RogerBW's Blog

March 2016 Trailers 01 April 2016

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

Hostile Border: ok, we get it. Everyone who lives within a hundred miles of the US/Mexico border is a horrible person. Can we stop now?

Louder Than Bombs: because the best thing a woman can do to bring her male relatives together is die mysteriously.

Lamb: ooh, let's be daring and controversial. (If it were a woman with a boy, it wouldn't be controversial, just comedy.) But may be worth watching even so, for the kid.

Rio, I Love You: very pretty, but what is the plot, where are the characters?

A Beautiful Planet: also very pretty, and that's all it's trying to be. Fair enough.

Emelie: perhaps treads too heavily on suburban sensibilities, and the trailer seems to reveal an awful lot of the plot, but there seems to be the spark of something interesting here.

Ghostbusters: is it going to be as good as the original? No. I it going to be another classic? No. But it might at least be reasonably enjoyable, depending on whether the principals are made the butts of the jokes as they mostly seem to be here or whether they're allowed to act like normal people who get into amusing situations. In any case, the alternative to this was probably a "straight" re-make, which would have been as uninspired as those always are, with or without the gender-swapping. (Here's a fan-cut trailer which does things in an interestingly different way.)

Kill Command: killbots gonna kill. What you gonna do, man? Might be mildly amusing but I suspect this will be one where you can call exactly what's going to happen several scenes in advance.

Nina: another music biopic of another musician whose work I don't particularly enjoy. May well be very good, but isn't likely to be my thing. (What we see here seems to be mostly the story of the Great Male Saviour fixing up the broken woman who can't fix herself, which is a separate problem.)

The Meddler: when mom is a stalker that's just fine, because Family Being Together is more important than being your own person. Yech.

The Adderall Diaries: this trailer is all over the place, but clearly the film isn't going to be a barrel of laughs.

Middle School - The Worst Years of My Life: I think I'm so far from the target audience for this that there's no point in my even saying anything about it. Mission accomplished, I guess.

The Trust: isn't this a playset for Fiasco? Two barely-competent cops become barely-competent bank robbers. And they're played by Nicolas Cage (against type, barely frothing at all) and Elijah "not just Frodo" Wood. People who like this sort of thing will like this, I guess.

A Hologram for the King: a pleasingly dissonant title, like King David's Spaceship, but it looks as though this is another film about how the most important thing in the world is for an ageing white man to be happy about his life, and foreigners are basically there to enable that.

Florence Foster Jenkins: they're not going to mention that her problems in musicianship were mostly the result of the chronic syphilis she caught from her first husband, and the mercury and arsenic treatments to try to keep it under control, are they? Or that she never doubted her own ability except when she saw the reviews of her final performance, the first one the newspapers had been admitted to, and died of a heart attack two days later? No, because this is about Feeling Good.

One More Time: what young women need to do to sort out their lives is listen to old men. Uh-huh.

Popstar - Never Stop Never Stopping: I'm guessing this is a comedy.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: the combination of a heavy-handed message about Different Is Good and Tim Burton putting yet another story through the Tim Burton Look filter is not particularly appealing.

Sausage Party: but still more appealing than this; tee hee, animated characters say "fuck" a lot, who needs any other jokes with quality humour like that?

Central Intelligence: people who do not regard the appearance of Kevin Hart on the screen as a good time to leave the cinema may enjoy this.

Ben Hur: Morgan Freeman is the Magical Negro, surrounded by a whole bunch of actors I've never heard of. Apparently this version has been all Christed up (in a very traditional style) compared with the better-known 1959 version. I remember when Bekmambetov as director was a positive thing about a film, but that was when he was doing Night Watch and Day Watch rather than the same old thing every time.

Coming Home: clearly not trying to be commercial, and looks rather interesting. I will at least try to find out more.

The Legend of Tarzan: this trailer tells us a little bit more than the last one. I'm not sure anyone was clamouring for a Tarzan film even so, but hey, bouncy unconvincing CGI action still seems to sell well.

Back in the Day: boxing film with added thuggery, as if there weren't enough of that in boxing films already.

Genius: Thomas Wolfe is an asshole, but it's all OK in the end because he makes one small nice gesture to one person. I expect this to get Oscar nominations for the acting, with several big names not looking quite like their usual public faces.

Hush: interesting conceit, but dull boring enemy. Might be better with more time to develop.

The Shallows: the situation feels contrived – which of course as a work of fiction it is, but it shouldn't feel like it.

A Stand Up Guy: the plot is tired beyond any hope of salvation, but Abeckaser is appealing.

Southbound: oh, right, it's an anthology – that makes more sense of these multiple separate plots, since they don't have to meet. The abandoned hospital one looks promising, anyway.

The LEGO Batman Movie: clearly this whole conceit is hugely appealing to people who are not me.

Bridget Jones's Baby: oh, those slutty slutty women who deserve everything they get. Or something.

Deepwater Horizon: of course we get a story about HEROES!!! and not about the deliberately lax safety climate that made the problem possible in the first place.

Love & Friendship: well, of course they had to change the spelling. And apparently it's being combined with Lady Susan. Still, looks like a pleasantly light touch after the plodding attitude of many Austen adaptations.

War Dogs: o god.

Last Days in the Desert: more Christsploitation. Still, at least Ewan McGregor already knows how to wear a brown robe and spout mystical claptrap.

Lights Out: James Wan does horror in the same style again. Well, I guess people keep paying for it.

Holidays: come back when you have something more than jump cuts to offer me.

Jane Wants a Boyfriend: depends entirely on whether it's played as "look at the silly people" (which I expect) or "here is a different way of doing things" (which is probably too much to hope for).

Never Back Down - No Surrender: some slight changes from the template, but not enough to appeal.

Electra Woman and Dyna Girl: Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart seem like the main reasons to watch this. (Unless you actually like superhero parody I guess.)

Warcraft: But if you could see her through my eyes…

The Invitation: a psychological thriller is all about character, and all the character we get here is "he's white, she's black". Could be great, could be terrible, no way to tell from this.

  1. Posted by Dr Bob at 05:25pm on 01 April 2016

    Because what the world REALLY needed was a remake of Ben Hur...

    Bet the human bloke in Warcraft wouldn't fancy the female orc if she looked as if she was the same species as the male orcs. They're gorillas who've been mainlining steroids. She's a green human with Perky Goth teeth.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 06:10pm on 01 April 2016

    Well, it did take three tries to get a filmed version of Ben-Hur that people actually liked.

    Sexual Dimorphism and Extra-Species Mating in Homo Sapiens Robustus: A New Study.

  3. Posted by Ashley R Pollard at 07:19pm on 02 April 2016

    Tarzan: Alexander Skarsgård – with his togs off – I rest my case.

  4. Posted by RogerBW at 09:36am on 03 April 2016

    Fair point. I still don't think there's a huge pool of people thinking "you know what they should make? Another Tarzan film". The character was barely a feature of my childhood, and I'm older than the usual target demographic for these things.

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