Category: Television

Summer Update 5/27/16 – Star Trek Beyond, Ghostbusters, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping; What I’m Watching: Neighbors 2 and more

If you missed me saying it in last week’s podcast, we are on a summer vacation from recording the show. [sadface emoji] But I’m in love with my own opinions too much to go a week without rounding up my thoughts on some new trailers and things I’ve been watching. I mean come on, I’m a white dude with a podcast–albeit one that’s on hiatus.

New Trailers

A handful of trailers released in the last couple of weeks have brightened my outlook on their respective films…

Star Trek Beyond (Paramount Pictures) — in theaters July 22, 2016

Back in January (Trailer Home Podcast: Episode 184) I expressed the same disappointment many other people felt for the teaser trailer for the 13th film installment in the Star Trek franchise. It was heavy on action and light on story, which is antithetical to what Trek has traditionally been in its 50 year history. This new trailer, unveiled at a Paramount fan event last week, is still pretty heavy on action and still prominently displays the fact that Fast & Furious director Justin Lin is at the helm (more on that below). But it also tones down the bro factor at least a little. Coupled with accounts of footage from the movie that was also screened at the event, it makes me more optimistic that Beyond will at least be on par with J.J. Abrams’ previous two installments and not just Fast & Furious in Space.

On a side note, last week was a pretty good one for Star Trek fans. In addition to the new movie trailer and footage, there was CBS’s unveiling of a teaser for next year’s new Star Trek TV series. (Yeah it’s pretty basic, but hey…something I guess!) And there was the announcement that Paramount is dropping a lawsuit against the producers of a fan-made film. That decision was due in part to campaigning by Justin Lin directly to studio heads, which also raises my hopes that Lin may be treating Star Trek Beyond with reverence to the franchise’s hardcore fans–something that some people felt even Abrams’ films were lacking.

Ghostbusters (Sony Pictures) — in theaters July 15, 2016

Ever since it was first announced that Ghostbusters was being rebooted with a core cast that just happened to feature all women (Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones), expressing even just skepticism at their involvement without being labeled a sexist has been a delicate balancing act. Don’t get me wrong: I recognize that there has unquestionably been a LOT of sexism in the criticism of the film’s female cast. My own problem has nothing to do with the fact that the cast are women or even with the fact that they’re remaking Ghostbusters. (At I least I don’t think I’m that dude….) Rather, I’m simply not a fan of McCarthy nor of director Paul Feig.

I missed out on the podcast where the rest of the guys talked about the first trailer back in March (Trailer Home Podcast: Episode 193). Suffice it to say I mostly agreed with their thoughts on it. This new trailer is at least…better. There were a few laughs, the action and ghosts look cool, and it appears to clear up some of the confusion over whether this movie is a separate story from the original movies or a continuation of them. (Melissa McCarthy says it’s the former and that even she wasn’t thrilled with the first trailer.) The new trailer upgrades my outlook on Ghostbusters from “Ugh, this looks really dumb” to “Well, I guess I’ll see it and maybe it will be OK.” I’m working on making those ratings a little more succinct.

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (Universal Pictures) — in theaters June 3, 2016

Whereas Star Trek Beyond and Ghostbusters are both movies that I want to like but had initial trailers that just didn’t appeal to me, Popstar is a movie I never really had much interest in to begin with. After watching the first trailer in March (Trailer Home Podcast: Episode 194), I was noncommittal about seeing the Lonely Island comedy starring Andy Samberg as a Bieberesque celebrity punk. The new trailer starts with a rehash of some of the same scenes from the first one, but about 30 seconds in (about the time it takes to get to Mars) the new gags start. And if you didn’t get that last joke, watch this trailer. Oh, and it has Seal and wolves. Seal and wolves, people. I just might go see this in the theater. You’re welcome, Cody.

What I’m Watching

It’s fitting that within the first week after we begin our vacation, my schedule opens wide and allows me to watch a whole bunch of new things. Mostly I’m working on a lot of TV shows (more on those below), but I did get to one movie last week…

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (now in theaters)

Neighbors 2 (Universal Pictures)
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (Universal Pictures)

What surprised me most about this movie is that, for a gross-out/stoner comedy, it’s pretty socially conscious. Not only does it take a unique approach to empowering college-age women by making them as gross and irresponsible as men their age, but it also unexpectedly–and somewhat awkwardly–takes a stab at promoting gay rights by making one of the frat brothers from the first movie suddenly gay. For the most part, the social progressivism unfolds naturally through the plot rather than being telegraphed, and I actually appreciated that. Overall, though, the sequel feels like a collection of less funny jokes and bits that might have been cut out of the first movie, and perhaps the funniest thing in the entire film was a recycling of the airbag prank from the first one.

