RogerBW's Blog

November-December 2017 Trailers 16 December 2017

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

The Mercy: looks well set-up and filmed, and Firth is one of the few modern actors I'd expect to be able to carry a psychological story like Crowhurst's even if he is twenty years older than Crowhurst was. The trailer can't show the build-up of pressure, of course; I hope the film manages to pull this off. (Calling it an "unsolved mystery" is a bit much, though. And why has this been rotting on the shelf since it was filmed in 2015?)

A Quiet Place (Teaser): gorgeous photography blown on boring old playground-game-style horror tropes. Was Steven Moffat involved in this, or is someone else stealing his idea?

Bullet Head: gorgeous photography blown on boring one-last-job crime movie tropes, with bonus psychopathy.

Hotel Transylvania 3 - Summer Vacation (vt A Monster Vacation): if you run out of ideas, add a cruise ship.

Rampage: I love the way this sets itself up to look like a Serious Caring Film and then, well, yes. Might be enjoyably rubbish.

The Final Year: everything was fucked, and now it's even more fucked.

A Wrinkle in Time: I'm not particularly familiar with the original. This doesn't look like the sort of thing I imagine when I read a book, but I don't expect that. I do like slightly less trite dialogue, though. Maybe they picked the dullest-sounding bits to make the viewers think "just another fantasy", which I don't believe this is.

Journeyman: looks like hard work, and the trailer won't show why this particular person is interesting other than "someone loves him" and "he was a boxer". Yeah, universality is fine, but if the film doesn't bother to engage me…

Smallfoot (Teaser): looks like standard kidvid.

Accident Man: yes, yes, we have seen all these films before. So why should we be interested in this one? Pat Mills was writing this stuff more than twenty years ago; since then, it's been done, and done again, and done again only they're all lesbian strippers, and done again. What's the distinctive feature of this story?

Love, Simon: might have something to say, or at least some amusing writing.

Avengers - Infinity War: I'm so far behind the curve on superhero films that it's just a ballet of beatings to me. Tom Hiddleston still looks great, though. Oh, yay, crossover.

Mary Magdalene: a trailer for a bit of Christsploitation, released while people are thinking about Christmas. But if it goes beyond the basic story, it'll lose the fundie audience, and if it doesn't, it'll lose everyone else.

Acts of Violence: why is it all these things look the same? Palette, setting, faces. (Also, traffickers very rarely take rich white girls, specifically for the reason that the police will try to do something about it.) Then it's a boring old violence fantasy, just one that took a long time to set things up so that it's OK for good people to do lots and lots and lots of killing.

Thoroughbreds: OK, slightly more interesting than the teaser made it look. It's still a bit Heavenly Creatures, but might have potential.

Midnight Sun: the girl in the bubble redux (see Everything, Everything from earlier this year), only this time she's not dying of a mysterious illness.

Please Stand By: mildly intriguing, but I think I may find this protagonist's problems just a bit too much to take for the full length of a film.

Valley of Bones: I'm not really sure I approve of glamming up palæontology like this, and apart from that the storm seems very straightforward.

You Were Never Really Here: ah, but he's a Good Guy so it's ok that he's a violent killer. Yay. (I give it a 40% chance that he's actually hallucinating and killed the girl himself.)

7 Days in Entebbe (vt Entebbe): the 1970s were brown and orange. Possibly not the best time for propaganda about how great it is that Israel kicks ass and takes names, but I tend to feel that it's never a good time.

Alita - Battle Angel: it's 27 years since the manga came out. There was a not-terrible anime version in 1993, when people still remembered it. But really, this isn't a marketable name any more, it's not a story people were asking to have remade again, what the hell is the point when there are new stories not being told? Especially when many of those new stories don't have a strong undercurrent of portraying the powerful female character as essentially subservient, needing a man to define her life.

Jurassic World - Fallen Kingdom: I'm sure this is not the point where one's supposed to enter the series, so I'm not surprised that I have no interest in doing so.

Maze Runner - The Death Cure: call me biased, but I'd prefer a death vaccine first. Curing is likely to be rather harder. But this is a world where a light helicopter can carry a fully-loaded container, so what the hell, reality has clearly left the building. Like Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, previous films have clearly done the job of making the characters sympathetic if it's going to happen at all, so there's no point in trying to do it here.

Annihilation: yeah, still has nothing to say that Arrival didn't, but now it's been turned into one-by-one killing horror in the style of Aliens.

The 15:17 to Paris: hmm, people portraying themselves seems to be becoming something of a trend… though these guys aren't actors. Clearly this all has to be very much extended from the few minutes the actual incident took. Given the way Eastwood's been behaving lately, I assume this will be portrayed as Sinister Islamic Terrorism (in spite of the lack of evidence) and Heroic Americans (and maybe some other people).


  1. Posted by Dr Bob at 02:41pm on 17 December 2017

    Yeek! Gallop straight to the uncanny valley for the 'big eye' look in Alita Battle Angel.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 03:31pm on 17 December 2017

    Yeah, she has somewhat large eyes in the manga and original adaptation, but so do lots of other people.

  3. Posted by Dr Bob at 05:30pm on 19 December 2017

    I'm okay with the large eyes in anime/manga (or Disney characters). But Alita wasn't a 'cartoon' in that trailer... and that tipped it over the edge into squick territory.

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