Star Wars IX: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGAupmtXcMM
Jake: Remember when we were supposed to let the past die, kill it if we had to? Yeah, me neither, because apparently nothing’s ever really gone. This whole trilogy has been a mess of half finished plotlines, “subversive” storytelling that subverts only our expectations that a Star Wars movie will be entertaining, MacGuffin hunting that ends up going nowhere, bad characterization, clunky dialogue, and poorly established (even continuity-breaking) stakes. I want Star Wars to be good. I want to be excited for this. I want to believe that the Palpatine laugh at the end means we’re getting into some weird, prequel trilogy tie-in, force ghost territory. But the one-two punch of The Force Awakens (2015) followed by The Last Jedi (2017) has completely killed any excitement I have for the final film in this trilogy. Even this trailer, which has some pretty fantastic setpieces and some cool action scenes, does nothing for me. The name reveal is mildly interesting, but only because I wonder how JJ Abrams is going to try and undo the character work Rian Johnson so thoroughly mishandled in the last movie. Is Ben Solo (Adam Driver) going to be the Skywalker that rises? If so, will he be rising up to the legacy of the sith, or are we going to do yet another turnaround on his character (I swear to god, I think I got whiplash from trying to think about how many times he goes from good to bad to good again)? Are we going to get another switcheroo on who Rey’s parents are? Will Luke (Mark Hamill) rise from the the dead on the third day to judge the living and the dead? Where are the porgs? Where are the porgs? Where are the porgs? Where are the porgs? WHERE ARE THE PORGS?
Katie: Hi, if you don’t want to read a paragraph of intense Adam Driver thirst posting, I suggest moving on to Sam’s section. I am so excited for this film, and yet 100% not ready for it to come out. I’m so attached to the Skywalker (Mark Hamill) saga that I don’t want to let go yet, and I’m certainly not ready to bid farewell to Carrie Fisher’s Princess Leia. After 40 years in that galaxy far, far away, I hope with all my heart that Episode IX doesn’t disappoint. The Rise of Skywalker (2019) is an interesting title choice, considering that the only Skywalker who could possibly walk out of this film alive is Ben Solo (Adam Driver), but if it’s foreshadowing an amazing Kylo Ren redemption narrative, I’m ALL THE WAY HERE FOR IT. The shot of Rey and Leia moved me to tears, of course, and Billy Dee Williams reprising his role as Lando Calrissian truly gave me more than I could ever ask for. And that closing black screen….if that laugh is Palpatine’s, I will riot. As far as the storyline goes, it makes absolutely no sense for Palpatine to return in this film, and I pray to God that J.J. Abrams doesn’t wild out here. That being said, the real problem in this trailer is the fact that there’s only one shot of my boy Adam Driver as Kylo Ren. Give the people what they want, J.J. Give them Adam Driver.
Sam: So I feel like this is the point where I confess I have never seen a single Star Wars movie. Therefore, I can’t really say much about this trailer in terms of plot or how it relates to the rest of the saga. That being said, I thought it was a well executed teaser trailer. The short burst of action scenes with glimpses of characters accompanied by an epic soundtrack, mysterious narration, and menacing laugh is enough to get anyone excited. Even I, as someone who has no personal attachment to the series, was intrigued. The trailer fulfills its purpose, teasing the fanbase and increasing the anticipation for the upcoming film.
The Last Summer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qe9B8kzlFjM
Jake: After John Hughes died in 2009, we all should have stopped making movies about high schoolers falling in love. The bad news is that this movie looks like the hottest trash yet to grace this earth. The good news is that if we hook up John Hughes’ body to some sort of turbine, we can have a truly unlimited and renewable source of energy from how fast he is surely spinning in his grave.
Katie: Wow, this trailer retraumatized me. Thanks, Netflix! The summer after high school was frankly one of the most cursed summers of my entire existence, so I feel like this extremely cursed film is really going to hit too close to home. I’ll probably never find out if The Last Summer (2019) resonates deeply with me, though, because I have absolutely no desire to watch it. A Netflix film starring a decently attractive group of teenagers trying figure out who they want to be in this big, giant world? Groundbreaking.
Sam: Oh Netflix, producing yet another teenage romantic comedy instead of bettering the current selection. The Last Summer (2019) fits in perfectly with other recent Netflix originals such as The Kissing Both (2018), The Perfect Date (2019), and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018). Coming of age stories full of romance and friendship drama—these movies are hit or miss for me. The sheer number of these movies being produced means many lack an original plot or well developed characters. However, The Last Summer focuses on a group of friends and their dynamic. The larger cast of main characters makes it stand out from the other highschool romantic comedies that focus on one character and their individual problems. It looks like it could be really cute and enjoyable and it catches my attention in a way many of Netflix’s recent releases have failed to do.
Jake: Man, I have no idea what everyone else is talking about here. This trailer seems like the weird, freakish spawn of the union of Hunter S. Thompson and the entirety of The Dead Poets Society (1989). It has a powerful chaotic energy around it. The last movie I watched starring an actor who is well past their prime burdened with the emotional weight of their impending death and resorting to increasingly unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with past trauma, all the while maintaining a relationship with a precocious daughter/son figure and ultimately learning to accept the inevitability of their own demise was St. Vincent (2014) starring Bill Murray. That movie made me cry like a bitch by the end. Actually, stop what you’re doing right now and go watch St. Vincent. Will this movie be good? Almost assuredly not. Am I about to go watch St. Vincent again? Yes. Yes I am.
Katie: I would really like an explanation for what I just watched. Which Halftime Leisure assistant thought that this was an acceptable trailer to make me review? I need to take an extremely warm shower. Johnny Depp generally makes me uncomfortable, but Johnny Depp as an asshole professor with very obvious deep rooted emotional issues? Absolutely disgusting. I am disgusted. Halftime Leisure, you’re required to pay for my next therapist appointment, because this trailer will definitely come up.
Sam: I don’t even know what to say after watching that trailer. It was so strange and confusing I would very much like to move on and pretend I never watched it. I recognize that it is probably supposed to be about the finite nature of life and how we shouldn’t waste our lives trying to be perfect, but I’m not sure how well crude jokes and emotional crises will do that. Is it supposed to be tragic? Funny? Heartwarming? Your guess is as good as mine. The trailer was just a collection of scenes with very different messages and moods resulting in a very confusing and slightly disturbing two minute and forty-two second video that told me everything I could possibly want to know about the movie.