RogerBW's Blog

October 2015 Trailers 01 November 2015

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

Hell and Back: oh dear oh dear oh dear. All the downsides of the unappealing dudebro comedy, and nasty-looking animation too.

A Bigger Splash: bored rich people can't do relationships. Meh.

The Forest: interesting ideas and setting, but it looks as though they're in the service of a thoroughly pedestrian horror story. Oh well. Are the kids who are the audience for this stuff even going to recognise a View-Master?

Asthma: oh, those kooky crazy people! They're just like us only they have more fun. This isn't just a gender-flipped Manic Pixie Dream Girl film; it's still all about the man.

Man Up: because the only way for a woman to meet a man is to lie and cheat and steal. Appealing cast, but that really isn't enough.

The Choice: it's a Nicholas Sparks film, so there are no false pretenses here. Just knowing that is enough to tell you how it's going to work. I wonder why they even bothered to make a trailer that was more than the words "Based on a Nicholas Sparks novel".

Bare: people are broken and will talk and talk and talk and talk about it. Also, lesbian strippers.

Bone Tomahawk: are brutal Westerns with old guys becoming a thing now? I mean, sure, Kurt Russell, but this looks pretty unrelentingly grim.

Capture the Flag: well, I guess that's what it takes to get me unenthusiastic for a film about going to the moon. Remember Space Camp? I'm still trying to forget it.

Triple 9: because the audience needs to be reassured that it's necessary for their police to be like that - the whole "rough men" thing from Orwell.

Shelter: this is where the Oscar season really starts, folks. Plus romance, presumably doomed.

#Horror: effectively grasps that proper horror is human horror, but still looks as if it relies too much on jump scares and star power.

Hail, Caesar!: does a good job of producing the Fifties film look, and if it can manage some vaguely sympathetic characters I may well enjoy it, though I'm not generally a Coen fan.

Big Stone Gap: ah, small-town Americana. In spite of everything, people insist on feeling nostalgic for it. I hope they paid Whoopi Goldberg a lot to play Generic Sassy Black Woman yet again.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: looks as if it does a decent job of blending Austen-film with inserted zombie bits, which I suppose is all one could reasonably ask.

From A to B: the idea of a comedy set in the Middle East is a fine one, but this seems like an awfully generic troadtrip comedy set against the background, using it only as a source for jokes.

Tamasha: romance, sure, but romance with a bit of a twist. So maybe it might just work. Not holding out much hope, though.

Lost in the Sun: doesn't matter how lousy he is, what a kid needs is a dad-substitute.

Bleeding Heart: all men are scum? The writer/director has only made one film before, though this may be worth a look.

Julia: haven't we sort of done rape-and-revenge by now? I Spit on Your Grave was shocking, and effective, and this… is just the same story again.

Race: meh, sports. And racism is bad, mmkay?

Ratchet & Clank: the video games didn't need plots, because the player was doing stuff. So they got some screenwriter to make one up, I guess. For people who liked Guardians of the Galaxy but thought it was too serious and thinky.

Freaks of Nature: "Damn, that's cliché." Yes, yes it is. And comedy-horror (or horror-comedy) rarely works anyway; mostly it has to commit to being one or the other.

The Boy: creepy doll is creepy, and meets… Gremlins of all things? Hmm.

Star Wars - Episode VII - The Force Awakens: I just… I'm not excited. I'm not fourteen any more. Yeah, it might be fun, but I'm not really interested in another great big battle unless I have a reason to care about the people involved in it. Are you going to give us that? Or are you here to sell toys, and just going to give us another bildungsroman? (Or is this trailer basically just here for people to speculate about? I'm not interested in playing that game.)

Fathers and Daughters: you can call it that all you like, but it looks as though it's all about dad and his problems, and not about daughter and hers.

Jane Got a Gun: clearly someone's determined to make westerns a thing again. But I keep seeing trailers, and then they keep sinking without trace. Maybe it'll be pretty, but will it have anything to say?

Joy: hmm, yeah, maybe? It's a shame that a story about a woman should still be an exceptional thing; let's try to have good ones. And maybe this is.

Dad's Army: I'm not really interested in comedy of embarrassment, but the balance in the final version may be more towards more interesting things that wouldn't work as well for quick laughs in a trailer. Good cast!

Daddy's Home: why does Will Ferrell exist? Because at least he's not Adam Sandler. Is that enough? Not for me.

The Assassin: Utterly gorgeous cinematography and compelling characters, and an interesting plot. I'm in.

Criminal Activities: Travolta's still doing the same thing. But as he gets older his face gets less and less wrinkled and more like a piece of plastic. Where are the sympathetic characters? Also: #WhereAreTheWomen?

Don Verdean: and again, why should I care about any of these people? I know it's a comedy, but if comedy has no characters it's a cartoon and should be over in five minutes. Even this trailer outstays its welcome.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: good heavens, is this still going? Fourth film. Must be really cheap to make.

Dirty Grandpa: tee hee, the young man feels emasculated. Tee hee, the older man still likes sex. Oh, my aching sides.

Open Season - Scared Silly: apparently this isn't even the first one. That's just how low profile this is.

Hello, My Name Is Doris: this is what films with female protagonists look like these days; they're all about Being Female (in this case sharing space with Being Old, i.e. born before 1985). But this one might have something to it; it'll depend a lot on the quality of the script.

Grimsby/The Brothers Grimsby: so one of them's a character in a first-person shooter and the other is a suburban lothario? So, um?

The Sound and the Fury: a serious film from Franco and Rogen? They have been a bit typecast lately. But Faulkner is not to my taste.


  1. Posted by Michael Cule at 12:08pm on 01 November 2015

    I tried looking up Nicholas Sparks and found that the Wikipedia page has been edited to say that he has 'published eighteen versions of the same novel'. This would be helpful as well as funny if it would at least give me a summary of the plot of his one novel.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 04:11pm on 01 November 2015

    That's not entirely fair; the plots do very a bit, but they're basically always schmaltzy romances with Troubles and a sad ending. (Maybe she's terminally ill, or with a nasty ex-husband, or thoroughly faithful to the man she's promised to marry even though she's met her True Love.)

  3. Posted by Michael Cule at 06:30pm on 01 November 2015

    Oh good. Nothing I need trouble my small amount of remaining memory space with.

  4. Posted by Owen Smith at 01:53pm on 02 November 2015

    I'm generally so underwhelmed by films these days that it's many years since I went to the cinema. If the film industry does accidentally make a good film I can always watch it on Blu Ray later, and that avoids annoying people eating popcorn noisily too.

  5. Posted by RogerBW at 01:56pm on 02 November 2015

    Me too, but I like to find out about them from multiple sources - trailers, word of mouth, then reviews once they're released.

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