Trailer Impressions: Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker

The time has come for the current saga for Star Wars to end. A controversial, but satisfying (to me) journey. Finally, the first look at the ninth installment has arrived. I have my worries, but my excitement drowns that out for the most part.

The first scene shown is an epic start to the teaser. Rey (Daisy Ridley) runs through a desert to jump over a ship to attack with her lightsaber. A deliberate focus on the pilot’s hands, which makes me think if this is someone significant, possibly Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Before her stunt, the words, “Every generation has a legend,” appears. Sounds like Rey will be cemented as the new Luke (Mark Hamill). Whether she cuts this vehicle in half or rips the guy out, I cannot wait to see this play out.

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Image via Lucasfilm

As teasers tend to go, we get a variety of different shots showcasing plenty of action, new environments, and plenty of characters. One highlight comes from Kylo slamming someone down with his devilish lightsaber. Plus it appears his helmet is getting revamped with a brief glimpse into someone making some modifications.

Of the many quick shots that fade in and out, what caught me was seeing Billy Dee Williams reprise his role as Lando. He laughs while flying a ship, I only can imagine him shooting someone down as he enjoys his time.

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Image via Lucasfilm

Beautiful shots of explosions and classic characters like C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) merely escaping death followed up by a shot of the late Carrie Fischer holding our new protagonist, Rey. That got me choked up right away, and by this small glimpse, it appears to be one of the scenes she got to shoot before her passing.

The final shot is narrated by Luke Skywalker himself while Rey, Poe (Oscar Isaac), Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), BB-8, C-3PO, and Finn (John Boyega) staring at what appears to be remains of the death star along with a laugh from Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) who has returned from the grave, apparently. This twist has me intrigued and my theorist mind going like crazy.

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Image via Lucasfilm

While everything I saw was spectacular, one issue remains. The title, Rise of the Skywalker, sounds like Rey will be a Skywalker since they are all dead. That would take away from Last Jedi and its twist that her parents are nobodies. I know a lot of people hate that film, but I loved most of its choices and the overall product. My faith in Abrams still stands strong, but it is okay to have some worries. Nonetheless, I cannot wait to get another Star Wars.

Watch the trailer below and be sure to comment on what you think of the trailer.

Header image via Lucasfilm

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Trailer Impressions: Borderlands 3 (Update 4/3/2019)

UPDATE: Borderlands 3 has just been announced to have a release date for Sept. 13 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. The PC release will be an Epic Games Store Exclusive for six months, ending in April 2020.

After waiting seven years for a third title to the Borderlands series, Gearbox released a trailer to officially announce the next gun frenzy adventure. Full of old and new characters and plenty of action, not much is shown except to tell fans that what they want is coming. The few bits shown reveals nothing but fanfare and disappointment.

As a hardcore fan of these looter shooters, I enjoyed seeing some of my favorite characters like Sir Hammerlock, Lilith, Claptrap, and many more. We see a large portion of central and side memorable personalities along with some mysterious new faces, some of whom could be the new playable classes (maybe they are the ones at 33 seconds in the trailer). New villains, who remain unnamed, appear to replace Handsome Jack as the antagonist look intriguing, I cannot wait to shoot them with an infinite pistol that can be thrown as an explosive at their faces.

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One of the new characters who could be playable is what appears to be a Siren. We see her shoot plenty of baddies along with developing six lightning arms to assist her. None of the others show any sign of their abilities, but we may just have to wait for that.

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New locations are shown from deserts similar to previous titles, colorful lit up cities, and swamps. Hopefully, Gearbox does not recycle or give off that feeling of recycled landscapes. The deserts have me worried due to all the time spent in the second title, but the cities and swamps do have my attention. Each game has a vast amount of variety and appears Borderlands 3 will follow its predecessors.

Unique enemies always drew me into this universe. Original monsters that breathe fire, scene kid looking villains, and giant mechs deliver plenty of variety to the foes that make combat even more fun.

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Vehicles always ran as a convenient option for travel in previous games, but it is getting revamped. Flying cars, trucks with mounted guns, and other options display more than we have seen from any of its predecessors. Hopefully, we can see more implemented than what has been done before.

