Coming Attractions Trailer Night: Summer 2016
Jason Bourne Trailer Brings Thrills and Chills to a Hot Summer of Movies!
By Cheryl L. Dixon, DC Film Society Member
Jason Bourne was selected as the best overall Film Trailer of the over 30 trailers in six categories shown at “Coming Attractions Trailer Night’s” Summer Edition program on June 1, 2016. Trailers covered mostly soon-to-be-released summer movies, including the blockbusters, sequels, remakes, and indie faves. A cozy group of enthusiastic filmlovers cast their votes, both informally (applause) and formally (ballot), at Landmark’s E Street Cinema. Film Critics and Hosts Tim Gordon and Travis Hopson led the always-spirited discussion on the trailers and gave the audience the full buzz on the effectiveness of the trailers themselves and a peek at the movies they represent.
The categories, the winners of each category, and general commentary follow. Whether by applause vote or official ballot, attendees are never shy about expressing their opinions. And they know that their vote counts. Audience feedback is handed over to the Studios and just might impact the course of future trailers and how they are used to more effectively market the films they represent. By now, many of the films associated with the trailers have been released, but remember that attendees at this event saw the trailers first! If you liked what you saw in the trailers, go see the movies! And if you missed the trailers, but like what you’re reading here, go see the movies!!
Here’s a summary of the winning films in each of the six categories and further discussion:
For the Kids
Lego Batman - WINNER!
Ice Age: Collision Course
It was Travis’ debut with our trailer program and he reminded the audience that he once sat in the audience as a program attendee when Joe Barber and Bill Henry were co-hosts. Tim and Travis assured new attendees that at the end of the day they would be feeling very sated and full of swag. Tim began with general commentary about some of the movies based on these trailers that he had already seen. He asked whether anyone was excited about movies that they had already seen like Captain America and what movies were on the must-see list. Travis said that he was hyped about Suicide Squad and Jason Bourne. Tim confessed that he was cautiously optimistic and declared that the trailers are there to make us excited for the movies. Both thought that there even might be an early Oscar contender hidden amidst these trailers. We think that Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins might be worthy of yet another nomination.
The Lego Batman Movie handily won in this category for this animated feature on Batman inspired by his appearance, no doubt, in The Lego Movie. Ralph Fiennes, Rosario Dawson, and Michael Cera provide the voices.
Commentary: As the category clearly states, these trailers are for the kids or for the kid within the adult, a.k.a. the “inner child.” It’s been 13 years since Finding Nemo, but now Disney/Pixar brings us Finding Dory about the adorable blue fish with short-term memory loss trying to find her parents. Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks are amongst the voice actors. Director Steven Spielberg gives us BFG set in the land of giants in a mostly-animated adventure feature about the friendship between a little girl named Sophie and her Big Friendly Giant. This is based on a children’s book by Roald Dahl. Great expectations for anything Spielberg touches, but Travis says this one got mediocre buzz. Ice Age returns with its latest installment with the greatest chillogy of all time, it’s the end of the ice age and the beginning of a new age when a series of unforeseen events are triggered by one character’s pursuit of an acorn. Disney’s Pete’s Dragon’s got Robert Redford and Bryce Dallas Howard in a story featuring a boy surviving in the forest for six years through the guidance and protection of a dragon. Tim and Travis responded to an audience query about the original version, which they affirmed was a lighthearted musical; this version is much darker.
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad - WINNER!
Independence Day: Resurgence
Suicide Squad. I confess I didn’t get it, but that doesn’t matter. The people voted this trailer as the best of this category. DC Comics crew’s got Viola Davis in charge, and a stellar cast including Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and Jared Leto, all as “bad people, who will do some good.” Our co-hosts aptly described characters in the trailer as “the best of the best playing the worst of the worst.”
