Terminal – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18RqtFuaNe8
Juliana: I’m gonna be honest: I’m totally loving this movie’s dimly lit aesthetic. I have no idea what the plot is, but it looks like your typical spy/hitman movie, with loads of badass shots and weapons. And, somewhere in all of this, Margot Robbie is involved, with her full on Harley Quinn vibe (a shot of her in nurse-like clothes is a whole lot like the Joker’s scene in the Suicide Squad Comic-Con trailer). Not sure if it’ll make me rush to the movie theatre, but all that smoke and neon lights make this, at the bare minimum, one gorgeous film. Depending on reviews, I’ll probably give it a try and end up watching it.
Eman: So, as the Voice’s resident neo-noir aficionado, I should be excited about this gritty neon sci-fi trip. But nowadays, the aesthetic isn’t enough, as we’ve sort of gotten bombarded with similar looking movies (but Blade Runner 2049 is an all-timer so sometimes it’s warranted). I don’t know; I chose to write about this trailer because it seems like a conversation starter, but I don’t have much to say about the actual content of this film. Maybe it’s being covered up by all the style? This is the feature debut of Vaughn Stein, who’s been as an assistant director on everything from Harry Potter movies to last year’s live action Beauty and the Beast adaptation, a name that’s been floating around Hollywood and now finally has his shot. aAd the cast on this thing is totally wacko. Robbie, Simon Pegg, Nick Moran, Dexter Fletcher and… Mike Myers? What the hell is even happening here? Hopefully, Terminal can deliver on all the style and weirdness contained in these two minutes of footage.I’m intrigued by the weirdness, sure, but also kinda put off by a bunch of Alice in Wonderland bullshit, which has long been a lazy shorthand for, “Isn’t this weird? Look how weird we’re being!!!”
Amy: Lately I’ve been a sucker for films with carefully coordinated color schemes, so the reds and greens of the first few quick shots were enough to reel me in. Couple that with femme fatale-esque Margot Robbie slicing open a pleading man lashed to a headboard and, in my opinion, you’ve got a start to a great trailer. I agree with Juliana: I’m a fan of this seedy, neon-noir vibe and I think the unique aesthetic has the potential to elevate a predictable storyline into something innovative and eye-catching. I did have to revert to an IMDb search to clarify Terminal’s plot, but any movie that boasts a scene wherein Robbie cheerily says “To imminent death” before clinking glasses with a scruffy Simon Pegg piques my interest no matter how much its central conceit eludes me.
The First Purge – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UL29y0ah92w
Juliana: I never watched any of The Purge movies, but, from what I’m understanding, this one seems to serve as an origin story, explaining how the government came up with the idea of basically making any crime (including murder, as the trailer really wanted to point out) legal. Now, personally, I don’t really get why people’s first reaction to everything becoming legal is to murder a bunch of people instead of, you know, robbing a bank, but this is a horror movie, so I’ll let that fly. I mean, robbing a bank doesn’t give that many opportunities for bloodshed, which seems to be what this movie is mostly building itself on. I also don’t get how Marisa Tomei’s character, the one responsible for creating the Purge, didn’t think that this could go horribly wrong. I have some problems with the plot, and it doesn’t seem like the movie will fix any of them. The First Purge doesn’t look like the best horror movie out there, but, if you’re looking to watch a group find a way to miraculously survive a night of jump scares and sketchy government attacks, then this one surely won’t disappoint.
Eman: Ah. As foretold by sacred texts, Marisa Tomei destroys America. Jokes aside, I, unlike many, actually highly respect the Purge movies and feel they’ve been getting better which each new entry. A small horror movie that squandered it’s premise gets several sequels that not only deliver what the original lacked, but expand the world in interesting wayThey’ve also grown angrier and more politically pointed. The last one got a bit into the politics of the Purge and followed Frank Grillo around, while making sure to highlight how the Purge unfairly targets those who cannot afford to save themselves. It looks like this new one doubles down on that angle big time. I want these things to be pissed off screeds that don’t hold back. Normally, a prequel is a sign of unoriginality. Here, it’s looking like an opportunity to dig deeper into everything that’s messed up about America. Having the military really force the first Purge is an unexpected angle, but incredibly creative. I’m in. And also there are still the cool masks! It may be the least important element of these movies nowadays but it is the only thing keeping it connected to its horror roots.
Amy: I have never seen a Purge movie and I doubt I ever will; I only suffer through horror if I feel like I must do so to maintain my self-given status as a person who knows things about movies. But there was a shot of some man’s throat being slashed in this one. Are they allowed to show that in a trailer?? With all the long knives and the masked people, I’d say this film would have me leaving the theatre to go see Incredible 2 in about ten minutes. Y’lan Noel of Insecure plays a dashing male lead, a fact that is almost reason enough for me to shell out the $14 to see the film in theatres. But for now, unless critics hail The First Purge as being another socially conscious horror in the vein of Get Out, I’ll stay home.
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7u4sC26PA4
Juliana: So apparently people have been working in this movie since 1998? I’ve never read the source material, but I’m glad this movie finally came to light: I’m here for all the fantasy films whose worlds look as beautiful and as well-crafted as this one. Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce form a great duo as the leads, and, although none of the trailer’s jokes are particularly funny, there’s a general “feel good” feeling on this film. If the writers managed to spin an unique story as awesome as the setting, it might be an interesting watch.
Eman: This is history right here we’re witnessing, folks. There’s only one reason I selected this trailer to cap off this week’s Takes, and that’s because the fact that this trailer even exists is surreal. It proves the movie exists. For context, Terry Gilliam — director of the Monty Python films, The Time Bandits, Twelve Monkeys, The Fisher King, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (one of my all-time favorite films), and freakin’ Brazil (a contender for that coveted “greatest film of all time” title) — has been working on The Man Who Killed Don Quixote for many, many years. Decades, even. An infamously cursed production, the film has fallen apart time and again (its most spectacular flame-out, which would have starred Johnny Depp and Jean Rochefort, was in a documentary way back in 2003), and it’s repeatedly seemed like Gilliam might never actually succeed in getting the film made. But alas, here it is! And… well, it’s hard to say. Given how long it’s taken for this project to come together, and given that we know this is Terry Gilliam’s ultimate passion project, it’s admittedly kinda difficult to be objective about the footage we’re seeing here. This isn’t just another run of the mill trailer drop. What we’re seeing today is honest-to-God film history, hard evidence of Gilliam’s own Quixote-like sense of perseverance and a huge slap in the face to the concept of giving up on one’s dreams. I have no idea if this movie’s gonna be any good, but the fact that it exists at all — and that we’re finally seeing footage from it! — is legitimately inspiring. Additionally, Don Quixote, on top of being one of the first ever novels, is also a supremely weird book, which in itself is about the main character’s delusion that he IS Don Quixote when he actually isn’t. So this adaptation being ABOUT an adaptation of Don Quixote where the leading character deludes himself into being a fictional character WITHIN a fictional work seems appropriately weird and meta. Also, check out the poster if you want to add a whole new layer of WTF to what was already a very WTF-inducing project.
Amy: Adam Driver is in this movie, so that’s one point in its favor. Otherwise, I’m not sure The Man Who Killed Don Quixote captures my interest all too much: I’m not very clear on the storyline, and besides some too-quick shots of colorful set-pieces the trailer doesn’t showcase any element that has me counting down the days until the film’s release. Though that last slo-motion shot of the three men running towards the camera is strangely beautiful, the rest is largely forgettable.
Image Credits: IMDb