RogerBW's Blog

May 2021 Trailers 01 June 2021

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

Occupation: Rainfall: the first question I always have in these resistance things is how did you survive the initial invasion with some level of working military, when one side has the level of energy production and control needed for interstellar travel and the other… doesn't? Still, looks like an inoffensive actioner… so they added Ken Jeong to make it more offensive.

The Last Letter From Your Lover: before and after, as above so below, yeah, we get it, but… is there anything to it? Or is it just generic rom-com doubled, which has been done quite a bit before?

Funhouse: isn't it about twenty years too late to do a "reality TV is evil" film? As an excuse for torture porn, fair enough I suppose, but even Doctor Who did this in 2005.

Plan B: is this meant to be funny?

A Quiet Place Part II: OK, so we have flashback. Given how many of the settings are repeated here I suspect there may be a relatively small number of action scenes; the rest may be more interesting. "Only in theaters" means, as always, we'd rather you die than impair our profits.

Venom - Let There Be Carnage: generic superhero trailer is generic. Action, a little bit of humour. Yay.

In the Earth: the colour palette makes a pleasing change from orange-good, blue-bad. But "GPRS" isn't how you avoid getting lost in the wilderness, chaps, and oh dear it's just jump-scare horror oh well never mind.

Fatherhood: interesting to see that it's a relatively long-duration story rather than a redemptive arc that happens over just a day or two. Probably not for me, but hey.

Stillwater: a bit of the standard wonderfulness of Rural America, but quickly gets a little more interesting, particularly since it doesn't appear to go down the usual "violence is the only answer" route. Might take a look at this.

The Green Knight: will it actually get the point of the story? Lots of people don't, so I don't have much hope. Pretty, though.

The Protégé: lots of standard violence film, but this looks as if it might even be slightly enjoyable. The appeal here is entirely resting on Samuel L. Jackson and Maggie Q, but they can sustain a film. (I assume Jackson will be cut out of things quite early as the Motivation, and dead teacher is at least better than dead wife).

Let Us In: looks weirdly unappealing to me. But I guess I'm not the target audience here.

The Forever Purge: they keep making these things, and they're appreciated by at least some people for whom I have respect. Just a bit too lovingly lingering over the woman in peril for my taste.

Wish Dragon: all these modern kidvids look and sound and – whatever the term is for one's perception of narrative – the same.

Hotel Transylvania - Transformania: see above.

Snake Eyes: looks like enjoyably kinetic rubbish, even if it is a G.I. Joe tie-in.

Censor: arguments long since hashed out into nothing and built back up into a substrate for jump scares. Doesn't feel good to me.

Dear Evan Hansen: nothing in life is worse than the plight of the slightly less than perfect middle-class young white man, for whom all bumps in the road will be magically smoothed away.

The Ice Road: I gather there was quite a successful reality-TV series with this premise (minus the artificial deadline obviously). Still, this is the sort of thing that happens when you don't have heavy-lift zeppelins.

Respect: I wonder whether the reason Hollywood can never make good films about the creative process is that so few people there have any understanding of it.

The Evil Next Door: love the imagery, but the plot is too blatantly standard American horror film for me.

No Sudden Move (Teaser): sometimes Soderbergh can be pretty darn good. (Sometimes he can be rubbish.) It could work…

Eternals (Teaser): if you're really stuck for a trailer soundtrack, put something cheap through the "cheap record player" filter. Good visuals, but I'm pretty sure this isn't the place to jump into Marvel's superhero films.

Maid in Manhattan: of course America doesn't have a class system. (Plus Cinderella obviously.)

Last Night in Soho: yeah yeah we get the timeslip idea but who are the people in this story? Generic Pretty Young Woman?

Escape Room - Tournament of Champions: well, if I want to see young and attractive people in fear and pain I guess I know where to go.

False Positive: smells of Rosemary's Baby. How far we've come.

The Tomorrow War: not sure what's narratively so important about the futuriness of it, rather than setting an alien invasion story in the present day, but in between the standard action stuff there's the hint of an interesting idea. (If you have time travel, can't you give your recruits a year's course in alien-fighting here-and-now before you send them off to the front? Why is it so urgent?)

Werewolves Within: seems entirely too sure that it's funny for a spam-in-a-cabin.

Lansky: a true story maybe, but is it an interesting story? Is it interesting enough to make a film about?

Gunpowder Milkshake: I've never really got on with Gillan as an actor, but Headey will probably make this worth watching, no matter how derivative it looks. Decent visual design too. (Perhaps they're trying for fans of John Wick?)

  1. Posted by J Michael Cule at 01:27pm on 01 June 2021

    I'm not sure I know what the point of SIR GAWAIN AND THE GREEN KNIGHT is. At least no one is trying to make movies of the ROMANCE OF THE ROSE...

    I'm also not sure what the point of THE ETERNALS ever was other than a Group of Mysterious Beings for the early Fantastic Four to find and have Johnny Storm fall in love with one of them. I do know that any actor is going to find Black Bolt a beast of a part to do.

    I also know that no movie maker has ever got the FF right. I think I should be grateful that they have stopped trying.

  2. Posted by RogerBW at 02:40pm on 01 June 2021

    As far as I am concerned, the point of Sir Gawain is honour. He is faced with a situation which he has every reason to believe is going to be lethal; he is offered, and takes, a means of survival which is dishonourable; afterwards, everyone cheers for him, but he knows that in his triumph he is a failure.

  3. Posted by Chris Bell at 08:06pm on 01 June 2021

    Slightly more complicated than that: he backs himself into a corner from which he cannot escape with his honour intact, because he has made two incompatible promises: he must behave honourably towards his host, and also honourably towards his hostess, and they have colluded to fix it so that he has to be dishonourable to one or the other. He almost manages to skate round that one by dishonesty to both, but then goes wrong in a third direction.

    Hanging on to the girdle he thinks will save his life when he has an obligation to pass it on is almost redundant (and anyway if he did honourably hand it over to his host he'd dishonour his hostess): he has already and inevitably had to act without honour towards one or other of two people when he has an obligation in honour to each.

  4. Posted by Robert at 02:25pm on 02 June 2021

    You are thinking of the Inhumans Michael, who are Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s 1965 hidden powered people from the Fantastic Four.

    The Eternals are Jack Kirby’s 1976 hidden powered people with considerable bits of Erich von Däniken influence.

    Marvel already goofed around with the Inhumans in their TV shows. I understand it didn’t work well and I avoided it even as a long-time marvel sucker, er, fan. I agree entirely with all your observations.

    I think we can all appreciate that having Erich von Dänicken’s ideas recycled in any form after our recent social and economic disruptions is going to be great for encouraging a return to critical evidence based thinking.

  5. Posted by RogerBW at 02:35pm on 02 June 2021

    Thank goodness people wouldn't fall for that nonsense now, eh? Oh, wait, they're building a whole theme park round it.

    (Mind you that article is from 2018 and they're clearly going very very slowly…)

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