Trailer Impressions: Sprial: From the Book of Saw

Oh, boy, we got another Saw movie coming. Admittedly, I love the first four, maybe five entries, and you cannot shame me for that. Then things left the initial story and became a convoluted mess, more so than it already turned into. Now we get something a little different from the rumored spinoff featuring Samuel L. Jackson, but despite trying something new, this looks laughably terrible.

I have to see it.

Starting off with weird 90s buddy cop vibes with Det. Zeke Banks (Chris Rock, who happens to write and produce the film because this world is cruel and unusual) and Det. Marv Boswick (Dan Petronijevic). A new series of crimes come along targetting police officers, so now they are on the case to solve it. Who could it possibly be?

That right there is almost the entire trailer until we get the introduction of Marcus (Samuel L. Jackson), who I have no idea who he is supposed to be but it is Jackson, so I am happy enough to see him hopefully save as much of this shit show as he can.

Chris Rock goofily rolls his chair in the police station to see a commotion over a package. A little tease to show either a message or trap being prepared for him because Saw loves its surprises, even if it doesn’t land with the audience.

We do get a weird glimpse into what looks like a heist with men wearing ski masks and boiler suits. Why not, we got this far?

It isn’t until towards the end we get a reminder that this is Saw with Jackson asking, “You want to play games, mother fucker,” and yes, we get him saying his famous two words. Then we get to see two traps, some contraption that has someone’s arms getting pulled by a machine and Officer Chris Rock handcuffed with a saw in one hand. Ooo, fanfare, so exciting!

I have no hope for this to succeed, but Jigsaw made a good profit, so Lionsgate will continue to chuck these out at us for some extra cash. I hope for enough of Nick Fury Jackson to elevate this experience to make it at least enjoyably bad rather than a miserable mess.

Spiral: From the Book of Saw releases May 15.

Support the blog

$5.00

Image via Lionsgate

Trailer Impressions: A Quiet Place Part II

When John Krasinski came out with his debut into horror with A Quiet Place, I felt the whole world was telling me that it is incredible. I saw it about a year later and enjoyed myself but felt underwhelmed due to the hype and some holes in its plot. Nonetheless, I do applaud him for the unique premise, his team for creating iconic looking creatures, and the acting from him, his movie and real-life wife, Emily Blunt (who I adore in every way), and the children Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe. The trailer for its sequel starts off 2020, and I am thoroughly impressed with its bigger scope and level of intensity, with some anxious feelings lingering as I did not fall for the 2018 film like everyone else.

Things start off on an interesting note, we see the first day of the invasion. Evelyn (Emily Blunt) is driving two of her children through a busy street until one of the blind monsters comes crashing down on the car in front of them. This scene goes on for longer than expected, pumping adrenaline into me every step of the way. I hope to see more of those early days while not taking away from the flow of the story.

Now it is modern times, taking place seconds after the death of their father and husband Lee (John Krasinski). The family goes through the wreckage of their home to find somewhere safe. After activating a sound trap and getting spotted by a sniper, the survivors meet a man, who turns out to be reasonably friendly. It looks to be less intimate than the first film with introductions of characters who are not strange old men who scream then get themselves killed for making a racket.

After seeing the baby in the box, the man decides to guide the Abbott clan to somewhere, seriously, where do they think they are going in an apocalypse?

Anyways, they hear some radio signals of people out there. The mystery guide warns them that there are dangerous people out there not worth saving, even though Evelyn believes otherwise. A montage of the crew running and going to different environments meets up with a shot of monsters attacking wildly at a large group of people. Now I am wondering if this is a camp of survivors or another shot of the past, either way, I am excited for things to grow after the smaller focus from its predecessor.

More people who undoubtedly are trying to live in this world during the present appear from a black family. They seem friendly enough but with the last line, “The people that are left, are not the kind of people worth savin’,” before Blunt pulls out her shotgun certainly makes me wonder if we have seen these dangerous people in this trailer or the curtain is still down on these new threats.

I do like the idea of people being a source of danger. Doing another movie of the same thing would get stale, but adding more characters, friendly and otherwise, will combine for a more dynamic story that keeps the same personal tone while growing in depth. I have hopes for this sequel as long as it can avoid the issues of the first entry.

A Quiet Place Part II comes out March 20.

What do you think of the trailer? Watch it below:

Support the blog

$5.00

Image via Paramount Pictures

Trailer Impressions: Free Guy

Having the right cast and premise can do a lot for a movie, other times, it sets up false hope. After hearing about Free Guy, I had to check it out, and oh boy, this looks like a trainwreck. If you are a gamer, then you must know those people who try to act like they know games but don’t. Well, this is that in a movie.

