I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Hungry like the wolf

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.

It’s been a very busy week – not so much on A Damn Fine Cup of Culture, but out there in the world of work. Nonetheless, we’ve had a handful of updates, starting with Matt’s musings about the particular misspellings that are his orthographical bugbear. Which, of course, leads us to Star Trek II and Ricardo Montalban’s amazing early ’80s cleavage.

From the, well, perhaps not entirely ridiculous to the downright grim: Matt also posted another instalment in his series of posts on his slow but steady work on his Criterion backlog, arriving at Masaki Kobayashi’s 1962 masterpiece Harakiri.

And this brings us to the regular trailers of the week, starting with an upcoming slice of unsettling A24 cinema:

Mege: At first sight, there is not a whole lot we can glean from the Men trailer except some advanced take on the stranger danger trope, but wait: it’s an A24 horror movie, with its trademark piano-wire twang, it is written and directed by Alex Garland, and it is smart enough to give center stage to Jessie Buckley, who a few years ago stole Taboo so effortlessly from under Tom Hardy’s feet. When Garland gets it right, he makes intriguing movies that are worth being seen repeatedly (check out Annihilation with its female cast); and I didn’t think of the great pairing Buckley-Garland, but now that it exists, it seemed inevitable.

Sam: Yet another Jurassic Park sequel?! Or is that yet another Jurassic World sequel? In fact, this is number six in a decades-spanning Universal Picture franchise first famously created by Steven Spielberg with record-breaking success and mindblowing new digital technology – then (after the inevitable sequels in 1997 and 2001) rebooted just as successfully as a second, Jurassic World series in 2015, with inevitable sequels in 2018 and … 2022. What stands out about this one is that it sees the reappearance of much of the original cast, including Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill and especially Laura Dern, who has had quite a stunning second career since her early David Lynch and Jurassic Park days. The effects look only half improved over the original, but the dinosaur action – on the ground, in the air and underwater – looks all the more spectacular. Combining old and new casts (Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard especially) might make for the ultimate variation on an old, tried and tested theme, a franchise that is as hard to make extinct as the dinosaurs it portrays! Oh well, unless… (see Don’t Look Up for further reference)!

Matt: Once upon a time there was a video game studio called Telltale Games, whose specialty was story-focused adventure games based on IPs such as The Walking Dead, Guardians of the Galaxy and… Minecraft?! (Yes, they made an episodic story-heavy adventure game on the video game equivalent of Lego that kids were so addicted to for a decade, before Roblox came along.) Telltale imploded around 2018, after becoming too big too fast and trying to do too many things at the same time. However, the world of video games is built on the idea of having multiple lives and continues – and in 2022, Telltale seems to have risen from the dead. Fittingly, their first new title is a sequel to one of the Telltale games that had received the most acclaim: The Wolf Among Us (2013/14), based on Bill Willingham’s Fables comic book series. The Wolf Among Us is what you get when you cross the Brothers Grimm’s tales and film noir, starring Bigby Wolf, the sheriff of Fabletown, investigating crime in a world inhabited by others like him: immigrants from fairy tales and folklore, trying (and failing) to make a living in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. While I do think that video games thrive too much on sequels and reboots, there was a lot of potential in The Wolf Among Us – and whatever else the sequel has to offer, its trailer promises a luridly stylish pulpy urban fantasy.

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