Trailer Reviews: Aladdin, Aquaman, and House of Cards

1. Aladdin:

Most people remember Aladdin as a fun Disney movie for kids, starring the fun and eccentric Robin Williams. However, this trailer opens with ominous music and an empty desert. It doesn’t set up an exciting kids’ movie, but an adventurous epic. The trailer continues with a foreboding tone with a deep and intimidating voice warning someone (presumably Aladdin) about the dangers of a menacing-looking cave. While the original Aladdin did have intense moments, this upcoming live-action version appears to embrace a darker version of Aladdin than the original upbeat and enchanting version. Will Smith is not present as the Genie in the trailer, so we won’t know if he’ll recapture the playfulness of Robin Williams. Based on the trailer, Smith might take on a more serious approach. However, Disney may have disliked his performance and wisely excised him from the trailer. This is pure conjecture, so perhaps this upcoming version of Aladdin will be even more light-hearted with an absurd Genie recaptured by Will Smith.

(Photo via Movieweb)

2. Aquaman:

DC’s cinematic track record is comparable to a JV football team’s if they had to play against the NFL. The NFL in this analogy would be the MCU, especially with their massive and record-breaking success with Infinity War and Black Panther. Despite the negative prognosis for the DC Extended Universe (or DCEU), fans are optimistic for subsequent releases, hoping that one may perhaps reach or surpass The Dark Knight and compete with the MCU (Wonder Woman came close, but Justice League destroyed any faith). A recently released five-minute trailer of Aquaman may provide some with hopes, but I can’t help but be even more cynical about this film.

Aquaman has similar vibes as Batman v Superman, and anyone who saw that movie knows that red flags should be going off. The trailer reveres the titular character, Aquaman, as a God who transcends upon the unworthy plebeians that are the human race. Cheesy jokes ensue (though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t at least chuckle), but these are probably the funniest lines Aquaman has to offer. The movie appears to have some kind of elaborate and massive conflict within a kingdom, derivative of MCU movies like Thor and Black Panther. The CGI spectacles, which are often the highlight of comic book movies, look laughably unimpressive, particularly with the sea creatures as if they were rendered on the same program used for Shark Tale, though the visuals and aesthetics of the kingdom look impressive overall. The action sequences are fun but not particularly memorable or impressive.

One of the biggest issues with this trailer, and the DCEU, in general, is how generic it is. They attempt to recreate the MCU with its characters while having an unpronounced and muddled style that dabbles with comic book silliness and gritty realism. Aquaman does go for the more comic book fun and consistent style but fails to be elevated from its other insipid comic book movie counterparts. It’s unfair to base a movie off a two-minute trailer, but this trailer is five minutes, so we see considerably more of what the movie is like. There was no excitement throughout the five-minute trailer, and I don’t think I can bear to sit through 120 minutes of this movie. I wouldn’t hold my breath for the DCEU to improve with Aquaman.


3. House of Cards:

Many people wondered how House of Cards would have its final season after their dismissal of Kevin Spacey, who has been ostracized for his allegations of sexual harassment. Conveniently for the writers, the previous season ended with Spacey’s character, Frank Underwood, resigning from office and being replaced by his wife, Claire. When your main protagonist is almost already written off the show, it becomes a much easier task to continue the story with a new character. Claire, played by Robin Wright, goes through substantial conflicts as she is publicly criticized for her presidency as connected to personal drama with her ties to Frank. She appears to be just as relentless as Frank, with a cold determination for power. Whether or not the show’s final season will be comparable to its others is something that we can only determine from watching it, but the trailer gives an impression that it will have an intense, satisfying, suspenseful, and possibly shocking conclusion.

(Photo via IMDb)

Trailers are generally a good way to judge your opinions of a movie before it comes out. It will determine whether or not you’ll purchase a ticket immediately at Fandango or if you’ll watch something else. However, it’s impossible to say whether or not a movie or show is good or bad based on it. Despite my negative opinions of the Aquaman trailer, as far as I’m concerned, it could be better than any of the MCU movies. The trailer failed at its job of making me excited for the movie, which is how I critique the trailer. I can’t pick out many positive qualities from the trailer, which is why I already have a disdainful view of Aquaman before it’s release. With House of Cards, I am more intrigued and genuinely eager to see the show’s conclusion. Netflix successfully created an appealing trailer with House of Cards, while DC did not. I’m indifferent to Aladdin because this version appears like a twist of the classic movie, so we will have to judge the movie when it releases. Don’t mistake these trailer reviews as movie reviews, but keep in mind that trailers are still highly indicative or deceptive of a movie’s quality.

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