Category Archives: Coming Attractions

Love, Simon — New Trailer

“Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive
But to be young was very heaven.”
—William Wordsworth

Yet another reminder, as if I needed one, that I was born decades too early. There was a time when I could really have used a movie like this.

Love, Simon stars Nick Robinson, probably best known to most people for his role in Jurassic World, but most familiar to me from his part in a long and incredibly irritating series of commercials for Cox TV. (He was fine, it was the characterization of his TV father that was bothersome.) Robinson was Spielberg’s first choice to play Parzival in Ready Player One, a part that eventually went to Tye Sheridan.*

Anyhow, this looks like fun. Simon’s parents are played by Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel. I don’t know what role Tony Hale has in the plot, but it’s always good to see Buster from Arrested Development.

Here’s the original trailer:

The US release date is 16 March 2018.


*Tye Sheridan was a member of the cast of The Stanford Prison Experiment, a movie that I’ve never been able to watch all the way through, but probably should. Other Stanford Prison cast members included Miles Heizer, of 13 Reasons Why, Logan Miller, and Nicholas Braun, all of whom are also in Love, Simon, as well as Johnny Simmons and the great Ezra Miller, from The Perks of Being a Wallflower (which also featured the aforementioned Nicholas Braun).

♪ It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world after all. It’s a small world… ♪

Stanford Prison is shaping up to be a 21st century equivalent to 1983’s ensemble film The Outsiders, which was a key step in the early careers of Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, and Patrick Swayze, among others.

This footnote should really be a standalone posting. Maybe in a year or so, I’ll do a whole Six Degrees item about it.

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Altered Carbon — Two Teasers and a Trailer

Netflix has adapted Altered Carbon, Richard K. Morgan’s award-winning 2002 cyberpunk novel, into an initial 10-episode series. The company released a couple of teasers late last year, and a full trailer this week. Here are the teasers:

[No, I haven’t accidentally slipped a porn video into the blog. That initial image is just Netflix being Netflix. They call these things “teasers” for a reason.]

And here’s the new trailer:

Ah, the “old brains in new bodies” trope!

I don’t know about this one. On the one hand, Joel Kinnaman and James Purefoy are both solid performers. On the other hand, the CGI is less than dazzling. It looks on the cheap side.*

All 10 episodes of Altered Carbon will become available on 2 February 2018.


*On the third hand, some of the most impressive CGI-heavy trailers I saw last year were for Ghost in the Shell, and that didn’t turn out so well, did it? I’m still a little embarrassed about getting so overheated about that one.

Early Man — New Trailer

Let’s end 2017 on a happy note. This is the new trailer for Early Man, from Aardman Animations and Studiocanal. Voices by Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Richard Ayoade, and Maisie Williams.

Early Man opens on 26 January 2018 in the UK and on 16 February 2018 in the US.

Downton Abbey — Party Like It’s 1925

Downton Abbey: The Exhibition, which I’ve previously mentioned, has extended its New York run, and is now offering a new, interactive feature:


It’s 21+, and tickets are $225. The package includes:

  • A three-hour cocktail soiree with Edwardian inspired passed hors d’oeuvres and passed small plates menu
  • Unlimited bar featuring a Downton Abbey inspired cocktail
  • Access to the Exhibition
  • Exclusive screening of rarely before seen cast footage
  • A complimentary Downton Abbey: The Exhibition keepsake book
  • A complimentary media guide for touring the exhibition

“Guests are welcome to dress in their best Downton Attire. All waitstaff will be in period costume, providing service of which Carson would be proud.”

The Magicians — Series Three Trailer

I’ve become charmed—enchanted, actually—by the SyFy channel’s adaptation of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians books, a series that has been described as “Harry Potter for grown-ups”.  You might even say that I’m under its spell. [Enough with the “magic” allusions already!]

