Halftime Leisure

Trailer Takes: Murder on the Orient Express, Kingsman, and Flatliners

September 20, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq4m3yAoW8E

Gustav: There are some fairly well-known actors in this; I’m excited to see how it goes. It looks very stylish and expensive, which usually makes for a good time. It’s also set in the early 20th century, a fun time for period pieces to replicate. I’ve never read the book, so the trailer had me interested, until they started playing “Believer” by Imagine Dragons, which really didn’t seem to fit the movie or the mood of the trailer.

Gabriela: I’ve never heard of the book, but the trailer did spark my interest. It seems to be a very high quality film and I’m interested to see where the plot goes. Murder mysteries aren’t new to the film world so I’m intrigued to see what makes this story different from the rest. I will say, from seeing the setting and types of characters, the plot doesn’t seem that unique. Nevertheless, I think the actors will make the movie great and from eyeing the comment section fans of the novel seem to be pleased. I’d definitely see this movie!

Austin: I have actually read the beginning of this novel, and it is without doubt one of Agatha Christie’s more engaging stories. We can rest assured that as long as no one has made major alterations to the plotline, the screenplay and dialogue should at least be wonderful. The production value on this film looks expensive but measured, and the aesthetic almost reminds me of Wes Anderson, which is fitting because almost the entirety of the movie will be set aboard a train—TBT to Darjeeling Unlimited. All told, I expect this will be a greatly entertaining work that may even involve some attention from serious critics on behalf of its well-accomplished cast.

Emily: The first time I saw this trailer in theaters, I was in total disbelief. From the opening voiceover to every bit of plot development, I knew what story was coming, and I was almost annoyed. My life’s experience of British murder mysteries began with the original film adaptations of Agatha Christie’s Poirot stories, and so I’ve wound up quite loyal to David Suchet—which made the image of Kenneth Branagh with his (albeit impressive) grey mustache the most striking element of this trailer for me. Even so, I must admit—I get more excited about this film every time I see the trailer. If Kenneth Branagh can pull off a range from Gilderoy Lockhart to Wallander (I still blame the memory charm for Wallander’s dementia), then I believe in his ability to carry Suchet’s torch. Throw in the rest of the impressive cast, and I can manage a positive expectation for a (gasp) remake. Just don’t bring Imagine Dragons into the actual film, please.


Kingsman: The Golden Circle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fvqnGmr9S8

Gustav: I really enjoyed the first Kingsman movie, and I think it’s really interesting how they’re playing on classic stereotypes for both the US and England—I’m curious to see how that will play out. This is also an example of music being used well in a trailer, because “My Generation” was cut and edited really well into the scenes in the trailer, and this movie is in many ways a generational transfer of power from Colin Firth’s to Taron Egerton’s roles as Kingsmen. Well done trailer; I’m looking forward to the seeing this one.

Gabriela: I haven’t watched the first Kingsman movie so I’m not very familiar with the characters or the plot, but people really seem excited for the sequel. Having the American spies be cowboys, however, was a little too much for me, but I’m interested to see if they can pull off the “American vs. British” punch-lines. Like I mentioned, I’m not familiar with the franchise, but it seems like the trailer did a very good job of setting the mood of the film without giving away the whole plot. The scenes presented in the trailer, alongside the music, were enough to make me and any action fan want to see this movie.

Austin: The second Kingsman looks like exactly what it is—a sequel. This title means it’s essentially a slightly worse re-working of an original success with a newly star-studded cast and a bigger budget descended to a new level of camp for the sake of wider appeal. The use of the American element proves a pandering to a mass audience—notice how they aren’t Australian, Irish, or Canadian. That being said, I loved the first Kingsman movie with its unique satirical, sarcastic style and I expect I’ll love this one simply because the cast is excellent and the subject matter is brilliant. If this film come close to the success of its predecessor, which I think it will, it’s bound to see a great reception. I would encourage everyone to watch the first Kingsman though, as it will make the sequel more enjoyable.

Emily: The original Kingsman was an excellent movie, regardless of anyone liking it or not (I did). Unlike others that attempt to do the same, the film balanced some genuine cleverness and humor with the cheaper action and explosions that we all enjoy in moderation. (Plus, it’s the U.K.—and who doesn’t love movies set in England?) The new trailer suggests at least a fair effort to maintain the balance, though I think audiences are all too familiar with the decline in quality of humor and cohesiveness that is now synonymous with sequels. If that happens here, then please don’t make any more of these. If the film succeeds, then I’ll accept the cowboy stereotype as a more-than-fair tradeoff for the inundation of British stereotypes present in both films.


Flatliners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUDV0CUzG0k

Gustav: This film looks terrifying. I’m pretty new to the horror genre, but the idea behind this seems pretty interesting. I expected at first that it would be more of a drama, where they have to deal with the death of one of their friends because of their recklessness, but the turn towards something far more sinister is extremely intriguing. The trailer also does a good job of not revealing exactly what the villain is, really piquing my curiosity. The characters also seem fairly believable, because we all know the high-achieving med students who would definitely put themselves at risk to find forbidden knowledge or get some cheap thrills. There’s some potential that the film is actually an allegory for the residency process and how taxing it is on our young doctors, which would be interesting but seems unlikely. Altogether the movie looks stylish and interesting, and I hope it backs the trailer up with some meaningful heft.

Gabriela: I originally thought the movie was going to be a science fiction thriller that ends up teaching us to not go over our limits (sort of like Limitless, Lucy, or Chronicle) but it ended up being way more scary than I anticipated. Although the plot seems very interesting, I feel like horror is a hard genre to get right so I’m interested to see how the film will transition from regular sci-fi to horror. If they get the horror part right, I feel like the movie could be a hit. If they get it wrong, however, I think the interesting plot will be lost and the film will end on an awkward note. As a fan of sci-fi movies,  the storyline seems very cool but I’m not sure if I’m down for the whole zombie(-ish?) part of the film.

Austin: Frankly, and I could be wrong, this movie looks pretty bad. There’s an inconsistent addition of the horror genre which produces a blend of styles that doesn’t flow well in the trailer. The initial idea, conducting some sort of operation to give humans incredible life-altering mental abilities, is an already recently rehearsed concept that first appeared in Limitless, and the idea isn’t fresh enough, or nuanced enough, to make for an engaging sci-fi film. In all, the trailer left me confused on the genre and uninterested in a recycled and simple plot concept. Perhaps the film has a significant social commentary to make which justifies these predicted shortcomings, but in all I don’t think I’ll be seeing Flatliners until I’ve seen some reviews or heard some recommendations.

Emily: If the anyone wanted me to be optimistic about this film, I’m sure that they could have come up with a better name than Flatliners. If the concept seemed remotely interesting at the beginning of the trailer, then the end of the trailer squashed any hope that they could pull it into some insightful twist. I appreciate the take on bored med students, but not enough to see this movie.

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