In which I wonder if I’m in the right cinema, or: stuff I have to wade through to see Ocean’s 8

I’ve basically got my arrival coordinated now so I don’t have to see any of these, but the only jarring note the first time I saw Ocean’s 8 was all of these trailers for films that left me feeling increasingly alienated as a cinema-goer. It did put me in mind of Into the Storm in that sense — because that was also a film where all the trailers they showed ahead of it were things I’d never see voluntarily in a million years. These aren’t quite that bad. Or. Hmmm.

[I apologize in advance if I’m dissing your favorite, long-anticipated film. There are films I look forward to seeing. They’re just not being advertised before Ocean’s 8.]

Mamma Mia 2

I’ve seen this trailer something like five times now and I still can’t figure out what the movie is about. Something to do with a hush-hush pregnancy and dancing. Abba songs, which I suppose are fine, but a whole movie? I guess you had to see the first one. Does Meryl Streep really have to be in every single film? Small plus point: Cher, of whom I don’t see enough.

Verdict: Skip unless I’m really desperate. Which, admittedly, I might be.

Mission Impossible: Fallout

Tom Cruise stars in a series of equipment crashes in picturesque European locations. He also jumps out a window. But he can’t actually move any part of his face so it’s difficult to experience any thrill about any of it. There also seems to be some kind of religious fanatic. Huh. Plus point: Angela Bassett, but it looks like a very small role.

Verdict: Not unless forced to at gunpoint, and even then you’d have to staple my eyelids open.

A Simple Favor

This is potentially the one I’m most likely to see, and it has interesting titles, I’ll admit. However, I don’t get why a story that plays in Connecticut is backgrounded with the French song. Could be suspenseful and interesting, but the exploding car is a bad omen.

Verdict: Maybe, if I have time to kill on cheap day.

Peppermint

A drug cartel kills Jennifer Garner’s family so she goes under cover and kills the drug cartel. Nothing at all about this appeals, starting with the gooey beginning, continuing with the weird executions on a Ferris Wheel, and ending with a weird cell phone conversation at a gravestone. This looks like violent kitsch from beginning to end, verging on xenophobia, and I’m trying to figure out if this is someone’s sad attempt at female empowerment, or it’s just guys who like to fantasize about a shoot’em up with Garner, whose guns both literal and figurative definitely impress.

Verdict: You could not pay me to see this film.

Bad Times at the El Royale

I really do not know what to say about this. A weird hotel, a topless man dancing in a wheat field, a guy in a mask, a woman singing “this old heart of mine” … none of it fits together. Huge negative: Jeff Bridges, who has done nothing that convinced me since 1989, i.e., for more or less my entire adult life.

Verdict: “Bad Time” seems to be an appropriate title. People will pay money for this? Really?

A Star is Born

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga playing some sort of weird codependency games at country music concerts. Am I really supposed to believe Gaga doesn’t think she’s attractive? Am I really supposed to believe that Cooper believes that she doesn’t think she’s attractive? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Verdict: Totally superfluous. The 1954 and 1976 versions of this film fully meet my needs (Judy Garland in the better film and Barbra Streisand as my preferred vocalist).

Are you planning to see any of these? Can you explain the appeal?

~ by Servetus on July 8, 2018.

60 Responses to “In which I wonder if I’m in the right cinema, or: stuff I have to wade through to see Ocean’s 8”

  1. I’ve seen a few of these multiple times as well. If I never see the Mission Impossible trailer again, it’ll still be too soon.

    As for the Mamma Mia 2 trailer, it took me a couple views to realize it’s two timelines. The daughter from the first movie is now pregnant and for some reason, her mom’s not around? or she’s scared to tell her about it? so she goes to the friends who tell her about her mom being her age. That’s why there are two blonde women in the trailer. And then somehow Cher is in it, but I still don’t know where Meryl Streep is…At least that’s what I’ve gathered from my multiple viewings of the trailer. It’s a bit confusing which for a musical sequel means it’s probably trying too hard. I didn’t care for the first one, so I don’t plan on seeing this one.

    Like

  2. I might go see “Bad Times at the El Royale” if only to drool over Chris Hemsworth’s bod. He’s ripped!! And Elsa Pataky is a lucky woman!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I would recommend Mamma Mia 2 above the
    other choices. Mamma Mia I thought was sweet, funny and a good summertime escape
    primarily for the ABBA songs and the supporting cast of Firth, Walters, Baranski, et al I thought they were funny and sweet. Meryl
    is well Meryl and Amanda Siegfried was ok
    I didn’t think she was a strong singer but she
    is cute and blends in well w the cast. There’s another movie I plan to see called Siberia w Keanu Reeves supposed to come out next Friday July 13 sort of a love/suspense thriller set in yes Siberia. Hope you enjoy the peace and quiet whatever you end up viewing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Looks like that is not yet scheduled to be shown here.

