Friday, February 09, 2018

Movie Trailer Review Round-Up Featuring 'Solo: A Star Wars Story', 'Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom', 'Deadpool 2', 'Venom' and Even More


I haven't done trailer reviews in a long while. I will not be able to say that tomorrow.

Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25/Wide):



I've had a shockingly low level of excitement for the latest Star Wars movie considering that I am a massive fan of this world and the last three movies have had prominent spots on my best of the year. Part of it is that I just don't think we need a Han Solo prequel, another is being bummed that Phil Lord and Chris Miller are no longer attached, and the other major things is the longer they held off that initial trailer then the more that I started to believe this movie was a disaster. Well, the trailer doesn't usher in the apocalypse, but it really felt flat. This looks like a science fiction adventure that would be an enjoyable summer movie time diversion that just so happens to have the Star Wars name. Except that name means that I don't expect a diversion but rather a jaw-dropping grand event picture. There are call-backs to the older Star Wars movies, but you erase those, nothing here looks especially spectacular or exciting. They are getting a crew together to pull off some kind of heist, which I've seen a million times before, except this time we get a giant space octopus too. Of course, I will still be there opening night, and one huge positive is that Donald Glover looks awesome as Lando Calrissian and I know he will be a scene stealer.

Deadpool 2 (May 18/Wide):



As expected, the marketing campaign for this has already been a blast. This trailer does a good job of being funny and entertaining but also capturing the tone and personality of the movie perfectly. Or what I assume will be the tone and personality judging off the first movie. I love that we have had a few ads already and none of the plot has been spoiled other than we know Cable is in it, and that was revealed in the original's stinger. Also excited to see Zazie Beetz get a big role as Domino, as I loved her in the very great FX series Atlanta (starring, written and directed by Donald Glover). It also has brought back everyone who was great and still alive from the first movie (including the very fun taxi driver), and it really does seem to have kept the energy and humour alive. I'm convinced that Deadpool will make my best of the year list for a second time. I also like that it seems to have gone bigger without feeling bloated and I trust the story will still remain intimate and personal rather than Deadpool saving the world.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (June 22/ Wide):



If you want proof that studios' current obsession with franchises and knocking out sequels as quickly as possible is a problem then Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the smoking gun. I'm satiated on my big dinosaur fix from the 2015 movie, which I liked but did not leave me hungering for a sequel. The story this time seems to be Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard returning to the island to rescue the dinosaurs while also needing to deal with a meddling, greedy corporation, which I can't shake as a plot echoing the awful The Lost World: Jurassic Park. The other big selling point is that the evil corporation has created their own monstrosity, except wasn't that already a major thing in the last movie? So, we are recycling stuff not just from the original trilogy but what we just saw in 2015. While I seem down on this movie, I will definitely be seeing it on the big screen and the visual do look spectacular. Any year is a good one for some big monster mayhem.

Mission: Impossible - Fallout (July 27/Wide): 



Finally, we get a sneak peek at the movie that force Superman to have a CGIed upper lip. Considering how Justice League turned out and how consistent the Mission: Impossible franchise has become for over-the-top fun stunt-filled action, I would say it will be worth it. Tom Cruise is one of the biggest stars in the world and I would still claim he is underrated when it comes to what he brings to a movie and how much he throws himself into each role. Mission: Impossible has become such a great thrill ride because not only are their fun twists, a great dose of humour, but the action sequences stand out with stakes and are immersive. So many of the big event movies rely on CGI to pull of the massive action set pieces, and I know that still plays a part here, but so much of the action is exciting because it is practical and real stunts. On top of that, it is often Cruise throwing himself into these stunts. The action alone is enough to have me sold on this movie but the story is usually pretty fun too. It is great to see Rebecca Ferguson back and looks like we will have the mix of adversary and ally flip flopping between her and Ethan Hunt again. It is also really cool to see Michelle Monaghan return as she was a love interest in a few of the previous movies but disappeared in Rogue Nation. Of course, Angela Bassett will be awesome, and who doesn't want to see Superman vs. Hunt? Put this down as one of the movies that I am confident will deliver this summer.

