Trailers! We love ’em here at The Comeback. Sometimes, they’re better than the movies or TV shows they’re intended to promote. But they can be an art form all by themselves.
We try to cover the best of them, big and small, during any given week. But we can’t always get to all of them, especially if a big release overshadows everything else, among the week’s sports and culture news.
This week, we didn’t get too many big movie trailers (unless you’re excited about a new look at Tomb Raider) but a whole lot of TV trailers were released. The most notable of them is probably the first on-screen look at Al Pacino as Joe Paterno. But we also got to see Snoop Dogg coaching football and if you’re jonesing for some Star Wars stuff, a new trailer for Star Wars: Rebels.
Here are the best movie and TV trailers from the past seven days:
Paterno – Spring
HBO has been sneaking out brief glimpses of Paterno, its dramatic account of the child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State and the disgrace that it brought to legendary coach Joe Paterno. The premium cable network finally released a teaser of the film, starring Al Pacino as Paterno, on Friday, though still with the vague release date of “Spring.”
As a teaser, there’s not a whole lot to see here, which might be intentional as HBO just wants to remind us of memories that are still relatively fresh and not give viewers footage to compare to those recollections. However, the preview creates the impression that maybe the story is told in flashback as Paterno is being asked (presumably by his son, Jay) about what he knew about Jerry Sandusky and what he was doing to children while on the coaching staff at Penn State.
Besides Pacino’s Paterno, the other notable figure we see is reporter Sara Ganim (played by Riley Keough, Logan Lucky), who uncovered many of the details of this case while working at the Harrisburg Patriot-News. With the chants of “Joe Pa-ter-no!” providing the soundtrack, maybe the film will also delve into the debate over how much Paterno knew and how it affects his legacy — a debate that continues to this day.
Tomb Raider – March 16
A Tomb Raider reboot seems like a movie no one was asking for, yet the time certainly seems right for an action franchise built around a female adventurer. Casting Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander also gives this version of Lara Croft an impressive amount of credibility. Based on this new trailer, there are at least a couple of big action sequences. The scene with Croft jumping off a cliff into a river (and taking an ungraceful fall) looks particularly impressive.
The “Batman Begins” approach of telling Croft’s origin story follows the 2013 video game reboot, which apparently inspired several scenes shown in this preview. That seems like a smart move to attract fans of the game, many of whom have surely been disappointed by how poorly Hollywood has done with adapting video games into good movies.
Coach Snoop – Feb. 2
Snoop Dogg coaching football? Where do we sign up to watch that?
With the success of Last Chance U, Netflix seems like an ideal spot for this eight-episode series, though it’s worth wondering how it might have done on a network like ESPN or Fox Sports 1. With broadcast TV’s emphasis on live sports, however, a sports documentary series might do better on a streaming outlet — especially when viewers can watch it whenever they want and wherever they want.
Based on this trailer, Coach Snoop will also tug some heartstrings by spotlighting some of the kids who play football in the youth league that Snoop Dogg created in South Central Los Angeles (and apparently invested some dollars in, judging from the equipment the kids use and the fields they play on) and the tough backgrounds they’re trying to escape.
Super Troopers 2 – April 20
What did Canada do to deserve the Super Troopers? Is it because some U.S. citizens have fled to our northern neighbors to flee the current administration? (Although how many people have really done that?) No, nothing like that.
As Vermont governor Jessman (Lynda Carter) explains in the new trailer for Super Troopers 2, the French-Canadian town St. Georges du Laurent is actually in American territory and falls under the jurisdiction of the Vermont state police. So our favorite troopers — with the whole Broken Lizard gang returning for this sequel, 17 years later — attempt to train these Canadians, along with their mayor (Rob Lowe), to become Americans.
Nothing could possibly go wrong, right? Especially when Troopers Ramathorn (Jay Chandrasekhar) and Womack (Steve Lemme) attempt diplomacy with phrases like “Frere Jacques,” “Grey Poupon” and “Luc Robitaille”?
The Handmaid’s Tale – April 25
Coming off winning Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress, TV Drama (for star Elizabeth Moss) and Best TV Series, Drama, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale rides a considerable wave of recognition into its second season.
Season 1 ended with a few cliffhangers that need to be addressed, notably that Moss’s character, Offred, is pregnant. Who fathered the child will be one of the questions that Season 2 will surely follow, as will whether not she has the baby — a conflict which could generate controversy among viewers and critics. Get ready for the think pieces!
The second season of The Handmaid’s Tale will premiere with two episodes, and then a new episode will be released each subsequent Wednesday — a schedule that Hulu seems to favor over the “all at once” Netflix approach that encourages binging. Season 2 will be comprised of 13 episodes.
Star Wars: Rebels – Feb. 19
The fourth and final season of Disney XD’s Star Wars: Rebels was split into two parts, the latter of which is set to premiere in February. The series will conclude with a 90-minute finale on March 5.
