I love that Amazon has decided to specialize in seriously artsy affairs when it comes to which films it buys, but I absolutely hate how long it takes for those films to go from theaters to digital rentals to actually playing on Amazon.
At long last, The Neon Demon made its way to Amazon last month (after premiering in June), and I finally sat down to watch it this past weekend. It's just an insanely gorgeous film. But the thing that stood out to me most was its use of silence — like dead, awkward, why-does-the-audio-sound-like-this silence.
Most silences in movies and TV shows aren't actually silent — they're mostly silent, still filled with the invisible echo of the room that we generally just tune out. But The Neon Demon makes its silences silent, and it makes for an incredibly eerie effect, where we're uncomfortable watching something as simple as a character getting ready to leave their hotel for the day. Part of me hates it because it makes me feel so uneasy, but I know that's exactly what it's intended to do.
Check out nine trailers from this week below.
My colleague Kaitlyn Tiffany didn't believe I would do Dunkirk justice, so she's agreed to sub in for me here:
Christopher Nolan is making a World War II movie called Dunkirk — okay cool, what is this the 4,937th movie we’ve seen about World War II? A vague excuse for some title card writer to use the phrase “Hope is a weapon”? Very expensive and likely most of the budget was spent on sand? Yes. Also, the first feature film appearance of former One Direction member Harry Styles, who appears in the trailer for a grand total of three seconds and looks like he is great at acting. If you don’t trust my opinion, just ask his co-star, Academy Award-winner Mark Rylance, who says Harry Styles is “remarkable” and “doesn’t need tips.”
Harry will arrive in theaters on July 19th, 2017. See you there!
The Fate of the Furious
Get it? Fate, like F8? Like Fast 8? Like The Fast 8 of the Furi— something like that. This is the inexplicable eighth entry in the Fast & Furious franchise. Vin Diesel turns evil. Cars are torn apart. At one point, they drive away from a sub emerging beneath a sheet of ice. They're also on the sheet of ice. It looks amazing. It's out April 14th.
Time: The Kalief Browder Story
Jay Z executive produces this six-part documentary series about Kalief Browder, who at 16 years old was placed in Rikers and kept there for three years on charges he said were false and that would ultimately be dismissed. Browder's story is a tragic look at the United States’ urgent need for criminal justice reform; this series pieces together footage of Browder, new interviews, and re-creations to tell his story. It starts on Spike on March 1st.
Despicable Me 3
It can be hard work selling a movie on the strength of a single sequence — mostly because that sequence has to be legitimately entertaining or viewers are gonna think you've got nothing (e.g., my reaction to Zootopia, which is actually great, after seeing that sloth joke for the 50th time) — but that's exactly what Despicable Me 3 tries to do here. And I think it probably succeeds, without even having to resort to much minion action. It'll be out on June 30th.
This is basically Netflix's equivalent of a surprise album drop. It released the first trailer for a mysterious new series called The OA on Monday, and as of yesterday, every episode of the show is available to stream. The series is about a woman who reappears after having gone missing years earlier, who's now able to see after having been blind as a child. The footage is plain but beautiful, and the mysteries feel way bigger than a standard crime story.
Studio Ghibli originally released Ocean Waves in 1993, but the film is only now making its way from Japanese TVs to American theaters. The picture has been restored in 4K, and the animation looks every bit as wonderful as you'd expect. It'll be out starting December 28th.
Mary and The Witch's Flower
It's not Studio Ghibli, but Mary and The Witch's Flower essentially comes from the studio's successor. After Ghibli sorta-but-not-really stopped making movies back in 2014, one of its longtime producers started up Studio Ponoc, which is now putting out its first feature. In the best way possible, it looks just like something Ghibli would make. It'll be out sometime next year.
Reviews indicate that Behemoth is a startling and stunning documentary, and you get a sense for why that is very quickly after clicking play on this trailer. The film examines coal mines and iron works in China and the awful working conditions that people endure there just to keep a job. It premieres in the US on January 27th in New York.
Hi, cat people, hi. This documentary just follows a bunch of stray cats around Istanbul and shows what their lives are like. It kind of looks amazing? It'll be out February 10th.