RogerBW's Blog

April 2018 Trailers 01 May 2018

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

First Reformed: cinematic priests always seem to be having a crisis of faith; this looks more interesting than most, though probably still not my sort of thing.

The Gospel According To Andre: nor does this, but I think that's mostly because I regard this kind of fashion as basically horrible anyway.

Cargo: perhaps heavy-handed in its use of horror imagery; I used to like Martin Freeman but he's been in so much crap lately that like Ben Kingsley his name is a bit of a warning sign.

Night School: Kevin Hart is pretty much enough to tell you everything you need to know about this.

The Cleanse: well, at least it's not just the usual horror tropes. Might be something to this.

Upgrade: there's potential in this, but the horror producers mean that this is just going to come down to another scary-AI story in the end. Which is a shame.

Johnny English Strikes Again: alas, so much of Rowan Atkinson's comedy comes down to "look at the silly man", and that just doesn't work for me. When James Bond itself has gone through self-parody and out the other side, what's left to parody? (Also, what a terrible cover of Holding Out For a Hero.)

True To The Game: the "criminal career leads to a bad end", only black. Cliché is still cliché, though.

Con Man: you fall into criminality at the slightest temptation, and I'm supposed to feel sympathetic to you?

Solo - A Star Wars Story: the caper movie enters the Star Wars setting, as the war movie did with Rogue One. Interesting ideas, and it might even turn out enjoyable.

The Quest of Alain Ducasse: if only I could take this sort of cooking seriously.

The Breadwinner: all looks tediously straightforward with Good Guys and Mad Guys. Might work even so, but I try for a little bit more complexity.

Future World: more women (as more than prizes) than these things usually have, which is promising, but of course she still screws up because there's got to be a big strong man to look after her. At least as far as the trailer is concerned. Milla Jovovich has got the right idea and is putting plenty of relish on her ham. Might be amusing crap.

The Meg: You don't have passive sonar telling you about Great Big Sea Monsters outside your research base? Huh. Again, might get up to the level of amusing crap, and of course Jason Statham is usually a good omen for that. Another Hollywood film made mostly for the Chinese market.

Dark Crimes: lots of flicker tells us this is going to be Harrowing. Men are Grim, women take their clothes off. Nothing here is appealing.

Mary Shelley: so everything she did was reaction to a Man? Yeah, right.

In Darkness: moderately effective and kinetic horror/action; not my usual sort of thing but it might be worth a go.

Hotel Artemis: why is it that science fiction in films is usually an excuse for a simple-minded story? Do they think things are going to get simpler? An amusing idea, though, and it looks as if they're not taking it too seriously.

Anon: same old plot with a skin of new ideas. It's not as if Sky has anything to do with pervasive surveillance, of course.

Boom For Real - The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat: I hope the film is less flickery than this trailer.

Jurassic World - Fallen Kingdom: apparently the amusement park scenario has finally been worn entirely flat. Took a while. But it goes a bit generic horror at the end.

Blindspotting: the eternal question: why do we care about these people? But this film makes at least some effort to make our hero sympathetic, and while this probably still won't appeal to me it has at least some chance at it.

The Equalizer 2: generic Fuqua action will probably appeal to people who like this sort of thing.

Crazy Rich Asians: well, it has nothing to say to me, but maybe it has something for people who haven't seen this story played out many times before with different cultures pasted on. (Chinese, Indian, Jewish…)

Venom: vaguely promising start, but then just more generic superhero origin story and beat-'em-up action; meh.

Woman Walks Ahead: Oscar season already?

Smallfoot: nice idea but the production style and dialogue are far too generic kidvid.

Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot: so why is this person interesting? I can sort of see what they're trying for, but it doesn't grab me at all.

Kin: boring wallow in sentimental Manly Relationships meets alien überweapon action. Interesting clash of genres, but can it work?

Uncle Drew: yeah, it's still a sports film.


  1. Posted by Ashley R Pollard at 12:32pm on 01 May 2018

    Ethan Hawke is the actor whose films I've found to be less than rewarding to watch. His presence in First Reformed is enough to signal a film to be avoided.

    Solo looks like it will be fun. It certainly has all the right canon tick marks.

  2. Posted by Michael Cule at 05:14pm on 01 May 2018

    Is it just your selection/taster, Roger, or do most trailers nowadays either put you right off or make you think: "I've seen all the best bits now...." ?

  3. Posted by RogerBW at 05:18pm on 01 May 2018

    That's why there's a calibration note at the start of the article.

    Also, there's not a huge correlation between the trailers that appeal to me and the films I end up enjoying.

  4. Posted by Michael Cule at 12:49pm on 02 May 2018

    I make allowance for your innate cynicism, but what I'm saying is that I find looking at most trailers makes me want to not go and see the film.

    This may be due to my limited remaining life span or just a very badly damaged span of attention.

  5. Posted by RogerBW at 01:00pm on 02 May 2018

    I think trailers are specifically aimed to pull in the sort of audience that doesn't particularly read reviews or recognise directors' names - rather, they want to be told "this is made by the same people as that other film you liked", and "this is an unthreatening Romance" (or Sci-Fi Actioner or Serious Film or whatever). In other words, more stuff just like the last one only different.

    When a film doesn't match the templates, it's often something I'll find interesting; but it's also difficult to make a trailer for it.

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