Trailers postsTuesday April 28, 2015
The Best Thing About the 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' Trailer
I was away on business last week and didn't see the “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” trailer until today:
Here's what I like about it: They're following the original line of thought David S. Goyer had when he came up with the concept for “Man of Steel”: If a super-powered alien actually came to Earth, people would freak.
Here are some of the things we hear from people in the beginning of the trailer. It's a lot of back-and-forth, in which, in the end, the detractors drown out more reasoned arguments:
- Charlie Rose: Is it really surprising that the most powerful man in the world should be a figure of controversy?
- We as a population on this planet have been looking for a savior.
- Neil DeGrasse Tyson: We're talking about a being whose very existence challenges our own sense of priorities in the universe. (Background: They're not telling us the truth.) (Chant: Our planet!)
- Lex Luthor: Human beings have a horrible track record of following people with great power.
- Power corrupts. And absolute power corrupts absolutely.
- Maybe he's just a guy trying to do the right thing. (Background: We know better now, don't we?)
- Lex Luthor: Devils don't come from hell ... They come from the sky.
- Chant: Go home! Go home! Go home!
All of which leads to a confrontation between Superman, floating, and Batman, armored up, with Batman saying, “Tell me: Do you bleed?” And then, “You will.”
That confrontation is very “The Dark Knight Returns,” but the reasoning behind it has been updated. Frank Miller portrayed Superman as a tool of Big Government while this movie, or at least this trailer, portrays Batman as a dupe of a Fox-News-like propaganda campaign against Superman. In a way, Superman is like Pres. Obama here. He's doing good and being called the anti-Christ for it. I wouldn't be surprised if someone asks for Supes' birth certificate.
The thing is still in the hands of Zack Snyder, though, so most likely it'll be dumbed down by the time it arrives in theaters. Which, oddly, is next March. March? Isn't that a month for lesser films? And why does Batman get top billing? I'm also amused by the use of “v” for “vs” or “versus.” It's as if they're suing each other in court.
Savior: In the real world, this can't end well.
Trailer: Night Will Fall (2014)
The story on it here. I apologize for The Guardian's video ads that start playing after 30 seconds or so. Recommendation: mute before reading.
Trailer: The Walk
This thing, a Robert Zemeckis feature, based upon “Man on Wire”—about Philippe Petit's walk across the World Trade towers in 1974—made my legs turn to jelly. Not sure how I'll handle the movie. And in iMax no less? Oy.
I'm a fan of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, but as Petit I think I would've preferred someone a bit more ... French.
Out in October 2015.
'The Nostalgia is Strong With This One': 10 Thoughts on the Teaser for 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'
I'm sure you've already seen it by now, but here it is again:
Thoughts as I watched:
- 00:13: Ah, the sands of Tatooine. But then, “Phantom Menace” began that way, too. (See: this poster.) Doesn't mean the movie will be any good.
- 00:15: That's not Morgan Freeman's voice, is it? Please, no.
- 00:22: Hey, aren't all stormtroopers clones of Jango Fett? And if this dude's a stormtrooper, and he's scared, well, isn't that good? Or is he a good guy undercover—like Luke and Han in the original?
- 00:29: A bowling-ball droid. I like the 1970s-era markings. Orange and blue were my high school colors.
- 00:39 Cute girl. (Daisy Ridley, it turns out.) And, like Tatooine, playing on our “Star Wars” nostalgia: from what she's wearing, to what she's riding, to the camera movement in on her. It almost feels like a shot-for-shot remake of something in “Return of the Jedi.”
- 00:44: This plays even more to our “Star Wars” nostalgia: the close-up static shot of the rebel in the X-wing fighter. Slightly different-colored uni but same orange eyeshade. Hey, is that Oscar Isaac?
- 00:59: The Dark Side ... has the light? Has delight? And while it looks cool to extend the crackly portion of the light sabre into the guard, creating a cross, does it make it more effective as a weapon? I mean, doesn't it defeat its own purpose? It's supposed to guard your hand, not cut it off.
- 1:00: The return of the Millennium Falcon and that triumphant “Star Wars” score from John Williams. OK, J.J. Abrams, you just won me over.
- 1:20: December 2015? Since when were “Star Wars” movies released in December? (Answer: Never. They've always been released in May. Actually, in a nine-day period in mid-May: May 16-25. So this is the biggest break from tradition in the movie: its release date.)
- 1:25: The Force Awakens? So ... was it asleep?
For all the corporate calculation in this, think how powerful the “Star Wars” myth is. Over a 40-year period, there have been six movies released in six-year clusters (1977-83 and 1999-2005), and yet only two of them have been good. In fact, we haven't seen a good “Star Wars” movie since 1980. Yet we're still all chomping at the bit to see this one. It's either the myth or the nostalgia, and the nostalgia's powerful with this one.
Trailer: The Age of Adaline
This looks awful:
Jeff Wells is right: “Twilight Zone” ran a similar episode in 1960, “Long Live Walter Jameson,” that dealt with the darker aspects of immortality—how we keep making the same mistakes over and over; how we never learn. Basically, those who live through history are doomed to repeat it.
Adaline, played by Blake Lively, doesn't have the centuries of Walter Jameson but she does have a century—a rather monumental century. Born in 1908, she's rendered immortal during a magic-realism car accident in 1935. She's been on the run ever since. Apparently she runs into the arms of men and then away from them again; away from her kids, too. Then into the arms of men again. Modern day, it's a lanky, bearded Brit. I lost all interest in the movie at 1:48 when she drives off in a taxi, he cries, “Wait,” and then, worried, “How do we get in touch?” And this look from our 106-year-old:
It's the look of a fucking schoolgirl, not someone who's lived 100 years. There should be wisdom in her eyes. Sadness. Something.
Favorite moment? The actor playing the young Harrison Ford delivering his crooked smile:
How about Adaline as metaphor for the country? She stays perpetually young and learns nothing. She could help the world but it's all about her.
Hope she's not a Cubs fan. That would be cruel.