Thoughts on the Previews: October 30, 2015

Krampus (Michael Dougherty, USA 2015)

  • Adam Scott is showing up a lot since the death of Parks and Recreation (two years too late)
  • About the first 1/3 of the trailer looks like a rather fun comedic take on the type of idea Supernatural would have made a fun holiday episode out of six years ago, and then it looks completely serious after. So I don’t know what to make of this thing–is it a self-aware, comedic horror film, or is it taking a really stupid idea very seriously? Either way, it may be worth a laugh. And that first 1/3 really is pretty funny.

The Forest (Jason Zada, USA 2016)

  • I made enough fun of this concept earlier, but something I forgot to mention about the stupidity of this trailer: this idea of “twin telepathy” is nonsense. It’s been studied. It does not exist. Most people think (even though they wouldn’t admit it) that people who look alike must be alike and be connected, but it is not true.

Victor Frankenstein (Paul McGuigan, USA 2015)

  • It’s been 21 years since a major Hollywood version of Frankenstein, which was the excellent Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (Kenneth Branagh, USA 1994), so maybe it’s time for a new one. It’s difficult to tell whether this has any kind of a new take on the story, but I for one hope for it.
  • Daniel Radcliffe has been a very, very inconsistent actor. Even in Harry Potter films, he would veer wildly between being quite good and being awful beyond words.

Star Wars: Episode VII–The Force Awakens (J.J. Abrams, USA 2015)

  • Nothing happened in this trailer. Seriously nothing. I laughed.
  • However, the images of the destroyed spaceship on the desert and the melted Darth Vader mask were extremely effective.
  • Much has been made of the fact that Luke Skywalker has been absent from all promotional material. I for one do not care.
  • The trailer was more effective than it should have been.
  • I want to find somewhere to bet $100 right now on this being the highest-grossing movie of all time. And if I could also bet on it not being very good, I would do so.
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Thoughts on the Previews: October 1, 2015

Joy (David O. Russell, USA 2015)

  • I’m tired of Bradley Cooper.
  • I’m tired of Robert De Niro. (I think he actually retired about twenty years ago without anybody noticing. He’s just showing up now and saying, “I’m great, because I’m De Niro.”)
  • I rather liked Three Kings (though admittedly I remember very little of it, so it didn’t make a huge impression on me), but I really haven’t been a fan of Russell’s much-praised work since.
  • The trailer looks like this film has about a nine-act story.
  • A film centered around a family’s holiday dinners. That’s what this looks like. Which I assume means it’s going to be a mean, unhappy little movie in spite of its title.
  • I’m not tired of Jennifer Lawrence, but that’s really because I haven’t watched most of what she’s done. There have to be people suffering from fatigue of her by now.

Concussion (Peter Landemson, USA/Australia/UK 2015)

  • You cast one of the world’s leading Scientologists to play a doctor who is yelling at people to listen to evidence. We don’t have to carry Will Smith’s personal life into his performances, but that just seems particularly odd.
  • Was that really the best title you could come up with?
  • The trailer was in some way very annoying. Something about the sound and the pacing just was very grating to me. And a couple people in the theater were laughing at it . . . not a good sign.

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Thoughts on the Previews: November 6, 2014

Spoiler for tomorrow’s review: Interstellar (Christopher Nolan, USA/UK 2014) is great–the best film I’ve seen all year.

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (Peter Jackson, New Zealand/USA 2014)

  • I spent half an hour trying to find out what it was after, because I swear I know the music from this trailer, and I feel like it’s something I should know somehow. Maybe it’s just because Howard Shore is rather repetitive, but I sure felt like it was something I knew.
  • The first review I ever wrote on this blog was of the first film in this trilogy, and it was so bad that I had no interest in seeing the second. I’m not watching this one, either. And The Hobbit is one of my top five favorite books ever.

Exodus: Gods and Kings (Ridley Scott, UK/USA/Spain 2014)

  • “From Ridley Scott, the director of Gladiator . . . ” another piece of facile pro-Christian propaganda? Yep, looks like it. It’s funny that this wave of big budget pro-Christian films has been coming out without him.
  • Is Christian Bale descending into movie stardom instead of acting? Doing a Ridley Scott film suggests it, and it’s not refuted by following it with a Malick film (Malick, for all his pretentiousness, has always cast big stars in his films and never actually given them much to do.) and a children’s cartoon. I hope not–he’s a rare talent.

The Gambler (Rupert Wyatt, USA 2014)

  • No idea what was going on in this trailer–it had “Gimme Shelter” playing, so I didn’t pay attention to anything else. And then I was mad that it cut off the song.

The Interview (Evan Goldberg/Seth Rogen, USA 2014)

  • A running diary of my thoughts during this trailer: Who the hell is that curly-haired guy and why does he appear to be in every crappy movie? . . . And that guy with the weird accent looks familiar . . . Oh, it’s James Franco. It seems like he makes his role choices while high. Well, yeah, he probably does. . . . The CIA agent is pretty. Wow the trailer is dull if that’s all I’ve noticed. . . . This concept has no possible comedic value. . . . Can we just get rid of Seth Rogen (It said his name, so now I know it!) somehow? Put him on a tv show where he won’t have trailers or something?
  • Somehow, I think I will be skipping this one.

Furious 7 (James Wan, USA/Japan 2015)

  • I can’t tell the difference between these movies, The Expendables series, and all of Liam Neeson’s movies. I’m amazed that fans can tell the difference.
  • One thing I find interesting about the way all of those films make trailers: they just show you who’s in the film. They tell you nothing about the film or even the characters they are playing. I’m not saying anything about that choice other than that it’s an interesting choice.

Selma (Ava DuVernay, UK 2014)

  • Big problem: I had no idea what the title of the movie was. It showed the title in difficult to read print very quickly.
  • The fact that a film this Oscar Bait-y is coming out in January is a bad sign of its quality.
  • TIM ROTH SIGHTING! Doesn’t get nearly enough work.
  • Doesn’t it seem like a biopic of Martin Luther King Jr. would be a really obvious way to get someone an Oscar? If Chadwick Boseman loses out (Likely to Michael Keaton. How weird does that sound??!!) this year, maybe some studio puts one together for him.