I know I bragged about doing this for two weeks in a row last time I posted three weeks ago, but would that even be fun if I was consistent?

The Favourite

Since the first trailer for this movie dropped, I’ve had the joy of watching both Yorgos Lanthimos’ two most recent releases (joy is, admittedly, a weird word to use with The Killing of A Sacred Deer). Having seen those films, alongside this superior and longer trailer have me even more excited for what is sure to be a gloriously weird piece of filmmaking. It’s about two women (the great Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone) competing for the favor of a mad queen (Olivia Colman). Seeing what appears to be just a bunch of petty people acting pettily in this classical garb, all while being surrounded by a woman who seems to have the flimsiest grasp on reality, is so fun, and I’m excited to see how Lanthimos will twist this to make me feel deeply uncomfortable by film’s end.

22 July

I broke my “No Online Releases” rule a couple of weeks ago for Alfonso Cuaron, and the reasoning here is similar, with the talented Paul Greengrass presenting this true story on Netflix. A lot of this movie’s success will likely be on how long it lingers on the actual attack (which, you know, is a little too close to reality to be an easy and fun watch at home) and how much it focuses on the aftermath as its hero learns to live after surviving the attack. In light of the Parkland shooting earlier this year, we’ve seen those survivors organize and lead a march towards change at the voting booth, and seeing the survivors of this film live on after the attack will be key to its success. Greengrass has excelled at showing people in the worst moments of their lives (United 93 and Captain Phillips). Here’s hoping he can excel and focus on showing them turn the worst into strength to carry on.

Nutcracker and the Four Realms

This trailer, and the others that have preceded it for this film, are giving me Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland vibes, which are vibes you really don’t want to be giving off if you are a movie. It seems like an odd mix of dark and whimsical, with some of the sets and characters design coming off as playful while others, particularly those associated with the fourth realm, feel a bit too haunting for something like this. Again, this might all be a misread/misremembering of the film’s source material (particularly the ballet, as I have not read the story it comes from), but it all feels very strange. Add in Keira Knightley’s strangely high-pitched voice (I’m still trying to get over the fact that it’s her), and this is very much not my thing.

Halloween

The start of this trailer just hits all the right notes for me. It’s just a long shot following The Shape as he creeps along a busy Halloween street and then as he stalks his way into a woman’s shed and grabs a hammer before killing her in her home. It uses some classic music stings, but mostly just lets the shot focus on this hulking, dark mass as he creeps into a home. Then we get some nice Jamie Lee Curtis voice over as we learn that she’s been waiting for Michael to return so that she can kill him after what he did to them forty years prior. It’s pretty effective at everything that it wants to do, especially setting up the showdown this franchise so dearly loves, Laurie Strode and the assistant coach from Remember the Titans vs. Michael Myers. Throw in some of those sweet, sweet John Carpenter keys, and you got yourself a revisit/sequel/whatever-the-hell that seems worth the trip.

Anna and the Apocalypse

In case you were ever wondering what the most-TJ movie would be, this is basically it. A goofy, super-violent, gory musical zombie comedy. Like so much of what this movie is should not interest me at all, but it interests me so much. Like. Everything about this trailer screams that I’m probably going to see it a couple of times in trailer. The trailer hits all the right notes, as it promises so much gore and a surprisingly catchy little song, all thrown in with some silly violence, a good chunk of which will almost certainly be set to music/choreography. Sign me up so hard. I need this.

Instant Family

This movie looks pleasant enough. The case seems to have a decent chemistry, and it seems to be sweet without trying to be sweet for the sake of being sweet (which is what the Life, Itself  trailer suggested and the movie is apparently an impressively terrible mess). I really like Rose Byrne and think she will probably be great at every facet of this movie, but I tend to feel a little bit of a disconnect when it comes to Mark Whalberg trying to add drama to anything. That isn’t something the movie outright suggests, instead focusing on the fact that he can surprisingly come off as an every-day person when he really wants to, but I feel like the moment will come where this movie needs me to believe that Mark Whalberg is an emotionally connected dad, and I just don’t know if I can make that leap. I’m curious to see if other trailers keep the mood that this trailer suggests, which would be encouraging, or if it ends up becoming overly- schmaltzy, which could happen.

