Halftime Leisure

Trailer Takes: Little, The Secret Life of Pets 2, and Russian Doll

February 6, 2019

Little: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKwhs5u9z8c


Jake S. : I was really worried that this movie was an unoriginal take on 17 Again (2009) that would take all the deserved rep Issa Rae has from Insecure and throw it in the trash. But then I saw a bunch of kids doing the shoot dance in a line I knew that it would pick up a couple Oscars on its way to the Criterion Collection. You know what they say: the only thing better than one child actor in a movie, is more than one child actor in a movie.

Jake M. : Things that I liked about this trailer included some of the music selections and Issa Rae’s presence. I’ve admittedly only seen 2.5 episodes of Insecure, but I like her understated performance on the show. There’s some of this in the trailer—rolling her eyes, for instance, at her overbearing friend’s ridiculous demands. In general though, I think the gags involving her adult friend forced to pretend to be a child are too broad to really have the same appeal.

Jack : There is a distinct possibility there is actually a negative probability I’ll watch that movie. I see a pretty hard maximum of three movies in the theater a year, and that will not be one of them. The premise is tired-—17 Again (2009), but with kids-—and, from what I could tell from the trailer, the acting might be worse. The jokes were funny, but SNL is funny, too, and you don’t have to leave your couch to see that.


Secret Life of Pets 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-DRSTW0kD8


Jake S. : This character trailer for Gidget (Jenny Slate) finally answers some of the questions fans have been dying to know the answers to since the cliffhanger ending of The Secret Life Of Pets (2016). It’s been an agonizing wait for us die-hard TSLOP fandom members, but now we finally have some clues to how Gidget acquires the first two Infinity Stones and how much this movie ties in to the larger Cloverfield universe. I was a little shocked that the after-credits sting in this trailer was just an image of Gidget sitting atop a throne of human skulls with the words “No Gods, No Kings, Only Pets” smeared in human blood on the wall behind her, but that’s why they pay those fancy-schmancy Hollywood writers the big smackaroos and I have to fend off other Voice writers like a feral chimpanzee to get a chance at eating some Double Stuff Oreos.

Jake M. : The combination of my love for cats and my inability to own one due to my intense allergies is an ongoing struggle, so this trailer hit pretty close to home. Anyway, children, especially cat-owning children who don’t know how they good they have it, would probably enjoy this movie. For me, the main draw would be the voice acting from Jenny Slate, who I think is very funny. It probably wouldn’t be enough in this case, though, to overcome my disinterest in animated movies.

Jack : It’s a hard pass from me. I have a deep-seated aversion to the yellow minions, and its presence in the trailer-—though not a part of the movie?-—means there is precisely zero chance I will see this movie. That’s before we consider that this movie’s title ends with a “2.” I can’t name a single good sequel that ends with “2,” and I think that’s for a reason: if you can’t be creative with the title, your movie is going to be a lifeless retake of the original.


Russian Doll: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gOIliR3iLE


Jake S. : I like to think that there’s a whole guild of writers somewhere up in the Alps that churns out nothing but Groundhog Day (1993) ripoffs. One day, I hope to join their ranks. The trope is such an endlessly entertaining way to save money on set designs and studios’ time. Movies like Edge of Tomorrow (2014)  (a wonderful sequel to Edge of Seventeen (2016) or even Happy Death Day (2017) (it was fun, sue me) have proven that the plot hook can transcend the conventions of the movie that birthed it and that a time loop can be a fun and interesting addition to everything from action to horror. Will it work with a psychological thriller? I don’t know, but it’s on Netflix and the trailer is interesting enough to me to warrant it taking up an hour or two of my time. It’s no A Christmas Prince 2: The Royal Wedding (2018), the peak of both Netflix originals and cinema as a whole, but what is?

Jake M. : This trailer was a little too short to tell what was going on.: The main character seems to be trapped in a loop of dying and resetting back to a certain moment in his life. It’s not clear what the main conflict of this Twilight Zone-ish plot is going to be, so the most I can say is that it is a well-produced riff on a reasonably common concept for a movie. I’m cautiously optimistic that it may be worth watching (especially since its Netflix-only release means there is a very small barrier to doing so).

Jack : Finally, a trailer worth watching. But still, I will not watch the movie. The first thirty seconds seemed interesting: here’s a guy who’s doing some mundane things, which is how the best trailers seem to start. But then it went off the rails. It lost its composure and surrendered to sensational storytelling. As one of the commenters on Youtube noticed, it’s similar to Groundhog Day (1993). The reason that movie was good was its combination of premise and genre: silly premise, silly genre. This movie does something else. It takes a ridiculous premise and combines it with an apparently serious plot. I doubt it will turn out well.

But then, I’m about the least informed and yet most picky moviegoer there is, so I don’t exactly suggest listening to me. Here I am though, blasting my thoughts out over the internet. You’re welcome!

Jack Townsend
Jack is the Voice's executive news editor.

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

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