One of my favorite moviegoing traditions is seeing the Oscar-nominated animated shorts each year, which always get bundled together around this time and played in some smaller theaters. The package is always a mix: some good shorts, some okay ones, some really bad ones, and, of course, whatever Pixar made that year, which is inevitably great.
This year was very much the same. Pixar’s short, Lou, which was originally attached to Cars 3, was adorable and the perfect mixture of story and slapstick comedy — something animated shorts often lean on a bit too hard. There was also a very long but often fun and charming BBC adaptation of a Roald Dahl story, which could have been trimmed down but ultimately still captures some of Dahl’s goofier and darker sensibilities.
Another short, about Kobe Bryant, was a bit too shallow but had animation from Glen Keane that’s as magical as ever. There’s always a depressing one from Europe, which was true this year, too. And finally, there’s this hyperrealistic one with some frogs, which... unassuming as it may look, seems to, uh, kill Trump? It is left ambiguous.
Check out 11 trailers from this week below.
Lost in Space
Netflix is rebooting Lost in Space, and it put out a first very teasery teaser for the new series this week. This brief look doesn’t tell us much about the series — it’s mostly just a reminder that the show exists — but it seems like a nice enough start. Lost in Space’s first season arrives April 13th.
Silicon Valley is coming back for its first season without T.J. Miller, but that isn’t exactly stopping the show from finding time for some crass humor. Things seem to be just as much a mess as ever for Pied Piper, and also a dog pees on a server or something. The show returns for its fifth season on March 25th.
Deniz Gamze Ergüven made her feature debut with the incredible film Mustang in 2015, and now we’re getting a look at her second film, about the 1992 LA riots. What stands out to me the most here is how Ergüven continues to feature the claustrophobia, energy, and wonderful chaos of a cramped household filled with kids like she did in Mustang, even in a movie about something much bigger. It comes out April 27th.
Roxanne Roxanne is about the rise of rapper Roxanne Shante as a teenager in 1980s Queens. The film has a fantastic cast and got a great reception out of Sundance this year, and it looks appropriately great in this first trailer. It’s a music story, but it’s also about Shante and her mother dealing with the many problems that come along with a shot at fame. The film comes to Netflix on March 23rd.
Thy Kingdom Come
When Terrence Malick makes a movie, he doesn’t so much make a film as he does film hours and hours and hours of vaguely narrative content and later stitch it together into a movie. When filming 2012’s To The Wonder, Malick apparently tasked a photographer with bringing Javier Bardem, dressed as a priest, to real people’s homes and counseling them. Naturally, most of the footage was not used in the movie. But now the photographer who shot that footage has gained the rights to it and put it all together into a 43-minute film of his own. It’s a really puzzling origin story, but the resulting film seems like a heartbreaking series of portraits from a town in Oklahoma. The film will premiere at SXSW — you can read more about it over at The New Yorker.
This is the first real trailer I’ve seen for Krypton, and it’s kind of all over the place, with, I think, its first mistake being setting it all to what sounds like a knockoff of Kanye’s “Power.” Some of the visuals here are actually pretty cool, but the show is clearly swinging beyond its budget, and it shows here with some moments that the actors really aren’t set up to pull off. We’ll see how it plays out when the series debuts March 21st.
So, this is a reality show about convincing someone to kill another person. It seems like a bad idea.
The Most Unknown
Motherboard, Vice’s excellent science and technology site, put out a trailer this week for their very first feature-length documentary, and, well, if you’re reading The Verge, it seems like it might be up your alley. The doc brings together a bunch of scientists and seems to be designed to get them all to chat about big, open, and maybe unanswerable questions about the universe. Motherboard plans to release the doc in full sometime this spring, but full details are still TBD.
This isn’t the most compelling trailer of the week, but I love the story behind it: the film was shot at the Cannes film festival while Isabelle Huppert and Kim Min-hee were there to promote other movies (Elle and The Handmaiden), meaning it was likely a rushed shoot (the film comes in at barely over an hour long) and maybe just done to give all these actors an excuse to work together. It’s coming to the US in a limited release starting March 9th.
This is pretty cool: it’s the first film directed by Idris Elba, who appears to be entirely behind the camera here. Yardie is about a Jamaican man who ends up in London and gets sucked into a violent quest for revenge. The film has some wonderful style and energy in this first trailer, though initial reviews out of Sundance this year weren’t great. No word yet on when it’ll debut.
You know what, we all deserve this this week.