The new releases (apart from the ones going from limited to wide release, that is) this weekend might really enforce the idea that January is not a great month for film, but we’ve got trailers, trailers and more trailers to talk about — particularly some really good looking ones from Netflix (not Captain Marvel, though, because I’m done watching any footage from that movie until it’s released).
Opening this week:
I hear that The Intouchables, which The Upside is a remake of, is a great film that everyone should watch. Truth be told, I was going to watch it last night but then got caught up in season two of Runaways instead. The trailer for The Upside, from my perspective, looks fine. Granted, fine isn’t necessarily a ringing endorsement, either, but all I see is a harmless, fluffy feel-good film I may or may not see at some point.
Replicas is the dumb January movie that I probably will drag myself to at some point, against my better judgment. Yeah, the trailers are pretty stupid, but it’s Keanu Reeves and robots — I mean, how could I not be at least a little interested?
A Dog’s Way Home
The trailers for A Dog’s Way Home are some of the funniest I’ve ever seen in my life, no joke. That moment when the dog and very poorly CGI-ed mountain lion rub their necks against each other never fails to make me laugh out loud. I’m still probably never going to see this movie, but if I did, it’d be one I’d have to watch while heavily intoxicated.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Finally getting its wide release, If Beale Street Could Talk is the film you are *actually* going to watch this weekend. Barry Jenkins’ follow-up to the award-winning Moonlight, everything I’ve been hearing about this film claims that it’s one of the best of 2018.
On the Basis of Sex
Another film finally getting a wide release this weekend, I’m still not sure what to make of On the Basis of Sex. It’s a noble effort to tell the life story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, of course, but it’s also hard to deny the made-for-TV vibe that the trailers give off, too.
Velvet Buzzsaw (Feb. 1, 2019)
I just heard about Velvet Buzzsaw for the first time a week ago and, upon realizing it would re-team Jake Gyllenhaal and director Dan Gilroy for the first time since Nightcrawler, was immediately interested. Upon seeing this trailer, this has now become one of my most anticipated films for 2019. This looks flat-out amazing — the design of the film, the horror vibe it gives off and the weird, eccentric performance Gyllenhaal is going for is all right up my alley. My one prayer is that, while I love Netflix to death, it comes to a theater near me because this seems like something I’d love to see on a big screen.
Polar (Jan. 25, 2019)
Another Netflix film that caught me totally off guard, Polar is that Mads Mikkelsen (who we just talked about in last week’s Trailers by Brandon with Arctic) revenge-flick I didn’t know I needed. While there’s definitely a John Wick kind of vibe in here, I’m loving the graphic novel, slightly over-the-top aesthetic displayed in this trailer. It might be too early to tell, but do I smell a new franchise here?
FYRE: The Greatest Party that Never Happened (Jan. 18, 2019)
Again, Netflix deserves some kind of award for the trailers they released this weekend. This time, it’s a documentary they have me dying to see. I know nothing — like, absolutely nothing — about the story of the real-life music festival that turned into a Lord of the Flies type situation, but color me intrigued to find out more after watching this trailer.
Cold War (2019)
With If Beale Street Could Talk and On the Basis of Sex both coming out this weekend, Cold War might be the last film from 2018 that I’m anxiously awaiting a wide-release for. The early buzz out of the film has been great, with Alissa Wilkinson of Vox (a film critic who I very much respect) naming it her number one film of the year. With some beautiful looking cinematography on display in this trailer, it’s fair to say I’m pretty excited to see this one, too.
It’s hard to get a read off of Holiday based on this trailer alone, but I do know that I want to see more. It’s funny — sometimes when trailers keep things ambiguous, it leaves me skeptical instead of excited (as is the case for a film we’ll be talking about in just a minute). Other times, though, it hits the right notes. It may be hard to describe where, exactly, that distinction lies, but Holiday seems to be hitting the right notes, for now. There’s kind of a Revenge vibe that I’m digging here, mixed with something like The Tourist (which was not a good movie, so hopefully, this is better).
The Hole in the Ground (March 1, 2019)
While I’m overall getting pretty sick of the whole ‘I think my kid is possessed with some kind of evil’ cliché that way too many horror movies have been playing into as of late, it’s hard to deny that there’s some creepy imagery in this trailer for The Hole in the Ground. Maybe it’s the independent film feeling or maybe it’s just the Irish accents, but I’m not going to totally write this one off yet.
IO (Jan. 18, 2019)
The trailer for IO may feel incredibly similar to something like Z for Zachariah, It Comes at Night, The Martian or a hundred other different survival movies, but Netflix has still established a talented cast here with Anthony Mackie and Margaret Qualley of The Leftovers. We’ll just have to see how the end product actually pans out.
Hotel Mumbai (March 22, 2019)
I’m getting flashbacks to things like No Escape or that one movie Ken Watanabe was recently in that I never bothered to see with this trailer for Hotel Mumbai. It’s a talented cast, no doubt (especially with Dev Patel and Armie Hammer being randomly thrown in there), but I just don’t think I need to see complicated, political themes thrown into generic action movies like this one.
Don’t Come Back From the Moon (2019)
And here we have the ambiguous trailer that really didn’t do much for me. Rashida Jones and James Franco (despite his personal problems) are both talented actors and the cinematography looks interesting, but I need more to sell me on the fact that this isn’t going to be a dull, lifeless journey.
Little (April 12, 2019)
Yeah, this one isn’t for me. Little will probably find its audience and make a decent amount of money at the box-office, but this broad, juvenile humor isn’t something that usually appeals to me. It’s the reason why I skipped Night School and Holmes & Watson and the same reason why I’ll probably skip this and What Men Want (unless there’s absolutely nothing else coming out on either weekend).
An Affair to Die For (Feb. 1, 2019)
Lastly, we have the film that probably should have been straight-to-DVD but is still, somehow, getting a theatrical release. Granted, it probably won’t be a big theatrical release and nobody is going to see this movie no matter what platform it’s released on based on these trailers, but that doesn’t mean it looks like a good movie, either.
Limitless, which comes from The Upside director Neil Burger, is far from a perfect film for many reasons. Yet, for what it’s worth, I still find it to be an enjoyable, albeit dumb, thriller. Limitless gained more popularity now that they made a TV show based off of it (one that looks like is really playing into the dumb concept), but not a lot of people saw it in theaters as it went under-the-radar for quite awhile. I’m not saying we need to look at this one as an unrecognized classic, but there are worse ways to spend two hours than watching Bradley Cooper drink somebody’s blood on top of a gigantic apartment complex in order to get the proper drug dosage that will “unlock his brain” (I told you it was dumb).