Pete’s Dragon trailer analysis

I’m as big a Disney fan as they come, but I’ve never been a fan of Pete’s Dragon. It’s not like I hate it or anything, it just wasn’t a movie that particularly interested me growing up. I liked Elliott the dragon well enough, but the story was too silly for my tastes and the songs weren’t particularly great. Pretty much the only aspect of the film I have fond memories of is the Elliott float in the Disney Main Street Electrical Parade. And considering my love of all things dragon, you’d think I would have been more into Pete’s Dragon, but it just didn’t work out that way. And considering the relative obscurity of the 1977 film, I figured I wasn’t alone. So I’ve been surprised by the strength of the backlash against the remake due out in a few months. While I assume most of the rejection of this new version is mostly a symptom of resistance to the Disney live-action remake trend, it’s true that the first teaser trailer was underwhelming. We got a new trailer today, with the film just two months out, that gives us a much better look at the story, the tone of the film, as well as Elliott himself. Take a look below and read on for my comments and screencaps, and then tell me what you think!

Continue reading

Moana teaser trailer analysis

Disney originally planned to release the trailer for Moana earlier in the day yesterday (and actually did for a brief time before removing it), but decided to hold off until the evening out of respect for the horrific shooting in Orlando. The actual debut of the trailer coincided with a commercial during the Tony Awards, which were fantastic and a cathartic way to finish an emotional day, so we can finally dive in to this much-anticipated next offering from Disney Animation, due out in November 2016. Disney already has one animated smash hit this year with Zootopia, and the excitement around Moana could spell another hit for a studio that has been on a roll lately. (Seriously, with Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, Big Hero 6, and Zootopia, this has been an excellent stretch for Disney Animation.) So take a look at the gorgeous trailer below and then read on for my thoughts and screencaps, and then tell me what you think!

Continue reading

How misogynistic haters increased my enthusiasm for the new Ghostbusters

badass women ghostbusters

My relationship with the new Ghostbusters film has been a bit of a roller coaster. Ghostbusters was the #1 movie at the box office the day I was born back in 1984 (though my parents decided to see Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom instead, which caused my mom to go into labor with me), and I’ve been a fan of the original and its sequel since the first time I saw them. As a longtime fan, I of course followed the various news about a potential third film over the last couple decades in the hopes of seeing the team reunited on the big screen. So when the new Ghostbusters was announced I was thrilled, even as it was clear that it would not star the original cast. I absolutely loved the idea of an all-female team, especially when we learned that Melissa McCarthy would be in it (of whom I’ve been a fan since the Gilmore Girls days). The early teases of the look and feel of the film, particularly its production design, got me even more excited, as did the news that Chris Hemsworth had been cast as the Ghostbusters’ receptionist in the new film, a great continuation of the gender reversal.

Continue reading

Trailer: Beauty and the Beast

It’s funny how a trailer can get you excited for an upcoming film and feel completely satisfying without showing anything of significance or answering any of your burning questions. The first teaser trailer for Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast gave us almost nothing into which we can sink our teeth, nor did it address any of the issues that have been debated since it was first announced. It didn’t offer a first glimpse of the redesigned Beast, nor of the household objects brought to life through performance capture. We weren’t given a taste of any of the new songs from composer Alan Menken, nor even an opportunity to hear Emma Watson’s singing voice. There were none of the famous moments from the 1991 film that are so ingrained in our memory. Instead, this teaser is all about atmosphere, giving us just a hint of dialogue among haunting images of the Beast’s castle, set to the prologue music from the animated film. Take a look below and read on for my comments and a breakdown of what little we did see.

Continue reading

Trailer: Doctor Strange

Last night Marvel unveiled the first trailer for Doctor Strange as a part of the publicity train for Captain America: Civil War. Due out in November, Doctor Strange will be the newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and possibly its strangest yet. The trailer gives just a brief look at the “Sorcerer Supreme”, a former surgeon who lost the ability to do his job after his hands were injured in a car crash. We get some glimpses of the crash and its aftermath as the trailer juxtaposes the pre-crash Strange, a man at the height of his life, with the scruffy shell of a man he became afterwards. But Doctor Strange is really all about that man’s journey to find a new way to help people through the use of magic. Honestly, while I’m very excited for Doctor Strange, I feel like this film is going to be a hard sell as far as the general public is concerned. It’s just so different, far more than Guardians of the Galaxy, and the idea of magic mixing with the world of Iron Man is going to require some convincing. It already looks like it’ll be a trippy film, with visuals that recall the world-bending effects of Inception, a film which I thought was interesting to look at but emotionally hollow (like most of Christopher Nolan’s work). Hopefully Marvel can find a way to make Strange’s story as compelling as those of its other heroes. For now, I’m just happy to see Tilda Swinton get so much screen time and can’t wait to learn more about Chiwetel Ejiofor’s character. But what do you think? Take a look at the trailer below and then tell me your thoughts in the comments!

