Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest installment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.
Julie: In The Columnist, a writer decides she is done with all the hateful remarks on social media. “Can we,” she says, “please disagree nicely?” Clearly, she herself is no longer able to: wreaking bloody revenge on all the trolls who insulted and threatened her. The fact that I will not even try to translate the Dutch title here, too offensive for this space, is an indication of the type of language which Dutch cinema is justifiably famous for, as of course are internet trolls. It screened at Fantasia International Film Festival, and has already garnered great reviews. Katja Herbers is a wonderful actor, and if the trailer and reviews are any indication, she really makes the part sing. This is the kind of stuff I love: darkly funny, sharp horror. I can’t wait to see it!
Mege: If Elmore Leonard were crazy enough to write a screenplay while on strong cough syrup, he would get something like The Comeback Trail. Directed by George Gallo, who wrote Bad Boys and Midnight Run, it’s a pure popcorn comedy, fluffy and inconsequential, but if you have seen enough classics and arthouse extravaganza during your self-imposed isolation, then you might gasp for a change. You will see Tommy Lee Jones almost dying, Robert De Niro almost not lying, and Morgan Freeman threatening everyone. Watch it, because Tarantino will watch this one, too.
Eric: The original stage play for The Boys in the Band was born from a scalding essay by critic Stanley Kauffmann in 1966 that gave gay theatre a bit of a dressing down, and asked if it could come out of the closet instead of draping straight drama in layers of fine homosexual neuroticism (I’m paraphrasing here, in the parlance of 60s America it actually was an ’emotional-psychological illness’). The play, and its subsequent movie retellings, are a response to that call for openness, and do away with any ambiguousness. It’s all the better for it, and this 2020 remake knows that too – take a look at that assembled cast! Anyone who’s watched Boys before knows that all the acerbic quips and delicious snark give way to sharper truths about how much further society had to go in the 60s before the community’s internalised self-hatred could be washed away. And sadly, as far as we’ve come in the half century since, many of those truths remain relevant today.
Matt: Part of me thinks that Avengers: Endgame may have broken me vis-à-vis the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I’ve enjoyed most of the films, some a lot, but how do you follow up that crescendo and finale? Well, WandaVision may have an idea or two concerning that question. It looks like it might be taking creative risks, it looks like it might piss some people off, and that can only be good. Will it work? That remains to be seen, but the MCU cannot go on simply replicating what worked in the past, it cannot go bigger and bigger after snapping away half the life in the universe and then snapping it back into existence. It has to find ways to be different from what made it the cultural behemoth it has become. And if that takes some black and white ’50s sitcom pastiche, well…