As usual, my girlfriend and I were looking for a Keira Knightley period piece the other week when we learned, to immense disappointment, that Pride & Prejudice is no longer on Netflix. So we looked around for something else and found Far from the Madding Crowd on HBO. It seemed to have the same vibe, and Carey Mulligan is amazing, so clicking play was an obvious choice.
Anyway, I have a lot of thoughts about Far From the Madding Crowd and am kind of bewildered that it's received such a positive response. It's basically like an 1800s MRA fantasy about a woman continually being beaten down because she chooses to be strong and independent. It is literally about a dude who gets friend-zoned and then follows a woman around until she agrees to be with him. Like, what on Earth? Why was this made? And how did critics not address this?
Anyway, what I'm saying is, Netflix should get Pride and Prejudice again so that no one ends up watching Far From the Madding Crowd by accident. Also, there are some new trailers out this week that you can watch below. There's 13 in total.
The Birth of a Nation
It's pretty clear that The Birth of a Nation is going to be one of this year's best and most powerful films. But in case you weren't sold after reading all of the praise it got at Sundance or seeing its first teaser, there's a new trailer out this week to win you over. And, I mean, unless you have no heart, I'm sure it will. It's in theaters October 7th.
So yeah, HBO's Westworld looks awesome. It kind of seems like something between Battlestar Galactica and The Matrix, except the world the series' protagonists leave behind is a bloody Western outpost. This could be very cool. The series starts in October.
This trailer is pretty much just a quick series of beautiful shots, but that's totally fine because everyone should want to know what this series looks like. Queen Sugar is a new TV series from Oprah and Ava DuVernay, who is executive producing the series, as well as writing its pilot and directing several episodes. The show is about a woman and her daughter who move from LA to a huge sugar cane farm they've inherited in Louisiana. It'll debut on OWN this fall.
The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years
This documentary has a very long name but should be a fun one! It's about The Beatles, obviously, and is supposed to include a bunch of "rare and exclusive footage" of the band early in their career. I'm into it. In the US, the film will stream on Hulu starting September 17th.
If you don't know director Andrea Arnold yet, it's time to start catching up on her films. Her latest is American Honey, which seems to have the same type of grungy, naturalistic style she used to great effect in 2009's Fish Tank. I really like the look of this one, which is about a young woman running off with a character played by Shia LaBeouf and all of the chaos that would inevitably ensue. It looks dirty, vulnerable, and scary. I'm loving it so far. It doesn't have a release date just yet, but it's expected later this year.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Tim Burton's next film leaves plenty of space for Tim Burtony colors and style and strangeness, so I guess that's good for the many Tim Burton fans out there. Also YA fans, this is an adaptation of one of the more popular young adult novels out in recent years. It's about kids with special powers and seems to have a weirdly standard "chosen boy will save the world with help from more-capable girl" plot line, which I don't get the sense I'll love. But there should be plenty of weird visuals! It's out on September 30th.
Ouija: Origin of Evil
Okay, mostly I'm just surprised that a movie based on a board game now has a prequel. This is the cinematic world our dollars have bought and no one but ourselves (jk not me!) is to blame. But also, I kinda dig a lot of things about this trailer: the '60s vibe, the kind of lighthearted spookiness, how everything is just casually evil, the way Ouija is shamelessly shoehorned in there. Anyway, it's a movie. It comes out October 21st.
With one trailer, HBO makes it clear that it has one heck of a show coming our way. Insecure seems anything but, with the strong voice of its creator, Issa Rae, coming through loud and hilarious and clear. You may well know Rae through her YouTube series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl; if not, Insecure seems like it'll be the follow-up it deserves. The show starts this fall.
Looking: The Movie
After two seasons, HBO is closing out Looking with a film finale. It may not be how the show deserved to go, but its creators seem to be making the most of it — this trailer makes it clear that Looking: The Movie intends to ramp things up to an appropriately dramatic conclusion. It premieres on July 23rd.
I love the look of this. The Innocents, from director Anne Fontaine, is about pregnant nuns in Poland and the Red Cross nurse caring for them right after the end of World War II. At least from this trailer, it looks quiet, beautiful, and tense throughout. The film premiered at Sundance and is now headed to US theaters on July 1st.
A little over a decade after Sex and the City wrapped up (the TV series, that is, not the movies that followed), Sarah Jessica Parker is returning to HBO as an older character going through a very different romantic phrase in her life. A first teaser for Divorce came out this week, and it looks like it could be messy and charming in all the right ways. It premieres sometime this fall.
The Girl With All The Gifts
This is definitely a different type of zombie film. The Girl With All The Gifts is about a young girl who's both immune to and half-affected by a zombifying fungus that seems to have taken over much of the world. I'm not totally sold from this trailer alone, but I dig the way it works with suspense rather than just throwing a horde of zombies in our face (don't worry though, that happens, too). It has a UK release date of September 23rd.
The Lovers and the Despot
Perhaps one of the more surprising facets of former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il was his love of cinema. Like many things, he took that interest way too far and in the 1970s, kidnapped an actress and a director from South Korea and forced them to make movies inside his country. The Lovers and the Despot documents this bizarre slice of history, from the kidnapping to the filmmaking duo's eventual escape. The tale alone ought to be enough to grab anyone's interest. It comes out on September 23rd.