Trailer Takes: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Wildlife, and Aquaman

September 19, 2018

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ab_rXrgk5R4

Leina: First off, why does every horror movie trailer have to feature an eerie version of a children’s song? Can’t we preserve the naivety of anything anymore? As it is, with the directors of Riverdale, I expect there will be no shortage of teen drama, cryptic undertones, and pretty people in this series, and as a result, a whole new bout of Tumblr ships. Kiernan Shipka, who plays Sabrina, kind of reminds me of a young Emma Watson. Although I don’t watch a lot of YA TV shows, I anticipate that the nostalgia trip from Sabrina the Teenage Witch will reach past its target demographic of Gen Z-ers to interest Millennials (or so-called 90’s kids). I’d even go as far as recommending it for those who are fresh off the Pretty Little Liars kick and a little too squeamish for American Horror Story. Or, you know, you could just watch Stranger Things.

Anna: Sabrina the Teenage Witch has definitely gotten a makeover in this Netflix reboot of a classic. While the show presents itself as anything but the stereotypical YA TV show with all its blood, gore, and horror, the show still plays into some of TV’s most repetitive and jarring stereotypes. First, I can’t help but comment on the fact that the main character, Sabrina (Kiernan Shipka), is the usual blonde, white protagonist. While Sabrina the Teenage Witch has typically been played by white, blonde young women (i.e. Melissa Joan Hart), Netflix, which has been at the forefront of character diversity, falls short in this remake. Beyond that, it will be interesting to see how far the actual show goes “fear factor”-wise. Trailers are one thing, but actual horror on young adult shows is somewhat taboo (just look at the failed Scream Queens). To all those who are patiently waiting for October 26th, get your nerves ready and I hope you all enjoy a nice scream!

Juliana: Oh wow, so this is the Riverdale spin-off? I have to be honest: Netflix has so many shows coming out this year that I kind of forgot this was a thing. I’m not quite familiar with the Sabrina the Teenage Witch lore, but I don’t recall it being this dark. Is this a new trend for re-boots? I’m not a huge fan of horror, but, aside from some excessively fast transitions, the scare levels seem manageable. I have absolutely no clue of what’s going on, or who half of these people (demons?) are, or how did Sabrina end up in the forest from that Twilight movie. But it looks fun. It wouldn’t surprise me if I ended up watching the pilot episode, although I doubt it’ll enter my binge-watch list.


Wildlife — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GevYxH6rcvU

Leina: Personally, the presence of Jake Gyllenhaal and Carey Mulligan is enough indication to me that I will enjoy this film. The primary color theme, the symmetric still-shots, the wistful glances: Paul Dano seems to be taking over Wes Anderson’s niche for quirky and effective film direction. Yet, by no means are the characters overwhelmed by the elusive aesthetic; even just watching the trailer, I can feel the sincerity of the director and cast radiate off the screen. What I can’t feel out is the plot of the movie—which is a good thing, considering trailers nowadays have a tendency to expose their entire narrative. If I had to guess, I’d say it is probably about a dysfunctional family dynamic—a common but nevertheless relatable theme. I, for one, am ready to quietly cry in my dorm room as I stream this at 3 am.

Anna : One of the first words that came to my mind while watching this trailer was“confusing!” I haven’t had to think this much since my bio mid-term! I’m not sure if the point of the trailer was to confuse the viewer to the point of brain combustion, but I, for one, am lost. From the beginning, I couldn’t figure out who the main protagonist was. My teenage-self wanted it to be Jake Gyllenhaal’s character more than anything. However, Gyllenhaal shows up in a mere 4 or 5 clips throughout the trailer. Ultimately, it seems as though Gyllenhaal’s son Joe (Ed Oxenbould) is the main protagonist in the movie,  struggling with his mother’s antics after his father loses his job. While this movie definitely seems worthy of viewing, I’m not sure I’d pay to go see it in the movies; rather possibly a quick binge before awards season.

Juliana: I agree with Anna: this trailer makes no sense. It consists mostly of critics’ opinions and silent scenes. There’s no explanation as to who these people are or what’s actually going on. Why is everyone so sad? Why is the house on fire? Is this the 1960’s? Because the aesthetics are screaming 1960’s. This movie certainly has some great acting, particularly on Carey Mulligan’s part. It looks very beautiful, and it’s bound to win a couple nominations when award-season comes around. I just wish I actually understood what it was about.


Aquaman — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gm9UEV4lPYY

Leina : Amidst this distressing political atmosphere, we both have a burning question that, if not careful, may veer into existentialist territory: “Is Aquaman cool now?!” I mean, Jason Momoa is cool, but is he cool enough to make Aquaman cool? This is by no means a bipartisan take—I am a staunch Marvelite after all—but even a moderate can see that DC struggles to create consistent tone and relatable characters (save for The Dark Knight Trilogy). Also, just from the trailer, I am inclined to believe that Amber Heard, playing Mera, will act as a pretty plot device that urges the male protagonist to “realize his worth” and “discover his destiny,” though I hope to be proven wrong. I will watch this movie, probably on an airplane, just to marvel at how far we’ve come in CGI.

Anna : DC does not fail with the cinematics in this 1:15 minute trailer; from exploding submarines and sword battles, to young heroine’s hair blowing in the wind, DC has hit every superman-like movie cliché. Regardless, Jason Momoa’s shirtless scenes are more than enough to make every young tween girl (and guy!) flock to the movie theater the day Aquaman comes out. Interestingly, the plot seems very reminiscent of another god’s origin story, Thor. Both in Aquaman and Thor, the main protagonist’s brother (half-brother in the case of Aquaman) comes to steal the throne. Coincidence? I think not! With what seems like a million Marvel and DC movies out there, it is inevitable that there will be some plot overlap—after all how many different types of fight scenes can there really be? That being said, this is perhaps the first DC/Marvel movie I’ve heard of with an underwater domain, which may set it apart from Thor and all the other action movies out there.

Juliana : As I write this take, Henry Cavill is no longer Superman, Joaquin Phoenix is apparently the Joker, and Titans keeps releasing pictures of my favorite DC characters in bad costumes. In other words, I don’t really understand what’s going on with the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), so it’s hard for me to get excited about this movie. Is Jason Momoa way more kick-ass than Aquaman probably deserved? Yes. Does the CGI look ridiculously impressive? Certainly. Is Amber Heard’s role in this trailer essentially to provide exposition? Sadly, also yes. Aquaman seems to be following the stereotypical superhero origin story formula that we’ve all seen more than a dozen times by now, but, quite frankly, with the way the DCEU is going, it doesn’t seem like they can afford many risks. Aquaman isn’t original, but it feels safe, and maybe that’s what this half-rebooted cinematic universe needs right now. I’m happy for the DC fans, but I’m probably going to skip this one.


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