I finally caught the first Deadpool earlier this week on a plane back from Florida. I was worried they’d end up censoring a bunch of the movie, but it seems like most of the film made it through, with just a couple of blurred butts.
I’ve realized more and more lately that I think self-aware action films, which are able to play off the genre’s conventions, are often way more more fun and interesting than serious ones. Deadpool reminded me a lot of the two Kingsman films; they’re far from all-out comedies, but they know where to wink and nod in ways that move the story along and turn otherwise tired archetypes into entertaining roles.
To a degree, that’s something Marvel has tapped into well, too. Its films are serious, but they’re never too serious. And many of them, like the latest Thor, are as concerned with having fun as they are with letting the hero take down another villain. In the end, that often works out, because it’s easier to connect with the characters and root for them to succeed.
Check out nine trailers from this week below.
Cut Throat City
RZA directs this heist film about four friends in New Orleans who find themselves abandoned after Hurricane Katrina. It looks like a smart twist on the genre that embeds its action inside a much bigger and more interesting story. It comes out some time next year.
Alita: Battle Angel
This continues to be my least favorite film to look at, with its latest trailer showing even more of its saccharine, dreamy world filled with loads of uncanny-valley CGI. Maybe it’ll end up having some super cool action, but I find the style so weird that I struggle to pay attention. It comes out December 21st.
In a lot of ways, Slender Man looks just like a typical horror film. But I’m also fascinated by what it could potentially bring to the table thanks to its origin as a creepypasta tale. The film’s delay and low-key marketing make me think it might not live up to its potential, though. It comes out August 10th.
Mid90s is the first film written and directed by Jonah Hill, and it is not at all what I expected. It’s an awkward, difficult movie about the weirdness of adolescence and figuring yourself out that looks like it was shot on 16mm — like seriously, instead of making the big, stupid comedy Hill could have easily gotten huge actors to be in, he decided to make a movie that would fit right in at Sundance two decades ago. And I’m super into it. It also looks like it’ll make a nice companion piece to the excellent Skate Kitchen. It comes out October 19th.
The Night is Short, Walk On Girl
One of anime director Masaaki Yuasa’s latest films is coming to the US, and it looks like it could be a lot of fun. The film very much seems to follow the tropes of a quirky rom com, but it infuses that narrative with some hugely colorful characters — not to mention some colorful and ever-changing art. It comes out on August 21st.
I Think We’re Alone Now
Here’s a first, very mysterious teaser for I Think We’re Alone Now, a film that has Peter Dinklage starring as someone who’s supposedly one of the last people on Earth — until another person (played by Elle Fanning) shows up. The film was directed by Reed Morano, who became the first woman in 22 years to win an Emmy for directing a drama for the first three episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale last year. It comes out September 21st.
Sean Penn is the star of a new series headed to Hulu that imagines the experience of the first astronauts headed to Mars. The show comes from House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, but it certainly looks a lot more hopeful about humanity than his last show. The series starts September 14th.
A new documentary traces the life and career of Joan Jett, honing in on the struggles that come with being one of the few female rockstars of the ’70s and ’80s. The film comes from longtime music video director Kevin Kerslake, who’s previously worked with Jett, and speaks with Jett herself for all the gritty details. It comes out September 28th.
The Happy Prince
Sony is putting out a biopic about the final years of Oscar Wilde’s life that focuses on his fight to have others accept his sexual orientation and the aftermath of his imprisonment for being gay. Rupert Everett writes, stars, and directs what looks like a dreamy exploration of the famous writer. It comes out in the US on October 5th.