I was late after week one because there wasn’t enough to write about, late for week two because the Sunday before posting was garbage. Here’s this, in which I talk about another movie I will absolutely love/hate/rejoice/regret seeing in theaters thanks to Ari Aster.
The Secret Life of Pets 2
This is, I believe, the eighty-fourth trailer for this movie that I’ve talked about and I really just do not care about them anymore. The Jurassic Park T-Rex sound effect coming out of a turkey made me laugh despite everything in me knowing that it’s stupid, but the best part of this trailer is 100% just picturing Harrison Ford in a recording booth for this movie. Do you think he ever smiled? I hope he didn’t. I hope the director of this just had to stare at Harrison Ford unenthusiastically reading the lines of this movie for however long he was in there, which was probably like five minutes because he probably did one take per line and then left. Harrison Ford rules.
This is obviously coming out a little bit of time after Rami Malek and his fake teeth won Best Actor at the Academy Awards for a very by the numbers biopic about Freddie Mercury, but it feels like this movie could plausibly rise above that. I mean, a lot of this looks pretty standard, but that said, this movie also looks pretty spectacularly fantastical as well, with what appears to be fully choreographed musical numbers, which could be a lot of fun. Extra points for Taron Egerton actually being able to, you know, sing the musical part of his real-life character. I don’t see this being anything to really change the game when it comes to film biographies of musically talented individuals, but it at least looks different, which goes a long way.
The Angry Birds Movie 2
I will always be angry when I hear the opening notes of “Under Pressure” only to have to hear Vanilla Ice start singing. This should genuinely be against the law. Outside of that, I…actually kind of found parts of this to be funny? Neither one of them will hold up on a second viewing, but the frozen dog on a leash tickled me in a really silly way, as did everything that happened with the seal at the end of this trailer. Other than that, I don’t super understand why this movie exists. I feel like the game is basically non-existent now and I don’t remember the first movie doing super well when it came out (it did better internationally than domestically, which, yeah okay), but I guess this is happening so we’ll just have to deal with it.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
Yes, this movie is technically a one-night event that I will almost certainly not be able to participate in as I live in Flyover Country. But I’m including because Terry Gilliam has been working on this movie for twenty-five years, which is only slightly less time than I have been alive. I can barely understand how I’ve succeeded in dealing with myself for twenty-five years and this dude has been trying to get a movie off the ground for that amount of time. Mad respect. The movie itself looks to be fine, I guess. I don’t know. I like Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce seems to be having the time of his life playing an actor who seems to think he’s the real Don Quixote. That’s probably enough for me to want to watch this movie if it ever ends up streaming somewhere.
I’m genuinely bewildered by what this movie is trying to be. Why does a Pokemon movie have a major plot point of trying to figure out whether or not a detective faked his own death? Also, why did Pikachu say “get me the hell out of here?” Who is this for? I mean it’s obviously not super for me, someone who doesn’t super, like, get Pokemon. But even still, seeing all six Pokemon I confidently know by name is pretty exciting, and whoever that weird Gritty-looking thing behind the bar made me laugh, so points there. Wake me up when Snorlax gets a movie though. He’s the hero we can all empathize with.
Does anyone want to be in this franchise at this point? I mean, maybe James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender, who have always tried harder for this franchise than actors of their caliber probably should (Jennifer Lawrence checked out in Apocalypse, which, I mean, can you really blame her? She didn’t even get to look at Oscar Isaac’s face), although even McAvoy yelling “I don’t know what to do!!1!” feels deeply silly here (also, Professor X is jacked! Thanks, reshoot schedule presumably happening at the same time dude who filming Glass). I just don’t understand so much of what this franchise at this point, and that’s not even taking into consideration that Professor Xavier and Magento have not aged in thirty years since First Class, but are somehow going to turn into Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen in like ten years. I get trying to redo one of your greatest failures, but so soon after we met this new Jean Grey? It’s just weird. A 19-year-old franchise that gave us some genuinely dope superhero movies (X2, First Class, Logan) is (presumably) going out with this, and that’s kind of a bummer.
