This week, as far as trailers go, the main thing is that Benedict Cumberbatch IS Mr. Wikileak. Everything else is just gravy. (I recognize that referring to a movie called 12 years a Slave as “gravy” might be considered untoward, but you guys do not know how difficult these trailer round-up introductions can be to write from one week to the next. And I recognize that invoking the existential horror of slavery in the same sentence that one complains about the “difficulty” of blogging only compounds the offense. But so let’s just get on with it, please, yes? There are movie trailers to watch! It’s important!)
The Fifth Estate
Ha ha. LADIIIIIIIIIES?! This movie looks dumb. This movie looks like what I thought The Social Network would look like. A slapped together rush job that makes a two year old news story the ramifications of which are still yet to be understood or determined into the defining tale of a generation. Yeah right. I’m sure Benny is good in it, but that doesn’t change the fact that this might as well air on Lifetime (no offense to Lifetime).
12 Years a Slave
This looks “good,” but also, like, how many movies about slavery do we need? I know that I am encroaching on touchy subject matter here, so let me make things really clear: I am not suggesting that slavery as an issue is over or “complete.” But I think that dramatic movies with movie stars about slavery borders on the fetishistic, and I have written before about how I think that they offer white viewers in particular a sort of catharsis as in “that sure was bad, aren’t us white people so awesome now in comparison” and also the tendency of having white heroes in movies about slavery as if that is the most important thing to take away from the whole thing, that even in the midst of one of their most horrific chapters, white people still managed to be cool. The director of this movie, Steve McQueen, is black, so what do I even know and who am I even to say. It’s just something I felt while watching this trailer. (For the record: I’m also pretty exhausted by Holocaust movies.)
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
I would have put Idris Elba as Nelson Mandela in the same category of importance as Benedict Cumberbatch as Mssr. Wikileaks except that we don’t actually get to see him in this trailer, which is the exciting part. And while it is true that I generally dislike biopics with a true passion, lord knows if Idris Elba can get out of Pacific Rim unscathed, he will be very good in this movie indeed.