Wildlife

The first directorial effort of great character actor Paul Dano, this film centers in on family drama, anchored by what appears to be two great performances, one from the always welcome Jake Gyllenhaal, and the other from the underrated Carey Mulligan. Although a movie like this doesn’t exactly beg to be seen on the big screen, the performances appear strong enough that you’ll be hearing about them throughout the awards season. It’ll be a busy awards season, from as far as I can tell, and Gyllenhaal is a name that fairly frequently gets ignored when it comes to awards, Mulligan is someone who could really make a play for a nomination, and first-time director Dano could do some damage as well. Either way, this trailer seems to suggest that we haven’t seen the last of any of these three, which is very exciting.

The Beach Bum (Red Band)

Admission time: I haven’t seen Spring Breakers, the strange but well-received James Franco vehicle that this movie latches itself, too. I will admit, that is a smart move, because this trailer has a whole lot going on, most of it seeming a bit strange and crass, but by connecting itself to another strange and crass film, it seems to suggest that its all going to be effective and have a purpose. McConaughey is obviously one of the stongest performers we have right now (which is such a weird sentence considering where he was about ten years ago), and the strangeness of having Snoop Dogg, Jimmy Buffett and Martin Lawrence, credited here for the first time in five years, alongside McConaughey and Zac Efron (who tends to show promise that he could one day go after his own awards) seems to suggest that this could be another strange ride that I never get around to seeing, to my great shame.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Another exception to the online movie rule, brought to you by the strength of its directors (Joel & Ethan Coen). What started as an anthology series for Netflix was later recrafted into a feature length film, retaining its anthological core. From what I can tell, we see at least a glimpse of each story, but the two that get the real focus are the titular one, starring Tim Blake Nelson, and another featuring James Franco. Anthologies are tricky, and its rare that a full set are all strong (just look at Black Mirror, who after a strong first season, has struggled to put together a consistent season). The Coen brothers are more consistent story-tellers than Charlie Brooker, and the mood here could do it a lot of favors. Honestly, this trailer could have most just been Tim Blake Nelson slapping dust off himself, and then walking away from a perfectly human-shaped dust cloud, and I probably would have been onboard.

Hunter Killer

Listen, I trashed this trailer a few posts ago, because it all seems so very silly and over dramatic for what basically amounts to Gerard Butler is going to blow some stuff up. And I still by every word of what I said then. But now. It’s all still so true. This movie seems to want so badly to be some kind of espionage nonsense, but it’s just going to be Gerard Butler blowing stuff up on a submarine. And it’s called Hunter Killer. I know that its the name of a submarine, but even that is stupid. Everything about this is stupid.

Captive State

Not gonna lie. This was pretty cool. The early part of this had me a little concerned, because it just seemed to be like “look how good we are at making political statements.” And it’s like. “Yeah, neat. Administrations telling us one thing when the exact opposite is so clearly the truth. We get it. Good for you.” And there was a point where I thought, “I’m mostly just here for John Goodman, who is always great and we should protect him.” And then the trailer started repeating “Give Thanks” and its that last, real quiet, “givethanks” that sent a pretty genuine chill down my arms. And then the reveal that the legislature is an alien craft. It’s a smart reveal in a teaser, and one that really saves this teaser.

Mary Poppins Returns

When this trailer initially came out, the start had me concerned that it was going to just be a repeat of the first one (which is pleasant enough) just with more dialogue. I was very happy to be proven wrong on this. Filled with new footage, showing us more of every character, especially a deliciously over-the-top Cockney from Lin-Manuel Miranda and the true charm of Emily Blunt’s titular character. Obviously, trying to recreate a character that put someone like Julie Andrews on the map is not an easy task, but Blunt is so naturally likable, that she was never my concern with this movie. The real concern was whether or not this movie could capture the magic of the original, and, well, that concern is pretty well laid to rest here. As soon as Blunt/Poppins spins the vase and the cartoon world is introduced, this trailer takes off and becomes something that feels like its going to be a genuine joy to see. Throw in a bearded Dick Van Dyke dancing on a desk, and what looks like several big numbers, and I’m more onboard than I ever hoped to be.

