Halftime Leisure

Trailer Takes: Dead to Me, Joker, and My Spy

April 10, 2019

Dead to Me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRribvsnKfE

Cade: This trailer was a whirlwind of emotions that intrigued me from the very start. Whether it’s breaking into cars, police raids, or conversations with a bird, this trailer was a fever dream I never want to leave. It kinda reminded me of the narrative arc of Pixar’s Up (2009), but much darker—it starts off pretty somber with the death of a loved one that ultimately leads to the formation of an unlikely friendship through misadventure and tomfoolery. But I digress. I will definitely be watching this series, as the dynamic between Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini, the exhilarating actions scenes, and the absolute jams playing in the trailer’s background all give it great promise.

Sophie: Things escalated extremely quickly here. When it started, I thought it would just be another best friend comedy—you know, where we watch the main characters get drunk at brunch and embarrass themselves at clubs. Instead, the FBI barges through the door. It does look pretty funny, but I’m not even sure what the central conflict is here. Is it Christina Applegate’s husband’s mysterious death? Or is it the possibility that her newfound best friend is a criminal? The trailer left me confused but also intrigued, so I might actually watch this.

Neha: Here’s a list of things that stuck out to me in this trailer: the fact that Mexican lasagna is a thing that exists, Christina Applegate punching a cake, and the phrase “white wine vigilante.” It’s a wild ride, to say the least, and it escalates quickly. I didn’t see A Simple Favor (2018), but I get similar vibes from this trailer. I’m not sure how I feel about this movie, but I can’t say I’m thrilled about this whole she’s-not-as-innocent-as-you-think trope. I will say, though, that as strange as I find this trailer, it does have some quality jokes. I’m not sure I’ll seek after this movie, but maybe if I’m bored and searching Netflix.

Joker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=13&v=X4Zwpl7VbhA

Cade: Incoming hot take: I’m really not a fan of the extremely popular superhero genre dominating the movie scene these days, but I must say that this villain origin story idea seems really fascinating. I am absolutely chilled by Joaquin Phoenix’s portrayal of the supervillian, which means he’s done everything right. I’m sure there are The Dark Knight (2008) traditionalists who won’t accept Phoenix as a “true Joker,” critiquing his performance against that of Academy Award winner Heath Ledger. However, the trailer has got my attention, and hopefully the tormented, distressed Joker we see in the trailer reproduces this frightening aura on the big-screen.

Sophie: I’m glad I watched this trailer while alone in my room, because the amount of times I jumped is just embarrassing. It was gripping and shocking and will definitely be a good movie, even for someone like me, who is totally ambivalent to the Marvel vs DC comics debate. Joaquin Phoenix managed to break my heart in a two-minute trailer, and each snippet of it left me rooting for him and dying to see what would happen next. Honestly, the only thing holding me back from saying I loved the trailer is the fact that I spent the entire time terrified.

Neha: Admittedly, I watched this trailer several times before even being assigned this Trailer Take. I don’t know if it was for Joaquin Phoenix or that chilling rendition of “Smile,” but regardless, I think it’s safe to say I’m hooked. The Joker is supposed to pull you in and then let you down, and Phoenix’s acting seems pretty darn good at doing that, based on this trailer. We have high expectations in the post-Dark Knight world, but I think this is our first real peek at what Phoenix has to offer in the role—a compelling yet tragic performance. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m ready for Joaquin Phoenix to break my heart.

My Spy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFGYK-iRMgw

Cade: This film fails to provide any original or meaningful content despite being caught between too many different movie genres. The tropes are nothing new, and the jokes never seem to land, relying on cheap references to popular culture that will probably be irrelevant by the time this movie comes out. The modern spy movie generally revolves around witty and crafty characters fighting crime covertly, but Dave Bautista’s portrayal of a CIA agent seems simple, static, and stale. I can see this film being the go-to when the tickets for the other films have all sold out and there’s nothing left to watch.

Sophie: Okay, so this isn’t a new premise, but it is really funny. I love movies about spies, and a sassy sidekick is never a bad thing. My Spy (2019) is one big joke, and if not original, at least follows a reliable formula. Chloe Coleman is adorable, even more so while standing next to the mountain that is Dave Bautista. I enjoyed watching the friendship between the two develop, especially when Dave Bautista takes on her school bullies. While I wouldn’t pay money to watch this in theatres, I would definitely watch it on Netflix with my friends.

Neha: The Pacifier (2005) and The Game Plan (2007) jokes aside, it goes without saying that this movie’s main appeal is just visual irony. It’s funny to see JJ (Dave Bautista) tower over nine-year-old Sophie (Chloe Coleman) while she matches, if not surpasses, him in ego. Plot-wise, there’s nothing new here: a tough, slightly cold CIA agent finds a sassy, too-smart-for-her-own-good partner in an unexpected way. From watching the trailer, my inner sap admits that there’s something charming about the friendship that evidently develops between them, but I maintain that there’s probably nothing super special to be offered here. Regardless, it is definitely funny to see Dave Bautista gasp over a fish named Blueberry.

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