I finally saw The Martian over the weekend and really loved it. It's just a two-hour thrill ride where every obstacle is solved by science, which is really fun to watch (for more, you should read our review). The person I saw it with has a background in physics and was telling me later on how impressed she was with its scientific accuracy. In many ways, the movie feels like the perfect companion to Gravity, another movie about a character lost in space: where Gravity ignores science and focuses entirely on character, The Martian ignores character and focused entirely on science. You can consider either a negative, but both make it work to create a really thrilling experience.
But enough about movies that are already out — you're here to learn about upcoming films. And this week's trailers have me flipping out, almost unreasonably so. There's just too much good stuff. And also some weird stuff that I'm just including anyway, because who can pass up a James Franco trailer? You can check out all 13 trailers worth watching this week below.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
We were supposed to have seen the last of the Star Wars trailers the other week, but apparently that's not the case. Disney's Japanese YouTube channel uploaded a new trailer this morning, and it's one of the most gorgeous and revealing yet. Don't watch it if you don't want to know too much, but know that some wonderful moments await.
The Hateful Eight
You could watch this trailer without sound, and I'm pretty sure it'd still be the best one of the week just because of how gorgeous it is. Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight arrives on Christmas Day, and as its trailers are making it very clear, this ought to be yet another great one.
By the Sea
Ahhhhh, I changed my mind. This is the best trailer of the week — and you don't even have to mute it because there's already no dialogue! I really love how bare bones and gorgeous By the Sea looks, and I kind of love it even more because it's just a thing Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt can do together because Jolie is a celebrated director and both she and her husband are some of the most admired actors around. No one say anything negative about this trailer! I'm loving it too much. The film is out this month.
Okay, I know I've already said that, like, every trailer so far is the best trailer of the week, but this is definitely up there. Chi-Raq is Spike Lee's latest film, and it'll take you all of two seconds to forget that it's a big deal for Amazon because it's Amazon's first film, etc, etc, none of that matters — it just looks like an amazing Spike Lee movie. Watch the trailer, then renew your Prime subscription. It's out in theaters December 4th and should start streaming a short period of time thereafter.
It has been way too long since we had a Charlie Kaufman film, especially since his last was the masterpiece Synecdoche, New York. Kaufman writes and co-directs this new one, Anomalisa, which has a plot that looks pretty dry and clichéd on the surface — sad man meets shy woman — but I'm assuming is filled with the kind of quiet insights that have given his past scripts so much meaning. "Each person you speak to has had a day, ... each person you speak to has had a childhood," the film's narrator says. Yeah, I'm feeling it. There's no set release date just yet.
Will Smith looks totally transformed in Concussion, which has him playing the doctor who uncovered how football was leading to head trauma among NFL players. It's an important — and, unfortunately, still relevant — story, and this new trailer plays it up as one that's meant to come off powerfully. Let's hope it follows through. It's out on Christmas Day.
This first teaser for Girls season five does not fulfill my immense desire for more of the show. But it's good to see that Hannah's mom is out of the house and enjoying herself again! Maybe I'm reading too much into a split-second of a teaser, but it really seems like things are improving for her since basically all of season four. So that's something to look forward to. The new season starts forever from now on February 21st.
War & Peace
BBC One is adapting War & Peace as a miniseries with Paul Dano and Lily James as its stars, and yeah, it kind of looks amazing. There are gorgeous locations and epic battles and all of the noble dinner parties you could hope for. It's supposed to premiere early next year.
The Sound and the Fury
James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Danny McBride are in a new movie together, but somehow that movie is an adaptation of Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury. A first trailer for the film came out this week, and I just really have nothing to add. Sometimes, it's best to let James Franco do his thing. It's supposedly available on demand and in theaters, but good luck finding it.
Alice Through the Looking Glass
I'm always skeptical of live-action films that rely this heavily on CG worlds, but it's kind of hard to fault Alice Through the Looking Glass, which is trying to create some incredible new places to show us. And you know what? I could be into that, especially with the original cast — Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, and Helena Bonham Carter — back on board for the sequel. Plus, maybe Sacha Baron Cohen will be good here? It's out on May 27th.
If you're not familiar with Preacher, this first trailer's for you. AMC is trying to help you get to know preacher Jesse Custer and the kind of trouble he gets into ahead of the series's premiere next year.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
It's a Michael Bay movie, so you know there are going to be explosions. But the interesting thing about 13 Hours is that Bay seems to be going for a much more naturalistic tone as he brings his (presumably loose) adaptation of the real life events to screen. It's out January 15th.
The Girlfriend Experience
Steven Soderbergh's 2009 film The Girlfriend Experience explored the world of high-end escorts, and now he's helping bring that subject to TV. Soderbergh is executive producing the Starz adaptation, which released its first trailer this week. It doesn't really give any sense of the characters, but it absolutely gets across the series's vibe — and that's arguably more important at this point. It'll premiere 13 episodes next year.