RogerBW's Blog

January 2016 Trailers 01 February 2016

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

Ratter: camera phones are scary! Here's a cute girl not wearing very much! The most interesting thing here, that all the people who might be the "hacker" come over as creepy, I suspect is an accidental side-effect of the attempt at suspense over who the bad guy is .

Terminus: pretty disconnected, but looks intriguing even if the ideas are somewhat played-out. (They almost always are, in SF film, because it doesn't take a generation to get a new SF idea into print.)

The Conjuring 2: more possessed-child horror glorifying those evil con artists Ed and Lorraine Warren. Why are people still making these? Yeah, I know: money.

Tumbledown: if you've got two really appealing principals like this, show them off! Even though the basic rom-com pattern doesn't appeal, this one looks good simply because it has the sense to let the actors do the thing they do.

Elvis & Nixon: eh, one guy looks nothing like Elvis, the other looks nothing like Nixon. Even if I can accept that, why do I care what happens to either of them?

All Roads Lead To Rome: what has Sarah Jessica Parker done to her face and can she un-do it and look like a real fifty-year-old woman please? I try not to be shallow about this stuff but, like Michael Jackson in later life, she's fallen into the uncanny valley for me and doesn't look like a human being any more. Also, Rosie Day plays Generic Troubled Daughter.

Free State of Jones: ooh, now this looks interesting. Mostly Western in period, but trying really hard not to look like a generic Western, and succeeding. And it's about the community as well as the lone hero? I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for this one.

Eye in the Sky: Helen Mirren is the new Judi Dench? It all feels a bit contrived, with all the elements carefully lined up to set up a Moral Dilemma, but with two really solid cast members (Mirren and Alan Rickman, who died a couple of days after this trailer came out) they might manage to bring it to life rather than merely presenting the options and saying "gosh this is a hard choice".

Kevin Hart - What Now: I gather Hart is famous for his stand-up, so this may well work better than his actual films. Not that this trailer will let you know whether it does.

Money Monster: ah, crusading journalists are suddenly all the rage now that they're safely figures of historical fantasy. But that's part two of the film, which I'm sure will be trite and put the blame for financial catastrophe convenient on the shoulders of one Nasty Person rather than admit that the entire system is built on requiring people to act nastily without thinking of themselves as villains. Still, Julia Roberts might actually carry this off.

Meet the Blacks: so… it's a parody of The Purge? But also commentary on how white folks don't like it when the first black folks move into their neighbourhoods, because that's so timely. For 1980.

Ip Man 3: a classic series, but Donnie Yen's getting on a bit these days, and… Mike Tyson? Oh dear.

10 Cloverfield Lane: the trailer looks intriguing, but it's by Abrams and it's a sequel to the utterly uninteresting Cloverfield so I'm out unless I hear rave reviews.

Green Room: not enough here to form a judgment. Interesting as far as it goes...

Sing Street: oh gosh, another film about a young man growing up and discovering Girls. I've never seen that before. Oh, it's in Ireland, that makes all the difference.

The Perfect Match: seems to lean quite heavily on the amazing bachelor life and doesn't give any reason why our hero would accept this bet. Which is rather the core of the film, I suspect.

Neighbors 2 - Sorority Rising: If you liked the first film, here it is again with more bikini chicks. If you didn't, you've already been put off by the name.

Backtrack: nice to see that for a change it's a man whom everyone assumes is mad, but this seems to rely heavily on jump scares considering how many of them there are here.

Keanu: so… it's a parody of John Wick? Is January black parody film month or something? I suspect this needs a supercut of the cat doing its stunts.

Term Life: because the important thing about being on the run from the mob is reconnecting with your daughter. (I assume Mom's dead or gone.) Looks utterly generic.

Forsaken: another Western. OK. And Donald Sutherland plays himself playing President Snow. So what does it have to say that thousands of other Westerns haven't said just as well already?

Southbound: very generic-looking horror.

Kubo and the Two Strings: the environment and the "bad guys" look great, especially the pale-faced broad-brimmed-hatted witch, but the "good guys" look far too cutesey, and that particular sort of American kid voice always grates on me. (This is one reason I watch a lot of Japanese animation.)

The Confirmation: eh, just another story about The Menz and the Importance of Fatherhood. Bored now.

Nine Lives: just pay in the cheque and try not to think about it, Kevin. Disposable kidvid.

The Secret Life of Pets: Also disposable kidvid. Really, if your trailer has a scene of characters going "whoooooooooah" while they fall, or fly, or do something similarly action-ful, you've pretty much lost me right there.

Trolls: hey, kids! Remember that toy line you got bored with a few years ago? Now there's a film so we can sell it to your younger siblings! Yay!

Zootopia: some lovely artwork, but it seems as though the primary joke is "we're telling a standard cop story only with animals as the characters". I hope it manages more than that. Interesting to note that the UK Trailer makes the rabbit-cop look like much more of a competent character…


  1. Posted by Owen Smith at 01:07pm on 01 February 2016

    You've finally managed it, I hadn't heard of a single one of these before reading your blog entry! Congratulations! I wonder whether this says more about me or the film industry?

    Also, your writeups haven't piqued my interest in any of them. Again, what does this say about me or the industry?

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 01:10pm on 01 February 2016

    I'm trying to be slightly more positive than I have been recently. Terminus, Tumbledown and Free State of Jones are all on my "give this a look unless the reviews are really terrible" list.

  3. Posted by Dr Bob at 02:58pm on 01 February 2016

    I couldn't really tell what Terminus was about, beyond "man finds alien thing - people in suits want to take it away".

    ET for grown-ups? An excuse to end the world and have a 'happy ending' with a new Adam & Eve saved/made by the alien widget?

    Saw the Free State of Jones trailer at the cinema and want to see that one.

  4. Posted by Dr Bob at 03:03pm on 01 February 2016

    Oh yeah, and Forsaken... I predict that tired old cliché of Hollywood... lady love's hubby is killed by the bad guys, leaving her conveniently single for the hero.

  5. Posted by RogerBW at 03:08pm on 01 February 2016

    Say it ain't so…

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