Game Night (February 23/Wide):



Get ready for this. . . we have a mainstream comedy coming up and it looks like it might even deliver a few laughs. I honestly did not know that a comedy that make you laugh was still a thing that they did, so that is nice. It kind of reminds of a more comedic and violent version of David Fincher's The Game, except this time --- spoiler -- it looks like a real kidnapping or crime has been committed. Though a trailer would want me to think that, since the end of the movie reveal is more fun to find out when watching the actual movie. The movie's directors, t5gJohn Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, are the same duo that gave us the not very good Vacation remake, but they also wrote the script to the very fun, Spider-Man: Homecoming, so I'll be optimistic that they are improving. Plus having Rachel McAdams back in a comedy is golden and she plays off Jason Bateman in a funny but believable way.

Skyscraper (July 13/Wide)



It is Die Hard in a large building. . . oh wait. It is Die Hard in a large building that is on fire. Or Die Hard meets Towering Inferno, so it is copying hits from two different decades. So, it isn't an original idea but there is a reason why so many action movies copy the Die Hard formula, because it is one of the all-time classic action movies. When it is done well, it really works and it is a lot of fun. Dwayne Johnson is one of the most charismatic stars in Hollywood, and he elevates almost anything he is in, unless it is called Baywatch. Luckily, this is called Skyscraper, and this looks like it is well-aware that it needs to be a big, over-the-top, goofy action movie. It looks like a pretty standard plot, but Johnson is having fun and a few of the action sequences provide chills.  There isn't enough one man must jump through flaming hoops and battle an army of goons to save his family movies, anymore, and so that glaring hole is filled this summer..

Mute (February 23/ Netflix):



This looks like a noirish, twisty, sci-fi thriller with a visual palette and skilled cinematography on par with Blade Runner 2049. This is exactly what I want from director Duncan Jones who made the fantastic Moon and Source Code, but had a giant misstep with the disaster that turned out to be the bloated and confusing WarcraftThe movie looks to be character driven and dripping with deep emotion with Leo the bartender trying to protect the girl that he loves from some unsavory types. It feels intimate but is also filled with interesting characters and well-choreographed action sequences. The type of sci-fi thriller geared towards adults that we would have got on the big screen 30 years ago, I also am intrigued by Paul Rudd who looks to be going against type by not being the comic relief but rather a complicated and darker character. I've heard rumblings of this movie for almost two years, and this movie along with Black Panther and Annihilation is making February a great month for sci-fi action.

Life of the Party (May 11/Wide):



I was pretty nervous about this, because I love Melissa McCarthy and she has been hilarious in Paul Feig helmed pictures like The Heat and Spy, but has mostly been irritating when she teams up with her husband, Ben Falcone. I am sure he means the best for his wife, but his writing and directing credits include Tammy and The Boss, movies that are unflattering to McCarthy. This time we get an updated version of Back to School with Melissa McCarthy replacing Rodney Dangerfield with that alone really changing up the style of humour and pace of the movie. I actually found myself laughing and enjoying this one. McCarthy had a few fun gags like her awkward interaction with her daughter's friends, talking to herself in the mirror and the introduction of her "Vagoogle." The slapstick here actually was well-timed too, so against my better judgement, I am looking forward to this one now. Will this be a year filled with comedies that make me laugh or am I setting myself up for harsh disappointment?

Venom (October 5/Wide):



There are fans whining that there was no appearance of Venom is this trailer. By now you should know my stance on that, trailers are to make you anticipate and get the appetite ready for the cinematic main course. If I had my way, we wouldn't see Venom until opening night, but that won't happen. This was just a teaser and he will likely be all over the second trailer. I do love that acting heavyweights like Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams bring their great skills to a comic book movie, but I really hope Williams gets to do more than worrying girlfriend. This movie is nowhere near my anticipation list and I am still not totally on board with Sony's attempts to create their own comic book universe. We get a Spider-Man villain without Spider-Man, which I still feel is pretty lame. I do look forward to being proven wrong and this winning Best Picture next year.

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