First Glance: “The Menu”

Ralph Fiennes serves up an all-star cast in the upcoming horror film “The Menu”. Set to appear at the Toronto International Film Festival this September, “The Menu” originally had Alexander Payne onboard to direct and Emma Stone set to star. But scheduling conflicts saw Payne replaced by award-winning television director and producer Mark Mylod and Stone replaced by Anya Taylor-Joy. Searchlight recently dropped a new trailer that gives us a lot to digest (see what I did there?).

A young couple (played by Taylor-Joy and Nicholas Hoult) travel to a remote coastal island to dine at a lavish and extremely exclusive restaurant ran by Chef Slowik (Fiennes). The experience is set up like a extravagantly choreographed mix of gastronomy and mystery theater. But the select group of guests soon discover there is more going on with the mysterious chef than meets the eye (or stomach). The film also stars Janet McTeer, Judith Light, John Leguizamo, Hong Chau, and Reed Birney among others. It’s hard to say whether the trailer reveals too much, but there’s certainly an unexpected twist. Hopefully it all comes together in a good way.

“The Menu” lands in theaters November 18th. Check out the trailer below and let me know if you’ll be seeing it or taking a pass.

First Glance: “Triangle of Sadness”

The latest film to take a satirical bite out of the wealthy and privileged comes from Swedish director Ruben Östlund (“Force Majeure”, “The Square”). It’s “Triangle of Sadness”, the Palme d’Or winner at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. This is Östlund’s first English-language feature film, and after navigating several COVID-19 delays, this biting dark comedy is all set the hit theaters. NEON has dropped the first trailer and it looks every bit as wild as advertised.

The movie stars Harry Dickinson as an aspiring model vacationing with his girlfriend played by Charlbi Dean. The couple win a trip aboard a luxury cruise captained by none other than Woody Harrelson. The other guests are a collection of snobbish one-percenters. But as the puke-soaked trailer reveals, things aboard the lavish yacht go terribly wrong, and Östlund has us sit back and watch as the privileged get some healthy doses of humility. I can’t wait to see what all Östlund has up his sleeve.

“Triangle of Sadness” hits theaters October 7th. Check out the trailer below and let me know if you’ll be seeing it or taking a pass.

First Glance: “The Banshees of Inisherin”

Primed and ready for its festival circuit run, “The Banshees of Inisherin” has released its first trailer. This is a film from Martin McDonagh, his first since 2017’s shaky but beloved “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”. His latest sees him reteaming with his “In Bruges” partners Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell. This first look at the film gives us lots to look forward for.

The story centers around two friends and the consequences that follow after one (Gleeson) suddenly and without explanation ends their friendship. As with the best trailers, this one is cryptic. It gives us a basic intro to the story while leaving the details under wraps. I love that. To no one’s surprise, both Gleeson and Ferrell look great in this. And while I’m a little mixed on McDonagh’s films, I’m pretty excited for this one.

“The Banshees of Inisherin” opens in theaters October 21st. Check out the trailer below and let me know if you’ll be seeing it or taking a pass.

First Glance: “Devotion”

Yesterday saw Sony Pictures dropping the first trailer for their upcoming Korean War film “Devotion”. Based on the book “Devotion: An Epic Story of Heroism, Friendship, and Sacrifice” by Adam Makos, the movie shares the real-life story of Navy pilots Jesse Brown and Tom Hudner. Led by stars Jonathan Majors and Glen Powell, “Devotion” looks to examine race, friendship, heroism, and sacrifice during what many still call “The Forgotten War”.

Majors plays Jesse Brown, a Hattiesburg, Mississippi native who became the first African-American pilot to complete the U.S. Navy’s basic flight training program. Tom Hudner was a pilot and eventual Medal of Honor winner. Both went and served in the Korean War and the movie chronicles the events that left their names forever linked together. I won’t give away the details, but this is a true story that deserves to be told. I really like the combination of Majors and Powell. And the CGI air combat holds up, this could turn out really good.

“Devotion” lands in theaters this November. Check out the trailer below and let me know if you’ll be seeing it or taking a pass.

First Glance: “Till”

The new biographical drama “Till” tells the real-life story of educator turned activist Mamie Till Mobley. The film comes from director Chinonye Chukwu whose last feature was 2019’s terrific “Clemency”. The first trailer recently dropped ahead of its upcoming premiere at the 2022 New York Film Festival, and it gives us a good sense of Chukwa’s approach to this sincere and utterly heart-shattering true story.

Danielle Deadwyler plays Mamie Till Mobley, the mother of 14-year-old Emmett Till (played by Jalyn Hall). Emmitt was abducted, tortured, and brutally murdered on August 28, 1955 while visiting his cousins in Mississippi. His killers were put on trial but quickly acquitted by an all-white jury. After his body was returned to Mamie in Chicago, she insisted that his casket be left open so the world could see what they had done to her son. Afterwards she became a diligent activist in the Civil Rights movement. That’s a lot of ground to cover, but it’s a story that deserves to be told. And from what we see in the trailer, Chukwu looks to be a good choice to tell it.

“Till” lands in theaters October 7th. Check out the trailer below and let me know if you’ll be seeing it or taking a pass.

First Glance: “Samaritan”

Sylvester Stallone re-enters the superhero genre in his upcoming film “Samaritan”. We’ve seen him in the Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and as a scene-stealing talking shark in DC’s “The Suicide Squad”. But this is a totally different take on the genre. Directed by Julius Avery (“Overlord”), the film is based on a Mythos Comics graphic novel that was written by Bragi Schut (who also happens to be the screenwriter for the film). The new trailer gives us a taste of what Avery, Schut, and Sly (who also produces) are up to.

The story of “Samaritan” goes something like this: a young boy named Sam (Javon Walton) discovers that an aged garbage man (Stallone) is actually Samaritan, a famed superhero who disappeared twenty-five years earlier. Everyone believed him to be dead. But Sam’s discovery and their eventual friendship forces the super-powered Samaritan to come out of retirement. Admittedly, its a fun trailer to watch if for no other reason than to see Stallone. Realistically, it’s kinda hard to tell what to expect. It could be a fun-filled surprise or a forgettable snooze. I’ll definitely be checking it out to see.

“Samaritan” premieres August 26th on Amazon Prime streaming. Check out the trailer below and let me know if you’ll be seeing it or taking a pass.