Commentary: There’s plenty to satisfy the sci-fi fan in Star Trek Beyond. Kirk, Spock, Uhura, et al. as in Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Zoe Saldana, et al. return as part of the Enterprise crew of the younger generation of beloved sci-fi characters, who get a third outing in this youthful franchise. Directed this time by Justin Lin, J.J. Abrams now is the Producer. Watch for spectacular special effects enhanced in 3-D, and a chilling villainess: “Fear of death is what keeps us alive.” R.I.P. Anton Yelchin. More action, adventure, and excitement in Warcraft, looking a lot like characters in The Lord of the Rings. Lots of fighting as war is coming and the need to unite against the enemy. Paula Patton and Dominic Cooper are included amongst the cast. Who ya gonna call? The all-female team (Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, and Leslie Jones) of Ghostbusters will answer. Watch for almost all of the cast from the original movie of 30 years ago to mysteriously appear. Speaking of remakes, which Tim and Travis assert are here to stay, entertaining new generations with the successful formula, there’s Disaster-Meister Director Roland Emmerich’s “Independence Day: Resurgence,” 20 years later with a reappearance from several characters from the original film, including Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, and Jeff Goldblum, but Will Smith is not seen in the trailer! Audience comments included the fact that the movie could only afford to have his photo in it! Special effects to the max… Liam Hemsworth joins the crew kickin’ alien butt! Watch out for the landmarks!
Fancy a Laugh?
Sausage Party - WINNER!
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
Sausage Party. Food, glorious food! A clever animated feature giving food a voice. The movie answers the question of what really happens when the sausage leaves the supermarket. Kristen Wiig, James Franco, and Salma Hayek are amongst the voice credits. This one got wild applause and laughter. Expect naughty jokes: A hero will rise!
Commentary: War Dogs, about the incredibly true story of two men, played by Miles Teller and Jonah Hill, who get a multi-million dollar contract to be gunrunners in Afghanistan. It’s a dramedy…. Watch as they drive through the triangle of death and live to tell the tale! Kristen Bell Jada Pinkett Smith, Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, and Christina Applegate play moms, most of whom decide to stop trying so hard to be perfect in the comedy Bad Moms. It’s time to party! Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates looks a lot like Wedding Crashers. Two wild and crazy guys, who need wedding dates, post an online ad and get more than they can handle from the two women they select. Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Aubrey Plaza, and Anna Kendrick are cast. Kevin Hart and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson team in Central Intelligence. Hart and Johnson portray two high school buddies, the coolest guy and the biggest nerd, who reunite years later and work on a top-secret mission. Lots of chuckles. How can you lose with a comedy with such innuendoes like having a movie with a “little” Hart and “big” Johnson?
Florence Foster Jenkins
Southside with You - WINNER!
Aw shucks! Southside with You is the sweetest date movie ever! It’s about the first date of future POTUS Barack Obama and future FLOTUS Michelle Obama. Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter assume these huge roles. A Sundance Film selection, the trailer says, the movie is executive-produced by John Legend.
Commentary: Michael Keaton stars as the founder of McDonald’s, Ray Kroc, in what else?: The Founder. Learn about everything you ever wanted to about those famous golden arches. Meryl Streep stars in Florence Foster Jenkins, the incredibly true story of a society woman, who couldn’t sing, but somehow manages to perform Opera at Carnegie Hall. “Every voice deserves to be heard” is the tagline. A period film and a lesson in courage. Alicia Vikander, Judi Dench, and Christoph Waltz star in Tulip Fever, a tale based on a novel about an artist falling in love with his married subject and a costume-drama, period piece set in Amsterdam. “Deception can be murder” is the tagline. Café Society is a Woody Allen film about Hollywood in its 1930s heyday and the nightclub scene in NYC where Café Society was an actual nightclub. Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, and Blake Lively round out the cast.
TMNT: Out of the Shadows
Jason Bourne - WINNER! BEST TRAILER OVERALL!
Free State of Jones
Hands of Stone
Matt Damon is back in Jason Bourne. This time he remembers who he is. Plenty of the usual action, adventure, car chase, and fighting scenes, plus a stellar cast joins Damon: Alicia Vikander, Tommy Lee Jones, Julia Stiles, and Vincent Cassel. Wildly applauded!
