I’m on a hot streak. Two weeks of actually doing this on-time! I’m unstoppable.
A Private War
This movie looks like a lot, and like it might be a bit unfocused. I get the idea of the theme and the importance of what Marie Colvin (here played by Rosamund Pike who I thought was flawless as Amy Dunne in Gone Girl, although I’m not sure how I feel about her performance here) does, but it just appears to be all over the place with that theme. She puts herself in danger to get the real stories of wars, which is amazing and incredible, and she might be addicted to it, which is troubling but something that needs to be discussed. However, it’s something that can be discussed in a way that focuses itself a bit more than this seems to (it seems to bounce around several different settings). Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker captures how war can capture the people who are involved in it in a way that only shows one deployment. This could end up being fine, and Pike could give a great performance, but this trailer does not give me hope for that.
Hell Fest (Red-Band)
This is a pretty gnarly red-band trailer, and almost entirely because of that last shot. For the most part, it felt like the Red-Band was just an excuse to say the f-word, which I edit because this is a family site, something I say immediately after a trailer that ends with a dude getting something shoved into his eye. Yeah, that was gross. The trailer itself is fine, not really adding anything to the first trailer other than the pre-requisite curse words and brief but gross moment of gore. I do love that a guy says that a “legend” started based on something that happened a year ago, which feels too recent to be truly a “legend” but you do you movie. This looks like it could have some moments of fun, and maybe use it’s setting to give some decent scares, but it certainly isn’t a horror movie that demands to be seen.
Bad Times at the El Royale
When the first trailer for this movie came out, it somehow beat Suspiria as my favorite trailer of the week. I don’t know if that was earned or if I’m just excited for a new Drew Goddard movie, but y’all, this movie continues to have me excited. The music choices of Deep Purple’s “Hush” and Frankie Valli’s “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” both help this trailer standout. Add in the mysteries and secrets that every character in this movie seems to hold, the strong cast, and Goddard’s return to the director’s chair since the glorious The Cabin in The Woods, and there’s nothing in this movie that seems like it could go wrong. I mean, it could, but…c’mon. This is going to be great.
Like the first trailer for this movie, this one works best when you feel the terror that had to have been attributed to this journey. These men put themselves into a silo filled with explosives in order to walk around in an area that wants to kill them. There are moments of this trailer where that tension is clear, and that’s where I can believe that this movie is worth the early hype that it is getting. When we deal with the drama on the ground, between Ryan Gosling’s Neil Armstrong and the rest of his family (including Claire Foy, who looks like she is being grossly underused in this movie), I have a hard time seeing how this can be good. I like Chazelle a lot, both of his movies are excellent, and I expect this one probably will be, too, but there are a lot of reasons to have concerns. I also can’t wait to see this trailer in a theater, which is an experience that allowed me to better appreciate the first one.
The Front Runner
It’s trailers for movies like this that amaze me that if it weren’t for the X-Men franchise, a superhero franchise that has been going for almost 20 years despite having, maybe two or three good movies, we might not even know who Hugh Jackman is. Dude is such a talent, and I’m glad we get to see him headlining movies like this, the true story of Gary Hart, an American senator whose presidential campaign was derailed because of rumors of an extramarital affair. This movie should be an interesting watch in light of what is sure to be another totally calm and reasonable election cycle, as we watch a campaign scramble to recover from news of the affair and how the media and people responded to that situation. Additionally, it’s fun to imagine a time when all it took was an affair to totally uproot a campaign. Ah, the late 1980s. Simpler, more reasonable times.
The Predator (Red-Band)
It only took them three trailers, but I finally am hyped for a Shane Black Predator movie. Everything about this looks absolutely bonkers, and I’m straight up here for it. After a nice little introduction of some of the characters that we will be dealing with in this, we just get to see some straight up alien carnage, alongside some really solid comedy beats. (Sterling K. Brown explaining what a Predator is and why they gave it that name is the genuine mix of humor and absolute cool I have come to expect from him). Also, just in general, I want Sterling K Brown to deliver obscenity-laced exposition for every movie. And, y’all, this movie looks so insanely violent (that one shot of the Predator just straight up punch-impaling a dude’s torso was enough for me to fear-laugh). I’m finally glad that they released a trailer to full-on hype me for a movie that seemed pretty easy to be hyped for.
Rankings and Summaries
- Bad Times at the El Royale- A trailer that mixes stellar music choices, genuine mystery and a loaded cast, I am so ready to see what Drew Goddard does in the director’s chair again.
- The Predator- The third time’s the charm with this intensely violent and genuinely fun trailer for Shane Black’s return to the alien franchise.
- The Front Runner- A reminder of a quaint time when an affair seemed like the most scandalous thing a political figure could be involved in, the trailer showcases what is sure to be another typically strong performance from Hugh Jackman.
- First Man- Sure to play better in an actual theater, the intensity of the actual journey in this movie is again outmatched by characters that don’t feel like they’re given much to do.
- Hell Fest- Nothing too terribly special, a horror trailer that suggests it does enough with its fun setting to see, but not enough to demand to be seen.
- A Private War- An unfortunately scattered trailer makes an important story worth-telling seem all too aware of how important it is.
Photo Credit https://d13ezvd6yrslxm.cloudfront.net/wp/wp-content/images/Bad-Times-at-The-El-Royale-first-look-700x300.jpg