begin their run Wednesday instead of the usual Friday.

Coming Soon Trailers: Early Bird Edition.The good news is that we have two extra days to watch movies this week.  The bad news is that I have to write this article early.  All in all, a fair trade.

Four new wide releases hit theaters in advance of Thanksgiving, and we have yet another heavy rotation of Video On Demand features.  Disney looks to cement their earnings lead with a new animated feature, Moana.  They will probably be competing with themselves as Doctor Strange is still the film to beat this week end.

If you’re looking to stay home and avoid the marauding hordes of Black Friday shoppers, we have six new VOD offerings this week.  Pop some alka-seltzer and let’s get cracking.

Wide Release

Allied

A Canadian intelligence officer (Brad Pitt) meets a daring French Resistance fighter (Marion Cottilard) during a mission, and later the two marry and settle in London.  Their fairy tale romance is soon threatened as his superiors believe her to be a double agent working for Germany.  His orders are to surveil her and kill her if she is a traitor.  Instead, he opts to defy his agency and prove her innocence…but is she truly innocent?

See It?:  Rent it.

I love Marion Cottilard, and I like the visuals here, but this just feels like a dramatized version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith.  Brad Pitt tends to go back to the well in cycles, so I don’t think this is going to be anything groundbreaking or thought provoking.

Moana

A young woman with a strong connection to the sea disobeys her father’s edict to never travel farther than the reef that protects their island.  She discovers a talisman that could restore the peaceful balance her people used to enjoy with nature, but a rogue demi-god (Dwayne Johnson) tries to trip her up at every turn.

See It?:  Yes.

I wasn’t very impressed with the press releases, but this trailer is gold.  I like the characters, and I love how snarky and funny, in a PG way, Dwayne Johnson is.  Disney is going to strike paydirt again here.

Bad Santa 2

Willie, a drunk belligerent mall Santa (Billy Bob Thornton) and his abusive elf sidekick Marcus (Tony Cox) team up for yet another Christmas Day heist, but has Willie gone soft since helping a young boy, now an awkward teen, find his confidence all those Christmasses ago?

See It?:  Maybe.

Wait for a review you trust for this one. That trailer looks great, and the talent is all aboard…but early criticism is that this is a lackluster copy of the first without the biting cynicism.  I thought the first one looked like trash till I saw it, and now I think the second one looks great before seeing it.  I’m up in the air here.

Rules Don’t Apply

A young woman from a conservative family attempts to make her Hollywood dreams come true by working for the enigmatic Howard Hughes.  Her values are constantly in turmoil as she learns to deal with the eccentric billionaire and falls in love with the chauffeur hired to escort her to and from the movie sets.

See It?:  Nope.

This over-done turkey needed less time in the oven.  It’s a vanity piece that skewers a Hollywood that is dead and gone.  This movie is 60 years too late, and doesn’t have the cult of personality it requires to make the mild points offered seem illuminating.

Video On Demand

Search Engines

A family on the edge gathers for the holidays, only to find their only armor is broken:  the cell phone service is dead and they can’t use their phones to hide from each other again this year.

See It?:  Nope.

This is a great conceit that is inexpertly pulled off.  The message is preachy and talky the whole time, instead of feeling organic and witty.  The characters also come off as thin stereotypes.  You have to have a solid back-bone before you can do biting satire.

Don’t Think Twice

A floundering but talented team of improv comedians get the chance of a life time:  Weekend Live calls one of them up, giving them all a chance to make their fame.  Unfortunately, the good fortune of one may turn into the death of the group, and everyone wants to be the one.

See It?:  Yes.

This is “A Mighty Wind” for improv comedy.  The cast is impeccable, and the writing is smart.  The only drawback is that this is a definite niche film.  If you’ve never dabbled in comedy, you’re probably going to be frustrated by watching such flawed characters, despite them being spot-on.

Love is All You Need?

In a topsy-turvy world, homosexuality is the norm and most prestige jobs belong to women.  Into this world, two young children form an illicit bond and eventually become lovers, despite the expectations of society.

See It?:  Skip It.

Once again, a heavy hand kills a great concept.  This film goose-steps through it’s ideas to such an extent that I wondered if it was an over-earnest attempt to deal with sexual identity or an actual Trojan Horse meant to support the status quo.  Either way, that tears the central message to shreds.

Evolution

A young boy in a remote coastal town wonders why his surrounding seem so alien.  A starfish scar on his stomach, and visions of the sea convince him that those around him are hiding a terrible secret from him, even as he and his classmates undergo bizarre and frightening medical treatments.

See It?:  Yes.

This is a strong horror sci-fi film, with good visuals and a mesmerizing soundtrack.  Feels a bit like Guillermo del Toro’s “The Devil’s Backbone,” one of my favorite indie horror films.

Tank 432

A group of paramilitary soldiers, with two prisoners, discover a civilian woman in a dangerous zone.  Pursued by unseen horrors, they take shelter in an abandoned armored vehicle, only to find old files that suggest that their new arrival is every bit as terrifying as the monsters that surround them.

See It?:  Yes.

This film, despite its budget being obvious, feels viscerally good.  It has a “28 Days Later” vibe going on, and I do love horror movies that confine the action to a claustrophobic setting.

Magnus

A Norwegian chess prodigy gets a documentary that follows him from his childhood through his first major challenge as a top world chess champion.

See It?:  Rent it.

I appreciate the skill involved with a documentary spanning so much time, but I’m starting to get tired of chess documentaries.  They are inherently interesting since they often feature individuals who have unique cognitive situations who rise to greatness.  They just seem to say less and less about genius and intellect than they used to when it was a rare event.

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