I was excited to watch Uncut Gems the other week for a couple of reasons — for one, there’s been a ton of buzz; but also, it’s one of the only movies I’ve seen in recent years that I haven’t watched the trailer for ahead of time (I happened to be on vacation when it came out, so I didn’t write this weekly column). It was nice getting to go in completely surprised.
The movie does a great job of what it sets out to do — being constantly chaotic and stressful. But I didn’t particularly care for it the way others have. It’s a lot of the same thing: one character making obviously bad and indulgent mistakes, which continually come back to bite him. We know every time what’s going to happen.
What really made it hard for me to get on board with is just how little the movie gives you to connect with. Adam Sandler’s character has no redeeming traits, and it’s not clear why he acts so compulsively bad or what he truly wants to achieve from his constant quest for wealth. It’s just two hours of a bad dude being a bad dude — what’s any of it matter? There’s a comment on materialism in here somewhere, but the film barely bothers to make it.
BIRDS OF PREY
Here’s the trailer for the one and only thing that truly matters in DC film: Margot Robbie playing Harley Quinn. At a bare minimum, Robbie ought to make this an entertaining watch, and DC really could have just left it at that. So I’m surprised at how across the board fun this trailer makes Birds of Prey look. Maybe DC can actually pull this one together? It comes out February 7th.
LOCKE & KEY
Locke & Key’s journey to TV has been infamous. The comic has repeatedly been picked up as an adaptation only to be dropped before making it to series, so I was stunned to see that Netflix had a trailer this week — I just assumed that somewhere along the line, things would fall apart again. The show is nearly here, and it looks like a fun teen adventure. The series comes out February 7th.
THE NEW MUTANTS
This is a fun one. Not the movie, exactly — the story behind it. The first teaser for The New Mutants came out in 2017, with a release planned for early 2018. It was then repeatedly delayed, at one point with extensive reshoots supposedly planned, and the whole film’s future seemed to be up in the air once Disney finished acquiring Fox. Apparently, Disney has seen fit to just go ahead and release the thing. The total lack of confidence from Fox seems like a bad sign, but the movie seems like it’s doing a perfectly fine job of what it’s setting out to do: be an X-Men themed horror movie. It comes out April 3rd.
Here’s a sci-fi series worth paying attention to: Devs comes from Ex Machina director Alex Garland, and it really, really looks like a Garland sci-fi — filled with glowing lights and clean yet brutal shots of nature. I don’t really know what’s happening in the show, but Nick Offerman is there with long hair and seems to be kind of creepy. It debuts March 5th on FX’s Hulu channel.
FX is making a show about why America still doesn’t have the Equal Rights Amendment. Mrs. America is packed with stars, with Cate Blanchett in the lead, though I’m a little unsure as to how it’s going to build out the show in a way that’s not perpetually frustrating given that its villain seems to be at the center of it all. The series will premiere April 15th on FX’s Hulu channel.
Look, I didn’t start this week expecting to write about a cow movie, but here we are. First Cow comes from Kelly Reichardt, who is one of my absolute favorite directors. It’s about two people in 1800s Oregon who begin stealing milk from a rich guy’s cow and using it to cook food and earn a living. It’s one of the, perhaps, all time most boring trailers I have ever written up, but I am going to see this on day one. It comes out March 6th.
I haven’t heard as much buzz about Fargo since its first season came out, but this one has a big draw: Chris Rock, who stars as the head of a crime family in 1950 Kansas City. The season debuts April 19th.