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Trailer Talk

I'm back from my month-plus long sabbatical (see: dealing with classes) and the good news is that I've seen 2 dozen films between April and June, so I hope to review at least half of those movies on here (The other half, I've decided, will go on Letterboxd, and they'll be seen here.) in the weeks to come. For right now, I want to get back into the swing of things by reviewing a few trailer that have caught my eye, for better and not-so better.

Brawl of the Century: There's a large amount of fans that want nothing more than to shove a hunk of Kryptonite up Zack Snyder's ass for his version of Superman in Man of Steel rather than see the the big follow up in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (due out March 25, 2016), but I'm not one of them. Making Clark Kent an uncertain hero, both in the eyes of the U.S. government and internally as he learns to trust the people he's sworn to protect is a nice touch, and it makes the character more interesting than the boy scout he's been portrayed as. And, judging by the teaser, it looks like Superman's brawl with General Zod at the end of the first film will have a negative outlook on the son of Krypton, as a crudely pained 'false god!' is written all over his emblem. Now, whether or not Snyder learns from his mistakes from the previous outing, like not going overboard with prolonged, mind-numbing action and CG carnage, remains to be seen.

Hitting the Mark?: The tricky thing about finales is sticking the landing. Yes, its the moment where hero and villain face off in a final showdown, but there has to be more than just the big climax. The finale is saying goodbye to a series that, up to this point, we've come to love or enjoy. It's seeing character arcs come full circle, setups being paid off and watching in wonder how the filmmakers were able to pull off a series like this. The last time any series had this kind of cathartic glorious conclusion was the final Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part II back in 2011 and nearly 10 year previous with Peter Jackson's epic The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Those two films, in my opinion, are the gold standard; the defining films from which sequels are to be judged in the modern age. Do I think that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part II (due out November 20) will reach that watermark with Return and Hallows? I doubt it, but Part II promises to be a thrilling conclusion to the world of the Hunger Games, and maybe that's all we can ask for.

Pointless Remake: As many of you know, i'm a child of the 90's, so films like Terminator 2, Speed, Demolition Man, Mortal Kombat, etc, hold a special place in my heart. One of those 90's era action films that I love is the surfer flick/crime thriller Point Break, directed by future Oscar-winning filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow, about hotshop detective Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves) assigned to take down a group of bank robbers who get their kicks riding waves by infiltrating their ranks and cozying up to ring leader Bodhi (the late Patrick Swayze). There's something about seeing the practical stuns; the actors putting themselves out there to make the performance more authentic that makes the film all the more exciting to watch. So what does Hollywood decide to do with a cult favorite like Point Break? Why, you take everything that made the film so much fun to watch and completely screw it up in an unnecessary reboot! Seriously, how do you mess this up? The remake portrays Bodhi as this sociopath murderer with no regard for human life, when in the original, Swayze's motivation was to rebel against the capitalist system and mostly avoided collateral damage. Here, his gang are armed wish semi-automatics and firing at random! Also, Bodhi's "Ex-Presidents"gang were primarily surfers, not extreme sports daredevils, you idiots! This "remake" comes out on Christmas Day, but I'd skip this and stick to the original. And speaking of films that should stick to the original....

Terminator: Spoiler Alert!: I cannot begin to tell you how much I am not looking forward to this latest bastardization of a film series that ended definitely at the end of Judgement Day. Sure, Emilia Clarke from HBO's Game of Thrones as Sarah Connor is inspired casting, and it's always great to see Arnold Schwarzenegger return to one of his iconic roles, but there's no need to reset both The Terminator and T2 when those films were fine as is. Also (and I can't believe I'm telling a major studio this), but if you're going to set up your movie for a big twist, don't put in said twist in the middle of your fucking trailer!

Apparently, John Connor (now played by Jason Clarke) is now a Terminator in this reboot/AU telling of the franchise, which, granted, would be an interesting turn of events, if they hadn't announced it in their advertising of the film. There's also the original T-800 from the first film that makes an appearance, along with the T-1000 from the second film that are trying to kill both Sarah and Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) who is sent back to kill John's mother, but with all that cramming in and something about the timeline being altered, the whole movies looks to be one big, incomprehensible mess.


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