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Because life is too short for bad trailers.

by Cameron Macleod

Photo illustration by Ryan Rathjen

Now that the sun is shining like a B-list celeb on the red carpet I can’t help but get excited about going to the movies indoors. There’s something about a hot day with clear blue skies that makes me want to catch a matinee. Not because I’m a vampire who hates the sun, or an emo goth who wants to sit in a dark room and write poetry. I crave that crisp cool air conditioning and the ultimate relaxation that comes with having to turn your phone off for two hours during the day, making all your responsibilities disappear momentarily. If you ever find yourself streaming something at home one afternoon with the blinds closed, I highly suggest turning your phone off and leaving it in another room for that true matinee experience. 

If you’re new to the party, this is a column wherein I share trailers for upcoming movies that I think might be worth seeing. Are the movies Oscar worthy? I can’t make any promises, because I haven’t seen them. This column is about TRAILERS.

Fire Island (Dramatic Comedy)

Comedians Joel Kim Booster, Bowen Yang, Margaret Cho and Matt Rogers headline this romantic comedy set in the Fire Island Pines. Inspired by Jane Austins Pride and Prejudice, this modern take looks like a hilarious party with just the right amount of dancing, grinding, awkward flirting, social commentary, and public barfing. But wait, you might catch a feeling too, as these characters deal with loneliness, classism, and a love interest who can’t even guess “Marissa Tomei” when a scene from My Cousin Vinnie is fully acted out for them. But don’t think things will get too cliché because as Joel Kim Booster says when asked by Matt Rogers if they are going to hug it out “Why don’t we just get a little fucked up and dance.”

Baz Luhrmann’s ELVIS (Drama)

Visionary director Baz Luhrmann takes on the tale of Elvis Presley; his origins, rise to fame, stardom, and eventual fall from grace (land) through the perspective of the relationship between Elvis and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. Tom Hanks, who plays Parker in the film, has put on an accent which, although it’s probably an exact replica of Elvis’s manager, proves to be extremely distracting in the trailer. But this is a Baz Luhrmann film so I’m sure choices made will be large and sweeping throughout the entire thing. Sure to be an iconic and visually stunning movie-going experience, the trailer lets us in on the story of one man’s gyrating and thrusting pelvis that spread illegal horniness across the country.

Cha Cha Real Smooth (Drama)

Winner of the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, Cha Cha Real Smooth is the story of Andrew, a college grad with no clear path, who ends up living back at home with his parents in New Jersey, while finding work as a party starter at his younger brother’s classmates Bar and Bat mitzvahs. So obviously not what a college graduate is hoping to get out of paying thousands of dollars for school. He soon finds himself falling for the mother of a quiet bar mitzvah guest, and gets entangled in her life. This one looks to have a lot of heart, a charming lead in writer, director Cooper Raif, and strong performances by Dakota Johnson, Brad Garrett and Leslie Mann. Why am I getting choked up? This is just a trailer.

The Black Phone (Horror)

If you’re looking for a creepy supernatural horror film The Black Phone looks like a good place to start. Ethan Hawke stars as a terrifying white masked child abductor who, you guessed it, has a van and uses balloons and magic to snatch up kids. The twist is, the ghosts of the kids that didn’t survive their encounters with Ethan Hawke’s character in the past, now haunt the basement that Finny, the newest victim, is trapped inside. But these ghosts, although gross and gruesome, seem very helpful. As Finny’s sister tries to make sense of her dreams in her search for her brother, Ethan Hawke goes through a series of creepy mask changes while trying to keep him imprisoned. The question is will these helpful, but scary, pre teen ghosts be able to guide Finny to freedom? Not if Ethan Hawke and his many masks have anything to do with it. 

LOOT (Comedy) 

Emmy award winner and the queen B of comedy, Maya Rudolph, stars as Molly Novak, a recently divorced billionaire, in this very funny story of self discovery and redemption. When she receives an 87 billion dollar settlement from her piece-of-shit ex husband, played by Adam Scott, she must decide what to do with it. Cue her reintroduction to her charitable foundation that she has not been involved with for far too long, and the cast of characters that will help her find herself along the way. Although not all of them are happy to have a rich, out of touch, narcissist among them to begin with. Michaela Jaé Rodriguez , Ron Funches, Nat Faxon and Joel Kim Booster are her guides as she navigates her way to a new, more fulfilling life and better version of herself.

JAZZ FEST: A NEW ORLEANS STORY (Musical Documentary)

Okay, so after watching this trailer I feel like I have never truly experienced seeing live music, have never experienced eating food, and have never been submerged in any kind of culture. Obviously I HAVE done those things, but JAZZ FEST in New Orleans looks like a once in a lifetime experience. The passion that every person in this trailer speaks with sells it for me one hundred percent. I need to go. This documentary focused around the 50th anniversary of the iconic festival dives deep into its history while weaving in live performances and archival footage that showcase the glory and culture of the BIG EASY.

Read our review of Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story

Man Vs Bee (Comedy)

Master of physical comedy Rowan Atkinson, best known for his role as Mr. Bean, is back in this ridiculous comedy series. He stars as a luxury house sitter who is tortured by the presence of a single bee that he must, for whatever reason, rid himself of. Whether it’s shewing it out a window, crushing it with a hammer or torching it with a flame thrower this comedic powerhouse tries everything and none of it works. What we get is Rowan Atkinson being put in the best possible situation to be Rowan Atkinson. Pratfalls, flailing limbs, and self induced bone fractures are made all the better coming from an underdog character you can’t help but love and feel sorry for. 

The Blair Witch Project (1999) – Horror

Since it’s coming up on camping season I thought it would be a good idea to share the trailer for one of the scariest movies to ever take place in the woods. The original Blair Witch Project came out in 1999 before the internet was in homes and it was promoted as a found footage feature film. Its documentary style was like nothing horror audiences had ever seen and the fact that the director had the cast go into hiding during the initial theatre run only made the urban legend of it being real that much more believable. It was a genius marketing ploy and made it very easy to let oneself live in that suspended disbelief. It still holds up and has one of the all-time creepiest endings of any horror movie that left the whole theatre sitting in an extended silence, even after the house lights came up. So watch it…and then go camping. 

Happy Trails to you…until we meet again.

Cameron Macleod is a writer and comedian living in Vancouver, BC