The writing’s quite good, mixing subtle relationship drama with genuinely shocking moments and occasional outbursts of absolute hilarity, usually involving Hale Appleman’s character “Eliot”, who steals the show. The rest of the cast play flawed but charismatic, multiple-layered characters, except for Arjun Gupta in the thankless role as the always angry “Penny”. He’s just irritating.

Some of the effects are quite beautiful.

By the end of the show’s second season, the world’s magic had been powered down. Literally.* In the new series, our flawed heroes will try to reboot it.

Here’s the trailer for Season Three:

And, since it’s been a year since Season Two ended, here’s a refresher on what brought us to our current sorry state:

The Magicians returns to TV on 10 January 2018.


*Long story.

David Bowie: The Last Five Years Coming to HBO

The BBC documentary, David Bowie: The Last Five Years, is coming to HBO early next year.

According to the BBC’s program notes:

“This is an intimate portrait of one of the defining artists of the 20th and early 21st centuries, told by the people who knew him best – his friends and artistic collaborators.

“This film takes a detailed look at Bowie’s last albums, The Next Day and Blackstar, and his play Lazarus. In his final five years, Bowie not only began producing music again, but returned to the core and defining themes of his career. This film explores how Bowie was a far more consistent artist than many interpretations of his career would have us believe. It traces the core themes from his final works and relates them to his incredible back catalogue. His urge to communicate feelings of spirituality, alienation and fame underpin his greatest works from the 1960s to 2016. This is what lies at the heart of his success and appeal – music that deals with what it means to be human in a way that goes far beyond the normal palette of a rock star.”

David Bowie: The Last Five Years premieres on HBO on 8 January 2018, commemorating what would have been Bowie’s 71st birthday.

Ready Player One – Official Trailer 1

The official trailer for Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg’s film version of the Ernest Cline’s novel of the same name, hit the Net today.

Here’s what I wrote about Ready Player One last summer, when an earlier version of the trailer played at Comic-Con:


Ernest Cline’s science-fiction novel, Ready Player One was the fanboy must-read book of 2011. It’s set in the unhappy and decaying United States of 2044, when a decades-long recession, a trashed environment, and the general collapse of civil society have driven many people to spend much of their time hooked into a virtual reality universe called the OASIS. When there’s a two-year waiting list for jobs at Burger King, escapism is a logical choice.

As our hero and narrator, Wade Watts, known in the OASIS as “Parzival,” points out:

“Now that I was eighteen, I could vote, in both the OASIS elections and the elections for U.S. government officials. I didn’t bother with the latter, because I didn’t see the point. The once-great country into which I’d been born now resembled its former self in name only. It didn’t matter who was in charge. Those people were rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic and everyone knew it. Besides, now that everyone could vote from home, via the OASIS, the only people who could get elected were movie stars, reality TV personalities, or radical televangelists.”

[Keep repeating, “It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie. It’s only a movie.”]

Anyhow, the now-dead creator of the OASIS was a man named James Halliday who, not unlike many of the readers of this book, was a 1980s obsessive. You know, the kind of person who goes nuts over spotting the 80s allusions in Stranger Things….

OASIS made Halliday very, very rich. When his will was read, it revealed that he’d hidden three “keys” in OASIS and that the first person to find them, and solve the puzzles linked to them, would be the sole inheritor of OASIS and of Halliday’s massive fortune. All that would be required to solve the puzzles was an encyclopedic knowledge of the movies, music, video games, and TV shows of the 1980s.

Enter Parzival.

I liked the book, but didn’t love it. It’s a fast, easy, enjoyable read, full of Easter eggs for those of us who have, well, “an encyclopedic knowledge of the movies, music, video games, and TV shows of the 1980s,” but it was definitely light reading, without much depth or meaning. It’s a book that’s the perfect source for a big spring/summer movie.

Steven Spielberg (who else?) is directing. The film is scheduled to be released on 30 March 2018.


The fanboys are already salivating over this one. Ready Player One might be the first blockbuster of 2018. It’s certainly one of the most anticipated movies of the new year.