Seriously, have you guys watched Rogue One yet? Sure, there are problems and it’s not nearly as impeccable as The Force Awakens, but it’s still damn good. If you want a way to disappear from your relatives this Christmas weekend (or just want something to help you celebrate Jewish Christmas), you can do far worse than going to see that bad boy. Just be sure to avoid Assassin’s Creed.
Or, if you really want to hole up nice and tight from now until 2020 when this waking nightmare of 2016 fallout renders the Earth completely uninhabitable, then you can indulge in one of the several sales across the Internet. The Steam Winter Sale is going on until January 2; the Xbox Live Countdown Sale just started yesterday is going fucking ham; PSN’s Holiday Sale is been going strong for several weeks now; and EA has joined the fray with the Origin Holiday Sale. Pick up some cheap gems and forget this terrible, no good, unbelievable year.
Enough of that, though. Let’s look at some gosh dang trailers!
John Wick: Chapter 2 — Official Trailer
Fuck. Yes. If the first John Wick slipped under your radar, you wouldn’t be alone. It was a sort of slippery critter, sliding into the anemic neo-noir action thriller genre with two stuntmen turned first time directors and Keanu Reeves at the helm. In a word, it was odd, and amidst a year of huge, unrelenting releases like The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
But letting it slide is no longer an option. It’s an incredible action flick that moves with the same tenacity, clarity, and audacity as the actual John Wick. And now the release of the sequel is exceptionally real and just over the horizon. Get your shit in order and get ready for when it comes out on February 10, 2017.
Blade Runner 2049 — Announcement
We don’t need to talk about Blade Runner. We know what it means. We know its place in history and its seismic influence on everything that followed. So imagine how god damn surprising it is that this trailer doesn’t have a billion thumbs down on YouTube.
It’s continuing a story that ended as perfectly as it needed to back in 1982. We’re on the precipice of finding out the answer to a question that has divided a world for 35 years. Possibly, anyways. And that’s as exciting as it is frightening. J.J. Abrams got it right: sometimes mystery is better than knowing. But there’s a lot of power behind this project (including the director of the incredible Arrival). And that means there’s a good amount of faith that it’ll turn out good. Here’s hoping, boys and girls. It hits theatres on October 6, 2017.
Astroneer — Early Access Launch Trailer
Straight up, Astroneer is a buggy, buggy thing. And developers System Era Softworks lets you know that upfront, which still contributes to the vastly troubling system that is Early Access and other programs like it that charge money for incomplete products, but it’s more like an admission that they are more interested in potential for later than results now. And that’s pretty striking because both the potential and the results are very intriguing.
For one, the game is a stunner. You can look in any direction at pretty much anything and it looks incredible. But the exploration and construction systems of the game are dang engrossing, even in this roughly hewn form. Building complementary stations and making resources work from one pile of requirements to another is already at a critical mass of fun, and they are continually pushing updates to make it less exhausting of an experimental experience for the players. This is one to keep an eye on. (And how fucking awesome is the URL astroneer.space.)
A Cure for Wellness — Official Trailer
God dammit do I love the title. That’s gotta be one hell of a way to open a movie pitch meeting. It really just gets the brain cooking on possibilities. What does it mean to cure wellness? From whose perspective is that coming? A mad doctor or a patient resigned to death? It’s the same way “little did he know” become the philosophical thesis of Stranger Than Fiction.
But then the trailer went on and it sort of looked, I dunno, generic. There’s nothing particular exciting or surprising about it outside of that one spectacular shot of the train going into the mountainside tunnel. Worse than that, it feels like an unsettled mishmash of things that have come before it like Shutter Island and, more recently, Stranger Things. I’m still a fan of Dane DeHaan, though, so we’ll see when it comes out on February 17, 2017.
Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter — Early Access Trailer
Goodness gracious. I’m not sure if I can even conceive of something more overwhelming in VR than the original Serious Sam (albeit the remaster in this case) with full god damn locomotion. It’s not that I’m afraid of getting sick over it but I imagine that the only way to play it is to be full-on screaming the entire time.
And very quickly, can we just talk about how absurd and awesome it is that Croteam’s entire oeuvre is nothing but the wickedly fast and bloody and bombastic Serious Sam and the meditative and quiet The Talos Principle? That is fully and totally ridiculous and I applaud them as a studio for doing precise what they want and nothing more or less.
The Lost City of Z — Official Teaser Trailer
To be totally honest, I have no idea what this is about. I’ve never read the book, let alone heard of it. The description sounds like something that would be overwhelmingly dramatic and potentially heartbreaking, but the trailer looks like a blend of modern thriller action and Indiana Jones. But it’s also based on a true story, so who knows?
I will say, however, that based on the people involved, I’m pretty intrigued. Charlie Hunnam is a fantastic lead in a great many things and Tom Holland has won me over since all his exposure as the upcoming Spider-Man. Plus, it came out hot with buzz from the New York Film Festival this October with nothing but praise for the now minted writer/director James Gray. It hits theatres on April 21, 2017.
Resident Evil: Vendetta — Official Trailer
To continue this honesty train, I completely forgot this movie was happening. But can you blame me? Say the combination of words “resident,” “evil,” and “movie” in any order and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone that doesn’t immediately zone out. I’m sure Milla Jovovich even goes a little crosseyed when you start talking about that stuff.
That certainly doesn’t stop, however, any of them from being good, and this CG one looks like it might be good. Or at least fully emblematic of what makes the story of the franchise’s games entertaining. And you better god damn believe that includes some good old fashioned Japanese nonsense action and drama. It comes out in Japan on May 27, 2017.
The Emoji Movie — Official Teaser Trailer
Together, they embark on an epic “app-venture.”
Vampyr — The Darkness Within Trailer
Listen, okay, if the developers of Life is Strange want to make an action RPG that looks like a frightening blend of Dishonored and Bloodborne, then you god damn better let them. In fact, you just let them do whatever the hell they want because they made Life is Strange and don’t you fucking forget that.
Okay, sorry that got a bit heated. I just feel very strongly about that game and the upcoming Vampyr looks, like, crazy neat. There’s no gameplay in this trailer (you’ll have to go back to August for the pre-alpha video for that), but this sets a nice and thick atmosphere for whatever they have planned. It’s moody and dark and menacing in all the right ways. It comes out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC sometime next year.
Travelers — Official Trailer
This looks pretty cool, but I do worry that it’ll fall into the familiar traps of all time travel stories. You know, the same traps that have plagued The Flash for the past two seasons. Like, we get it. Consequences, time has ways of [insert method in which time becomes the villain], temporal mechanics, etc. They’re all tropes for a reason.
Very obviously I have no idea if that’s true. It only just got released on Netflix for global consumption, though it has been available in Canada since October. It’s just a general anxiety I get when anyone promotes a thing as being about time travel. Is it about time travel like Primer or does it just happen to have time travel in it like Looper? Or does it use it like a bad crutch in, well, just about everything else? We can find out together, I guess.