This was a tough week. There were loads of great trailers to choose from – including the new Spielberg film, a cool-looking haunted house flick, and a film where Spider-Man becomes a henchman for Zod! While a couple of the ones below were obvious picks, there were a few where I basically had to flip a coin. Hopefully I made the right choices. Enjoy!
Let’s start with the biggest trailer of all – 8848 metres of it.
Fittingly, this looks big. The emphasis is very much on the scale of this mountain, and the awe that it instils. And it works – watching stormclouds rolling in beneath us makes everything feel enormous, and makes the humans feel tiny. We get a feel for a few of those characters, and their camaraderie seems strong, but Everest itself is definitely the star.
The story being told is a true one, so it’s pure chance that this disaster happened on the return trip, but that really helps the story for me. It’s not a fight to get to the top – to conquer the elements – it’s just a fight to survive them. It’s simple, but in this case that feels like a good thing. Barring the choice to have flashing text in the middle of the screen, everything works.
But the main draw is the action. The set-pieces have an urgency and immediacy to them that really grabs you. If they keep that tension up the whole way through, this could be a visceral experience in the same vein as Gravity. Only with more characters and, y’know, on the ground.
Being a post-apocalyptic drama, I’m fairly certain laughter isn’t the reaction this trailer is after. But I couldn’t help it – it’s such an unfortunate time to release this. It opens with long slow shots of bombed out homes which, in this particular week, is an image already associated with something else. Then a dog turns up and makes the whole thing even more similar – this looks like the Fallout 4 trailer, and that cracks me up.
That, though, is where the similarities end. Rather than the gang-warfare and mutant monsters of other post-apocalypses, this is a quiet little human drama of only three people. There is some kind of mystery about why this area is unharmed – but even that only seems a setup for these three to meet, rather than a big part of the plot.
I certainly hope that’s the case, anyway, because the dramatic stuff here is really strong, and it’d be a shame if it was overshadowed by some larger save-the-world story. Just seeing these three actors clash, over science and religion and each other, has the potential to be much more meaningful and much more interesting.
There’s something off about this one.
It looks stunning, in a visual sense. There are some incredible vistas and battles, and the costumes and sets are just awesome, but it’s the use of colour that really stands out. The yellow of the flames and the blue of the fog and the deep contrast between the two – it’s very very pretty. The actors seem to be killing it too, bringing gravitas to the words while also feeling naturalistic (as all good Shakespeare performances should). Michael Fassbender’s “scorpions” line is the absolute best moment of any trailer the week.
And yet… something’s not quite right. I think it’s the constant closeups of actors’ faces, which is something we’ve seen before in other films of stage-plays (Les Misérables comes to mind). It feels as though the film is so desperate to show off the capital-letter ACTING, because this is serious stagecraft darling, that it forgets how to be a film. In fact the whole thing feels quite stagey – there’s a lot of groups of people standing in lines in this trailer, as though facing the theatre audience.
I’m not sure if this is actually a problem, strictly speaking. It’s a movie of a play, so it makes sense that it would resemble a play, and it looks to be a very impressive version of that play too. I’m just not feeling it.
At some point I’m sure I must have known there were two Pixar films coming out this year. Yet somewhere in the run-up to next month’s Inside Out (which looks amazing, by the way) it seems to have slipped my mind, because I absolutely was not expecting this. It’s like Christmas came early!
The trailer itself is a Pixar teaser in the grand tradition of Pixar teasers, giving us an idea what to expect but showing us very little from the actual movie. The little we are shown, however, is great. Some parts (like the pair of roaring predators) look strangely flat, but other parts (like the sunset stampede) look absolutely gorgeous. The exaggerated designs are wonderful too – I particularly love the underbite on the t-rex.
But the best part is the animation. The weird lolloping run of the main dino (an Apatosaurus, apparently) conveys so much character and personality all on its own. Imagine how great it’ll be when we actually see him talking!
Is it even possible to make a spy film these days that isn’t about the heroes going rogue? Skyfall did it, Winter Soldier did it, and out of four Mission: Impossibles the only one that didn’t do it was the horrible second film.
Now here we are a fifth time, and Tom Cruise’s superspy is going rogue once again. Snark aside, though, the guy definitely does it with style! The whole thing is slick and stylish, and the stunts are amazing. As you’ve probably heard, that genuinely is Cruise hanging off a real plane at the end.
It’s not just him, though. This series has always been about teams, and this looks a very strong one. Simon Pegg is always fun in these movies, Jeremy Renner (the weakest link in the last one) looks more comfortable and more involved this time, and oh my gods Ving Rhames is back. All of them look to be having a great time and, despite the incredibly overplayed plot, it looks like we will too.