Pacific Rim: Uprising – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BAhwgjMvnM
Juliana: I’m not really familiar with this franchise, but Pacific Rim: Uprising looks pretty great. The special effects were spectacular, and the action sequences were really nicely choreographed. If the rest of the movie manages to keep the trailer’s perfect match of fighting moves and badass soundtrack, then these scenes are definitely looking promising. In terms of storyline, however, I got to say it doesn’t sound very compelling. Coming from years of apocalyptic action movies, another humongous threat that can only be defeated by a very specific team of humans doesn’t really stand out, even if both the monsters and the giants are so well done. I don’t think there’s enough in it to make me rush to the theatres in opening weekend, but I’ll eventually end up watching, even if it’s just for those awesome fight scenes.
Gustav: I loved the first Pacific Rim, I thought it was just really solid guilty-pleasure fun that satisfied all my big machine versus big monster cravings, and I thought they were able to use the fact that Jaeger pilots had to mind meld as a way of developing the characters without seeming forced. This trailer actually had me less excited for the second movie than I initially was, just because the characters all seem like uncompelling cliches. From the frat boy turned reluctant leader in John Boyega to the nerdy jokester who just sits in the control room in Charlie Day, the characters already seem played out by the end of the two-and-a-half minute trailer. However, I am always ready and excited to see Kaijus and Jaegers go at it, so I will probably end up seeing, and relishing, this movie.
Mike: I’ve admittedly never seen the first Pacific Rim, which I have been told many times is a must see indulgence. From the get-go, however, seeing John Boyega get his solo leading man position in a giant mech suit seems great to me. Plus, it is nice to see Scott Eastwood and Charlie Day on the screen. For what this is, a Bayhem-like film, it looks visually stunning. The robots and giant action sequences seem enhanced by both the urban and natural vistas. This does feel like a better version of the Transformers franchise in the making, talented actors get to flaunt their chops with less humor for more dynamic characters. The story of disgraced billionaire playboy turned reluctant leader is not a new trope, but I am nevertheless interested in getting in on this franchise.
I Kill Giants – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyhI8qRREQc
Juliana: First of all, this trailer isn’t playing fair: you say the words “Harry Potter”, and I’m immediately hooked, regardless of how close the tie actually is (in this case, both movies share the same producers). That being said, this movie doesn’t disappoint. Madison Wolfe’s Barbara isn’t the most original character out there, but she’s just the right amount of sarcastic and quirky to be captivating. Her friendship with Sophia (Sydney Wade) helps to steer Barbara away from being the stereotypical lone wolf outcast, and Wade’s and Wolfe’s chemistry on screen makes this team up incredibly appealing. I’d say the only shame is that this movie has such a small cast, with Zoe Saldana as the biggest name in the list. Although the storyline certainly doesn’t need more characters to work, I Kill Giants is facing some pretty big competition, in particular A Wrinkle in Time, who benefits incredibly from its famous cast. All in all, I’m hooked by it, and I seriously hope it’s able to stand out from the crowd.
Gustav: I guess Jaegers aren’t the only ones who will be fighting monsters this year. This looks like a solid coming of age story centered around metaphorical giants that this girl has to fight. It will probably have a good moral lesson that audiences can take from it, but it doesn’t seem like it will be breaking any ground that wasn’t covered by previous generations of quasi-fantasy elementary-school-oriented films in the past. Though I will probably be skipping this film, these lessons are important for its target demographic.
Mike: This trailer grabbed me early, making a lot more sense when I realized it is derived from a graphic novel. Nice stills of scenes of fantasy and what appears to be the New England coast capture the inherently illustrated nature of the original work. On my first impression this is fun, eerie, and fantastical. Madison Wolfe looks like a promising, courageous misfit and the foggy woods match well with her character’s epic imagination. Like Pacific Rim, this film does combine a great deal of common tropes together into one film, but I am nevertheless intrigued. The action sequences in this trailer and the emotional bonds between Wolfe’s character and her sister (Imogen Poots) as well as one of her teachers (Zoe Saldana) give this film the potential to be different.
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again! – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS2r1zpqrQQ
Juliana: I have to be honest: this was one of those films I saw being announced in some social media and discarded it as an Internet hoax (I’m looking at you, that High School Musical sequel that never arrives). However, I’m glad that I was wrong. The sequel is bringing back both its famous cast and its iconic music, while still being able to continue the plot by exploring Donna’s (Meryl Streep) past and developing Sophie’s (Amanda Seyfried) storyline. The movie seems to be filled with good comedy and choreography. It honestly feels like one of those great feel-good kind of movies, and I’m glad Mamma Mia! is getting the sequel it deserves.
Gustav: Another guilty pleasure film like Pacific Rim, except different in almost every way. The first Mamma Mia! provided the soundtrack to one of my middle-school summers, and was definitely a movie I was embarrassed to admit how much I liked at the time. This follow-up looks promising in how it tries to bridge the mother’s past with the present more literally than in the first, and I fully expect this movie to be just as energetic, though probably less fun, than the first. This movie could very easily go south into Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel territory, but I am cautiously optimistic.
Mike: I can’t agree with Gustav more that this is a guilty pleasure film. I’d find it hard to believe anyone would go into this film without looking for exactly that. This is definitely an easy sequel designed to get all the same characters back on the same gorgeous Greek island again for romance and Abba music. Halfway through the trailer, however, there’s a pleasant twist to introduce many new faces as youthful forms of some of Hollywood’s best. This part two at least has the promise of a satisfying plot riddled with background info, answering the questions of the first film while giving audiences everything they indulged in while watching the first.