I finally got around to watching The Lighthouse the other week, or, as my wife later joked it could have been called, Look How Good Willem Dafoe is at Acting. It’s a very entertaining movie that sticks Dafoe and Robert Pattinson together and lets the two of them just kind of go at it, to increasingly wild results.
As entertaining as it all is to watch, I came away feeling like the movie didn’t quite know what it wanted to say. The film is packed with symbolism and references to myth, but the story doesn’t give us a lens through which to understand any of it. It all ends up seeming like a bunch of ideas thrown at the wall to give us some cool stuff to think about, without any real meaning behind it.
The last movie I saw before The Lighthouse was Portrait of a Lady on Fire, and that movie has somehow helped me make the most sense of it. Both films are about two people stranded together on an island who slowly grow more open with one another over the course of the story. In Lady, it’s two women, and the characters slowly reveal themselves to one another and form a difficult, beautiful relationship in the process. In Lighthouse, it’s two men, and they go nuts and beat each other into oblivion. Maybe that’s the point.
Check out nine trailers from this week and last week below.
Brave New World
NBCUniversal is launching a streaming service called Peacock, and this week the service posted trailers for its first run of shows. The headline series is a Saved By the Bell reboot, but I’m just going to include one show here: a TV adaptation of Brave New World, which looks, I suppose, appropriately glossy. The service launches widely on July 15th.
Never Have I Ever
Mindy Kaling’s next show is headed to Netflix. Never Have I Ever is a high school comedy about an Indian-American girl, and it’s supposed to be inspired by Kaling’s own childhood. I’m loving the snappy, ultra-confident performance of the lead actress so far. It comes out April 27th.
La La Land director Damien Chazelle is making a limited series for Netflix, and — surprise — it’s about jazz. It looks beautifully shot and exactly as romanticized and dramatic as you’d imagine a Paris-set jazz drama to be. I am embarrassed to say I will probably check it out. It comes out May 8th.
I assumed that we wouldn’t be hearing from director Josh Trank again after the incredibly messy stories that came out of Fantastic Four. But five years later, he’s got Tom Hardy staring in a gangster film about Al Capone. It’ll be available to rent starting May 12th.
The Midnight Gospel
Netflix has a colorful and trippy new series coming up from Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward. It’s about some guy trying to make a podcast by talking to people in all kinds of weird dimensions, and it looks very existential and emotional. The show arrives April 20th.
I’m pretty excited for this. A couple years ago, director Crystal Moselle worked with the teen-girl skate group Skate Kitchen to make a fictionalized film about their lives. Now their story is getting a continuation with a six-episode series. It debuts May 1st.
HBO is rebooting Perry Mason, a classic detective character who’s appeared in a number of series, though I don’t know how much the branding really matters here. It’s a new crime noir series, and it looks likely to do a great job of giving fans of the genre what they’re looking for. It starts June 21st.
I’m only posting this because it seems like the epitome of a show Apple would make: an inspirational series about houses.
This week in Quibi: Anna Kendrick vs. a talking sex doll.