Trailer: Stronger

If Peter Berg’s Patriot’s Day wasn’t your thing, and you are yearning for a less ‘rah-rah-rah’ story about the Boston Marathon bombing, well, I am not entirely sure you will get that with David Gordon Green’s survivor story, Stronger. While it focuses less on ‘finding those responsible’ and more on ‘dealing with the trauma’ of these incidents, it is definitely swinging for the fences in terms of Oscar-bait kind of performances. Nothing wrong with that when you have Jake Gyllenhaal doing the heavy lifting. Gyllenhaal has proven over the past decade that he one of the best American actors working today, whether it be in a weird arthouse thriller like Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy or Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler, or in mainstream Hollywood adult movies such as Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoner, or Jean-Marc Vallée’s Demolition.

Jeff, a 27-year-old, working-class Boston man who was at the marathon to try and win back his ex-girlfriend Erin. While waiting for her at the finish line the blast occurs, and he loses both his legs. After regaining consciousness in the hospital, his battle has just begun as he tackles months of physical and emotional rehabilitation with the unwavering support of Erin and his family.

Trailer: American Assassin

The Keaton resurgence keep coming and lately he’s been saying nerts to the aging process and getting a little more badass. I’ll probably be skipping the Spider-Man rebootmake but ironic that he plays a super villain with wings after the concept of his hit Birdman. But I digress.

Keaton is back as an aging super combat hero now under the employ of the government(?) to train new recruits into covert agents/assassins. Basically this is just an excuse to make another Bourne/John Wick clone but ultimately I have no problem with that as long as it looks good and the cast is interesting – which it is here. I can’t say I know much about Dylan O’Brien as I never watched The Maze Runner series, but he does look interesting here. Throw in Keaton and Kitsch and whole slew of reasonably fresh faces along with a boatload of Tom Clancy-esque action and you’ve got my attention; and money.

Have a look at the trailer below and tell us what you think. American Assassin opens in the U.S. along with back to school daze. See you there. At the theater that is, not school. This is a new kind of school.

Trailer: Bong Joon-Ho’s Okja

To rave reviews (and this trailer is not afraid to splash a lot of them on screen) at Cannes, Bong Joon-Ho’s Okja is currently enjoying a very successful release in South Korea. It will play Netflix world-wide on June 28th. The first teaser, along with Tilda Swinton’s viral-style teaser, was to guarantee mandatory viewing spot for this year. To those who really want to get a look at the ‘super-pig’ at the heart (emphasize on heart) of the story, this trailer offers that in spades. It also features a curiously sweet cover of Nine Inch Nails “Something I Can Never Have,” which I like a lot more than the usual, ‘slow choir cover’ of an angsty pop song. The trailer also features a lot more Paul Dano, but mainly the focus remains on An Seo Hyun and her creature. Fun fact, to those who watch all the credits here, British Author, Jon Ronson (“So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed”) who writes about empathy in an sharp and accessible way, is also the co-writer of the screenplay.

Trailer #2 for Katheryn Bigelow’s Detroit

“Change is coming.” is the mantra of this second, ominous trailer for Kathryn Bigelow’s retelling of the 1967 Algiers Motel massacre during Detroit’s 12th Street Riot’s. There is also a period snapshot of the city, including a rather tense collection of police coercion, both in the station house, and in the field. This film looks like a technical and emotional tour-de-force, and remains one of my most anticipated films for 2017.

Trailer: Flatliners

Behold! The sound of scraping the bottom of the barrel. In this, the year of our lord, Two Thousand and Seventeen, Ellen Page will star in a remake of inessential goofball 1990 young actor showcase, Flatliners. Directed by Niels Arden Oplev (Dead Man Down), and catering to an audience of absolutely no-one, the trailer primal-screams, “Maybe you should be watching Final Destination 3.” Words cannot describe how un-interesting this idea is at this point in time. People should be sacked, which is the only reason why I am posting the trailer (above) in the first place. Ellen. Ellen. Ellen. Did you need a new swimming pool that much?

