Trailers of Interest: February 2017 edition
A good trailer can be an addictive thing. Every so often I compile my favorites at year-end for Punch Drunk Critics -- 2016's here, and 2015's here -- and the best ones are snappily paced, well-edited, with some kind of dynamic soundtrack and NOT TOO MANY SPOILERS. I'm not trying to see the whole damn movie in a trailer, Zack Snyder. I want to have my interest piqued, and that is all!
This month has, surprisingly, actually been pretty great for trailers and teasers. The early months of the year, January and February, are usually the dregs of cinema -- the time of year we get subpar fare like xXx: The Return of Xander Cage and The Great Wall -- but they're also when trailers start showing up online for would-be blockbusters due to be released in the summer or early awards contenders for the fall.
So far this month there have been a slew of trailers that have me marking down release dates on my calendar, and I've compiled my fab five here -- including the return of Sofia Coppola, various indie horror flicks, and what could quite possibly be the first good Terrence Malick movie in years. Let's run it down.
THE BAD BATCH
Ana Lily Amirpour did something literally no one else has done with A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, a black-and-white Western-style story about a vengeful feminist vampire in Iran; all in Farsi, with a genre-spanning soundtrack that pulled from both popular Iranian music and Western rock, the movie was a stylistic marvel (and it's streaming on Netflix, so you have no excuse not to watch it). For her follow-up, The Bad Batch, Amirpour has gathered an intriguingly strange cast -- Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves, and model-turned-actress Suki Waterhouse -- and this trailer is raising all kinds of questions. Cannibals? Yes! Keanu's weird mustache? OK! A thumpingly electronic soundtrack? Let's do this shit! So strange, so good, excuse me while I coo over Momoa's chest.
Sofia Coppola might be the most underrated director of the past decade. She's never gotten her due, and so often her films are ignored or dismissed for being about girlhood, femininity, and the experience of growing up -- subjects too often unexplored in mainstream cinema, but which I loved in Somewhere and The Bling Ring. So I'm intrigued by how she'll navigate all that in this remake of The Beguiled, about a Union soldier (Colin Farrell's fine self, only getting more handsome as he ages) who is taken in by a house of Southern women, including Nicole Kidman and repeat Coppola players Elle Fanning and Kirsten Dunst. They all want him, but their competition with each other seems to eventually turn -- why else would Farrell scream "You vengeful bitches!" Man, I'm so excited.
IT COMES AT NIGHT
Sorry, I'm too terrified to actually say anything about this trailer for It Comes at Night except for ... holy fucking shit.
SONG BY SONG
I haven't liked anything Terrence Malick has done since The Tree of Life. Pretty much as soon as the director who once took years upon years to make films got prolific, I just wasn't interested anymore -- not in To the Wonder or Knight of Cups. But Song to Song looks legitimately good, following Rooney Mara and Ryan Gosling as they fall in love, Michael Fassbender as he encourages them to start making money off their music, and Natalie Portman as she gets tangled with Fassbender -- who might also be harboring a desire for Mara, too. It all seems kind of Closer, as seen through the Austin music scene, filtered through Malick's legendarily gorgeous cinematography, so here's hoping it won't suck.
THE LOST CITY OF Z
"Are you insisting that these savages, they are our equals?" Look, I'm not going to pretend that my interest isn't piqued because of Charlie Hunnam, BECAUSE IT IS. HE IS SO ATTRACTIVE, YOU GUYS. But The Lost City of Z looks like it could be a fairly interesting would-be Aguirre, the Wrath of God, about a man consumed by the desire for a discovery that may not exist, and I'm fine with that. Aguirre is the kind of movie you only need to see once because it's such a nihilistic slog, but maybe I can wander down this road again with Charlie Hunnam's pretty face as my guide.