When I originally planned to do this, I only had two trailers in mind that I really wanted to talk about this week, Suspiria, which came out on Monday, and Halloween, which I knew would be out on Friday. I figured there would be a small handful of others and then Hollywood vomited almost 20 trailers at me, which is apparently atypical. I made due. Below is a reaction to each one, and then at the very end, I’ll do a quick, one-sentence reaction to each one while ranking them for those of you who don’t want to read over 3,000 words on a much of two-minute videos, which I wouldn’t blame you for.
Let me start by saying that I have not seen the original, 1977 Dario Argento film so I’m coming into this movie, Luca Guadagnino’s follow-up to Call Me By Your Name, about as blank as you can. That said: I want to go to here, please. First, I’m so ready for the Dakota Johnson renaissance to begin, because she clearly has more talent than the 50 Shades franchise was able to utilize, and that is in full force during this trailer. Also in full force, a remarkably haunting score by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke which is at its best every time the trailer reveals another letter of its title. This trailer sends shivers down the spine, revealing almost nothing about itself, with no dialogue or voiceover giving any kind of guidance. It’s just striking imagery, women staring at each other, dancing, some weird supernatural nonsense and then that long look at a hook. Throw in this summary of a clip played in front of Cinemacon during a luncheon, and this movie straight up cannot get here and into my nightmares soon enough.
Before yesterday morning, I didn’t even know this movie existed, but it has already become a movie I’m really excited to see. Steve McQueen returns to directing a full-length motion picture for the first time since 12 Years A Slave and Gillian Flynn, who adapted her own Gone Girl to great success, is credited as a co-writer on it, so the creative team is already encouraging. Add in a cast that includes Viola Davis, who has an Oscar, an Emmy, and two Tonys, Cynthia Erivo, who won an acting Tony for The Color Purple in a year where Hamilton took basically every award, Carrie Coon, who turned in excellent work on the third season of Fargo and is apparently pitch perfect in The Leftovers, Daniel Kaluuya, fresh off his Oscar-nominated role in Get Out, Brian Tyree Henry, who is probably about a month away for an Emmy nomination for Atlanta and was just nominated for a Tony for his role in Lobby Hero. And I didn’t even mention Colin Farrel, Jacki Weaver, Robert Duvall, Liam Neeson or Jon Bernthal. The trailer itself doesn’t do a great job of selling the story, which should be an intense and emotional heist film, but the sum of its parts still have me encouraged.
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2
Six years after the first movie impressed the hell out of me, Disney follows up Wreck-It Ralph with the terribly titled Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2. A title they know is awful because they spend the last ten seconds of this trailer making fun of it. Whatever. It’s stupid. It most immediately references a nude photo shoot, the phrase “breaks the internet” hasn’t really been relevant since the year that shoot was released, his name literally has the word “wreck” in it how are you still using “break” and the subtitle comes first. They should feel bad and they need to look deep at themselves to understand what’s wrong with them. The main part of this trailer is a lot of fun, with the Google auto-predict getting a nice little joke and the much-hyped Disney princess thing is a lot of fun, although I think the only reason it works is because they were able to get the original voice actresses to reprise their respective roles (with the exception of Snow White, Aurora, and Cinderella). The one concern I have with it, and the princesses play into it, is that this could easily just become a feature-length add for Disney and all of their properties, which would be a waste of the characters they so beautifully introduced in the first film.
White Boy Rick
Apparently based on the true story of the FBI’s youngest ever informant, the trailer for this movie doesn’t do a whole lot for me other than showcase a few actors I really like, most notably Matthew McConaughey and the second appearance of Brian Tyree Henry in this week’s wrap-up. The lead performance of the titular White Boy Rick isn’t particularly impressive in this trailer, which is a concern. The main thing that this movie probably has going for it is its director, Yann Demange, who directed the well-received war drama ’71, and was for a time, considered one of the front-runners for Bond 25 before Danny Boyle swooped in. This has the right pieces to be an interesting movie, but the trailer itself isn’t particularly encouraging.