Commentary: The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back at their warrior best fighting a new nemesis in TMNT: Out of the Shadows. Cowabunga, dude! Megan Fox, Will Arnett, and Tyler Perry are amongst the cast. The real question is how much better can they improve upon the chariot race in Ben-Hur as Jack Huston assumes the title role in the story of wrongly enslaved Jewish nobleman seeking vengeance against his friend, who betrayed him? Show it in 3-D? Charlton Heston starred in the Oscar-winning best picture version of this movie in 1959 and maybe its critics pondered the same question vis-à-vis the chariot race depicted in the 1925 movie version featuring Ramon Novarro. Talk about remakes! Free State of Jones, is based on a true story of a Civil War Confederate soldier turned deserter, who becomes an outlaw. Matthew McConaughey portrays the rebellious soldier/leader and Gugu Mbatha-Raw is his love interest. Another boxing movie, Hands of Stone, features the Roberto Duran story. Edgar Ramirez, Usher Raymond, Robert De Niro and Ellen Barkin star.
Summer Sleepers or Summer Flops
The Legend of Tarzan
Our Kind of Traitor - WINNER!
The Conjuring 2
Swiss Army Man
Our Kind of Traitor features a top notch cast: Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris, Stellan Skarsgard, and Damian Lewis all in an action adventure, Russian organized crime and British Secret Service story.
Commentary: Viggo Mortensen, Kathryn Hahn, and Frank Langella are in Captain Fantastic in what looks like a commune family forced to deal with the real world. Alexander Skarsgard, Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, Djimon Hounsou, and the hardest working man in show business Samuel L. Jackson star in yet another version of Tarzan in The Legend of Tarzan. You know the story…. Investigators of the paranormal Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) get their second outing in the horror movie, The Conjuring 2, watch out for ghosts, frightening nuns, and other things that go bump in the night. The trailer very effectively captured the scary movie to chilling effect. It’s a case of demonic possession in London right from their files. In Swiss Army Man, Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe are in an imaginative friendship tale between two men stranded in the wilderness. The trouble is one’s dead. Strange. Tim and Travis say that folks are divided about the movie. Either they love it or they hate it.
Of course, the evening would be incomplete without the bonus trailers. We saw, Doctor Strange, another installment in the Marvel superhero franchise featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, and Tilda Swinton. Cumberbatch plays an enlightened surgeon influenced by the Ancient One. The trailer features one of the most mind-bending skylines since Inception. This is HUGE: J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. See Colin Farrell and Eddie Redmayne with witches and wizards in NYC, circa 1920s. This is also HUGE: Lucasfilm Ltd.’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It’s about hope and rebellion. The trailer features Felicity Jones and Forest Whitaker. Action, adventure, excitement…. These trailers weren’t included in the audience voting….
And so, our very sated movie-going audience enjoyed a full evening of trailer film surprises and promotional giveaways and prizes just for showing up. Plus there were raffle prizes. Always nice to add a free DVD to one’s collection, and there were lots of t-shirts, books, movie posters and other assorted movie memorabilia to please any discerning movie fan. See you at our next trailer program, and at the movies!
Thanks to all of the DC Film Society Directors, Coordinating Committee Members, and Volunteers for putting together this twice-annual educational program. And thanks to our uber co-hosts,Tim Gordon and Travis Hopson, for providing their commentary, sharing their opinions and tolerating ours, Allied THA, Landmark Theatres, DC Shorts, Women in Film & Video, and Filmfest DC.
Calendar of Events
American Film Institute Silver Theater
"John Williams: AFI Life Achievement Award" (July 8-September 11) is a series of films featuring scores composed by John Williams. Titles in July are Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind in a director's cut, How to Steal a Million, The Killers (1964), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Fiddler on the Roof, The Long Goodbye, The Reivers, Valley of the Dolls, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, The Cowboys and Black Sunday. More in August and September.
"Keepin' It Real: 90's Cinema Now" (July 15-September 13) features films from the 1990s. Titles in July include Boyz in the Hood, New Jack City, Bottle Rocket, Trainspotting, Fargo, Basquiat, I Shot Andy Warhol, What About Bob?, Bound and From Dusk Till Dawn. More in August and September.
"Wim Wenders: Portraits Along the Road" (July 11-September 14) starts off with The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, Alice in the Cities and Kings of the Road. More in August and September.
