Trailer Takes: Instant Family, Assassination Nation, and The Oath

September 13, 2018

Instant Family — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0scW5lXAT8

Brynn: No doubt this movie will make me laugh and cry—as it was meant to do to bleeding hearts like me, who love a good heartfelt family movie. Yet, despite the upbeat indie background music and the montage of loving and funny moments, I feel slightly tense watching the trailer. I am worried about the fact that the film is focused on the parents as opposed to the children. While Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne’s characters also go through an important journey after adoption, I am afraid that the choice to focus on them and their hilarious lack of experience as parents will be fatal. I fear that it will shift the perspective too far away from what children like Isabela Moner’s character have to experience, especially being adopted by white parents. It is certain to be a funny movie, but my question is, at what cost?

Sienna: Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne make an awkward but lovable pair in this sitcom-with-substance film. This movie looks like something I’d watch with my mom, on a snowy day, something heartwarming and a little bit funny, something that deals with potentially emotional topics but not in too intense a way. It also seems self-aware of tropes which often characterize the genre (“the well-meaning, bumbling white savior family”) and challenges them in complex characters like Lizzy (Isabela Moner). The movie points out the unfortunate phenomenon of older children being left in foster care while younger children get all the attention from prospective parents. All in all, I’m not itching to see it, but I’m sure it’ll be enjoyable if I ever get around to it.

Juliana: It took me a minute or two to stop laughing enough to be able to write this take. Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne are definitely one of the funniest couples I’ve seen in a while. The jokes all seem to work, and just watching them freak out about parenting is enough to make me want to watch this movie. Plus, it looks like this comedy went the extra mile and took time to develop their characters, particularly the eldest daughter, Lizzy (Isabela Moner). I probably won’t be counting down the days for this one, but it wouldn’t surprise me if I ended up watching it when it starts streaming.


Assassination Nation — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jV3T1mz_f3s&has_verified=1

Brynn: Not only will I be in theaters to see this movie, I’ll also be vying to write a review of this. There is absolutely nothing better than a movie about complex women, especially ones that society clearly considers to be “evil.” I cannot even contain myself at the idea of a modern take on cool girls, love, trust, friendship, feminism, and technology–truly something that can only be defined as our generations’ version of The Heathers. Even going beyond the themes, the aesthetic of this movie is going to be iconic. The dim shadows, neon glows, and intimate angles will make for an enthralling viewing experience. I am beyond excited to see this. My only wish is that this came out 4 years earlier so that I could have watched it in high school.

Sienna: So I don’t think it’s an accident that this movie is set in Salem. It reminded me of the Salem Witch Trialsyoung women demonized and persecuted for their sexuality, but in this situation, the women get to fight back. This movie looks like slasher horror meets high school chick flick. It got really gruesome really quickly, but that might also be a commentary on the “desensitization” of our generation (to sex and violence), as one girl’s mother puts it at the end of the trailer. In the digital age, many live in fear of being hacked, their intimate secrets and habits, often sexual, revealed to the public and their communities. This film explores what the consequences of such a hack would be, in the most extreme and violent sense. Honestly, I’d watch it just because of the trailer.

Juliana: What just happened?! One second I think I’m going to be reviewing another teen trash movie, and suddenly this movie goes all “murder” on me. I agree with the reviewer that compared this to Heathers (1988). This is Heathers – except with more blood. Like, a whole lot more blood. The premise is relatively unique (I don’t recall seeing a murder-rage occurring following a data hack in any films recently), even though I’m still not sure how one thing led to another. Also, can we please talk about how this whole witch-hunting thing goes on in a town called Salem? This film seems to be the kind that blows everything out of proportions, but it might be fun to watch.


The Oath– https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvk2Ov4mNGY

Brynn: In all seriousness, I think it might be the most culturally relevant movie to hit theaters this November. It’s no secret that the current political state of our country lends itself to heated and emotional debates on a regular basis. Those political divisions hit the hardest when they arise in our families, and this film is a reminder to stay away from politics when you’re home for the holidays. While the “murder” aspect is a lot to handle, I think it works well in a satire about how political differences can feel really personal when they pin us against the people we love most. As much as I appreciate the idea, I think I might abstain from watching this, just to save myself from all the future wrinkles I’ll get from cringing so hard.

Sienna: So I’ll pretty much watch any movie made by the producers of Get Out (and starring Tiffany Haddish!) just at face value, but this one does genuinely seem funny. It plays on awkward family Thanksgiving dynamics pushed to the extreme, with the main character (Ike Barinholtz) fumbling at every possible turn, combined with potentially sharp political and social commentary. The premise of the film surrounds a so-called “Patriot’s Oath” that the government is requiring citizens to take. The violent turn at the end of the trailer presumably relates to the main family’s refusal to do so? I can’t wait to see more of the relationship between Barinholtz and Haddish’s characters. The Oath will definitely be funny if nothing else, but with the team it has behind it, the overlying social commentary is sure to hit home.

Juliana: Similarly to the previous trailer, this one too got very “murdery” very suddenly, although it does seem to have a lighter take. It has the same producers as Get Out (2017) and invokes politics right from the trailer, so it wouldn’t surprise me if this ends up being a whole lot deeper than it looks right now. I’m not really sure what exactly this “oath” is or how it contributes to the storyline, but I’m sure this will be further expanded on in the film. Would I watch this? Honestly, Tiffany Haddish’s character had maybe three lines, and she was already the best thing on this clip. Definitely not going to rush to the theaters for this one, but I won’t dismiss watching it altogether.

Brynn Furey
Brynn is a Contributing Editor for the Voice. She's a huge proponent of pop punk, capybaras, and world peace.

Juliana Vaccaro
Juliana is an English/Economics double major, a Chinese minor, and a former Voice writer. She somehow still finds time to take way too many Halftime Leisure quizzes.

Sienna Brancato
is a senior in the College majoring in English and minoring in Government and Italian. She has done some things for the Voice, and will continue to do some things.

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