The story sets up with Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a bank teller, and NPC in a virtual world. Well, he gets fed up with all of that constant murder and chaos, so he stands up for his city. He eventually finds out that it is all a video game, and he must save it from being destroyed. It sounds interesting then I saw the trailer and cringed at what I saw.

Starting off epically to set up a potentially heroic man, yet it is just Guy, a friendly bank teller who goes about his day. This is one of the only reasonably funny moments.

Guy goes about his day getting ready and walks to work. He strolls past explosions, flame thrower wielding psychopaths, and a Wilhelm scream, which made me physically shake my head. All I can think of is how fun this could be if it did not look so stupid later on.

A bank robbery ensues, and everyone casually gets down on the ground like it is a routine thing that happens. Now Reynolds is asking what if there is more to life than what they currently experience. A montage of him getting punched, witnessing people in silly costumes committing murder, and getting hit by multiple cars and rag dolling all over the place. The basic life of a GTA NPC.

Once he stands up, he manages to kill someone while obtaining the criminal’s glasses. When he puts them on, he realizes his world is not what he thought. This is actually solid world-building and development based on these few seconds. Each passing moment makes me more disappointed at how this will probably not be remotely decent.

As he sees the city around him through the glasses, all I can think about is how terrible the CGI is right here. A nice color scheme, but it looks wrong. Some of the UI is meant to be that way, which is fine, but other things take me out of this world, like the giant turret that shot at a passing jet.

He eventually Molotov Girl (Jodie Comer), who explains to him everything. We see Guy process this, and it all feels like people who never played a video game in their life. Some personality is missing that makes it seem genuine and not a cash grab to get all those kids who play the Fortnite.

free-guy-ryan-reynolds-trailer-jodie-comer.png
I wish these two people luck as they are staring in what could be one of the worst movies of next year. (Image via 20th Century Fox)

Once she mentions bad guys introduces Antoine (Taika Waititi), who looks like the only fun character in this movie. Sorry, Ryan Reynolds.

Now kicks in action with Molotov Girl and Guy. It actually looks good besides more bad CGI. Seriously, that shot of a helicopter is insulting to my eyes. Then, of course, we get plenty of poor jokes that are aimed at that preteen to teen audience who will laugh at words like “virginity.”

What could possibly make this okay is if it is rated R. A parody on GTA and other games would suffice if there are enough blood and gore. Give me Deadpool levels of violence, and don’t be overly predictable, then maybe this will turn out to be decent. As it is unrated, we will wait and see how that will change my views in the slightest.

Free Guy comes out on July 3, 2020.

You can watch the trailer below and then let me know what you think:

Support the blog

$5.00

Image via 20th Century Fox

Trailer Impressions: Wonder Woman 1984

Even the highest of highs DC has reached in its universe, problems still occur, mostly with the visuals and the villains. Wonder Woman 1984 may or may not have the right baddie as it is still unclear, but damn, it goes all out on the 80s color aesthetic. A new vibrant life and seeing Gal Gadot back in her armor and utilizing her iconic whip gets me so hyped for next year as this looks like an improvement over the already pretty solid 2017 film.

Diana Prince/Wonder Woman is speaking to her friend Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wig), who will eventually become the supervillain Cheetah, but we don’t see any of that in this trailer. Diana is talking about her life and the direction she has gone on with a dark pan around her apartment with a photo of her a “Trevor Ranch,” clearly signifying her continued pain over the loss of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). It establishes her grief well and the development of that side of her character, but if you missed the hints, our hero is asked if she has been in love, and a picture of Steve pops onto the screen.

The 80s electro that was subtle springs up louder as Diana heads to an opening of a mall. The narration here comes from a TV commercial with Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) talking about how great the future looks, but as we know how movies, especially in this genre, like to portray rich people, I assume he will be bad news.

Also, am I the only one getting Stranger Things vibes with the music and now the mall that also features in season three of the Netflix series?

Chaos starts to insue without any hints as to why. People are running into the streets, the police arrive, and Diana goes from a pretty everyday lady and jumps into her outfit to kick ass. She crushes the guns and destroys the security camera, it all looks badass, which I expect coming from her.

Max Lord’s advertisement continues, and as he says, “Think about having everything you always wanted,” which cues Steve’s mysterious return. The two lovers reunite, and I don’t know if I should be confused over his return or happy.

wonder-woman-character-posters-slice.jpg
The three leads looking stylish in a flood of vibrant colors. (Image via DC/Warner Bros.)