"Ken Adam Remembered" (July 9-September 14) is a tribute to the production designer who died recently at the age of 95. Titles in July are Dr. No, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution, Diamonds are Forever, Around the World in Eighty Days and The Spy Who Loved Me. More in August and September.
"Glorious Technicolor" (July 9-September 14) presents Technicolor films from the silent era through the 1960s. Titles in July are The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Ivanhoe (1952), Becky Sharp followed by The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936) introduced by David Pierce, co-author of "The Dawn of Technicolor," The Red Shoes, Anne of the Indies, Black Narcissus, Singin' in the Rain, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, An American in Paris, The Garden of Allah, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Follow Thru with an introduction by David Pierce, co-author of the book "The Dawn of Technicolor." More in August and September.
The UCLA Festival of Preservation showcases newly restored classics. Films in July are Bachelor's Affairs, The Long Voyage Home, Men in War and My Best Girl (1927) with music accompaniment by Michael Britt.
"Olivia de Havilland Centennial" celebrates Olivia De Havilland's 100th birthday this month. Films are To Each His Own, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Hold Back the Dawn and The Snake Pit. One more in August.
"John Carpenter Classics" is shown in conjunction with John Carpenter's appearance at the Lincoln Theater this month. Films are Big Trouble in Little China, Assault on Precinct 13 (1976), Escape from New York and Escape from LA.
Other events during July at the AFI include Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) presented by Count Gore de Vol, and the 30th anniversary of Aliens.
"Dalton Trumbo: Radical Writer" (April 29-July 7) concludes in July with Terror in a Texas Town and Exodus (1960).
"Gregory Peck Centennial" (April 30-July 3) ends in July with Arabesque (1966), Mirage (1965) and The Omen (1976).
This year marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death and the AFI, along with the Freer, National Gallery of Art and the Folger Shakespeare Library are taking part. The AFI presents "Shakespeare Cinema, Part III" (May 8-July 7). Just two more films complete this series: Much Ado About Nothing (2012) and Romeo and Juliet (1996).
"Wagner on Screen" (May 20-July 6) presents a series of films that incorporate Richard Wagner's music in memorable ways. This series ends in July with The New World (2005) shown in an extended cut and Birth.
Freer Gallery of Art
The Freer is closed for renovations. Films will be shown at varying locations.
The 21st "Made in Hong Kong" film series begins with a salute to actress Kara Wai. On July 15 at 7:00pm is Happiness (Andy Lo, 2016 with actress Kara Wai and actor Carlos Chan appearing in person; on July 17 at 2:00pm is My Young Auntie (Lau Kar-Leung, 1981) with Kara Wai present. On July 23 at 2:00pm is a 3-D screening of The Mermaid (Stephen Chow, 2016); on July 24 at 2:00pm is Ten Years (Ng La-Leung and others, 2015); on July 30 at 2:00pm is Office (Johnnie To, 2015) in 3-D; and on July 31 at 2:00pm is Ip Man 3 (Wilson Yip, 2015). All are shown at the Warner Brothers Theater in the National Museum of American History. More in August.
National Gallery of Art
"Recovered Treasure: UCLA Festival of Preservation" presents a selection of restored cinema. On July 2 at 2:00pm is The Big Broadcast (Frank Tuttle, 1932) preceded by Me and the Boys (Victor Saville, 1929); on July 2 at 4:00pm is Her Sister's Secret (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1946); on July 3 at 4:00pm is Spring Night, Summer Night (J.L. Anderson, 1967); on July 9 at 2:30pm is The First Legion (Douglas Sirk, 1951); and on July 10 at 4:00pm is White Zombie (Victor Helperin, 1932) followed by The Crime of Dr. Crespi (John H. Auer, 1935). More at the AFI.
"The Grandest Spaces: Picturing Museums" includes recent films on museums in London, Vienna, Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam, and Saint Petersburg. On July 16 at 1:00pm is Hieronymus Bosch-Touched by the Devil (Pieter van Huystee, 2015); on July 16 at 3:00pm is The Mystery of Creation (Stefan Haupt, 2012); on July 23 at 2:00pm is National Gallery (Frederick Wiseman, 2014); and on July 30 at 1:00pm is The New Rijksmuseum (Oeke Hoogendijk, 2013). More in August.
