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 we try to pool them together in a one-stop shop for movie and TV anticipation.
The past week in trailers provides some familiar faces in new roles that could stoke career revivals. Dwayne Johnson also makes an appearance in a reboot that may not be as anticipated as Sony Pictures might believe. We also see people being bad, an uplifting tale of circus performers, the animated film you’ll probably have to take your little girls to see, and some weepy epics that could earn some awards consideration later this year.
Here are the best trailers from the past seven days.
The Foreigner – Oct. 13
Is Jackie Chan going by the Liam Neeson playbook late in his career, playing an aging badass who will do anything to protect — or in this cage, avenge — his family? Chan usually works a lot of comedy into his action, rather than being formidable and mean. But there’s no room for jokes here as Chan pursues Pierce Brosnan’s government official for the names of the terrorists responsible for the bombing that killed his daughter. Can he be convincing in such a role? Director Martin Campbell took a bad misstep with Green Lantern, but he’s a solid action director, as shown with Casino Royale, Goldeneye and The Mask of Zorro.
Good Time – Aug. 18
This is the second trailer for what looks like it could be Robert Pattinson’s breakaway from the Twilight movies. (Kristen Stewart got away from that quite a while ago, don’t you think?) Based on early reviews from the Cannes Film Festival, Pattinson is outstanding as a small-time criminal who suddenly finds himself in way over his head when a bank robbery goes wrong and he needs to get his brother — who suffers from a mental impairment — out of prison. But to get that done, he needs to pull off some other heists to pay off those who can supposedly free his brother. Is he being used as a patsy or does he have a legitimate chance to get his brother out of jail? Good Time appears to be a gritty crime thriller, rather than a grandiose tale of bank robbers.
From the Land of the Moon – July 28
A French film about a doomed romance isn’t a movie that will appeal to everyone, but may come up when it’s time to talk about awards-caliber dramas. (And those who say awards like the Golden Globes and Oscars don’t honor the films that most people watch will have further ammunition for their argument.) But Marion Cotillard is an actress worth watching in anything she does. Based on a best-selling novel of the same title, Cotillard plays a woman living in a small French village who’s forced to marry a man she doesn’t love. When an ailment puts her in the hospital, she falls in love with a war veteran and wants to run away with him.
The Greatest Showman – Dec. 25
I’m a big fan of Hugh Jackman and will see nearly anything he’s in. And The Greatest Showman, about the rise of P.T. Barnum and the show business he created, could be a really good film. (This appears to be a perfect role for him.) But this trailer is awful, meant to tug at heartstrings with an inspirational, family-friendly tone set to “This is Me” by Keala Settle (who also plays the bearded woman in this story). It’s probably perfect for Christmastime, when families need a movie to see together. However, if the movie is as drippy as this first trailer, even Jackman’s most devoted fans might have difficulty taking it seriously. But a cast which also includes Michelle Williams, Zac Efron, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya looks quite appealing.
Logan Lucky – Aug. 18
The second trailer for Logan Lucky focuses a bit more on story than the first preview, which mostly highlighted the wacky characters and the heist premise. This time around, we hear about the “Logan family curse,” which may explain the bad luck endured by the brothers — especially Adam Driver’s Clyde losing his left arm. It’s also quite clear that these two are not master planners, with a robbery to-do list that includes “decide to rob a bank” and “have a plan.” Daniel Craig’s Joe Bang gets a bit less spotlight this time, now that the novelty of seeing James Bond in such a different role (hillbilly explosives expert) isn’t as surprising. But crime is OK when a guy just wants to take care of his little daughter, right?
Ingrid Goes West – Aug. 11
Aubrey Plaza seems like perfect casting as a woman who becomes obsessed with an Instagram celebrity and “social influencer” (played by Elizabeth Olsen) who seemingly lives the perfect life and moves to Los Angeles to begin stalking her. No one seems to make just a little bit crazy seem so appealing and somehow endearing. It’s also fun to see O’Shea Jackson with an apparently prominent role as Plaza’s neighbor and possible love interest. He’s not just playing people he looks like, such as his father Ice Cube in Straight Outta Compton or infamous pitcher Dock Ellis in an upcoming biopic. According to an early review, Jackson’s character is a screenwriter obsessed with Batman. Sold.
Breathe – Oct. 13
This could be the far more compelling awards candidate among the past week’s trailers. Andrew Garfield plays Robin Cavendish, who contracted polio at the age of 28 and became paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors told him he had only three months to live, and against their orders, his wife (Claire Foy) took him home. Cavendish ended up living until he was 64 years old and became one of Britain’s most prominent advocates for the disabled, even helping to create devices that could help the paralyzed. What also makes the movie notable is that it’s directed by Andy Serkis, known largely for his acting (particularly his motion capture work in The Lord of the Rings and Planet of the Apes films), but is also directing an upcoming version of The Jungle Book.
