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The Unapologetic Geek

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Trailer Overload - Page 2

X-Men: Apocalypse

I worked at a Marvel comic book store when I was a teenager, and that coincided with much of the Apocalypse arc in the X-Men comics. I got pretty into it at the time, especially some of the crazy time-bending stuff that followed with X-Man and all that. When it was announced that Apocalypse was getting the cinematic treatment using the X-Men: First Class cast, I was pretty psyched. While no X-Men movie has been as good as the best MCU movies, I've certainly enjoyed them (with at least two obvious exceptions). I especially like First Class and Days of Future Past, though they are far from flawless.

The pros: With that in mind, the trailer for X-Men: Apocalypse looks good, and I'm excited by things like a young Nightstalker, a bald James McAvoy in the classic wheelchair, and an Apocalypse that appears to be able to grow to enormous size and do just about anything, just like his comic counterpart. The tone seems right, the visuals looks good, and the 80's vibe doesn't appear as garish as I was fearing it would. Yeah, if I'm being honest, this trailer has me excited.

The cons: Apocalypse still looks like Ivan Ooze, not Apocalypse. Sounds a bit like him, too. I am deeply troubled by the visual direction they seem to be going with him, and if they mess up the character of Apocalypse, the rest of the movie won't matter. Unfortunately, I am fairly confident that one of my "pros," the growing Apocalypse, is happening in Xavier's mind, not in real life, and that's a bummer. Is that a new trend in trailers these days, show us a bunch of cool stuff that only happens in dream sequences?

Independence Day: Resurgence

The franchise that started this trend would naturally capitalize on it again. Rumors of a sequel to Independence Day have been floating around ever since it smashed through the box office, but for whatever reason, it's taken twenty years to make it finally happen. I've given an inordinate amount of thought into how you would make a sequel to that movie, and a much younger version of myself would be very excited to know that it seems to be going about as well as I'd hope. Sure, Will Smith's too expensive, but practically everybody else is involved, so it should be a fun ride that's as entertaining as the original.

The pros: This is a damn good trailer. It does almost everything right by setting the mood, introducing us to the players both old and new, showing us how different this universe has become in the last two decades, and offering peaks at the big moments and plot while leaving most of the details a mystery. It definitely piqued my interest.

The cons: My biggest fear here is that Resurgence is just a cynical attempt to cash in on nostalgia for the original, and this trailer doesn't alleviate that fear, since it includes nearly the entire Independence Day speech, ripped right out of the first movie. Additionally, I have no faith in Roland Emmerich as a director or as a storyteller, because he and Dean Devlin have been putting out a steady stream of forgettable event films that have never lived up to Independence Day. Part of that is definitely me getting older, but practically everybody in the target audience for this film is my age, and it's going to take more than flashy special effects and UFO dogfights to impress most of us these days. Yeah, it's a good trailer, but it could easily be a good trailer for a bad SyFy Channel movie.

Star Trek Beyond

I haven't been shy about my love of the Star Trek franchise. I've even been a fan of the soft reboot films (though in hindsight, I'd probably give Star Trek Into Darkness a lower score these days, because some things have really bothered me about it in retrospect). Having said that, it's good that J.J. Abrams is walking away from the director's chair and letting somebody else take over. It's time to do something fresh with the franchise--rather than rehash old ideas in a new universe the way the first two movies did--and everything I've heard about Star Trek Beyond seems to be attempting to do just that. Star Wars is great an all, but I'm way more interested in the future of Star Trek.

The pros: Not too many lens flares! All the characters are there, the space battle looks original, and the aliens are all brand new. (Idris Elba's villain looks kind of like a Jem'Hadar, but he's not.) There's plenty of action, and though the jokes in the trailer don't quite hit the mark, they aren't bad. The actors and characters all seem to be comfortable in their roles, and it looks like a good adventure that isn't tied too heavily to obscure Trek lore. This trailer lets me know it'll be a good time.

The cons: That. Fucking. Song. In my original review of Star Trek, I knocked off half a star because of that anachronistic, blaringly loud, obnoxious Beastie Boys nonsense, and I am not at all pleased to hear it again. Regardless, I can look past that (barely) and see a lot of good-looking action. In fact, that's all I see, and given that the titles highlight Justin Lin's credentials as the director of Fast & Furious, I'm a little worried that's all this movie will be. I like a good sci-fi action flick, but Star Trek should always strive to be more than that. Maybe it's just the trailer. Maybe it'll be fine, and it'll get into some heady sciency philoso--is that a fricking motorcycle? Goddammit.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

In my heart of hearts, I honestly believed the Harry Potter series was over. I had hopes that J.K. Rowling could escape the trap of her own popularity, but her attempts to do anything not related to the wizarding world were, in a word, disastrous. It's no surprise she'd go back to that well--that's just what happens to authors who make such beloved characters and worlds--but I've never had any interest in going back. I like the Harry Potter books and movies, but it feels utterly complete to me. I heard about the filming of Fantastic Beasts a while back, and met the news with a shrug. Whatever.

The pros: It looks like the Harry Potter universe, but just different enough to be interesting. Eddie Redmayne is cool. The music is good.

The cons: There's not a lot of meat to this trailer. It's just a teaser, I know, but it doesn't really do enough to spark my interest. It also does this annoying thing that trailers sometimes do, where it tells you the plot instead of showing it to you. Also, I find the titles inviting me to "return to the Wizarding World" stupid. I'll probably go see it, because I'm a geek and that's what I do, but I'm not intrigued yet.

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-e. magill 12/16/2015

  • The Movies of 2016
  • Movie Review: X-Men: Apocalypse
  • Movie Review: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice