Coming Soon Trailers: Fantastic Beasts.

Coming Soon Trailers: Fantastic Beasts.

JK Rowling is back in theaters with another wizarding tale, Fantastic Beasts, and we have seven new VOD titles to tide you over till turkey day.

Coming Soon Trailers: Fantastic Beasts.Next week there are no wide releases scheduled due to the holiday, so Hollywood is getting its licks in this week.  We have three new wide release features, including a film set in the Harry Potter universe, a coming of age drama, and boxing biopic.  I feel like more people have seen a boxing biopic than have ever watched an actual boxing match.  Go figure.

On the rental and streaming market, we get seven new features spread throughout the week.  We have a police drama, and sci-fi horror, another coming of age story and a pair of documentaries.

Wide Release

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Newt Scamander is a former pupil of Hogwarts who has made his way across the pond in order to search out New York’s secretive wizarding society during the roaring 20’s.  His menagerie of magical critters escapes, drawing the ire of his peers.  A dark force also is at work, hoping to reveal the presence of magic to the populace.

See It?:  Maybe.

This movie has me split.  Every time I see a trailer, I want to go watch it.  Every time I just think about the story and my general antipathy for the Harry Potter series, I want to skip it.  This is a coin toss, and really depends on if you like the source material.

Bleed for This

After a freak automobile accident, a promising young fighter must train like never before in order to beat the odds and get back in the ring.

See It?:  Rent it.

I have to admit, the trailer is better than I would have thought.  Miles Teller, whose reach seems to perpetually exceed his grasp, looks really good here.  It is being said that the film can feel generic in many places…but a good boxing movie generally makes it own breaks.

The Edge of Seventeen

An awkward young girl makes a new friend who helps to guide her through the troubles of adolescence.

See It?:  Yes.

This is the last of the three new releases I thought I would enjoy, but the R-rated tone and snappy dialogue pulled me in.  It’s not a new story, but it does manage to take a standard teen story and go hard into the adult humor, while avoiding the trashy cheap laughs.

Video on Demand


A young girl with a gift for math sets up a pyramid scheme to fund her schools fundraiser.  She draws the ire of the cool kids and her more parochial teachers, but finds a way to win them over.

See It?:  Yes.

Another surprise.  I thought this was going to be fairly mealy-mouthed, but it seems pretty smart and focused.  I’m interested.

The Similars

In a bus stop in Mexico, a freak storm strands eight travelers.  The rain ends up being the last of their concerns when a virus-like infection starts leaping from victim to victim.

See It?:  Skip it.

I want to like it, but the visuals are distracting instead of innovating, and their isn’t much of a hook presented in the trailers.  I have a feeling that this film is aimed at an audience I just am not familiar with.

14 Minutes from Earth

A senior vice president at Google decides he wants to leave the planet, and re-enter it in a blaze of glory.  His quest to surmount all of the challenges facing a person traveling a record setting 135k feet into orbit without a ship is chronicled in this documentary.

See It?:  Skip It.

The promotional material says this was an endeavor to further space exploration, and some of the tech developed may indeed do so…but the trailer makes this look like the mid-life adventures of a rich and privileged white dude trying to get his kicks.

Shared Rooms

A collections of vignettes about same sex couples during the holidays, as they deal with family, friends, and lovers.

See It?:  Skip it.

I want to applaud this collection for being bold and innovative, but the production value is atrocious, the acting is canned, and the dialogue is pretty awful.  It’s hard to recommend a bad movie with a good heart and not feel like pandering.

Reach for the Sky

The Korean college placement exams are all or nothing.  Get in, get a good school, get a bright future.  Fail, and you’re doomed to second class status.  This documentary follows students who either accept or reject this paradigm with a range of emotions, and show the high price of putting educational scores above all else.

See It?:  Yes.

This film highlights a controversial system abroad, but has implications for how we teach to the test at home.  As we contemplate how we want to educate the next generation, it’s important to survey the landscape.

The Take

A pickpocket accidentally steals a briefcase filled with explosives and draws the attention of the government.  A top agent (Idris Elba) tracks him down, and decides that his unique skills as  thief can help in the investigation, a view not shared by his superiors and others who may have had a hand in the failed attack.

See It?:  Yes.

This movie feels like Idris Elba took people’s criticism of his ability to be the next James Bond a touch personally.  He’s ten pounds of secret agent in a nine pound bag, pulling off action sequences that would make Daniel Craig blush and showing that he’s got the chops to make whatever middling milquetoast they choose to be 007 look like a traffic cop.

Officer Downe

In a city racked with super powered villains, you need a special cop.  Officer Downe is a cop who can’t be stopped, literally, since every time he dies he is resurrected stronger and angrier.  His new partner tries to uphold the law while watching Franken-Cop get more and more violent in his pursuit of criminals.

See It?:  Maybe.

I like the premise, and I like the pedigree of the people attached to this.  The values are wobly, and the dialogue goes from decent to corny.  The villains are over-acting, but the action sequences seem solid.  Pick this up if you want a B-Movie version of Judge Dredd to hold you over till Carl Urban gets a goddamned sequel.

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