Hundreds to maybe thousands of guns are shown throughout the announcement. One pistol is seen walking around while shooting, so it is safe to say that the wacky weapons that never get old will not have any issues. They claim there are over a “billion,” but we will see how much is exaggerated, but who cares, it is Borderlands?

Reveal trailers are never much, and I am not one to critique graphics often, but this looks too old to for 2019 (or later). The cell-shaded style is iconic and always looks beautiful. However, the actual graphics look out of date and the exact same from all of the previous titles. When having fun playing cooperative will keep me distracted, it will still be on the back of my mind on how this looks like its from 2012, not 2019.

More info is to come soon on April 3. Keep an eye out on here for that updated information.

I have my concerns, but I still cannot contain my excitement for another Borderlands. What do you think of the reveal trailer? What do you want to hear on April 3 about the new title? Comment what you think and let’s chat about the glorious announcement of Borderlands 3.

 

Trailer Impressions: Hellboy (Red Band Trailer)

I rarely watch the second trailer of a film I am sold on, but seeing Hellboy with all of its rated R glory, I could not resist. Full of CGI havoc of demons and death with quick quips from our demonic protagonist. A mix of worry and excitement flows through my blood as I am ready for this possibly terrible, entertaining over-the-top adult reboot.

A ritual began to end humanity from the Nazis, some of whom are wearing Swastika 3D glasses, which gives us a glimpse into the origins of Hellboy (David Harbour). Lady Hatton (Sophie Okonedo) tells the large handed hero about how he came to Earth. A nice touch of information that does not give away too much, just enough for newcomers who may not understand what they are about to get themselves into if they buy tickets.

Introductions of Professor Bruttenholm (Ian McShane) as the father of Hellboy, Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane) as Hellboy’s friend who will help him on his journey, and Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim) a man with powers of a jaguar as the final member in the military organization titled the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense in most of the cast is a part.

After a helicopter ride that looks like too early of footage to put out into the world, we get the introduction of the film’s villain, a sorceress named Nimue the Blood Queen (Milo Jovovich). The Resident Evil star should make for a worthy adversary. While Ian McShane and David Harbour sold me on the cast, but with the addition of Jovovich, I am ecstatic to see the talent bring these characters to life.

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A series of conflict while giving some additional story details of the relationship between Hellboy and Nimue. Consistently some scenes look somewhat inconsistent with its visual effects. Some CGI looks spectacular while some looks washed out. Despite some worrying aspects, seeing monsters kill and destroy massive cities and Hellboy blowing enemies to pieces with any method he can achieve makes for one entertaining montage.

Amid all the chaos, some of the powers from other characters are revealed in this trailer. Ben’s jaguar powers come to life while he and Hellboy fight off a giant animalistic entity (looks like it could be part boar, but hard to tell, maybe one of you readers know your animals better).

An epic montage happens again to show off plenty of monsters that will probably end up getting their bodies mangled by one of the heroes. Even with some poorly done CGI here and there, the ones done right look incredible. With the source material laying the groundwork, the creature designs look equally spectacular and terrifying.

Now the blood and guts come in as our hero slashes and guns down everything in his path. One giant monster gets his limbs cut off while another gets its head blown to pieces. One of the last glimpses into this fantasy flick shows Hellboy with a flaming sword and crown riding a dragon into a hell-like landscape to face thousands of demons. Issues may clutter this ride, but at least it will be a bloodbath to keep things rolling.

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Some ways the new look into Neil Marshall’s (The Descent) reboot seems more flawed than a grand entry that delivers a rated R experience to fans of the comic. None of the humor shown cracked a smile on my face, and a lot of the practical and special effects look poor for a blockbuster. My hopes might have gone down, but they are still high in the idea of an entertaining adventure that may not rate as the best film in a review. We will see when it comes.

Hellboy releases April 12

Images via Lionsgate and Millennium Films

Trailer Impression: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Zac Efron turning from Disney star to adult comedies like Baywatch and Neighbors to transform into one of the most infamous serial killers in history, Ted Bundy. I had high hopes for the film to see the actor do something different after becoming redundant in his comedic roles, but after the trailer for the upcoming biopic on the killer, I feel confused about the tone, worried for failure, and disappointed in what has been delivered.

