Teaser Trailer Thoughts: Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them

Fantastic BeastsWhee! That’s my main reaction to this new teaser trailer for Harry Potter tie-in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them, which stars Eddie Redmayne and will be in theaters on November 18th. I’m excited about pretty much everything we’ve seen so far: the 1920s New York setting; the apparent integration of muggle politics (with these Shaw campaign posters); the way the world-building seems to be recognizably Harry Potter but distinctive to the setting; Redmayne himself, and the rest of the cast. And I want this movie to work – and to be popular – because I like this concept of expanding a hit franchise world by focusing on other parts of it rather than making endless direct sequels or even prequels. It’s great to talk about and promote wholly original content, but we live in a world in which the entertainment economy depends on franchises, and since that’s not changing any time soon, I love seeing people do interesting things within that system.

What do you think of the teaser? Watch below and then let me know in the comments!

Trailer Thoughts: Me Before You

Me Before YouWarner Bros. released the first trailer for their adaptation of Jojo Moyes’s Me Before You yesterday. Watch, and then let’s discuss:

First: This is obviously a GREAT cast and looks well-made and touching. And I have not yet read the book – please chime in if you have. But there appear to be a few themes here with which I’m uncomfortable, mainly caregiver/patient romance and the whole idea of holding someone – or yourself – responsible for someone else’s life/health. (Not in the caregiver sense, but the “stay alive for me” sense.) Maybe this is overblown in the trailer; I’ll probably give the movie a try regardless. But I found the trailer troubling. Anyone who’s read the book have thoughts? (I’m on the waiting list at the library.)

The Magicians Premieres Tonight!

The MagiciansThe Magicians, Syfy’s new drama based on Lev Grossman’s novels, premieres tonight with two episodes, starting at 9/8c. Syfy aired a preview of the first one, and I really liked it – it has a lot of fairly major differences from the book, but I think it worked, and it left me wanting to see more immediately. The show explores not one but two hidden magical worlds – there are a lot of layers here – and complex systems of the magic workings themselves, the politics of magical academia, etc., and I found it all very compelling.

One of the complaints I’ve seen about the books is that main character Quentin isn’t likeable enough, and it will be interesting to see if viewers have the same problem with the show; I understand the issue but it didn’t particularly bother me. In the first episode, at least, I enjoyed the way Quentin and other characters seemed perhaps realistically unpleasant, but also interesting. “Harry Potter for adults” is the easy way to describe this show, but it’s pretty apt; the show ages the characters up to grad school, which helps make the tone very different from that of Harry Potter. What does it look like when our “heroes” who need to save the world are bored, disillusioned twenty-somethings? I look forward to finding out.

If you’d like a little taste, here’s a fun promo from Syfy. It doesn’t go into the plot too much, but I think it definitely captures the tone.

First Trailer: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find ThemWELL THIS IS EXCITING. We’ve got the first trailer for Harry Potter prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which stars Eddie Redmayne and will be in theaters on November 18th, 2016. It’s set in New York in the 1920s, and I’m very excited to see how the wizarding world translates to that setting. Looking good so far!

Shannara Chronicles Premiere Date + NYCC Trailer!

Shannara ChroniclesWe are going to be spoiled for new fantasy TV adaptations come January – in addition to ABC Family/Freeform’s Shadowhunters premiering January 12th, as I posted earlier today, we’ve got The Magicians on Syfy sometime during the month, and now we’ve got a date for MTV’s Shannara Chronicles as well: January 5th!

Take a look at the new trailer they premiered at NYCC over the weekend. I like Austin Butler, but I’m not sure I’m buying this whole . . . thing, at least not yet. You?

Shadowhunters Sneak Peeks & Premiere Date!

ShadowhuntersAt long last, we have a premiere date for Shadowhunters – it will debut on ABC Family (soon to be Freeform) on January 12th, along with new episodes of Pretty Little Liars. And we ALSO have two teasers and two sneak peeks from the show. It looks like it will be quite a ride. Buckle in and watch, then let me know what you think! So far I think it all looks basically fine, but Magnus and Simon seem particularly perfect.

