Trailer Talk #1

Image: Warner Bros.

Each week Reel Time takes a look through the latest eye-catching trailers, from the exciting to the bewildering, the terrifying to the concerning.

There is only one place to start (no, not Cats): Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. Marty is undoubtedly one of the masters of American cinema and has produced more masterpieces in his career than most can even dream of. In the first teaser trailer for his new film, produced by Netflix, we see Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. Watching it feels like being bunked off and going to wise-guy heaven. In all honesty the trailer did not have to do anything special to excite the film world. As it is, the trailer plays a bit like a Scorsese showreel, with all the familiar accents and characters. Not a lot stands out as exceptionally thrilling in the trailer itself, but the mere fact this film exists is enough to bring in audiences. The emphasis it seems to put on its three gangster legends is noticeable, however. An all-star cast that includes Anna Paquin, Jesse Plemons, Harvey Keitel and Stephen Graham barely features at all in the trailer, with Netflix clearly pinning the film’s box-office hopes on its three main stars.

De Niro features again in probably the most exciting trailer of recent weeks, but Joker very much seems to be the Jaoquin Phoenix show. Telling the story of possibly the world’s most famous villain in a way that brings to mind Scorsese classics Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy, Todd Phillips’ film appears to be a dark character drama, with little-to-no superhero action. Even in a two-and-a-half-minute trailer Phoenix appears to be giving a tour-de-force performance; from tears to manic laughter, expect Gotham’s big bad to play with your emotions.

Speaking of playing with your emotions: Cats! There is very little to say that has not already been said about the seemingly very-misjudged animation style and various bizarre decisions on show in the trailer for Tom Hooper’s musical adaptation. That said, I remain optimistic and hope that Cats turns out to be batshit-crazy in the best, most entertaining way.

Rounding out the first batch of Trailer Talk dicussions are The Lighthouse, Zombieland: Double Tap and Top Gun: Maverick. The first looks thrillingly demented, with its sole focus on Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson suggesting some big performances. Ruben Fleischer’s Zombieland sequel looks like it has plenty of charm and an incredibly appealing cast again, whilst its fellow sequel has Tom Cruise seemingly actually flying the damn plane. Despite that impressive feat being no guarantee of a good film, the trailer as a whole suggests some spectacular action blockbusting will occur.

Andrew Young