Mother! – Trailer

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.

The Defenders – Trailer 2

Marvel Television, as far as I can tell, is in a bind entirely of their own making.

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.

Bright – Official Trailer

David Ayer’s Bright is the ‘fast-talking cop teams up with Orc’ movie we didn’t know we needed.

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 Shape of Water – Trailer

Guillermo Del Toro is, visually speaking, one of the most distinctive directors working today.

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.

Blade Runner 2049 – Trailer 2

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.

Reviews Have Begun To Drop For Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets

Reviews have begun to drop for Luc Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and while it’s early days yet, let’s just say they haven’t been charitable.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy was particularly tough on Besson’s latest effort, saying, ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets really is that bad, bad enough you don’t know for longest time that Valerian is one of the lead characters and not a planet or a spaceship.’

Ouch.

Steve Pond  of The Wrap was slightly more charitable, saying ‘(Luc) Besson takes all that fun and color, along with a wild array of fantastic creatures, and deploys (them) in service of a big, dopey story that remains resolutely uninvolving and quite often annoying.’

Now, as I said earlier, it’s early days yet and a few mediocre reviews aren’t likely enough to torpedo Valerian’s chances at the domestic box office (after all, it’s taken five movies before many moviegoers in the United States noticed that the Transformers movies are really, really bad).

Though I get the feeling at that we’re not going to see Spider-Man: Homecoming-type box office when the movie goes into wide release.

Polaroid – Trailer

Always jonsing for a new horror movie, the trailer for Lars Klevberg’s Polaroid turned up a few days ago, and it looks pretty much like it’s cribbing from virtually every horror movie from the the past ten years or so.

Which doesn’t that it won’t be an enjoyable–horror is known for its recycling ethos–but what it does mean is that visually (and more importantly, thematically) it sounds like A LOT of other movies.

Though what’s perhaps more interesting is that the movie comes from Dimension Films, who it could be argued created the ‘Blumhouse model’ before Blumhouse (though without that company’s singleminded dedication to the concept).

Here’s the trailer and as usual, let me know what you think.