It’s trailer round-up time, kids! What have we got to look forward to, aside from the eventual heat-death of the universe?
Let’s start with a movie I swear came out like two years ago, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. A title that really rolls off the tongue. More and more, expensive sequels are being titled like software releases. Here it is:
I’m not sure how many of these movies I’ve seen. Two, maybe? Did I miss the last one? Sullen teenager Katniss is at it again, only it looks like she’s no longer sullen. Now she’s angry. And why not? Chased by gushing black goo, you’d be angry too. Donald Sutherland continues to chew the scenery, a good thing, considering his dialogue. We get one shot of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died before finishing his scenes, and who, thank the movie gods, was not regenerated digitally to complete them. With these third-movies-broken-into-two-movies one has to wonder if a single film would have served the story better. Word on Part 1 was that it played like half a movie. So think of the past year as a really long bathroom break.
Next up we have Ridley Scott‘s latest sci-fi adventure, The Martian, in which regular scientist guy Matt Damon is stranded on Mars and must survive long enough for a rescue mission to reach him. Let’s take a look:
Not bad. They’re going to ramp up the cheese, of course, but this is one of those rare book-to-movie adaptations where the movie has a good chance of being better. The book, a self-published hit, was written by a science nerd whose main interest was in figuring out how his stranded astronaut could survive. The book is very, very heavy on scientific details. It’s pure nerd-spaceporn. The main character has two emotional states, 1) Oh dang! A terrible problem has arisen! I’m fucked!, always followed quickly by 2) Aha! I’ve figured out a solution! Yay science!
You’d think he’d have some other emotions being stranded on Mars for over a year. Anyhow, the movie’s going to have to create a real character and ditch most of the sciencey details. If it’s written well, it could be a winner. Drew Goddard of World War Zzzzz, Cloverfield, and Cabin In The Woods wrote it. So, yeah. Bit of a crapshoot.
Continuing with the survival theme, we have Everest, based on the true story of the ’96 disaster recounted by Jon Krakauer in his book Into Thin Air. Which is one hell of a book. You should read it. The movie? Let’s see:
Quite the fancy cast. Looks like your basic oh-fuck-everything’s-gone-to-hell-we’re-all-going-to-die! kind of adventure flick. But on a crazy big mountain with a big storm and stuff. Much like being on Mars, but without a spacesuit. And nobody’s an astronaut. This’ll probably look swell on an Imax screen. It’s co-written by Simon Beaufoy who among other movies wrote The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, which I believe was part 6 of that series. This look at trailers is feeling strangely incestuous.
And now for something completely different, let’s take a look at part 3 in Roy Andersson’s trilogy of hilariously bizarre human tableaux, following Songs From The Second Floor and You, The Living, a movie with a better title than damn near any movie ever, A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence.
I don’t know. Free beer? Sure, I’d take a free beer. If this trailer looks completely incomprehensible, then you’ve yet to see Andersson’s previous movies. What are you waiting for? They are weird, weird movies. This new one looks identical to the others. Which early word suggests is a problem. Diminishing returns and all. But you know what this movie will not be at all like? Everything else, ever. So give it a shot.
Other than that, it looks like a summer full of ant-men, terminators, and missions impossible. So, yeah. The usual.
I am cautiously optimistic that The Martian will be Ridley Scott’s best film since Thelma & Louise. Which would make it slightly better than Black Hawk Down or, uh, the Duelists?
It looks like a role Matt Damon was born to play: the only person alive on an entire planet, worth a multi-billion-dollar, unapproved rescue mission that might well kill us all.
Looks pretty good.