It’s September, which means the great holiday movie marketing campaigns of 2017 are already kicking off. But for now, we’ll spare you the seasonal cinematic onslaught— the Trailer Park is the kind of place where the decorations go up in their own time, if you catch our drift— in favor of three attention-piquing upcoming releases all based on real people and/or events:
The Disaster Artist
You’re tearing me apart, Franco! Hey, here’s a quick public service announcement: If you have never seen The Room, stop reading this column immediately and do yourself the favor. You’ll thank us later! Once you have that taken care of, we’ll meet you back here.
Look, we have to admit, we find the Franco brothers’ desire to re-enact one of the weirdest bromances of all time (both on and offscreen) highly suspect. But, we’re unabashed superfans of iconoclastic cinematic savant Tommy Wiseau and his truly superlative cult classic! As such, we’re willing to fork over the ticket money just for the assured pleasure of the inside joking —unless, of course, it stops at Seth Rogen’s incredulous patter, which from this preview seems to simply echo literally everything a first-time viewer of The Room would yell at the screen. James Franco’s Tommy Wiseau accent is….like, maybe 80% there, and Dave Franco is actually kind of nailing Greg Sestero’s ultimate straight man vibe. Throw in Ari Graynor as Juliette Danielle, who played conniving heartbreaker Lisa and now sells candles in San Antonio (wouldn’t you, after seeing some of those love scenes on the big screen?), not to mention promises of Sharon Stone, Melanie Griffith, Alison Brie, and Zac Efron, and we’re willing to see if The Disaster Artist can be the behind-the-scenes Ed Wood-style tell-all we long for. But let the record show, we’re also not above throwing some spoons!
The Current War
Oh yes, Benedict Cumberbatch is back in black as the lord of the light bulb himself, Thomas Edison. Get it? It’s an AC/DC joke? Okay, so for those of you who didn’t see that episode of Bob’s Burgers where they covered this crucially intense little bit of history, there was a time (way back before dial-up, cordless phones, and 3G) when electricity wasn’t even a freaking public utility yet. Two titans of innovation and industry, Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse, each had a type of electrical current — direct and alternating, respectively— that they thought would be best to supply a nation with an interconnected electrical grid, lighting homes and powering a new revolution of illumination and power. And, as middle-stage capitalism often did in those days, it. Got. Ugly. Y’all. If this movie has any semblance of historical accuracy, you’re gonna want to splurge for the extra-large popcorn. Now, when it comes to onscreen versions of our favorite geniuses, David Bowie as Nikola Tesla in The Prestige will always be our number one. We’re willing to give Nicholas Hoult a shot, but wow, are those some big and oddly-shaped shoes to fill! This trailer really puts the light bulbs front and center, with plenty of glowing filament close-ups and, for some reason, a kind of light bulb labyrinth in the middle of a clearing. With so much emphasis on the actual, literal light, we hope that most of the considerable darkness involved in this epic electrical face-off was spared in the trailer, and saved for the feature. Otherwise, there’s been a real missed opportunity here.
Maybe it’s that we’re just a little bit crazy about Elisabeth Moss, or maybe it’s all of the buzz from Cannes (after all, it won the prestigious Palme d’Or this year, which is kind of a big deal). Maybe, just maybe, it’s the sly sideways glance at pretentious art-world decadence and glitterati, which we can always appreciate. No matter the reason, we’re relishing the theatrical release of The Square, which has already been submitted for your consideration as Sweden’s Best Foreign Language Film.
The Square is from the same director as 2014’s Force Majeure, and if this trailer is any indication it will likewise skewer bourgeois relational dynamics with an observational humor that is sharp and biting, yet delicious, like a certain types of hard cheese. Yum! We can’t wait to sink our teeth into the operational drama of a contemporary art museum and its various tropes: The smarmy curator, the “boundary-pushing” performance artist, the patrons more concerned with their dinner than the show, and (we hope) many more. While this preview doesn’t reveal much in terms of actual plot arc, it does show an ape jumping onto a sofa. That picture may be worth a thousand words, but there’s also plenty of words—literally glowing reviews, that is. Watch this movie with that friend who actually reads their New Yorkers instead of just letting them pile up in the bathroom. Or that other friend, the one who seems way too young to know that much about wine. Just whatever you do, don’t watch it alone, because there will be know one around to acknowledge your impeccable taste, and that would be yet another missed opportunity.
Do you love previews? We sure do! Join us in the Trailer Park next Tuesday and (almost) every Tuesday for hot takes on cool Coming Attractions (popcorn not included).