Trailer Tuesdays: Justice League

The Justice League trailer looks pretty sweet: we get to see Wonder Woman and Batman try to work together to build a team, we get to see Flash in all his hilarious glory, and we get some memorable scenes with Aquaman and Batman. Yep, the new Justice League trailer seems to be depicting a movie I would love to watch, but I have been burned before.

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New Deadpool Trailer Keeps Me Skeptically Optimistic

During Christmas a new Deadpool trailer came out! So reviewing and talking about the new trailer is, I guess, a little late, but I don’t care. I love Deadpool and I’m going to keep talking about my hopes for this movie. There were several new things in this trailer that I was happy to see, such as the parody of objectification and more emphasis on the female characters in the movie.

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So, They’re Messing with Star Trek. I Don’t Like It.

Look, I try to be flexible. Things change, I can change, new things can come to be. I love Star Trek, but that thing is now nearing its 50th anniversary. Star Trek can change, too—spinning through many incarnations, hopping between mediums, swapping out cast members, and stepping on and off the Enterprise, the franchise has always committed to flexibility.

But that doesn’t mean I have to like Star Trek Beyond. Here’s the trailer:

I don’t think that’s a trailer for an awful movie. It could really be a lot of fun, with the dirtbikes and the Beastie Boys and the whole spacey Justin Lin action-comedy thing it’s doing. But that ain’t Star Trek, cats and kittens. Not without a little more; there’s a major piece missing still.

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Trailer Tuesdays: The X-Files

I claimed this trailer to review sight unseen, because I have a very soft spot in my heart for The X-Files and I’ve been hyped about its return pretty much since they announced it. After watching it, I’m still excited, but I do have some reservations.

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Trailer Tuesdays: Deadpool

Do I really need to talk about how awesome and in character everything in this trailer is? Probably not, but I am going to anyway! And admittedly, while I am extremely excited for this movie I am still a little worried about one thing in particular.

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Trailer Tuesdays: Fantastic Four

I’ve seen this trailer so many times in movie theaters at this point that I was shocked to realize that we hadn’t covered it here—especially given that we’ve discussed the ramifications of its casting choices in detail.

Given that the first trailer looked more like it was advertising a more boring Interstellar knockoff than a superhero flick, I am at least relieved that this one shows us characters with powers up close and personal. I’m still not sure if I want to see it, though.

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Trailer Tuesdays: 300: Rise of An Empire

So… there’s a new 300 movie out. And apparently it’s killing at the box office. Yep. So let’s talk about the trailer, I guess.

This movie… I just don’t have words. Why does this movie exist? I actually really liked the first 300 movie. I thought it was well shot and the acting was pretty good. Yes, it was racist, ableist, and sexist, but when I turned off my critic brain I was, admittedly, entertained. The way the movie ended was perfect, so once again we have Hollywood making unnecessary sequels just so that they can make some more money.

300 rise of an empireBased on the trailer I can see why the movie is doing so well—it’s flashy, action-packed, and filled with dudebros—but that doesn’t mean it’s actually any good. For one, this sequel seems to be hanging onto its sexism, starring a very limited female cast of what seems like only two women. One of them is Queen Gorgo, who was in the last movie, and now we have an evil female character in the form of Artemisia. Artemisia is apparently a real person, which I didn’t know until recently, so thank you, movie, for teaching me something. Artemisia is also a real bad guy (from a Greek perspective anyway). She was a Greek who joined Xerxes’s forces and led a naval force against the Greeks. However, with her inclusion, we once again have been given women who fulfill two of the biggest female tropes: the noble faithful wife and the evil woman. Not that the original 300 was ever a bastion of feminism, but if they were going to do a sequel, did the writers have to include some evil woman instead of an awesome Spartan woman who is actually fighting and not being sexually assaulted? It’s good that the movie has more than one woman, but historically, Spartan women were actually pretty liberated for their time. Spartan women were known to be just as fierce as the men and were also trained in combat. I would have preferred seeing some Spartan women fight (like a whole Spartan woman army) instead of just these overused tropes that do the Spartans an injustice.

On top of this, we have the special effects. In the last movie, the filming and effects were pretty epic. Yet this trailer makes it seem like they’ve gone a bit overboard with said effects. Most movies do, nowadays, but that’s no excuse for this movie to do it as well. The clips of the naval battle don’t even look real. In fact, nothing about this movie looks real. Yes, the effects in the last movie were also very surreal, but the special effects have been amped to the point where this is practically a cartoon. Pirates of the Caribbean did better at naval battles.

I will, however, say this: the last movie was entertaining as long as you turned your brain off almost completely, so I’m assuming this one will be about the same. So go see it, I guess… just maybe be a little drunk when you do. Or wait for the DVD.

Trailer Tuesdays: The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Just in time for the holidays—they’re coming up, all right? Give me a break—a new, longer trailer for the upcoming Ghibli movie The Tale of Princess Kaguya (輝夜姬物語) finally hit YouTube. To be completely honest, I think I’m more excited for this to get subtitled than The Wind Rises.