My Little Pony – Oct. 6
If you have little daughters or nieces in your life, chances are you’ll have to take them to see My Little Pony: The Movie. It doesn’t even matter what this thing is about. My nieces love My Little Pony. It’s made for easy birthday and Christmas gifts. Rarity and Fluttershy were part of our tea party this past weekend. But I may luck out if their mother decides she would prefer to take her kids instead of Uncle Ian. (Though as a parent, she is not a fan.) Will I be envious or disappointed about that? Probably not. There are a lot of other movies out there to see, even if cool uncle points are available to be earned by taking them to a My Little Pony movie.
Marvel’s Inhumans – Sept. 29
ABC’s upfront presentation to media and advertisers for the upcoming fall season was in mid-May. The trailer for Marvel’s Inhumans was released at the end of June. Does that indicate anything about the quality of the trailer and/or the network’s belief in this series? Read into that what you will. But this preview does not instill much hope for a quality TV show, let alone a faithful adaptation of the Marvel Comics characters. The Inhumans were originally envisioned as a feature film for Marvel, perhaps their version of the X-Men or an epic take on a super-powered royal family. But Marvel kicked the property to TV instead, where the budget for locations, sets, and special effects is far less. Maybe a surprise is in store, but this looks like it could be a tremendous disappointment.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – Dec. 20
I’ve never seen the original Jumanji, so I don’t have any emotional or nostalgic attachment to that 1995 film. (I also get it mixed up with Jon Favreau’s 2oo5 movie, Zathura.) But I’m familiar enough with it to understand that this reboot, sequel or whatever it is bears little resemblance to what fans remember fondly. Changing the game from a board game to a video game might be a concession to modern audiences. But kids were playing video games in 1995 too. And there’s been a resurgence of interest in board games, even if on a somewhat cult level. Why not just keep that in this story? But the role reversals and power fantasies that occur among the characters does look intriguing. And Dwayne Johnson is in it, leading a fun cast.
Death Note – Aug. 25
Based on the popular Japanese manga, Death Note looks like a great fit for Netflix. It should appeal to a young audience and it shows ambition for the streaming provider, continuing to up its game with original movies that can take on premium cable networks and film studios. The story follows Light Turner (Nat Wolff), who comes into possession of the Death Note, a book in which any person whose name is written on its pages will die. Prompted by the death god Ryuk (Willem Dafoe), who looks pretty damn creepy, Light uses the Death Note to try and rid the world of people he deems unworthy. Fans of the manga have criticized the project for taking liberties with the original material for American audiences, but perhaps this trailer will ease some of those concerns.
A Bad Moms Christmas – Nov. 3
Bad Moms was a pleasant comedy surprise last summer, and it looks even better against the poor comedies that we’ve seen so far this year. Especially female-themed comedies like Snatched and Rough Night. Are Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn and Kristen Bell a trio that can create comedy magic again? Writers and directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore also return for this sequel, which is even more promising. Getting out a sequel so quickly can seemingly only help. Even if it’s terrible, the sequel is close enough to the original that it can be swept under the rug if necessary. And if it’s a hit, there are very few good comedy sequels and a semi-franchise could get squeezed for all its juice.
There’s also a red band trailer for A Bad Moms Christmas, if you need a little more naughtiness that isn’t safe for work.
Insecure, Season 2 – July 23
If there’s no quality comedy at the movies, TV is here to save us. Issa Rae was a fresh voice and face on HBO last year with Insecure, providing a different view of modern dating and relationships. Rae and Aziz Ansari with Master of None have really changed what slice-of-life romantic comedies can portray, becoming uncomfortably relatable with their characters and storylines. This isn’t just the territory of white people in New York anymore. Season 2 of Insecure has Issa going back to her ex-boyfriend Daniel after breaking up with Lawrence, something that probably isn’t going to be popular with the show’s fans. But not giving viewers exactly what they want and challenging their preferences can often lead to some strong storytelling. Hopefully, it works as well as Season 1 did.
Atomic Blonde – July 28
Atomic Blonde‘s theatrical release is just weeks away, but Focus Features wanted to provide one last look at Charlize Theron’s action thriller. This one emphasizes the action even more than the first trailer, which touched upon character points such as Theron’s character having a relationship with one of the operatives who was killed by a double-agent. That’s not even mentioned in this preview, perhaps ditching that in favor of showing her partnership with James McAvoy’s fellow agent. The action here also isn’t just restricted to hand-to-hand fight scenes. The car-chase sequence with someone pursuing Theron and Eddie Marsan hadn’t been seen before, and looks just as thrilling as the punching and kicking. Could this be even more fun than the John Wick movies?