RogerBW's Blog

March 2017 Trailers 28 March 2017

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

Baby Driver: "one more job and we're straight", and an idiot-savant driver who's also a proxy for Those Darn Millennials Not Paying Attention. Mildly interesting chracter idea, but a very standard plot to go with it.

Despicable Me 3: Oh dear; in order to set up this story they have to undo the resolution of the last one. That's never a good sign. This looks rather more like DM2 part 2 than DM part 3, with an extra dose of "you can't tell the truth because he might not like it and he's FAMBLY". Not the trailer to win me back to this series after the crashing disappointment of the second film.

Mindhorn: might work, but it all depends on how much it's "look at the silly man" and how much it's "but he does what needs to be done anyway". For me, the first part is what ruins most comedies.

Megan Leavey: all that setup to turn it into a girl-fights-for-her-dog story. I mean, yeah, I suppose it might work, but it feels like a bait-and-switch.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: the film not of, but about the writing of, the book - fair enough, I guess, but it's an extra level of distancing.

Burden: the dichotomy presented here is between "everything can be art" and "only these specific forms can be art". More interesting to me is whether a specific thing can be usefully regarded as art. But hey ho; this will at least get more people looking at things they didn't expect to see.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - The Long Haul: probably great for people who liked the first, er, three. Doesn't drag me in but neither did the others.

Early Man (teaser): Nick Park does his thing again; that's pretty much all this trailer contains.

The Secret Scripture: Hollywood Irishry of such density that no originality can escape. At least not at trailer length.

Voice from the Stone: dead mothers are still the best possible motivation for a man, though a manic pixie dream governess is almost as good.

The Last Face: familiar patterns, familiar stories, maybe it'll step away from Great White Saviour Learns To Know Herself but why should it when same old same old gets the bums in the seats?

The Wizard of Lies (teaser): Bernie Madoff, the straight-talkin' hero for our times?

Black Butterfly: well, at least it's not "young sexy woman inspires aged male writer by sleeping with him" the way the first scene makes it look. Suspense, certainly, and while there's some standard stuff here there seems to be some possibility of interest.

Captain Underpants - The First Epic Movie: by-the-numbers kidvid.

Death Note (Teaser): one of these days I'll finish watching the anime; a live-action version doesn't really appeal. But what I want to know is "how is this different from the original", whereas I suspect the entire point of making this is to reach people who don't know or care about the original.

Churchill: the "feet of clay" biopic treatment – see, this icon was human after all – might have worked better in an era in which more people were starting with the iconic image rather than, as people my age and younger have tended to get given at least in the UK, a view of history in which everyone of historical significance is treated as being all about their human failings first, and if they were white and male and especially if they were at all aristocratic then the most important thing to remember about them is that they were Wrong.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Red Band: pleasant to see a filmmaker admit that small town America can be broken even when it's not explicitly corrupt. And Frances McDormand is usually worth watching. Might even work.

Queen of the Desert: Heh. If it can resist the urge to standardise this very non-standard person, this could be quite fun.

Justice League: this has a tough time with me because I'm basically not all that interested in the characters or the story. This seems to be trying to sell itself to people who do already care about them, or who want bouncy momentum-defying action.


  1. Posted by Michael Cule at 12:35pm on 28 March 2017

    I am probably the target audience for JUSTICE LEAGUE. Aging geek who has known those characters since he was in short trousers.

    I can't avoid feeling that the trailer may have used up all the best lines though.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 12:37pm on 28 March 2017

    If there's more to the film than cool one-liners, this doesn't matter. But for quite a few recent films, having a series of snappy scenes in which major characters look cool seems to be enough.

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