Trailer: Kenneth Branagh’s Murder On The Orient Express

Here is a classic murder-mystery property, made many, many times in one form or another, from Agatha Christie’s classic novel of the same name. Kenneth Branagh, who has been making special effects heavy Disney pictures for some time now (Thor, Cinderella), merges this talent with his tastes for classical British properties, to offer a glossy blockbuster version of the The Murder On The Orient Express with a cast that seems far more eccentric than obvious. There is the given casting of Judy Dench, and Branagh himself, sporting spectacular facial hair, as super-detective Hercule Poirot. There is also new Disney favourites Daisy Ridley and Josh Gad, certainly not a Disney favorite, Johnny Depp (who release bomb after bomb lately), as well as the magnificent Derek Jacobi (always welcome in affairs such as these) as well as a sweet celebrity grab-bag of Michelle Pfieffer, Willem Dafoe, and Penelope Cruz.

This all looks like good ‘murder party’ fun, stilted-grandiose line deliveries and all, and will be getting an ultra-wide release November 10th from 20th Century Fox.

Trailer: Logan Lucky

Steven Soderbergh is back! The producer-director is ever threatening retirement, but never quite getting there. After a stint on TV, including directing two seasons of period medical drama The Knick and made for TV teleplay, Mosaic, and producing Red Oaks, Godless and The Girlfriend Experience, the itch to make another A-lister heist film must have proved too great a draw. And now we have this goofy, southern-fried hold up of a motor speedway with Channing Tatum, Adam Driver, Katherine Waterson, Riley Keough, and a thickly accented, cast-way against type, Daniel Craig. Also, Soderbergh has dusted off Hillary Swank (remember her?) and Katie Holmes (ditto) and offered them fresh opportunities, also against type.

Trying to reverse a family curse, brothers Jimmy and Clyde Logan set out to execute an elaborate robbery during the legendary Coca-Cola 600 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Given the poster, the typesetting and the overall tone here, I expected this to be a period piece, something in the vein of Smokey and the Bandit. Nope! Logan Lucky is nothing if not contemporary, right up to when the aw-shucks computer expert brags about ‘knowing all the Twitters.”

As usual, Soderbergh bucks the trend of modern franchise building special-effects pieces, and goes right to the point of letting the acting, character-building rhythms, and snazzy filmmaking do the heavy lifting. I do not expect Logan Lucky to be high art, but I do expect it to be a highly entertaining throwback in the way that The Nice Guys was last year.

Written by Rebecca Blunt and directed by Steven Soderbergh, Logan Lucky hits theatres August 18th, 2017.

Trailer: Wind River

Taylor Sheridan wrote Sicario for Dennis Villeneuve and Hell or High Water for David Mackenzie. Now, he’s directing one of his own screenplays, a wintry noir called Wind River. An FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) teams with the town’s veteran game tracker (Jeremy Renner) to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation. Canadian veteran actor Graham Green is the local police presence, and Canuck rocker Hugh Dillon (The Headstones, Hard Core Logo) also has a small part. I’m a sucker for procedural crime movies set in the winter (from Fargo, to Insomnia, to Smilla’s Sense of Snow) and this looks superb in that ‘no nonsense’ Sheridan fashion.

Wind River will be getting a semi-wide release from The Weinstein Company on August 4th.

Star Trek: Discovery First Look Trailer

With the huge popularity of the rebooted Star Trek films, I suppose it was inevitable that another go at a series would ensue. Hello to Jason Isaacs!

After the somewhat mediocre response to the last outing with Scott Bakula and company, I can only imagine that the game will be seriously upped for this endeavor. Bigger budget, better effects, higher profile cast and for the love of God get that opening theme song into something that won’t make people put between the sofa cushions!

Star Trek: Discovery has a lot of notable names and familiar faces but honestly… give me Michelle Yeoh commanding a starship and the rest of it can be filled with Tribbles for all I care. I think this is going to be a lot of fun though – and hopefully thoughful as well. Of course it could all end up imploding under the weight of the new movies, but with TV what it has been as of late, I’m fairly optimistic for this new series going