The second season of Westworld wrapped up last weekend, and I still find the show as infuriating and fascinating as ever. I think Vox’s Todd VanDerWerff is spot on here with how he contrasts the series to Lost — Westworld is all puzzle, no characters; so there’s a lot more riding on the puzzle being really good.
What’s frustrating is that, this season’s Ghost Nation episode “Kiksuya” showed just how strong of a show Westworld can be when it hones in on its characters and tells deeper, more complex (and coherent) stories about its world. I know it doesn’t want to do that — it’s more interested in twists and turns. And at this point, I’m not even sure that I want it to either.
The oddest thing about Westworld is that it’s so much more than a TV show — it’s a game built to be played along with. I have no idea if this series will work for people who binge watch it later. But as someone who’s watching it live and getting to participate in ludicrous theorizing about who is and isn’t a host and what preposterously convoluted scheme someone is up to, it’s all a surprising amount of fun.
Check out eight trailers from this week below.
Here’s our second look at the new Predator movie, and... it really seems to be hoping that we love the Predator, because there’s not a ton going on here. But maybe that’s just the trailer. The movie comes from Shane Black, who did Iron Man 3 and, weirdly enough, acted in and touched up the script of the original Predator. So there’s good reason to be interested in what he’s doing here. The film comes out September 14th.
The Equalizer 2
Denzel Washington is a great actor. And you know what: he deserves this. We deserve this. And it will be beautiful. The film comes out July 20th.
Simpsons and Futurama creator Matt Groening is starting up a new animated series — this time for Netflix. It’s called Disenchantment, and it basically seems to be taking Groening’s style and sense of humor into a fantasy world, or at least some strange incarnation of the Middle Ages. It premieres August 17th.
The House with a Clock in Its Walls
Here’s the second trailer for Eli Roth’s adaptation of The House with a Clock in Its Walls. It sounds like it’s a big departure from the quiet book it’s based on, but it seems like this could turn out to be a big, fun adventure, with Jack Black and Cate Blanchett starring. It comes out September 21st.
The Hate U Give
The Hate U Give starts out as a coming of age story about a black teenage girl, but it takes a very sudden turn after a friend of hers is killed by a white cop. From there, the story seems to explode into one about protests, riots, and the systemic struggles faced by black families, and how that all ties in to who she grows up to be. It comes out October 19th.
Beautiful Boy has Steve Carell and Timothée Chalamet playing a father and son as they both struggle with the son’s addiction and recovery. It partly seems like a film designed to stir people around Oscar season — but there really is an incredible background here: it’s based on real memoirs from a father and son, and the son is now a writer who’s worked on, among other things, 13 Reasons Why. The film comes out October 12th.
It’s barely possible to make out what this movie is about from its trailer, but it is clear what the film will be like — and that’s kind of weird and wonderful, and definitely very different than anything else. The film comes from director Josephine Decker and includes Miranda July among its stars. It comes out August 10th.
It’s that time of the month again: a new, bizarro Nic Cage trailer is here. And it. is. great.
Please watch it for this moment alone, after Cage has forged an enormous metal axe:
Person: “So what you gonna do with that thing?”
Cage: “I’m goin’ huntin’.”
Person: “So what you huntin’?”
Cage: “CRAZY EVIL.”