It’s raining trailers! Big ones, like as in a hailstorm of exciting hype. Do they reveal too much? Too little? Well, it’s a nice balance. Enough to whet appetites, not enough to truly spoil any surprises. Without further ado..let us begin!
This movie ‘gets’ Batman. Yes, it’s a spoof. But a reverent one that peels back the layers of the character in a classy, clever and funny way. Great voice cast, beautiful visuals and keeps the brand alive for both Lego and Batman, without overkill.
Forget your fears that this could be a disappointment. It looks really good. Coherent story-telling. Sufficient stakes and tension. Echoes Raiders of the Lost Ark, without trying too hard to do so. Stands alone yet honors its comic book mythology. Romantic, epic and fun but serious. Stumbling blocks: the Gods vs man thing; ww1 Germans are NOT Nazis so they should tread carefully in how they present the warfare. But a very promising and polished product thusfar.
VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS
High concept sci-fi. Besson back on form, perhaps with a return to his Fifth Element style home turf? Stunning visuals and a great cast, featuring Clive Owen and the would be heir to the Leeeeo throne. What could go wrong? Title is a bit of a mouthful and there are shades of Jupiter Ascending and Enders Game. This will either be an epic hit or a massive flop but we are curious in either event.
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
This is an excellent trailer, with an inventive retro logo and atmospherics: genuine foreboding meets action adventure hokum fun. Sam Jackson fills the screen, as always. Special effects look truly special. One can of course bemoan the yet another reboot /world building franchise start up here but frankly, that’s show-biz and it’s how deals get done and films get made. And who does not want to see the warm up for an inevitable Kong Vs Godzilla movie? Tom Hiddleston turns up with a so-so American accent and new hair and ‘toight’ body in absolutely NO way at all thereby sending out a ‘dear santa: please make me james bond’ vibe. This could be the next Jurassic World. Could be.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
I hate to be cynical, but this is a cynical product. Mawkish, manipulative, mediocre. Devoid of any spark of originality, organic creativity or genuine warmth. Beauty and the Beast looks to be a shot by shot remake rather than reinvention and the question remains: WHY? Yes, Disney needs money. Fine. Yes: Jungle Book did great business, but that film had earned its status through novelty and genuine need to update the visual scheme of the original, whilst honoring its heritage. This? The original film is only 25 years old and was sufficiently high tech meets old school on its release. It is such a shame that Disney lost its knack for making these beautifully animated fairy-take pantomimes because we now have either factory line computer animated, meta textual post Shrek clones or now a lifetime of these live action remakes. This looks remarkably unremarkable. It will of course be a huge hit and cement Emma Watson’s star power (something I have never understood; never will) and no doubt feed into the ‘Dan Stevens for Bond’ brigade. Luke Evans looks cool as Gaston, though. Each to their own, I suppose..
GHOST IN THE SHELL
You can huff and puff abut ‘whitewashing’ all you like. But Scarlett Johansson is a bona fide big blockbusting name star. Ergo: if the following for the existing anime brand will not open the movie alone, then Scarlett’s following of fans will. Point proven by the fact that trailer launch had her introduce the footage in a very involved, hands on way. There is a whiff of Blade Runner about this; dash of The Matrix, too. The oriental / sci-fi / futurist vibe should appeal to the gamer in all of us, as well as to existing templates of blockbuster aesthetics. Worry less therefore about whitewashing of a character /actor and more about whether this product will retain the anime credentials of the original source material whilst satisfying a mainstream market. Those aims are either dangerously disparate or destined for box office domination and reinvention of the genre. Time will tell: it always does.
As ever: Movie-Viral will be on the case as further trailers are released and we look forward to reviewing the finished products.