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.
The contest that was first turned into a documentary (Hands on a Hardbody), then a musical, and most recently a film by German director Bastian Günther: Hands-On, in which rural Americans desperate to win a truck spend day and night with their hands on a truck. There’s something nearly religious about this – but sadly, Matt didn’t find Günther’s film One of These Days (although it definitely has things going for it) worthy of worship.
Friday saw Sam’s glorious return to Six Damn Fine Degrees, writing about former President Richard Nixon and the way he put popular music to use, in particular Richard and Karen Carpenter (AKA The Carpenters). Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a linkable trailer to Todd Haynes experimental short biopic Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, so instead let’s go with the Nixon link, with this trailer for Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon.
Which brings us to some fresh trailers for the weekend.
Mege: There is something set about revenge stories, isn’t there? A revenge flick needs some meat to its bones, so Emily Blunt acting and Hugo Blick directing are safe bets. This one is one to watch.
Matt: So far, I’m ambivalent about Phase… Four, is it? Five?… of the MCU. They’re doing some interesting things, but at the same time it does feel like they’re meandering. Perhaps they have an idea of where they’re going in terms of the overarching story, but I’m not feeling it. Similarly, I’m not really feeling the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special trailer – at least until Kevin Bacon turns up, at which point the trailer veers into zany, almost Chuck Avery territory. It’s on Disney+, so I’ll happily give it a chance… but launching a holiday special in November? What planet are they from?!
Matt: Talking of Christmas specials: there are only two instalments left in my journey through Ingmar Bergman’s Cinema, namely the TV series and cinematic versions of Fanny and Alexander, a film that apparently is a Swedish Christmas perennial, much like in other countries people might watch It’s a Wonderful Life or the Czechoslovak fairy tale Three Gifts for Cinderella). The BFI trailer for the 40th anniversary screenings leans perhaps a bit too much into the nostalgia and sweetness that the film undoubtedly has, but it reminds me of how much enjoyed the warmth and beauty of the film when I first saw it four years ago. I can think of worse things to watch in preparation for Christmas – even if I’ll be watching it twice, once in a three-hour version, once at a length of more than five hours.
Sam: Is there really any trick left in this all-too-long worn bag of treats that is the Halloween franchise – or should be call it franchises? Since the surprisingly solid Halloween in 2018, a direct sequel to the 1978 classic by John Carpenter, another trilogy is coming to an end this month. For another three films, Jamie Lee Curtis has been fighting serial killer Michael Myers, who has reliably come back from dozens of presumed deaths. What is the premise this time? Halloween Ends claims Myers is more dangerous and Curtis’ Laurie Strode believes she has to die along with him to get rid of him. Well, bring on all the classic elements with some chilling parallels to the original and I’m sure audiences will suck on this like Halloween candy. But if Halloween truly ends this year, then what franchise are they going to unearth next year? Well, no need to look far: the direct Exorcist sequel is already in the making!