Special events in July include The Academy of Muses (Jose Luis Guerin, 2015) preceded by Le Saphir de Saint-Louis (Jose Luis Guerin, 2015) on July 17 at 4:00pm. Filmmakers Coerte and John Voorhees will appear with their film The First Line (2015) on July 24 at 4:00pm. A Cine-Concert People on Sunday (1929) with Matthew Nolan and Rachel Grimes in performance.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
On July 11 at 7:00pm is The Congress (2013) starring Robin Wright.
National Museum of the American Indian
On July 2 at 2:00pm is the documentary Kuma Hina (Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson, 2014). Director Dean Hamer and the film's subject will be present for Q&A.
Museum of American History
Films in the "Made in Hong Kong" series are shown here. See the Freer.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
On July 16 at 3:00pm is Frida (Julie Taymor, 2002) and on July 30 at 3:00pm is Exit Through the Gift Shop (Banksy, 2010).
Washington Jewish Community Center
On July 12 at 7:30pm is Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You (Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, 2015), a documentary about the television producer. On July 19 at 7:30pm is Indignation (James Schamus, 2016) followed by a Q&A with the director James Schamus and lead actor Logan Lerman.
National Air and Space Museum
On July 1, the National Air and Space Museum will stay open all night to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its flagship building in Washington, DC. Films to be shown are A Trip to the Moon (Georges Melies, 1902) at 9:30pm; Destination Moon at 10:00pm; Galaxy Quest at midnight; 2001: A Space Odyssey; Hugo (Martin Scorsese) at 5:15am and Top Gun at 5:15am. Commentary and introductions are provided for the films.
The Japan Information and Culture Center
On July 20 at 6:30pm is My Little Sweet Pea (Keisuke Yoshida, 2013).
The Textile Museum at GWU
On July 28 at noon is the documentary Threads (Carol Sauvion, 2012), part of the PBS Craft in America series.
On July 6 at 8:00pm is The Family Fang (Jason Bateman, 2015), as part of the "Programmer's Choice" program.
On July 13 at 8:00pm is The American Side (Jenna Ricker, 2016), as part of the "Films in Focus" series.
On July 20 at 8:00pm is Paris, Love, Cut (Arnaud Viard, 2015) shown as the "French Cinematheque" film for June.
The "Reel Israel" film for June is TBA.
Italian Cultural Institute
On July 14 at 7:00pm is Io, Arlecchino (Matteo Bini and Giorgio Pasotti, 2015).
Library of Congress
The Mary Pickford Theater at the Library of Congress will start a new series of films showcasing the Library's collection and including newly preserved films. On July 21 at 7:00pm is Whirlpool (Otto Preminger, 1950), a psychological film noir with Gene Tierney and Jose Ferrer.
Anacostia Community Museum
On July 1 at 11:00am is Wattstax (1973), a documentary about a music festival in California. On July 15 at 2:00pm is The Iconic Photography of Rowland Scherman (2012), an award-winning documentary about the work of the former LIFE magazine photographer. On July 17 at 2:00pm is Wall Writers (2014), a documentary about graffiti writers. On July 27 at 11:00am is Soundtrack for a Revolution (2009), a documentary about music of the civil rights movement.
On July 9 at 8:30pm is Raiders of the Lost Ark with the National Symphony Orchestra performing John Williams' music live. On July 30 at 8:30pm is Startrek Into Darkness with Michael Giacchino’s score performed live by the National Symphony Orchestra.
The Fifth Annual Jane Austen Film Festival includes Emma (1966) on July 13 and Pride and Prejudice (2005) on July 27. Films are shown outdoors at sundown, around 8:30pm.
Reel Affirmations XTra
On July 22 at 7:00pm is Summertime (Catherine Corsini, 2015), a French film set in the 1970s.
Busboys and Poets
On July 12 at 6:00pm is City of Trees, at the Takoma location.