Reviews and Analysis of It, Spider-Man Homecoming and War for the Planet of the Apes trailers

This week so far we have seen a couple of trailers drop.  Two awesome trailers with some pretty hardcore followings wre totally jazzed after seeing these.  We saw a trailer to It, a retelling of a made for TV miniseries based on a Stephen King novel.  It detailed the players, gave the clearest sense of tone for the film and still teased us some true images of Pennywise the clown.  Then there was the Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer.  It really showed the tone of the film but, more importantly (to some), showed up Parker’s arc as well as Tony Stark’s role.  I will say there was a lot of great things in each of these trailers.

IT

First with It, what this did was give enough shots and scenes straight from the 90s which gives a sense of relief for fans of that series.  It shows that the filmmakers know who they want to impress.  Also, I got a real 80s vibe from the trailer  On another note: I never saw the 90s It TV miniseries but I saw some of it.  And the scene in the locker room haunted me for many years.  Screw that scene:

That is what I remember, others remember the gutter scene as well.  I remember Pennywise with those sharp teeth.  The whole trailer hits the generic horror tropes: creepy piano music, that screaming sound cut they do (you know what I mean), the blackouts, the quick shots of something scary but not showing the whole thing.  It is something that is done here.  But what I like it that they are showing just enough of Pennywise: you don’t like it, you’re scared of it and yet we still don’t see all of IT.  We get a few good shots of Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) which is to bring in the Stranger Things audience (this kid is making so many films set in the 80s he’ll be mistaken as an 80s star).

I really like how they are treating Pennywise.  We get small shots of him but not the full scene.  And when we do see him there is usually something in the way or blocking our view.  That is how you create tension: we know there is something there we don’t like and yet we can’t see it.  People are terrified of the unknown and we don’t even get a clear sense of what Pennywise looks like.

On a side note, that last bit was great with the little kid.  So creepy.

It releases on Friday, September 8 in 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes

What would you want for the trailer to the 3rd and final film of a great franchise?  Epic music?  Check.  Callbacks to previous films?  Check.  Big battle sequences?  Check.  Stuff that makes the hair on the back of your head stand up?  Check.  Holy shit this trailer is fucking awesome.  I love it.  The music did it and I’m looking at this thinking: we are finally going to see Caesar’s legacy and story come to an end.  He’s going to die and we will have his final legacy right here.  I’m totally pumped for this film.

We get a little bit more of the story.  At some point Caesar is going to be betrayed (again).  While I’m not big into more betrayal this one is different: it looks like the ape who betrays him wants to be accepted by the humans, much like Caesar.  At some point, Caesar gives up on humanity knowing that apes and humans can’t coexist; this would be a departure from what we saw in the last film.  We are seeing his arc come to fruition.  It looks like Woody Harleson is playing a general loosely tied to the US.  Looking at the US flag there is a symbol painted on it.  This is clearly an organization that is no longer officially affiliated with the US army but harkens back to it.  The villain will definitely be ruthless and this is the final clash between man and ape in this film.  While we know who wins in the end, I’m very interested in the journey that gets there.  Normally, I’m a guy who likes the destination more than the journey but I’ll make an exception here.

It also seems like apes are able to verbalize more than before.  They are learning and becoming more intelligent.  The other thing that was interesting about this trailer is how it repeated “apes strong together” which is really hammering the theme that the apes need to come together.  I think apes will be fracturing and when Caesar dies it will bring them together.

This film is in my top 5 anticipated films this year and this trailer might have made it a top 3.

War for the Planet of the Apes opens July 14, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming

When I was a little kid, my mom didn’t buy a lot of comics for my brother or me.  The only time I could escape into the world of superheroes was when we would go grocery shopping.  My brother and I would hang by the comic book racks in the store (yay 90s) and read through as many as the stories as we could.  My dad, though, would buy the cards (Marvel version 2 and 3 collectable cards) because they were way cheaper than the books (though not accumulatively).  That was how we entered this world.  I remember learning about Spider-Man and could instantly relate.  I was (and still am) a weird, awkward person and I felt like Spider-Man was me.  Peter Parker was a deeply flawed character but always kept his head up and would never give in to grief.  He was witty and he had the weight on his shoulders.  I consumed everything of his; I watched the 60s show, the 80s show (including Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends) and Spider-Man: The Animated Series.  I played every Spider-Man game that came out from Gameboy to the NES to the Genesis.  I could rattle off my favorite Spider-Man villains probably up to 20.  I could tell you the most important parts of the character.  I could tell what I like and why his costume is the best of all time (hey!  New column idea!).

