Tag Archives: Netflix

All the SDCC Trailers I Care About, Part One: Super Heroes

As always, there are many (so many) trailers from this year’s San Diego Comic Con, and I have things to say about most of them, so I’ll be splitting this into a couple of posts to have room for commentary. First up, superhero stuff!

Marvel and Netflix released three trailers at SDCC, for upcoming shows Luke Cage and Iron Fist and a miniseries called The Defenders that will feature, Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist. I was hoping for a season two trailer for Jessica Jones, and I would even have settled for an announcement of another woman-led series, but neither of those things happened. Instead, we just got this trio of mostly-sausage fests.

Of the three, Luke Cage has been the one that I’m most excited about since I already liked Mike Colter in the role on Jessica Jones. However, a trailer with literally not a single woman in sight and the repetition of a pretty gross lyric from an Ol’ Dirty Bastard song doesn’t really inspire me to tune in. I’m sure it will be fine, but I’m starting to think it’s not going to be for me.

Finn Jones seems to have kept his disheveled Loras Tyrell look in this first look at Iron Fist. However, I’m more irritated that the first footage we get to see of the show starts with the heavily implied fridging of Danny Rand’s mom. I mean, alright, that’s one way to start a story, but it’s unoriginal as shit.

This teaser for The Defenders doesn’t actual show any footage and basically just serves to introduce the concept of the show and its planned 2017 release date. I’m guessing late 2017.

Marvel and FX have teamed up for a new super hero television show, Legion, which is about the eponymous mutant and his struggles with mental health.

I guess he’s Charles Xavier’s son or something, but I don’t know that much about X-Men and am not convinced this concept isn’t going to turn out to be extremely problematic. It’s also hard to tell what tone this show is going for. It seems like it’s trying to be funny, but it all looks so grim and monochromatic and seriousness that I couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be humorous. Maybe a couple more trailers as we get closer to the show’s early 2017 air date will convince me to turn in, but right now I’m only mildly curious about it.

Marvel also shared a new trailer for their Doctor Strange movie, which hits theaters on November 4 of this year.

Listen. Doctor Strange looks slick, and make-up and costuming and whatever that scruff is growing on Benedict Cumberbatch’s face have him looking the part, and I love the magic effects–that folding city looks rad–but I just can’t get on board with this film. It’s blatant Orientalism (something I think we’re going to see in Iron Fist as well) is just downright unpleasant to watch, even for just a couple of minutes. I don’t think I want to subject myself to two straight hours of it, even if Chiwetel Ejiofor is in it. Also, can we talk about how awful Tilda Swinton looks? That’s practically straight up yellowface, and I’m very disappointed in her.

DC and Warner Brothers didn’t have nearly so many properties to share this year, but to their credit the ones they did share were much less problematic-seeming than what Marvel had to offer. Both DC trailers, for Wonder Woman and Justice League actually have me cautiously optimistic that I may someday see a DC movie in a theater again.

I do have some mixed feelings about this Justice League trailer, but it looks a good deal less grim than some other Zack Snyder flicks, and I actually laughed a couple of times during this footage. I have thought since I heard the news that Ezra Miller was well-cast as the Flash, and I’m thrilled to see more of Jason Momoa’s Aquaman. However, I get the feeling that Wonder Woman is being demoted to sidekick status, and it’s disappointing to see that she’s the only woman in the movie (at least so far). Justice League looks marginally more fun than Snyder’s other fare, but still not great.

So, I know I’m still salty about the skeevy poster for Wonder Woman, but I just do not get the hype for this movie. Like, sure, I will probably go see it in order to support women-led films or whatever, and it looks pretty good, but there’s no way this movie is going to really deserve all the “This is the superhero movie we’ve been waiting for!” love that I see it getting in feminist-friendly corners of geekdom. The film does appear to have some incredible artistic action sequences that I’m looking forward to seeing on a big screen, though I saw at least one obvious crotch shot of Wonder Woman in the trailer that is kind of disheartening. In any case, I’m sure Wonder Woman will be okay; it may even turn out to be really good, but at this point in my life, after many years of disappointments, I’m keeping my expectations low. I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than let down once again. Also, this is the only woman-led super hero project with a trailer at this year’s con, so that’s depressing.

