The more I see trailers for Marvel Television’s Inhumans, the better it’s starting to look. The FX is fine (and while Lockjaw himself looks great; his transport effect? Not so much) and while I’m hardly waiting with baited breath, I am interested enough to catch it in theaters (mainly because I am curious if it looks cinematic enough to warrant the involvement of IMAX.
Darren Aronofsky is nothing if not a director who appears resistant to pigeonholing due to the variety of genres he tends to work with (though that he’s not exactly a prolific director may have something to do with it. His last film, Noah, was three years ago; Black Swan was seven)
From Requiem To A Dream to The Fountain, he seems to seek to push boundaries (and if Noah is any indicator, buttons as well).
Mother! (Yes, it comes complete with it’s own exclamation point) appears to be some sort of horror movie–I’m reasonably certain a that that’s a mannikin of Jennifer Lawrence on the movie poster–which the director has not yet tackled (Black Swan was close, though that was more of a psychological thriller).
It’s hard to tell what the movie is about exactly–a couple appears to be moving into a new house, some people encroach on the space (they seem to have some sort of link to the husband) and suddenly everyone seems to turn against her, perhaps even the house itself.
Which reminds me of another horror movie I am very fond of.
While I enjoy the series that have done thus far–with a particular emphasis on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.–I do feel a certain reluctance on their parts to embrace the fantastic wholeheartedly (which is an interesting, though odd, problem to have).
This has a lot to do with why why the only costume we’ve seen of the four superheroes that make up The Defenders is Daredevil (which is less a costume than tactical combat armor in varying shades of red) and why the upcoming The Inhumans looks so grounded.
And so ordinary.
Comicbooks are a celebration of the fantastic, the weird, the uncanny and the strange; a perspective that seemingly ill-fits with the Nolanesque esthetic that Marvel has created for television.
Which isn’t to say all characters should wear costumes. I get why Jessica Jones and Luke Cage don’t–Jones tried the costumed superhero route; it didn’t take while Cage has always had less a costume than accoutrements (a tiara–there has to be another name for that–coupled wits a chain for a belt and a yellow shirt) that was more indicative of a 1970’s fashion esthetic–the character was created in 1972 by Archie Goodwin, John Romita, Sr. and George Tuska–than anything else
But Iron Fist? He’s a character where a costume would actually make sense. It would protect his identity–and by extension that of his family–as well as give him clothing in line with someone who engages in martial arts combat on a (more or less) regular basis.
And that’s not necessarily to say that they have to go with the spandex body suit, though something along those lines would really be appreciated.
Both feature Finn Wolfhard, both revolve around a group of young people on the cusp of the adult world–and the secrets that it holds–facing bullies and their demons (both real and imagined).
And perhaps most importantly, both revolve around either the supernatural or things than can be easily interpreted as such (the Upsidedown from Stranger Things is approached in a more overtly scientific fashion than the terrors of IT but that’s less a question of the former not being supernatural than the approach to it being based in science).
Though the more likely explanation for the similarities is that Stranger Things is very much based on the work of Stephen King and movies of Steven Spielberg and John Carpenter (particularly Carpenter, as far as the music and whole esthetic goes), so that it resembles a Stephen King movie is hardly a coincidence.
Watching the trailer I’m shocked at how long it feels (I haven’t seen the movie, yet it feels like I already have).
I also get the impression that the movie is treating orcs as Ordinary People, except for being…well…orcs.
Max Landis apparently earned a few million to write this, yet I suspect all he did was replace aliens with supernatural beings because this sounds awfully like Alien Nation.
The way he lays out a scene, the color palette he uses…typically unique and unlike any anyone else.
So, why am I (atypically) lukewarm toward his latest project, The Shape of Water?
Maybe because it looks very much like things we have already seen from the auteur before.
The set design of the laboratory where the creature is held looks too similar to designs he’s used in movies like Blade II and Hellboy 2: The Golden Army while the Deep One itself looks like a not-too-distant relation of Abe Sapien from the latter movie.
In fact, the trailer plays almost as a Hellboy prequel (minus Hellboy, that is) which is certainly odd.
The latest trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049–a pretty terrible title, by the way–a few hours ago and so far reminds me less of Ridley Scott’s original and more than Peter Hyams’ 2010 in that it appears to take the most important elements of the original (Harrison Ford, replicants, a neon-bright skyscraper, a whiff of conspiracy) and makes them more palatable for general audiences.
That was what 2010 did as well, namely taking Stanley Kubrick’s cold and analytical 2001: A Space Odyssey and preserving its themes and ideas, while recasting them in a way that–while still challenging–was more narratively traditional and just easier to like.