*Peeks outside door, closes the door, closes blinds, puts on a V for Vendetta mask, uses a Ross Marquand impression megaphone to sound more like Christopher Walken* This movie looks surprisingly pleasant. It doesn’t super focus on the explosion nonsense from Michael Bay’s one thousand other movies and the fact it appears to be more of a personal story between Hailee Steinfeld’s character (a much better actress than this franchise deserves) and the titular character. I wouldn’t go so far to say that I’m excited about this movie or that it’s going to be a dramatic turnaround for a franchise that’s gone on much too long, but I’m still impressed by the heart that the trailer implies.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
After the original film was senselessly robbed of even a nomination for Best Animated Feature, this trailer puts us back in the fantastical world, years after the Duplo attack that ended the film. It starts off with a real Mad Max feel, and then we see that Emmett has not been hardened by the terrible things around him. It’s hard for me to not to be excited about this movie. It seems just as bright and joyful as the first, and is bringing back its core cast (Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman and Alison Brie) while adding on Tiffany Haddish and Stephanie Beatriz. I do have a couple of issues. Story-wise, it weirds me out that the trailer calls out the gender issue from the first film, and then immediately has Wildstyle/Lucy kidnapped. I’m kind of hoping that the story itself will kind of twist that on its head, but I’m not particularly encouraged by the thought of it. My other major concern is that I fear that losing Phil Lord and Chris Miller as directors and replacing them with a guy whose best movie is probably Trolls is far from encouraging, but if the trailer is any indication, this film has not really lost a step since the original.
The story of the movie here is probably the best thing it has going for it. The true story of the mission to catch the man who developed the Nazi’s Final Solution during World War II is a story that I am not fully aware of, and one that could adapt well to the screen. Add Oscar Isaac as Peter Malkin, the man sent to find Adolf Eichmann, played by Oscar-winner Ben Kingsley, and I’m decently encouraged. The trailer itself plays well. It builds tension well, although that’s about it. I’m not super excited about Chris Weitz as a director, having done nothing that makes me think he can handle a story of this magnitude, and the screenwriter is making his film debut, so this could really go either way. I am hopeful that Isaac and Kingsley will both turn in their typically great work.
The Old Man And The Gun
Let me first say, the fact that Casey Affleck still shows up in movies seriously bums me out. Dude’s a creep, and after the Academy made Brie Larson name him as Best Actor, a year after she played a woman who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted, we should have been done with him. That said, this is apparently the great Robert Redford’s last film, and he seems to be going out with something great. He plays a charming bank robber, but this really feels more like a character piece on aging and enjoying life, which feels like a fitting way to go out for Redford. The trailer might hit that a bit too heavy-handedly for me, but it at least puts the focus on Redford, which allows some level of excitement to permeate through it. Alongside him is the aforementioned creep, as well as Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, and Tom Waits, most of whom I love. Add in that this was partially filmed in Cincinnati, and I’m onboard.
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
The animation style on this movie was enough to have me interested. It’s different than most anything else I have seen, and different is what the superhero world really needs right now. Add in the fact that this sets up a world filled with Spider-People including, at the very least (but implying more) Peter Parker (New Girl‘s Jake Johnson, the Peter Parker I never knew I needed), Miles Morales (Shameik Moore, who apparently does some really good work in Dope and The Get Down), and Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld, her second appearance in this week’s wrap-up). The mentor/mentee relationship between Parker and Morales looks like it would be a lot of fun, especially considering how much of a schlub Parker looks like in this movie. The action sequences are an impressive balance of dark and bright colors, again with the animation style really allowing those moments to stand out. Also, Brian Tyree Henry makes his third appearance in this wrap-up, here as Morales’s dad, and he gets some really strong dad sequences here. Throw in a cast that also includes Oscar winner Mahershala Ali as Miles’ uncle, Liev Schrieber as Kingpin and Lily Tomlin as Aunt May, and this movie leaves me with a lot to be excited for come December.
A Star Is Born
The second remake on this list, this is actually the fourth iteration of this story Bradley Cooper makes his directorial debut with this, and the trailer itself does a good job of selling the story. Cooper shows off some decent pipes, and Lady Gaga shows some of her acting talents which earned her a Golden Globe a couple of years ago, as well as the singing voice she has gifted us with for over a decade now. I’m unsure of the chemistry that the two of them will have together, which is an essential part of this film’s story (at least based on the little bit I’ve read of the other iterations), and the trailer doesn’t seem to suggest anything special about Cooper’s work behind the camera. My biggest concern, though, is the story itself. He’s clearly dealing with alcoholism, and I’m sure he is going to find ways to hurt her, which, considering that he drags her into this life, is not something I’m super thrilled to see. It may end up being well executed, and obviously, there’s something about this story that somebody likes to see if we’ve done this four times, but it does really concern me.