The Girl In The Spider’s Web

Newly-minted Emmy Winner Claire Foy will likely make this movie more worthwhile than it has any right to be. Taken from a book that really has no reason to exist (the fact another author thought it would be a great idea to try to revive Stieg Larson’s series is something that truly boggles my mind), this is a return to the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo franchise seven years after a movie that wasn’t particularly well-received to begin with, without David Fincher to be a steady hand behind the camera. I like Alvarez enough, and Foy really seems to be doing her typical good work here, but nothing (other than the welcome faces of Lakeith Stanfield and Cameron Britton) in this trailer is really grabbing me in any way or convincing me that making a bad book into a movie is a good idea.

Captain Marvel

Listen, I’m biased towards the Marvel Cinematic Universe (even if I’m convinced that Bob Iger probably destroyed the universe with the way he handled the James Gunn situation), so this trailer has me pretty hyped, and having Brie Larson as the titular hero goes a long way. Larson’s line delivery here feels a bit more disinterested than I would like, but she looks the part, and the cutting of the trailer does it a lot of favors. The quick sequence of Larson’s character standing up from a fall, ready to fight, is a genuinely exciting moment, as is the smart emphasis on the “her” in “hero.” Additionally, the movie sets its place in the timeline in a non-in-your-face way by just throwing Captain Marvel through the roof of a Blockbuster. Also encouraging is the digital deaging on Samuel L. Jackson and Clark Gregg, which, at least here, seems to be well-handled when the rest of the franchise tends to make the people look cartoonish (looking at your Kurl Russell and Michael Douglas). But, at the end of the day, we’re all here for Brie Larson cold-clocking an elderly woman. It’s impressive that, with a singular line of dialogue, and four shots, the trailer is able to sell that she’s in the right to punch an older woman in the face. That’s impressive, but also still kind of hilarious that they were that confident in that shot.

Stan & Ollie

Featuring the typically comedic Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, this trailer about Laurel and Hardy is very different than what I expected from the movie. Instead of focusing on the slapstick humor of the double act, it seems to focus on the end of their career as the two men began to grow apart from each other and come back together for what looks like one last ride. Both of the lead actors have proven themselves in dramatic roles (Coogan nominated for Philomena and Reilly nominated for 2002’s Chicago), and appear to be doing some really good work here. My only real complaint with this is the makeup on Reilly’s Olliver Hardy is….a bit suspect, but his performance still shines through. I’m genuinely excited to see what this movie ends up doing because it could very well turn out to be a well-earned emotional trip with one of the most famous comedy duos of all time.

The Grinch

Who wants this? Also, what a weird relationship that the Grinch has with the town of Whoville in this adaptation. He just goes down and openly interacts with everyone and they still try to wish him Merry Christmas, which is kind of weird. It all seems weird. That all said, this is the best trailer for this movie because I only hate most of this trailer instead of all of it. Straight up, I love the yak. If this movie were about that yak, I’d be fully onboard. Also, there’s a brief moment of actual menace from Cumberbatch’s voice performance early on which was kind of neat. I’m not warming to this movie in general, but once it comes out on Blu Ray, I will watch a YouTube compilation of the yak’s scenes.

First Man

This is the first trailer for this movie that I really don’t have any qualms with, which is exciting. The choice to have no real dialogue from the movie itself, and having Kennedy’s speech about space travel play over the imagery is a smart one. Although it works better here than it has previously, the home life stuff in this still does not really interest me. I understand “Neil was risking it all!” but I can only see Claire Foy glower so much before I have to wonder if this role was really worth using Claire Foy. But the inherent pressure of this mission, alongside imagery of all the ways it could go wrong, and all the ways it was terrifying, really work well here, more so than they have in previous trailers, which is impressive because that is what I have praised in the other trailers. I’m glad this was the final trailer (hopefully the final trailer) before release because this has me as hyped for this movie as I have been.

