RogerBW's Blog

December 2019 Trailers 07 January 2020

Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube. Opinions are thoroughly personal. Calibration: When our hatred is too keen it places us beneath those we hate.)

Black Widow (Teaser): after ten years and over twenty films, they're having a second one with a female lead? Steady on there chaps, remember who your audience is. (Sees the costume.) Oh, right, you do. Well, this looks as if it's a way of having the origin-story cake and eating it by not making the whole film a flashback, which given the perverse love of Hollywood for origin stories makes some sense. And although the deceleration trauma knob has clearly been dialled down to zero, what I see here is otherwise pleasingly free of the usual comic-book huge blasty battles that I find rather dull.

No Time to Die: oh, right, they're still making these things. Looks relatively restrained, which might be a good thing, but it's trying to sell me on Bond as a tortured soul when that's one thing he absolutely isn't.

The Whistlers: looks very stylish; can't tell from this whether there are sympathetic characters, but I care about that more than many people.

Greed: Steve Coogan alone would be enough to put me off this. But I don't see anything to pull me in anyway.

Mulan: yet another of these live-action remakes. Pretty, but… there are so many filmmakers who would love to tell original stories.

The Assistant: seems grimly unenjoyable. May work for people who want this sort of thing.

Free Guy: I suppose this is what happens then they do try to tell an "original" story. Actually I can see what might have been an interesting story here, a proper sequel to Wreck-It Ralph, but then it gets submerged in the sight gags. (Also, Ryan Reynolds.)

Wonder Woman 1984: there's historical filmmaking, and then there's pandering to your ageing audience. This feels like pandering. Still, same director as last time so it shouldn't be entirely devoid of interest.

Ghostbusters - Afterlife: Um. OK, one of the original actors has died and the others are in their sixties, but… well, a big part of the point of the original was that it had adult (if immature) protagonists and it was set in the big city – not kids, and not the dying rural town of all too many ghost stories. Anything distinctive must be ground down. I can't see this having anything like the enduring appeal of the original, but then of course it's not meant to; it's just meant to bring in a few bucks and be forgotten… just as the original was, only that one turned out good.

Promising Young Woman: handled with some subtlety, this could be quite interesting. Given how downright male-gazey this trailer is, I don't expect subtlety. Those women, you rape them once and years later they come back and ruin your life, bitches be crazy huh?

In the Heights: so is it better to reduce real problems to comfortable sanitised safe musicals in which everything is solved by the end, or not to mention them at all?

Top Gun - Maverick: this really does look to me as embarrassingly jingoistic and "boys will be boys" as the last one. Except now they're allowed a Girl and a non-white person so everything is all right.

Saint Maud: and while this is trying to look like an Oscar Season trailer, the film isn't coming out until next year, and it's just standard creepy horror.

Buffaloed: Deutch is appealing, but I can't see this working for me; I'm too prone to think about the system that encourages people to get into debt and then kicks them for doing it, and to get angry about that, to enjoy a story based on one person managing to make a life for herself around that system.

Tenet: doesn't give away a great deal, but there's some potential here; I'm always on the lookout for smart thrillers, and the lead is appealing too.

The Woman in the Window: a bit of Rear Window, but the Gone Girl reference doesn't look good, and it looks as if it's obvious to the audience that Our Heroine is correct and not mad long before it's obvious to anyone else in the film.

Downhill: the idea is appealing, but I really don't trust the implementation, especially with Will Ferrell. (I'm more likely to watch the Swedish original.)

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