June 22, 2018
Trailer Watch

A 'Creed' Sequel, Robert Zemeckis, Tyler Perry, & 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.

A mix of films opening this Summer and Fall make up the below crop of previews for this week's Trailer Watch, including Sundance hits, Netflix comedies, anticipated sequels, and the return of filmmakers Tyler Perry and Robert Zemeckis. While no documentaries are represented outright, we are featuring two films that were, at the very least, inspired by the form (Skate Kitchen from doc filmmaker Crystal Moselle and Zemeckis' Welcome to Marwen, based on the 2010 documentary Marwencol), proving that one can certainly provide inspiration for the other. 

Like Father (dir. Lauren Miller)

Within the first thirty seconds of this trailer, the zany premise for this movie manages to both impress and depress us: imagine being left at the altar at the exact same moment your long-lost father (whom you haven't seen since you were five years old) comes back into your life. Then imagine still going on your honeymoon, only now with said dad as a means to reconnecting with him while at the same time attempting to get over how it's possible for your life to have been turned so far upside down in just one week's time. There will, of course, be binge drinking.

That's the premise of Like Father, the debut feature from Lauren Miller—a character actress married to Seth Rogen (who also appears in the film as a goofy love interest)—with Kelsey Grammer and Kristen Bell leading the way as the parent and the child. While you'd expect the tone of the film to be somewhat goofy (it truly does sound like one of the worst weeks ever), Miller seems to have a strong handle on keeping things thematically balanced, never shying away from the complete awfulness that comes when a loved one leaves your life and another one suddenly reenters it.

Along with Searching, the Sundance hit that follows a father attempting to locate his missing daughter also opening on August 3rd, it's certainly going to be a weekend to catch up with your own dad through movies. Release Date: August 3rd, 2018, via Netflix.

Skate Kitchen (dir. Crystal Moselle)

After making a splash with her nonfiction debut feature The Wolfpack three years ago, filmmaker Crystal Moselle now tries her hand at narrative storytelling, albeit with a documentary eye and defiantly realist approach still intact. Even though the film, which follows a group of young women who spend their days hanging in local skate parks, effectively challenging the stereotypes of a recreational activity typically associated with rebellious men, was adapted from a narrative short that Moselle shot with non-actors (and does so again here), the plan, as the director told No Film School earlier this year, remained to show this disregarded society via a documentary feature.

Things changed of course, but those women—the "Skate Kitchen" of the film's title—remained onboard for a fictional narrative that incorporates familial conflicts, private conversations about growing into adulthood, and...Jaden Smith in a supporting role. That authenticity comes through in the film's trailer, and it feels like a welcomed merge between the director's earlier work and Larry Clark's Kids. If you're in New York, definitely try to catch the film downtown opening weekend, as special cast Q&As feel all but assured. Release Date: August 10th, 2018, via Magnolia Pictures.

Nobody's Fool (dir. Tyler Perry)

 Let's hope that the funniest moments weren't spoiled in the trailer! This debut release from Paramount Players, a new specialty label of Paramount Pictures, is the latest film from Tyler Perry, continuing the acceleration of Tiffany Haddish's fast-rising career. Starring as a foul-mouthed woman recently released from prison and trying to reintroduce herself to domestic life (and her straightlaced sister), Haddish appears to have found a role that has her playing both the comic relief and the straight man; the trailer's final scene between her and Whoopi Goldberg, playing the "I'm much too old to still be dealing with my crazy children" mother,  finds Haddish playing a different side of comedy usually reserved for the person acting off her. 

This marks Tyler Perry's second directed feature of 2018 (after this past Spring's Acrimony) and the second shot by his frequent collaborator, DP Richard J. Vialet. For Haddish, it will be her third (!) film of the year following the soon-to-be-released Uncle Drew and Night School. Will Nobody's Fool prove to be their most successful film? Time will tell, but all signs—Haddish playing a coffee shop barista fed up with her customers' indecisiveness feels perfect—point to yes.  Release Date: November 2nd, 2018, via Paramount Players.

Creed II (dir. Steven Caple Jr.)

Three years after Ryan Coogler's Creed rejuvenated the lucrative Rocky franchise while simultaneously shifting it in a new direction, the boxing film has received a sequel, bringing back Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, and series creator Sylvester Stallone. Coogler does not return behind the camera however, choosing to instead hand over the directorial reigns to Steven Caple Jr., best known for his 2016 Sundance hit, The Land.  The DP this time around is Kramer Morgenthau, who has filmed Jordan in the past, as he shot the recent HBO remake of Fahrenheit 451 for Ramin Bahrani.

The trailer thankfully doesn't give too much away, and its segmented use of a Kendrick Lamar song to accentuate the blows and punches thrown in and outside the ring is an electric touch. Yes, the trailer is keenly aware that you're waiting to see who the villain/opponent is this time around, and when it's finally revealed subtly, it's a doozy. That character's dad (first featured in Rocky IV) also returns to the franchise, once again played by Sweden's own Dolph Lundgren.  Release Date: November 21st, 2018, via MGM.

Welcome to Marwen  (dir. Robert Zemeckis)

Robert Zemeckis' acute interest in motion capture animation technology is once again on display in Welcome to Marwen, a fictionalized retelling of Mark Hogancamp and his backyard obsession with using tiny miniatures to recreate scenes inspired by World War II; you may remember Hogancamp as the subject of the 2010 documentary, Marwencol. Steve Carell plays the grieving Hogancamp, and his performance (along with the basis for the film) feels equal part dramatic and whimsy.

Zemeckis appears persistent in blending the real world with the escapist environment of Hogancamp's recreations, and it will be interesting to see how general audiences respond to that balance. The special effects look good, but perhaps a little jarring in their uncanny representation of the actors they're meant to resemble (especially in that courtroom scene....brrrrrr). And while the film feels somewhat appropriate for children—"it's Toy Story meets Small Soldiers," was someone's reaction on social media—the Nazi-included subject matter could be a bit of a hard sell. Still, if anyone can pull this off, it's the man who brought us The Polar Express and Beowulf over a decade ago.  Release date: November 21, 2018, via Universal Pictures.      

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2 Comments

“That’s kind of violent but at least the Nazis are dead! “ Instant classic. Welcome to Marwen seems to use Motion capture and animation technology to tell a story in the way the story has to be told. While this is a big movie with big names and big budget attached to it, judging from the trailer This flick seems to be Hollywood at its best: telling a larger than life story in a larger than life way - emphasis on telling a story …

June 23, 2018 at 2:47AM

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June 25, 2018 at 12:33AM, Edited June 25, 12:33AM

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