With some potential blockbusters opening this weekend like X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice Through the Looking Glass looking to hit the top of the charts, I thought I'd share an independent movie opening as well. The rest are coming down the pipeline over the next few months and consist of a mixed bunch.
The Ones Below (5/27/2016):
I recall being a bit unnerved when first watching this trailer. This likely stems from the whole "baby" aspect (potentially being harmed and/or threatened), which seems pretty prominent for me as of late. I really like the trailer's build up throughout, from new, seemingly innocent, neighbors moving in to the subtle hints that they aren't as they seem. I think I will like this movie as long as it's believable. Not relying on red herring and cop-outs such as delusions and dreams/nightmares many stories rely on. I mean, as long as not overdone I suppose.
Then again I guess it depends on what the movie is striving for and I don't know the overall plot. It would seem to be based on a couple having a child and another couple (unable to have a child) attempting to steal away their baby. The Ones Below looks like it should be a decently paced thriller (or at least the trailer is) that hopefully doesn't get bogged down with some of the elements I mentioned above.
I'm not really familiar with the actors or the director, so I've no real investment on that front. If the chemistry is there, and feel genuine, I feel this could be a taunt thriller.
The Infiltrator (7/13/2016):
I've been a fan of Bryan Cranston since Malcom in the Middle, but his performance in Breaking Bad sealed the deal for me on his range of acting chops. This looks like a great drama/thriller and the trailer does well to not spoil too much of the plot. There is a good supporting cast as well, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger (The Bridge, Inglorious Basterds) Amy Ryan (Bridge of Spies, The Office), and Benjamin Bratt (Modern Family, Law & Order) who I haven't seen in a movie in ages). Admittedly, I have generally preferred Leguizamo in a supporting role, especially in more artsy roles like in Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet, but I think I will like his character in this movie.
I'm also a sucker for crime/dramas. A lot of time they're straight forward, without a lot of plot twists (if not trying too hard), but as long as the story is sound, suspense high, and acting great (which this seems to have), I can get behind it. The trailer is fast paced, sports fitting music, and leaves me wanting more!
Nerve was a random trailer I happened across while browsing YouTube and it's one that left me pleasantly surprised. It starts out like a stylized romantic comedy, which I wasn't exactly opposed to, because it seemed to have a fairly original basis. It looked like the kind of movie I'd enjoy. Then, out of the blue, the trailer shifts gears and we are exposed to a more sinister thriller aspect of the movie. Despite being blindsided, I think the trailer does a great job at transitioning into this plot change and I have to be honest, makes me really intrigued.
The chemistry between Emma Roberts (Scream Queens, American Horror Story), who I'm not too familiar with, and Dave Franco (Now You See Me, 21 Jump Street) looks awkwardly genuine and will likely fuel most of the movie. Aside from how being controlled by the watchers of an internet "game" unfolds, which should be exceedingly creepy. There is a glimpse of Juliette Lewis (Secret and Lies, Natural Born Killers), but I'm assuming her role is fairly minimal, unfortunately.
Needless to say, if this were a real thing, it's safe to say that I'd always be a "watcher" over the alternative... especially now...
Hell or High Water (8/12/2016):
This looks like another great movie with a talented main cast: Chris Pine (Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Star Trek), Ben Foster (Lone Survivor, Pandorum), and Jeff Bridges (True Grit, The Big Lebowski). There are some other supporting cast I recognize, but aren't too familiar with. Overall, the acting and drama looks excellent. I'm looking forward to seeing how the chemistry between Pine and Foster plays out over the course of the movie, alone with the juxtaposition of Bridge's character (maybe a little typecast for him) who I can't help think would sympathize with the anti-heroes.
I worry about the trailer giving away a bit too much, but it's so intermixed and doesn't seem completely linear, that I'm really hoping there is a lot more to discover in the film. I love the chosen song, Knockin' on Heaven's Door, covered by Blakwall used in the trailer. It's very fitting. I'm going to trust the already good reviews coming out of Cannes Film Festival and am looking forward to seeing it!
Queen of Katwe (9/23/2016):
I think we need a more heartwarming tale, devoid of all the tragedy that is sure to occur in the movies featured in the previous trailers! Leave that to Disney! Queen of Katwe introduces Madina Nalwanga as a young woman from Uganda who trains to become a champion Chess player. Lupita Nyong'o (Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, 12 Years a Slave), David Oyelowo (Selma, Interstellar), and Ntare Guma MBaho Mwine (Treme, Heroes) round the rest of the major cast.
I kind of feel the trailer shows snippets of the entire movie in chronological order, which would really suck, but it still looks like it will be really good. I've always liked Chess, though I rarely play anymore. Lately there have been a few movies featuring the game, which is really cool, and hopefully it's one that is still played often by our youth.
Queen of Katwe may be a tearjerker as it explores the dynamic between mother and daughter, along with the struggles of following your dreams, even if they are seemingly out of reach. There seems to be the hints of the whole gender issue being touched upon too, however, this film seems to handle it realistically and organically. Not forced. The acting looks top notch and maybe this will springboard Madina Nalwanga into future projects. Hoping this project does really well!
Did any of the featured movies interest you? Does The Ones Below look creepy to you? Have you ever had drama involved between couples who want children, but can't have them, and the reverse? What do you think about Bryan Cranston's new movie The Infiltrator? Do you think you could ever do undercover work? If Nerve was true to life, would you be able to participate as a player or only as a watcher? Do you think the premise of Hell or High Water is overdone? Do you feel sympathy for those individuals that feel there is no other way than to break the law to do what they feel is right? How do you think Queen of Katwe will do in theaters? Do you play Chess? If not, does the film still appeal to you?