The Girl In The Spider’s Web
The Lisbeth Salander books are an odd thing. There is very little consistency to the quality of them, and, somewhat inexplicably, a second author (David Lagencrantz) began writing new books after Stieg Larsson’s passing in 2004. There have been other attempts to make these books into movies, with the original Swedish films completing the trilogy and then David Fincher’s attempt stalling out after the first. Jump ahead seven years, and there’s a new attempt, although this one is skipping the first three and immediately adapting Lagencrantz’s random fourth novel. I was not a fan of his book and I cannot really see it adapting well to the screen. That said, I like a lot of the people involved in this movie. Director Fede Alvarez was behind the remake of Evil Dead, which was twisted, gory fun, and then the haunting Don’t Breathe, so I’m excited to see what he can do with Salander, who, as a character, is interesting to me. Helping him with the script is Steven Knight, who wrote and directed Locke, a movie that basically takes place entirely inside of a car, and is weirdly captivating (probably due more to Tom Hardy’s performance rather than Knight’s writing and directing, but, still). Beyond that, the cast includes Sylvia Hoeks, who did good work as a replicant assassin in Blade Runner: 2049 Cameron Britton, whose work as Ed Kemper is all the reason you should need to give Netflix’s Mindhunter a try, and LaKeith Stanfield, who, like Brian Tyree Henry, puts in great work in Atlanta on a weekly basis, and played an essential role in Get Out. But, let’s be real, the biggest reason to be excited for this is Claire Foy as Lisbeth. I’ll be straight up with you, I haven’t watched The Crown but I know enough about it that she is a powerhouse performer, and to see her as Salander should be a trip. The trailer itself is fine (nothing will ever beat that first teaser for Fincher’s film). I’m not sure how I feel about Foy’s accent here, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love her getting the upper hand on that domestic abuser at the start of the trailer. Add in some decent looking stunts which, judging by Alvarez’s Evil Dead movie, are likely all practical, and that haunting shot of someone being vacuum sealed into a black bag, and this trailer certainly leaves an impression. This movie has a lot that can go wrong for it, but it also has enough that can help it rise beyond its source material.
Straight up, this was the trailer where it came out and I thought “Y’all are messing with me, right? This isn’t how many trailers usually come out in a week, right? Please tell me it’s almost over.” And I know I have at least one more because I’ve been eagerly awaiting the Halloween trailer. Anyways, this thing. I don’t know. It has a strong cast. Steven Knight makes his second consecutive appearance, this time writing and directing, just like Locke. This could very well be good, but this trailer just doesn’t do a whole lot for me. It feels weirdly twisty, it has Anne Hathaway being surprised by someone’s blood on two separate occasions, and just the overall throughline of “sometimes we do bad things for good reasons” isn’t anything new or particularly interesting to me. I wonder if I would be more positive on this if it wasn’t the thirteenth thing I reacted to this week, but I don’t know. This one did not hook me in any way.
How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World
There is a lot going on in this trailer. Why does Hiccup have a beard for a single shot? Is there a time jump in this movie? If so, why does the rest of the trailer pertain to a story a where he doesn’t have a beard? Are they giving us a kind of spoiler about what’s to come with the first moment of new footage in this trailer? Why does this trailer set up what feels like three A-plots (Toothless falls in love! A hidden world of dragons! Boring bad guy hunts dragons and will murder people because one is alive!) When random villain guy shows up, are they disappearing, or are they fighting? Those two things seem very different from each other. Why is Toothless’s girlfriend just a gun from that Portal video game? Why does this have an Ed Sheeran song? This movie could be cute, I suppose, but there is just way too much going on in it for me to feel confident in it.
Bad Times at the El Royale
I needed this one, y’all. I was really beginning to question my decision to do this and then this lil’ baby shows up, and I need this movie already. The first forty seconds are pleasant enough and are showing an impressive cast of characters (Jeff Bridges, Jonn Hamm, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, continuing the Dakota Johnson-issance we all need in life). But when this trailer takes a turn, it takes a turn I need to know everything about. Two-way mirrors. Priests, ripping out floorboards. Poison. People hiding behind beds, timing hammer strikes with claps. Chris Hemsworth shirtless dancing in a threatening manner. This movie gives me a little bit of The Cabin in The Woods feel, which is appropriate considering this is Drew Goddard’s first directing job since that gift. I’m so ready for this movie. This allowed me to feel refreshed about this entire project, and there are few things better than that.
