RogerBW's Blog

September 2016 Trailers 01 October 2016

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

Shut In: well played, trailer, you made me thing I was getting a deep emotional drama about a catatonic child and instead it's generic horror (with a woman whom nobody believes because she has a history of mental health problems). Sadly, it's generic horror with etc.

Certain Women: lots of plots (based on three separate short stories). Is "these are all about women" enough common thread to let the film hold together? Even the festival reviewers who love it claim it's slow-paced.

Noma, My Perfect Storm: I don't believe that any food is worth the amount of faff and money put into this kind of high-end stuff.

Underworld - Blood Wars: holy crap, they're still making these things. Well, that should satisfy everyone's desire for Kate Beckinsale cage-fight action.

USS Indianapolis - Men of Courage: Assume you're the sort of person who likes this kind of thing (which I sometimes am). Now picture inviting a friend along. "Hey, Bob, want to catch a new film? World War II Pacific theatre, classified mission, naval/air battles, survivors adrift in open rafts, and above all the dignity of men at war." "Sounds great - who's the lead?" "Nic Cage."

Collateral Beauty: three universals which aren't so universal, great start. Yay, arguing with personifications of the universe as a cheap route to self-improvement, and Helen Mirren pays her dues so that she can be in another good role next year. (At least I assume that's how it works; she can't have wanted to be in this, surely?)

Gold: crooked incompetent salesman is our hero yay, and when he and his friends make it big they can't handle it. Why should I care about any of this?

Live By Night: looks like an extended outtake from Gotham. Oh, the poor gangster doesn't want to kill people any more, boo hoo.

Mr. Church: magical negro meets dying mom. Yay, two clichés in one. I suppose I'm meant to be wondering "can Eddie Murphy play a straight role".

Peter And The Farm: hot farming action. At least he doesn't have to defend it against Russian terrorists or something. Might be interesting.

Free Fire: yay, incompetent criminals. Scorsese does what Scorsese does. Looks as though it was inspired by The Hateful 8 and shares several of its problems, including: why do we care what happens to any of these people, just burn the place down and have done.

The Free World: an action film dressed up as an art film? A bold idea, though it looks a lot more like an action film in what we see here.

The Promise: heroic journalist as observer to world-shaking events, which means we can work in a personal angle with a forced romance, ho hum. Nicely shot, though. I wonder if Serdar Argic will resurface.

Fifty Shades Darker: looks more like a romcom than anything else, with all the BDSM carefully kept out of sight. I have no interest in this.

Miss Sloane: Chastain is usually good value, though I wonder whether picking a current contentious issue is the right approach here. Mildly intrigued.

Flock of Dudes: let me guess, The Dude Friendship is going to end up mattering more than anything the one vaguely sensible guy wants to do on his own. Repels me like negative matter.

Nocturnal Animals: Tom Ford, eh? Chances are it'll be brutally hard work to get through, with no sympathetic characters. Might just end up being rewarding, though.

Bastards: "He's out there." "We gotta find Dad." No, no you don't gotta. And Owen Wilson too, just in case there might have been any life in this premise.

Ordinary World: well, that's not the song I think about when I hear that title. Nor, I suspect, will it be for anyone else. I thought this was going to be about Suburban Dad starting a band, but it turns out it's even more dreary: Surburban Dad getting into trouble by trying to have a life while being unequipped for it.

Edge of Winter: you can tell it's all going to go Horribly Wrong from the first frames. Everything bad is clearly something that Holland's character has visited on himself, so why should we care whether or how he gets out of it?

Hunt for Wilderpeople: thought I'd reviewed a trailer for this before, but apparently not. Basic male bonding, ho hum, though it's had some positive reviews and there may well be more to it than the trailer dares show.

El Jeremias: looks like a pretty standard "gifted kid" story, but at least the trailer doesn't give away the entire plot. (Or maybe it does, and there just isn't one.)

London Town: bildungsroman with an interesting backdrop and soundtrack, but same old same old characters. Oh well.

Mean Dreams: American Rural, with lots of rot and corruption. Some people like this stuff.

Passengers: looks simple (and with the usual skiffy magical tech), but potentially rather enjoyable. I'll certainly keep an ear out for more about this.

The Whole Truth: the trailer gives away much of the plot, and it might be more fun if one didn't know that up front, but it doesn't look appealing even so.

Fist Fight: er… what? Where's the plot? I mean, you could wrap a plot round "weak guy has to fight strong guy", and lots of stories have, but apparently this one doesn't bother.

Trespass Against Us: horrible people will come to a bad end.

The Beat Beneath My Feet: spotty kid will turn out to be a guitar genius. So I guess they already remade The Karate Kid (yup, it was the other Jaden Smith vanity project paid for by his parents), and they had to saw off the martial arts stuff and glue on some guitars in order to use the same script yet again. So, er.

King Cobra: men can be exploited in porn too. Only they get to do violence instead of just having it done to them.

Fences: Oscar season is here again. Feels like a kitchen-sink drama from the 1970s, only now we get to put black folks in it. Is that really the best we can do for black roles?

Dog Eat Dog: man are horrible criminals, and women are mostly victims. And the director is also the third-billed actor, as "Grecco the Greek".

  1. Posted by Owen Smith at 09:06pm on 01 October 2016

    Is there anything Hollywood won't remake? The Karate Kid is a classic and should be left as it stands. Wax on, wax off.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 09:11pm on 01 October 2016

    Ah, you missed it. Not surprising, as I don't know anyone who saw it who wasn't a professional critic; but in spite of that it did pretty decent business. Is there anything those suckers won't pay to see if it's marketed right?

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