It’s a mad world out there, folks — rabid hordes of misguided fans are descending on fast food franchises in search of an elusive sauce, movie moguls are slowly being crushed under the massive weight of their own criminal-level creepiness, and every day we inch closer to nuclear war. We’re about ready for another massive hit of some good old-fashioned escapism, aren’t you? So let’s slip away for a few minutes, to worlds where the monsters are easy to spot, death may not actually be the end, and Denzel Washington is out there doing what he does best. There’s always room for hope in the Trailer Park!

Replicas

Ok, who decided it was a good or even reasonable move to cast Keanu Reeves as some kind of brilliant, cutting-edge scientist? Have we learned literally nothing over the past 2 decades of his career? Seriously, would you trust him to muck around inside your squishy grey brains with some kind of high-tech helmet-based interface? He’s not the one, y’all! He’s just not. Maybe that’s why whatever abominable science he’s doing seems so confusing in this preview — is it cloning, or is it robotics? Is it somehow both? And is it a start-up? Is that why the guy from Silicon Valley is here? Is it weird that we’re resentful of how Reeves can apparently re-animate his whole family, while we’re still paying almost 400 bucks a month in health insurance premiums for the privilege of a $6K copay? Yeah, we have a lot of questions, and because Replicas currently has no release date, it seems we may have to be patient while we await answers. 

We couldn’t help but notice that many of the mainstream movies releasing imminently feature male characters violently and/or chaotically losing their beautiful, blonde wives (and sometimes children), losses which drive them to inadvisable extremes. Whether it’s Bruce Willis becoming an NRA-ad caricature in Death Wish or Keanu doing...whatever he’s doing here, it’s always ostensibly out of love for their late partner, who consented to none of it. This is by no means a new trope, but it’s nonetheless fascinating to see it experiencing an onscreen renaissance. Have any of these husbands, by chance, heard of good, old-fashioned therapy?

 

Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Denzel Washington’s last film was 2016’s Fences, and we’re already ready for more! We love a prickly jerk with a heart of gold, so maybe we’re a bit biased, but holy dang is Denzel fun to watch in this preview! From what we can gather, the plot of Roman J. Israel, Esq. goes something like this: A civil rights lawyer (or at least, a lawyer with an eye towards civil rights) rages for years against a machine, then faces some sort of crisis that causes a values shift — and suddenly, now he’s in it for the money. We’re talking killer views and cash in suitcases money! So maybe he can afford to get himself a new pair of glasses? Oh, who are we kidding — Israel’s hairstyle and wardrobe are so retro that they’re on their way back in again.

 

Directed by Dan Gilroy, best known for 2014’s Nightcrawler, Roman J. Israel, Esq. likewise explores Los Angeles’ seedy underbelly. As underbellies go, that’s a big one! It also explores one of those essential complexities of character: Israel is most certainly someone who loves humankind and is passionate about human rights, but maybe isn’t so much of a “people person”, per se. We can’t help but wonder if Washington’s scenery-chewing as this curmudgeonly legal savant will earn him a nod from the Academy — the movie is set to release November 3rd, after all, nice and late in the calendar year (for your consideration).

 

Pacific Rim Uprising 

What do you mean, we have to wait until late March to get the rest of our mecha-warrior fix? It just seems kind of cruel to tease us with all of this metal and mayhem, just to make us sit on our hands for almost 6 months! Of course, we will need some time to get used to this louder, shinier version of our beloved monster movie, now with a new director and a new cast to boot. Set ten years after the end of Pacific Rim, the plot seems pretty straightforward: the Kaiju are back, and they’re bigger (and badder) than ever. Cue the epic battle scenes and deliciously deadly destruction!

Guillermo del Toro is still involved with this sequel as a producer, much like Ridley Scott was on Blade Runner 2049, but you’ll forgive us for making the obvious point that Steven S. DeKnight is no Denis Villeneuve. He’s like, not even a poor man’s Denis Villeneuve! Of course, the addition of John Boyega (and return of Charlie Day and Rinko Kikuchi) seems auspicious as heck, so let’s hope this sequel isn’t a total “Jaeger bomb” and that it passes the very “Mako Mori test” that its predecessor inspired. We all know Blade Runner 2049 couldn’t manage that. Sorry if that was a spoiler. We’re just as disappointed as you are.

 

Do you love previews? We sure do! Join us next week and every week in the Trailer Park, where we offer hot takes on the coolest Coming Attractions (popcorn not included).