RogerBW's Blog

March 2021 Trailers 01 April 2021

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

About Endlessness: looks like a deliberate parody of Art Film.

Held: ah, Chekov's security system. But what this comes down to is simply "vaguely pleasant people are tortured". Ooh, it's a villain doing it so it's all right to enjoy watching it.

Bad Trip: I don't think I would want to be in the same room with someone who enjoyed this.

Voyagers (Teaser): very pretty but wot do it do? I know, I know, teaser. And they're getting plenty of use out of that one small corridor set; maybe they took advice from someone who'd worked on Doctor Who.

Thunder Force: ah, fat women are funny. Ha ha.

Tom Clancy's Without Remorse: is he really? Well, I suppose what with being dead and all. Ho hum, wife killed to motivate "good" violent man, it was old and tired in 1993 when the book came out and it's older and tireder now. Are they going to keep the decompression-chamber torture-and-murder sequence?

City of Lies (Teaser): yeah, but nobody caught the murderer and they're not likely to now. So there's no resolution, no story.

Night of the Sicario: bang bang bang emote, that's all this trailer has to say.

Paper Spiders: not at all my sort of thing, but it looks a whole lot better than anything else in this batch so far.

Golden Arm: not that I actually want to watch Sports Movie, but I want to watch Comedy Sports Movie even less.

Vanquish: and if what we're going to get is an endless parade of Heroes Who Don't Do That Any More, then yeah, let me at least have one who's a little bit different from the grunty beefcake mould.

Wildcat: ah, more torture close-ups. What fun.

The Unholy: as long as it can stay away from the generic horror jump scares and the rest of the worn-out playbook there might actually be something here. Not hopeful, but most horror trailers don't conceal what they're up to.

Spirit Untamed: even the character models are generic.

Concrete Cowboy: if this is based on real people, why is everything they say so desperately stereotyped? Just a bad trailer edit, or a lousy scriptwriter?

Crock of Gold: another hagiography, apparently.

Voyagers: ah, right, the silliest sort of generation ship. (And I know there's stiff competition for that title.)

Bloodthirsty: I like at least one of the principals to be at least a little bit compelling. Eh. Might work if it's less clichéd than the trailer makes it look.

Initiation: are you going to make an actual criticism of… no, here's the knifey murdery bit. Pretty white woman in danger!

Stowaway: no. No no no your mass margin does not work like that. And oh look you invoked The Cold Equations. Going to have to pull the nose up a long way to stop this one disintegrating when it hits the air.

The Virtuoso: oh no suddenly I don't feel so good about being a rich successful assassin. How terrible is my pain! (Did they really film all the bits with Anthony Hopkins in a single day? Sure looks like it.)

The Suicide Squad: no doubt the sort of film that will appeal hugely to people other than me. Aren't they cool? Yeah, if I were still eleven maybe.

The Night House: what a pathetic reaction to "a horrible monster is coming after my wife": don't bother to tell her, but reason yourself into thinking incorrectly that your death will solve the problem.

Wrath of Man: Statham plays the Statham Character again, in this remake set in a world populated entirely by security guards and criminals. (Not even a gratuitous strip club scene. Is Ritchie getting old?)

Spiral: genuinely smart psychopaths know they can have much more fun working for the police. Eh, if I want grim and gritty cop drama with the yellow light shining through the windows there's an awful lot of it out there already.

Zola: why do I care about any of these people?

Percy Vs Goliath: Walken's looking good at 78. You'd never know from this trailer that it actually happened in Canada… but Hollywood reduces everything to its basic story templates, and trailers make the film look even closer to them than it really is.


  1. Posted by J Michael Cule at 12:01pm on 01 April 2021

    I'm fairly sure I remember reading WITHOUT REMORSE. One good thing about my crappy memory is that I can't now remember more about it than the concluding paragraph.

  2. Posted by John P at 10:17pm on 01 April 2021

    Watched "Siege At Jadotville" the other day. Irish UN peacekeepers in the Congo in 1961. Very good.

  3. Posted by Owen Smith at 02:12am on 02 April 2021

    I hoped Spiral would be related to the Parisian cops TV series of the same name. I was disappointed when it wasn't.

    Scott Manley (has a space YouTube channel) did some consultancy on space stuff for The Stowaway. He freely admits that he wasn't able to get them to fix everything that is wrong in the script.

  4. Posted by Ashley R Pollard at 11:01am on 02 April 2021

    While City of Lies is not my cup of tea, I think that your condemnation of no resolution equals no story is a tad off the mark. Sometimes it's about the mysterious legend. Of course, I'll never know because I won't watch it.

    Stowaway: I'm inclined to like this for all the reasons that probably make you face palm.

    Scott Manley's piece here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCwXJMVVdck

    Wrath of Man: Statham does Statham. Sold. It may not big or clever, but it will do what Statham does best.

    And the best for last.

    The Suicide Squad: My inner eleven year old squeed with joy!

  5. Posted by RogerBW at 12:06pm on 02 April 2021

    I like to have cinematic stories and plausible physics. The latter is not a Hollywood priority, and given how few people feel the way I do I can see why.

    It doesn't help, though, that cinematic TV is usually a generation or two behind written SF. My mental model for this is that it takes time to move from being an SF-loving child to being someone in a position to have an influence on films, and the transition stops one from reading new SF.

  6. Posted by Dr Bob at 11:01am on 03 April 2021

    I remember liking the original Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (even if there were too many Bryan Adams songs in the soundtrack). It was about wild horses, with only one good guy human in it, and the rest as antagonists. Spirit Untamed appears to be about little girls, with the horse as damsel in distress. Bleh.

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