Screen Squinty’s Trailer Reaction#1.

Welcome to Screen Squinty’s Trailer Reaction Series!

Within these installments I will examine a variety of different trailers from mainstream films, television shows, and independently made productions with an example from at least one of each category and  will be posted in installments.

Installment #1: Suicide Squad, Swiss Army Man, and Containment (CW).

trailer1
(From Left to right- Sucide Squad, Swiss Army man, Containment promo images).

 Suicide Squad-Trailer 2.

For those small numbered few who are not aware of this film or what it is about, Suicide Squad is an American DC Franchise Superhero (or in this case anti-hero) film that is written and directed by David Ayer and the third installment in the DC Extended Universe .

Plot:

A group of disreputable, violent, dark, and outright insane super-villains are taken out of their various incarcerated/bad guy holes and forced to be in a team created in secret by some government conspiracy type people to deal with matters to which the more “legitimate” governmental figures doesn’t want to be held accountable for, and to go up against other super-villains.

The second trailer definitively utilized a very visually colorful promotional palate, combining it with a bit more of a slightly light-hearted approach to the film material while still maintaining some of its gritty quality, presented with a nice rendition of “You Don’t Own Me” and Joker laughter that sums up the film’s theme quite well.

What’s Promising:

The cast of characters briefly shown show some promise in their roles within the film. The brief glimpses of The Joker, while a major selling feature in earlier promo’s, never really solidified his role within the film, particularly in relation to his importance with the overall plot, and did present a worrying possibility that he was just going to be in the film for a brief scene, coming across as a grab for spectators. Fortunately, seeing Joker appear within the environment of the cannon suggests that he will have a stronger role as a possible main antagonist, perhaps beyond the role of this movie’s animated counterpart.

The other promising feature is the reassurance that the film may indeed capture both the darker qualities and the fun zaniness that is inherent within Suicide Squad franchise (comic books, animated film, video game), as well as hinting that major players like Batman within the cannon universe will at least be present, giving it a better sense of being part of the greater whole of the DC universe without tactfully (or not so tactfully) ignoring main players from other films within the franchise.

What’s Worrying:

When you go for something that combines darker, grittier elements/themes, with a more humorous edge, there is a strong possibility that the balance between the elements will become skewed and lead to some awkward forced moments for the sake of either the darker moments or the humorous ones. There is a small hint of that in some of the forced jokes of the trailer, but the overall construction does reassure that the possibility will be hopefully small.

Is It Worth Seeing?

Very much so. The possibility for something entertaining that engages you on the serious side and the fun romp side with a great cast of heavy hitters as some favorite colorful characters that hopefully wont be to one dimensional mixed together with some action and The joker as a possible main antagonist…well, its definitely a look-see.

Release Date: August 4, 2016.

Swiss Army Man-Official Trailer HD.

There are not to many films that can claim having Daniel Radcliffe being rode like a jet ski, literally, and yet somehow still have the film come across as something of a serious worth.

Plot:

Hank (Paul Dano) a marooned man on a deserted island is about to commit suicide when he spots the corpse of Manny (Daniel Radcliffe). In his discovery he realizes that said body has the ability to talk, as well as supernatural, and very handy, powers.

What is Promising?

Alrighty, where to begin with this one?

First off the premise presented is just so out-of-there oddball, yet combined with elements more equated with a drama, you can’t help but wonder what the hell your in for, which is something very tantalizing to those who are used to the standard formats found in films.

The hinted at dynamic between the two leads is also promising, both in the manner in which Hank utilizes Manny as an object, and as a person at the same time, which is something that, when utilized and done right, makes for a very strong project.

What is Worrying?

There doesn’t appear to be anything to worrying hinted at in the promo’s, other then the possibility of a fart joke lurking within the film, but who doesn’t enjoy a good fart joke? (*smiles and whistles*).

Is it Worth Seeing?

Goo gracious yes! The unique premise, the always strong acting skills of Radcliffe who seems to shine particularly well in projects similar to this, and the sheer factor of the curiosity of how this will all pan out in the climax certainly makes this worth seeing.

Release Date: June 17, 2016.

The Containment-First Look Trailer.

Any television show that has Claudia Black in it can’t be all bad right?

This is an American miniseries airing on the CW, based on the Belgian TV series Cordon. Staring David Gyasi, Christina Moses, Chris Wood, Kristen Gutoskie, Claudia Black, George Young, Hanna Mangan Lawrence and Trevor St. John.

Plot:

This drama centers on the events surrounding an outbreak of a deadly virus that is highly contagious and kills all who contract it, necessitating the entire city of Atlanta to be quarantined. The miniseries centers on the various people both in and outside the Quarantine zone as they deal with the fallout, particularly noted as dealing with the themes of changes that can happen to a society when it is cut off from the rest of humanity within it’s IMDb page.

What is Promising?

The characters display promise with a wide variety of ages, genders, and race within a highly tense situation combined with a promising looking premise and leads to some tentative hope that this show will hopefully track a little further outside  the usual CW hetronormative teeny-bopper fair that is the channel’s most popular fair.

What is Worrying?

The show has some glaring hints that it is a play off the terrorist anxieties going on at the moment, particularly obvious with the mention of a Syrian patient zero in the trailer. There is something of a bad taste nowadays in the potential vilifying of an entire ethnicity and combining it with the most current political anxieties for the sake of ratings.

