Trailer Takes: Captain Marvel, Beautiful Boy, and If Beale Street Could Talk

September 26, 2018

Captain Marvel — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1BCujX3pw8

Zain: “Who on earth is Captain Marvel?” you might ask. At first glance, this new addition to the MCU might seem like Marvel is just reaching into its archive of incidental superheroes and milking the cash cow. But don’t be so quick to write it off. Captain Marvel is the bridge between the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War, and what will hopefully be the greatest superhero comeback of all time in Avengers 4. Despite her importance to the final installment of the Avengers however, this film is actually a throwback, set in the ‘90s. And while I don’t see very many people whose style resembles any of the characters from Friends (disappointing, I know), there are still plenty of ‘90s hallmarks to enjoy. Asides from those, however, the movie actually strikes me as kind of bland, which is not something Marvel can really afford to have happen with its 21st movie installment. I really hope this doesn’t end up being the case, especially after the cultural phenomenon that Black Panther was, but the rather dull color tones and the fact that a lot of the establishing and action shots look like they could have been in 2008’s Iron Man don’t help very much. There are some redeeming qualities though! The young versions of both Nick Fury and Agent Coulson both look really good, and I’m excited to see Samuel Jackson take on a young character (fingers crossed we get Nick Fury with a Pulp Fiction flair). Overall, this movie might not be the most exciting movie in the franchise, but the MCU isn’t one to disappoint, so I’ll definitely be watching it.

Maia: I have to start by saying that I would never have given this trailer a chance were it not for Trailer Takes: I am not, nor have I ever been, a superhero movie fan. Unfortunately this trailer failed to challenge my long-held opinion. I’ve always felt that the Marvel producers splashed out on special effects and A-class celebrities to carry their movies, leaving behind a predictable plot line and an often subpar script. This movie seems no different to me. I had to replay the trailer twice simply to begin to grasp the plot, and even then was it not drastically different from any other movie to come out of the Marvel cinematic universe. The cinematography was the one thing that stood out to me. The action shots were exciting and the special effects were less rushed than usual, giving the movie a more realistic tone (even if they were both packed in to the point where they took away from necessary plot development). The shot of the Blockbuster is undoubtedly intended to grip all of us who are craving some juicy 90’s nostalgia and making that era the setting will likely allow for some exciting moments along the way. Ultimately I think the film will serve its purpose: to entertain. However, by no means do I see Captain Marvel being a film able to carry the importance of the first female Marvel superhero.


Beautiful Boy — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8NR8w8s9zWA

Zain: Over the years, Steve Carell has certainly proven that he has the acting prowess to play more than one type of character, and I can tell you this is definitely not his “Regional Manager of Dunder Mifflin” iteration. Playing a distraught dad to a troubled son, Carell did not come to play in this movie—and neither did any of the other cast members, by the looks of it. Timothee Chalamet, who plays the meth-addicted teenage son, is without question the other stand out. And let’s not forget the fact that this film is being made by the same people who made 12 Years a Slave and Moonlight, two of the most important and hard-hitting films in recent memory. Needless to say, I’ll definitely be hitting the theaters, tissues in hand, come October.

Maia: My first thought when seeing this trailer was “Thank God.” Finally a chance for Chalamet to redeem himself from the clichéd mess that was Hot Summer Nights, and the limited range that the writing gave his character. Let me tell you that he does not disappoint. Based on a series of memoirs written by father and son David and Nic Sheff, Beautiful Boy tells the story of teenage Nic’s crippling addiction to crystal meth and his father’s attempts to guide him back to health. Of course Chalamet and Carell’s performances are outstanding, but it is the on-screen relationship between the two that makes the film so eagerly awaited (and leaves me speechless even before the diner scene). I’m always nervous about films telling these sorts of stories. The feeling of a high is almost impossible to communicate accurately in images, even for Chalamet himself. This is what the director seems to understand perfectly.  Instead Felix van Groeningen focuses on the deterioration of the world around Nic, creating a much more immersive story that gives me high hopes for the full film.


If Beale Street Could Talk — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQXSforT_qQ

Zain: Speaking of films made by the people who made Moonlight, here’s another one that looks just as impressive. Set in Harlem in the early 1970’s, If Beale Street Could Talk is an adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel of the same name. Some of the topics the book deals with are love, race, and accused rape, and by the looks of the trailer, it seems as if director Barry Jenkins adapts these difficult themes to the big screen with grace. Visually, the film looks stunning. Every shot in this trailer is beautiful, and when paired with the powerful music and clearly well-acted dialogue, it’s hard not to feel struck by a rush of emotion. I haven’t read Baldwin’s novel, but I’m eagerly awaiting November to see Jenkins’ adaptation.  

Maia: It’s been a long time since the last James Baldwin film adaptation and honestly there’s no one I would trust this book with more than Barry Jenkins. His seemingly effortless creativity and clarity of style that were apparent in Moonlight are once again evident in the If Beale Street Could Talk trailer. The trailer is filled with emotionally raw moments that pull on our heart strings in ways that most other trailers are unable to with such a limited timeframe. The combination of the actors’ performances, exceptional use of color and exciting dialogue make this film greatly anticipated while giving us a hint at what’s to come in November (besides a lot of tears). When watching this trailer, the only concern that comes to mind is the impossibility of attaining a fraction of the beauty and power that was achieved by Jenkins in Moonlight. However, if anyone is to exceed expectations this year and blow audiences away with a cinematic masterpiece it will be him with this film.

This post has been updated to reflect the removal of a contributor. 


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