RogerBW's Blog

May 2016 Trailers 01 June 2016

Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube.)

Captain Fantastic: dead mom is the ideal motivator. And of course the conflict is between men. Just another "who owns the children" story.

Minuscule - Valley of the Lost Ants: fart jokes? Really? Other than that, this looks cheap but potentially amusing.

Puerto Ricans in Paris: Puerto Ricans are just as capable of being ugly Americans as white guys, yay equality.

Bad Moms: this is what you have to do if you're over 25 and want to keep working as an actress. Same old women behaving badly extruded comedy product. Yeah, so a few years ago it would have been a shit film about daddies, now it's a shit film about mommies. Whoop.

No Stranger Than Love: well, there's the plot summed up in a couple of minutes. You didn't care about spoilers, did you? Good cast, but the whimsy knob is turned way up on this one.

Urge: Pierce Brosnan is… the Devil, I guess? And unlikeable people enjoy an amazing drug but find out that there's a price, woo-hoo. Quoting Milton doesn't make you sound smart, you know.

Ma ma: generic cancer movie looks no less generic for being shot in Spanish.

Inferno: ooh, a trolley problem, that's always fun and exciting. Meanwhile, Dan Brown is apparently still writing the same book again and again. Can't someone make an action film about stopping that threat to the memeplex?

Queen of Katwe: some very fine actors here, but the story of a kid from the slums who does well at something is so very very overdone by now that it comes over as clichéd even if for once it's accurate.

The Woods: horror films desperately need a "new beginning". This… is just more found-footage expendable meat.

De Palma: I'm not particularly interested in de Palma's work, but it looks as though he might have interesting things to say. Especially if he talks about some of his worse films.

Don't Breathe: starts looking like generic heist movie, but there might actually be something to this. As long as they don't try to get me to feel sympathetic for the asshole criminals, as opposed to Girl Who Has A Reason For Crime.

Nerve: for me this will live or die by whether it can generate any sympathy for the protagonists. Which the trailer doesn't even attempt to do, which isn't a good sign.

Assassin's Creed: has there ever been a good film based on a video game property? The Mass Effect series might just about manage it, but just as with (real) RPGs the vast majority of them don't have enough plot to be interesting when you aren't doing the things yourself. Even with Marion Cotillard.

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: the sort of people able to see that Rah Rah Murica isn't always a good thing already know it, and the others won't be convinced. Is there anything interesting in the middle?

Hell or High Water: generic heist film is generic. With this writer, maybe it isn't, but it surely looks it. And the most pathetic cover of Knocking on Heaven's Door that I've ever heard.

Into the Forest: maybe a bit over-arty but there could be something interesting in here.

The Phenom: if a trailer wants to get me interested in a sports film, it has to make it look like something other than a sports film. Which will put off the people who actually want a sports film.

Indignation: meh, Philip Roth. May be well-constructed but it's vanishingly unlikely to be to my taste.

Septembers of Shiraz: that's an obvious enough story, but where's the interest, where's the thing that will drag me in and keep me spellbound?

T2: yup, Trainspotting 2. It will exist, which is about the only thing this trailer has to say. The most surprising thing to me is that all these characters are still alive more than twenty years later.

Ghostbusters (again): you know, it still doesn't look great, but this is a whole lot better than the last trailer. At least this remake does something more than taking an existing character and turning them into an agent of the state - as in the rejected Nancy Drew pilot, and as in the new CBS MacGyver series. Forget your childhood, that crap is what this crap is up against.

The Mermaid: not so much a trailer as the first ten minutes of the film. Suits me very nicely; this isn't the way a western film would do it but I like a bit of oddity.

Don't Think Twice: Key without Peele, Micucci without Lindhome… they're breaking up the comedy teams, and adding Gillian Jacobs, but all these people work as comedians already, so this isn't exactly stretching any of them. Not sure this really has anything else to say.

Guernica: interesting that we're getting this sudden rush of "heroic reporter" films. Maybe the powers that be have finally decided that the media are now safe enough to be allowed off the lead sometimes.

Careful What You Wish For: women! Sultry temptresses who will lead a Good Man astray and get him into trouble!

Morgan: ho hum, superpowered killer child strikes again. Ridley Scott, you have done so much better than this.

Sniper - Ghost Shooter: is this a trailer for a film or cut-scenes from a video game? It's definitely AAA video game levels of character building, complete with "you are your father's son". Let me guess, there's an evil PMC involved?

The Space Between Us: I suppose it's good that stories about trips to Mars aren't considered sufficient on their own any more… but I could wish this had been a more interesting story added on to it, rather than Star-Crossed Teen Romance.

Wiener-Dog: of all the pathetic excuses for combining multiple stories into one, I think this is the most blatantly contrived. Ooh, an old woman who isn't "nice" – there's a piece of true originality for you.


  1. Posted by John Dallman at 07:32pm on 01 June 2016

    There's an obvious way to make a story about Stopping Dan Brown. It's set mostly in Jasper fforde's bookworld, and involves other authors' characters breaking out of there to make a rivalry between bestseller authors a bit more personal. Might well make a better game than a film, though.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 03:29pm on 02 June 2016

    Go on, run it at Stabcon.

    "What harm does it do when people believe in ancient Catholic conspiracies in the modern world?" "I don't know, what harm do you think it did when people believed in ancient Jewish conspiracies in the modern world?"

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