Halftime Leisure

Trailer Takes: The Grinch, Bird Box, and Vox Lux

October 31, 2018

The Grinch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xhtW-VnsG0

Jake: I think I came into this predisposed not to like what I saw. As someone who has watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1996) every year around Christmas time for as long as I can remember, and who is afraid of change, I have very high standards for any adaptations of the original book (The live-action remake with Jim Carrey, needless to say, did not meet them). Parts of this trailer gave me reason to hope; I like the montage of the Grinch training to gain weight, and when all three characters shared a bed at the end. Ultimately, though, my impression is that this adaptation will lose sight of the spirit of the original. The Grinch is supposed to be an anti-hero who changes by the endhere, he seems to be pretty light-hearted throughout. I appreciate the effort to add more humor, but I think it’s taken away from the original message. The music was an interesting adaptation but I don’t think it really fits, and as a matter of principle, I’m skeptical of including Tyler, the Creator on the project.

John: While I think that the movie itself has the potential to be a really great family Christmas movie to close the year off, this trailer doesn’t really translate that well to me. The visuals and the comedy certainly have that Illumination studio charm to them, however, the tone here does not do it justice. The R&B hip-hop track playing in the background clashes with all of my expectations about what this movie is going for, and while that can be a good thing in certain circumstances, I think it missed the mark here. So far it has been built up as another retelling of the Grinch’s story, yet some of the soul seems to have been swapped out in favor of “modernizing” the style with more snark and less jolly Christmas spirit. While it could simply be my nostalgia for the original version, something about this trailer left me less interested overall.

Sam: From the trailer, I predict that this movie will either be a funny take on an old classic or an unoriginal copy with a fresh coat of paint. I’m always hesitant when it comes to remakes of old movies, especially classics like How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1996). However, the tone of the trailer drastically differs from the atmosphere of the original animated movie, suggesting that there is potential for this movie to stand on its own. The scenes shown in the trailer suggest that the overall intention is to add more humor to the movie and make it more appealing for younger generations. If their jokes are successful, I think it will be an enjoyable watch; if they aren’t, it could be a flop. From my experience with Illumination movies, sometimes all the best parts of the movie are crammed into the trailer so when you see the film there isn’t much left to enjoy. Though they could easily fall into this trap again, I remain hopeful, and I will most likely go see The Grinch when it hits theaters. I wouldn’t expect any revolutionary plot developments, after all, it is a remake, but I remain hopeful that this iteration will bring new life to one of my favorite old Christmas movies.


Bird Box https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjFXxHDbhus

Jake: My strongest impression while watching this trailer was the outward similarity to A Quiet Place (2018), a movie I really enjoyed, in that they are both essentially family dramas framed as post-apocalyptic horror movies involving limited use of one of the senses. The trailer effectively conveyed enough information about the movie, although I still have some questions about the exact nature of the threat Sandra Bullock is facing (why was the woman smashing her head against the glass?). I’m not sure what to expect from this movie. I was doubtful of A Quiet Place before I saw it and was pleasantly surprised, so I believe that this could be good. Based on the trailer, though, I’m concerned that Bird Box’s premise may be too thin to carry it.

John: This trailer was my first time learning about the premise of this film, and I have to say, the trailer captured me. I’m not sure if the angle the studio is going for is more of a horror or an action-thriller movie, but either way, I’m intrigued. Sandra Bullock looks like she will be giving a great performance seeing as the intensity of her delivery was a big part of what made the trailer so suspenseful. One thing that I’m incredibly grateful for is that the studio did not show off the monstrous antagonist in the trailer; showing off the villain early is a marketing tactic that I feel detracts from the experience of actually watching the movie for the first time. Leaving me guessing about the nature of the threat that the cast will be facing makes me excited to see it come release.

Sam: I think the trailer was successful in conveying the action and horror elements of the movie while leaving a lot of the plot a secret. I was really gripped by the section where Sandra Bullock is speaking to her children. I found the timing and atmosphere of those seconds really captured the mood of the movie as a whole. The trailer successfully sets the scene for what could be a very gripping movie. What remains to be seen is whether the movie lives up to the intensity the trailer portrays. The trailer itself was entertaining to watch, but the premise of the movie didn’t leave a huge impression on me. In my opinion, it’s easy to make a thriller or action movie look enticing, so I’m hesitant to expect much from Bird Box. Though I’m in no rush to see the movie, the trailer was well made and left me wondering about the nature of the threat.


Vox Lux https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dolxUIZzb3w

Jake: I think Vox Lux’s chance of success depends on how far it deviates from the standard films that offer a behind-the-scenes look at troubled pop stars. I, and many others, have seen this kind of movie before, and don’t need to again. Vox Lux’s trailer offers some interesting hints, though, that there is much more to itthere are shots of SWAT teams, violence, and what appears to be a vigil. There’s also almost no information on plot, so it may be too early to say but the trailer suggests that the film is something uniquely different than the usual— which may make it worth watching

John: Even after watching the trailer a few times, I’m still not sure what to make of Vox Lux. While the opening led me to think that this was just another intrigue picture into the life of a pop-star, the end of the trailer left me far from that base assumption. Flashes of an exploding car, assault weapons, and emotional breakdowns all backed up by an eerie strings piece in the background certainly proved to me that this is not an ordinary drama. Like the trailer itself, Natalie Portman’s character is shaping up to be fascinating and unpredictable. I couldn’t gather whether there was a sympathetic protagonist or an unfeeling narcissist underneath all of that glitter, but I’m ready to find out once it hits theaters.

Sam: I have no idea what Vox Lux is about, but the chaos of the trailer intrigued me. Though the trailer is hard to follow and doesn’t really give much information, I think it’s best to go into a movie like Vox Lux without knowing too much. The flashes of scenes suggest a quirky and out-of-the-box movie with a dark twist. The overly dramatic life of a pop star is set against images of violence and destruction hinting at a unique subplot. Natalie Portman channels this chaos into her character for a truly fascinating performance. This trailer shows you flashes of mismatch information all covered in glitter and complete with heaps of drama to leave the viewer thoroughly confused but endlessly intrigued.

John Woolley
is a college senior and Multimedia Executive Editor. Has "Big Ruth Energy," some say.

Samantha Tritt
Samantha Tritt is a junior in the college studying linguistics and psychology and is a Contributing Editor. She loves reading, writing, traveling, and all types of dogs.

Jake Maher
Jake Maher is the former executive news editor and editor-in-chief of The Georgetown Voice.

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