Unlike most stories centered around someone truly evil, the perspective lands on Bundy’s longtime girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer (Lily Collins) and sees most of the screentime will be set on her point of view. Much of the horrendous rapes and murders will get acknowledged, but sit in the back seat. The claim from Efron and director Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost) is that the objective is a character study on Bundy and his relationship with Kloepfer, but not a single drop of that came off in this first worldwide look at the film.

To take it from the top, fun rock music blasts through the first click on YouTube to see Bundy meet Kloepfer at a bar to give the introduction of how they first connect and where they go in their relationship. Makes sense to have an amusing start to the teaser, but the rock n’ roll tunes continue as Bundy’s seemingly innocent life takes a grim turn, making for a bizarre, unfitting tone.

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Efron’s Bundy and Collins’ Kloepher celebrating her daughter’s second birthday. Easily the most disturbing birthday party image of the decade.

A series of events unfold as the police start to suspect Bundy of kidnapping women. His number one mission is to not only show his innocence but to prove to his lover and her daughter Molly (Morgan Pyle) that he is the man they have known and loved. With the drama, I could not taste any of the serious, tension, or disturbing flavors, mostly due to the music and the editing.

Bundy goes through courtrooms, the media taking photos of him, and people questioning whether or not he committed such heinous acts of violence. A real sense of curiosity and horror translates through quite well. The emotions the people felt when watching at their TVs or reading their newspapers about this crime delivers an authentic impression of what Americans had to go through with this knowledge.

Biopics must always have a solid focus, or they fall apart, so flipping the genre on its head by pushing away from murder and more towards a loving relationship between two people should get some respect. The problem comes from humanizing Bundy, which seems the case. If the premise works then, we will get a brilliant, groundbreaking look at the monstrous killer and new feelings towards Efron as an actor.

A question is posed in the film, can someone like Bundy, a psychopath, fall in love due to him never killing Kloepher? Plenty of great ideas are flowing from Berlinger and writer Michael Werwie, but I am having my doubts if they will translate their goals to the audience, who might feel disgusted and shocked, and not in the way that the filmmakers would want.

Hopefully, the comedic vibes only show in the right moments during the first act to build up characters and relationships rather than popping up when everyone starts to see the monster under the mask. If the execution of the tone and objective gets done ethically to not overly humanize Bundy and show the trauma that Kloepher had to endure by discovering the true identity of the love of her life then maybe we can get something truly incredible.

After tearing into Berlinger’s biopic, I should say that the casting looks great and the approach holds a lot of promise. Efron can show the world he is more than Disney songs and crude humor. Lily Collins (Les Miserables), Angela Sarafyan (Westworld) Jim Parsons (Big Bang Theory), and John Malkovich (In the Line of Fire) will help lift the film up with their performances. A robust and well-experienced cast with plenty of people stepping into something brand new should deliver a unique experience.

Fingers crossed for lousy marketing and editing rather than what was just shown to the world.

Watch the trailer and comment what you think of the film. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile has no release date for theaters as of yet and just premiered at the Sundance Festival.

All images via Voltage Pictures

Trailer Impressions: Spider-Man: Far From Home

Marvel surprised me with a trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home this early and show the man himself, Peter Parker (Tom Holland). After Infinity War, I felt the trailer’s tone and what we will see would be different from here, but we got a standard trailer that shows no spoilers to either Avengers films by standing on its own as a satisfying and intriguing peek into Spidey’s next adventure.

After a special thank you to Spider-Man at our first look into Aunt May’s (Maria Tomei) homeless support program, he goes backstage to see May embrace Peter and his superhero alter-ego. I hoped to see resistance from her initial discovery of Peter’s secret life, but seeing her support him works to help push him further when tensions rise. Happy (Jon Favreau) walks in to have an awkward exchange with May, a possible new romance which feels suitable due to the unlikely pairing and the dynamics that can happen in the future, I am on board.

