RogerBW's Blog

December 2020 Trailers 04 January 2021

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

Two of Us: Barbara Sukowa was the best thing in the Twelve Monkeys TV series and it looks as if she's the anchor of this too.

The Mauritanian: Cumberbatch should not try to play Americans until he can do the accent a bit better. Foster looks good. Otherwise…

Fatale: women be crazy. I mean, you sleep with them and dump them, and they get all upset.

The Dig: love and Spitfires are much more interesting than Sutton Hoo.

The Marksman: that really ought not to be a survivable firefight for him, but hey, magical Marine powers and he's played by Liam Neeson. No contest. (Looks like a motivational dead woman too.)

Falling (Teaser): the most important thing is to keep crazy old dad happy even as he endangers everyone else, because old men must be pandered to.

The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee: remember when Paul Hogan had a career? Tee hee, let's cause property damage.

[Wonder Woman 1984 Exclusive Featurette - Behind the Frame: I'm putting in this trailer for IMAX™ (and incidentally for a film) just to point out that the makers of this film would rather you die than that you not pay them the extra few bucks to see this in an expensive cinema instead of your home.

French Exit: pretty people problems. And Pfeiffer is wackily ker-razy.

The Midnight Sky: still looks very pretty. Still looks empty of actual people.

Nobody (Red Band): the Good Guy Who Doesn't Do That Any More sinks to a new level. Might be fun for the balletic violence but the toxic masculinity is strong in this one.

The Vigil (Teaser): ooh, let's mine yet another set of folklore for jump scares.

Shadow in the Cloud: if it were an actual WWII film I might enjoy it rather better than the horror/WWII hybrid it's apparently intended to be. It's great that you can now set a film in an aircraft with an actual sense of location, rather than having to have cut-apart sets and static cameras that never really connect one place to another, but oh dear that explosion bounce shot…

A Glitch in the Matrix: solipsism with a pseudoacademic face.

Nomadland: yeah, but is it a pseudo-documentary or a work of fiction with a plot?

Outside the Wire (Teaser): gosh, they're getting a lot of mileage out of that CGI Osprey aren't they? Throw it in the background of every shot. Oh well, just more shooty beaty tough guys; I'm boringly demanding of character to go with it.

Savage: "as the child so the man" is hardly a new or contentious thing to say. What else do you have to say?

No Man's Land: yet another example of why guns casually turn an argument into a murder, and so the victim's friends get bigger guns, and… it's always framed as individual decisions, a person to be blamed, a person to be praised, when what you need to fix is the overall system that expects untrained scared people to make sensible decisions about the use of lethal force.

Fear of Rain (Teaser): well, we've seen "is it a real threat or is she mad (spoiler, it is a real threat)" before. So if that's a film you like to see, this trailer tells you that you can see it again.

Palmer: Faaaaaatherhood. (And gender roles.)

A Boy Called Christmas (Teaser): Adaptation of Beloved* Children's Book. * may not actually be beloved.

Murderous Trance: very pretty but wot do it do molesworth wot purpose hav it?

Land: with a cast like this, and a setting like this… it might just work.

Coming 2 America: you know, I've actually never bothered to watch the original. Great cast here, selling their dignity for (I hope) a lot of money.

The Little Things: this cop-and-killer stuff just doesn't appeal in film (in TV I find it can work better, possibly because nobody's trying to be all Portentous with it). Might well work for someone else; it seems competently done…


  1. Posted by Ashley R Pollard at 10:34am on 04 January 2021

    For me, Emily Hampshire as Jennifer Goines was the standout supporting character in 12 Monkeys, but Barbara Sukowa was a rock for the series. But I don't want to watch two old lesbians relationship traumatized by ill health and homophobic relatives.

    As for The Midnight Sky, we watched it. Visually interesting: design of the spaceship etc. Reasonable characters and plot, but...

    It's a SF film for people who don't understand or like SF. Its plot is a cliche. So much talent wasted. However, the spaceship design is gorgeous.

    Disclaimer: If you like this film you are not wrong. If you dislike this film; you are not wrong. De gustibus non est disputandum – there can be no argument about taste.

  2. Posted by J Michael Cule at 11:48am on 04 January 2021

    Let me just note that I am throwing all my considerable charisma behind the 'Old Men must be pandered to' Movement.

    And get your kids offa my lawn! (What you mean? That's the park?)

  3. Posted by RogerBW at 12:07pm on 04 January 2021

    Ashley - yes, after season 1 where she mostly played Generic Crazy I thought Hampshire did an excellent job. (Really must finish off the series some time.)

    I've read several books recently that I'd characterise as "starter SF" – for people who mostly read fiction set in the real world and don't want complicated worldbuilding puzzles, but are interested in action and excitement and don't mind spaceships that go zoom. I wonder whether it's useful to make a similar distinction between "full-blown" SF films and this kind of thing…

  4. Posted by Ashley R Pollard at 05:17pm on 04 January 2021

    You haven't watched all of 12 Monkeys!? It's crazy good.

  5. Posted by Owen Smith at 07:44pm on 04 January 2021

    OK so Wonder Woman 1984 was filmed entirely on IMAX negatives. Expensive, but that and maybe Camera 65 or old style VistaVision are the only ways to get picture quality better than any current digital film cameras can achieve. In a few years they'll be able to scan it in 32K (or whatever) and claim they always planned for it.

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