This is the trailer, along with the beauty of Suspiria, that inspired me to start this kind of post this week. I didn’t know I’d be writing stuff for over ten other trailers, but whatever. I had to hope it was worth it to write about this one. So was it? For the most part, yes. The moment where some idiot tries to give Michael Myers his mask back is genuinely kind of eerie, as the police dog and other patients begin to act up as if they know something big is coming. I love that this trailer also sets up a complete retcon of the franchise, doing a hard delete on everything after the original film which, yeah, good call. Seeing Jamie Lee Curtis’ Laurie Strode go into full survivalist mode in order to kill the man that has haunted her life for four decades is a genuine joy, even though going hand-to-hand against this giant of a human seems like a curious bet. Hearing that John Carpenter theme while watching a giant wearing a painted Captain Kirk match will always give my heart a bit of a creeping feeling, and this trailer nails that. The only complaint I have is the last little sequence sets up a too obvious scare that doesn’t really execute the scare itself, but the rest of everything else works well enough that I’m fully onboard.
This trailer needed a second watch for it to really catch on for me. Damien Chazelle is two-for-two for me, with Whiplash being one of my favorite movies period, and La La Land is a joy that I will always associate with my wife (this isn’t dark. We saw it on our honeymoon. We’re fine. I’m not even good at music). I’m not sure why the first round on this didn’t land particularly well, because this feels like a deeply interesting take on the story of Apollo 11, focusing on the risks that everyone was taking in this story. When the production focuses on the tension, this trailer works. When it focuses on character, it does not work as well. Ryan Gosling has proven himself a very strong performer over the last few years, but this trailer doesn’t display much of that. Claire Foy gets an even shorter straw here, playing a character that seems to amount to “Wife.” I’m glad that we will at least have Lisbeth Salander to make people aware of her, because this does not appear to be a character that will allow her to really display her talents. I’m sure she will do good work but she will not get the character she deserves. Also, based on a cast list, I’m thinking that Katherine Johnson will not get her due in this movie, which is frustrating. I’m not going to totally write off the movie, especially considering Chazelle is bringing along Linus Sandgren and Justin Hurwitz, Chazelle’s Academy Award-winning cinematographer and composer from La La Land, both of which should be on full display with a story like this. But I had hoped that the first trailer would leave me feeling more encouraged.
1. Bad Times At El Royale– This trailer promises a twisty good time with an impressive cast, and a welcome return of Drew Goddard in the director’s chair.
2. Suspiria- The hype is so real and the Dakota Johnson-issance begins.
3. Spider-Man- Into The Spider-Verse– Really unique animation style and a really fun premise that promises to build before its release, this might end up my favorite animated movie this year.
4. Halloween– A surprisingly welcome return to the franchise that deletes almost the entire franchise, seeing Laurie Strode go 1-v-1 against Michael Myers looks to be a great time.
5. A Star is Born– Despite my concerns with the overall story, this looks like it could be a strong directorial debut for Cooper, with a powerhouse performance from Lady Gaga.
6. Lego Movie 2- Excited to get back to the world, but it’ll need to really pull off a twist to handle the gender stuff this trailer does.
7. The Girl In The Spider’s Web– Despite being based on a lackluster book, Fede Alvarez and Claire Foy have allowed me to be excited to see Lisbeth Salander again.
8. Old Man And The Gun– Despite having to see Casey Affleck still, excited to see my hometown displayed as Robert Redford goes out on a potentially fun but emotional note.
9. First Man– Slow to warm to me, the tension this film is so clearly setting up could help lift up this movie with potentially underutilized performances from Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy.
10. Widows– Lots of cool people and a solid premise, although trailer didn’t do enough to sell me beyond that.
11. Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2– Despite making the title worse, this movie could be fun if it can avoid being a Disney ad.
12. Operation Finale– Good story, two strong lead actors, I hope it shows more heart than the trailer.
13. White Boy Rick– Didn’t sell me on needing to see the movie, but Demange and McCoungahey could make it worthwhile.
14. Bumblebee- Surprisingly subdued, but it’s still a Transformers movie.
15. How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World– Although it still feels cute and looks pretty, this trailer had too much going on for me to feel like this movie can truly work.
16. Serenity- Even though Locke is one of the most impressive character studies I’ve seen, Steven Knight’s follow-up looks like a confused mess more than anything else.
17. Mortal Engines– Still no
Photo Credit Bad Times At El Royale Cover Photo https://img.cinemablend.com/filter:scale/quill/a/f/5/e/8/3/af5e838e2c32312c8c48da129883d8a116ee2c8f.gif?mw=600