Lily: As much as I love reinterpretations of Shakespearean works, I’m not too sure about this. One of the most enjoyable aspects of Shakespeare’s plays is their focus on the relationships between the characters and how universal they are, and I didn’t get the sense that this would really be accomplished in the movie. Frankly, this trailer was a bit disappointing. Timothée Chalamet’s obviously a very talented actor, but it didn’t really seem like the script was giving him a lot to work with, which is unfortunate because Henry V’s a really rich character. While I might be wrong, I’m worried that this might just end up being another gritty historical drama. There’s too much potential in the source material for this movie for it to be squandered on muted colors and brooding. Plus, it’s really dismaying to see Fallstaff, one of Shakespeare’s most intriguing characters, not being given that much to do. I am, however, 100% here for the renaissance that Robert Pattinson seems to be having lately.
Bella: As an AP Euro graduate, I am thoroughly excited for this movie. Although the Shakespeare play entitled Henry V is widely read in academic settings, the 100 Years War is probably the most underrepresented war in cinema. There might be some good reason for this, considering the war’s length, but if you’ve ever read about the epicness of the Battle of Agincourt, you know why this is a sad fact. This movie appears to answer all of my wishes in terms of a worthy portrayal. Timothée Chalamet’s Henry V is visibly weighed down by the war he inherents, his tightly wound responses and watchful eyes flawlessly matching the dark tone of the cinematography. On top of that, the editing of this trailer perfectly highlights the tension of the time period with cuts punctuated by war chanting, metallic percussion, and a racing string section. The lack of noticeable CGI is probably the most striking undercurrent, however. I still can’t get over the costuming and sets that lend the movie a beautifully realistic quality that is so lacking in many other period pieces. And it’s a Netflix movie! To my absolute greatest joy, however, Robert Pattinson actually seemed to be putting on a French accent to play the Dauphin of France. It could end up being awful in reality, but actors attempting accurate accents in historical dramas is so painfully rare that I almost don’t care. Lastly, someone please tell me that they also noticed the total copy cat shot of Joel Edgerton coming up for air in the battle that was stolen right from the Battle of the Bastards in Game of Thrones.
Leah: I spent the first bit of this trailer mourning Timothée Chalamet’s bowl cut, and the rest getting sucked into Henry V’s world. It’s not often that a trailer alone can cause stress, but I was genuinely wondering what would happen next. This seems like Netflix’s most ambitious movie to date, if the number of extras and battle scenes are any indication. It’s obviously based on Shakespeare’s plays, but the modernized dialogue makes the story feel much more immediate. I think this could be a great example of updating Shakespeare without losing its essence. The production looks amazingly realistic and fittingly austere, and of course, there’s the real draw: Chalamet, who has not been less than stellar in any movie so far. We haven’t seen him play a character like this before, but I don’t doubt he’ll make it work. What really surprised me, though, was Robert Pattinson. Rocking the blond wig and the French accent, I think he might just steal the movie. I know I’ll be watching to find out.
Let It Snow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pitxxQYZcug
Lily: Will the acting be bad? Probably. Will the dialogue be cringeworthy? Based on what I just watched, most certainly. Am I going to watch it and have a pretty good time? You can bet on it. Sure, it may be the next Netflix teen romcom to use music from the band Bleachers and fake-deep musings on adolescence in place of actual substance, but it seems pretty aware of what it is and isn’t trying to be anything more. While it looks a bit bland, the movie seems aesthetically pleasing enough, and I’m excited to see that Anna Akana has a sizeable and well-deserved role in this. Unlike other Netflix movies directed at teenagers (ahem, Sierra Burgess is a Loser (2018)), there’s nothing about this that seems to send a particularly harmful message, and at least there’s no Noah Centineo. Plus the cast seems to be having fun. All in all, it seems like a decent bit of holiday movie comfort food. Nothing more, nothing less.
