We love trailers here at The Comeback and try to cover the best of them, big and small, in our coverage during any given week. But we can’t always get to all of them, which is why pooling them together in a one-stop shop for movie and TV anticipation seemed like a fun thing to do.
There was no big, blockbuster-type trailer on the level of Black Panther or Spider-Man: Homecoming this past week. But we did a get a look at some films that haven’t revealed much to movie press and fans yet. There was also kind of a family-friendly theme to this week’s crop, as studios try to get us thinking about what awaits toward the end of the year. Hey, let us enjoy summer first! Also, John Cena popped up a lot. No real explanation for that, other than he’s John Cena, bro.
Here are the best trailers from the past seven days.
Flatliners – Sept. 29
The original Flatliners, released in 1990, might be viewed as a better film than it actually is because of a cast that includes Julia Roberts, Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon and Oliver Platt. All of them have become prominent in movies and TV during the past 20-plus years. So the Flatliners remake already seems to fall short in that regard, with all due respect to Ellen Page and Diego Luna. Does this modernized version — which might actually be a sequel, according to reports — have anything new to offer, other than better special effects and maybe some sort of commentary on our curious, thrillseeking culture? Or is this just another bad horror movie that delves into the supernatural with a nostalgic brand slapped onto it?
Tour De Pharmacy – July 8
Simply casting the hulking John Cena and Dolph Lundgren as cyclists in HBO’s sports mockumentary about the 1982 Tour de France, during which drug use was rampant, is good for a few laughs on its own. But can Tour de Pharmacy sustain itself over 75 minutes — hopefully with more jokes and absurd scenarios, rather than mere sight gags — or will this spoof largely depend on the ridiculousness of actors like Danny Glover and Jeff Goldblum dressed in period or stereotypically French attire while riding 10-speed bicycles? Cena does look like he could be the standout of this mockumentary, though. That French accent is pretty amusing.
Ferdinand – Dec. 15
Speaking of John Cena, how about him providing the voice for a big, scary bull in some family-friendly fare? Presumably based on the 1936 children’s book The Story of Ferdinand, this bull would rather smell flowers than battle with matadors. But a bull as large and powerful as Ferdinand is in demand for bullfighting. Let’s take a wild guess that this movie won’t delve into some of the territory that HBO’s Real Sports did about the antiquated world of bullfighting and the romance attached to matadors. At the very least, Cena sounds very entertaining as the voice of Ferdinand. If he ever decides to let himself go and ease up on the weightlifting, he potentially has a long future in voice acting.
Daddy’s Home 2 – Nov. 10
Daddy’s Home was good for some laughs two years ago, preying on the insecurities a man might feel about dating a woman and finding out that her ex is a badass stud. Will Ferrell was the jolly, gentle stepdad for Linda Cardellini’s two children and then their real father entered the picture. And holy shit, he’s Mark Wahlberg, built like a tank and doing shirtless pull-ups in the garage. That movie [SPOILER ALERT] ended with Wahlberg’s character marrying a woman and playing stepfather to kids whose real dad is John Cena. (Cena is all over this week’s column!)
But Daddy’s Home 2 doesn’t follow up on that, probably rightly so. Nope, this is about Wahlberg’s father being played by a crazed Mel Gibson and Ferrell’s dad, portrayed by John Lithgow, kissing him on the lips. Let the laughs begin?
Nobody Speak – June 23
The Hulk Hogan vs. Gawker trial provided rich material for a documentary, with so many storylines, characters, and repercussions running through the court battle and its aftermath. Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger agreed, taking a bigger picture look at the dispute and how corporations and billionaires are wielding influence on the media in this country. (Gawker may seem like a poor stand-in for the free press to many.) The documentary especially zeroes in on venture capitalist Peter Thiel and his role in bankrolling the Hogan legal team and fueling its takedown of Nick Denton’s media empire. Gawker never recovered from the hundreds of millions in damages it was forced to pay out to Hogan for publishing footage of a sex tape involving him.
Goodbye Christopher Robin – Nov. 10
More family-friendly fare for the end of the year! Goodbye Christopher Robin looks very similar to 2004’s Finding Neverland, following a famous children’s book author who found inspiration for his famous stories and characters through the children in his life. If you’re a fan of Winnie the Pooh, this is the movie for you. And if you’re not a fan, you’re not going to see this movie anyway. Domnhall Gleeson continues to show his versatility as an actor. Watching this trailer, it’s hard to believe that this is the same guy who plays the sniveling General Hux in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Margot Robbie co-stars in what looks like an uplifting film and a potential awards candidate. Maybe it’s just the sort of movie you can see with your relatives around the holidays, and Mom can tell embarrassing stories about how much you loved your Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal.
Brigsby Bear – July 28
Kyle Mooney has been responsible for some of the quirkier, more challenging material on Saturday Night Live in recent years. So it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that a film he wrote and stars in would be bizarrely appealing. Brigsby Bear drew a lot of buzz at the Sundance Film Festival with a story about a man who grew up watching an educational children’s TV show (which seems to have a lot of lightsabers in it, based on the trailer) and finds out that his parents kidnapped him as a baby and have been keeping him in seclusion for his entire life. The show he watched, “Brigsby Bear Adventures,” was his only view of the outside world. What happens when he actually goes out into that world after being rescued and find it’s nothing like Brigsby Bear?
Friends from College – July 14
Many of us keep in touch with our friends from college long after graduation, right? But we also grow apart as we settle into our individual lives. Some dedicate themselves to their careers to varying levels of success. Others raise families and draw much of their identities from that. Yet those lifestyles and decisions might have to be defended or compared when meeting up with former friends some 10 to 20 years after college, and that doesn’t always go well. Friends with College looks like a comedic/dramatic take on that. Composed of eight half-hour episodes, the Netflix series created by Nicholas Stoller (Neighbors) and Francesca Delbanco boasts an impressive cast led by Keegan-Michael Key and Cobie Smulders. Adulthood is so often much more complicated than college when real life dictates choices we thought we’d never make as 20-somethings.
The Trip to Spain – Aug. 11
One of comedy’s great gifts to us this decade has been the series of films (or sitcoms, if you live in the UK) titled The Trip, featuring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon essentially playing themselves taking restaurant tour through various countries. The first time around, the pair traveled through England. (And though that Michael Caine scene probably gets overplayed, it’s still very funny.) Four years later came The Trip to Italy. Now we have The Trip to Spain. It almost feels as if director Michael Winterbottom simply has to turn on the camera and let these two brilliant comedians go at it. But Coogan and Brydon do seem to reveal something about their characters and what they’re going through at the time of each story, and a strong filmmaker surely prevents these films from becoming too self-indulgent at the expense of some narrative. This should be a nice diversion for the end of summer.
Detroit – Aug. 4
“I’m just gonna assume you’re all criminals.” That line is going to hit home with plenty of viewers in a film that resonates loudly with what’s happening in our society 50 years after the 12th Street Riot tore up Detroit. This trailer makes it look as if the interrogation of John Boyega’s real-life character, Melvin Dismukes, could provide the narration of the story while the cops are looking at him as an easy patsy for the Algiers Motel shootings.
Detroit is Kathryn Bigelow’s first film since 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty, and five years seems like enough of a wait for something new from one of the best filmmakers working today. Bigelow teaming up with screenwriter Mark Boal equals movie magic, though it’s dark, tough-minded material that almost always provokes a response beyond movie critics into the news cycle and political commentary.
If you’re interested, Annapurna Pictures has also released a featurette that includes interviews with some of the real-life figures of the story, such as Dismukes and Ike McKinnon, who went on to become Detroit’s chief of police.