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Trailer Round-Up – September 17, 2016

"Bastards, The Bye Bye Man, Fifty Shades Darker, Miss Sloane, Moana, Nocturnal Animals"

Bastards

Directed by Lawrence Sher, Bastards (known as Who’s Your Daddy? in the UK) stars Ed Helms and Owen Wilson as two brothers that set out to find their real father, after they discover that he didn’t actually die when they were young.

This is a textbook January dumping ground comedy, big on star power and less so on laughs. There is basically not a single joke in the trailer that works, the premise seems more suited for a sitcom episode than a feature length movie and the release date tells you not even Warner Bros. has a lot of faith in it. Probably best to stay far away from this one.

Bastards is set for a January 27, 2017 release.

The Bye Bye Man

Directed by Stacy Title, The Bye Bye Man is a horror movie starring Carrie-Anne Moss, Faye Dunaway, Douglas Smith, Cressida Bonas, Lucien Laviscount and Douglas Jones. The titular Bye Bye Man is a sinister presence that warps the minds of those he’s near, forcing them to do terrible things. There is only way to avoid his curse: don’t think it, don’t say it.

Speaking of January dumping ground movies, this time of the horror variety – The Bye Bye Man is textbook bland horror, with a generic monster going after a bunch of college kids. The premise is somewhat interesting, but everything about the movie looks tired and stale – the bits that are supposed to be scary are actually kind of funny, and the constant repetition of “don’t think it, don’t say it” doesn’t build tension or dread, it just comes across as annoying. Also, The Bye Bye Man is a terrible name for a horror villain.

The Bye Bye Man
is set for a January 13, 2017 release.

Fifty Shades Darker

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson to return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele in the James Foley directed sequel to Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker, based on the highly successful book series.

Well, this is the trailer that got more views in 24 hours than the one for Star Wars: The Force Awakens – can’t say I see why. Then again, I can say the same thing about every single aspect of this franchise’s success. It has its audience and that audience will probably go out and see it in droves, just like it did with the first movie. It doesn’t look horrible, but it does look bland, dull and not at all sexy.

Fifty Shades Darker is set for a February 10, 2017 release.

Miss Sloane

Directed by John Madden, Miss Sloane stars Jessica Chastain (The Martian, Zero Dark Thirty) as, well, Miss Sloane, a ruthless and highly successful political strategist that finds herself at the tip of the spear on a new major gun control campaign.

The trailer for this contemporary political thriller wears its House of Cards inspiration on its sleeve, with Miss Sloane talking directly to the camera as she explains the ins and outs of lobbying. There’s no shame in copying the best and Miss Sloane certainly looks like it’s also trying to do its own thing. With Jessica Chastain in the lead, this seems like one to look out for.

Miss Sloane is set for a December 9 release.

Moana

Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker, Moana is the latest offering from Walt Disney Animation Studios. Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho), an adventurous teenager, meets the once-mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson) and the two embark on an epic journey across the ocean to fulfil an ancient quest and discover themselves.

I’ve noted that previous trailers seem way more interested in the demigod Maui than the titular character, and that holds true for this full-length trailer as well, almost making me wonder if the movie should be called Maui instead of Moana – I imagine the plot will involve Maui learning to come off his high horse (the trailer hints at it as well), and it’s certainly possible that he’s featured more prominently because he’s more marketable, not because he’s a more important character, but it still feels weird that there’s so little of Moana in the trailer for Moana. That aside, it looks like a fun, colorful adventure with great animation – even it doesn’t end up being one of the all-time greats, at the very least it looks like it’s going to be a good time.

Moana is set for a November 23 release.

Nocturnal Animals

From writer/director Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals stars Academy Award nominees Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal as a divorced couple that discover dark secrets about each other and themselves. Co-starring alongside them are Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher, Karl Glusman, Armie Hammer, Laura Linney, Andrea Riseborough and Michael Sheen.

This is a really look good trailer for what looks like a promising movie. It sets a compelling tone and atmosphere, but is vague enough that you don’t actually get a sense of exactly where it’s going or even what it’s about – admittedly, that could backfire, but it is effective marketing and doesn’t give away any potential surprises. That and a star-studded cast are more than enough to peak my interest.

Nocturnal Animals premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last Sunday, will be screened at the BFI London Film Festival on October 14, 2016 and is set for a November 18 release.

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