RogerBW's Blog

April 2016 Trailers 01 May 2016

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

The American Side: it may be generic noir, but there's not enough noir about for my taste, the Tesla connection is amusing, and Greg Stuhr is very appealing. I'll certainly keep an eye out for this.

Search Party: points for Alison Brie, and for using a Jim Steinman track in the trailer. But this still looks like standard "lovable schlubs fall into trouble and out again through no virtue of their own" grossout comedy.

Tale of Tales: looks like the sort of thing Terry Gilliam did before he disappeared entirely up his own mind. Intriguing.

Hard Sell: white boys white boys white boys white boys white boys white boys white boys white boys white boys.

Blood Father: when a woman's in trouble, an older man will ride in and save the day. Not that we're trying to appeal to older men here.

Blackway: when a woman's in trouble, an older man will ride in and save the day. (But actually I find Anthony Hopkins more plausible as a badass action hero than Mel Gibson.)

Swiss Army Man: well, it's not as immediately categorisable as many films, so that's a start. Looks like pretty simplistic physical comedy, but there could be something more.

Memoria: intriguing, but doesn't tell me much.

David Brent - Life on the Road: assume you've never heard of this character before – as I haven't. What does this trailer give you apart from a careless and insensitive man who incorrectly thinks he's funny? (And a reinforced determination never to watch The Office, which is apparently where he comes from.)

Manhattan Night: Adrien Brody still has an interesting face, but where does it go? Fatal Attraction is where it bloody goes, and that was nearly thirty years ago.

Mothers and Daughters: faces the usual problems of an anthology film. Even Love, Actually couldn't entirely overcome the difficulty that one story is always going to be more interesting than the others.

The Bye Bye Man: which is more scary, the idea that there's a supernatural force out there making people do Bad Things… or the idea that there isn't, and that's just what humans are like? The former really has no power to scare me in the face of the latter.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: yes, the book didn't have a story at all, but never mind, they got Rowling to write the script for this. I'm not really interested in Rowling or in Eddie Redmayne, so this has little to say to me.

L'Attesa: pretty people problems? Mild interest, but no more than that.

Sky: that looks a bit more like it. Strange but potentially fun.

The Family Fang: maybe a bit too consciously quirky, and Christopher Walken is entirely too recognisable, but this might have the spark that would make it worth watching.

When The Bough Breaks: clearly no man should ever be unsupervised with a woman he's not married to. It's the only way to stay safe from those rampaging vaginabeasts.

Doctor Strange (teaser): oh, an origin story. I wasn't expecting that.

The Neon Demon: Refn does what Refn does best. Will he say anything he didn't already say in Drive and Only God Forgives?

Almost Christmas: yay, black folks can get shitty clichéd holiday films too.

No Men Beyond This Point: the parody looks a bit broad but it might be worth a try, and the appropriate eras are visually well-emulated.

Robinson Crusoe: oh god oh god oh god.

Hands of Stone: generic boxing film is generic, or if it isn't we won't tell you.

The Infiltrator: 1980s nostalgia is now being filmed to look like 1970s nostalgia. Didn't they make this sort of thing in the actual 1980s? And isn't it still available?

The Girl on the Train: not, alas, anything to do with the Pete Atkin song, but apparently an accurately horrible adaptation of the horrible book).

The Magnificent Seven: because black and white is boooooooooring. I just don't see the point of stealing the old title; it puts me out.

Café Society: naïf young lad hooks up with lots of women… oh, it's by Woody Allen, that explains it.

Jason Bourne: Tommy Lee Jones just has the go-to face for corrupt CIA guys, ever since Under Siege (which is 25 years old next year). Otherwise, meh.

The Founder: how Ray Kroc screwed McDonald's out of the McDonalds, who wanted to stay small and treat their employees as people rather than product. Never, never, never hire a salesman.

Born in China: and sold in China too, one assumes.

The Silent Storm: looks heavy-handed, but might still get the job done.

Emma's Chance: what these kids need is hard work! (And cute boys.)

Cell: new technology is scary, you kids get offa my landline. Interesting to see that for all the trappings this basically ends up as a fast-zombie story.

Dear Eleanor: perhaps a little too self-consciously cutesey for its own good, but there's a sense of fun in this that all the focus-grouping in the world can't stamp out.

Absolutely Fabulous: the original women behaving badly. Except when you have Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley as your leads, with Saunders writing, it can actually work. The film is written by Saunders too, so it stands a chance of being worthwhile.

Approaching the Unknown: looks interesting, but a first time writer directing his own work is a huge red flag. Obviously smells of trying to cash in on The Martian, but doesn't look as cheap as I suspect it was, which is impressive,

East Side Sushi: charming immigrants face prejudice from… other charming immigrants. But the story beats are wearily familiar.

Mon Roi: leads who look like people rather than plastic dolls, hurrah! Maybe all a bit forced but this does at least show some promise.

Snowden: yeah yeah, humanise the Big Figure. May be great, but this stuff just doesn't appeal to me. At least he's not being played by Benedict Cumberbatch.

Southside with You: a different sort of humanising the Big Figure, Seventies nostalgia meets presidential hagiography. How bizarre.

The Duel: everyone else fades away to become tools in the hands of the Two Important Men whose story this is.

Tulip Fever: a great cast, gorgeous production, but a very dreary story. Come on, guys, "bored young wife of rich old man has affair with poor young pretty man" was overplayed by the start of the twentieth century, never mind the twenty-first.

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