RogerBW's Blog

July-August 2017 Trailers 07 August 2017

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

Darkest Hour: Gary Oldman looks much more like Gary Oldman than like Winston Churchill, which is a pity. And of course I've read Kershaw's Fateful Choices, so I know that the choice between surrender and fighting was nothing like the way it's depicted here. Still, this is apparently the "Churchill's memoirs" version of the story, with bonus adoring young women.

Alpha: an interesting idea, but without dialogue can it avoid simply being cute? One to consider.

Bushwick: an interesting premise, but does strain my suspension of disbelief just a trifle. If you're going to have an action film, it's certainly more interesting to put your protagonists on the side that doesn't have all the guns and training and so on. Might work, if the actors can hack it.

A Wrinkle in Time (Teaser): well, if you must make a film of a well-loved book, you might as well get a director who's prepared to give it an original vision. Then it might be interesting in itself rather than just a series of high points from the books done wrong.

Professor Marston & the Wonder Women: seems as though it may have some sense of fun. Which seems to me like the best way to make it interesting.

Starship Troopers - Traitor Of Mars: wow, this series is actually still going. It does a much better job than the live-action film did, but... I don't know, it's never quite grabbed me.

The Disaster Artist (Teaser): I suppose it could be amusing, but I'd rather watch and laugh at the actual terrible film. Might be just me; maybe this will bring more people into the joy of bad films.

Boo 2! A Madea Halloween Teaser: rips off the Blair Witch intro effectively. Otherwise, clearly not intended for me.

Only the Brave: yeah yeah women exist, but the IMPORTANT thing for a manly man is go to and fight a forest fire. In a manly way. Looks awfully trite, but as long as they they don't waste too much time clichéing up the characters it could still work.

Proud Mary: yeah, it's really taken this long for blaxploitation to turn into a black female action hero played more or less straight. Could be fun.

Rebel in the Rye: J D Salinger is the cool artistic kid in a hopelessly square world, with bonus PTSD which is the only thing that we haven't seen dozens of times in films about artists. Meh.

The Shape of Water: ah, now this looks like something interesting. Heavy-handed, perhaps, but still interesting.

The Snowman: meh, yet another serial killer who plays games with the police. Oh, cop has to be bait, we've never seen that before.

Jigsaw: meh, yet another serial killer who plays games with the police. Oh, overly elaborate deathtraps and nightmare images of helplessness, we've never seen that before. (To be fair, I suspect that much of the point of this is to be more of what's already been done.)

Kingsman - The Golden Circle: I wasn't really interested in the first one; this seems to be being sold as more of the same.

Pacific Rim - Uprising (Teaser): doesn't tell me much about the film, but it looks like fun.

Bright: urban fantasy meets gritty cop drama. OK, haven't seen that combination in film before. Looks like one of those Fox shows that combines something weird with relentlessly standard police procedural so as not to scare off the few ageing viewers who still tune in to the old networks; that often goes badly, but let's see.

Justice League: basically looks like more super-hero action (plus the Death of Superman yet again, which I suppose you have to when you have Superman in play at all and want other people to be relevant). The people are too busy delivering Towering Moments of Cool to show up as people. Most of the fans of these things don't seem to be looking for what I'm looking for.

Ready Player One: the book was OK, but this looks as if it's not adding very much except pretty visuals. At least that's what they're showing here.

Thor - Ragnarok: looks as if it might at least have a sense of humour, so that's good. If you're going to try to appeal to me with a superhero film, this is how to go about it.

Brad's Status: uninteresting people do uninteresting things.

Message from the King: so why is it that this vast criminal (?) organisation can't simply shoot the guy? Answer that and the story might become compelling.

Sharknado 5 - Global Swarming: what the hell, keep it up. At least it's its own thing.

The Star (Teaser): crank the handle and out it comes.

The Vault: looks as if it's turning a generic-looking crime story into an effective piece of horror; but can it keep away from the usual toolbox of jump-scares and do something interesting? I hope so.

LBJ: there's an interesting story somewhere about Johnson and civil rights; is this it?

Suburbicon: Clooney playing yet another man who has to cope after his wife is killed. Hmm. Doesn't seem particularly engaging to me.

The Drowning: hmm, the subtext is rather jumping out at me here, but possibly because this looks like the same old "let a stranger into your life even a little bit and you are Doomed" that often passes for suspense.

Sniper - Ultimate Kill: nope, these aren't cut scenes from a game, this is an actual film series. This trailer still makes it look very by-the-numbers, though.

Deep: looks like horribly disposable kidvid with some slightly new models. Hits most of my "avoid" buttons, including having a shot in which the only dialogue is "aaaaaaah".

Fallen: OK… so how is taking your meds meant to stop you seeing the supernatural world (especially the sexy angel)? Doesn't appeal much to me, but it's not meant to.

What Happened to Monday: generic-looking child-related dystopia with shades of Farmer's Dayworld. Might have some interest to it if it can get away from the usual tropes.

First They Killed My Father: dictatorship is hell. But the trailer gives no sense of anything other than atmosphere, and a film needs more than that to work.

See also:
Fateful Choices, Ian Kershaw

  1. Posted by Michael Cule at 06:00pm on 07 August 2017

    You know that's not at all what I remember about READY, PLAYER ONE.

    Perhaps I skipped the shoot-em-up bits.

    I should probably try to catch up on the THOR movies I haven't seen before I see the latest one.

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