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Saturday
Oct062018

Yes No Maybe So x 4: The Mule, The Happy Prince, Mortal Engines, and Aquaman (again) 

Let's get caught up on movie trailers. Clint Eastwood is dropping another December surprise, Rupert Everett reminds us that Bradley Cooper isn't the only actor stepping behind the camera, and there's always another would be franchise or two on the horizon. Four trailers after the jump starting with the Eastwood...

THE MULE

Yes - Very effective trailer opening with that car trunk mishap and the barking dog. Perhaps it's a bit vain, given that he is directing and starring, but we admire the honest of Clint only giving himself a solo title card at trailer's end despite major stars and cherished character actors supporting him (Bradley Cooper, Michael Peña, Dianne Weist, and Laurence Fishburne) since that's probably the truth of the movie. It'll live or die based on Clint's work behind and in front of the camera...

No - This isn't fair to the movie but I dont think I can take Clint Eastwood dashing lots of other people's Oscar dreams AGAIN with a sneak attack in the last two weeks of the year...

The Best Actor field is already so stacked.

For what it's worth, I'm sorry.

Also how many movies about drugs and cartels and criminal activity surrounding the drug wars does one need?

Maybe So - People largely agreed that Clint's last movie, this year's 15:17 to Paris was terrible but the last time he released a truly terrible movie early in the year (Jersey Boys) he chased it immediately with a huge smash Oscar hit at the end of the year (American Sniper). Will history repeat itself? You can never trust reviews for Clint Eastwood pictures -- there's just too much hero worship with that one -- but it'll be interesting to see if the movie is good or not since he's so hit and miss. But at least the role looks like a promising one for this 88 year old superstar.

THE HAPPY PRINCE

Yes Rupert Everett -- longtime devotee here. Oscar Wilde - love him. Good supporting cast. Why not?

No On the other hand will this have anything to offer that Wilde (1997) didn't? They're even sharing one cast member: Tom Wilkinson. Plus Stephen Fry looked more like Oscar Wilde than Rupert does and nobody ever or will ever look as life-ruiningly delicious as Human Embodiment of Homolustful Temptation as Jude Law circa mid to late 1990s...

You go too far, sir!

so good luck topping that Colin Morgan since you're risking the Lord Alfred Douglas role (No offense -- loved you inThe Fall and in Humans).

Maybe So How has this movie previously escaped our attention when the movie is opening Wednesday in NYC and LA and this trailer came out two movies ago? Hmmm.

MORTAL ENGINES

Yes - Big sci-fi blockbusters that aren't parts of already pre existing franchises are too rare in the all reboot / all sequels world and the writing team of Walsh, Jackson, and Boyens have worked magic before. Those roaming cities on wheels are a fun steampunk look and remind briefly of Howl's Moving Castle -- definitely not a bad memory.

No - On the other hand how can a new franchise look so familiar, complete with regular franchise villain faces like Hugo Weaving and Stephen Lang. And there's a difference between keeping people wondering what something is about and just not telling them what it's about and still expecting them to head to the theater!

Shut up and run.


Maybe So - We always wish new directors well. Christian Rivers has graduated from storyboard artist on Jackson's films (all the way back to his 90s films like the masterpiece Heavenly Creatures) to a second unit director on the recent Pete's Dragon to sitting in the big chair here. For those of you who watch Icelandic movies, Hera Hilmar was the star of one of Iceland's Oscar submission Life in a Fishbowl (2014) and she was pretty good in that.

AQUAMAN 

Yes - Nicole Kidman actually engaged in superheroic battle? Patrick Wilson's cape "blowing" aka flowing in the water? Cute underwater seahorses actually trying to look tough on a leash like your neighborhood toy dog? James Wan somewhat correcting for Zach Snyder's decision to make the trident have five points even though that means it's no longer a trident? The sparkly orange original costume reinterpreted for the "totes masc!" crowd? I'm in... at least in a camp way.

No - "This is badass!" ohmygod the bro-ness of this interpretation is like nails on a chalkboard. It's so performative and tryhard. Anyway, the first trailer was cut just like the Black Panther trailer with all the same first installment beats and this new one is doing Superman's ice palace in the antartic? Will there be anything fresh about this movie?

