Halftime Leisure

Trailer Takes: The Irishman, Joker, and Rambo: Last Blood

September 12, 2019

The Irishman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_2RjQwQGV0

Inès: The first thing that strikes me about this trailer is the list of names: Martin Scorsese, Robert de Niro, Al Pacino, and Anna Paquin. There are others but talk about a vibe, greats of cinema. The second is that I don’t fully understand the trailer because I am not incredibly familiar with the historical story of what is going to unfold in the movie. What I can say, is that this story of mobsters, politicians, and what looks to be the disappearance of labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa seems like a not-quite-original but enjoyable gangster movie that I’ll watch when it comes out on Netflix.

Sky: I once read a biography about Robert Kennedy that dedicated a whole chapter to discussing Attorney General’s intense feud with Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa. While Larry Tye seemed to imply that certain aspects of the beef were wrought with misunderstanding, and that RFK may have even been the one to take it too far, this thriller-like trailer paints a very different picture. Ya hate to see organized labor be the villain (or at least anti-hero), but damn Al Pacino and Robert De Niro play great crime bosses. This gives me serious Godfather (1972) vibes and honestly I’m not complaining. Even though I know it’s kind of a trope, for some reason the scene explaining the three rings gave me goosebumps. Also, the shots of taxi cabs being dumped into the water and set on fire—eerily brilliant.  

Anna: Talk about a thriller. I counted at least ten murders in this trailer alone. With a star-studded cast of actors including Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci and a director like Martin Scorsese, this movie seems poised to appeal to the baby boomer generation reminiscing on the good ole’ Godfather days. The dark and mysterious cinematics really up the dramatic nature of the trailer which is complemented by the equally dramatic music playing in the background. I’m not sure if this is a movie theater worthy trailer, but it definitely is worth a late-night Netflix binge.

Joker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAGVQLHvwOY

Inès: I am so excited about this movie, I have been since the first teaser trailer. The trailer is terrifying to me because when I’ve watched the Joker in Batman films, there is this comforting notion that no one can be that crazy and evil, and because there couldn’t possibly be an explanation for it, it must not be possible. What this origin story on the Joker, with the incredible Joaquin Phoenix in the titular role, seems to do is show a horrible human sadness that twists into one of the best villains ever dreamed up, and I don’t know if I can handle that. 

Sky: That’s gonna be a “no” from me, dawg. I’ve never gotten into the Batman franchise, but even as a vague concept the Joker has always terrified me. Not only is this film creepy, but the portrayal of the Joker’s unfortunate and sad life as a struggling comedian in a dead-end job is just not something I want to pay money to watch. Even though this is supposed to be the origin story for a famous villain, the trailer just makes it seem like a slightly-deranged man’s downward spiral. If I didn’t know anything about the Joker, I would just assume this movie ends with its protagonist in a mental hospital instead of terrorizing Gotham. Point being: There’s an edge to this character that this movie, in its aggressive realism, fails to find. While Joaquin Phoenix looks like he does an incredible job in this role, this portrayal of the Joker will just have to be added to the list of ones I find too haunting to actually go see. 

Anna: Full disclosure, I have always and will forever hate the Joker story line. It is intentionally horrifying and just down right haunting as this trailer shows. On one hand, it is a testament to the quality of this film, that this trailer alone could make me sh*t my pants. Joaquin Phoenix does a phenomenal job portraying the wild creepiness of the Joker’s character while simultaneously still evoking the sadness and depression at the root of the Joker. Maybe, just maybe I will overcome my fear and actually see this movie in theaters. (Just kidding, you couldn’t pay me enough!) 

Rambo: Last Blood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPuhNtG47M0

Inès: Wow. There is a lot happening. I need Sylvester Stallone to stop making movies. I haven’t seen Rambo, nor have I ever felt the need to, but I think I have a grasp of the character based on idioms; the crazy action hero who is able to outsmart and outfight his enemies with resourcefulness. This trope of taking an old character out of retirement to make him save a family member is also tired. The big block letters with fire in the trailer do not inspire confidence in the movie either. Stallone actually says something like “He started this, I’ll end it.” Everything about this makes me want to cringe. I like the action hero who is in another class from his enemies and can beat a whole army, but I think we have evolved from Rambo to John Wick or Lara Croft or even Batman, and we don’t need to revive a franchise, which should have been left to rest in peace, just to make a quick buck. 

Sky: At least this movie tells you what it’s going to be right up front: a senseless violence-fest. I would have at least hoped that this film would get creative with the ways in which Sylvester Stallone kills people, considering that the entire trailer is just a montage of this feat. However, we just get treated to one straight minute of him shooting arrows from various angles and firing different types of guns. There is absolutely no need for this movie to exist. With nothing innovative or even sensical about this trailer, even extreme violence becomes boring. If I’m already numbed by a minute-long trailer, no way will I sit through an hour and a half of the exact same footage. 

Anna: As someone who hails from the great capital of all things Rocky, Philadelphia, it pains me to say that I have never quite understood the appeal of Sylvester Stallone. The trailer just further fortifies my confusion with this man. He always seems to play similar characters in action packed films with little to no emotional depth to his characters. Rambo: Last Blood is no acception. Stallone is perpetually covered in blood (likely that of a recent victim of his bow and arrow) and dirt (kicked up from wild fighting sequences). One would think that at some point, Stallone would eventually grow out of this character. While this has (unintentionally) turned into a rant about Sylvester Stallone, the same point remains: I will not watch this movie. 

Inès de Miranda
Inès graduated from Georgetown in May 2020. During her time at the Voice, she served as chair of the Editorial Board and wrote for most sections.

Skyler Coffey
Skyler Coffey is the Voice's Copy Chief and former Leisure Editor. She primarily expresses affection by sending people TikToks.

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