Film Critic Matt Taylor is enamoured with Annihilation, the second directorial effort from Alex Garland, and Netflix's latest exclusiveWritten by Redbrick Film on 20th March 2018
Weekly Round-Up: Trailer Reviews
James Moore and George Griffiths take a look at the latest trailers; from the latest film in the McConaissance to Disney's Beauty and the Beast re-make.
Free State of Jones
I long to see you, Away you rolling river. Gosh looking at this trailer reminded me of my desire for a solid American Civil War film. I don’t see this topping Shenandoah, Gone with the Wind or Lincoln but then you can’t top perfection. Still, it impresses me because it looks to focus on a human side of war and the social conditions of the time, rather than being and all out action film, while still having quality action sequences. The Director Gary Ross directed the first Hunger Games but not the other ones due to the stresses of production. He’s not been very busy since. There’s nothing really to stand out from this cinematography or directing wise, just seems to be a standard costume drama. I can’t see this becoming a huge hit. Free State of Jones is releasing 24th June in the US and 9th September in the UK, the same day as Captain Fantastic.
From the studio behind The Secret Life of Pets and The Lorax comes Licenced Music: The Film. I was prepared to trash this because at first glance (and from its previous teaser) it looked like a shameless cash grab hoping to draw kids in with animal characters and well-known music - with music their parents would recognise - but despite the clichés and the dire humour it looks...okay. The 3D animation is pretty good, I especially like the hair and leather texture on Taron Egerton’s Gorilla. It’d be nicer if it had original music though. With the success of Frozen, I’d have thought a musical with original songs would be the go to, but I guess it’s safer to see a pig singing 'Bad Romance' than try to write something as good as 'Let it Go'. This is also not getting a UK release till late January, despite the trailer purporting a Christmas release date
Don't Think Twice
Stop me if you’ve seen this before. This is just about the most standard unoriginal American feel-good story imaginable. In fact, if I had to make a trailer for a generic American Dream inspired movie I could not create something as magically ordinary as this. That said, the reviews for it are positive, and apparently the cast did do live improv shows to get the script for the improv scenes. The title is taken from a Dylan song as well. And it is nice to see a film go neither full comedy nor full emotional drama, so long as it can pull off both. The camera looks almost entirely handheld, which gives this a rough documentary feel. All in all doesn’t look spectacular, but if this style of film is your kind of thing it seems as though it’ll serve you well.
All above by James Moore
Star Trek Beyond
Poor Captain Kirk. After JJ Abrams jumped ship to Star Wars, the third film in the Trek franchise has been treading water for a while; given the not exactly warm reception Into Darkness (with added Cumberbatch) received when it was released in 2013. This time, Fast & Furious director Justin Lin is on board and Simon Pegg's penned the script, which sees the crew of the Enterprise stranded on a strange new planet facing off against an un-recognisable Idris Elba's Big Bad. Several points from the previous film - Khan, Kirk's regeneration with Khan's 'super-blood' and Alice Eve's Carol Marcus - seem to have been jettisoned (which is perhaps for the best). Is it going to be as good as The Force Awakens? Probably not. But the first Star Trek re-boot was an absolute triumph so let's hope Chris Pine and co. bring it back to basics.
Beauty and the Beast
The big one. Disney's latest renaissance seems to have come through their efforts in re-booting their most beloved films (Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, The Jungle Book) into live-action behemoths. Now all eyes will of course be on Emma Watson, who hasn't yet experienced her big post-Potter breakthrough but looks set to re-claim the spotlight as Belle, alongside Luke Evan's Beast. We don't gain much from the trailer (we do hear Ian McKellen as Cogsworth and a very iffy French accent from Ewan McGregor's Lumiere) but the aesthetics of the film look absolutely glorious. It's not out until next March, so plenty of time to prepare to ugly-cry when Emma Thompson belts out the title track.
Both above by George Griffiths