As the video game hype quiets down for consumers to actually go out and buy shit to stick under trees and in ergonomically offensive stockings, movies tend to ramp it up. Case in point: this week there were a fuckton of movie trailers. Some of them were expectedly terrific, some were surprisingly great, and some were, well, you’ll see.
On the joystick side of things, you’re out of luck unless you’re into updates, Mario, or South Park. There are a few decent launch trailers—most notably for a few titles you may have forgot about or just totally missed—but we’re kind of out of it for a while. The only thing this month coming out now is the conclusion to Telltale’s Batman (and the start of their The Walking Dead: A New Frontier) and Super Mario Run next week. So bundle up, I guess.
Or maybe you could warm up with some trailers.
Spider-Man: Homecoming — Official Trailer
Fuck. Yes. This is the kind of Spider-Man I’m talking about. Tobey Maguire nailed Peter Parker and Andrew Garfield was a pretty dang good Spider-Man, but Tom Holland seems to have a great handle on both. (Plus, he actually looks like a high school student.) This trailer is funny, bouncy, and considered, meaning it accounts for the rhythm of its character exposure and building. It’s terrific stuff.
There’s also an international trailer that has different footage, but it’s mostly the same stuff but in a different order. It is a much more traditional trailer, showing here’s our hero and here’s our villain and now they fight, etc. It ramps up to a neat climax, but it’s too easy. The North America trailer is more like it chops off at a first act break and leaves you wondering what happens next, not thinking you know how this goes. It hits theatres on July 7, 2017.
Baywatch — Teaser Trailer
“From the director of Horrible Bosses.” Probably all you need to know about that. (Admittedly, Seth Gordon crushed it with The King of Kong.) This whole trailer makes me uneasy. The vaguely/totally sexist opening. Zac Efron still trying to be funny. A token fat dude amongst ripped bods that acts as the comedic relief and constant punchline.
Ugh, and the final scene with the “you people” joke. It’s too dumb to be offensive, but it still manages to get there. That is impressive, I guess, in its own right, but not in any way you’d want. This met every single expectation I had for this movie, both fortunately and unfortunately. I’m not saying you’re a bad person if you liked this trailer, but, well, take it as you will. It hits theatres on May 26, 2017.
Transformers: The Last Knight — Teaser Trailer
Now this little ditty is a puzzler. For one, it’s another Transformers movie, which I thought we all agreed was to be buried after Age of Extinction. Second, it’s being brought back by the one man who could have killed it when it could have been killed: Michael Bay. But you know what? This looks good.
It’s god damn reserved. Not just by Bay standards, but by any action movie metric. The action is totally comprehensible and damn good-looking. Sure, the song is a bit on the nose, but it looks more like Bay is experimenting with his moves and tools like in his early work, not when he relied on his bag of tricks in recent years. Color me cautiously optimistic. It hits theatres on June 23, 2017.
The Fate of the Furious — Teaser Trailer
Just your annual reminder that there’s nothing wrong with liking The Fast and the Furious series, which went from weird street racing flicks to meta exploration on death and dying. I mean, sure, they still drive cars super fast and there are a ton of explosions, but it has got a lot of ambition for something that started as a total pop culture cash-in.
And now they have F. Gary Gray at the helm, the same guy who has blown it out of the fucking water for the past 20 years with films like Friday, The Negotiator, and motherfuckin’ Straight Outta Compton. (Excuse the slump between A Man Apart and The Sea of Trees.) But most relevant is The Italian Job, which might as well have been a proto Fast and Furious film. It hits theatres on April 14, 2017.
The Mummy — Official Trailer
So here it is, our first look at the Universal Monsters (dope name) cinematic universe, the upcoming collection of reboots from Universal Pictures. On the base level, this seems like an exceptionally hubris-filled move. There has been no one clamoring for a reboot of any of these horror classics, let alone all of them at once and in a shared universe. And then Van Helsing? Definitely not a classic.
On the other hand, I do like that this is drastically different from either the Stephen Sommers series or the older 30s and 40s films. I’m not so sure about Alex Kurtzman’s directing chops (I heard People Like Us was just okay), but twisting this story into something about an old powerful being and some newly risen(?) thing seems interesting. It hits theatres on June 9, 2017.
War for the Planet of the Apes — Official Trailer
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was good. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was great. If this trend continues, War for the Planet of the Apes is gonna have to be one of the best movies of any of the past few years. I mean, we all know that’s not how movies work, but there’s reason for hope with returning director Matt Reeves and co-writer Mark Bomback (along with everyone playing their original apes).
It doesn’t look as subtle in terms of theme as the past films and more like a direct head-to-head clash of ideals representing the good of society and the evil of humanity. Obviously we can’t tell anything definitively from this trailer, but there are indications of it. Also, where are humans getting the resources to manufacture all these weapons? It hits theatres on July 14, 2017.
The Wall — Official Trailer
I have no fucking clue what to make of this.
Super Mario Run — Live-Action Trailer
Have you noticed a trend in mobile game trailers where if they have money and confidence in a game that isn’t about anything in particular, then they make it live-action? It makes sense. When there isn’t a ton of narrative hooks to grab onto, then you gotta go with panache, and making live-action trailers meant to be emblematic of the jollies the game aims to evoke is pretty good at that.
If you’re not laughing at the end when Mario shows up and runs his goofy run and you hear the boinnggg of his jump, then you have no soul. This was just a fun trailer, though the jury is still out on effectiveness given we see zero gameplay and no indication of what gameplay looks like. I mean, yeah, we know what it is (an endless runner), but I’m just talking about it from a pure promotional aspect. It comes out for iOS on December 15, 2016, but you can sneak a peek now at Apple Stores.
Superhot VR — Release Trailer
There are a pretty much endless reasons to be psyched for this, but it boils down to two things: 1) Superhot was one hell of a game, and 2) when I tried an early version of this last year, it blew my brain out of my head and into space where joined the rest of the brains that had been blown out of their homes due to playing Superhot VR.
Look at him block that bullet! Look at him punch that guy! Look at him grab that fucking gun out of the air and shoot that other dude in the face! I can already see monitors and hands breaking from too much passion going into those punches, but seriously, get hyped. This is VR at its finest. It’s out now for Oculus Rift with Oculus Touch.
Worlds in Worlds by Goro Fujita
Okay, not a trailer, strictly speaking, but HOW THE FUCK DID THIS GET MADE.
I mean, I know how it was made. It was Goro Fujita, an art director at Oculus Story Studio, with the Oculus Touch drawing app Quill and what I’m guessing is an infinite understanding of the universe and life and everything around him.