The female cast also doesn’t look to be to promising from the trailer, with maybe the possible exception of Claudia Black’s character,  the majority of the female cast are emphasized by either their boyfriends/husbands/male colleagues or presented in distinctly  female cliche’ role of child caregiver (a woman with a bunch of children trapped within the quarantine zone, or the pregnant woman who was given a fair amount of focus).

Is it Worth Seeing?

Maybe…?

The premise of the show is certainly appealing, and a bit of a step away form the superhero.fantasy-ish television shows they have become known for for the past few years and the presence of Claudia Black who is a great actress, does lend it some viewing credit. The use of the entire city of Atlanta instead of just a portion of it presents some interesting possibilities as the quarantine zone.

Unfortunately the possible depictions of women for the most part as characters within the trailer are not likely to appeal to many viewers, and the use of a Syrian patient zero smacks a little ham fistedly at American anxieties surrounding the current climate  with Syria, and not in any way that appears to be used to inform, but feed on that overall terrorist anxiety rife within America. These two elements make it somewhat what questionable as a show and will possibly piss off a fair amount folks.

Still, if you are not bothered by all that, then the premise from a CW show perhaps makes it a time killer at the very least.

Release Date: April 19, 2016.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/screensquinty/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/screensquinty
Tumblr: http://screensquinty.tumblr.com/

 

Advertisements

Screen Squinty’s “Mune: Guardian of the Moon” Review.

Mune,_Le_gardien_de_la_lune
(Mune: Guardien of the Moon promotional image, Paramount Pictures, 2014.)

Film: Mune: Guardian of the Moon.

Directed by: Alexandre Heboyan and Benoît Philippon.

Released: 2014.

Running Time: 86 min.

This is a French computer animated fantasy film about a mythical world ruled by the delicate balance that exists between the Sun and Moon which are each watched over and manned by a Sun and Moon Guardian.

During the choice of a new guardian for both celestial bodies, a creature named Mune (Michaël Grégorio and Joshua J. Ballard) is unexpectedly chosen as guardian of the Moon. Untrained and highly naive, his mistakes lead to the theft of the Sun, which leaves both Mune and the guardian of the Sun, Sohone (Omar Sy and Trevor Devall), to get it back and are accompanied by the living candle wax girl Glim (Izïa Higelin and Nicole Provost).

One of the strongest features of the feature is the strong blend of inventive use of mythology archetypes combined with heroes journey poetics we are all familiar with in a very Terry Gilliam influenced construction in the overarching living myths of this place, which is appropriate considering that the writer for the film Benoît Philippon, was inspired by Gilliam’s films which also utilizes a similar use of living mythological worlds with a unique fantastical production style, such as Monty Python’s Holy Grail (1975) and Time Bandits (1981).

Altogether it gives it a very unique yet classic structure, and works as a dominant theme within the film brilliantly well, almost like reading something from an ancient mythology storybook.

The creative use of animation is another point in its favor as the animators utilized the filmatic computer animated paint brush to bring this to life in a visually creative and stunning way, in particular the character designs, done by the renowned Nicolas Marlet (Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon), and the creation of the Sun and Moon temples were a particular favorite.

Mune in particular was adorable, yet his character design didn’t completely overwhelm his identity, his motions were very much akin to his more wild nature, and a nice nod to some classical Greek mythology yet still remaining his own creature.

The only real drawback lies in the character Glim, whose construction is visually pleasing and basic concept as a character who either freezes in complete darkness or melts in the sun provides some interesting possibilities. Unfortunately this is hindered by being rather uninteresting in personality at best, and insulting at worst with her constant dependence on the two protagonists throughout most of the film, and forced as a romantic lead that was completely unneeded at all. not exactly the best female protagonist to introduce to children, and beyond outdated for the adult viewers.

She wasn’t completely horrible throughout the entirety of the film, certainly her actions with the sun in the climax of the film was her strongest moments, at least working with her basic concept to its fullest somewhat; though it’s effectiveness as a memorably dramatic scene that could have saved her character somewhat is undercut by a floating bit of deux ex machina.

The story would have been stronger if it had just been purely Mune and Sohone, leaving more chance to develop their relationship as guardians and as friends, particularly with the added element of Sohone being groomed for the position from the beginning, and Mune a complete novice, chosen over Sohone’s groomed counterpart. This would provide an excellent spring board to develop some prime character interaction, but it was not fully realized.

They are supposed to be a vital symbol of harmony and balance between the Night and the Day, according to the film’s cannon, and was also not given enough emphasis or development to work within present plot. The fact that the two didn’t really do this adventure wholly together, and Sohone himself was just as useless for a prime chunk of the film, only really redeeming himself as a character in the end climax, all took away from what would have been a spectacular story instead of an attractive mythology format.

Overall, despite its flaws this is a creative bit of classical storytelling using a unique style and original world building within the medium of animation done in a professional and visually pleasing style that is easily accessible to a wide variety of ages and audiences (it does have its modest fanart out there), though the weak use of characters, and the lack of really good development between Mune and Sohone, and Glim’s step backwards for female characters undercuts the enjoy-ability.

This is definitely a recommendation for the younger set perhaps who might not be as turned off by the weak character elements as anyone older than 10 might be, and worth a gander at least for the spectacular animation and mythology format.

Trailer:

Screen Squinty Animation Zone: http://screensquintyanimationzone.blogspot.ca/2016/04/screen-squintys-mune-guardian-of-moon.html

If you liked this list and my other content, please consider following me on my Patreon.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/screensquinty/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/screensquinty