Thursday, 17 August 2017
So, two days after I watched the first trailer for Mother! Paramount Pictures offers us trailer #2, which seems to be called Wife.
Oddly, the word, "Wife!" doesn't sound as scary as the word, "Mother!" I can only leave it to psychologists to work out just why that would be.
But, the trailer, did it make any more sense to me than the first one did?
No it didn't.
It's basically ninety nine percent composed of Jennifer Lawrence walking around her house. I must confess that I spend lots of my time walking around my house and, fool that I am, it had never occurred to me that I could make that mundane feat into a journey into terror simply by adding an overwrought soundtrack to it. This inability to spot an opportunity is the reason I've failed to terrify anyone in my entire life. Needless to say, this lesson has now been learned and I shall be a nightmarish experience for anyone who meets me from now on.
Also needless to say, I remain none the wiser as to just what's going on in the film. But it still looks intriguing and I live with genuine hopes that watching it may turn out to be a decent, if gloomy, experience.
Tuesday, 15 August 2017
I know nothing about this film, other than that it has the sort of title that only miserable songs and horror films have.
Well, no one loves a good horror film more than me.
Come to think of it, no one loves a bad horror film more than me either. So here's where I click on the Play button and see what this video has to say for itself....
Well, that was all very intriguing. Mostly because I didn't have a clue what was going on. Obviously, it involves a house-moving, decorating and getting to know the locals. Beyond that, I can surmise nothing.
This is a good thing, as it forces me to see the film in order to fill the vast gaps in my knowledge.
Come to think of it, I don't even have a clue why it's called Mother! as there didn't seem to be any motheriness going on in it but it's good to see Michelle Pfeiffer still getting work after all these years, even if it means I have to Google her name to remind myself how to spell it. The suffering I have to go through to produce these posts.
Anyway, from what I've just seen, it would appear to be a film I'd like to see. Whether I'd enjoy it is hard to tell but I would definitely feel the urge to see it and, therefore, the trailer has done its job.
Monday, 14 August 2017
Them! Them! Them!
OK, I admit it, that was a sentence that didn't really go anywhere and had no reason for existing. But it does at least lead me into It Came From the Desert which, from what little we see of it, is clearly basically a remake of that 1950s classic.
Obviously, with modern technology, far more can be done with giant ants on the rampage than could be done back in those days.
But here's the odd thing. Looking at that trailer, the CGI doesn't look anything like as evocative, or as well done, as the wobbly giant puppets of the original.
The other warning sign is that it also appears to be based on an old video game and, as we all know, movies based on such games don't have a great track record.
That aside, it's one of those films that, given its subject matter, looks like it could be good fun - but I always take the view that you should look for what's not in a trailer, not what is in it, and the truth is that virtually everything is not in the trailer. We get very little of the movie shown to us, creating a very thin concoction indeed. To the cynical mind, this creates the impression that the film is somewhat lacking and they're trying to hide as much of it from us as is possible.
While I retain an open mind, I have my suspicions that this one is basically just a slightly prettier equivalent of those Syfy productions that litter up Freeview channels every day, as unwanted late-afternoon schedule filler.
Needless to say, as a lover of giant ants everywhere, I hope to be proven wrong.
Sunday, 13 August 2017
We all know that films about outsiders can be fun, enchanting and charming, especially if conducted with a sprinkling of wit, warmth and/or dark humour.
Unfortunately, that trailer suggests a film that possesses none of those qualities. It just seems like one big long sulk from start to finish, centered on two characters who're only outsiders because they basically look down their noses at people who aren't outsiders. All in all, it has a quality to it that in my home town of Sheffield is called, "Mardy," and feels like the spiritual equivalent of being hit in the face with a wet dish cloth.
It also has the problem that it's rooted in an American movie mindset, which is that all normal romances are conducted between people who look like film stars and that one conducted by two people who aren't like film stars is therefore an oddity.
The only problem being that, for those of us who live in the real world, a romance between two people who don't look or act like film stars isn't an oddity. It's normal. It's the Hollywood romances that are the oddity. Therefore, a movie about the outsider nature of a romance between two people who aren't like movie stars possibly doesn't seem as intriguing to us as it does to people who make movies.