Bella: Movies like this just really aren’t my thing. With a group of friends it has the potential to be entertaining, but would I go out of my way to watch it? No. Teen movies about a boy being in love with his childhood best friend are extremely overdone, but I don’t think the viewers this movie will attract will care much about that. Movies like this are made for the Netflix watcher who just wants to sit back and enjoy some cutesy young romances, which I can totally respect. I do have an issue, however, with the lack of standard there seems to be with representing actual awkwardness in relationships. That scene where Kiernan Shipka’s character walks in on her friend shaving his nipple hairs had some of the most painful and unrealistic dialogue I’ve seen in awhile. Some of the other lines included in the trailer are definitely cringeworthy too, and from what I could tell, there may be a lack of actual chemistry between at least one of the couples. To give credit where credit is due, the couple shown dancing near the end of the trailer were pretty successful in making me interested in their romance. If I watch this movie at all it will probably be because the hype eventually conned me into it, like with The Kissing Booth (2018).
Leah: This trailer screams Hallmark Channel, and if you told me that it was set inside a snow globe, I wouldn’t be surprised. Certain shots, like the girl getting a milkshake dumped on her head, seem lifted directly out of other teen movies. But Let It Snow has somehow managed to bring every up-and-coming young star into the same story, and for that reason alone, it’s probably worth watching. Jacob Batalon is the highlight of the Spider-Man movies for me, and I loved Kiernan Shipka in Mad Men, so I’m particularly excited for their storylines. The plot seems to take a backseat to overall cuteness, but for a Netflix movie, that’s not a bad thing. I remember really enjoying the source book back in middle school, and the trailer feels just as quirky and syrupy. This movie demands to be seen with hot cocoa and a fuzzy blanket…and maybe some Christmas music to drown out the dialogue, if need be. I think I will happily oblige.
Lily: How do I even start? First, there’s Vin Diesel’s non-acting, and the way that he delivers each line, without fail, like it’s the instructions for how to put together a chair from Ikea. There’s the set and costumes that look like someone had one day to put this thing together and all they were allowed to use was b-roll from Mama Mia! (2008) and the leftovers from the music video for Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood.” Also, there’s the scene in which Vin Diesel gets resurrected Captain America-style, except this time with tiny superpowered robotic bugs in his bloodstream, which, by the way, happens within the first 40 seconds. This was such a wild detail that I had to pause the trailer and rewind it just to be able to process what had just happened. The trailer for this movie didn’t make me angry or upset at the state of modern cinema as much as it made me laugh, and maybe made me a little bit curious to see where they go with this. In the end, I legitimately cannot wait until the folks at How Did This Get Made? get a hold of this one.
Bella: This follows every rule there is for an action film: shots with darkened edges to portray confusion, Star Trek lens flares, 300-style slow motion fight sequences, a buff action star, a tragic backstory, a Black best friend, Fast and Furious (lol) wide-shots of exotic locations, evil scientists, ect. In fact, almost every aspect of this trailer reminded me of other films I’ve seen. The most glaring similarity I noticed was to the story of Wolverine. Vin Diesel’s character, like Wolverine, wakes up on a scientist’s lab table already having been experimented on, able to self heal from any wound. If the likeness was not painfully obvious just based on that, the shot of Vin Diesel’s character arching off of said table in agony is virtually identical to the shot of Hugh Jackman doing the same thing in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In addition, this movie also seems to draw from another famous superhero movie: Spider-Man 2 (2004). The brief few shots we see of the strange Dr. Octopus look-alike were enough for me to mentally check out. This movie’s use of CGI isn’t terrible (except for that shot where they fall through that building) and Vin Diesels’ acting is not the worst out of his action star cohorts, however, I will be enthusiastically skipping this movie.
Leah: The Bourne Trilogy meets G.I. Joe meets every other Vin Diesel movie ever made. Maybe I’m not the person who should be reviewing this, as I maintain his best movie is The Pacifier (2005). But I can’t help but wonder what this movie could possibly add to the pantheon of “I must avenge my murdered wife” cinema. The trailer gives way too much away. We know the good guys are—gasp—not actually good, but until Vin Diesel inevitably triumphs, we have to sit through two hours of repetitive explosions and boring fights. This movie is based on a comic that’s not Marvel or DC, so I was really hoping for something new and different. The CGI and the overall aesthetic are unique (lots of blood-red, get it?), but not enough to overcome a tired formula and cheesy dialogue. I wouldn’t leave the room if it came on TV, but I wouldn’t spend money to see it in theaters.
Image Credits: Jacob Bilich