The Maze Runner: Death Cure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_9OSktlm6s
Juliana: This trailer is just…wow. I watched the last two Maze Runner movies back in 2014 and in 2015, but I have to admit that I wasn’t really looking forward to the third installment of the series. However, this trailer totally sells the movie for me. There’s so much going on: flashbacks from previous events, jam-packed action sequences, and even ominous background narration. This seems to lead to a great, killer finale, which might just be what the Maze Runner trilogy needed. The thing that most intrigues me is that the trailer doesn’t give much of a story. Half of the scenes feature the same train sequence, and the other half is split between old footage and anger-driven dialogue, the most striking perhaps being Thomas (Dylan O’Brien) screaming how “there is no cure.” It raises more questions than it answers: What’s in that train’s cargo? Is there really no cure? Why does Thomas have to choose between his friends and the rest of the world? I will definitely be watching the movie next year to seek answers.
Eman: Having the entire first half of the trailer be comprised solely of bits from the first two films is an odd choice to me, especially considering that the Maze Runner series isn’t some epic pop culture phenomenon that’s finally coming back. It’s YA novel adaptation series that’s finally coming back (after Dylan O’Brien’s terrible onset accident that pushed filming back over a year—someone give this guy’s plastic surgeon a raise!). O’Brien is a great actor and does this material better than it deserves. The previous films only raise questions that don’t seem to have coherent or justifiable answers, despite having some inspired action set pieces; I was a fan of the mall sequence in Scorch Trials, but its value as a part of the narrative did nothing for me. The evolution of the tone intrigues me, and I’m always a sucker for gritty post-apocalyptic landscapes. But again, I think this stuff takes itself way too seriously in comparison to the themes and events it tries to present.
Emily: If anything, the clips from the older movies will be effective in capturing the interest of those who are only somewhat familiar with the series, since the first book (and movie) is known more broadly than the rest. It also seems that the sense of familiarity is going to be the largest draw for this film, based on what this trailer provides: It’s the close of a story arc for those who have followed it. Personally, I have not followed this series with more than trivial interest, since I enjoyed the books back in middle school, and I can’t say that this trailer did anything more than remind me of that interest I once had.
Isle of Dogs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt__kig8PVU
Juliana: I had never heard about this movie before, but now I’m looking up cast lists, production release dates, and any synopsis I can get my hands on. It’s safe to say that I’m hooked. The movie carries two parallel, fascinating storylines. It’s set in a dystopian Japan, where dogs have been shipped out to an isolated island due to some illness. The trailer hints at possible conspiracies happening inside the government in multiple shots, and it left me both intrigued and puzzled as to what was actually going on. In the midst of all this conflict, we see a 12-year-old pilot embarking on a journey with five dogs to search for his own lost puppy, Spots. It’s a movie that is somehow adorable, funny, and captivating all at once. Combine all of that with the fact that many of the characters have familiar voices (the cast list includes Ghostbuster’s Bill Murray, Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston, and Jurassic Park’s Jeff Goldblum), and I think it results in an epic film that’s a must-watch.
Eman: Look, man: no filmmaker has as identifiable a stamp of creativity as Wes Anderson. This guy churns out quirky masterpieces, to such a degree that he almost has his own genre of films, with The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) being the ultimate culmination of all that is “Anderson-esque.” That being said, I was already super excited for Isle of Dogs, and this trailer has charmed my damn pants off. The symmetry of the framing! The outrageous storyline! The odd lovableness of these characters and this vision. This something only Wes Anderson could get away with. Also also also. Say the title of this movie out loud. Isle of Dogs. I love dogs. Boom.
Emily: I’m definitely intrigued by this. It seems like a spin on the inverse of the dog movies that we all watched as kids. Instead of an altruistic and loyal-yet-slow dog navigating his way through a human world to help his master, we see dogs as the local rulers, and a young boy struggling to navigate their world in search of the dog he loves. And, let’s be real: once someone crafts a movie at the incredible caliber of The Grand Budapest Hotel, you’re pretty much obligated to watch every film that that guy makes going forward. We all know that movies are an art form; experience suggests that the best art is often what strikes us as the strangest.
The Disaster Artist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cMKX2tE5Luk
Juliana: If there’s one major highlight of this trailer, it’s James Franco’s performance. I had to watch the trailer twice to realize that he was playing the protagonist. The soundtrack is incredibly catchy, and it definitely looks like one of those serious movies that still have space for a couple of more humorous moments. I’m not familiar with the real life events that inspired it, but the story does carry this original element to it. Again, the acting is stupendous, and it looks like a movie worth watching.
Eman: If you have never watched 2003’s The Room, I heavily implore you to. It is among the greatest film experiences a movie lover can have. I have seen it dozens of times and have even attended a screening of it, and I must say it is more fun with every successive viewing. What many call the worst film ever made is also among the most fascinating films ever made, as star-director-writer-producer-alien Tommy Wiseau is quite possibly the single weirdest human being on the planet. The dude reads lines that HE wrote like he doesn’t even understand them (the famous “Oh hi, Mark!” scene reportedly took over thirty takes!). Even better, no one really knows where he’s from, how old he is, or how he even accumulated the funds to produce this movie which somehow had a budget of six(!) million dollars! I love it. James Franco does a great job here, almost disappearing into the role. He absolutely nails the voice and mannerisms, and—oh god—he looks exactly like the real Tommy in every shot in which he’s wearing sunglasses. This is the film I’ve been most excited for this year. The Disaster Artist will obviously be a lot of fun, especially for those who have reveled in the greatness of The Room. Yet, I’m also excited to see how the relationship between Tommy and Greg is framed here. Their connection is extremely endearing from what can be seen in the trailer, and that’s an arc that I’m interested to see develop. Plus, I would die of happiness if we somehow got a full remake of The Room made by James Franco and his friends. This looks like great fun, but that would ART.
Emily: The Room is a legend for how objectively terrible it is, and every legend warrants appreciation. By extension, legends tend to have fascinating histories that warrant as much, if not more appreciation than the part of the legend with which everyone is familiar. In an ironic twist, The Room has set the highest of standards for any movie about its creation, and I hope that The Disaster Artist reaches that bar. It’s safe to say that it’s going to be at the top of my viewing wishlist.
Image Credits: IMDb