Anyway, because of its general air of mopeyness, I'm afraid I have to put it on my list of films to avoid.
Saturday, 12 August 2017
Some films are so bad they've become legends in their own lifetimes. Tommy Wiseau's The Room is one of the greatest examples of that genre, a tale of love and betrayal that only the most hard-hearted could fail to laugh their guts up at. How did Wiseau, a man with no noticeable aptitude as a writer, actor or director and with no history of film-making, manage to raise six million dollars to fund such a catastrophic venture? Perhaps we shall never know.
Or perhaps we shall, because The Disaster Artist gives us a look behind the scenes, recreating the making of that landmark movie. In this it has perhaps echoes of Tim Burton's Ed Wood, although covering a somewhat less outré contingent.
Needless to say, watching that teaser gives me warm, fuzzy feelings that remind me just how much I love the original and suggest that, as long as it's well done, the film's going to be hard to dislike.
Because of that, and the fact that you can never beat a movie about people making a bad movie, I shall definitely watch it when I get the chance to.
Friday, 11 August 2017
I must make the nightmare revelation that I've never seen the original Death Wish movie.
I could claim that's because, as a man of taste, sensitivity and culture, I refuse to watch it on principal but the truth is I can't remember ever having seen it in the TV listings.
Oddly, I have seen Death Wish 3 in the listings, on many an occasion but have never watched that one, on the grounds that it ends with the word, "Three," and generally that's a bad sign in a movie - especially one that begins with the word, "Death."
Thus it is that I can watch the trailer for the new Death Wish with an oddly open mind.
And, having watched it with an open mind, what did I make of it?
I made of it that it looked rubbish. I can appreciate that there are times when we'd all like to bring terrible destruction down upon everyone who gets in our way and that such fantasies can be cathartic but at no point in that trailer did I see a single thing that made me want to watch the film. It just seems to be Bruce Willis walking around, shooting people. After a while it all started to look a bit depressing.
While I'm sure that they're all wrongdoers and need a good shooting, I do demand a little more from my movies than just Bruce Willis shooting people.
For instance, I like it when Bruce Willis is defending skyscrapers from Alan Rickman, because then there's ingenuity, plotting, timing, suspense and full use being made of a setting. Just walking around, randomly shooting bad guys, in a variety of locations doesn't have quite the same air of fun to it.
In the end, I suppose what makes or breaks the film will be how it handles the whole theme of vigilantism. Will it be a celebration of it or will it be a warning of the dangers of taking the law into one's own hands?
Then again, will it take a more ambiguous stance and examine the moral and practical grey areas of such a campaign? Such a thing could lend depth and intrigue to the movie, making it a more memorable, tense and gripping experience.
Sadly, nothing in the trailer suggests it's going to take any such approach and, in the absence of any reason to suspect it's not just, "Bruce Willis is shooting bad guys. How great is this?" it's hard to feel optimistic about the film.
Thursday, 10 August 2017
Anyone who knows me knows I've always been a sucker for Victorian horror. If there's a Hammer film on TV, I have to watch it.
Not only that but I also have a fondness for Victorian tales featuring famous people of the age becoming linked by fictitious events. Therefore, the moment the trailer for The Limehouse Golem hit my YouTube homepage, I was always going to look at it.
Having said that, I do find the trailer incredibly dull. It has none of the energy of an old style Hammer movie and I know it may be heresy but I always find Bill Nighy to be a great cure for insomnia.
I also see that it claims to be from the same writer as The Woman In Black. Clearly, by that, they mean Jane Goldman, not Susan Hill. The only problem with that being that I literally fell asleep watching that earlier film.
Admittedly, I was watching it around midnight but, still, it's not a good sign when you nod off over someone's horror movie.
The other letdown is that, from what I can make out, it doesn't actually feature a golem. Given that the main reason I clicked on the link was because it featured the world, "Golem," this is a major life disappointment for me and makes me feel they missed an opportunity to make the film actually interesting.
The only other remark I have to offer is that it has to be the most English thing I've ever seen. It's sort of like what you'd get if a bunch of Americans set out to make a movie and were ordered by the studio to pretend they were as English as fish and chips. As an Englishman, I fear that may be rather too much Englishness for one film.