Yes, yes, I have respect for Miyazaki’s last work, but there’s just something special about the movies directed by Takahata–a difference that you may have picked up on if you’ve been keeping up with our Ghibli reviews. What it boils down to is that while Miyazaki goes after the fantastical settings and epic-quality plots, Takahata explores the more low-key aspects of life. Even Pom Poko, which was admittedly not realistic in the slightest, explores a general issue from a more narrowed lens. There are no countries at war, no devastation plaguing the earth. Instead there’s an issue or a story that affects a small portion of the world—a town, or even a family—which can be related to on a wider scale. In this way the two Ghibli directors complement each other perfectly, and will continue to complement each other until the very end: The Wind Rises deals with cross-continental relationships, both personal and professional, during World War II, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya deals with how a singular, momentary event changes the life of one family forever in ancient Japan.

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Trailer Tuesdays: Once Upon a Time in Wonderland

I absolutely adore the TV show Once Upon a Time. While almost every other TV show features white guys as the main protagonist, it was refreshing to see a show with a female lead and a large cast of female supporting characters. That’s not to say Once Upon a Time isn’t without its problems, but it’s still an excellent show.

One of my main disappoints with the show, however, was the lack of one character: Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Since the Mad Hatter had made an appearance in Storybrooke, I was excited to meet Alice eventually, but it never happened. I was simply holding out hope that eventually Emma and the gang would meet Alice, but the writers of Once Upon a Time did something even better: I got a spin-off all about Alice.

If the trailer is anything to go by, it looks like we are going to have a kick ass Alice for this show. I was a little worried at first when things started in an asylum. I love a creepy Alice just as much as the next girl, but it has been done before. So I’m happy to see that while things look intense in this trailer, the writers aren’t taking Alice the dark gothic route.

As far as casting goes we have a pretty phenomenal cast, so far featuring Naveen Andrews (Lost), Michael Socha (Being Human), and the amazing John Lithgow who is voicing the White Rabbit.

I’m excited to see different worlds we haven’t been able to see in Once Upon a Time. So far, from the trailer and characters it seems pretty certain that we’ll get to see more of Wonderland, Neverland, and Agrabah.

It’s also nice to see that the show will make a distinction between the Red Queen and the Queen of Hearts, which has always been a pet peeve of mine in other re-tellings of Alice. Michael Socha will also being playing the Knave of Hearts, who is in the original story, and it seems in this version, Alice stops the Queen of Hearts from killing him making him an ally of hers. It always made sense to me that should Alice return to Wonderland, that the Knave would be a friend of hers, but often the Knave isn’t featured or, as in the crappy Tim Burton film, he’s shown to be a villain. It seems then that the writers are letting the original source material inspire them while still creating their own story.

And for those of you worried about the writers potentially casting someone new as the Mad Hatter, the writers have already stated that they wouldn’t dream of replacing Sebastian Stan—so it’s likely the Mad Hatter simply won’t play much of a role in this TV show.

Usually I don’t look forward to spin-offs, but I cannot wait for this one.

Trailer Tuesdays: Jack et la Mechanique Du Coeur

I have a secret adoration for French animated films. Actually, maybe not so secret: after the two month period where I spammed A Monster in Paris on my blog, I’m pretty sure that bias was clear. But whereas I love A Monster in Paris for its cute story and catchy musical numbers, Jack et la Mechanique Du Coeur—directly translated as Jack and the Mechanism of the Heart, but the tentative English title seems to be The Boy With The Cuckoo-Clock Heart according to IMBD—hits all the right notes for me aesthetically.

Done in a darker gothic-like palette (I’d compare it to Tim Burton, but I don’t particularly like him), the movie follows Jack, who, as you can probably guess, is in possession of a cuckoo-clock heart. There are apparently three rules he must follow:

  1. Never touch the clock hands
  2. His temper must be controlled at all times
  3. He must never fall in love

Doing any of these will compromise the mechanism along with his life. It’s safe to guess that he probably fails at one of these, or perhaps even all of them. From the trailer, it’s clear that Jack already has a love interest, so there’s no way that number three is going to remain untouched.

Outside of the general style of this film, I love the story itself or at least what I can see of it. Rather than exploring the capability of mechanized creatures like robots to be human, we’ll be able to explore a humanity that is much closer being roboticized. That is to say, life without feeling. Scenarios where it should be impossible to not have emotions, but where the character must remain stoic for whatever reason have always intrigued me, especially if these actions lead to their own downfall.

I also find the female character interesting right off the bat. Where Jack has a cuckoo-clock heart, the female lead seems to have a brambled rose instead. It makes me wonder if this girl has to follow a similar set of rules, or even an opposite set of rules. If she had the need, the requirement to pursue her feelings for someone that cannot express their own feelings I think it would make for a very interesting story, and it also might explain why the shy girl’s heart has been overrun with thorns later on in the trailer.

What I’m not looking forward to, however, is the soundtrack to this film. If it’s anything like that song in the trailer, we’re going to have a bad time. Due to its upbeat-ness and complete lack of atmosphere, it sends a conflicted message on what the film is about. Despite the somberness of the plot and colors, the music makes the film come off as a comedy almost. Not cool. Also, I really hope that the story doesn’t devolve to Jack sacrificing his own heart/life to rescue the girl from her own heart problems. I can’t say this is what will happen for sure—I certainly haven’t read the book it’s based on—but I also can’t say that I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened. Best case scenario, they both learn how to overcome that which restricts them, but don’t get magically cured. Maybe that’s asking too much.

The film is set for release in France on February 5th in 2014, so waiting to see if it meets or falls to my expectations will be a long process. However, I’m excited to see how the story is handled and will continue hoping that it will get an American release much like A Monster in Paris.