Jake: I would say that there’s no way you could make a bad movie based on the first half of Stephen King’s It. The first half of the source material is as close to a perfect formula for horror and dread that I’ve ever read, and I’m honestly more interested in how they handle the second film in this series, but those are questions best saved for a few years. That being said, despite a few truly stellar standouts (The Shining, Carrie), adaptations of Stephen King’s horror novels have a fairly abysmal track record. The original It was nothing to write home about, and is largely remembered only due to the saving grace that was Tim Curry’s excellent turn as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. The new adaptation has promise, but I’m worried than in an effort to appeal to the widest audience the movie will turn more towards jump scares like the ones we saw in the trailer and not establish the members of The Loser’s Club as anything more than Horror Protagonists #1-7, or Pennywise as much more than a Demonic Horror Villain. That being said, that kid from Stranger Things is in it so there’s no possible way this movie could be anything less than perfect.
Julia: I hate horror movies. I hate clowns. And I have absolutely no desire to ever watch this movie. In fact I couldn’t even finish the trailer. Embarassing, I know. The trailer starts out innocently enough, and actually looks like it could be a sweet movie depicting the relationship between two brothers. It only took a clown in the gutter the end that fantasy. If the trailer is any indication, the movie will play to conventional horror tropes: suspenseful music, dark rooms and flashes of light, children who turn demonic, etc. No thank you.
Brynn: As an avid Stephen King reader, I have been waiting months for the release of this trailer, and I’ll be excitedly waiting for the approach of September 8th, 2017– the day I can finally see It in theaters. The first thing I noticed about the trailer is how high the film quality is. Although this seems like an obvious fact since the original It was made nearly 30 years ago, it will be interesting to see if the higher quality makes the movie more terrifying than the original. Additionally, I was concerned about how scary the actual clown would look because the original Pennywise was played by middle aged Tim Curry while the 2017 Pennywise will be played by Bill Skarsgård who is in his late twenties. This trailer completely alleviated my fears – Pennywise is just as horrifying. Overall, I think this movie looks fantastic, and I am ready to be psychologically thrilled and scared out of my seat.
War for the Planet of the Apes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IFAqAIWD6g
Jake: In this trailer, there is a scene in which an Andy Serkis, playing an ape, tackles a war painted-up Woody Harrelson (who has a machine gun) off of a waterfall and the two duke it out while swinging on Harrelson’s belay line. In this trailer, an apache helicopter fires a missile at what I can only assume is Ape New York. In this trailer Judas Ape–or whatever name you want to give that spineless monkey who joined those damn filthy humans–reloads a machine gun turret and watches his fellow apes get mowed down. Already, I am ready to give this movie every Oscar under the sun. All joking aside, I’m nothing but hyped for this movie after seeing the trailer. This franchise has been an absolute blast to watch from the very start, and somehow has managed to balance monkey-riding-horse-while-shooting-an-AK47 action with surprisingly heavy plots and decent characterization. Even if the plot looks like just a remake of 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, I’m sold.
Julia: Having never seen Planet of the Apes, I can’t judge whether it looks just like the producers took the first movie, changed the plot slightly, and made another movie (sound familiar Fast and Furious franchise?). But I can say that this trailer depicted the movie to look deceptively like James Cameron’s Avatar. A highly militarized depiction of the human race try to conquer a seemingly superior race. As the movie progresses the audience questions if the human race is the enemy. And all converge in an all-out, machine-gun slinging battle through a forested landscape. Planet of the Apes may not be for the intellectuals out there, but it looks like it’ll do well in the box office.
Brynn: Just watching that trailer gave me the chills and made me want to cry for both the humans and the apes. I can already tell that this movie will be an emotional rollercoaster for me, but I am so excited to buckle my seatbelt and go for the ride. It’s fascinating because the trailer itself makes me want to cheer for the apes in the great battle of humans and apes. They are made out to be kind and caring toward each other, especially because Caesar is clearly a model leader. On the other hand, the humans seem harsh, deceptive, and destructive. I think it is incredible how the directors can make viewers feel empathetic towards the apes rather than their own kind. I am already invested in the storyline of the gorilla who is helping the humans. I cannot wait to see how this movie pans out and who wins the war–unless it ends with a treaty of peace.
Jake: This looks a whole lot like 2012’s John Carter. If you have not seen 2012’s John Carter, I will clarify that that is NOT a compliment. Both movies are based off of groundbreaking and highly respected source materials (and both were drawn on fairly heavily in the creation of Star Wars). Both movies take place on alien worlds with a dizzying array of advanced technology and alien races. And they each look like a herd of thousands of graphic artists was given a blank check and told to go wild. Valerian looks like a mess, at least from this trailer. There’s a fine line between using technology to create an immersive world for your film (see Guardians of the Galaxy) and using so much CGI that it makes your audience’s head spin. The characters seem like cardboard cutouts, or amalgamations of hundreds of well-trodden tropes. I feel like I’ve already heard the plot to this movie a thousand times, and I might as well just go back and watch Han Solo’s character arc if I want to see a ruffian with a heart of gold eventually become the savior of the galaxy. This movie could turn out alright–the visuals are nothing if not stunning–but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Julia: Valerian looks like the directors of Star Wars, Interstellar, and Moulin Rouge got together to make a movie. Each of these movie are excellent on their own, just maybe not blended together. All the visuals in this trailer gave me a headache, reminiscent of the one I left with after watching Tron. So many questions entered my head. Most importantly, how did Rihanna end up in this movie?? On the topic of plot, I think the quirky hero and his sidekick saving the universe is refreshing, and am optimistic about Cara Delevingne’s ability to carry the movie if all else fails. My prediction is this movie will either majorly flop or develop a niche following like Sucker Punch has.
Brynn: The plotline of this movie didn’t particularly spark much interest in me, and the graphics looked relatively low budget and pretty fake. It doesn’t seem to be much of an original movie, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I went to go see it. The one good thing I will say is that the makeup and costumes of the aliens look incredible. The bright colors and fantastical features of these extraterrestrials make the aesthetics much more pleasing. Unfortunately, the alien creatures are the only thing about this movie that look interesting to me. I have a feeling this will be more of a rental type movie.