Beautiful Boy

If we’re being real, this movie will almost certainly be a bit too emotional and overdone, but even with that, the two performances at its heart feel like they’ll probably be strong enough to get us over that hump. Carrell and Chamalet both appear to be giving really exquisite performances here as a father and son who are struggling with the latter’s drug addiction. It’ll be interesting to see how much the script leans into the overly sensationalized sentimentality, instead of just letting the performances earn that emotion (I’m guessing that will be this movie’s downfall), but the trailer at least suggests the performances will make it a worthwhile, albeit sad, trip to the movies.

If Beale Street Could Talk

Last time a trailer for this movie came out, my excitement basically boiled down to that Barry Jenkins was making a new movie, and, yeah, I’m still really excited that Barry Jenkins is making another movie. This movie looks gorgeously shot and acted and written and I’m just so ready for this movie to come out. Honestly, there is nothing in this trailer that doesn’t work. It’s deeply emotional, with earned emotion, combined with some gorgeous looking cinematography. I think Jenkins is looking at another busy and successful awards season, and I cannot be more excited for this movie.

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2

I’ve said this a few times in this post, but this third trailer is the best one that the movie has released. Here, the choice to finally show the story that is at this movie’s heart, that being that Venelope’s (Sarah Silverman) game has been turned off and she’s questioning her identity, and, because Ralph’s (John C. Reilly) identity has been so tied to her, he wants to do what he can to keep her in the arcade’s world. But, while in the internet, trying to find a piece that will save Venelope’s game, she feels called to another racing game (with Gal Gadot, which, honestly, same), and Ralph starts to feel scared about losing her. It all feels like it could be very sweet, and the heart of the first film is what helps it stand out amongst Disney’s most recent little streak of strong animation. Another plus up on this one above the other trailers is that it does not focus on the other Disney properties that the characters encounter. There’s a brief moment of the princesses, but it isn’t a featured sequence. The movie should stand on its own merits, and this trailer finally shows that it can.

The Oath (Red Band)

This movie looks like a lot. And I get that satire is a good way to process the political nightmare we’re in right now, but also, I’m not sure if this movie is really saying anything. I think it’s just “haha politics sure make us crazy, as does forced patriotism.” It might have some comedic moments, and the cast is strong, but this trailer does so little for me. Really, the only moment I got weirdly excited for was when Billy Magnussen delivered his one line, and that’s just because I’m slowly falling in love with that man, thanks in no small part to his gleefully dimwitted performance in Game Night. He’ll probably steal the show, but it also looks like he’s not really in it for the long haul, so I’m probably gonna have to pass on this.

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween

This movie is getting so many trailers. I already know that next week will have yet another one, and I genuinely don’t understand why this needs so much footage. It just feels like it’s more of the same stuff that the first one did, without having the novelty of the interesting way to adapt R.L. Stine’s franchise. I’m sure that the movie will be pleasant enough, but I don’t see it having the surprisingly strong reaction that the first one did. To this trailer’s credit, I actually enjoyed the logic of how the gummy bears got bigger, by absorbing their brethren. It’s nothing mind-blowing, but it’s a kind of neat little moment that at least suggests that something resembling thought went into this at some point in the process.

The Sisters Brothers

This looks excellent. I’ve talked before about how song choice can really anchor a movie’s trailer, and that’s very much on display here, as the repetition of the word “run” from Timber Timbre’s “Run From Me” (which was also used beautifully in Wild, Wild Country) plays over scattered footage really beefs up my interest in this movie. Add the fact that we have three of our finest performers, and Riz Ahmed (no shade to Riz Ahmed, I’ve only ever seen him in Rogue One, where he was fine) and this could really be one of the best movies this year, at least that’s what this trailer is suggesting.

Halloween (Heritage Trailer)

This is a first, with me taking so long to do trailers, that I get to write about two separate trailers for the same movie. This one does not work quite as well as the one above, showing little new footage, and little actual interaction between the characters we’re here to see fight, it seems to miss the point of what we’re here for. I like the newsreel that starts the trailer, and I feel like following that up with showing these two really going after each other would have made for a really strong trailer, but it instead just focuses on how scary Michael is. We know, but that’s only part of what we’re here for.

