After watching Alien: Covenant last week, I felt like I had to go back and revisit Prometheus. Not just because the backstory of Covenant is extremely confusing if you don't remember what happened (and I didn't), but because I remembered Prometheus taking a really different approach to its scares.
The difference between Prometheus and Covenant might be analogous to the difference between Alien and Aliens. It's the difference between films with big mysteries and long, drawn out tension, and films with huge action set pieces and sudden, visceral frights. My theory is that people will be drawn more toward one pair or the other, and I'm definitely a bigger fan of the former.
At the same time, I think it's really interesting how Ridley Scott is splitting the Alien series thematically between prequels and sequels. His two new films are about creation, while the originals focus more on corporate greed and militarism. It doesn't all add up perfectly for me, but I love that one long story is able to be pulled in two very different directions.
Check out 10 trailers from this week below.
On Friday, Marvel put out a very exciting first look at Black Panther. The teaser doubles as an intro to the series — setting up the nation of Wakanda and the many parties fighting for power — and as the kind of hype reel — full of amazing landscapes, cool poses, and very fun action — that continues to get audiences lining up for Marvel films. So far, this is looking like a very good one. It’s heading to theaters early next year, on February 16th.
Broad City has been off the air for more than a year, and while there are still two months to go before it returns, Comedy Central finally put out a look at its next season this week. And yeah, it looks like even more of what’s made Broad City into such a hit. Season four starts up on August 23rd.
Spike has a very creepy new trailer out for its adaptation of Stephen King's The Mist. It looks like another show about the apocalypse and people turning to and/or from religion in the face of the end times, but the series seems to be taking a distinctly scarier turn than most, which could help to set it apart. The show starts June 22nd.
Tom Cruise has re-teamed with Doug Liman, director of Edge of Tomorrow (and more notably, The Bourne Identity), for American Made, a raucous looking film based on the life of an actual drug smuggler / pilot / informant working for the US government and Pablo Escobar. This trailer makes it look like an eccentric, energetic ride, and I particularly like the sort of home video vibe it snaps into every now and then. It comes out September 29th.
Netflix has a pretty incredible looking documentary coming up that goes underwater to document the wonders of ocean life and the destruction being done to coral reefs across the globe. The film comes out July 14th.
Landline premiered at Sundance earlier this year to mixed but generally positive reviews. It's the second film from Gillian Robespierre, who directed Obvious Child and co-writes and directs here. It has a great cast, including Obvious Child star Jenny Slate, and it looks all at once funny, awkward, and kind of sweet. It comes out in limited release July 21st, expands August 4th, and will eventually hit Amazon.
Pixar put out another trailer for its colorful new film about a boy who gets trapped in the Land of the Dead. This trailer is shorter than the last, but it's a bit more explicit about what kind of movie we're in for. Then again, it's Pixar, so we kind of already know. Coco is directed by Lee Unkrich, of Toy Story 3, so there's some reason to keep expectations high. It comes out November 22nd.
Oats Studios, Volume 1
Neill Blomkamp's Oats Studios put out a second trailer this week for its first collection of short sci-fi films. The format seems to have given Blomkamp space to play around with all kinds of strange aliens and ideas, and this second trailer really has me intrigued. (There's also a cameo from Sigourney Weaver.) No release date yet, but the studio still says it's all "streaming soon" on YouTube and Steam.
Killing Ground debuted to some good reviews at Sundance this year, and now the film is nearing in on a wide release. The movie has a pretty simple premise — it's about a couple whose camping retreat goes very, very wrong — but it looks seriously creepy in this trailer. It hits theaters and goes on demand July 21st.
Alejandro Jodorowsky's latest film is a surreal, autobiographical depiction of his early years as a poet in Chile. It looks bizarre and visually fascinating, and I can't help but be interested despite having very little idea what's going on here. Heads up: there's a minor amount of nudity and one giant, falling phallic light fixture, so take that into consideration before clicking play. The film comes out July 14th.