Hello, and welcome to the first-ever Trailer Reaction post! Each Tuesday, I'll be posting my reactions to some of the bigger trailers to hit the interwebs over the previous week. Rather than craft an essay-style look at my thoughts on these trailers, I've opted to keep them in bulleted lists that show my fleshed out initial thoughts on the trailers themselves. With that, we've got a good string to start with this week, so enjoy!
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (Trailer)
• Spidey's suit is definitely more high-tech than the ones we've seen out of the Sam Raimi and Marc Webb franchises. Can we credit the connection to Tony Stark for this advanced suit? (Answer: Yes. Later in the trailer, Tony says, "I'm gonna need the suit back," essentially telling us that he's the one fronting the tech for Spider-Man this time around.)
• We're getting a lot of Robert Downey Jr. in this trailer. I get that he's playing something of a mentor character, but I hope we're not going to get too much of him. I feel like Marvel might be hyping his appearances for the Marvel movie fans, but do we need any other reason to see this movie than the name "Spider-Man" in the title?
• Tony's use of the phrase "friendly neighborhood Spider-Man" could either just be a simple call-back or a reliance on nostalgia to generate excitement for the film. I know I'm a cynic when it comes to these comic book movies, but let's hope it's just a nice reference back to the source material.
• All that being said, this Spider-Man looks to be more fun than previous iterations. We're actually getting a somewhat appropriately-aged actor to portray Peter Parker, and the high school setting will ultimately feel more genuine as a result.
• In the same vein, I'm good with the best friend so far. It'll be a nice departure from the idea of Harry Osborn, who we've seen portrayed a few times now. If we get too much of this kid, who's being played by Jacob Batalon, I might not be as kind.
• Honestly, I'm really just in this for Michael Keaton. He very well could be one of the better villains out of the superhero genre simply because he has the acting chops that we don't always get out of our bad guys in these movies.
• The last ninety seconds of the trailer just focus on the big action set pieces, which sadly have become the selling point for so many of these big-budget movies. All this CGI has made nearly any image possible, so these movies will continue to try to one-up each other until audiences finally turn on them. Spider-Man: Homecoming won't be the tipping point.
• Much in line with nearly every other trailer over the last few years, this one is just giving us too much too early. We're getting a massive section of storyline and character development that's going to leave little about the character arcs to the imagination. It almost feel like I don't need to see the movie anymore; I've been given the whole story already.
Spider-Man: Homecoming will hit U.S. theaters on July 7, 2017.
• Hold on. John Cena is voicing a bull with a heart of gold? I don't know if I want to live on this planet anymore.
• The comedic jabs in the trailer play just like the ones out of every other Blue Sky Studios production (i.e., Ice Age; Rio; etc.).
• The china shop gag is funny for all of five seconds before it completely overstays its welcome. This is the state of comedy in the 21st century: beat the horse to death.
• This story is based off a "beloved classic." Is this something I don't already know about? (Answer: Yes. It's based on a children's book called The Story of Ferdinand, written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson. This gives me slightly more hope for the movie.)
• Apparently the bull is going to have some sort of friendship with the little girl, but this first trailer isn't setting up a ton for that storyline just yet.
• Also in line with previous Blue Sky Studios films: goofy supporting characters with wacky hairstyles.
• Based on what I'm seeing so far, I'm sure kids will love this movie. I just don't know if it's going to carry enough for the adults in the audience as well.
Ferdinand will hit U.S. theaters on December 15, 2017.
VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS (Trailer)
• We're definitely getting that Luc Besson visual style. His most recent flick (2014's Lucy) was all style and no substance; hopefully this one will hearken back to something more along the lines of The Fifth Element.
• We're getting a little more build-up to the overall storyline with this trailer. I feel like I have a bit of an idea as to what's going to happen now. The first teaser didn't give much more than the beautiful imagery.
