Hot Take: The Red Turtle and Ghostbusters second trailer.
I usually like to save movie news for Sunday, but I came across two trailers today that really caught my interest. The first was the new trailer for the Ghostbusters reboot, which I figure will draw down the ire of the internet regardless of merit. The second was a trailer for an animated film called The Red Turtle (La Tortue Rogue) that blew me away.
Ghostbusters Trailer #2
Hot Take: It looks better. The art style hasn’t (and won’t) change, so people who think the ghosts look too colorful and cartoonish will probably still hate it, but I thought the color palette was interesting the first time around. We get to see more ghosts in this trailer, and I think they look pretty good. Slimer looks pretty decent and seems like he will be making more than a cameo appearance. The giant dragon looking ghost is just meh. The big Stay Puft looking ghoul at the end is a bit of a mystery. It looks like its already been damaged, and looks a bit gruesome. I like that (though I hope its not actually Mr. Stay Puft.) They seem to be showing off the more creepy looking creations in this trailer, which is good.
The comedy and dialogue is better this time out. No more just talking exposition/characterization at the camera, and the jokes weren’t as dreadful as the first trailer. I actually got a laugh out of a few of the lines, mostly from Leslie Jones’ character who seems much less one dimensional in this trailer. It’s still not comedy gold, but its a big improvement over the first trailer, where you might as well have added a rimshot after each cornball one-liner.
Overall, it looks better…not amazing but better. We get some action, some dialogue, and some jokes that don’t feel canned, and we get to see more of the ghosts which I think look decent. If the first trailer was an “F”, then this is at least a”‘C+” effort.
The Red Turtle (La Tortue Rogue)
Hot Take: I want to see this very very badly. This is a collaboration between Michael Dudok de Wit and Studio Ghibli distributed by Wild Bunch, who also worked with Ghibli on Spirited Away. It tells the adventure of a man trapped on a deserted island whose attempts to escape end up being ruined by the interference of a red sea turtle. Back on the island, he meets a mysterious red haired woman, who he eventually starts a family with.
The film has no dialogue and a wispy brush-stroke and watercolor aesthetic which is sparse and gorgeous. The story seems reminiscent of many old folk tales involving shape shifting companions, like Japanese fox spirits or Celtic Selkie, animal spirits that often became women and intermarried with mortal men. Without dialogue, much of the import of the story comes from body language and juxtaposition of imagery, and I have to say it delivers a strong emotional impact. You can feel the tenderness and attachment the characters have for each other in little moments and subtle gestures. There’s so many wonderful shots in just this short trailer.
The film has been shown at Cannes, and is scheduled for a late June release in Europe. It has a much later release of September in Japan. I hope the US release is much closer to the European date, since I’m really hoping to get my hands on this superbly animated tale.