Tag Archives: David F Sandberg

Jumping the Soapbox: Let’s Look At the Trailers from Comic Con 2018!

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The images in this editorial are the property of their respective owners

For ninety-nine percent of people out there who don’t get to go to Comic Con in person, our experience is basically a giant pile of news being dumped about upcoming movies and television shows, and while the coverage this year was overshadowed by the senseless firing of James Gunn (#RehireJamesGunn), there was still quite a bit of news worth paying attention to; especially some of the trailers that got released, and I’m not just talking about that crappy Titans one!  So let’s go ahead and take a look at some (certainly not all) of the trailers that we saw for the first time this weekend!

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SHAZAM!

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Directed by David F Sandberg; Owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is your typical moody teenager who’s been placed in yet another foster home, but everything changes when the mystical space wizard SHAZAM (Djimon Hounsou) chooses him to inherit his spectacular powers.

I like what I see here, but what I’m seeing isn’t much.  Granted this is the first trailer and we’ll surely see more as we get closer to the release date, but the UNIQUE SELLING POINT of this movie needs to be more than it NOT being like the last few DCCU movies.  It’s brighter, it has genuine humor, and it focuses on the HERO part of being a Superhero.  That’s all great, but it still feels REALLY lacking.  The film looks VERY small in scale which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a lack of spectacle needs to be compensated in other areas and I’m not really seeing much beyond DECENT in this trailer.  I like Zachary Levi in the role and he seems very natural playing a boy in a super hero’s form, but his dialogue is far from sterling, and the cinematography seems kind of flat for the most part.  I’m sure I’ll like this more than the overly ambitious Batman v Superman or the bloated but safe Justice League, but being light and family friendly doesn’t mean it has to be trivial and yet that’s a lot of what I’m getting out of this trailer.  If nothing else though, they’ve got a GREAT director behind it as the guy made two of the better horror films of the last few years (Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation), so hopefully he’ll bring some of that creativity to this film even if this first trailer doesn’t quite get it across.

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“I know we’re taking this, but we stopped the bad guys in the process so let’s just call it a wash, alright?”

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Cinema Dispatch: Annabelle: Creation

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Annabelle: Creation and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by David F Sandberg

I’m gonna let you all in on a little secret.  I absolutely HATE The Conjuring.  Seriously, my hatred for that movie may not be on par with something as dreadful as Incarnate, but I was completely miserable while watching it.  Even if you ignore the rather gross way it tries to legitimize (or at the very least sensationalize) a pair of “paranormal investigators” who have been bilking people out of money for decades.  I mean sure, this is true of ANY of those assholes who purport to be super natural experts (outside of those groups that dress up as Ghostbusters) but it just irks me how a talented cast coupled with a talented director were being wasted on what is essentially propaganda for fraudsters because SPOILER ALERT, GHOSTS AREN’T REAL!  I can suspend my disbelief for a movie or basically any work of fiction, but The Conjuring crossed that line by not only claiming to be BASED ON A TRUE STORY, but by doing so in a way that would only boost the supposed validity of people that clearly didn’t deserve it.  Anyway, rant over.  My hatred over the first movie kept me from seeing the sequel which got GOOD reviews as well as the Annabelle movie which… didn’t.  Seemingly realizing the hole they dug themselves into, Warner Bros is trying to pull a Ouija: Origin of Evil; not just because they got the same actress from THAT movie, but by creating a retro prequel that looks to have nothing to do with the other film.  Sounds like a good movie as far as I’m concerned.  ANYTHING to get us as far away from The Warrens as humanly possible!  Does their gamble to distance themselves from the first crappy movie manage to pay off, or was this a bad idea then and an even worse idea now?  Let’s find out!!

Back in the good ol’ days before polio vaccines were widely available, there was a little girl named Annabelle (Samara Lee) who got the Pet Semetary treatment, i.e. she got hit by a car that REALLY should have been going a lot slower!  Her parents Samuel and Esther (Anthony LaPaglia and Miranda Otto) get very depressed with the latter even suffering from some sort of degenerative disease, but they eventually open their doors to a group of orphans who have nowhere else to go.  The two main orphan girls Janice and Linda (Talitha Bateman and Lulu Wilson) soon realize that weird stuff is going on with the former even finding a mysterious doll in Annabelle’s old room.  Okay, not so much her room but what looks to be a War Room that’s been secretly carved into her wall… for some reason.  Anyway, we eventually find out that the doll houses some sort of demon that was passing itself off as the ghost of Annabelle, but the parents found out and locked it away!  I figure they should have BURNED the damn thing instead, but I guess locking it behind a not-so-secret door and leaving the key out so that practically ANYONE could find it was a good option too!  And so Janice spends the rest of the movie trying to convince her fellow orphans as well as Sister Charlotte (Stephanie Sigman) that something weird is going on, but no one other than Linda seems to take it seriously which can only mean that things are gonna get worse and worse in the house as Demon Annabelle is free to roam the halls and I guess extract its revenge.  Can Janice and Linda survive the near constant onslaught of spookiness brought about by the demon?  Will everyone else wise up to what’s going on before it’s too late?  How does someone make this doll and the NOT expect it to be a demon magnet!?

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“The secret order of Cute Things Gone Bad has come to order.  Cujo will read the minutes from our last meeting.”

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Cinema Dispatch: Lights Out

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Lights Out and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros

Directed by David F Sandberg

This movie managed to fly COMPLETLEY under the radar for me.  I think I saw one poster and one trailer for this movie before I went to go see it, and frankly it looked no better than your typical Blumhouse sequel or even The Forest from earlier this year.  Still, there have been a few damn good horror movies this year (at least three are eligible for my top ten list) so maybe there’ll be something to this as everyone seems to have stepped up their game this year.  Can this manage to be yet another great horror movie in the Post Paranormal Activity era, or is this another cheap cash grab to make a few bucks off undiscerning teenagers?  Lets’ find out!!

The movie follows Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) who’s living her life as… a tattoo artist I think, with her sort of boyfriend Bret (Alexander DiPersia) but it all gets turned upside down when Child Protective Services calls her up as an emergency contact for her younger half-brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman) who’s been falling asleep in class lately and seems to be having very intense nightmares.  Unfortunately this is nothing new for Rebecca as her mother is known to go through manic depressive episodes which she was subject to several times as a young girl, especially considering that Martin’s father (Billy Burke) recently died under… suspicious circumstances, which parallels with Rebecca’s own father ran off when she was a kid (*cough* bullshit *cough*) and her mother is going through the same motions.  The thing is though that it’s not just her mom being unbalanced that’s causing Martin nightmares.  There seems to be a monster lurking in the dark that his mother is acting all buddy-buddy with which is freaky as hell in its own right before it starts banging on his door at night!  What is this monster that their mother has invited into the house?  Has it ALWAYS been there… hiding in the background… sneaking in the shadows?  Is this gonna turn into a gritty reboot of The Funky Phantom!?

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I don’t think it’s funky time for this phantom…

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