Halftime Leisure

Trailer Takes: Wendy, The Two Popes, and Color Out of Space

November 14, 2019

Illustration by Egan Barnitt

Wendy: https://youtu.be/KKktQFFcXL0

Nathan: This trailer seems to suggest a new take on the Peter Pan tale that deviates from the Disney model. Most stories about Peter Pan in recent decades have focused on the whimsical elements which, while entertaining and fun to watch, can become a bit repetitive without some counterprogramming. This seems to be that counterprogramming. Beautiful cinematography and a grungy look establish an intriguing visual identity that causes the Lost Boys to look more like castaways compared to previous interpretations. There are hints of a darker side to this fantasy though, both from external (the lost sailors) and internal (allusions to losing memories) threats. The latter is more fascinating to me because  a psychological examination of the children and the effects that their society has on them could create a ton of discussion about a century-old figure. Peter Pan is a cultural icon, but an indie take on the character could revitalize him and introduce a different viewpoint on his adventures to a wider audience.

Anna: This trailer is unlike anything I have seen before. I was expecting another remake of Peter Pan, but Wendy seems so different than any other version of Peter Pan. What drew me in at first was the musical score. The music complimented the trailer so well and took me through my own emotional journey. If anything, I will go see this movie just to listen to its dramatic score once again. This take on Peter Pan seems interesting because it focuses less on the fantastical aspects of the story. Rather, the movie seemingly explores the emotional journey of the Lost Boys and Peter Pan. Perhaps a little more dramatic than the original version, Wendy seems intriguing.

Sam: Peter Pan gets new life in Wendy (2020) with hints of Lord of the Flies thrown in for an added sense of oddity. This film is far from the whimsy of the classic Disney animated movie, reminding me more of the original tale. Hints of brutality and a rough struggle for survival punctuate the children’s defiance of the passage of time. I appreciate that the actors used in the film are mostly young children, instead of older actors. The realistic youth adds more depth and complexity to the story, making it even more emotionally powerful. The trailer with its bursts of crazy scenes overlayed by a steady narration drew me in from the beginning. The Peter Pan inspiration steadily grew apparent as the trailer went on, making it more intriguing than if they had immediately hit us with childhood nostalgia. I am personally looking forward to this daringly unique take on the classic tale and hope it will be a break from the overload of live-action remakes populating the current film landscape.  

The Two Popes: https://youtu.be/T5OhkFY1PQE

Nathan: It truly is prestige film season, especially when it seems like Netflix is dropping an Oscar-bait film every month. That being said, this film is covering an interesting topic with some stellar actors. The transition from Pope Benedict XVI to Pope Francis is the most recent headline-worthy news story about the papacy and the latest in a string of films that have focused on the modern turmoils of the Catholic Church. The use of news footage from the time of the transition and the intimate nature in which the Popes are portrayed gives the film an almost documentary feel, creating a mood focused on the emotions and arguments between the two men. The film will sink or swim depending on the performances Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce since they seem to be the core of the story and will have to introduce its themes and emotional center. On a separate note, I wonder if the release of this film will lead to any protests from certain groups of Christians or if the Catholic Church will release any statements on the film. It’ll be either fun or tiring to see this discussed on the news and then forgotten about in a week or two.

Anna: There is perhaps nothing better than a late-night binge of a new Netflix historical flick. The Two Popes has caught my attention through its seemingly confidential look into the sex abuse scandal within the Catholic Church. This movie looks like it will not only offer a good summary of what happened within the church, but also simultaneously examine what the future of the Catholic Church is. I am interested to see if this film will somehow reveal any new insights about the scandal that perhaps the general public is not privy to. Netflix could have a really interesting film here and I am excited to see how it will work out.

Sam: As a non-Catholic who has gone to Catholic schools for the past 14 years, I was immediately intrigued by a dramatical interpretation of the papacy. The Two Popes aims to tell a fascinating and complex story that most people know very little about. From the brief scenes included in the trailer, it seems that this film will accurately capture the sort of monarchical nature of the Catholic church. Both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis are interesting enough to have their own films, but by combining their stories into one plot the film aims to craft an intriguing story centered around the transition of power. Not only will it feature the events that led to the last Pope’s resignation but it will also depict the events involved in electing a new Pope to the office. I think this film could have a significant impact depending on their ability to execute such a complicated plot in an entertaining and well-paced way. I plan to watch it, especially considering the fact that it will be released on Netflix. 

Color Out of Space: https://youtu.be/agnpaFLo0to

Nathan: Lovecraft and Nicolas Cage. That should be the tagline for this movie since that combination sounds and (based on the trailer) looks crazy enough to work—or at least create a “so bad it’s good” movie. The visuals and sharp cuts create a trippy atmosphere that portrays the unusual horror prevalent in Lovecraftian media. However, the color’s depiction has me worried because the CGI in the trailer looks like it came from the early 2000s and while this could be used for an otherworldly presence in the film, it could also drag the viewer out of the experience. This movie changes the narrator of the story to the family itself rather than the unknown stranger of the original tale. This change shifts the focus from an account looking in on a strange family and the object that caused a supernatural issue to a story centered on a family dissolving due to the appearance of an unknown entity ignored by those with power to fix it. This sounds like a theme that could be used as an allegory for a number of problems in society—can’t wait to read all the articles talking about the true meaning of the film.

Anna: This trailer was a whirlwind of emotions. At first you are tricked into believing that this film is a simple family movie. However, it quickly becomes apparent that is not the case at all. This sci-fi thriller has the potential to intrigue audiences who are into this specific genre. It is clear that Nicolas Cage has aged spectacularly well and, if anything, I am interested to see how his acting abilities have matured with his years. However, I do have to say: If the science fiction/thriller genres do not entice you, this movie offers little. I am interested to see how this move will do in the box office considering that sci-fi films can be hit or miss. My guess is this will be a miss.

Sam: Though this trailer promises a thrilling and mysterious film, science fiction horror just isn’t my type of movie. However, I have to admit that the visuals in this movie are really impressive. The electric purple light contrasts greatly with the horrific scenes as the whole world falls apart around the characters. This creates a very intriguing effect and gives Color Out of Space (2020) a mysterious atmosphere. However, despite the unique color, there wasn’t a lot in the trailer that made it stand out from other horror movies with otherworldly threats. I really don’t have a lot to say about this film which I think proves just how underwhelming the trailer was. 

Samantha Tritt
Samantha Tritt is a junior in the college studying linguistics and psychology and is a Contributing Editor. She loves reading, writing, traveling, and all types of dogs.

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