Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – Final Trailer

The trailer for Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is almost impossibly gorgeous, but seeing that Besson’s was also the director of The Fifth Element that was never an aspect of his filmmaking I was concerned about.

Never having read the comic the movie is based upon, I will just have Besson’s writing to guide me through the movie, which concerns me somewhat.

It’s not that Besson is a terrible writer, it’s that he doesn’t typically bring the gravitas, or in some instances, the originality a story might require.

And then there’re the two leads. James DeHaan is a good actor, though he looks a bit ‘young’ in the trailer (this may have more to do with DeHaan being a relatively slight person in general, but nothing about his antics in the trailers inspires confidence to me).  Then there’s the seemingly perpetual scowl of disapproval worn by Cara Delevingne in EVERY trailer for the movie.

Maybe they have a Han Solo/Princess Leia–thing going on, or that what we’re seeing in the trailers reflects exactly the relationship between both characters in the comic, but if that’s the case then we’re in for a particularly unpleasant ride, because it’s really unappealing.

Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Are Back for Season 5!

If there were an award for Most Improved Television Series, the likelihood is high that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would be a contender, if not the winner.  It started life not sure what it wanted to be, and seemed to survive primary on the strength of Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) who’s character had seemingly died in  2012’s The Avengers.

So, while it’s taken time to find its footing–arguably around the Second season–it’s developed into one of the best comicbook based series on television (seriously, if you haven’t watched since its first or second seasons you might want to give it a try because it’s really that good).

Though the bonus is that the series has been renewed for its fifth season!  Part of what aided in its renewal is the idea of story ‘pods’ by the producers, which is  a typical season consisting of three or four stories, as opposed to one or two,which has a curious effect of creating a faster-paced and much more enjoyable series.

Then there’s Ghost Rider (who arguably hasn’t been done better) and Inhumans.

Alien: Covenant | Prologue: The Crossing – Trailer

I find this latest trailer for Ridley Scott’s upcoming Alien: Covenant particularly fascinating, though not necessarily for the reasons that I originally thought I would.

I found the idea that Shaw (Noomi Rapace) had initially reassembled David (Michael Fassbinder) somewhat troubling, especially when you take into account the chaos that he had a hand in initiating–never mind the de-facto murder of Halloway (Logan Marshall-Green) though it’s not apparent that Shaw realizes that David was behind that.

Though it actually makes sense that she would repair David because the likelihood is great that she could not pilot the ship alone, and besides the idea of traveling to an Alien–literally and figuratively–with a talking, disembodied head would probably NOT be a great idea.

Besides, Shaw has journeyed light-years across space on the strength of her faith; on the chance that she might meet the people who literally engineered the Human species.

Compared to the wonders she’d seen, and the terrors she’s survived, repairing David is almost a no-brainer.

Though what’s most interesting about the trailer is toward the end, when the ship arrives in the Engineer homeworld and David says: ‘Look on my works, you Mighty, and despair!’

That’s a line from Perry Bysshe Shelly’s Ozymandias and while it’s uncertain how David means it, seeing that the poem revolves around a found remnant of a fallen empire, it doesn’t look good for the Engineers.

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.