The Night Manager (AMC)

AMC aired the final episode of this imported British miniseries this week. As I mentioned on last week’s podcast, the spy thriller is a slow burn rather than a punch-a-minute action fest. It ratchets up the tension from episode to episode. By the last half hour of the last installment, I was watching with my jaw clenched waiting to find out what would happen. Based on a book by John Le Carré, it most definitely has the feel of an airport novel, but it’s very entertaining.

Documentary Now 

Cody previously endorsed this IFC mockumentary series from Fred Armisen and Bill Hader, which is now available for streaming on Netflix. The series is masterful in its parody treatment of various documentary styles, from found footage horror to Vice-style edginess to crime stories and others. Each episode is so well done, and the humor sometimes so subtle, that it’s sometimes easy to forget you’re watching something totally made up. It’s difficult to pick a favorite installment. This season is probably one of my favorite seasons of television I’ve watched in a long time, and so is…

Catastrophe – Season 2 

Also previously endorsed by Cody, the second season of this Amazon series (actually another British import) is maybe even better than the first one. Technically a romantic comedy, it’s one of the realest portrayals of relationships I’ve seen on TV. Whereas a typical romantic comedy would have its couple overcome their troubles with jokes and almost invariable schmaltz, Catastrophe proudly displays the flaws of its couple, even after they’ve committed to each other, and leaves you never quite certain whether their decision to stick together is turning out for the best. The season ends on a cliffhanger that makes my heart hurt. Season 3 can’t come soon enough.

Well, that’s what’s up with me. What are your thoughts on the new trailers for Star Trek, Ghostbusters, and Popstar? What movies or TV have you been enjoying? Share in the comments below. Maybe even Andy, Cody, or BK will share what they’re up to. Quite probably they aren’t even reading this, so I can freely say whatever I like about them. I’m not that mean, though. After all, they are the village that makes me look dope.

Oscar Predictions

It’s what everyone has been waiting for! It’s the Oscar predictions for each of the Trailer Home Podcast gang! And it’s in table formatting!

Be sure to listen to this week’s podcast to hear the arguments for our picks! They’re valid and logical! We promise!

Scoring Rules:
1 point for a correct prediction
-1 point for an incorrect prediction
0 points for cowardice/abstaining

Category Andy B.K. Cody Dustin
Original Screenplay Birdman Birdman Boyhood
Adapted Screenplay The Imitation Game Whiplash The Imitation Game
Visual Effects Interstellar Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Sound Mixing Whiplash Birdman
Sound Editing
Makeup and Hairstyling Foxcatcher The Grand Budapest Hotel The Grand Budapest Hotel
Original Song Glory Glory Glory
Original Score
Costume Design The Grand Budapest Hotel
Production Design The Grand Budapest Hotel The Grand Budapest Hotel The Grand Budapest Hotel
Cinematography Birdman Birdman Birdman Birdman
Foreign Language Ida Leviathan
Documentary Feature
Animated Feature Boxtrolls The Tale of Princess Kaguya Big Hero 6
Editing Boyhood Boyhood
Supporting Actress Patricia Arquette Patricia Arquette Patricia Arquette Patricia Arquette
Supporting Actor J.K. Simmons J.K. Simmons J.K. Simmons J.K. Simmons
Actress Rosamund Pike Reese Witherspoon
Actor Eddie Redmayne Bradley Cooper Michael Keaton
Director Alejandro Innaritu Richard Linklater Richard Linklater Richard Linklater
Best Picture Boyhood Birdman Boyhood Boyhood

‘The Walking Dead’ season 2 hits Netflix

If you still haven’t seen The Walking Dead, don’t worry–we won’t judge you! But seriously…you should be watching it, and now you have fewer excuses not to.

Season 2 of the hit AMC show has just been added to Netflix Instant. You can also watch the entire series on Amazon Instant Video. If you start watching now, you’ll have a good two weeks to catch up before Season 3 premieres on October 14.

And if you have seen the show and love it (and a lot of people have and do), you could get the Season 2 Limited Edition Blu-Ray release on Amazon–if you’re into the whole “zombie head with a screwdriver jammed into its eye on your entertainment center” thing.

Movies with girlfriends

Posted by: cody on August 22, 2012.

“So, do you want to see Farewell, My Queen sometime?”

This is what my girlfriend asked me this past weekend. Immediately I had no idea what she was asking me to do. Given the structure of her question, though, I surmised she was asking me to “see” a movie. Other possibilities running through my mind, given the title Farewell, My Queen, included a play, a musical, and an organized drag queen fight. The drag queen fight was eliminated quickly because I doubted my girlfriend had the chutzpah to go and watch an organized fight between drag queens and because I didn’t think an organized drag queen fight would use language so subtle in its title; sure, the title Farewell, My Queen included the word “queen,” but the sentiment the phrase evokes seemed too subtle and dark for an organized drag queen fight. Also after a few moments of thought I didn’t think organized drag queen fights existed, title card or not (link has video that is NSFW).

