Not all of us are fortunate enough to make the trek west to enjoy the excitement of Comic-Con International: San Diego, better known as SDCC. For those of us stuck elsewhere, the con means keeping a close eye on our Twitter feeds waiting for real-time updates on the various panels and hitting refresh on our favorite movie sites waiting for the inevitable promo material the studios release to be put up. Of that PR material, it’s the new trailers that cause the most excitement.
2018 belonged to Warner Brothers, who put out the bulk of the trailers people are buzzing about. Whether these teases of their upcoming features end up delivering remain to be seen, but at least their weekend was a positive one, unlike some of their rivals. But which trailer ruled them all this year? Let’s rank them.
I don’t have any particular affection for any version of Aquaman; I’m not saying that he’s a bad character, he’s just the least interesting member of any version of the Justice League to me. Still, Jason Momoa is a beautiful man who seems to want this to work more than most actors on the comic book movie grind, and James Wan is producing a La Llorona movie so he at least gets the benefit of the doubt from me. Yes, things feel very much like this flick should be called Aquabro, but maybe there will be some actual character growth in this here comic book flick.
4. Cut Throat City
While not featuring the major stars that other buzz flicks have, Cut Throat City looks to at least be telling a more interesting story. “A post-Katrina New Orleans heist flick directed but Wu-Tang Clan’s Rza” is a description that should have anyone intrigued, even if Rza’s first two films didn’t set the world on fire. This trailer does a good job of setting up the location and showing some interesting action shots that don’t rely on wall-to-wall CG.
Silly as it may sound, that ! is going a long way to making me feel cautiously optimistic about this WB comic book adaptation. I’m not as down on the grimdark DC movies the way most are, but I’m glad we’ve all agreed that there’s no reason to do a grimdark movie about a kid who gains superpower; I mean, you can go that route I guess, but at least wait for him to become a teenager first. Shazam! feels bright and fun, which gives us something to hold on to other than wondering if The Rock is going to show up in the film like we know he wants to.
I had just kind of accepted the fact that we were never going to get a sequel to Unbreakable, but M. Night Shyamalan has been on a bit of a hot streak as of late, and is using the goodwill he’s built up to bring us back to the world of Mr. Glass and David Dunn, along with Split’s The Horde. Are there things in this trailer that look goofy as hell? Yes, but that’s the joy of it. Unbreakable hit theaters before “superhero fatigue” was a thing, telling a really great story that made the most of comic book tropes while still being grounded. We all know what saving the world looks like; I think a low key, “hero without flight or fancy gadgets must stop a bad guy who isn’t trying to blow up Earth” is just what we need in the genre right now.
1. Godzilla: King of the Monsters
The monster action of 2014’s Godzilla was incredible. The human stuff? Not so much. It’s the Planet of the Ape’s problem: studios don’t trust audiences enough to enjoy a movie that doesn’t put human characters front and center, even though they’re largely disposable to the action at hand. I don’t know that GKOTM will be any better in that department, but I do know that the monster action in this trailer looks sick. With at least four warriors entering the fray, including the beast known as King Ghidorah, Godzilla is going to have an uphill battle to become the king. They should start putting out shirts of some of the shots from this trailer immediately.
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