Now we get a hint at things being shady with Max as he looks distraught and says, “Now, I take what I wanted in return.” The two lovebirds walk through the madness of the streets as smoke comes up on one side, police cars are scattered, and people are still running in panic. One thing is for sure, the next shot of Max walking like an evil bastard confirms my suspicions, along with the Google search on his relationship with the princess.

Steve gets protected by his Amazonian girlfriend, who beats on some security guards. Easily one of the coolest shots comes from her ejecting a bullet and hitting it away with her bracelets.

A brief shot captures Barbara at a party wearing all black. Surely, this is shown for the reason that she will be bad. We all know movies, wearing black means you are evil unless you are Batman.

Some scenery changes will be made. Steve and Diana are overlooking a destroyed city in the desert with a wall that eventually explodes in another scene. It appears to be the Middle East, but I cannot tell exactly where. Either way, I am happy to get some vast differences in the environments.

It appears that the same fight with the security (maybe Max Lord’s) as Wonder Woman sends a guy flying with her whip. Then Steve punches a guy in the face, so we know he is not going to stand around being utterly useless. I hope more is done with his character rather than being a romantic partner.

Pounding drums make for Diana running into action even more epic with flashes of her running back home. Two more scenes show the beach of the Amazon and then a bunch of the Amazonians going through an awesome obstacle course, which I need to know more about.

The angle makes it hard, but Max is in some blue room with a shining light over him, wind picking up as he looks straight above him. I have no idea what this means, but things must be looking positive for him. Good for him, go get that blue light thing…

Again she continues to beat the hell out of these guards by flipping them around and kicking them into walls. Finish them already, Diana, Jesus Christ.

Now a militarized convoy drives through a road in the desert. The princess turned superhero flips a truck and soars through the sky, Steve looks up with the same expression I had because this is insanity. The two come together to beat on the remaining soldiers, and I cannot wait for this scene.

It is nighttime with turrets firing out wildly. I lost count, but we see Diana flying around again, slinging her whip out at what looks like nothing but lightning, maybe Thor?

New golden armor is shown before she deflects a projectile. The design of this is mesmerizing. I always enjoy seeing new costumes for my favorite heroes to keep things fresh.

Finally, a funny scene happens to end things on a jolly note. Diana explains to Steve about an abstract art piece, and he points to a trash can, looking slightly confused. A bit generic of a way to conclude the first look into the movie, but I am sold.

The visuals are certainly an improvement. I have a million questions about Steve, Max, and Barbara. The new faces look intriguing, and I am excited to meet up again with this wonderful hero.

Wonder Woman 1984 releases June 5, 2020.

What do you think of the trailer? Watch it below and let me know what you think.

Support the blog

$5.00

Image via DC/Warner Bros.

Trailer Impressions: Black Widow

A movie on a superhero is one thing, but a character that died in the most epic event in the genre is less appealing. The death of Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) makes her solo flick feel unnecessary as it takes place after Civil War. A missed opportunity for sure, yet within seconds of starting up the first look at her first adventure away from the Avengers, I am entirely on board for whatever happens.

Natasha/Black Widow is reminiscing in a mirror. Flashbacks from her time with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) along with shooting up bad guys on a ship from The Winter Soldier pop on the screen. Nostalgia for her arc and how she developed is starting to pull on my heartstrings already.

A wide shot over Budapest, a city that has been mentioned many times before, especially between this original Avenger and her fellow Earth defender Hawkeye. I am so hyped to finally visit this city in the MCU as it keeps getting referenced without any trips to said place.

A part of this reflection of who she was and has become flashes her walking to look through a window of the ballet dancing and training we have seen before with a new perspective, an insider looking from the outside. This has implications of beautiful development from all sides of who she is, which loses much of the emotional impact due to her suicide to give her friends the soul stone.

The exposition for the story comes up with a conversation between the agent and an unknown voice. She explains the lives she has lived and the confrontation of her past she must make. This sounds like how Earth’s Mightiest Heroes have scattered; she needs some soul searching, and going home is the place to do it.

Within the middle of this conversation, we do see a military convoy and General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross (William Hurt). The relationship between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Natasha could get some extra background, or at least her relationship with Ross will get some growth. I hope we get to see the classified files in her ledger that have been blacked out from the world, this is supported as a later scene shows our star with the General in a dark room.

Then we meet Yelena Belova (Florence Pue), the sister of the ass-kicking protagonist. The two face off in quick cuts you would generally get in a trailer with glimpses of some pretty stellar choreography that works with the fighting style these two characters have been trained with. Soon enough, the siblings join forces, no surprises there.

