This week may have included Star Wars Day, but Star Wars is being totally overshadowed by another juggernaut — Captain America: Civil War, which comes out today and has been getting all-around fantastic reviews. If you're looking for something to watch this weekend, that's probably your answer.
In the meantime, I've been watching some much quieter films. Last weekend, I finally got the chance to rent Kelly Reichardt's River of Grass, her first film, which has been newly restored and is now available online. There's something really wonderful about being able to go back and see the early work of a fantastic director like Reichardt — it's loose and messy in good and bad ways, and it speaks to the same type of narratives that pop up later in films like Night Moves and Wendy and Lucy. I'd definitely recommended starting with either of those if you're new to her work.
This was a slower week for trailers (maybe everyone was afraid of a possible Rogue One drop or Captain America hype?), but I'm very excited about at least a few that came out. There are seven from this week worth checking out.
Here's a short, gorgeous, and tense look at the next film from Park Chan-wook, the director behind Oldboy and Stoker. The Handmaiden is slated to premiere at Cannes, which kicks off next week, and will later head to theaters and then Amazon Prime in the US, following Amazon's acquisition earlier this year. The film is supposed to be about con artists and seduction and while you can't really tell what's happening plot-wise in this trailer, it all looks pretty incredible. Seriously, it's this week's must-watch trailer. (Heads up, there's very brief nudity.)
The writers behind The Hangover are returning with, well, basically the same kind of raucous plot line now starring a trio of women — Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn, who are joined by fantastic actors like Jada Pinkett Smith and Christina Applegate. It's the kind of movie where the names involved are supposed to sell you on it; and given these names, Bad Moms may well find a sizable audience. It's out on July 29th.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Maybe it's just that I'm resigned to it this time around, but somehow the trailers for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel seem a lot more palatable than those for the first reboot. This new trailer makes it seem like somewhat self-aware and goofy if still often facepalm-worthy romp. It's out on June 3rd.
Most of this trailer is really slow and boring and it's hard to tell that there's really even a movie going on. And then it gets to what this movie is actually about, and I kind of love it. The Shallows is one of those films that are essentially puzzles, stranding a character in a bad situation and forcing them to logic and MacGyver their way out of it. The film comes out on June 29th.
Men Go to Battle
Men Go to Battle is a very unusual Civil War film, in that it's not so much about the Civil War as it's about the strange relationship of two brothers living through it. In its review last year, The Film Stage referred to the film as almost mumblecore in style, which is both ridiculous and wonderful and not a thing you'd ever expect to hear paired with "Civil War drama," and not only because you haven't heard mumblecore referenced in a decade. It opens on July 8th.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Hunt for the Wilderpeople had plenty of buzz coming out of Sundance, and now that a first full trailer is out, it's easy to see why. It's a lighthearted, ridiculous comedy that seems to know exactly how far to push it. It comes out on June 24th in the US and Canada.
You should probably just watch this.