Salt and Fire: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2s5N4fupIZE
Graham: Werner Herzog, for me, is in the same category of directors as Lars von Trier and Paul Thomas Anderson where I’m never quite sure what their movies are supposed to be at first glance. I can’t tell you what Salt and Fire is about, but I dig the visual style, the mysterious narration, and Michael Shannon. I love the shot of the cars driving towards the mountain (or volcano?) in the distance—the colors contrast brilliantly and the mountain looms forebodingly over the oncoming vehicles. I’m definitely interested to see where this film is going, although I have a feeling that the narration about perception vs. reality might be a misdirection and the film might deal in far more mundane subject matter.
Emily: Besides some pretty impressive landscapes, nothing really stands out to me about this trailer. There are the standard intimations of action — a few shocked faces, some people being held at gunpoint, and so on — but none of these images suggest anything original or depart from the standard action film. I was a lot more intrigued after reading the two-sentence synopsis on IMDb, so maybe the trailer would have been more effective with greater emphasis on the science-versus-corporation aspect of the film, beyond the single brief mention of “data.” Based on summaries, it seems like this film has some potential, but the trailer alone certainly doesn’t convince me to see it.
Rough Night: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIB4jNYeRY4
Graham: So that was unexpected. Until the twist in the trailer, I had zero interest in the film. I am in the minority when I say that I never found The Hangover or its sequels particularly funny, and I think that the trope of thirty-somethings getting high and drunk and then engaging in various shenanigans has been played out. But the dead body is a great twist on a rote formula. I actually laughed out loud at a couple of parts towards the end of the trailer, and the movie seems to not take itself too seriously, which could be comedy gold. Also, Scarlett Johansson is good in anything.
Emily: As with Eman and Graham, this trailer didn’t remotely impress me before the sudden twist and even then, I was only slightly more interested. I’ve been a fan of Kate McKinnon since her impressions on Saturday Night Live, and Scarlett Johannson is sure to perform well, but the tone of the movie is incredibly limiting given the number of movies that act within the same frame. The surprise death adds an exciting twist of originality, which might be enough for the movie to be entertaining, but only to the extent that I might rent the movie later on when there’s nothing else to see — I’m not rushing out to theaters for this one.
Graham: Is that James Spader’s voice in the background? Anyway, there’s a ton going on in this trailer. Every time I thought I had the film’s story down, the trailer brought in a new development. I love films that mesh genres well, and this seems like a great horror/slasher thriller with a mix of science fiction. I love the idea of a group of strangers trapped in a building surrounded by enemies, even if it’s not the most original story idea. The shots of the sky are particularly foreboding, but I’m not a huge fan of the heavy amounts of gore; is that really necessary? I’m definitely intrigued by the trailer, but parts felt too excessive, and I hope that doesn’t carry over into the film.
Emily: The Void could take just about any direction from here, as far as quality is concerned. It’s pretty clear that the film is going to be some sort of supernatural, horror thriller with some element of mystery and investigation, but it’s essential value is going to stem from its focus: either the mysteries and complexities, or the special effects and gore. If The Void takes the former route, it could definitely be a worthwhile film, but if the actual movie is as haphazard as the trailer and banks on the special effects and its primary draw, then it will achieve very little success overall.
This post has been updated to reflect the removal of a contributor.