A variety of shots appear in different locations with some action sequences with generic goons. Natasha explains to her sister why she is there, for unfinished business that is completely unknown yet. I bet all of the giant nerds like myself can theorize for hours about what they are planning.

In one of the many quick shots, a look at Taskmaster (whose actor has not been revealed yet) but his chrome and blue suit look incredible. The skull with the blacked-out visor looks menacing as hell. I have zero ideas on how he plays into the story, but I would love to read your theories. Either way, I am excited to see this fascinating character who can mirror other’s abilities to then defeat his foes. He is using a bow and arrow, anyone getting Hawkeye vibes?

920b98d8a18936e7d45461d212ad71529bb80018.jpg
Taskmaster shooting like he is Hawkeye. (Image via Marvel Studios/Disney)

A reunion of sorts comes between the sisters,  Alexei Shostakov/Red Guardian (David Harbour), and an assassin/spy Malena (Rachel Weisz) who all sit at a table for a brief comedic beat. It is uncertain how they all relate. Still, I am excited for the mysterious Malena, who has had some science experiment done on her along with Harbour’s Eastern European version of Captain America (Chris Evans).

A quick glimpse at Red Guardian facing against Taskmaster is shown. I cannot wait to see the Stranger Things star battle it out with this intriguing villain. I am praying that Marvel keeps up with the current track record of having satisfying antagonists who go against loveable heroes.

The trailer ends with an avalanche, destruction, and baddies shooting at the star of the show. It would not be Marvel without major action set pieces, and having this happen in the snow is a nice change of scenery compared to previous installments.

One detail that is shown throughout that I love is the many costume changes for Black Widow. She gets her classic setup from Civil War, a new leather motorcycle outfit that is sexy as hell, and her winter gear to face cold weather and skull mask-wearing criminals.

I have no experience with any film by director Cate Shortland (Lore), but having a female leading everything is fitting for this beloved heroine. She does have experience with European film, so she should be able to prevent any funky accents or people slipping back into their American tone.

I have not seen anything from the writers, Jac Schaeffer (The Hustle) and Ned Benson (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby). Not to doubt their abilities, but it makes me cautious of the story development as the weakest of the MCU tends to run into that issue for me along with the antagonists. In Marvel’s defense, the studio must have some faith as both of these people penning this solo flick will be working on WandaVision, one of the series that will premier on Disney+ to grow the universe on the small screen.

My one worry comes from this not adding anything to the universe. The ship has sailed on this story, but I have faith in Marvel to make this worth the wait and ease my concerns. A waste of MCU development or not, I am certain this will be a fun final ride with one of my favorite heroes with some new faces.

Let me know your thoughts on the first look at Black Widow. The film releases May 1, 2020.

Support the blog

$5.00

Header image via Marvel Studios/Disney

Marvel’s Avengers – A-Day Prologue Gameplay Reveal Impressions

Back at E3 this year, Square Enix showed a behind closed doors gameplay video of its upcoming Avengers game. The reception was poor from journalists, and from leaked footage, it did look bad. Maybe it was the cell phone camera that made it look like this is a licensed game from the early 2000s, until I saw the official gameplay reveal – it is that bad.

After a cutscene of the Avengers celebrating A-Day, duty calls as multiple attacks across San Fransisco burst out of nowhere. A little bit of awkward banter between Thor and Iron Man, the first peek at the overall feel is given as the God of Thunder smashes mysterious thugs. His movement looks sluggish, and the hits seem to not have weight to provide a satisfying punch, especially when throwing Mjolnir, his mighty hammer. It looks arcadey rather than a modern action experience.

Continuing the weird writing, his quips and catchphrases during combat are cringy. While the whole cast is excellent with Travis Willingham (Camp Camp and Tell Tale’s Batman) as Thor, Laura Bailey (Gears of War 4 and Insomniac’s Spider-Man) as Black Widow, Troy Baker (Bioshock: Infinite and The Last of Us) as Hulk, Nolan North (Uncharted and Pretty Little Liars) as Iron Man, and Jeff Schine (Mafia III and The Walking Dead: A New Frontier), they all have some flat line delivery along with no chemistry. North and Baker had wonderful chemistry in Uncharted 4, so maybe there was a directing issue, or this comes down to poor writing.

It appears each hero has three main moves to pummel enemies. The animations are enjoyable, but I have little hope the power will be there when playing.

Iron Man eventually comes in to help his friend. Unlike the movies where the heroes fighting side by side creates for exciting fights, this lacks that. He flies above Thor shooting people idly.