Teaser 1:

Teaser 2:

Sneak Peek 1:

Sneak Peek 2:

First Trailer for Shadowhunters

ShadowhuntersAt long last, we have our first look at the upcoming Freeform (nee ABC Family) series Shadowhunters, based on the books by Cassandra Clare! It’s a BuzzFeed exclusive, so I can’t embed, but head over there to watch and then come back and discuss . . .

I . . . huh. I’m not quite sure what to think. It looks very different from the books (and movie) but I’m willing to go with that if it works as a show; the main thing I’m looking for with this kind of show is fun, I think, and this trailer looks reasonably fun. Magnus seems PERFECT but I’m reserving judgment on Clary and Jace.

Your thoughts?

Another Terrifying Trailer for In the Heart of the Sea

In the Heart of the SeaI don’t know, you guys, I just don’t know. This movie looks like something that is right up my alley but ALSO something that will completely terrify me. I’m not sure whether I can handle seeing it on the big screen. What’s everyone else thinking? Maybe I’ll read the book first and then decide? Argh. It’s out in December! And it has so many people I like in it that I really WANT to see it. And it’s historical! BUT SCARY ARGH.

Also: I think I ranted about this regarding a previous trailer, and I know I did regarding the way Sleepy Hollow was being discussed, but: Moby-Dick is a novel. Someone wrote it. Insisting on calling it a “myth” – though I understand that that’s trying to get at how it’s become this cultural force and idea beyond just people who have read the book – devalues the writers. SOMEONE HAS TO STAND UP FOR MELVILLE, DARN IT.

ALSO also: I just realized the great Ben Whishaw is playing Melville himself, which is awesome and also makes me curious whether they’re putting Melville ON the ship, which he, of course, wasn’t. He was a baby when this happened. (I honestly didn’t notice him in any of the ship scenes in the trailer because I was TOO BUSY BEING TERRIFIED.)

The Martian: Book Review + Trailer

The MartianI read Andy Weir’s The Martian earlier this week, both because of the upcoming movie and because a whole bunch of my friends recommended it. I was slightly skeptical of the “alone in space” stuff but excited about the “kind of boring potato calculations” I’d heard so much about, because, well, I’m me. But I wound up really liking the book, more than I expected; I think what made it work for me was the way it alternated between Mark’s point of view alone on Mars and the points of view of the NASA people (and a few others) trying to rescue him. It kept up the momentum, as Mark’s sections occasionally dragged a bit – which I realize was both inevitable and perhaps intentional, in highlighting his isolation, but just because I understand why the author did something doesn’t necessarily mean it’s what I want to read. (Though I’ll say – Mark’s sections were way less tedious than I’d feared.) Also, “a bunch of prickly smart people coming together to solve a problem” is literally the thing I want most in fiction (or, heck, nonfiction), all the time. All the math and science was definitely a plus for me, though this is a personal preference thing and I can definitely see it turning some people off.

(A brief digression: I don’t think everything has to pass the Bechdel test to be worthy as art, but it is something I generally think about, and I was just musing: does it count as “talking about a man” in the same way if women are talking about a man because saving him is their job and they are talented professionals? Because that feels different.)

Anyway! This book was very cinematic and I think the “man alone on Mars” stuff interspersed with “NASA urgently doing things” will keep the momentum of the movie going, as well. I can’t say Matt Damon is exactly who I pictured as I was reading (even though I knew he had the role), but I like him well enough in general, and I’m really excited about a bunch of the supporting cast – Jeff Daniels! Mackenzie Davis! Sebastian Stan! Jessica Chastain! Sean Bean! Donald Glover! Chiwetel Ejiofor! EVERYONE IS IN THIS.

Here’s the trailer. Thoughts? I just noticed that 20th Century Fox has released a few clips – maybe I’ll post them over the weekend and we can discuss further.