Wednesday, 9 August 2017
I must confess I only know Alexandra Daddario for two things; blundering into nightmare peril in the magnificently bloodthirsty Texas Chainsaw and possessing a killer teddy bear in the video for Imagine Dragons' Radioactive. If you've not seen either of those roles, you probably won't be surprised to discover that neither of them gave her any chance to show off her comedy chops. But now, at last, there's a film that does just that.
And, what's more, it gives one-woman gif factory Kate Upton the chance to do likewise.
So, given the opportunity, what can they do with it?
Not a lot, apparently. I have to say that trailer's about as funny as leprosy. It's genuinely toe-curlingly depressing at times and, in places, makes me feel like I've plunged back in time to the 1980s and all those films about teen pool parties they liked to churn out back then.
A film about two women willing to do anything to get a man in bed is perfectly capable of working - if it stars two women who can convince you they have no dignity or self-respect. It's going to struggle a lot harder to succeed when it stars two women who, lets face it, are probably less likely to struggle to pull than any other women alive. The truth is that, no matter how hard they try, Upton and Daddario are never going to be able to convey the sense of desperation necessary to make the thing funny.
In fairness, their performances don't seem bad and Daddario's delivery of that last line, "Oh my God, we're all going to die!" is spot on but otherwise I suspect that, despite their best efforts, this film is just going to be a horribly misjudged clunker.
Tuesday, 8 August 2017
No one can accuse Steve Does Trailers of not casting its net far and wide, and so it is that I find myself blundering across Legend of the Naga Pearls which my incredible instincts tell me is a Chinese film. Well, China is an important place, with lots of people in it, so I feel I'd better watch the thing.
I have to say that's the most baffling trailer I've ever seen. I've watched it twice now and I still don't have a clue what's going on in it. From what I can make out, there are things with wings and a magic pearl, which looks more like a gem, and it has to be destroyed for reasons I'm not totally clear about.
The film does, however, strike me as being action-packed and possessed of a surprisingly lowbrow mindset. I don't know anything about Chinese cinema apart from having watched a very small handful of films from that country but I'm assuming this is the Chinese equivalent of a popcorn movie.
Of course, I could be wrong and it could be that it's actually high art and I'm totally misunderstanding what I'm seeing.
Anyway, does the fact that I don't have a clue what's going on put me off the film?
Of course it doesn't. It makes me want to see it if only to find out what's going on. Those trailer makers, they're so cunning. Either that or they don't have a clue what they're doing.
Either way, it works. This film is definitely on my want-to-see list. Admittedly, it's a fair way down that list compared to one or two other movies that are being touted at the moment but, still, it has at least made that list.
Monday, 7 August 2017
I must confess that, up until now, I'd been totally unaware of the existence of Stephen King's Dark Tower series. Therefore I'm coming to the trailer with literally zero expectations.
It all starts magnificently promisingly by playing the sneaky trick on us of using Ennio Morricone's For A Few Dollars More music, immediately giving the impression that we're about to see something epic, profound, stirring and possibly elegiac.
The problem is that we then get a trailer that leaves me strangely cold.
In terms of its look, it feels somewhat generic and, in terms of content, there's nothing in there at all that grabs me.
I'm not saying I wouldn't watch it if it were placed in front of me. There's nothing about it that I find off-putting or that says that it's going to be a terrible movie.
But, conversely, there's nothing about it that shouts at me that it's going to be a great or even interesting movie. It just feels like one of those films that comes and goes without making any great impact on anyone.
Sunday, 6 August 2017
Not that I'm shallow or anything but I must confess the principle reason I clicked on this trailer is because it has almost the same title as an old Matt Smith Doctor Who Christmas special and I was hoping that, like that, this too would feature killer snowmen.
Obviously I was wrong. From the trailer, it would seem that it features an altogether less fantastical menace.
But, blimey, watching that thing has to have been the most intense experience of my life. It comes across like Silence of the Lambs on drugs, which is a very good thing indeed. Yes it's true; this is a film I now want to see.