(Part 2 covers non-super-hero movies plus Suicide Squad HERE)

Advantageous is a perfect rainy day feminist sci-fi film

I tend to be skeptical of serious-looking science fiction films that I don’t hear about before they show up on Netflix, but I was interested in Advantageous when I learned that it was written and directed by Asian American women (Jennifer Phang and Jacqueline Kim, who also stars). I got really interested in it when I saw that it was being trumpeted as great feminist science fiction, although I still half expected it would be another entry in the enormous catalog of overly serious sci-fi movies that just don’t quite work for various reasons. It turns out that Advantageous is actually quite excellent, and is part of the rather smaller catalog of science fiction movies that are sensible, interesting, well-written and nicely filmed.

The film centers on the struggle of Gwen Koh, a single mother, to provide stability and opportunities for her daughter, Jules, in a world where that is increasingly difficult. Gwen is seemingly at a high point in her career when she’s informed that she’s just too old to be the spokesperson for a company whose newest product is a radical anti-aging “treatment” where people literally just get a new, younger body to replace their old one. Advantageous deals with Gwen’s struggle to find other ways to support herself and her daughter, her eventual choice to switch bodies in order to keep her job, and how that decision affects her life.

Advantageous is a movie about compromise–both the ways in which Gwen chooses to compromise and the ways in which she is forced to compromise herself. It’s a movie about the backlash to feminism and women’s liberation and the pressures that women face  because of that backlash. It’s a movie about transformation and growth and rebirth. It’s a movie that examines the ways in which women contribute to their own oppression and how we come to terms with that for ourselves and our daughters. It’s about capitalism and inequality and how unlikely it is that we’re actually building anything like a better future.

It’s a melancholy movie, but it’s also hopeful, though not naively so. I felt at the end that the hope was not so much that whatever comes in the future will be good but that whatever comes in the future we will be able to endure and heal and find enough love and joy to (mostly) keep us going. Also, there are flying cars.

Netflix released a bunch of character trailers for Sense8

I’m not sure I’d say I’m excited about Sense8, mostly because I’m still not sure I understand what it’s about, but I will be watching it when it hits Netflix on June 5. While I’m not quite clear on the plot yet–how exactly do eight strangers with a psychic link threaten the world?–I guess these trailers give us a bit of an idea of who these eight strangers are.

Sun – Seoul, Korea

Kala – Mumbai, India

Nomi – San Francisco, California

Wolfgang – Berlin, Germany

Riley – London, England

Will – Chicago, Illinois

Capheus – Nairobi, Kenya

Lito – Mexico City, Mexico

ABC’s The Quest is the best show you should binge watch in one sitting

I vaguely recall hearing something about this show sometime back in 2013, but I’m not usually into reality shows and I just totally forgot about it until it popped up on Netflix last week. Now, granted, my enjoyment of the show could have something to do with being stuck at home with a broken foot, but I kind of loved it.

The Quest is ten episodes of pure, slightly silly, feel good entertainment. It’s basically LARPing with occasional competitive games to eliminate contestants (called paladins) to find the One True Hero capable of rescuing the kingdom of Everealm.

The show is reasonably diverse, with the twelve contestants split evenly between men and women, including PoC, and seemingly representative of a fairly wide selection of geeks. I think what I liked best about the paladins, though, is that everyone was so nice. There are a couple of moments where people slip into regular reality show stuff, but overall everyone is just really earnest and positive. Because the show is largely a scripted adventure, even the competitive challenges are in essence cooperative.

The story is pretty predictable, and some of the acting leaves much to be desired, but The Quest is so fun and everyone is so likable that it manages to be such a good time that I didn’t even care. It looks unlikely that the show will get a second season, but if it does, I’ll be tuning in. Or at least waiting til it shows up on Netflix so I can watch the whole thing in one day again.

Zombeavers is a goddamn masterpiece

I knew, as soon as I saw the first trailer for this movie, that I was going to love Zombeavers, so I was super excited when it showed up on Netflix relatively quickly. There’s no way that this movie won’t be great, I thought, and I was not disappointed.

From the opening scene, Zombeavers is frequently laugh out loud funny. It’s got an appropriate level of cheaply produced gore. It’s got a charming cast of insufferable college kids who are all pretty much terrible assholes, but who are great fun to watch and make it obvious that they had a great time making this movie (a short blooper reel at the end confirms this).

The beaver jokes are present, as one must expect from this sort of flick. Even including visual gags, there are just enough for a drinking game but not enough to kill you with alcohol poisoning.

The real stars of the movie, though, are the beavers themselves, who are these delightful animatronic numbers who steal every scene they are in.

Basically, if you like zombie animal movies, you will love Zombeavers and should probably watch it immediately.