Rankings and Summaries

  1. If Beale Street Could Talk– Y’all, I cannot emphasize this enough: Barry Jenkins made another movie.
  2. The Sister Brothers– A strong song choice and showcasing two great performances from two great actors, alongside another great actor and an at least competent actor helps lift this trailer up in a period filled with really good trailers.
  3. Mary Poppins Returns – A taste of genuine magic makes what could have been an unnecessary retreated feel like genuine fun that we could all desperately use.
  4. Captive State– I think this is one of the first times I’ve genuinely given a trailer the edge instead of it just being me wanting to see the movie (I want to see the below movie more), but this teaser does exactly what it needs to do: teases me with just enough for me to need to see more.
  5. Anna and the Apocalypse- This movie is just everything I love in movies shoved into one little, 90-second package and I eat it up, I love it so.
  6. First Man– By having JFK deliver the dialogue to imply the pressure of the mission, this trailer focuses shows so little of the sure-to-be-disappointing use of Claire Foy that I’m pretty much all in on the movie for the first time.
  7. The Favourite – A more pleasant experience than his last film, Yorgos Lanthimos returns with this deliciously weird trailer, promising three great performances from its female leads.
  8. Ralph Breaks The Internet: Wreck-it Ralph 2- The still stupidly titled movie releases its best trailer, which stands above the rest by actually focusing on its own merits, instead of the merits of previous Disney princesses.
  9. Stan & Ollie– Weird makeup aside, this trailer shows that the movie has more heart than one would necessarily expect from a movie about a comedy duo starring two typically funny comedians.
  10. Halloween- With everything that a direct sequel to the first film should hold, this Laurie Strode-vs.-The Shape movie seems to be a promising return to a very perplexing franchise.
  11. Beautiful Boy– Showcasing its two powerhouse performances, this trailer shows what will make this movie work, while showing that it also probably has a script that will drag everything down with too high of levels of sentimentality.
  12. 22 July- Based on the true story of a mass shooting, this film suggests that Greengrass has excelled at showing the aftermath of a trauma, beyond just showing the trauma itself.
  13. Captain Marvel– If the titular character’s line delivery in this were a little bit more convincing, this trailer, which features some really cool moments and some classic older lady punching would be much higher on the list.
  14. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs– A series turned anthology film, the Coen brothers make a welcome return to Westerns with what appears to be a wonderfully fun trip, although the focus on only a third of its stories could plausibly suggest concern.
  15. Wildlife – A family drama that will likely get mostly passed over come awards season, this trailer at least suggests a resurgence of Carey Mulligan, a continued focus on the strengths of Jake Gyllenhaal, and an impressive debut for director Paul Dano.
  16. Beach Bum– Like Spring Breakers before it, this mix of strong lead actor surrounded by a rather eclectic group of costars could very well be a worthwhile trip to the movies, but is also strange enough that it may be difficult for me to bring myself to watch it, despite any potential praise.
  17. Instant Family– Featuring the always welcome Rose Byrne, this family comedy could work if it spends most of its time on actual earned drama, and shying away from schmaltz and relying on a better-as-everyman Mark Whalberg.
  18. Halloween (Heritage Trailer)- Instead of focusing on both of its leads, this trailer puts all its effort on having Laurie Strode clarify what we already know (Michael Myers is scary) instead of giving us the interaction between the two that will really make this movie special.
  19. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween– Getting close to overkill on the amount of advertising a movie can have without showing anything particularly interesting, this trailer at least has one fun moment to lift it up above the others, but not enough to truly capture my attention.
  20. The Girl In The Spider’s Web– Not even newly minted Emmy winner Claire Foy can convince me that this adaptation should exist.
  21. The Oath– Outside of Billy Magnussen’s one line, this political family comedy doesn’t seem to be saying anything new or interesting, instead just focusing on being crass and loud and absurd.
  22. The Grinch– An improvement over previous trailers, this unnecessary movie at least promises me the joy of that yak character.
  23. Nutcracker and the Four Realms– Never go full Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.
  24. Hunter Killer– This is still stupid.
If Beale Street Could Talk Picture https://cdn1.thr.com/sites/default/files/2018/09/ifbealestreetcouldtalk_01-h_2018.jpg

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