      I think I’m mourning that I missed two films I really wanted to see because they were here for one week, the week dad’s stroke occurred (First Reformed, and The Seagull).

      Like

  4. I have a mental list of actors who I absolutely refuse to watch, due to their personal beliefs and\or actions. Tom cruise is at the top of that list, so no mission impossible for me

    Liked by 2 people

    • 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • LOL, for sure. Although I will read extensive articles about his bizarreness in Vanity Fair. Apparently he’s estranged his kids from Nicole Kidman, which is the height of evil IMO.

      Like

      • Yeah I think he’s just not a great actor. His MI movies are all the same and his best role to date as an actor actor was Born on the 4th of July. Other than that it’s MI or now this Jack Reacher or Preacher or something like that. I found it interesting his The Mummy movie from last summer (at least in the States) bombed. First Reformed might be on Pay per View now (in the States).

        Like

  5. On duty, I have time to write. I am lucky not to be under a very hot weather, listening roars or smelling gazoline of old vintage races cars. I am taking time to read Angela Bourke book while coll air conditionning is working.

    Thanks for your wide movies choice! Before a blockbuster like “Oceans’ 8” or an arthouse film, the advertising are definetly not of the same taste. Filmgoers are contrasted with extremely different personnalities.

    “Mary Poppins Returns” directed by Rob Marshall with Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth could be a good december movie…
    https://www.senscritique.com/liste/Les_Blockbusters_de_2018/1823141

    La chanteuse du film “A Simple Favor” s’appelle Béatrice Martin: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/C%C5%93ur_de_pirate Elle est d’origine Québécoise, mais fait une belle carrière en France.
    Voici la chanson du film: Cœur De Pirate – Crier Tout Bas (live session) – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfbtlsQVbx0
    Have a good day!

    Like

  6. I don’t go to the cinema much anymore. At the most about three times a year, often less. When we went to O8, my husband and I were rolling our eyes over the trailers. I don’t remember what they were, but they involved lots of things exploding and crashing and so forth. Who goes to these movies? No thanks.

    As an aside, I have liked Béatrice Martin for a long time now, it’s interesting that her song is featured in that film. I like a lot of Québecois pop music, but didn’t think it was very popular outside the Francophone world.

    Like

    • I will have to check Martin out.

      I wonder about the state of the world, too, if this is what is getting made. I think in the end it doesn’t even require actors. It can all be done by stunt men.

      Like

  7. i like Tom Cruise. I think his mission possible movies are good(action, comedy, but my favorite with him is the movie Legend and it has Tim Curry as the devil. I don’t like Bradley cooper. I don’t know what it is about him, but he just gets on my nerves. Servetus, I think a movie you might like is Winchester(Helen Mirren).

    Like

  8. I think I’ll watch Mamma Mia 2 (liked the first one) and A Star is born (Bradley Cooper can sing?) on DVD someday but there sure is no rush

    Like

  9. I don’t get to the cinema all that often, maybe three or four times a year if that, it has to be something I really want to see. Of the ones you’ve listed, Mama Mia 2 is the only trailer I’ve seen, both at the cinema and on television, and it’s the only movie I have on my to-watch list at the moment. I enjoyed the first one and have seen the stage show as well. I can go into the cinema knowing I won’t see things that will give me nightmares. I’d much rather toe tapping music, romance, a simple sweet storyline, and a cast that includes Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan (despite him murdering his songs in MM1!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • The stage show was fantastic and I totally agree with you that Pierce definitely butchered his songs but he and Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgaard were delightful and the whole cast seemed to have such a great time.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Good point re: no nightmares and there seem to be fewer and fewer of those films.

      Like

  10. I’ve only seen the Mamma Mia and the Tom Cruise trailer over here, the other ones you mention won’t get here until later, I think.
    The Tom Cruise one I have zero interest in.
    The Mamma Mia one I do want to see. The first one was fun (I do know many people who hated it, but I really enjoyed it). I don’t think this second one is necessary at all, and I’m not so fond of Lily James (who plays the young Meryl Streep character in this) BUT – I really loved the three men in the first one: Colin Firth of course, but also Pierce Brosnan (even though his singing was a little iffy) and Stellan Skarsgard. So, I’m going to see this for them but especially for Colin!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I will probably see Mamma Mia 2, only because the group of women from work may go. I saw the Mamma Mia play in 2000 when it first toured. It is a really happy feel-good musical, even if all ABBA. I didn’t see the first movie, though, so I should watch it first.

