Coming Soon Trailers: The Magnificent Seven, Storks

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Coming Soon Trailers:  The Magnificent Seven, Storks.

Can Denzel Washington rustle up enough interest in a cowboy remake to beat Andy Samberg’s animated feature?

Coming Soon Trailers: The Magnificent Seven
-Reckon we’re going to get beat by a Stork and a Baby?
-Ayup.

This year has not been kind to remakes.  The Jungle Book had a solid take, but Pete’s Dragon faltered, Tarzan never got the monkey off its back, and Ben-Hur was a chariot wreck.  Ghostubster’s managed to beat the spread, but certainly took quite a few arrows to the knee in the process.  Into this rowdy saloon of dashed dreams saunter’s Antoine Fuqua’s remake of the classic long-odds cowboy versus desperadoes epic, The Magnificent Seven (itself an adaptation of Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.)  While packed with star power, the film has been receiving faint praise as a capable film that just doesn’t feel necessary.

Opposite the big releases, we have a busy week in VOD:  three films released mid-week and four more are slated to drop on Friday.  As always, let’s get cracking.

Wide Release

The Magnificent Seven

When a ruthless industrialist tries to squeeze a rural town out of their mining rights, the desperate town folk hire seven brave (and unstable!) guns-for-hire, hoping to save their homes.

See It?:  Rent it.

Though I love Westerns (even some pretty lousy Westerns) I just can’t get excited for this one.  The cast is certainly pretty exciting, but all of the sausage making that went into getting this turkey to the table (multiple changes of staff and cast, script re-writes and so forth) makes me think this drifter can wait for a home release.

Storks

In the modern age, storks have gone from delivering babies to delivering hi-tech trinkets and home essentials.  When an actual baby is discovered, one stork and his human handler have to try to remember how to home a child before corporate decides what to do with the tyke.

See It: Yes.

I wasn’t keen on the premise here, and some of the voice-work is pretty poor (Kelsey Grammar is hard to understand, and what is going on with that pigeon?) but what won me over were the fun set pieces:  the wolves den looks great and the assassin penguins trying to kill our heroes while not waking the baby is solid gold.  Samberg and Katie Crown seem to have great timing together as well.  Interesting to see if Warner can break into the competitive animation field here.

Video on Demand

At All Costs

This documentary follows two prospects for the AAU youth basketball business, a pipeline by Nike and Adidas for funneling young teens into the gristmill of professional basketball.

See It:  Skip it.

Youth sports in America is corrupt and anti-social.  Water is wet.  Sky is blue.

Miss Stevens

A young teacher takes three teens to a drama competition.  There’s plenty of drama, between hooking up with a colleague at the show and managing Billy, a taciturn kid with a huge crush on Miss Stevens.

See It: Skip it.

This film took lots of awards on the indie show circuit, but I just don’t see a lot to interest me here.  The drama seems dry and forced, banking on the uncomfortable aspect of adding sex to a story about teaching.

Blood Trap

A group of mercenaries run into trouble when the target of their abduction scheme ends up being a coven of vampires who trap them inside their murder fortress.

See It: Skip it.

I liked this movie better when it was called “From Dusk Till Dawn.”

Dirty 30

Three friends deal with middle age by throwing a party.

See It: Skip It.

I liked this movie better when it was called…well pretty much every Judd Apatow movie about being middle-aged.

Goat

A freshman tries to follow in the fraternity footsteps of his hard-living older brother, but Hell Week may enough to destroy his life.

See It: Skip It.

From experience, I can say that the film’s material is not wrong…but what’s the thrust here?  Frats can be fucked-up?  That’s not exactly new territory.

The Lovers and the Despot

South Korea’s leading actress and her famous director husband are kidnapped by Kim Jong-Il, who forces them to help realize his twisted fantasy of being a big time movie producer.  Based on true events.

See It:  Yes.

Strong premise, lots of historical detail that is being covered for the first time, and a solid dramatization of the events all make this compelling cinema.

I.T.

A domineering tech mogul has the tables turned on him by an unstable intern who uses all of the modern devices in the rich man’s house to besiege him and his family.

See It:  Yes.

Pierce Brosnan has been making some questionable films as of late, but this film looks polished and interesting.  I’m iffy on the young lead they cast as the I.T. intern, but the action and visuals look like triple A production values.

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