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.
How other to follow up our recent podcast episode on Jane Campion than with a look at Criterion’s 4K version of Campion’s 1993 film The Piano? Matt was more than bowled over with how gorgeously tactile and physical the film looks – even though (gasp! shock! horror!) he showed little interest in a recent local showing of the film on 35mm reels. (And if you still haven’t had enough 88-keyed goodness, you may want to check out our recentish podcast ep on movie soundtracks.)
From the muddy forests of New Zealand to the highest peaks: on Friday, Sam wrote about mountain movies – and how so many of them are bad. Nonetheless, he came up with his Top 5 of mountain movies, reaching a summit with Ang Lee’s 2005 adaptation of an Annie Proulx short story: Brokeback Mountain.
And finally, the second one of our Podcast espresso episodes came out: shorter two-headers in which we discuss any- and everything that’s kept us busy recently in terms of culture. This week, Alan and Matt talked about the latest MCU film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and why the two of them may usually enjoy the MCU but were disappointed with Sam Raimi’s return to the world of Marvel.
But let’s move on from mediocre less-than-madness to… whatever this is.
Mege: Nobody is ever really ready for Cronenberg’s body horror. He seems to not care how frightened his audiences get. We should run and hide because his images stay with us. And yet we want to see what lurks behind the curtain, or what hides under the shroud. Yes, we want to. We have to. The pull is irresistible.
Matt: I remember loving the original announcements of HBO’s Westworld back in the previous decade: the visuals, the cast, the willingness to be thematically ambitious. But the longer the series went on, the more the snake ate its own tail. Westworld confused convolutedness for depth, its makers thought that puzzle boxes keeping Reddit going were a sign of good writing. Otherwise good actors turned in panto turns – and while there were still great scenes, although these became increasingly rare, most of Westworld had become a perpetual disappointment by the end of the third season (which came out in the first half of 2020, which by now feels as long ago as the Old West). I can’t deny that when I watch the trailer for season 4 there’s some remnant of the original excitement – but it’s an echo, a simulacrum, or perhaps rather a digital copy? Chances are it won’t even be the final season, because as long as you can squeeze some views out of this old automaton, they’ll do it. After all, HBO needs a series for people to hate-watch, and Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon is only premiering a couple of months later.