Halftime Leisure

Trailer Takes: Bombshell, Lady and the Tramp, and Marriage Story

October 23, 2019

Bombshell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rBnkBIhoFE

Lucy: Wow, does Bombshell have a heavyweight acting trio, or what? Kate McKinnon, Nicole Kidman, and Charlize Theron are all dolled up and bleach blonde to present a very contemporary image of Fox News. From the writer of  The Big Short (2015), Bombshell is sure to deliver a fast-paced and interesting take on the real story of female Fox News employees taking on their toxic and sexist superior (John Lithgow). While the story is certainly an important one to tell, I wonder if the writers will be able to portray Fox News in all of its controversy-riddled fullness if it focuses on one story alone. However, I’m excited to see how it plays out and to learn more about this fairly recent story. 

Bella: This trailer has a really interesting tone. Although Kate McKinnon talking about what makes a Fox News story at the beginning was funny, and painfully true, I didn’t initially understand why the movie wanted to go in a humorous direction considering the subject matter. Once Nicole Kidman came on screen, however, the heaviness of the true story shone through, and that made me excited. Since this movie has the writer of The Big Short (2015) and three powerhouse actresses on its side, I think it will do well in combining comedy and difficult subject matter. The most interesting thing to me, however, is the choice to tell this story at all. Fox News is a pretty controversial network, especially among actors in Hollywood. And yet, the filmmakers were able to put aside their possible political disagreements with the real-life subjects of this story in order to make a movie about women standing up for themselves in a disgusting work environment. This movie has the potential to be super unifying or disastrous for conversation across the aisle, and for that alone, I will be going to see it. Also, props to the makeup team for this movie because I could barely recognize Charlize Theron, who I genuinely thought for a second was the real Megyn Kelly. 

Anna: This trailer actually sparked my interest to the point where my uninformed bum actually googled the scandal that Bombshell is based on. I think it speaks a lot to the culture of our films that a scandal which happened so recently is already the plot of a major motion picture. That being said, I am clearly intrigued. With such a strongly familiar (and female centric!) cast there is definitely an added sense of excitement to see how all these major actresses will interact with each other on screen. The major drawback I have with this film is the choice in music. Billie Eilish’s “bad guy” creates an almost ironic tinge on the trailer. With a plot as serious as the Fox News scandal, it is somewhat hilarious that “bad guy,” a deeply drawn-out and low beat song, is playing along. It is possible Ellish’s song was chosen in order to continue the female centric trend as well as the fact that the song’s title is somewhat ironic as this film is about “bad guy[s]”. So well done, I’m intrigued and ready to go to the movie theater for this release. 

Lady and the Tramp: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LmCQrpagfHQ

Lucy: Oh god, oh no. Not another one. Not another Disney live-action remake that has more CGI than actual live action. My reaction to this new and shiny iteration of the classic Lady and the Tramp (1955) is the same as my reaction to its cousins the Lion King (2019) and Dumbo (2019)—just because the animation is hyper-realistic, doesn’t mean it’s good animation. Part of what makes animation so appealing is its ability to lend humanity, life, and expression to things that are not human. By making the characters in Lady and the Tramp look almost exactly like actual dogs, it detracts from their ability to show emotion and connect with the audience. As someone who loves animation and all of its potential, I’m starting to really despise every one of Disney’s uninspired money-grabs. They suck the creativity out of an art form that is so dynamic and has so much to offer. The only potentially good thing I can say about this trailer is that Tessa Thompson is the voice of Lady. That’s it.  

Bella: Why does Disney insist on trying to tell emotional stories with CGI animals? It made me uncomfortable while watching the new Lion King (2019), Jungle Book (2016), and Dumbo (2019), and still makes me uncomfortable now. Even worse, in this movie it seems like they had real dogs on set for some characters, which only makes the CGI faces of the canine protagonists that much stranger and unsettling. Because they’re so realistic, it also made the falling-on-each other shot extremely uncomfortable and not cutesie at all. It’s such a bummer too because the original Lady and the Tramp (1955) is an adorable movie, showcasing all the great things the older Disney movies had to offer, like painted background stills and excessive blinking when something shocking happens. (We will not mention the overtly racist, yet catchy, cat song). Truly though, most of the trailer made me cringe, including the song at the beginning, and I will most likely not be seeing this movie. That being said, it’s not the fault of the CGI artists who clearly worked really hard and honestly created some of the most realistic hair/fur I’ve ever seen in a movie. Emotion and CGI faces just rarely go together. 

Anna: Something about the CGI in this film really gets to me. The real life human voices over the almost, but not quite real images of dogs prancing around is unsettling to say the least. I so greatly do not want to let the creepy CGI affect my perspective on the overall film, but it is impossible to set the two apart. I do, however, appreciate the overall dramatic background music playing as the dogs make daring leaps for their love. Do you sense my sarcasm yet? This movie is unfortunately not going to make my must-see list.  

Marriage Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHi-a1n8t7M

Lucy: I think it’s incredibly interesting to make a movie about something so ordinary as a marriage falling apart. It has the potential to be incredibly moving because it’s something that so many children, parents, and spouses alike have experienced. The question is, will Marriage Story do the subject matter justice and portray it in the right way? It’s hard to tell. I liked how the muted colors and the very plain-looking costumes, make-up, and set designs made it feel less like a movie and more like real life. I like Adam Driver a lot and think he certainly has the acting potential to lift the movie (not a huge fan of Scarlett Johannson, though). I would say the fate of this movie rests on its pacing, cinematography, and (most importantly) writing in order to make the audience feel that same painful ache as its characters. If it garners good reviews, I may have to check it out.

Bella: Whoever made the choice to show contradictions at the beginning of the trailer as the two main characters speak is a genius. When it comes to portraying marriages in movies, realistic depictions are pretty difficult to do, but I feel like contradictory behavior is accurate to say the least. Showing a relationship having its ups and downs, even post divorce, is something that is also enjoyably real about this movie. I will say, however, that it’s pretty hard for me to like a movie with Scarlett Johanson in it at this point. Even from the trailer you can tell that Adam Driver is probably going to do really well and Scar Jo is going to simply show emotion through a furrowed brow and fake crying a lot. I’m also definitely sure that my bias towards her choices in past film roles is playing a part in my negative opinion of her as an actress. Regardless, I enjoy the old school look of the camera quality, think the story was most likely written by someone who has actually gone through a divorce for once, and dislike the wig they put on Scar Jo.

Anna: And another star-studded cast. Adam Driver and Scarlett Johanson’s chemistry, or lack thereof, is palpable in this film. I am intrigued to see what went wrong in their marriage to warrant a divorce? Mid-life crisis movies like this seem to be getting more and more popular as of late and to be honest, I’m not totally against it. There is something satisfying in watching adults  struggle somewhat to figure their lives out. On a deeper level (maybe too deep for Trailer Takes?) it’s good to see the humanity of adults in films like these. It shows us adolescents that perfection in life is unattainable and messing up and starting over is completely alright, even if you’re 50 years old with a child. So yes, I’ll be tuning in to Netflix in my PJ’s with a bowl of ice cream to watch this film for sure. 

Lucy Cook
Lucy is a senior majoring in American Studies and minoring in Creative Writing. She was cursed by an evil amulet and hence is bound to write for this paper. Lucy is the Executive Leisure Editor.

Bella McGlone
is a staff writer who loves the world of movies but maybe loves trying out Bon Appetit recipes more.

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