Plays and musicals were also eliminated from contention because a) Des Moines, Iowa, where we both live, does not offer many options for plays and musicals, making it uncomplicated to stay attune to what plays and musicals are available at any given time. I therefore knew that an option called Farewell, My Queen was not viable; and b) my girlfriend and I have never attended a musical or play together, so if she were to ask me to see a musical or play she would emphasize that what she was asking me to join her in attending was a musical or play.

Her question would thus have been something more in the vein of: “So, do you want to see the Farewell, My Queen MUSICAL (or PLAY) sometime?” Or she would have casually mentioned the musical or play days or weeks prior to asking me to officially “see” Farewell, My Queen. I would therefore have been prepped and appropriately prepared to accept the invite and heroically grind my way through a musical or play when the time for seeing a musical or play was upon us.

Despite having crudely deduced that she was asking me to see a movie called Farewell, My Queen I smoothly replied to her question, “What’s that?”

“It’s a movie with Joshua Jackson’s girlfriend. She was in Inglourious Basterds!” she replied.

Current day, non Pacey Witter Joshua Jackson

I thought, “Joshua Jackson’s girlfriend! And she was in a movie as outstanding as Inglourious Basterds! What?!” Those thoughts were immediately followed by, “Joshua Jackson is still pertinent to popular culture?!” Jackson’s most recognizable role as Dawson Leery’s friend, Pacey Witter, on Dawson’s Creek, ended almost 10 years ago. I knew he is also involved with Fringe, a TV show currently airing on Fox. I have not seen one episode of Fringe, but I was aware that he starred on that show nonetheless. Jackson was also in the first two Mighty Ducks movies, but that was years before his fame explosion came via trolling the Capeside, Mass., shoreline as a teenage heartthrob pining after Dawson’s soulmate, Joey Potter, on the aforementioned Dawson’s Creek. None of these roles seemed like they would keep the waters of Joshua Jackson’s pop culture importance high enough that they could entice anyone into seeing a movie in 2012 featuring his present day girlfriend.

“You know, Pacey Witter from Dawson’s Creek?” my girlfriend continued.

“Wow. That’s really good work for ol’ Pacey!” I retorted.

I was referring to the fact that my lowly opinion of Joshua Jackson’s post-Creek career did not equate to him being in a romantic relationship with anyone who could possibly be considered important by 2012 standards. I truly was impressed that he had a relationship with a woman who not only was in Inglourious Basterds, but that he was dating a woman who could also be identified by a casual fan as being in Inglourious Basterds. It would have been one thing if E! News host Giuliana Rancic had told me that Joshua Jackson is dating a woman who was in Inglourious Basterds, but the impact of this Joshua Jackson factoid was greatly amplified because it was stated by my girlfriend who, unlike Giuliana Rancic, is not gainfully employed to sickly obsess over celebrity gossip.

Picking up on my Basterds excitement and muting my enthusiasm in one fell swoop, my girlfriend said, “She was also in those National Treasure movies.”

A ha! The pieces started to fall into place with this bit of information! It made sense that someone who was a main player in the National Treasure movies would date someone who hit his career peak 14 years ago. There is nothing wrong with the National Treasure movies, other than they are oversimplified drivel designed to help Nic Cage pay off his debts. Again it just made sense that an actress in a movie made simply for a payday would date an actor who was most widely recognized for the role he played as a teenager. There’s also nothing wrong with an actor hitting his peak as a teenager, other than the idea that every role that comes afterward will fight the shadows of those booming teenage years.

I replied, “Oh that makes more sense, then.”

There she is! Josh’s girl! Diane Kruger! That’s who I’m talking about!

Who’s the actress in question, who was in Inglourious Basterds, National Treasure, and National Treasure: Book of Secrets?  It’s Diane Kruger! She’s German! And she plays Marie Antoinette in Farewell, My Queen.

Speaking of that movie, I accepted my girlfriend’s date proposal and we went to see Farewell, My Queen. It’s a French film about the first days of the French revolution focusing on Marie Antoinette and her personal servants. The movie is great and definitely worth watching, especially if you’re excited by modern European history. It’s also great if you’re very interested in cleavage, because the garment necklines in this movie are low, low, low–just like the prices at your local mattress shop’s weekend sale.

It’s difficult to see in this poster, but those necklines are dangerously low!

The film also features Lea Seydoux, who was also in Inglourious Basterds. That’s two Quentin Tarantino-approved actresses in one cleavage-filled foreign biopic! What a deal!

Fortunately I am into both modern European history and cleavage, so I really dug this movie. Diane Kruger is excellent as Marie Antoinette, too. She was so good, in fact, that on the drive home from the theater I mentioned to my girlfriend, “That Joshua Jackson has really done well for himself!”

“Yeah,” she replied. “That Pacey’s done a good job!”