Whether or not the main character of this prequel series, Ezra, joins the Dark Side appears to be the question this trailer is teasing fans with. The appearance of Emperor Palpatine (now voiced by Ian McDiarmid, who played the character in the Star Wars films) seemingly confirms that Ezra is being recruited to join the Sith. The other question fans are likely wondering is whether or not Kanan, Ezra’s mentor and Jedi padawan who never completed his training, will live to see the end of this series. His haircut and darker turn might indicate a grim fate, one that perhaps he knew was inevitable.
If you’re a Star Wars fan and haven’t been watching Rebels, don’t write this off as a children’s show. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how this fits into the world of the movies and how closely many elements resemble what you’ve seen on the big screen. Previous episodes are available on Amazon (though you’ll have to pay to watch) and the first half of Season 4 can be streamed on the Disney XD website.
Queer Eye – Feb. 7
Anything and everything is fair game to be rebooted, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy has been ready to be updated for some time. The original series debuted on Bravo in 2003, following five gay men — each with a particular area of expertise — who would provide a style makeover for straight men who had fallen into a social or lifestyle rut. Maybe they needed new clothes and a hairstyle, an interior redesign of where they lived, or just had to learn how to cook some fresh, healthy food.
But Netflix is bringing back the show, now titled Queer Eye, with a new quartet of experts to bring some style to their subjects. In most cases, the people getting those makeovers just need a nudge to restart their lives and discover what makes them happy. Will the new experts be as charismatic and appealing as the originals? (A couple of the original experts — notably Ted Allen and Carson Kressley — went on to different TV shows, while the others seemingly tried new ventures or went back to their careers.)
The original Queer Eye was an entertaining show that wasn’t at all mean-spirited, encouraging people to find the best in themselves. Some people may have been inspired to make some changes just by watching the show. Hopefully, this new version will have the same effect and provide the same fun for viewers.
Everything Sucks – Feb. 16
The popularity of Stranger Things and The End of the F**king World showed Netflix how deep an appetite exists for 90s nostalgia. But one of its new shows looks like it’s doing away with stuff like the Upside-Down and teenage psychopaths, and just mainlining the 1990s.
Hopefully, Everything Sucks doesn’t rely too heavily on references to Pop-Up Video, Discmans, VCRs and bands like Everclear, and actually has a story to tell with some intriguing characters. Most of us can relate to how much high school sucked and might enjoy watching some other teenagers suffer through those times. Or will the memories just be too painful, even with healthy doses of nostalgia?
The Looming Tower – Feb. 28
Based on the book by Lawrence Wright (which won a Pulitzer Prize), The Looming Tower follows the efforts of the FBI and CIA to prevent terrorist attacks on America. Yet neither agency worked with the other and such cooperation may have prevented something catastrophic from happening. Unfortunately, Al Qaeda developed and the September 11th attacks occurred because so many government factions were working on their own and didn’t uncover the terrorist plot in time.
As you can see from the trailer, the impressive cast includes Jeff Daniels, Peter Skarsgard, Michael Stuhlbarg and Alec Baldwin. The series is written by Dan Futterman, who earned Academy Award nominations for his screenplays for Capote (2005) and Foxcatcher (2014). As an actor, he also portrayed Daniel Pearl, the journalist who was murdered by terrorists in Pakistan, in 2007’s A Broken Heart.
Tully – April 20
Director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody are a formidable filmmaking team, previously partnering up on 2007’s Juno, and collaborating with Charlize Theron on 2011’s Young Adult. The trio has teamed up again for Tully, which appears to take elements from both previous projects for a new story about a mother whose brother hires a night nanny (the title character, played by Halt and Catch Fire‘s Mackenzie Davis) to provide some help.
Theron’s character is presumably a single mother (maybe divorced from Ron Livingston’s character, who we see in the trailer) trying to raise three kids — one of whom is an infant — who thinks she can handle motherhood on her own. But taking care of children, trying to keep up a home and maintain a career obviously is extremely difficult. Accepting help and friendship isn’t always easy until you realize just how much you need it, which this movie apparently explores.
Trust – March 25
The film All the Money in the World has gotten more notoriety in the press lately for the pay disparity between Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams. But the movie did provide a harrowing account of the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III and his ridiculously wealthy grandfather who refused to pay a $17 million ransom despite being the richest man on the planet at the time.
All the Money in the World received most of its attention for director Ridley Scott’s decision to cut Kevin Spacey’s performance out of the film, in light of his sexual misconduct allegations, and replace him with Christopher Plummer. But what many may not know is that FX has been developing its own dramatization of the Getty kidnapping, which the network surely kept quiet to avoid any confusion or over-saturation.
But with the movie completing its theatrical run (barring any sort of Oscars re-release campaign), FX has now released a trailer for Trust, a 10-episode series that covers the kidnapping and the effort to recover the youngest Getty. What’s immediately interesting is the cast, with Hilary Swank playing Gail Getty, whose son is abducted, Brendan Fraser (where has that guy been?) as Fletcher Chace, the former CIA operative tasked with rescuing the young man, and Donald Sutherland as J. Paul Getty, the notoriously cheap and greedy billionaire.
Will audiences respond to a longer, more in-depth telling of the story or feel like they’ve already seen it?