There’s a really fine balance between over explaining magical/mythical/sci-fi parts of a story, and leaving things too undefined for viewers to understand. I think it’s great when films live in that ambiguous in between, letting us imagine out some amount of specifics on our own, but a movie needs to provide the right guidance to let that happen.
I watched The Wailing a couple weeks ago, and I feel like it misses that mark while trying to create a fascinating, intricate, symbolism-laden world. I still loved the movie — it’s a very dark and very funny crime drama that becomes increasingly and fascinatingly mythical as the story goes on, and it caps things off with a climactic shot that I still can’t get out of my head. (For those who’ve seen it, it’s the one with the Minolta.)
But the film never really defines its main character’s flaws or struggles. Without that grounding, it’s impossible to interpret what all this stuff actually means and feels more like the director just threw a bunch of cool things at the wall. It works, to a point. I just wish the movie had offered a lens to view it all through.
Check out 11 trailers from this week below.
Terminator: Dark Fate
It’s felt like every Terminator film since Terminator 2 has just been a pained attempt to keep the series alive. I’m not sure whether Dark Fate can escape that curse, but it does have a couple things going for it: Linda Hamilton is reprising her role as Sarah Connor, and the film looks to be mirroring the much simpler plots of the original films — protect a single person who’s being hunted down, leading to a tense cat and mouse game. It comes out November 1st.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Here’s the first full trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s latest film. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has a lot going on, but it mostly seems to be about the ways some people on the edge of Hollywood stardom ended up slipping away into Charles Manson’s grasp. It comes out July 26th.
Toy Story 4
The latest trailer for Toy Story 4 gives a pretty good idea of what the movie will look like: all the toys caught together in a strange location, with plenty of excuses to have fun and funny new faces pop in and out (mainly, that means cameos from Keanu Reeves and a duo voiced by Key and Peele). It comes out June 21st.
I’m sure this trailer is teeming with secrets and clues about what’s going on in Westworld season 3, but as usual, I have zero idea what they mean. I’m into spending some potentially not-completely-bewildering time watching Aaron Paul play a mopey thief, though. The show doesn’t return until next year.
Years & Years
HBO has an TV series coming up that looks like a season-long, less intense version of Black Mirror that imagines current history out 15 years into the future, to obviously dystopian results. The show is airing on BBC One in the UK right now and comes to HBO once it wraps up, starting June 24th.
The latest trailer for Stranger Things’ third season highlights another classic ’80s movie trope: ogling people who are very likely underage. This is certain to make for a very uncomfortable plot line. The new season debuts July 4th.
Star Trek: Picard
Star Trek has clearly been a draw for CBS All Access, and now the network is pulling out an even heavier hitter with a Picard spinoff. We got a first teaser this week that offers almost no details about the show, but it at least caps things off with Patrick Stewart. There’s no start date just yet.
Jennifer Kent’s first film since The Babadook is a very different take on horror, focusing on a woman in 1920s Australia who tries to track down an abusive military leader who held her captive. Given the phenomenon The Babadook became, this one will definitely be worth checking out. The film comes out August 2nd.
Anthropocene looks kind of like the anti-Planet Earth — it’s a bunch of gorgeous shots of the planet in motion, but it’s of the horrors humanity has done to the planet, rather than the brilliant works of nature. It comes out September 25th.
Ice on Fire
HBO has a climate change doc coming up too that looks at some of the possible solutions for getting ourselves out of this horrendous mess. It’s produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, and it’ll premiere on June 11th.
The Art of Racing in the Rain
I have some terrible news to share: talking dog movies are in. This seems to have been started by the exceptionally cheesy 2017 film A Dog’s Purpose making $205 million globally at the box office. Now a whole new wave of films are arriving, including a sequel, A Dog’s Journey, which has made $26 million in just its first week, and a completely unrelated film that’s clearly meant to sound like a sequel, A Dog’s Way Home, which made $76 million worldwide. And soon, we’ll have The Art of Racing in the Rain, which is also about how good a dog is.