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Image via Marvel Studios

Peter goes off for a school trip in hopes of hanging out peacefully with his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon), and his new found crush MJ (Zendaya) in Europe, no Spider-Man needed. Of course, due to having these powers, the superhero life comes for him after Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) tranquilizes Ned and gives the young hero a brand new suit to fight off a new enemy alongside a brand new protagonist, Quentin Beck AKA Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal).

His new costume looks like a cross between the Stark suit from Civil War and an old school appearance. A beautiful red and black combo that works well to capture what was perfect about the costume we already knew from previous entries in the MCU and the traditional look he has sported for decades.

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Image via Marvel Studios

Nick will take a significant role in the film as Peter’s new guardian, due to Tony probably getting killed in Endgame or whatever conclusion happens in that film. One quick shot show Fury and a woman holding their guns to a giant monster, which could come from Mysterio or the main antagonist Hydroman (casting unknown as of now). Due to Mysterio always has appeared as a criminal, the trailer could mislead fans by introducing Hydroman, or Quentin’s arc will go from shiny hero to crooked villain.

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Image via Marvel Studios

Chaos circles London with a montage of colorful lightning, explosions, and common thugs with machine guns, which reveals a short glimpse at another suit the web-slinger will sport, a similar look as the stealth costume and Noir Spider-Man.

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Image via Marvel Studios

An ultimate glance at Hydroman comes to light as he squares off against Peter, who does not have his Spider garb equipped. To save the day, Mysterio reveals himself in an outfit that surprisingly works well on screen. Many, myself included, were skeptical on how the character would look in a movie, but those worries snapped to dust due to his stylized armor, and Gyllenhaal always nails his performances, a dream come true for me to watch him appear in the MCU.

In case of anyone wondering, yes, the fishbowl helmet does appear. Shockingly, it works well and does not look goofy.

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Image via Marvel Studios

After the action-packed fight between Mysterio and Hydroman, Peter stands with his classmates watching the TV as the two characters clash together. Some banter occurs between MJ, and Flash Thompson (Tony Revolori) makes for the perfect comedic endpoint.

My main issue stems from revealing Peter is alive and well from the events that occurred in Infinity War,  but marketing the sequel to Homecoming would never happen if everyone at Marvel worried about complete spoilers. It would not be possible to show a trailer without the iconic hero himself. Maybe pushing into the fall or late summer would have been a smarter plan, but I am just happy to get more Spider-Man.

Mysterio makes for an excellent choice, but I hope they stick to him acting as a villain rather than a vigilante. Knowing Marvel, a lot of misdirection covers the whole trailer; I have learned not to trust them after the first look at Infinity War.

I was already excited for Captain Marvel, Endgame, and now Far From Home got me in its web. Marvel might have its best year if Captain Marvel can make a standout debut, Endgame delivers a satisfying conclusion, and the next Spidey adventure can adequately incorporate the aftermath of Thanos along with providing something near Homecoming. 

What do you think of the trailer? Comment your thoughts below. Also, you can watch the trailer here:

Spider-Man: Far From Home releases July 5.

Header image via Marvel Studios

 

Trailer Impressions: Avengers: Endgame

I knew the Avengers trailer was coming, but somehow I did not see the title being Endgame. Everything pieces itself together especially seeing Earth’s Mightiest Heroes rise to take down The Mad Titan. Marvel delivers an emotional tease that gives only a little bit to satisfy their hungry fans.

Right, when the trailer begins, my heartstrings get ripped out by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) who has been able to get himself off of Titan, but with no food, water, or any other resource, he will drift in space until he dies. Footage of him recording a message for his wife Pepper (Gwyneth Paltrow) to let her know what happened to him. The emotional scene represents how defeated both Tony and the rest of the surviving Avengers.

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Marvel Studios

Two images quickly show after the Marvel Studios logo turns to dust, yes they really did that. Thanos’ armor appears like a memorial. His mission is done, he can now relax. Then the titan himself, Thanos (Josh Brolin) arrives. He is sauntering in a beautiful setting full of plant life. The only way to see him is by his gauntlet and a part of his side. Interesting choice on Marvel’s part to hide their main villain in this way. I can only wonder about their reasoning.

