Coming Soon Trailers: Kubo, Ben-Hur, War Dogs

This Summer in Box Office History
Ugly...ugly everywhere.

Coming Soon Trailers.

Kubo, Ben-Hur and War Dogs lead the charge for wide release, while Warner Herzog connects with a new documentary about virtual reality.

After spending two weeks in the arid dessert of “being without internet” I’m back and ready to tackle new movies…and this is what I get to look forward to?!  A Ben-Hur remake?  I think I’m just going to pull this plug out of the back of my PC until something worthwhile pops up…

Coming Soon Trailers: Kubo, Ben-Hur
You KNOW Mt. Dew wanted to get a product placement SOMEWHERE in this movie!

Wide Release

Kubo and the Two Strings

A young man with the power to create magic by playing his traditional Japanese shamisen.  His powers are hard to control, though, and he summons a vengeful spirit from his family’s past by accident.  Along with the mystical Beetle and Monkey, he must find a way to stop the creature while discovering the legacy of his father, a famous samurai warrior.


See It:  I was originally hot to trot to see this film…but then the trailers landed and it looks very predictable.  One of my writing professors used to say there’s only two stories, a stranger comes to town or a young man goes on a journey.  This movie seems dead set on proving my old prof. correct.


A Jewish nobleman is sold into slavery by his conniving adopted brother, and he makes his way through the ranks of Roman gladiatorial games in order to have his revenge.


See It:  Heck no.  This is a remake that emphatically didn’t need to be made.  Along with this year’s Magnificent Seven and Pete’s Dragon, we sure are getting a ton of remakes that nobody asked for.

War Dogs

Two enterprising young men learn that there is vast wealth to be made by bidding on US defense contracts.  Anyone willing can through their hat in the ring, and make a mint buying and selling the weapons of war that Uncle Sam needs to prop up regimes across the globe.  Things go south when the big fish begin to lose profitable contracts to these young upstarts, and begin using means both legal and not to put them out of business.


See It:  Rent it.  It’s a fascinating true story, and the cast is pretty talented, but it just doesn’t rise to the level of “must see” on the big screen material.  Fire this up as a rental with a bag of popcorn while sitting on your stash of AK-47’s bound for Uzbekistan.

Video on Demand

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World

Famed director and auteur Werner Herzog takes a penetrating look at the rise and spread of virtual reality and all of the ways in which it has come to shape modern life.


See It:  Yup.  A talented mind looking at a wildly fascinating subject.  Hard not to find something to like here.


An idealistic FBI agent (Daniel Radcliffe) goes undercover to infiltrate a right-wing hate group.  As a first assignment in the field, he is out of his league, and the dangerously shifting alliances within the white-supremacy movement make any mistakes potentially lethal.


See It:  Sure.  After last month’s Radcliffe fest, I’m interested to see if this director can make use of his unique talents.  When he’s given a character with strong motivation and allowed to under-play his dialogue, as he did in Swiss Army Man and The Woman in Black, he’s rivetting.  When he’s just there for eye-candy or miscast, like in Victor Frankenstein, he’s still strangely watchable.  I guess I’m going to be watching a 5th film with Harry Potter in it…


A biopic of larger (and stranger) than life baseball hurler, Bill “Spaceman” Lee.  Wild, eccentric, talented and vocal, Lee was essentially black-balled from baseball…except he never took the hint and left the sport.


See It:  Another yes.  I read Lee’s auto-biography and was really taken by his style, despite never having seen him play even an inning of baseball.  I’m anxious to see how the team behind “Bull Durham” handles The Spaceman.

2 Jennifer

A young filmmaker decides to make a sequel to a indie film about a man who creates a video journal while trying to catch his girlfriend, Jennifer, in the act of cheating.  As the shooting on the spiritual successor begins, the director becomes more and more subsumed by the original, endangering the project and eventually even the cast and crew.


See It:  Nope.   The original was an underground classic, using new media and old tropes to create a fascinating mash-up of comedy, horror, and human drama.  This one seems like a “me too!” attempt to attach itself to that project.  It’s low rent, amateurish, and pretty dependent on the original film for any relevance.

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