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New Trailers on Headstuff is the place to catch up on new teasers released in the world of Film and TV. Stephen Porzio tells you what’s hot and not. This week. there is teenage drug informants, creepy ballet and two different types of heist films.
Most Anticipated – White Boy Rick, Dir. Yann Demange
True stories about petty criminals who got way over their head have fuelled US cinema for years. American Hustle, American Made, this year’s upcoming American Animals, noticing a trend? However, even those wild tales can’t compare to Richard Wershe Jr’s, a white teenager living in Detroit in the 1980’s who before the age of 14 was a drug kingpin and the FBI’s youngest informant ever. The plot should be enough to convince people to take notice. Yet, if one needs further proof how good this could be, it is sophomore effort of Yann Demange who directed the excellent Troubles movie 71’ and worked on TV shows like Dead Set and Top Boy. Also, White Boy Rick’s stellar cast filled with old faces (Matthew McConaughey, Bruce Dern and Jennifer Jason Leigh) and fresh talents (Bel Powley, Brian Tyree Henry, rapper Danny Brown acting) bumps it up to most anticipated.
#2 – Suspiria, Dir. Luca Guadagnino
How one feels about the Suspiria teaser will depend on their thoughts on remaking the Dario Argento classic in the first place. If one thinks going any where near the Italian horror maestro’s technicolour nightmare of strange goings on in a Euro ballet school is a travesty, nothing here will sell them further on the idea. Yet, if one is like myself interested in seeing Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name, A Bigger Splash), another great but very different Italian director, reimagine the classic, this trailer is tantalising.
The colour palette looks beautiful but in a different way to Argento’s original. It’s far more muted and icy. The snippet of Thom Yorke’s score heard, while not as overpowering as the 1977 soundtrack by prog-rockers Goblin, may give his bandmate Jonny Greenwood a run for his money in the creepy composition department. This teaser implies Guadagnino isn’t just aping a classic but taking a different route. One hopes he can improve on some of the dated aspects of the original (the acting, the pacing, the dialogue) while bringing a new brand of insanity to the table. On that note, one can’t help but feel a little disappointed that the trailer did not include the footage that freaked out audiences at CinemaCon.
#3 – Widows, Dir. Steve McQueen
Fans of Gone Girl writer Gillian Flynn should be very happy right now. Not only was the trailer for the Amy Adams starring adaptation of her best novel, Sharp Objects, released by HBO, she penned the Widows screenplay for Oscar winner Steve McQueen (Hunger, Shame, 12 Years a Slave). The plot seems like a refreshing change of pace for both of them. A team of widows (Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki) must complete the heist that got their husbands (including Liam Neeson and Jon Bernthal) dead. If they don’t, they’ll have to answer to Colin Farrell and Daniel Kaluyya who seem particularly shady.
Flynn proved when she penned the Gone Girl screenplay she can make the transition from literature to cinema. McQueen is batting three for three. These two elements combined with the cast and the grit on display in the trailer means Widows may have enough pedigree to potentially rival the godfather of heist films, Heat.
#4 – The Girl in the Spider’s Web, Dir. Fede Alverez
In an alternative better world, David Fincher’s incredible The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo would have spawned two more films adapted from Stieg Larsson’s bestsellers. Focusing on the character of Lisbeth Salander, a Swedish hacker who joins forces with a journalist to solve crimes, it would have been a classy franchise packed with stars, accompanied by an awesome Trent Reznor soundtrack. This didn’t happen. Although Fincher’s film was far from a failure financially, it fell in an odd middle ground. It generated not enough money to spawn a franchise with the same A-list talent but enough that studios would want to revisit and get more cash from dedicated fans of the films and books. Hence, this sequel or ‘soft reboot’.
Gone is Rooney Mara as Salander, in is Claire Foy. Gone is David Fincher, in is Fede Alverez. To be honest, if you are going to scale down from bonafide talents to their B-grade equivalent, one could do a lot worse. Claire Foy, as evident by this year’s Unsane, can lead a picture. Meanwhile, Alverez’s previous films Don’t Breathe and The Evil Dead’s 2013 reimagining (on the topic of the Suspiria remake, there’s one I think got it right) prove he can deliver twisted, lurid thrills. His movies have a nihilistic edge that could fit the Dragon Tattoo world well.
While adapting the novel in the franchise not written by Stieg Larsson seems an odd decision and turning Salander into an angel of vengeance makes her character too simplistic, this trailer with its neon interiors and snow bound exteriors looks the part. Also, the international supporting cast featuring Phantom Thread’s Vicky Krieps, Blade Runner 2049 villain Sylvia Hoeks, Mindhunter’s Cameron Britton, The Square’s Claes Bang and perhaps most excitedly 2018’s MVP Lakeith Stanfield has me curious.
#5 The Old Man and the Gun, Dir. David Lowery
Robert Redford has said this will be the last movie he will act in and it seems fitting. A legend of cinema, what better role could there be to bow out on than playing an old man reflecting on his legendary career. The character is Forrest Tucker, a gentlemanly bank robber who in the twilight of his life is pursued by Det. John Hunt (Casey Affleck). The vibe of the trailer with it’s gorgeous Americana vistas and reflective mood feels similar to that of Hell of High Water. Meanwhile, the relationship between Redford and Affleck’s characters recalls DiCaprio and Hanks in Catch Me if You Can but with the ages reversed. Lowery before wowing everyone with his last film A Ghost Story excelled in the crime drama genre with his debut Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, something which bodes well for what will be the end of a Hollywood legacy.
#6 – A Star is Born, Dir. Bradley Cooper
Bradley Cooper makes his directorial debut with the fourth remake of A Star is Born (1937, 1954, 2018). The Hangover actor also stars as a country musician who starts dating an unprofessional singer (Lady Gaga) who he mentors and helps bring fame. This definitely is being hyped as an Oscar contender (at least it’s a Golden Globe Best Song shoe-in). As such, the trailer is predictable rags to riches stuff. That said, check it out for Lady Gaga who seems surprisingly convincing as a normal person, a stretch for the woman who once wore a meat dress. While her public image and stint on American Horror Story have positioned her very much as a pop icon, a down to earth role like this is probably the most shocking left-field move she could have made next. If it pays off, perhaps an acting star is born.
Least Favourite – London Fields, Dir. Matthew Cullen
If a movie has had a troubled production, there generally is tell-tale signs in the trailer. An overreliance on sex, a crappy score, stupid trailer graphics – anything to sell the damn thing and recoup some costs back. My god, London Fields’s teaser has all these ticks. Amber Heard (a good actress) is ogled so much by the camera it moves past De Palma classy to straight up FHM. Meanwhile, actor Jim Sturgess’s name is even misspelled.
An adaption of a well-respected novel by Martin Amis, although one couldn’t tell as the trailer looks like a Guy Ritchie Revolver era knock-off, the movie’s most interesting element is that it was meant to come out in 2015. However, everyone involved in the making has or is in the process of suing each other. It’s taken so long to come out in fact that Amber Heard and ex-husband Johnny Depp share the screen. Given how they parted ways, it feels a bit awkward.