A few more glimpses of the remaining heroes. Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) admits Thanos’ win to Captain America (Chris Evans). Captain has tears in his eyes, rightfully so. Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) facepalms in despair, maybe trying to figure out a plan by the look of the computer screens in front of him that show Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and fallen heroes from Infinity War.

After a look at the empty Avengers home base, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) sits, looking full of both sorrow and anger. I can’t tell where he is by the room. Maybe he is at their home, but possibly somewhere else.

Nebula (Karen Gillian) gets a nod in a quick shot, like everyone else, she is not doing well at all.

Black Widows sees everyone’s long lost friend Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) sporting a new outfit, a sword, and standing over a dead body. Rumors were made guessing his reentry would show a transformation of his character, the darker side of him being Ronin. Hopefully, he becomes a better character moving forward unless Thanos kills him at the end.

Black Widow and the Captain finish their conversation about their mysterious plan. They have something up their sleeve that could work to take down the purple titan who killed their friends.

A bit of comic relief happens after the title reveal. Just watch the trailer for a nice comedic end that will get you thinking and starting another theory after already boiling up ideas in your head from everything shown so far.

I knew Marvel would have to do only a little to hook me, but I am beyond caught in their grip. All aboard the hype train because of Avengers: Endgame. The studio has plenty of plans for the future, and this is the beginning of something special.

Avengers End Game comes out April 26

Image via Marvel Studios

Trailer Impressions: Vice

The Dick Cheney biopic just launched the first trailer. Christian Bale has transformed himself yet again to get into the proper mindset for his role. Our of every dramatic move the actor has made, this might be his most extreme since The Machinist.

A conversation over some wings and beer between Dick Cheney (Christian Bale) and George W. Bush (Sam Rockwell) about George wanting Dick to be his vice president. Cheney explains his career as a CEO and into politics. The conversation takes a turn as Cheney offers to take up more duties than vice presidents would generally take on.

Cheney’s influence on the Bush administration is the premise for the film. Telling the story about what happened behind the scenes that many people may not know. At least that is what they claim, you never know with biopics, especially the political ones.

As Cheney explains his career from being a CEO to the secretary of defense and chief of staff, various images showcase his experience with these careers. Meetings, rallies, paperwork, all that you would be doing in that line of work.

We get a look at what Cheney wants out of Bush as he explains what he can do for the upcoming president. Shaking hands with various politicians at what looks to be a rally. Military troops patroling as he insinuates how he could take care of that aspect of Bush’s job. Cheney is seen walking with a Middle Eastern man alongside what looks to be bodyguards.

A variety of quick shots show other cast members such as Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney and Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld. Some of these shots show a younger looking Dick Cheney having a drink with Rumsfeld. Another scene shows Lynne offering Dick advice about people using him when he obtains his power. It appears we will get either a timeline jump between different periods of Dick’s life or see the events in chronological order, it is difficult to tell. Either way, we will see the cast’s age change over the course of this story. Scenes fly by of politicians meeting and military troops fighting in the Middle East.

I am skeptical due to the nature of the film’s theme and story. However, Adam McKay did direct and write The Big Short, which was brilliant. Hopefully, he can maintain the level of intelligence and objectivity when telling Dick Cheney’s story. I will say, it is hard to resist a movie with this impressive of a cast. Steve Carell is not someone I enjoy in comedies, but his dramatic performances are compelling enough to change your perception of who he is as an actor. Amy Adams has done plenty of stellar work such as Arrival. Sam Rockwell is on top of his game after Three Billboards Outside Ebbington, Missouri. Of course, the legendary Christian Bale does it again with a transformation that has blown my mind. He is unrecognizable and his looks will not be the only thing to carry his role. Bale’s performances are always fantastic, especially when he dives into the life of someone real just like he did when portraying Michael Burry in The Big Short. With an outstanding cast and McKay to take the reins, I have hope that Vice will be a solid biopic.

Vice comes out Christmas of this year. You can watch the trailer below:

Image via Annapurna Pictures