• This is the type of movie that would've made a killing in the mid- to late-1990s. The fact that it isn't an incredibly well-known property is going to hurt its box office appeal, even if it ends up being a strong flick in and of itself. It's just going to be a hard sell in a cinematic landscape dominated by more conventional comic book fare (even if this is based off a graphic novel, I believe).
• That being said, this trailer definitely gives me a little more excitement about the overall prospects. The visuals look incredible in a way that throws back to The Fifth Element, and Besson is certainly due for a hit.
• Also, Dane DeHaan is in the movie, so that alone means I'm sold.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets will hit U.S. theaters on July 21, 2017.
AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER (Trailer)
• Full disclosure: I had no idea this movie was coming out until I saw the trailer listed over on IMDb.
• I haven't seen the original - documentaries weren't really my jam back in 2006 - so I can't speak to its overall message or power, but I'm sure this new one will be just as polarizing for the same reasons.
• The film will definitely still be taking a political stance, as evidenced by the multiple clips featuring President Trump.
• Still, the overall message of the trailer seems to be promoting positivity in the face of overwhelming opposition.
• This is definitely a more fiery Al Gore than I have ever seen. Everything I heard about the original doc was that it was essentially a glorified Powerpoint presentation (all hearsay, mind you). This one looks like Gore will be going around the world to show the actual effects of global warming. Maybe I'll have to watch that first one so I actually know what I'm talking about.
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power will hit U.S. theaters on July 28, 2017.
• This is a remake of a TV mini-series that's its own adaptation of a Stephen King novel. You can take it or leave it.
• The excitement generated by this trailer is a little bit strange; I had no idea so many people were so fond of the It mini-series.
• Oh my god, that kid got knocked the eff out. Was not expecting.
• We're only getting the kid side of the story in this trailer - when will we be seeing the adult versions? (Note: Research shows we should be getting two separate It films: the first will feature the kids' story; the second, the adults.)
• There are some legitimately creepy moments in the trailer, but it seems like a lot of them rely on jump scares. Let's hope that's simply the marketing team trying to hype up the imagery for the film.
• I think that this is definitely a story worth revisiting. The original mini-series is pretty awful when you think about it. I'm sure there's a nostalgia factor to it all, but if you take Tim Curry out of the picture, the 1990 It is absolute garbage. I'm definitely down for an R-rated retelling.
• The best scene in the trailer is the slide projector scene. It's cut in a way to maximize its trailer effectiveness, but I have a feeling that's going to work pretty well in the constructs of the finished flick.
• I was worried that this new Pennywise (played by Bill Skarsgård) would have a difficult time holding a candle to Curry's performance, but this trailer helps quash some of those reservations. He looks legitimately terrifying.
It will hit U.S. theaters on September 8, 2017.
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (Trailer)
• As far as I'm aware, this is the second full-length trailer for this movie. Just like Dawn, I'm already feeling some mad hype for this new installment.
• They pulled some dialogue from Rise and Dawn for the beginning of the trailer to set the stage for Caesar.
• We're definitely getting a bigger look at the wartime effort. It looks as though we're fully entrenched in the war that had started to be set at the end of Dawn.
• More evidence to the above point: the soldier with "Monkey Killer" scrawled across his helmet.
• We're also getting more of a look at Woody Harrelson. The guy is fantastic and can play both sides of the spectrum. He can slip into comedy and drama with ease. I'm not worried about him at all in this one.
• We're also getting a little more about one of the subplots: a gorilla has defected and joined the human side of the war. Caesar is clearly pissed.
• Also, I'm 99% sure we're going to see apes flying planes. It's a little hard to tell from the trailer, but I think it's a possibility.
War for the Planet of the Apes will hit U.S. theaters on July 14, 2017.
KING ARTHUR: LEGEND OF THE SWORD (Trailer)
• This trailer is definitely relying on Jude Law more than previous trailers have. He's certainly a more recognizable face than Charlie Hunnam even if he's playing the villain.