Trailer: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I’m currently traveling, which is why I haven’t gotten around to posting more in-depth looks at the two trailers I posted last week (or any of the other articles I have in the works), but I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to share another new trailer with you. We got a teaser a while back for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but this latest trailer gives us a much broader look than we got before. Take a look at it below and let me know what you think! I’m really impressed by the look of the trailer, which feels like it’s a part of the Harry Potter universe while still feeling substantially different. I’m intrigued by Newt Scamander’s magic briefcase, which definitely feels like something J.K. Rowling would come up with, taking something so ordinary and making it a source of wonder and humor. I’m not at all surprised that Warner Bros. really hammered home the Harry Potter connection in this trailer with the Dumbledore references and the new take on John Williams’ theme from the first film. Given the backlash to Batman V. Superman it’s no surprise that they’re eager to drum up enthusiasm for a different, beloved franchise. It’s a smart move, but we’ll see how well it works in the long run. I’m not 100% convinced that the general public is super enthusiastic about a Harry Potter story without any of our beloved characters from the books, even if J.K. Rowling is the one writing it. I’m on board, but as far as spinoffs go, I don’t think Fantastic Beasts will be able to compete with the likes of Rogue One. But what do you think?

Trailer: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I’ll be honest, since Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was first officially announced a little over a year ago it became my most anticipated Star Wars movies, far more than The Force Awakens. As much as I enjoyed that film, Rogue One was always easier for me to get excited about. I love the idea of exploring the vast Star Wars universe without having to be tied into the story of the Skywalker family (in the way many of the books did), and with the departure of George Lucas I was less worried about whether or not Rogue One is the “true” version of the story. Canon has always been important to me, so the fact is that I’ll never be as attached the main series of new films the way others might be, no matter how much I enjoy them. But I am 100% behind Rogue One, whose first trailer debuted this morning and which promises a very different take on Star Wars than we’ve ever seen before. Take a look at the trailer below and tell me what you think, and then check back later in the week for a more in-depth analysis complete with screencaps (I keep wracking up more articles to write, don’t I?). As for my first thoughts, it’s definitely thrilling, and I love how it’s going out of its way to give us a different view of events with which we’re somewhat familiar. It’s trying very hard to differentiate itself from the main series of films, which is definitely a good thing. Plus I’m already rooting for Felicity Jones’ character, Jyn Erso, and more strong female protagonists can only be a good thing!

Trailer: The BFG

Today Disney released the first full trailer for The BFG, directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the book by Roald Dahl. I hope to have a longer breakdown of the trailer later this week, but for now take a look below and let me know what you think. I’m personally thrilled that Spielberg and Disney are finally teaming up on a film, and I’m excited to see Spielberg returning to animation (even if The BFG is not fully animated). I loved what he brought to The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, which felt 100% like a Spielberg movie while still capturing the essence of what makes animation special. The BFG will feature a lot of motion capture, including new Oscar winner Mark Rylance (from Spielberg’s previous film, Bridge of Spies) as the titular character, but it appears that Ruby Barnhill’s performance as Sophie will be live action. The BFG is one of the few Roald Dahl books I haven’t read, so I can’t speak to the film’s faithfulness in adapting the original story, but Spielberg is my favorite director and I have faith in his ability to craft a compelling story. And it’s nice to see him return to family movies every now and then. But take a look at the trailer and let me know what you think, and hopefully I’ll be back to talk about it some more later in the week complete with screencaps!

New Trailer for Captain America: Civil War!

A new trailer for Captain America: Civil War dropped today, conveniently at the same time advance tickets went on sale (seriously?!? The movie is still 2 months away! I don’t think most people need to hurry up and buy tickets just yet.), and you can check it out below. Hopefully I’ll have a more in depth breakdown of the trailer ready tomorrow morning, complete with screenshots, but for now take a look and let me know what you think. There’s definitely more action this time around, and a bigger focus on the central conflict between Team Captain America and Team Iron Man. We get a longer look at some new characters, and even a quick peek at one important newcomer. Give it a go, and then drop me a line in the comments telling me what you think!

Trailers: Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

My goal for 2016 is to get back in the habit of posting trailers on a regular basis, something which I sort of abandoned in the last half of 2015 (it’s a long story). And what better way to start than with the latest trailers for Suicide Squad and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I haven’t been particularly enthusiastic at the prospect of a DC Extended Universe of films, designed to combat the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, following the release of Man of Steel two and a half years ago. I was not a fan of Man of Steel (nor of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy before it, which is not a part of the new Universe but which obviously influenced its tone), and the fact that the second film they’re attempting is such an obvious push to get an Avengers-style film out (Superman! Batman! Wonder Woman! Flash! …Aquaman? Cyborg?) makes the film feel too forcefully commercial in an already overly-commercial genre. But what I do find interesting about the DCEU is that its two upcoming films already feel very different. If there’s one criticism of the MCU I’ll entertain, it’s that the films generally aim for the same sort of tone, and despite a good amount of variety among the films they all feel kind of similar, as if they’re different chapters in the same book rather than individual movies. And while Batman v Superman feels like more of the same following Man of Steel, Suicide Squad’s latest trailer makes it seem like the film was made by an entirely different studio. And what really surprises me is how much these latest trailers have changed my level of enthusiasm for the films, though in completely opposite directions from each other. Take a look at the Suicide Squad trailer below and then read on for my thoughts on it and Batman v Superman.

Continue reading