I finally got around to seeing Wonder Woman last month on my flight back from CES. I know a plane isn’t the best place to watch a movie, but it was very useful for tuning out the strangers who were unfortunate enough to hit it off beside me. I was also glad the film largely ditches the drab, dark colors that fill so much of DC’s universe in favor of bright colors that popped even on the plane’s tiny screen.
One of the things I really enjoyed about the movie is how much it’s willing to play against your expectations in small but important ways. The fact that Diana is the hero at all — by virtue of her hidden lineage or simply her gender — is a reversal of what we expect, and the film knows how powerful it is just to see her step onto the (quite literal) battlefield. But the movie does this elsewhere, too. There are multiple layers of villain, with some showing surprising layers of depth. And it plays up myth only to beat it down and then twist it around on us in unexpected ways.
So much of the film is also about what Diana does and doesn’t understand of humanity, and how people’s actions continue to be unexpected to her. It can be played up a little much at times (and the ending tie-in to the rest of the DC universe is rough, to say the least), but the constant, simple ways the film plays with understanding are enough to pull it all together in a way that really works.
Check out 11 trailers from this week below.
Speaking of women finally getting to lead superhero films, we got a first real look at the Incredibles sequel this week, and Elastigirl is the big star. I think this trailer moves a bit too fast to properly draw you in, but there’s still a lot to like in here. The film appears to be as much about the dynamics between parents and the challenges of raising kids as it is about any of the superhero stuff, and that should make for a rich movie. It comes out June 15th.
Here’s the best look yet at Atlanta’s second season, which is only a couple weeks away from starting up. The show looks just as melancholy and darkly funny as ever, and it seems like things still aren’t going great for Donald Glover’s character, who appears to be living out of a storage unit. The season starts March 1st.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Netflix has a wonderfully self-aware trailer out for A Series of Unfortunate Events’ second season. I haven’t actually watched the show, but I’m consistently impressed by the design of everything in each trailer — the whole word feels so big and weird and stylized, which is really impressive for a TV show. The new season comes out March 30th.
Somehow, a 2012 Pepsi ad has been adapted into a feature-length comedy. But as weird a journey as that is, it means that Kyrie Irving is starring in a movie that includes a huge list of guest stars, including Shaq, and a big presence from Get Out standout Lil Rel Howery. The film comes out June 29th.
Ready Player One
There’s another trailer out for Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, and it looks just as shiny and uncanny as ever. There just seems to be an endless number of things going on here, and while I’m sure that means it’ll be action-packed and something of a spectacle, I’m not convinced this is all going to add up to something more sane than the sum of its ludicrous parts in the same way that the book seems to have struck a chord with many readers. The film comes out March 29th.
Pacific Rim Uprising
There’s a new trailer out for Pacific Rim Uprising, and this one really gets straight to the point: there are lots of giant robots fighting giant monsters. One thing that really stands out to me in this trailer is that dense metropolitan areas are, visually, a good place for a fight, but they also seem incredible inconvenient and prone to destruction, which would be costly both economically and in terms of human lives. The movie comes out March 23rd.
YouTube is making a new Karate Kid series based around the Cobra Kai dojo, taking place decades after the events of the original movie. This first teaser doesn’t reveal much, but it does reveal that the show will have a very CW-series production quality to it, which is a phrase I am politely using to say ‘unpolished but still garnering a fanbase in some cases.’ The series is supposed to start later this year.
Marrowbone looks beautifully shot and immensely creepy, and I’d guess that’s why it was one of the standouts at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. You can read about it here, where my colleagues call it “scary as hell” and “a standout TIFF experience.” The film finally hits theaters (and on demand) April 13th.
Well, this is awkward. Just a few months after Ridley Scott’s quickly reshot film about J. Paul Getty came out, FX is about to debut its own series on the man — and it actually looks pretty good. Donald Sutherland plays Getty, Hilary Swank is in it too, and so is Brendan Fraser??? Maybe I’m delusional because I’m writing this late on a Friday, but maybe it looks surprisingly good???? The show starts March 25th.
Youth & Consequences
YouTube has another series coming out starring a high-profile YouTuber: Anna Akana. The show, Youth & Consequences (a title that sounds maybe a bit too relevant for YouTube these days), is definitely on the melodramatic side of things, but its overstated drama and big characters give it the look and feel of a lot of popular TV series. The show’s full season comes out March 7th.
I don’t think this movie looks necessarily worse than other, similar, ridiculous action movies. But my one and only reaction to every shot in this thing is: how? It exists! All of it! Based on a 1980s video game! I think I played it at Chuck E. Cheese’s a couple times. I don’t know what more to say. It comes out April 20th.