I do worry that, if it's like that for the full two hours, the sheer unremitting intensity might start to become ludicrous and reduce the film to the level of unintentional comedy and, while I freely admit that Michael Fassbender can do creepy as well as anyone alive, I do always find him a little detached. It makes him perfect for playing robots and super-villains but I'm not so sure he's ideal for playing good guys.
Still, the trailer's great and I'm holding out hopes that that means the film's great too.
Also, it was filmed in Norway - and we all know it's a philosophical impossibility to make a bad film in Norway.
Saturday, 5 August 2017
I'm so completely useless that when I saw this trailer being pushed at me by YouTube's home page, I thought it was for a film called I.T. and assumed it was going to be a kooky cornball romantic comedy involving Jennifer Aniston trying to find love in the computer helpline department of a New York office block.
I must confess I was wrong. It turns out it is in fact a remake of the old Stephen King tale we all, no doubt, remember from our childhoods.
Granted, the original adaptation was made so long ago that my memories of it are vague. Basically, all I recall is that it featured Tim Curry and was determined to convince us that balloons are scary.
Brave as that attempt was, it didn't matter how hard they tried, they never managed to convince me that balloons are scary and I still, to this day, regard all balloons as my friends.
Admittedly I've never, so far, been attacked by any. Perhaps if that ever happened, I might change my mind and realise just how terrifying they really are, with their powers of static cling.
Anyway, the trailer. I have to confess that does look like a movie I want to see. I may not remember much about the original but I recall not being overly impressed by it and this does look a lot more promising. Obviously, it has all the things in it that I equate with Stephen King; small town, children, trains, schools, bullies and bicycles but it also feels a lot classier, moodier and heavier than the previous version. I therefore give it the thumbs up and look forward to seeing it.
I do always wonder though. Do people really find clowns scary or is that just something they say because it's become accepted wisdom that they are? Personally, I've just always found them a bit annoying.
Then again, as with the balloons, I've never been attacked by a gang of them.
Friday, 4 August 2017
Alright, I admit it. I only clicked on this trailer because it's called Toxic Shark which is a title I was never going to be able to resist. Let's face it, any film that has the word, "Shark," in the title is going be great. Any film that has the word, "Toxic," in the title is going to be great.
From what little I can glean of it, it appears to be another of those Syfy masterpieces that have done so much to raise the standards of Western civilisation over the years.
I can proudly announce that I've never heard of a single person who's in this film but the fact that it stars someone called Kabby Borders gives me a strange reassurance that all is as it should be.
Of course, who it really stars is a shark, and any shark can only be judged by how high it can leap out of the water. While this one doesn't have the jumping powers of the one in Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus - with its ability to pluck cruising airliners from the skies - this one still has an impressive leap on it and an admirable ability to inflict terror into the hearts of hapless bystanders.
Do I think this film's going to be any good?
No I don't.
Will I be watching it when it inevitably shows up on the Horror Channel?
You just try and stop me.
Thursday, 3 August 2017
It's been an exciting few weeks for all fans of the world's most celebrated Time Lord, with the announcement of a new Doctor - and a woman at that!
But, first, before we can do that, we have to get rid of the old one.
In fact, so mammoth a deal is the introduction of the first female Doctor that it looks like we're going to have to get rid of two old ones simultaneously, with both Peter Capaldi and William Hartnell/David Bradley forced to meet their maker.
It all sounds epoch-making in the extreme but just what can the trailer tell us about it and will the great woman herself be putting in an appearance?
No. It turns out she won't.
But, then, I don't think anyone with any sense ever thought she would. In fact, not a lot puts in an appearance in the trailer. We get no real clue as to the plot, the villain, the tone or the jeopardy. In fact, all we really find out is that four familiar faces are in it and that an instant has been frozen in time.
That, of course, brings back memories of Hell Bent and Clara being snatched from death, thanks to the moment just before her doom being frozen by the Time Lords, causing her to exist in an instant between her heartbeats. From this - and the fact that all previous multi-Doctor tales have featured the Gallifreyans - I conclude that those pesky timesters are behind all this episode's drama and that that'll give Clara the chance to return for Capaldi's goodbye.