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When Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man came out in 2002, I remember seeing it and falling in love; this was my hero on the big screen.  I loved Toby McGuire as the Web Slinger and I loved the new design of the Green Goblin (and I still do, it works better than the classic comic version).  I waited for over 10 hours in line a small Alaskan town to see Spider-Man 2.  I went to the midnight showing of Spider-Man 3.  What started the downturn for me was Amazing Spider-Man.  Look, Andrew Garfield did an admirable job.  However, he was bogged down because it was a film that was more of a typical, bad super hero film and not a true Spider-Man film.  I hated the dark tone.  The Spider-Man act was not gelling with the tone they were setting.

Now I’m watching this trailer and I can’t shake this feeling that this film is the truest form of the character.  Look, I don’t mind reinterpretations; the Joker is the best example of a character open to reinterpretation from the comics to the big screen.  Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger and Mark Hamill all have interpreted the character differently but they all have kept the spirit of the character intact.  This big screen interpretation of Spider-Man is our closest interpretation of the character.  He keeps his head above water, with only his closest confidants knowing his true pain.  He masks it by making jokes, Peter Parker is truly himself as Spider-Man.  He never gives up and will push himself beyond his limits, not because he wants to but because he needs to.  He protects those with his power because if he doesn’t it is his fault.

How do we know this?  We see it when he says “no, no, no” as the ferry goes down.  He knows he messed up and people could die.  He has that weight.  When he talks to Stark afterwards he says “I wanted to be like you;” that’s a line that could have been said to Uncle Ben.  Spider-Man wants to be better than he is (which is something we should all strive for, by the way).

He is making jokes as an awkward teenager in and out of the suit. He makes a quip on the ferry, makes a joke to his friend Ned Leeds about Captain America and he makes a pose at the very beginning.  There is a brightness but a weight from this trailer.  That is Spider-Man.

We get his arc in this trailer.  He starts off from the high of knowing Stark and receiving his tech.  But when he screws up and doesn’t listen to Stark the suit is taken away.  Now he must find his strength with himself, knowing that the suit doesn’t make the hero.  Sure it’s a tried and true arc but it’s one we haven’t seen from the MCU or this character.  He has to face the Vulture (played by Michael Keaton who looks to be crushing it) as his ultimate test.

There have been some criticism of the amount of Tony Stark in this.  I don’t see it as a problem.  Stark is going to play a key mentor/father role in this movie.  He’s the one who tries to guide Peter to becoming the hero we know he can be.  By the end of it, Peter will be Spider-Man with Iron Man’s help (and lack thereof).  The scenes we saw him in were probably most of the scenes he’s actually in.  Think about it, if Stark is the mentor of the relationship we need a few scenes from him.  One where he is giving initial instructions, another warning him not to do something, another punishing him and a final for reconciliation.  We pretty much got those from the trailer.  I doubt he will be in the majority of the film but he will play a major role.

Speaking of major roles, Keaton looks great as Vulture.  He does have a motivation to do what he does.  Stark, who represents the rich and powerful, is controlling the world along with other costume individuals.  He wants there to be equality so he brings together the middle class to even the score.  This is a motivation that is understandable and, as we know, the best villains are the ones we understand.  I definitely think that Spider-Man will be offered a choice and that makes for a compelling villain/hero dynamic.

The dynamic between Peter and his friend are great.  There is some definite chemistry between these two.  They seem like they really enjoy each other.  I love it.  This will be the new bromance, trust me.  Like this kind of bromance:

Overall, this trailer provides everything that I could hope for.  This is a smart, funny, enjoyable Spider-Man with weight and stakes (for this world, not world ending stakes).  Also, this isn’t an origin story.  So this looks fantastic!

Spider-Man: Homecoming opens in theaters on July 7, 2017.

 

Which trailer did you like the best?  Which film are you looking forward to?  Comment below!

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