I've mostly skipped all the big Marvel movies, since I haven't been in love with the few that I’ve already seen. But the other week, I had some time to kill and was staying at a hotel across from a movie theater, so I went to go see Spider-Man: Homecoming. And for the first time, I found a Marvel movie that I really liked.
I know I'm pretty late to Homecoming at this point, but it's just a whole lot of fun — and even a couple weeks later, there are a few jokes that I keep laughing at in my head. (The bell joke is just so good.)
But more than that, what makes the film work so well is how grounded it is in characters that feel real, especially the villain. The villain isn't some heinous maniac driven by pure evil, he's just some disgruntled New Yorker. And when he finally connects with Spider-Man near the movie’s climax, the tension is just wonderful. By not going huge and over the top, the stakes of this film feel so much bigger, because how it turns out is going to impact characters we care about.
Here's hoping the sequel stays just as small and personal. Check out 11 trailers from this week below.
Red Sparrow has Jennifer Lawrence playing a Russian assassin who's trained to use seduction to disarm and kill men. It's great that we're getting another female-led action movie from an industry that's historically averse to casting women in key roles. But the plot also sounds like some ludicrous Hollywood nonsense meant to cater to male audiences. So... not exactly a win. It comes out March 2nd.
The Disaster Artist
How bad can one movie be? The Disaster Artist dramatizes the creation of The Room, aka the best worst movie ever made (aside from that other best worst movie ever made). The film actually looks like it has a lot of fun with the material, and so far, the reviews have been great. Maybe I'm biased here, but I'm recommend checking out this one from my colleague Bryan Bishop. The movie comes out wide on December 8th.
All the Money in the World
Ridley Scott's latest is about the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, whose grandfather was the filthy rich founder of Getty Oil. The film looks like part thriller, part adventure, with big sets, big locations, and big characters. Among those are roles played by Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg, with Kevin Spacey transformed into the elder Getty with lots of makeup. It comes out December 8th.
Imagine if Twitter was around when Heathers was made. Tragedy Girls is about two high school students who start murdering people to get material — and views and fame — for their gossip blog. It looks ridiculous in all the right ways. The film comes out October 20th.
Fifty Shades Freed
Is it really that time of year again? A first look came out this week for Fifty Shades Freed, which will, theoretically, be the conclusion to the Fifty Shades films. There's your usual smattering of 'we're about to get it on' shots in here, but there's also a lot of tension being set up in this trailer. The film comes out next year on Valentine's Day.
The Shape of Water
There's a new trailer out this week for Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water, and it's definitely worth watching — for one, it's just amazingly strange and stylized and brilliant to look at — there's a serious BioShock vibe here, and also a monster love story, which, what? But on top of that, the film has been getting some good reviews. My colleague Tasha Robinson wrote, "For audiences who like erotic fairy-tales, fantasy, musicals, and Guillermo del Toro in general, it’s unbeatable." And isn't that everyone? It comes out December 8th.
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
Netflix has a documentary coming up about Marsha P. Johnson, a leader of the LGBTQ movement who was on the front lines at Stonewall. The documentary examines her life and activism, but it's also framed as a true crime story based around her death in 1992. It was ruled a suicide, but her friends still suspect foul play. The film comes out October 6th.
Alexander Payne, the director of Sideways, has another offbeat comedy on the way. Downsizing is about a world where scientists have invented a procedure to shrink people — and it becomes a popular way to live above your prior means. It looks like a very strange and sometimes uncomfortable comedy and commentary. Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig star. It comes out this Christmas.
Tom of Finland
Here's the trailer for Finland's submission to the Motion Picture Academy for this year's foreign language Oscar. Tom of Finland is about Tom of Finland, the artist who moved to America after World War II and became famous for his stoic drawings of frequently leather-clad, frequently erect men and gay sex scenes. The film has great reviews so far, and it comes to the US for limited screenings starting October 13th.
One of Amazon's next shows is an adaptation of a popular podcast. Lore, like the podcast, is based around real and scary events, usually rooted in folklore. If you're wondering how a podcast translates to the screen, click play — it looks like the results are a bit like a History channel recreation, but also pretty darn creepy. It comes out October 13th.
Liam Neeson supposedly said this week that he was retiring from action films because, "Guys, I'm sixty-fucking-five." So enjoy this one.