What About ‘Us?’

You might not be aware that but Jordan Peele, the director of the breakout hit Get Out, is preparing it’s follow up, Us, also for Blumhouse.

It’s also a horror movie–or perhaps should I say ‘social thriller’–starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke (both most recently seen in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War)

What the movie is about specifically is anyone’s guess, bit supposedly it’s in a similar vein to Get Out, which was a pretty interesting movie, but it was also–essentially–an extra-long episode of The Twilight Zone.

And I’m not being a fan of the term ‘social thriller’ because it’s essentially meaningless and can be applied to anything that addresses the human condition within the framework of a dramatic scenario.

For instance, The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street, from The Twilight Zone‘s first season is what I’d call an almost pitch-perfect example of a ‘social thriller,’ and covers all the bases (that it doesn’t–directly–deal with people of color is neither here nor there, since that’s not a defining characteristic).

Though what I’d also call it is a horror story, a term that deserves much more respect than it’s typically given.

[Youtube=https://youtu.be/UO73e7Y5wHY]

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Battle Angel Alita – Official Trailer

The trailer for Robert Rodriguez’s Battle Angel Alita opens with: ‘You told me a story of the way, when the ground shook and the sky burned.’

Which is an interesting choice of words because combined with the visuals it fits pretty well within the Terminator universe which was–disputably–created by James Cameron, who also produced Battle Angel Alita and wrote the screenplay with Laeta Kalogridis).

Don’t Cry Little Sister, Marilyn Manson’s Remake Is Better Than You Think…

…though not quite as good as the original.

I realized two things when listening to Marilyn Manson’s cover of Gerald McMann’s ‘Cry Little Sister’ from the 2010 Joel Schumacher horror/homosexuality allegory The Lost Boys namely Manson sings a lot better than I gave him credit for.

His voice holds up really well. That being said, the song is trying too hard to be haunting/scary, something the original pulled off more effortlessly.

The second is while the remake is by no means terrible, it’s does feel a bit pointless, since it feels different than the original in ways that seem to shout ‘I’m different!’ as opposed to having any valid reasons to actually be different.

BlackkKlansman – Official Trailer #1

Spike Lee can be a very controversial director, though I typically find his movies somewhat difficult to watch.

This is due less to the subject matter–though he can be a bit pedantic at times–than he has certain stylistic tendencies (such as putting the actors on dollies and pulling them through a scene) that typically feels more distracting than illuminating.

In fact, the more ‘conventional’ Lee’s movies appear–such as Inside Man and Clockers, though so recall both have dolly scenes–the more I tend to enjoy them because they’re less about directorial affectation than telling a story as efficiently and as effectively as possible.

I can’t tell which camp BlackkKlansman will fall in, though I find it interesting that a similarly-titled movie was released in 1966. 

What I find particularly interesting about Lee’s film is that it’s supposedly based on a true story (which triggers my bs sensor because when that phrase is typically so loosely applied that it becomes almost meaningless).

Though the thing is that the premise of BlackkKlansman (a black man infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan) sounds so ludicrous that I’m willing to bet that a lot of it will be end up being true.

The Predator – Teaser Trailer

What is it with the Alien and Predator franchises?

It almost feels like they’re being deliberately sabotaged (few other things can explain why Ridley Scott is so intent on undermining a series he himself helped to create) by some really bizarre decisions on the part of the people directing them, and it’s a pity.

In the case of the Predator, the problems started with 1990’s Predator 2 (the great idea of a Predator movie in the vein of Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop undermined by Stephen Hopkins paint-by-numbers direction and a weak script) and have pretty much continued to varying degrees since that time.

Though I had assumed that the Predator franchise had bottomed out with 2007’s Aliens Vs. Predator: Requiem.

And apparently I was wrong because despite being co-written and directed by the undeniably talented Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3) the upcoming The Predator looks to continue the time-honored idea of mixing lots of bad ideas with one or two half-decent ones.

For instance, the idea that the predators are using the DNA from the creatures on the planets they visit to make themselves even deadlier?  Great idea and probably the best addition to the franchise in many Hunter’s moons.

The idea that a little kid discovers a model (!?) of a Predator craft that somehow manages to (apparently) control an actual Predator spacecraft!?

Dumb beyond belief (on the face of it, at any rate).

Then there’s the idea of the movie taking place in Small Town, U.S.A., an idea that didn’t do AVPR ANY favors, so why not do it again?

As I said earlier, Shane Black is a damn talented writer and director, but I get the feeling he’s screwed the pooch on this one.

Robin Hood – Teaser Trailer

Watching the teaser trailer for Otto Bathurst‘s upcoming Robin Hood I wonder if it’s alternate title was Arrow: The REALLY Early Years because thematically it plays just like an episode of that series in a medieval setting.

Though that’s picking nits.

A more significant problem potentially is that, despite being masked, how is it even possible–even in medieval times where I hear they didn’t have the Internet–does one become such a great archer sans a reputation as such?

Archery isn’t an innate skill.  You have to learn it, so why isn’t anyone aware of a guy who’s a master archer–especially one so young–is a bit odd.

The movie may explain this, but it feels like it might be a bit of a plot hole.

And I hope the movie expands upon another aspect of life in that period, namely medieval cities were supposedly filthy–if London was any indicator–which helped the spread of plagues like the Black Death (though according to Wikipedia it didn’t start there, pre-existing sanitary conditions certainly wouldn’t have helped matters).

Though I get the feeling that the archery won’t be the only thing that’s blatantly unrealistic.

The Equalizer 2 – Official Trailer 1

I participated in a thread on Twitter with C. Robert Cargill (co-writer of Sinister, Sinister 2 and Doctor Strange) where he was talking about The Equalizer 2 and it’s director, Antoine Fuqua (who also directed the first movie).

I described Fuqua as ‘the thinking man’s Michael Bay,’ and it’s an apt comparison because if you look at the trailer below you’ll see some very kinetic action set pieces, buoyed by quiet, introspective moments.

It’s a pretty impressive trailer that takes the movie more in the direction of the television series (starring Edward Woodward) that it’s  based upon.

And apropos of nothing, does ‘EQ2’ vaguely remind you of the the name of a coleoneor perfume?

As usual, let me know what you think below.