Halftime Leisure

Trailer Takes: Colossal, Raw, and The Lost City of Z

January 25, 2017


Photo: IMDb

Colossalhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlyFHc5Bsv4

Graham: I remember hearing about this movie getting made awhile ago, but this was not what I expected at all. I actually think that this trailer is extremely well-made. It’s only about a minute long, and it expresses the film’s basic premise (Anne Hathaway is a giant monster) while still leaving plenty of questions. It seems like a pretty fun, dark comedy with some city-wide destruction to boot, so count me in as interested to see where this is going.

Amy: Like Graham, I knew about the buzz surrounding Colossal’s bizarre premise but the film’s mood was still hazy; would it be a genuinely dark, creepy flick or complete slapstick? The trailer indicates that the film is somewhere in the middle, a more tongue-in-cheek-indie-monster-comedy—a hyphenated genre I could get behind. I’m also the rare Anne Hathaway supporter and the shots of her doe-eyed bafflement juxtaposed against scenes of the giant beast terrifying Seoul have me hooked. Hurrah for succinct editing!

Devon: At the beginning of this trailer, I assumed that Colossal was going to head in the direction of a dark, destructive action film telling the story of a monster taking over a city. Ultimately, I was surprised to see it take on a more lighthearted approach, like the shots of her controlling the monster to playfully dance. However, I can’t say that the premise was enough to truly get me interested in the film itself. At only a minute long, I was left missing a serious twist or conflict that compelled me to want to see more.

Rawhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHLJ7TH4ybw

Graham: Well. I need a break after watching that. I absolutely love the lack of dialogue. By the end of the trailer, I can tell the atmosphere and style of the film, but I can’t tell what it’s about in the slightest. The film seems to be delving into body horror a bit too much, but I can’t say that it’s not effective. Those shots of scratching were recoil-worthy, and then some. I am genuinely repulsed by this movie, which I’m going to assume is the intention and a good thing.

Devon: In a word: gross. This trailer definitely aims for a visceral reaction from its viewers, and without a doubt, it succeeded by constantly flashing gruesome bodily shots across the screen. Without any greater context for a storyline, the gore seemed gratuitous to me, like Graham suggested. I’m definitely disgusted and while I’m not personally a fan of the horror genre and therefore not inclined to see any more, the trailer certainly did its job.

Amy: Raw seems to be loosely in line with the project of It Follows, a 2014 horror movie that also explored the disturbing psychological aspects of sexuality. Except here, the character we follow develops a correlating lust for flesh in both the metaphorical and literal sense. The opening shots of the car crashing into the tree are successfully eerie and the trailer builds tension from there, climaxing to that deeply disturbing shot of the nameless young woman presumably naked on top of a young man, eating his arm. Like Devon and Graham have said, the trailer accomplishes its primary goal. Color me intrigued.

The Lost City of Zhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwjtdOqTmrA

Graham: I’m a little biased about this one because I’m currently reading the book (which is fascinating) and I’m very excited for this movie. With that being said, the trailer didn’t really do much for me. The voice-over at the beginning was a nice touch set over shots of the Amazon, but after that most of the dialogue became pretty generic trailer fodder. I like the fact that it doesn’t give away too much about the story, but it all just seems way too clichéd to be extremely memorable, which is too bad because the story it’s based on is pretty incredible. If I wasn’t already reading the book, this trailer probably wouldn’t have piqued my interest too much.

Amy: As a quick aside, this new trend of a teaser before the trailer is fascinating to me. When will it end??? Will there be a still before the teaser before the trailer??? From its trailer, The Lost City of Z seems like a standard action biopic, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are the gorgeous visuals of lush forests, the moment where Sienna Miller tells Charlie Hunnam to go off and pursue his crazy dream even though she definitely wants him to stay with her, and Robert Pattinson (with a beard!) I’m always skeptical when these exploration movies deal with indigenous people because it reeks of colonialism and damaging civil/savage binaries, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. Overall, the trailer is Oscar-baity and well-made, but there’s nothing there to pique my sustained interest.

Devon: While I enjoyed the trailer’s shots of luscious, beautiful Amazon forest and the brief cinematography of arrows flying out of the forest at various angles, like Graham and Amy I found the interspersing dialogue fairly basic. While I’m intrigued to know more about the historical context for this film and the story behind it, Graham’s comments make me more inspired to pick up a copy of the book than see the film. As an aside: Robert Pattinson’s with a beard (!!!) is so reminiscent of Keaton Henson, a shy British indie artist and a personal favorite (Yes, my preference for music over movies becomes glaringly obvious).



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