• We're seeing a little bit of flashback Arthur's childhood. Flashbacks are always a fifty-fifty proposition, so we'll see how that pans out.
• This is going to be an action-packed flick; they're using this final trailer to really amp that side of things.
• Wait, where did the slow acoustic music come from? Weird tonal shift in the middle of the trailer.
• Was that Eric Bana? (Answer: Yes.)
• Wait, Djimon Hounsou is in this too? Damn, I just might have to see it now.
• I completely forgot this is a Guy Ritchie film. There were so many signs, and I just didn't pick up on them. That doesn't give the movie a full pass in my book, but it certainly adds a level of interest even if Ritchie has been a little hot-and-cold as of late.
• Oh look, giant elephants. Playing for the Lord of the Rings crowd, are we?
• There's going to be some interesting visuals and cinematography here, but Ritchie has lately struggled with style versus substance. Let's hope he can pack something tangible into the storyline and character development here.
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword will hit U.S. theaters on May 12, 2017.
ANNABELLE: CREATION (Trailer)
• So this is a prequel to Annabelle, right?
• I didn't see the first movie. The only connection I have to this franchise was the minor subplot/flashback given in the first Conjuring movie.
• The trailer gives us a creepy children's song (in this case, "You Are My Sunshine") to wreak havoc on our ears.
• Hold on. Is Annabelle a little girl in this one? I'm very confused. (Answer: Seems like yes and no.)
• We knew James Wan was producing since the whole Conjuring franchise is his baby, but David F. Sandberg (Lights Out) took the helm behind the camera. Lights Out was a critical and commercial hit last year, so perhaps they're looking for something a little better than this movie's predecessor could muster.
• The Conjuring movies have done well not to focus purely on cheap tricks and jump tactics, but this trailer makes it seem as though Annabelle: Creation will be diving headfirst into that realm of horror. That was one of the many knocks against the first stand-alone Annabelle movie, so I'm once again hoping that Creation can distance itself in a new and refreshing way.
Annabelle: Creation will hit U.S. theaters on August 11, 2017.
THE MUMMY (Trailer)
• Based on the weaponry shown at the start of the trailer, I would say that this movie definitely takes place in the modern-day (i.e., 2017 or so). The previous trailer could have left it anywhere within the last few decades.
• I'm liking the use of "Paint It Black" in the trailer. It's throwing a similar sign of menace as when Ramin Djawadi used it in the midst of his score for HBO's "Westworld."
• As usual, Tom Cruise's character just does whatever he wants, regardless of regulation, rhyme, or reason. This time, it's going to bite him in the ass.
• We're getting some ancient-time throwbacks, and I'm definitely in for that to tell the mummy's backstory. It looks like she's legitimately bad. In the previous Mummy films (to which I cannot help but compare this new one), Arnold Vosloo's mummy was just trying to revive the love of his life - I don't know if he was as straight-up evil as this new mummy.
• That plane crash is going to be absolutely bonkers.
• Oh yeah, I keep forgetting that Russell Crowe is going to be in this movie. Apparently he's playing Dr. Henry Jekyll. I remember the earliest reports saying he'd be playing Van Helsing, but I guess we'll be getting a Jekyll & Hyde story out of Crowe in the near future. For that, I am very concerned.
• We're getting some interesting visuals here, but it's nothing we haven't seen before. They're definitely throwing back to the Brendan Fraser films. Can we just have him back, please?
• One of the positive aspects of the Brendan Fraser franchise (at least the first one) was that it blended action and horror rather well. Considering the Mummy franchise stems from a Universal horror classic, I'd like to see this new one do the same. We're getting a little taste of that in this trailer, but I have a feeling we'll ultimately have to settle for all-out action instead.
• So far, I've seen at least two scenes in these trailers that offer scenarios that should have killed Cruise's character. Is he, in fact, a superhuman?
The Mummy will hit U.S. theaters on June 9, 2017.