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In The LEGO Batman Movie, a spin-off of The LEGO Movie, Batman (Will Arnett) goes on a personal journey to find himself and learn the importance of teamwork in hopes to save Gotham City from The Joker’s hostile takeover.
While the repeated use of ‘Black and Yellow’ by Wiz Khalifa is starting to get more than a little grating, the trailers for The LEGO Batman Movie still make it out to be a fun, imaginative spin-off of the original “LEGO Movie” and a refreshingly different take on The Caped Crusader. The brick-building animation still looks really impressive and fluid, the jokes are pretty great – what’s not to love?
Wonder Woman, directed by Patty Jenkins, stars Gal Gadot as Diana Prince, princess of the Amazons, who was raised on a sheltered island and trained to be an unconquerable fighter. After an American pilot, Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), crashes on the island and tells her about the war to end all wars, Diana leaves her home to try and stop it.
The DC Cinematic Universe needs a win under its belt – badly. Regardless of where you stand on Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, you have to acknowledge the fact that they were highly divisive and poorly received by critics and many fans. Wonder Woman definitely looks its taking steps in all the right directions, bringing some much needed color to the otherwise dark, muddy gray universe. While some bits of the trailer look remarkably silly (slow-motion CG bullet about to hit someone as they swing from a cliff while firing arrows – and it’s implied to be a dramatic moment), Wonder Woman has the best chances of being a DC movie that’s actually good and not just “for the fans”.
La La Land
Academy Award nominee Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) wrote and directed the contemporary musical La La Land, which tells the story of Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in modern-day Los Angeles.
I was fortunate enough to catch La La Land at this year’s BFI London Film Festival and it’s easily one of the best movies of the year, if not the best and definitely my personal favorite (you can check out my full review here). This trailer absolutely does it justice, even if it gives away a few things I would have rather it didn’t. The visuals are exceptional, the music is outstanding, the acting is top notch – if you see one movie this year, see La La Land.
T2 Trainspotting, based on characters created by Irvine Welsh, reunites director Danny Boyle with screenwriter John Hodge and all of the principal cast of the cult 1996 film — Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner and Robert Carlyle all return to reprise the iconic roles of Renton, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie.
We’ve seen a lot of sequels in the past few years to decades old movies that reunite their original casts – it’s been a bumpy, more miss-than-hit ride, with a lot of comedies in particular (Zoolander 2, Dumb and Dumber Too etc) bombing. T2 Trainspotting definitely doesn’t look like it’s in danger of falling into that trap. It looks like a great movie with a great cast and a brilliant director – that was true 20 years ago for the original Trainspotting and it’s true for this one as well.
In Gifted, directed by Marc Webb, Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy – his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) – in a coastal town in Florida. Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.
Gifted looks like a textbook example of how dramas can still be effective and moving even if you know pretty much everything that’s going to happen. One look at the synopsis alone, not even the trailer, will probably give you a good idea of the movie’s major beats, but instead of coming across as stale or predictable, Gifted looks earnest and sweet.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, and Olga Dihovichnaya, Life, directed by Daniel Espinosa, tells the story of the six-member crew of the International Space Station that is on the cutting edge of one of the most important discoveries in human history: the first evidence of extraterrestrial life on Mars. As the crew begins to conduct research, their methods end up having unintended consequences and the life form proves more intelligent than anyone ever expected.
While the premise is somewhat interesting, the trailer fails to make Life feel like an original new take on a familiar idea. It looks and feels like a cross of Prometheus and Gravity, but rather than building on an existing foundation, it seems to just be borrowing memorable beats and visuals. The star-studded cast will definitely give it some personality, but overall, this is a rather poor, bland first impression.