RogerBW's Blog

August 2019 Trailers 01 September 2019

Some trailers I've seen recently, and my thoughts on them. (Links are to youtube. Opinions are thoroughly personal. Calibration: If you hate your enemies, you will contract such a vicious habit of mind, as by degrees will break out upon those who are your friends, or those who are indifferent to you.)

The Lighthouse: well, it don't half Bode. Which is a promising start.

Blinded by the Light: it's a personal story, great. But it seems like a whole lot of other personal stories.

Queen & Slim: yeah, maybe. Maybe.

Little Monsters: I don't love it. Might work, some horror comedies do, but it looks as if it only really has the one joke.

1917: yes, war is hell. What do you have to say about it? This seems like a standard story which happens to use the war as a backdrop.

Overcomer: feel-good Godsploitation, less racist than Godsploiters usually are these days.

Adventures of Dally and Spanky: you know, if you just had a sensible system that didn't force people to abase themselves or starve if they were unfortunate in their choice of relatives or spouses, you wouldn't have the desperation that drives this film. Which I suppose is the point: other people's desperation is fun to watch, if you're the right sort of monster.

Brian Banks: well, yes, American football does indeed give you a way out. Of excess mental capacity. But even the excellent Aldis Hodge can't drag this self-consciously Worthy piece out of its pit of melodrama.

Raise Hell - The Life & Times Of Molly Ivins: interesting enough, but where's the story?

The Addams Family: all right, I'm biased against this because I remember the last film version, unlike the target audience. But 3D animation has a tendency to be soulless unless you work really hard against it, and this is going very much for the quick cheap gags, though I do like the frog bit.

Dolemite Is My Name: Eddie Murphy is still alive? Well, this isn't aimed at me in at least two ways, but it seems pretty simplistic.

A Hidden Life: very pretty, but very much the same old story. I kept being distracted by August Diehl's weird face. OK, I'm shallow.

The Kill Team: if the film is anything other than Generic War-Is-Hell Story, the trailer won't tell me so.

Last Christmas: once again I say that you're supposed to get me in sympathy with the protagonist before you show how horrible a person she is. It's also traditional for the male lust-object to have at least some personality.

Zeroville: we're back in Late Sixties Land. Yay. This has been sitting on the shelf for four years after its distributor went bankrupt, and certainly I see nothing here to inspire someone to pay to pull it out again.

Underwater: so is this better than The Abyss and Deepstar Six and Leviathan and all the others, or is it just the same thing again with more jump-scares?

Western Stars: an extended music video. Fine if you like that sort of thing.

Antlers (Teaser): why does del Toro lend his name to such painfully generic-looking horror?

Marriage Story (Teaser 1) and Teaser 2: pretty white people problems.

Rambo - Last Blood: so you take a story that actually had something to say (at least in its original incarnation) and turn it into a generic revenge film. There are lots of generic revenge films. What's special about this one?

Ad Astra (IMAX): it becomes increasingly clear that this is less science fiction and more a fantasy story with some science words in it and some neat special effects. Oh well.

Bombshell (Teaser): nice last-moment reveal that these people are all willingly contributing to the destruction of civilisation. But why should I care about them?

Jexi: because the scariest thing about an AI revolution is that a manchild might have to be in a committed relationship.

Motherless Brooklyn: so where's the fun?

The Report: yeah, but it's still happening, just very slightly better hidden.

On Becoming a God in Central Florida: Well, I'll steal the title of course, but this looks remarkably like unpleasant people splitting off from other unpleasant people. (Showtime is its third production company, after AMC and Youtube Premium.)

Lady and the Tramp: yet another of these Disney live-action remakes. Nobody seems to want them, nobody seems to pay to see them, if you have fond memories of the originals you'd rather see those and if you don't they have nothing to say…

Noelle: …but given that this is what happens when Disney tries to make something that isn't a remake or a sequel, perhaps that's for the best. Points on for Anna Kendrick. Points off for, well, everything else.

Lucy in the Sky: yes, it is inspired by Lisa Nowak. Oh well. And it's pushing some thesis that astronauts tend to go mad after prolonged work in space, for which there's no evidence at all.

Star Wars - The Rise of Skywalker 'D23 - First Look': there are probably people who will analyse this endlessly. I am not one of them. I enjoyed the first three, didn't enjoy the second three, and I just have no interest in anything labelled Star Wars any more. Very pretty, wom zap boom.

The King: …I guess? This says nothing at all to me, but it's a hot day as I'm writing this.

Joker: yeah, so I (coincidentally a white man) am so special and important that when my life is shit I get to be a supervillain. Why should I want to watch this?

The Laundromat: where in this film are the people I am supposed to care about?

The Aeronauts: why, yes, I have read Falling Upwards. (Which I recommend.) Might, actually, be moderately enjoyable, which makes it unusual in this batch of trailers.

Terminator - Dark Fate: yeah, it may turn out to be rubbish like the last several (basically since it turned into a Franchise rather than "holy crap the first one made money"), but there is just a very small slight possibility that it'll be worth seeing. I'll take what I can get.

See also:
Falling Upwards, Richard Holmes

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