Maybe So - There is a LOT of world-building plot-setupplot in this 5 minute (5 MINUTE!) trailer as if we this is some intricate story and have never seen a superhero origin story before and might get confused even though we all know we'll be able to understand this even with the sound off. 

Something... something... trident.

On the other hand lets be generous. James Wan is pretty talented at the horror genre so let's see what he can do with superheroes.

TO RECAP

I'm basically a maybe so on all of these movies but leaning yes on The Happy Prince (provided the reviews are kind) and leaning no on Mortal Engines (unless the reviews convince otherwise) ... and only excited about Aquaman in the 'seeing Nicole Kidman with superpowers for 5 minutes whilst lusting after Patrick Wilson' kind of way. How about you? YES NO OR MAYBE SO? 

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Reader Comments (22)

Eastwood is so boring. I am a no on any of his projects unless they prove to be actual Oscar contenders. (And please, no Best Actor nomination for him - there are so many unrewarded actors in the race this year.)

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I caught The Happy Prince in the UK earlier this year, and my goodness was this movie dreary. One to be avoided, IMO.

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterevangelina

always happy to see Michael Pena! you think he’ll be mvp making the most of a small or underwritten role again? seems to be his MO

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterhuh

You know who would've been the perfect Aquaman if they were imagining a more classical version of the character? Ryan Gosling. A blonde, strong and silent type with a charming smile and affinity for sea animals? He should've been the guy. Unfortunately they decided to bro it up with Mamoa.

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commentertonytr

No on all of them.... there are so many really good movies coming... these look second hand1 imo

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

Man Appreciation:

Colin Morgan - Dumbo became Prince Charming.

Jason Momoa - Such a beautiful body with such an ugly face.

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterFeline Justice

I'm most looking forward to The Mule, because Clint is a legend and I'll watch him in and/or directing anything. Sure, he's a bit hit-and-miss, but there's always been an element of that. Gotta say, too, I thought The 15:17 to Paris was severely underrated - it's tense and touching. And unlike a lot of films, it doesn't outstay its welcome.

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Agree with Evangelina - The Happy Prince is a disaster. I say that as someone who was hoping for the best. I usually love Everett but the film just ruins his perf.

Hopefully The Mule will just help Bradley Cooper's chances and otherwise we can ignore it.

Glad Nicole gets some action moments in Aquaman! Still not sure though.

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Of these, I would maybe see The Mule but I see what you are saying about Clint stealing Oscar thunder from others. But he is 88, so if the movie is good then they will nominate him. He and Redford have never won for acting.

Aquaman still looks cheap and corny. Poor Nicole, always grasping at straws.

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJono

Sometimes I think you guys like awards better than films.

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Probably yes on The Mule, I don't know on The Happy Prince, Nah on Mortal Engines, and maybe on Aquaman.

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

I meant to say too that Ethan Hawke seems the most likely to miss a nomination. And predominantly, I would say people here are into good films, good acting, and then probably awards last.

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJono

@Jono... I hope you are correct!!

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

Aquaman - I'm there for Kidman's bound-to-be cameo. This reminds me of attending Star Trek just to see Winona Ryder.

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterboys

I am a yes on The Mule (very effective trailer), NO on The Happy Prince (looks like a sever case of mimicry) and a maybe on the others.

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPedro

I am on the record: I love Clint the superstar. But his politics, Jesus. I can't love him the way I used to since THE CHAIR. That said, this movie is made for me to love him again.

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

no x 4

October 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterpar

What's important is Dianne Wiest in a movie people will actual see.

October 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

3rtful -- YES. This is important. thanks for saying so.

Boys - LOL. so true.

Peter - nah. it's just a fun lens through which to view movies and also to discover old movies.

October 7, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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October 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAshad

I'm actually hoping "Mortal Engines" is good. Nicole Kidman confuses me, though. She went from dating Bruce Wayne to giving birth to Arthur Curry?

October 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTommy

"Aqua Man" looks like a camp classic.

October 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

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