If things looked like you would play this in an arcade than pay $60, then it completely ramps up the quarter hungry type of game as Iron Man get his time to shine on screen. Switching to the billionaire superhero, he flies across the wreckage of exploded vehicles to shoot down flying enemies. The destruction of the landscape looks spectacular, which loses its mesmerizing effect as Tony blasts generic thugs out of the sky.

Hulk’s combat section does not repair any damage. He does what he is best at, smashing. The impact is not there, making him, along with everyone else, a lot less powerful than he should. The green Avenger jumps over gaps in the Golden Gate Bridge by wall jumping from one collapsed piece of debris or vehicle to another. It is overly linear and adds no depth to the gameplay.

Captain America continues the generic fighting as he kicks, punches, and uses his iconic shield to defeat incoming enemies. This beat-em-up section looks like every other scenario. While each character does have unique abilities, I don’t have confidence that will make enough of a difference for the quality.

Marvel_s_Avengers_Captain_America.0.jpg

Black Widow chases Taskmaster, the only supervillain shown off so far. Out of every character design, he is one of the best. A brief platforming section along with a QTE (quick time event) heavy battle with the antagonist screams the early to mid-2000s in the worst possible way. She does get in a real battle with two more stages of this battle, which shows off weak gunplay and slightly faster movement from the agent.

It ends on a cutscene of Captain’s death and a few cutscenes from the trailer shown before this Gamescom reveal. All of the cutscenes are impressively crafted. The epic scope makes this story worthy for the Avengers, but everything else falls flat to make me not even care for its potential.

The second AAA title from Marvel Games looks terribly disappointing. Outside of pretty graphics, it offers no appeal to me at all. After the success of Spider-Man, I thought things looked positive for the other studios developing for the publisher. Turns out I was wrong as this comes off as a dated and generic action game that would have come out a decade ago as a cheap tie-in to one of the movies.

What do you think of the gameplay for Marvel’s Avengers?

Marvel’s Avengers comes out May 15, 2020, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia.

Support the blog

$5.00

Images via Marvel Games/Square Enix

Trailer Impressions: Knives Out

The next film from director Rian Johnson (Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) showed off the trailer for his murder mystery that will rival Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with its all-star cast. This whodunit flick looks fun with the right balance of thrills, and I am ready to buy my tickets as soon as I can.

Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), a mystery novelist, falls to a suspicious death. As his family members gather for his funeral, detectives, Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) and Troy Archer (LaKeith Stanford) come in to investigate, with his eyes on one of the family members as the prime suspect, it is all about to find out which person committed the murder.

Starting off with the detectives giving a rundown on what just happened. Along with glimpses at each of the suspects from Alex Robinson (Chris Evans), Linda Robinson (Jamie Lee Curtis), Jack Bressler (Michael Shannon), and many more characters who can’t all be identified, but the cast continues its strength with Toni Collette (Hereditary), Ana de Armes (Blade Runner 2049), and Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why).

Benoit tells the family they must stay until the investigation concludes, which sparks up some of the despicable personalities to aim for the detective. Collette’s snappy attitude is more than enough of a hint on how this family acts. This is often the case in many murder mysteries, but with the right writing, it can be just as enjoyable.

Someone injecting another with poison is one of the many times murder is shown, so I expect plenty of others to start dropping throughout the story. After Craig mentions how these people “love twisting the knife into one another,” someone pulls out a knife from a fancy rack of blades that makes me want one for myself.

The ultimate selling point comes from America’s ass, Captain America himself, Chris Evans as he tells everyone in the room to “eat shit.” It is glorious as he repeatedly insults each of his relatives. The clean superhero really is gone with this new role.

A montage of Craig investigating the house along with more murderous attempts on people’s lives continue. With one glimpse of a car chase, it appears this will grow outside of the main property that was owned by the deceased father.

The two-minute trailer shows a lot of potential chemistry which will undoubtedly make this a joy to watch as long as the pacing gets nailed. Johnson is aiming to take these actors and actresses out of the bubble that people tend to view them in for roles that may seem unconventional, especially Craig and Evans. Bond and Captain America will play off more comedic elements than what they have been able to do in the past ten years.

Knives Out could be a blast, while I still want to know what twist on the genre does Johnson has up his sleeve. It looks thrilling while having plenty of laughs to deliver. Nov. 27 feels like it is miles away.

What do you think of the trailer? Are you excited or going to pass? Also, for those of you who are interested, who is the murderer? Post your thoughts in the comments.

Support the blog

$5.00

Image via Lionsgate