I’m genuinely kind of impressed with how bad this looks. Y’all have David Harbour playing a demon who is somehow a kind of son of an apparently ageless Ian Forking McShane, and he’s fighting Milla Jovovich, and almost every frame of this looks just terrible. And I mean that on like an aesthetic level. The CGI is bad. This is shot in a way that just looks boring on the eyes. Also, Jin from Lost turns into a leopard and that sentence makes so little sense and is somehow boring, which is such a weird mix of things. This is the bad side of the oversaturation of comic book movies.
Can someone explain to me how Batman is so marketable in this universe? Dude branded prisoners, and there are kids with his logo on their backpack in the first trailer, and now Shazam is throwing a fairly large doll of the Caped Crusader at a dude. It’s genuinely bewildering. That said Zachary Levi really seems to be having the time of his life playing a child trapped in the body of an adult superhero, and anytime I get to see Mark Strong play a villain, I’m at least interested. It is funny to think about how dark and brooding the DCEU was, and how its fans grilled the MCU for being to light and fluffy, and now this movie comes out three weeks before Marvel’s immediate sequel to the movie where 50% of the universe’s population ceased to exist. What a time to be alive.
Oh. Yay. Ari Aster made another movie. I can’t wait for him to just absolutely ruin me again. A part of me knows that as a film journalist (lolz I hated myself for even typing that as a joke) I should go into why this trailer works. But you know. You watched the same shirt I did and got the same feeling that you’re going to really deeply regret seeing the whole move in order to figure out what the fork is going on with Chidi and why that bear is being dissected. And it’s going to be great and we’re all going to hate ourselves a little. The Ari Aster way.
The first little bit of this trailer so impressively echoes the feeling of the first Man of Steel teaser that the shift into making it that the alien child is a forkin’ monster is all the more incredible and terrifying. Seeing the legitimate havoc this kid wrecks, from blowing out the glass of a restaurant to taking down a damned jet plane is impressive, especially with how nonchalant the kid appears to be. In a perfect world, the trailer wouldn’t include the kid truck-sticking that sheriff, or him blowing in and out the walls of the house, but that last shot of him flying is genuinely creepy, and I’m all the way here for this movie.
It’s frustrating that it feels different to see a woman sit in a late night talk show host’s chair (a title that really only Samantha Bee can say that she holds, and even she is on a non-premium cable channel), and seeing the character be pushed out of her role because people don’t like her is a smart way to go about the obvious gender (compounded by age) issues that exist in basically every workplace, let alone in the realm of late night comedy. Kaling is obviously a very talented writer, having been credited on a significant handful of The Office episodes and then running her own show for six years, including surviving a cancellation from Fox, so seeing her work transition to the big screen with the very strong and talented presence of Emma Thompson (fresh off telling the now John Lasseter-run Skydance Animation company “deuces” like the legend that she is) is something worth being excited about.
Ranking and Summaries
- Midsommar- Why am I going to do this to myself again?
- Brightburn- “Superman if he murdered” is basically the plot of Man of Steel, but now we get to see it go all the way into the murder, which, sign me up, please.
- Rocket Man– A movie about a musically-talented person that throws in full musical numbers will always have my interest.
- The Man Who Killed Don Quixote- Respect to Terry Gilliam for making a movie for twenty-five years that results in something that doesn’t look like a total trainwreck.
- Late Night– This movie could just be Emma Thompson firing white men for two hours and I would see it at least six times in theaters.
- Shazam!- In this trailer, a pre-teen trapped in the body of one of Thor’s buddies throws a three-foot-tall doll of a man who branded his enemies so that they would be killed in prison, and I know this isn’t a review, but that sentence made me laugh in my head.
- Detective Pikachu– I don’t know why Pikachu is trying to solve a potential faked murder, but Snorlax is asleep in the street, which, ya know, same.
- Angry Birds Movie 2– That seal is enough for it to get a leg up on the other inexplicable animated sequel on this list.
- Secret Life of Pets 2– When the best part of something is me picturing an actor recording his lines, it’s probably not in the best of shape.
- Dark Phoenix– Imagine knowing that this is probably going to be the last movie you release after an almost 20-year run, and this is what it looks like.
- Hellboy– Remember when Guillermo Del Toro made these movies?