I rewatched The Big Short recently, and one moment near the end of the film stood out to me in a way that didn't quite register my first time through.
Steve Carell's character — a surly, idealistic investor — has been holding bankers' feet to the fire, watching them sweat by refusing to sell off valuable assets while the entire industry collapses around them at the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis. Bankers are disgusting and corrupt, he’s seen, and he wants to teach them all a lesson.
But then the bailout comes, and Carell’s character realizes that none of the bankers will ever be held responsible and that the assets he has are about to become worthless. He looks down only to see that he's never been holding anyone to the fire. There's nothing there. Nothing. His fundamental assumptions about how the system worked were wrong.
It’s a hell of a thing to find out.
Check out 10 trailers from this week below.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Imagine a mashup of Avatar and Jupiter Ascending, with the strange aliens of The Phantom Menace and the oddball everything of The Fifth Element. That’s the best I can do to describe what it feels like watching the trailer for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, the first big sci-fi film from Luc Besson since The Fifth Element. So long as you don’t count Lucy. It comes out next July.
I don’t usually post international trailers, but this is Star Wars after all, and any time there’s new footage, people are gonna want to analyze it. And honestly, this trailer is surprisingly good by virtue of it just being itself and not trying to do too much. Oh, and also there’s Vader. It’ll be out December 16th in the US.
Beware the Slenderman
The story told by this documentary is far more horrifying than any Slenderman tale out there on the internet. Beware the Slenderman follows the case of two 12-year-old girls who repeatedly stabbed a classmate (who thankfully survived) while trying to prove that Slenderman exists. The girls’ case is now moving through the courts. This documentary comes to HBO on January 23rd.
This trailer is honestly way too on the nose for this week and I kind of can’t handle it. The show starts November 30th.
The Brand New Testament
I love this. The Brand New Testament is a strange, Jean-Pierre Jeunet-esque comedy in which God’s rebellious daughter decides to text everyone on Earth how long they have left to live. Just watch it. The film comes out December 9th.
Hunter Gatherer is about a man trying to rebuild his life from square one and all the interesting, comforting, and eccentric people he meets along the way. The film got good reviews at SXSW, and now it’s headed to theaters with a limited release starting November 16th.
I Am Not Your Negro
Filmmaker Raoul Peck brings to life an unfinished work by James Baldwin in I Am Not Your Negro, a documentary examining the lives and history of black men and women in America. The film has received almost nothing but fantastic reviews, and this short trailer makes it look remarkably beautiful. It comes out February 3rd.
I haven’t seen The Expanse, but Verge editor Andrew Liptak has been saying the show is a must-see. Its new season starts February 8th on Syfy, so you’ve got a few months if you want to catch up.
Speaking of Syfy series that come recommended from Andrew… Syfy put out a trailer this week for The Magicians’ second season, and the production of it all looks surprisingly magical. Like The Expanse, there’s some time to catch up if you’re behind. The Magicians’ second season starts January 25th.
La La Land
Snappy dialog. Vibrant colors. Dance sequences. I am so sold on this. La La Land opens December 9th.