Trailer Park: "Fifty Shades Freed," "Sherlock Gnomes," and "The Post"
One of these things is not like the others.
Fifty Shades Freed
This film’s tagline is: “Don’t miss the climax.” Climax. Climax. Feel weird yet? Great. Get comfortable in that feeling. Set up camp there. Heck, light a fire for s’mores there. We’re going in.
Whether you’re a die-hard “Grey bae” or an initiate to all things Fifty Shades-related, it’s hard not to be titillated by the heady brew of sex and violence teased here and set to INXS (covered by Bishop Briggs). Also, this trailer is so packed with affluence that it might as well be narrated by Robin Leach. Come on, it opens on a grand piano! There’s also snorkeling, an Audi, and of course, some good, old-fashioned (literally), Real Housewives-style femme-on-femme emotional violence. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that glimpse of Kim Basinger, reprising her role as Mr. Grey’s own personal Mrs. Robinson. You know, it just occurred to us that Basinger also starred in 9 ½ Weeks, which was like Fifty Shades for the Gen-X set. What if those movies took place in the same universe, and Basinger’s character grew into her role in Grey’s life as a result of her months with Mickey Rourke? Wait, did we just realize that Rourke’s character’s name in 9 ½ Weeks is John…Gray?
We digress. We’ll level with you: We didn’t quite make it to the theater for the first two installments of this...let’s call it a “cultural touchstone”. But hey, maybe we’ll make a night of it and catch up with a steamy double feature before Fifty Shades Freed’s February 14 release date. Yes, you all have Valentine’s Day plans now. You’re welcome.
Oh, Johnny Depp. You brought aggressively public acid trips to the masses when you played Hunter S. Thompson, and as Edward Scissorhands and Captain Jack Sparrow you made “guy-liner” not just socially acceptable, but downright trendy. From the Mad Hatter to Willy Wonka, you’ve pushed the envelope of idiosyncrasy and often made it look really, really good. So you’ll understand our confusion here? A foray into CGI lawn ornaments cracking fart jokes in the sequel to 2011’s sleeper smash Gnomeo and Juliet seems like a strange move for such a bad boy.
Of course, Sherlock Gnomes director John Stevenson earned an Oscar nod for 2008’s Kung Fu Panda, so maybe these two minutes represent the absolute most sophomoric moments of a movie that seems preternaturally focused on backsides —even for kiddie fare set in a late-capitalist hellscape where sentient surplus product is unceremoniously destroyed. Gnomeo and Juliet apparently avoided the same fate as their Shakespearean inspiration and are now investigating mysterious gnome disappearances, a plot twist that takes them out of the garden and into a whole huge world of steamer ships, tree climbing, and some sort of dancefloor gargoyle-dragon. Oh, and twerking, apparently. Sherlock Gnomes hits theaters in March 2018, just in time for gardening season! We’re sure that’s not an accident.
Look, no offense to the other trailers in this park, but we’ve saved the best for last this week. Get ready for Streep and Hanks (with an impressive supporting cast including Alison Brie, Bob Odenkirk, and Sarah Paulson) chewing the 70’s-tastic scenery in a most Oscar-buzz-worthy Spielberg-vehicle way!
It seems fitting for a quintessentially American blockbuster director to take the helm of this historical drama about the press’ struggles to expose the White House. We’re in moment bedeviled by concepts of “fake news”, “alternative facts”, and “post-truth”, and more savvy and cynical than ever about the machinations behind the information and entertainment economies. Spielberg lets us bend our present tension through the prism of nostalgia and the kind, familiar faces of Hollywood heavyweights. Pass the junior mints!
Speaking of which, this trailer has so many delicious morsels of Streep and Hanks playing off of each other — in hallways and bedrooms and back-chambers and back-seats and on the telephone — we can barely stand it. So many great lines! So many amazing expressions! The Post will be in theaters December 22, just in time for high-quality holidays — and, of course, for your consideration. Let’s face it: Fifty Shades Freed and Sherlock Gnomes are more likely to win Golden Raspberries than Academy Awards next year. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Remember, it’s an honor just to be nominated.
Do you love previews? We sure do! Join us every week in the Trailer Park, where we offer hot takes on the coolest Coming Attractions (popcorn not included).