Have you ever seen those movie ads on TV filled with gushing quotes from critics and thought to yourself, “I saw that movie; it was terrible. Where did they find these positive reviews?” If you have, you’re not alone — and you’re going to love ScreenCrush’s newest series, Critics Are Raving, which balances the cinematic scales with trailers full of slightly more accurate (and slightly more negative) lines from reviews. Real critics. Real quotes. Really bad movies. That’s what’s Critics Are Raving is all about.
Trailers - Page 3
The late actor Peter Cushing, mainstay of Hammer’s horror films and erstwhile Star Wars cast member, cut a distinctive figure: cheekbones that could slice diamond, perfectly coiffed shock of grey hair, mouth permanently pursed into a single flat line. As the ruthless Empire commander Grand Moff Tarkin, Cushing left a lasting impression on generations of viewers, austerity coded directly into the lines on his face. He makes for an instantly recognizable silhouette — so is that really him, out of focus and in the foreground for a split second in the latest Rogue One: A Star Wars Story TV spot?
I’ve always wondered why more horror films aren’t set in corporate environments. While the office remains a popular setting for comedies and the ubiquitous faux-documentary television programs, anything darker — such as the 2006 horror film Severance which centers on a group of coworkers in the midst of an office wilderness retreat — remains the exception rather than the rule. For how much hidden animosity and frustration your typical office building contains, you’d think this would be an area ripe for exploration by the right twisted storyteller.
If you’ve been following the Rogue One rumors and production for the past two years, you probably don’t understand why Disney keeps releasing new television spots. Do people still need a new commercial to help make up their minds? It turns out the answer is yes: I sat down for some football with his in-laws on Thanksgiving Day and heard shocked exclamations about a new Star Wars movie after a Rogue One commercial played during a break. Based on the time I spent explaining to the group where Rogue One fits in the Star Wars universe, I’m pretty sure I should bill Disney for marketing services rendered.
Has the word “Oscar” been thrown around enough lately in regards to Denzel Washington and Viola Davis’s Fences? No? We can keep saying it some more? Good. The latest trailer for the film, adapted from August Wilson’s play and directed by Washington himself, shows off the kind of vibrant acting that these two won Tonys for in the first place.
Turns out, choosing life isn’t all that fun once you grow up and succumb to tedious responsibilities and the repetitive monotony of daily life. That’s a lesson Ewan McGregor’s Mark Renton appears to have learned in the 20 years between Trainspotting and Danny Boyle’s long-awaited sequel. As a little pre-Thanksgiving treat, Sony has released an international trailer for T2: Trainspotting, featuring a bit of new footage and plenty of new things from which to choose.
Somewhere, James Cameron is shaking his head and chuckling to himself, wondering why the heck he didn’t think of setting Titanic in space because it seems so obvious now — especially with this new trailer for Passengers, the Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence sci-fi romance that looks like it was made with an algorithm. Take the two most beloved actors on the planet, put them in a shiny, futuristic sci-fi movie and smoosh their faces together while making kissy noises. Cha-ching.
Paramount hasn't been historically known for their baller moves, but when it comes to their bold anti-promotional campaign for Martin Scorsese's Silence, game must recognize game. Keeping a major awards horse almost entirely on the down-low until one month before its December 23 release is one thing; when that movie also happens to be a passion project decades in the making from what very well might be our greatest living filmmaker — American or otherwise — well, that's just showing off. A Martin Scorsese movie sells itself, and Paramount has now reminded the moviegoing public of why that is.
At the risk of flushing all of my critical cred right down the toilet, I will confess I don’t hate the first Cars. And Cars 2, while insane, is sort of fascinating in its madness. It’s not good, but I have watched it more than once. On the advice of my attorney, I will not comment on my physical or emotional impairment at the time of these screenings.
It’s been a rough year and at the end of 2016 nothing would be more needed and appreciated by American audiences than a good ol’ comedy. It’s too bad the first trailer for Robert De Niro’s The Comedian isn’t, um, very funny.