'Game Night,' Eastwood, Rodriguez, & More Trailers You May Have Missed
Staying on top of the trailer circuit is a full-time job in and of itself. We're here to help.
David Bowie: The Last Five Years (dir. Francis Whately)
This trailer rounds out with a telling quote from the film's protagonist David Bowie: "Always go a little further into the water than you feel you're capable of being in. And when you don't feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you're just about in the right place to do something exciting." Premiering on what would have been the performer's 71st birthday (and commemorating the two-year anniversary of his death), this documentary follows the late, great artist over the concluding five years of his life from 2011-2015. A kind of sequel to Francis Whately's 2013 documentary David Bowie: Five Years, this follow-up appears to be a moving tribute to a one-of-a-kind performer who left us much too soon. Release Date: January 8th, 2018, via HBO Documentary Films.
The Polka King (dir. Maya Forbes)
Based on the true story of Jan Lewan, the celebrated Polish polka player who set up shop in America and garnered a ton of Pennsylvania-based fans, a 1995 Grammy nomination, and a substantial criminal record, The Polka King premieres on Netflix almost a full year after its Sundance debut. While the quirky plot is humorous with its "so crazy it has to be true" subject matter, Lewan's Ponzi scheme blindsided his loyal, often elderly followers, with the Times Leader reporting $10 million in stolen revenue from over 400 investors. Jack Black plays the titular character, and it's an inspired casting choice after the solid acting chops he displayed in Richard Linklater's Bernie. SNL alumni Jenny Slate and Vanessa Bayer co-star. Release Date: January 12th, 2018, via Netflix.
The 15:17 to Paris (dir. Clint Eastwood)
At a sprightly 87 years of age, director Clint Eastwood returns for another late-career Warner Bros. drama, this time with a radical realist touch. Based on the August 21, 2015 thwarted terrorist attack aboard a train traveling from Brussels to Paris, the film recreates the story by casting—in the three lead roles of the American soldiers who saved the day—the actual soldiers themselves. A therapeutic and surreal exercise, Eastwood's film appears equally interested in the soldiers' past as it does the soldiers' mindset on the day of the frightening hijacking. The atmosphere on set must have been incredible. The cast also includes Judy Greer, Jenna Fischer, and Jaleel White of Family Matters fame. Release Date: February 9th, 2018, via Warner Bros. Pictures.
Annihilation (dir. Alex Garland)
Fans of Ex Machina who have eagerly been anticipating the director's next film need wait no longer. Based on the first novel in Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation stars Natalie Portman as a biologist desperate to discover why her husband's failed military expedition resulted in him returning in a vegetative state. Along with other scientists (played by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Tessa Thompson), she heads into the mystical environment known as the Shimmer, an ethereal-like forest where mutated specifies and newly-merged, slimy creatures roam. Forget about what happened to the husband (played by Garland regular Oscar Issac); what will happen to this all-female squad? The score, only heard briefly in the trailer, feels appropriately haunting. Release Date: February 23rd, 2018, via Paramount Pictures.
Game Night (dir. John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein)
In our current era of adapting every popular board game into a big-budget, ultra-serious cinematic experience soaked in nostalgia (the exception being Jonathan Lynn's Clue, of course), it's refreshing and a bit meta to see a film featuring folks playing a murder mystery board game...and then being thrown into a murder mystery themselves. Brought to us by the team behind the 2015 reboot of Vacation, the film stars Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams as the suburban couple hosting what appears to be an innocent game night with friends. As they must, things then go horribly wrong. This looks fun, and if, as the trailer suggests, the film plays out over one night, could be inventive in the way it amps up the insanity in almost real time. Release Date: February 23rd, 2018, via Paramount Pictures.
Alita: Battle Angel (dir. Robert Rodriguez)
Many great performances can be given exclusively within an actor's eyes, and Alita: Battle Angel, the first feature from Robert Rodriguez in four years, aims to prove that theory. While not much of the story is revealed in the newly-released trailer—set way into the future, Alita (played by Rosa Salazar) is a junkyard android fixed up and re-structured by a Geppetto-like character played by Christoph Waltz—the special effects look absolutely incredible, and for better or worse, remarkably uncanny. This might be a tough sell for summer audiences looking for their artificial beings to be a little less intelligent, but with James Cameron's name attached as a writer and producer, the film's heart looks very much in place. It will appropriately be released in IMAX. Release Date: July 20th, 2018, via 20th Century Fox.