    I’m actually looking forward to A Star Is Born. I loved the Streisand/Kristofferson movie, being a big fan of both singers. I have a soft spot for Bradley Cooper, mainly because of his excellent performance in Silver Linings Playbook. This will be Cooper’s directorial debut and he is also one of he producers. Apparently, Clint Eastwood had wanted to make the movie with Cooper at some point in the past and then moved on. I do believe that Lady Gaga’s character wouldn’t think she is attractive — she is unusual looking and I’ve never thought of her as particularly attractive. She is, however, a surprisingly good singer. Her rendition of The Hills Are Alive at the 2015 Oscars was really well done. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JxcFcKvjZCk

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I think Lady Gaga could pull off thinking she is not attractive. She apparently battled bulimia when she was a teenager and has body imaging issues. She has come a long way since her “Just Dance” meat wearing garb days. Both her Born This Way and Joanne albums are fantastic and really show her vocal range. I’m happy for Cooper that he is branching out into directing. I think he has sort of peaked as an actor and I agree Silver Linings Playbook was very good. He seems to thrive in David O Russell works as does Jennifer Lawrence. Some of his other movies (ie Hangover 2 and 3) were just turkeys in my opinion. I think the music in Star is Born remake of Cooper’s is country tinged which is not my cup of tea so I may wait to see what others comment or review and then maybe..

      Liked by 1 person

      • She already failed this test for me in the trailer — she looks attractive and her statement that she is not was not convincing. I admit that that I despise the trope of how men telling women they are attractive is supposed to “fix” them (I don’t like that in the original movies, either). I agree she’s a great singer, and I’m sorry for her troubles, of course, but I don’t need to see this story again.

        Like

      • I’m not a huge fan of Gaga’s music, but she can sing. And I guess she can act too — she won a Golden Globe in 2016 for a TV role. As for Cooper, I did see the Hangover movies on the small screen, just coz he’s easy on the eyes, but they were pretty gross comedies. I saw American Sniper which got great reviews, but I wasn’t all that impressed. His roles seem to be all over the place.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well I really liked Born This Way because the theme of the album was love yourself and be proud of who you are as an individual. Also, she had a wide scope of songs-1 German one on there and a couple Italian and a little French so it had a great appeal to a wide ranging audience in my opinion. Joanne was dedicated to her late Aunt who died in 2016 of cancer and I think really was personally moving (she discussed her break up w Taylor Kinney) and where she was at in her life approaching 30. So artistically I thought these albums like Madonna’s Ray of Light in 1998 (about turning 40 among other things) were more honest and evocative than that Art Pop fiasco or even Fame Monster of 2009. Her Emmy was for The American Horror series which I don’t watch.

          Cooper-yeah I watched All About Steve last night (on HBO U.S.) which first go around I didn’t like too silly or something but on second viewing I thought it was quite sweet and he held his own in it, not playing a douche bag but a guy the object of Sandra Bullock’s character’s crush then obsession (sort of) but he says at the end of the movie “Mary, don’t ever change who you are” which I myself needed to hear that. I didn’t see American Sniper (another Eastwood directed movie) just not that into it I guess. I agree Cooper is all over the place which is why maybe if he moves into directing he will challenge himself more artistically or something like that..

          Liked by 2 people

          • I only really know Lady Gaga’s radio hits, which are not really what I listen to. But you make those albums sound interesting. I’ll check them out on iTunes. Yeah I’ve never seen American Horror, but I read she won a Golden Globe.

            I think Cooper has talent but it all depends on the vehicle.

            Liked by 1 person

            • I’m not trying to sound like her publicist here but those two albums in particular really resonated with me. One would think she had it all and on these albums she really discussed insecurity, body imaging issues (esp on Born This Way) and death. (“Joanne”). I cried the first time I played the Joanne CD in my car because it was so so honest. I don’t have Art Pop mainly bec the radio release “Applause” was boring and uninspiring. Artpop has a lot of rap music which I do not like. She said she really felt down in the dumps bec Art Pop commercially failed. Yes, bec it sounded like everything else out there in 2013! But Madonna’s whole Millennium career in music except 2000’s Music album has been dismal in my opinion. No originality and trying to look young and sound young when she’s not.

              Liked by 1 person

            • That’s my experience of her, too, but I think she’s a great singer.

              Liked by 1 person

        • he’s not the only actor we know with that problem.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Somehow, though, I’m more forgiving of it with RA. My crush on Cooper was more short-lived. I didn’t like what I saw of him as a person, as much. He didn’t seem like someone I would want to spend time with.

            Like

            • It’s so hard for me to compare, still. Like even with actors who consistently get better roles, I don’t crush on them. So who knows. But I agree that a “problematic” personal life is an obstacle. And honestly I’m happy we don’t read about Armitage all the time in the tabloids.

              Liked by 2 people

    • I think I might be up for seeing “Mammia Mia 2” on stage, live, with a bunch of actors I don’t know. I enjoy the energy of live musicals. I have serious Meryl Streep fatigue.

