Coming Soon Trailers: Bridge of Spies, Crimson Peak, Experimenter
Traffic at the movie theater this week is heavy, with five new wide release trailers trying to knock The Martian out of orbit, plus the Steve Jobs biopic expanding (yes, another Jobs biopic…makes me wonder if the news about Apple swiping patented technology and getting caught will help or hurt this effort?) The VOD market has a numerically decent set of offerings…but few that rise to the level of genuinely interesting.
Bridge of Spies
A civilian lawyer (Hanks) must head to Berlin during the Cold War in order to arrange for a prisoner exchange when a US spy-plane pilot is shot down by Russian artillery and sentenced to hard labor in the gulags. Complicating the exercise is that the Russian prisoner being exchanged is a KGB spy who the American lawyer helped to convict.
When to See It: Rent it. While Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg rarely disappoint, I don’t see much in this trailer which suggests needing to see this on the big screen at premium prices.
A troubled young woman who can communicate with the dead finds herself ardently courted by a dashing and handsome gentleman. After a whirlwind romance, he takes her to his secluded home, Crimson Peak, where she discovers her lover’s enigmatic sister and a Gothic palace filled with ghosts and secrets.
When to See It: Theaters…bargain matinee. I love Del Toro’s work, and he hasn’t let me down yet…but this film seems to be suffering from identity crisis and a lack of studio confidence. Wait for some solid reviews before ponying up for this.
The story of Steve Jobs…just with less Ashton Kutcher and more Michael Fassbender. I guess that could be called progress?
When to See It: Never. Apple rose to power largely on the cult of personality of their megalomaniac founder. Lets stop lionizing him now that he’s gone, please?
When a boy is forced to leave the big city and move to the suburbs, he has little hope of finding excitement. Fortunately for him, he makes friends with the girl next door, who happens to be the daughter of R.L. Stine (Jack Black,) the author of the famous children’s horror stories series, Goosebumps. When the erratic imagination of the reclusive Stine allows his creatures to escape the pages of the books, the young duo must help him to capture all of the ghoulies unleashed upon the small town.
When to See It: Rent it with the kids. Looks light and funny, but I wonder just how much of a clamor for a big screen Goosebumps adaptation was really there to begin with.
Facing discrimination in Birmingham, Alabama, a talented athlete must confront a team that hates him and a school with a history of racism. Working alongside a youth pastor, he is able to change the hearts and minds of his teammates, his coach, and his community.
When to See It: Never. A story about overcoming racial prejudice that is probably going to get hijacked by Jesus. This blends my two least favorite genres: sports as a magical cure for social ills, and crass proselytizing (with the usual suspects like Sean Astin.) No thanks.
A dramatic adaptation of the life and work of Stanley Milgram, who famously explored human nature and the effect of authority on overriding morality. In a series of experiments, Milgram coaxes subjects into delivering what they believe to be nearly lethal electric shocks to another person under the assumption that they are “just following orders.” In an era where the Hague was determining the culpability of Nazi soldiers and collaborators on national television, Milgram struck a violent chord in the media, who branded him a sadist and worse.
When to See It: VOD. Looks solid, has an unexpectedly deep cast (with Jim Gaffigan!) and looks to be deftly handled and tied into the events surrounding the Milgram experiments. Compelling.
Tales of Halloween
The Russian Woodpecker