Cloak & Dagger – Trailer

The trailer for Marvel Television’s Cloak & Dagger dropped today, and I really liked it.

Sure, it went a bit heavy on the whole YA (Young Adult) angle, though when you take into account that it’s airing on Freeform–a name that sounds more like a type of women’s undergarment than a television network–which was formerly known as ABC Family.

What the trailer does well is set up a contrast between Tandy Bowen/Dagger (Olivia Holt), a well-to-do white girl and Tyrone Johnson/Cloak (Aubrey Joseph) a poor, struggling black teenager.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard – Trailer

You’d think an action comedy/drama featuring Sam Jackson and Ryan Reynolds would be a slam dunk, then you’ll catch the trailer for Patrick HughesThe Hitman’s Bodyguard and come to realize that maybe that’s not always so.

I was hoping that at any moment it word turn into a more erudite version of Waltet Hill’s 48 Hrs.

It doesn’t, though that could be because the trailer isn’t very effective.  It consists of Reynolds and Jackson playing characters we’ve seen them do before, though typically better.

It – Teaser Trailer and Trailer 1

As far as I’m concerned–at least initially–the best horror is in the sizzle, not the steak.

Keep in mind that in Steven Spielberg’s Jaws for a good portion of the movie you never see the shark at all (for the most part a fortuitous accident.  The mechanical shark, known affectionately as Bruce, more often than not didn’t work as planned, forcing Spielberg  to improvise).

Ridley Scott’s Alien followed a similar template, where the monster was gradually teased, making its reveal all the more terrifying.

The first version of Stephen King’s IT did a similar thing, doling out hints and glimpses of the evil clown, Pennywise, before the final reveal.

And Tim Curry’s Pennywise was terrifying, though why he was so unnerving is important.

First off, clowns are slightly creepy in and of themselves.  It doesn’t take all that much to make one look just a bit off…

And I suspect Tim Curry knew this. Visually his Pennywise looked like any ordinary clown, but the way Curry’s voice sounded combined with the way he carried himself made Pennywise oddly disturbing.

This new version of Pennywise looks as if they’re trying too hard to be Scary, and it doesn’t particularly work.  As I mentioned earlier, Tim Curry’s version wasn’t necessarily trying to look scary.  In fact, he looked like a clown that you’d see on just about any circus in the country.


But what the makers of is rebooted series don’t seem to understand is that having one oversized shoe in the normal world, and the other in the bizarre, is what’s terrifying.

This new version, as far as I can tell, tries way too hard.

Spider-Man: Homecoming – Trailer 2

Before I begin I should mention that I intend to stop posting teaser trailers (unaccompanied by a full trailer) because the former tends to give so little in the way of information that’s it’s almost pointless.

This way at you get the teaser AND the full trailer at the same time, which as far as I am concerned makes more sense and gives the reader more bang for the buck.

So on to the review.  The first thing I should mention is that I hate the blazer Spidey wears on the Spider-Man: Homecoming poster.  It mildly irritates me and feels too Hardy Potter-ish (in terms of tone).

In any case, the second trailer for dropped yesterday, and it did what I thought was unlikely, which was to re-ignite my interest in the third reboot of the property.

With Spider-Man: Homecoming Marvel Studios has managed to do what none of the other movies had done prior, which is to take Peter Parker back to high school, though the casting of an actor that makes that a visually viable move (and that’s not a knock against either Toby Maguire or Andrew Gairfield more than an acknowledgement that both actors were too old–and what’s worse, looked it–to play high school students).

And while Tom Holland–despite being in his mid-twenties–looks six of eight years younger, making it a perfect fit for him.

Then there’s dollops of the sense of wonder that often accompanies a young person as they discover the world around them in new and fascinating ways.

And I am reasonably sure Spider-Man: Homecoming will be a bright spot for a studio–Sony Pictures–that could use a few.

Justice League – Teaser Trailer – Aquaman Edition

This morning a teaser trailer Zach Snyder’s Batman v Superman was released, and…meh.

After all, it’s a teaser trailer, which is little more than a few carefully chosen shots from the upcoming movie seemingly designed to drum up interest.

It seems that Warner Bros/ DC Entertainment are taking a somewhat novel approach (‘novel’ in the sense of being unexpected, as opposed to being new or unique) in that they seem to be releasing teaser trailers composed of content focusing on individual members of the team. 

Having only seen Aquaman’s teaser I wish they’d go back to a more tradional format because it does them no favors. 

It’s too brief–after all, it’s a teaser trailer–to really make any sort of impression, and I expect the others to do the same. 

At this point Justice League is Zach Snyder’s last chance to get it right.  He whiffed Man of Steel and screwed the pooch on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (which is pretty remarkable when you think about it.  Then again, when you take it upon yourself to ‘reinterpret’ characters no one asked you to in the first place, you’ve got to expect–that’s not entirely fair.  As much as Snyder doesn’t get these characters, which I find easier to accept than he does understand them, and proceeded as he did to spite fans, I am comfortable saying that Warner Bros executives seem too stupid to pick up a comic–so it’s not surprising that there’s more than a little blowback from both critics and the general public.

There’s one shot of the entire team toward the end, and I have seen better likenesses of living, breathing people in the window of Madame Tassaud’s

In other words, it underwhems.

Captain Underpants – Trailer

Is it a little odd that seeing the trailer for Captain Underpants I really have an urge to read the books it’s based on?

In any case, with voice acting by Kevin Hart, Nick Kroll and Ed Helms the cast is pretty spectacular though with Kroll as (apparently) the villain of the piece it comes off a mite predictable (after all, this is the guy who played Rodney Ruxton on The League).

Though we’re not talking about Pixar here, so maybe I’m asking too much for an animated movie about a curiously egg-shaped guy that fights crime in his underpants.

Besides, the young people (and their parents) that really enjoy the books will probably be out in droves to see it, so there’s that.

Iron Fist Revealed!

I understand that Marvel Television in its ‘street-level’ heroes tends to seek a more grounded, realistic esthetic than those typically employed by Marvel Studios.

That probably has a lot to do with why of all the Defenders only one, Daredevil, has a costume (which is more in the vein of tactical armor than a costume, per se).

Jessica Jones and Luke Cage wear civilian clothes, as does Iron Fist (at least in the first season of his series).

And for awhile I thought that the latter in his civvies that might be a good decision, till I saw this image from the series.

 That’s Johnny Yang as an ‘Iron Fist’–which is less an individual than an honorific, though only one seems to exist in any given period of time–and he looks pretty awesome.

The way they muted the colors and gave the costume a very real-world feel works really well, and I would have been glad to see it in more detail.  It was technically in the series, though the footage of it was so (deliberately) blurry you couldn’t make heads or tails of it.

Maybe they kept it under wraps because Danny Rand (Finn Jones) in–hopefully The Defenders–tries to capture some of his lost history, and dons the costume as a result.