Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment 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.
What do you get if you put together revenge, toxic masculinity and probability mathematics? Add some Mads Mikkelsen, season generously with action and black comedy, and you might end up with Anders Thomas Jensen’s Riders of Justice, which Matt wrote about last week.
On Friday, Sam took another look – or should that be listen? – at A Star is Born for his latest entry to our Six Damn Fine Degrees feature.
But wait – there’s more… more trailers, that is!
Mege: Ah, to be young, confused and full of life. I didn’t think Paul Thomas Anderson would tackle adolescent romance next, but since every PTA movie goes into new territory, why not? And it is a stroke of genius to cast Cooper Hoffman, son of late PTA regular Philip Seymour Hoffman, as the male lead. And since Licorice Pizza is also the name of a record store chain back in 1973, the movie will be full of good music. And Alana Haim is of course a member of Haim, the band. While people are queuing up for Dune or Bond, I can hardy sit still for this one.
Sam: The latest trailer for the spin-off/prequel of the Kingsmen movies (themselves pastiches of James Bond and Austin Powers with a touch of teenage comedy) looks enticing: set around the outbreak of World War I, it uses real historical figures like Rasputin and events like the Sarajevo assassination as a back story to another youngster (Harris Dickinson in lieu of Taron Eggerton) being trained as one of the king’s best super agents (by none other than the current M in the Bond universe, Ralph Fiennes – in lieu of Colin Firth). Along for the frolicky adventures are also former Bond lady Gemma Arterton, as well as a stellar international cast (Djimon Hinsou, Stanley Tucci, Daniel Brühl, Mathew Goode, Tom Hollander and Rhys Ifans!). Its predecessors did not always strike the right balance between rousing action, absurd comedy and appalling innuendo (some would have made even Austin Powers blush!), but this looks like a joyful ride down alternative history indeed!
Matt: I’ve often talked about this here – the knack that the British film industry has of making twee, pandering movies, usually of a lukewarm dramedy type, that have fantastic casts and therefore end up luring me in after all, though mercifully only once they’re on TV or on one of the streaming services we’re subscribed to. The latest of these could be Operation Mincemeat, directed by John Madden, who’s made a number of other films that end up somewhere between slight but charming and painfully mediocre, in the way that BBC adaptations often end up. You can see what they’re aiming for – a latter-day Ealing comedy of sorts – and the cast is intriguingly good, from the Twin Darcies, Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen, via Kelly Macdonald and Penelope Wilton, to always-dependable Jason Isaacs and Johny Flynn, who was so good in 2017’s psychological drama Beast. I don’t have much faith that this will be any good… but with these actors, it could still be fun to watch on TV, right? Right?