One return I could have done without is Mark Gatiss. I'm sure he's a lovely bloke but it's starting to feel like he's surgically welded to the show. He's written an episode in nearly every season since the show came back in 2005, and played at least three different characters in it. I wouldn't mind if his episodes had been classics and he had the acting prowess of Ian McKellen but the truth is his writing and his acting have been no more than serviceable at best. If there's one thing Chris Chibnall, as new showrunner, could do to win me over, it's finally freeing us from the power of Gatiss.
Anyway, my big prediction is that this whole episode takes place in a Time Lord snow globe. I don't have a clue what a Time Lord snow globe is but this is a Steven Moffat story, so there's bound to be some sort of gimmicky tricksiness going on and, this being a Christmas special, and me associating snow globes with Christmas, this is the tricksiness I'm anticipating.
Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Just when you've learned to talk about Star Trek in the past tense, as a TV experience, back it comes with a brand new series on Netflix. For those of us who grew up wishing we had pointy ears and a phaser gun, this is potentially exciting news but how does the show look?
Judging by the trailer, it all looks very beautiful and you can tell a fair old wodge of cash has been thrown at it but if I do have a worry, it's that it really doesn't feel like Star Trek. When someone says, "Star Trek," to me, I think of people shouting, "Dammit, Jim! I'm a doctor, not a strippogram!" and, "The engines cannae take it, Captain!"
In other words, I think of strongly defined characters interrelating in a way that lends the show charm. Being a little more restrained and sensible, the later shows didn't have it to quite the same degree as the original series but they all still made sure to concentrate on the characters more than the visuals and monsters. In this trailer, while it all looks very lovely, I don't see anything in it that suggests any kind of character interplay at all. In fact, what little we see of the characters makes them seem very dull indeed.
Which leads me on to the Klingons. I don't personally mind that they've redesigned them. The old shows were willing to change their look when it was felt necessary and it's always interesting to see a new take on things. My concern is more that, as seen here, they seem a very lifeless and restrained bunch; not at all the boozy roughnecks we've grown to know and love, and I hope it doesn't mean the franchise has been robbed of one of its major sources of fun and vigour.
I am glad to see a Chinese character in it. It's always been one of the great sources of mystery to me as to where the Chinese people are in the Star Trek universe. I can't remember there ever being even a single one in any of the previous Star Trek shows combined, which always seemed a bit odd, as they comprise around a fifth of the Earth's population. Just where had they all disappeared to in the old shows?
Finally, the design of the ship. I can't say I love it. The saucer section looks structurally fragile and the main body is too squat and graceless.
So, in summary, it looks like an artfully made show that's totally lacking in vitality.
Is this deceptive? Have they merely left all the human elements out of the trailer, only to spring them on us later? Or are they simply not there in the first place?
I suppose there'll be only one way to find out.
Tuesday, 1 August 2017
As long-suffering readers of my blog Steve Does Comics know, no one loves a good comic more than me and therefore no one loves a good comic book movie more than me.
Well, admittedly, that may not be true. I generally don't enjoy comic book movies that much but I am always intrigued to see attempts at transferring the product of that medium onto the big screen, even if, as in the case of Valerian and Laureline, I have no knowledge at all of the original source material.
Looking at the trailer, there's no denying it looks luscious, possibly the most sumptuous looking movie I've ever seen. It also sounds great.
But there is one problem.
And that's what's not in the trailer. I'm not getting any sense of what it's actually about. I'm getting no sense of who the characters are, what their motivations are, what their goals are, what their relationship is to each other or what the basic premise of the movie is. Are they good guys? Are they bad guys? I don't know. This creates the fear for me that it's going to be just one long wallow in the magic of CGI.
I'm also concerned that it's directed by Luc Besson who, as we all know, has no shortage of style but did inflict The Fifth Element on us, a film that I can safely say irritated the life out of me on the one occasion I tried to watch it.
The final thing that sets off alarm bells is the casting. I don't like to knock individuals but I do tend to feel that no director who's out to make a great movie casts Cara Delevingne in it. Likewise, Dane DeHaan's presence in a film isn't exactly likely to get me rushing off to the nearest multiplex with my money in my hand.
It also seems a bit sexist that Laureline doesn't get mentioned in the title. What is this? The 1950s? Did Germaine Greer throw herself under that race horse for nothing?