Mornin’, Everyone. There’s a lot of media out there. A LOT. And while Twitter and Facebook are pretty good about pointing out the good stuff, the stuff that’s going to be pretty big, it can’t always hit everything. Some trailers, some first looks, they just slip under the door.
So while the Harry Potter universe-resident Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the shoot-em-up supervillain movie Suicide Squad are getting their fair amount of press these days, I thought I’d drop in with some trailers — both for films and TV shows — that might be best served on your radar these days.
Everybody Wants Some (April 15)
Director Richard Linklater, who historically makes movies which are either completely great (School of Rock, Boyhood) or almost undecipherable (A Scanner Darkly, Waking Life), seems poised to return to Dazed and Confused-level fun with a Dazed and Confused-style film set in the early eighties. While I wish he’d set it just a couple of years later (this version of the eighties still looks very seventies-y), it nonetheless looks like a lot of fun and possibly another cult hit for Linklater.
The Wave (US Release March 4)
I feel like we’e known each other a long time, so it probably comes as no surprise that you know how much I enjoy Norwegian disaster movies. There’s nothing that thrills me more than a bunch of Norwegians running around like crazy. That’s why The Wave looks pretty exciting; Fridtjov SÃ¥heim and Kristoffer Joner, your favorite actors, star as citizens of a small town in a Norwegian fjord which floods catastrophically via tidal wave every so many years. The kicker of The Wave, however, is that once that sets in motion the entire town has only ten minutes to get out of dodge, and they all know it. Advance word on this one is that it’s pretty solid as far as Scandinavian blockbusters go.
Miles Ahead (April 1)
I include Miles Ahead today not because it’s a small movie you might miss — you’ll definitely hear a lot about it in the coming months — but because a.) the trailer only dropped this morning, and b.) a large portion of the outdoor filming actually took place in Cincinnati last year. So if you’ve ever wondered what Don Cheadle would look like beebopping and scatting around a CGI-doctored Over the Rhine, you’re in luck. Also, I have it on good authority that Cheadle and Ewen McGregor were fixtures at the Horseshoe Casino poker room during that time. Color me interested in this; I had no idea Miles Davis was so volatile. That title’s really dumb, though.
Animals (HBO, This Friday Night Feb. 5)
I’m kind of lukewarm on indie golden boys The Duplass Brothers. For everything they do that I really enjoy (Safety Not Guaranteed, The Skeleton Twins) they do something that I find brutally insufferable (Togetherness, Baghead). But there’s no denying the strength of this voice cast, which includes Aziz Ansari, Scott Aukerman, Jon Lovitz, Nick Kroll, Adam Scott, Molly Shannon, Marc Maron, Danny McBride, Kerry Kinney, Horatio Sanz and Jenny Slate among many, many others. The problem is that HBO has slid it into its “late Friday night” slot, where Angry Boys and Funny or Die Presents and a host of other past HBO comedies in which didn’t have full confidence have gone. My gut says that if this was really great they’d have it on a Sunday night, but still…that cast. It’s probably worth at least a look.
The Characters (Netflix, March 11)
I’d argue that when sketch comedy is inspired and done right, it’s one of my favorite art forms. It takes a lot of skill to write a truly great sketch. That’s why Netflix’s new experiment The Characters is at least interesting on paper. Instead of hiring a show from a known comedy troupe (like IFC did with the canceled The Birthday Boys, which I still maintain was better than people thought), they took an all-star team of mostly unknown but sound sketch comedy actors and threw them together to create their own show. The standouts, from looking at the cast list, would seem to be Orange is the New Black’s Lauren Lapkus and former one-year SNL’er Tim Robinson — who I think should have been given more of a chance — but the trailer shows some promise and I love that Netflix is confident enough in its programming now to do things like this. It’s why Netflix is quickly becoming the country’s best “network,” and it could work if for no other reason to give some new funny people some good exposure.