This week's news, second batch:
Eerste trailer Black Mass
Another weirdo on Johnny Depp's resumé. But this one proves less amiable than the likes of Willy Wonka, the Mad Hatter or Jack Sparrow. This is as creepy a psychopath as they come. It's not the first time Depp plays a notorious criminal - his take on John Dillinger in Public Enemies springs to mind, not to mention singing serial killer Sweeney Todd - but this isn't a charming rogue, this is a sinister killer with a clear talent and love for ruthless violence. A fact well illustrated by the dinner scene running through this trailer. It's hardly the first time a crime boss character intimidates an underling on film by questioning his loyalty after confiding him with whimsical information, but Depp plays it eerily enough to make you forget that feeling of déja vu. I'm quite convinced Black Mass will prove an effective, chilling mob thriller, mostly thanks to Depp's penchant for playing offbeat, quirky characters, the murderous sort or otherwise.
Eerste trailers The Visit
I'm not so sure this creepy film will hit all the right notes though. Maybe it has something to do with the abyss of flops M. Night Shyamalan is sliding ever more deeply in, though I'm still willing to cut the director of The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable some slack. The Visit at least appears a return to form of sorts, after engaging in more otherworldy fare with The Last Airbender and After Earth, which proved a bad call. It's horror that established the name M. Night, so maybe it's horror that puts him back on track. That said, it's stated that this is supposedly a 'horror comedy', which isn't something I would quickly discern from these trailers, which seem to focus mostly on the horrific aspect. Then again, the notion of two old people terrorizing their grandkids in the manner illustrated in these trailers does emit an undeniable feeling of absurdity. I would have felt better if The Visit was a full bred horror film, preferably one that didn't overutilize the home video/social media filming format. Even though Shyamalan hasn't made use of that before (at least not for a full movie), it feels he's a little late to that party, considering how often it has been applied in recent years, particularly in the horror genre. For now I'll refrain from getting my hopes up too much for Shyamalan's potential comeback, but I won't be so quick to denounce him as a directorial quack as most other people are. After all, I'm one of those rare folks that actually liked The Village.
Jared Leto's Joker onthuld
A different kind of Joker, as was to be expected. Heath Ledger's take on the Prince of Chaos is not easily outdone, so Leto and Ayer probably didn't bother to try. Sensible move. So the look has changed, to something resembling a Goth rocker. Tattoos are the Joker's new bodily statement of choice. That said, it's obvious the madness remains and it is likely played up a notch. Since the upcoming DC movies stick closer to the source material of the comics, it's not wrong to make the Joker resemble his comic book counterpart a bit more. Aside from the tattoos, which I've never known the Joker to carry (but then, as a Marvelite I'm not much into DC lore anyway). But hey, I doubt Leto is running around topless for the entire duration of Suicide Squad. Say what you will about the Joker, he always dresses smartly, or what goes for smart dressing in his dubious philosophy. This picture is obviously just a publicity shot to get people talking about this new incarnation of Batman's prime nemesis. It's very likely the final look will still differ from what's illustrated here, though now we at least know in what direction we can expect the character to go in a visual (non)sense. And hey, maybe the Joker's just having a laugh here knowing Batman won't appear in this film to demolish the rest of his teeth.