RogerBW's Blog

October 2016 Trailers 01 November 2016

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

My Scientology Movie: a mere 29 years after Bare-Faced Messiah (which you should read, if you haven't). Well, I suppose Scientology is still there and still needs kicking.

Paterson: Jarmusch writes and directs, but does that give it more than adolescent cod philosophy? We'll see.

Vanished: didn't see this at the time, but putting it in now because I love some Christsploitation. It's so often that perfect storm of incompetence and utter sincerity. Sadly, it looks as though they may have had a competent crew this time. Or at least a competent editor for the trailer.

Coming Through the Rye: I find The Catcher in the Rye overrated in the extreme, but this may appeal to people who don't.

Ballerina (aka Leap!): I like the basic design and the dance duel, but I fear that this is going to devalue hard work in favour of "passion".

Get Out: now, this is what smart horror does: it builds on existing tensions. Though I suspect it'll be rather overplayed, judging by what we see here.

Sleepless: someone tries to force the one non-dirty cop into being dirty. Again, intriguing… but looks as if it'll just be a generic actioner, in the end.

The Hollow Point: actioner with hateful people. Actually, you know, it is possible to fight the bad guys without being worse than them: that's a large part of the point of civilisation.

Allied: so obviously it's a setup: if you genuinely think she might be a spy, the last person you tell is her loving husband, because she might persuade him to switch sides. Or it's truly incompetent scriptwriting. Either way this doesn't grab me, which is a shame, because the opening sequences are great; I could really do with a film about a Thin Man-style couple doing covert operations before and during WWII, without all this suspicion spoiling it all.

Patriots Day: I suppose this was inevitable, even if nobody's yet tried to make the Definitive Film about 9/11.

The Monster: yet more horror on a rural road. If there's anything original here the trailer won't show it.

The Take: mismatched cop-criminal partnerships are back. Yay. Actually this might just work, if you can swallow the whole "CIA are actually good guys" thing.

The Eyes Of My Mother: a promising first few seconds, but no, it looks as if it's just straightforward horror (with obvious callback to Un Chien Andalou). Is that, plus being in black and white, enough to get you festival buzz these days?

Life on the Line: there's an interesting film to be made here, but I don't think this is it. More like generic disaster movie, only focus-grouped into blandness.

Officer Downe: I'd never heard of this, but I'm not surprised it's a comic adaptation; it looks like one, complete with lots of elements designed to appeal to adolescent boys. (Vinyl fetish nuns! A badass who can't be stopped!)

Stretch & Bobbito - Radio That Changed Lives: yeah, OK, this is a story that hasn't been told before. How is it different from, say, pirate radio in the 1960s? What makes it specifically these guys' story rather than Generic Music Story?

Army of One: is there really nothing more to this than "look at the silly man" and "aren't foreigners funny"?

Trash Fire: Matthew Gray Gubler is one of the better things about Criminal Minds, but this trailer really doesn't go far enough in showing which sort of horror this is.

Harry Benson - Shoot First: OK, never heard of him, but looks interesting.

Operator: actually there's a difference between voice prompts and personality model… eh, never mind, this looks like ringing the changes on Her.

Rogue One - A Star Wars Story: oh well, they are going for "everything important can be credited to The Force" – but this still looks a bit more pleasingly dirtied-down than standard Star Wars.

The Boss Baby: really? That's all you've got?

Boo! A Madea Halloween: the retro style makes it look almost interesting.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Meh. Will probably appeal to people who liked the first one.

Train to Busan: this is how to do it; if you're going to use boring old zombies, at least use them in an interesting new way.

A Cure for Wellness: looks like pretty straight surrealist horror, but might have something to say in between the jump-scares.

Logan: even the heroes get old… well, not the women of course, they have to be young and fuckable. May appeal to people who actually like superheroes.

My Dead Boyfriend: so… how come she never knew any of the interesting things about her boyfriend? How the film answers that will be the key to anything it has to offer beyond moment-to-moment comedy.

Frank & Lola: not getting any sympathy from me here; being easily manipulated is such an easy weakness to fix.

Man Down: post-traumatic stress is still horrible, and if you haven't been there you still can't understand.

Sugar Mountain: unconvincing losers are unconvincing. Look, you could get me on-side for this film really easily: just persuade me that these are actual interesting and vaguely sympathetic characters. It would take maybe ten seconds out of your minute and a half of trailer. You don't do it, I'm not interested.

Chicken People: obsessed people are obsessed. There are two reactions to this sort of thing: "look at the silly man", which is the usual objective, and "hey, I have my own obsessions which could easily be made to look just as silly to outsiders".


  1. Posted by Owen Smith at 11:04pm on 01 November 2016

    I have friends who keep telling me Guardians Of The Galaxy is a great film and why haven't I seen it yet. You clearly don't agree.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 09:00am on 02 November 2016

    I haven't seen it either, but I have low tolerances for the manchild-as-hero trope, for superheroes in general, and for the style of storytelling which is much more about individual cool moments than about developing a narrative.

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