      Clint Eastwood. Wow. Well, he’s on my “absolutely not for any reason ever” list, at the very latest since the “empty chair speech” at the 2012 RNC. I haven’t seen Silver Linings Playbook — seemed like it was not my type of film.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Clint Eastwood is a bit of a red herring, I guess, since he’s not involved anymore. From what I’ve read, it might be a bit of a passion project for Cooper. I wonder if he’ll bring anything really new to the story. As for Silver Linings Playbook, while there is a romance, I see it as a film more about mental illness and family dynamics. Having spent time around people with bipolar disorder, I thought Cooper did a great job with the role.

        Liked by 1 person

      • As for Streep, it does seem that she is everywhere. She is a good actress, but she is not my favourite to see on screen.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I like Streep because she is extremely gifted-she can chameleon into a character with great ease (much as Richard does in my opinion) and I really liked her in Iron Lady. She does what she wants when she wants to which to me is the mark of a confident successful person esp a professional performer. She is going to be in Season 2 of Big Little Lies (HBO U.S.) which I am excited about. Her ability to endure over 4 decades of working steadily and consisting to keep her performances even when the material sucked at A level is truly remarkable.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I really liked her in Hope Springs with Tommy Lee Jones. It’s about an older couple who have drifted far away from each other and she drags him to sex therapy to try to get the romance back. I enjoyed the movie, but it might appeal most to people who’ve been in long marriages. (Mine will be 30 years this fall.)

            Liked by 1 person

            • She was good in that and I like Tommy Lee Jones as an actor esp The Fugitive-that drawl is so delightful “We have a fugitive on the run..” I also liked her in August Osage County w/Julia Roberts-Streep just blew everyone away in my opinion. Talk about watching a Master Class in acting. Cumberbatch was in that movie too.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Oh yeah. August Osage County was really good. Julia Roberts was excellent too. I don’t remember Cumberbatch being in it, though I guess he was.

                Like

                • He played the son of the neighbor who ended up being related to Julianne Nicholson’s character. Yeah I agree Julia Roberts was
                  good also one of the few times I’ve liked
                  her in a movie although I like her as a person
                  very affable and down to earth 😀

                  Liked by 1 person

          • I admire her career without necessarily admiring tons and tons of her work. I loved Kramer v. Kramer, for instance. But lately I think she has taken a lot of roles where she is essentially mimicking a known historical figure and I find that quite tiring to watch.

            Like

  12. Yeah I agree with you on Eastwood. I’ve never been a fan of his. My dad loved his Forgiven” -that Western that Gene Hackman won an Oscar for but I dislike Westerns even more than gory movies. I would recommend Silver Linings Playbook-it is set in Philly, DeNiro is great in it. I don’t think Cooper is a terrific actor but he has a good meaty role in it and he and Jennifer Lawrence (pre Hungry Games I think) have great chemistry. The writing is great and I like the interaction of the dad (DeNiro) and son (Cooper). I think the relationship dynamics at play might interest you. Maybe?

    Live musicals are great! You would probably love Mamma Mia live on stage.

    Like

    • I just have learned over the years that there are films I am probably not going to like and SLP ticks the central “avoid at all costs” box of “romance.”

      I don’t like Westerns either, although I feel like Eastwood’s work has kind of moved away from that. I think the last things of his I saw were Invictus and Gran Torino and I don’t have a real clear memory of either. I haven’t seen most of the things he’s famous for, admittedly.

      Like

      • Ahh, those are two more than I have seen. I saw Trouble with The Curve bec I like baseball and I like Amy Adams. He was ok in that movie and did not direct it. My sis saw the Paris train movie he directed from earlier this year and liked it , said it was “riveting.” Hmm maybe as a last resort, bored out of my mind night movie.

        Like

        • I have political issues with that kind of thing. Yes, celebrate heroism and character, by all means. I am a huge fan of those things and I tend to agree that we are not teaching our children well enough to be moral citizens in situations where it counts. But films like that push this whole idea we have in the U.S. that the individual is the solution to every problem. To me, what stops terrorists isn’t well-trained individuals who happen to be in the right place at the right time, but rather an international politics that disencentivizes this behavior, and which makes it attractive for people to live non-destructive lives. You’ll never get that from Eastwood; he’s a libertarian.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Those sound like a couple of good ideas for future posts. Anything political or involving films or both seem to generate a lot of wonderful responses in my opinion.

            Like

            • I dunno, I try not to let politics overwhelm this blog (believe me, I have a lot to say). But the main issue at present is just energy and time.

              Like

              • You have such engaging wide ranging geographical commenters that are so well read and intelligent that any political, socio-economic topics/posts would have intriguing replies
                in my opinion.

                Liked by 1 person

  13. […] Still a “no.” Do they think they can wear us down? […]

    Like

  14. […] No the first time and no the second time and still no. […]

    Like

Leave a Reply to Esther Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

 
%d bloggers like this: