A Descent Into the Depths

Winter 2019 New Movie Preview

Seeing as this went so well last time (Part 1 and Part 2 of our Fall/Winter 2018 Trailer Collective), we're going to try and make this a regular feature. At the very least, we at Asteroid G found these articles to be super useful -- they allowed us to plan what we'd be doing on the weekends.

As such, we're taking a look at the upcoming movies for January, February, and March of 2019. This time around we're doing it all as one article, a one-stop-shop for all your trailer needs for upcoming movie. These are the films that we at Asteroid G are interested in (or deeply horrified by):

Escape Room
Comes Out: January 4, 2019

A group of people are brought together at a corporation to play in a game: an Escape Room. However, as they sit there, waiting for their first clue in the game, they suddenly realize the waiting room they're in is the escape room. Suddenly, things start to get deadly and one terror is followed by another. The people will have to work together and find the clues to get out before they all end up dead.

As shown in the first trailer (and currently the only one despite this film coming out in just a couple of weeks), this film has a weird, sci-fi bent on the basic material. As the people move from one escape room to the next, they run into holograms, bent gravity, and all kinds of other things that shouldn't exist in the real world. It gives the film a "Cube mashed with Saw vibe.

The thing is this one trailer doesn't really sell me on the concept. Sure, I liked the Cube movies (and I'm probably one of the only people to watch all three of them), but this film just doesn't seem to have the same curious intelligence those films do. It looks more like torture porn, something Jigsaw would have come up with if he had unlimited technology to go along with his penchant for deadly puzzles. Despite being a horror fan, torture porn just doesn't thrill me -- it's all gore with no character.

Still, I'm sure there's an audience for this film, especially as it's coming out at the start of the year (a traditional dead zone for movie releases). More than likely I'll end up watching it if I've already caught up on everything else in theaters I meant to get to. But not before.

Comes Out: January 11, 2019

Speaking of the movie release dead zone, we have the new Keanu Reeves film, Replicas. His character is a bio-engineer. When his family dies in a car accident, he steals a bunch of equipment from his corporate lab and works to bring all his loved ones back. Of course, there's the implied "they came back wrong" plot line along with a corporate greed angle. There's a lot going on in this story.

Honestly, it all looks like kind of a mess (as you can see in the one trailer I can find for it). Are the replicas good guys or bad guys? Is the corporation right to step in and try to take their "property" back? It's a January release, so while I'd hope this all gets explained well in the film, it's good not to get your hopes up. There's a good chance this film turns out to be a beautiful disaster.

Really, the only reason I'm even willing to give this film a chance is because it has Keanu Reeves in it. The man has become quite a good actor (in limited roles) over the years (such as in the John Wick films) so he's earned a little credibility with me. So long as the film doesn't saddle him with a terrible English accent (such as in the 1992 Dracula) I'm sure he'll be able to do a decent job selling the material.

Plus, to be honest, I have a tradition of watching whatever awful sci-fi/horror film is out this specific weekend of the year and, in the past, it's served me well (such as for Daybreakers and Predestination). I'm hopeful this streak can continue.

Comes Out: January 18, 2019

Following up both Unbreakable and Split, director M. Night Shyamalan gives us a sequel to both, a crossover to two of his more successful movies. When David Dunn (hero of Unbreakable) and Kevin Wendell Crumb (villain of Split) end up in the same mental hospital as Elijah Price (villain of Unbreakable), Elijah (aka Mr. Glass) starts plotting his escape. Teaming up with Crumb (aka, the Horde), the two hatch a plan to get out of he mental hospital, go on a rampage, and show the world that superhuman beings really exist. And the only person that can stop them is Dunn... if he can ever escape confinement.

There was a time when the words "a movie by M. Night Shyamalan" would strike fear in the hearts of movie-goers. For a while there the director was on fire, with hits like The Sixth Sense, Signs (which I personally hated), and (of course) Unbreakable (which I think is his best film). Then, of course, he released a string of terrible movies, from The Village to Lady in the Water and The Last Airbender (which is just astoundingly bad). It took a long while for the director to rebuild credibility with general audiences, but one of his most recent films, Split was good enough that fans are actually eager for a follow up from the director.

From all evidence available so far, Glass would seem to be another big win for the director. From both the first trailer and second trailer, the film is shaping up to be a solid, low-budget, superhero thriller. The central figure of the whole pieces is Mr. Glass, and Samuel L. Jackson looks to be having a ball with the role.

I still won't ever fully trust M. Night, but I'm willing to go back to the theater for one of his movies just this once. That said, if Glass is another train wreck I will never see another one of the director's movies again. I won't be fooled again.

The Kid Who Would Be King
Comes Out: January 25, 2019

Okay, let's be honest: I have absolutely no interest in this film. Like, at all. There's potential in a modern retelling of Arthurian legend... maybe. No one has managed to actually pull it off yet, but then someone has to be able to crack that egg, right? The Kid Who Would Be King will not be that movie. I don't even have to see it to know that's the case.

In the film we have a kid who finds the legendary sword Excalibur and suddenly becomes the savior of England. There's a lot of dumb jokes, mugging for the camera, and shoddy SFX. It's everything you expect from a low-grade kid flick and I never would have bothered writing about it at all if it didn't somehow tie into Arthurian legend. But it does, so we're stuck with this.

The movie, as glimpsed in the first trailer and the second (UK) trailer just looks so very, very bad. No amount of slumming Patrick Stewart can save this movie (it's no wonder he's making a Captain Picard series if this is the kind of material his agents are getting for him otherwise). This movie is an absolute skip for me, something I'll only watch if I find it in the $1 bargain bin at Best Buy.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Comes Out: February 8, 2019

Following up on the events of the first LEGO Movie (although, presumably, not taking into account any of the events from the LEGO Batman Movie or LEGO Ninjago Movie), we find that a few years after the world was saved by Emmit, the one true hero of LEGO, the world has fallen into true disrepair. The denizens of LEGO world live in a The Road Warrior-style wasteland, simply scraping by. That is until an outside force from another world swoops in, capture all the heroes of the first film (other than Emmit, of course), and zap them back across the galaxy. Now our lone hero has to save his friends, and the galaxy, from the Sistar aliens.

If we infer what we know from the first movie (the LEGO people, and their world, are really LEGOs played with by a kid and his dad) this this sequel (as seen in the trailer) would seem to imply that the kid is now a dark and broody teen who has to share his LEGOs with his kid sister. It's an interesting take on the material that could lead to some pretty interesting story ideas. I like that they're working in more of the LEGO Friends sets, diversifying the kinds of LEGOs we see. There's fun to be had from this culture clash, and hopefully the creative team is able to work their magic.

That said, I'm one of the few people that isn't a total fan of the first LEGO Movie. Sure, it was cute, but it had its storytelling flaws that left me feeling a little empty. The movie was an awesome spectacle with a very creative visual style, but the story just wasn't there to really carry it over the finish line.

Hopefully this film fares better. This is probably one of those movies that I'll wait on seeing until reviews are out and then make up my mind. If it doesn't seem to be that great, I'll wait until it's on home video before bothering with it (much like I did with the LEGO Batman Movie, which was also pretty but lackluster).

Alita: Battle Angel
Comes Out: February 15, 2019

I was originally going to talk about this movie during our "Fall Movie Preview" and then it got delayed by a couple of months. So now it's a potential bright point in the February Dead Zone -- maybe the studio thinks it'll be a bomb, or they could just be trying to get a drop on the Spring/Summer movie season which seems to start earlier and earlier every year.

In the film, based on a manga (I will never, ever read), we have Alita, a specially enhanced girl who (I think, if I'm getting this right) is actually a cyborg (and not, like, a genetic mutant or something). Built by a rich city in the sky and then, for some reason, discarded to the world below, Alita has been living a fairly quiet life until the top-siders suddenly realize she's still alive. Suddenly, Alita has to fight for her life against an increasingly dangerous set of assassins all with a singular goal: end Alita, this time for good.

I'm not entirely sure what to make of this movie. It certainly has a vision (a very anime vision, as glimpsed in the first trailer and second trailer, to be fair) and plenty of interesting sequences. When the movie is going full spectacle, with everything made of CGI, it looks pretty darn good. Maybe a little cheesy, sure, but the action seems awesome from what's shown so far. The issue, though, is that the scenes blending Alita (and the other assassins) into the real-world sets have an uncanny valley vibe to them that never really goes away. This is the kind of movie that could be really uneven to watch, which may ruin the flow of the film.

Of course, director Robert Rodriquez is pretty good at direction delightful action cheese (see also: Sin City and both the From Dusk Till Dawn movie and series). He's got a singular style that can work really well in the right settings. Couple that with James Cameron as a producer, someone that, too, can sometimes crank out some really great action movies, and you have a team that could make Alita something special.

Or it could be crap. It really could go either way. We'll all just have to wait and see on this one, I think.

Happy Death Day 2U
Comes Out: February 15, 2019

Okay, so to be fair, I hated the first Happy Death Day (as I highlighted in my time loops mega-article). It had a good concept -- add a slasher movie to Groundhog Day -- and then wasted it on a mediocre movie. The film good have been great (if, for instance, it had been willing to be a R-rated flick like all good slasher movies) but just never quite got there. To say I was non-plussed over the idea of a sequel to that film would be an understatement.

And then I watched the first trailer for Happy Death Day 2U and had to admit that, maybe, this time, the creators could actually push the idea as far as it needed to go. In the sequel, Tree, our heroine, survived the first film to go on and have a great life afterwards. However, eventually, creepy things start happening again. She gets attacked by a crazy person in a baby mask (just like in the first film) and then wakes up back in bed on the day of the first movie. The loop has restarted, but there's a further twist: other people start reliving the day too. Suddenly there's time loops left and right, weird science experiments, and days changing on all sides. What the hell is going on?

A sequel to a time loop production is a hard deal to accept; how do you sequel-ize something when breaking the loop is the whole point? You can't just put them in another loop without stretching the concept thin, right? Well, it seems like 2U wants to say "the loop was never truly closed, Tree just lived a long time before getting killed this time around". That's a neat idea, something that hasn't really been don with time loop media before.

I'm also digging on the idea of multiple time loops, parallel realities, and everything else this movie seems to be playing with. There's a lot of potential for cool ideas mixed with decent slasher deaths. It is still, sadly, a PG-13 movie so don't expect this movie to go as over the top as a horror movie fan would like, but maybe this time around it'll be bearable with the cool concept and neat twists. This is one I'll probably see in theaters just for the hell of it. A good Valentine's Day tonic.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Comes Out: February 22, 2019

I feel weird talking about two different kids films in this article, but it's hard to ignore the irresistible draw of dragons. And I will admit that the first How to Train Your Dragon was a pretty cute, fun movie (that my wife is absolutely obsessed with). For many, this third and final film in the franchise is eager anticipated.

In the film, our hero, Hiccup, and his dragon, Toothless, are now the leaders of their town (a Viking village/dragon utopia). Things take a turn, though, when another dragon like toothless (a female nightfury or, as the movie puts it, a "lightfury") shows up. Soon after a villain looking to capture all the nightfuries arrives, demanding Toothless. Hiccup, and his whole village, will have to band together to save Toothless, their town, and all of dragon-kind.

For fans of the first two movies, I doubt anything more has to be said that "this the last How to Train Your Dragon film and they'll all line up". For the rest of us, though, I don't know if either the first trailer or second trailer really do a good job of selling the movie. Sure, the film looks pretty (these movies are among the prettiest Dreamworks Animation cranks out), but there are weird, tonal issues in the trailers between the mixing of the awe and spectacle along with the weird, doofy humor.

Maybe the film handles the tone better (I know the first film had plenty of doofy humor, but it managed to blend it all well together) but it's hard to know. Sometimes trailers don't always sell a movie as well as they should, but with two different trailers that both seem to have tonal issues, I'm concerned if this movie is going to be as good a conclusion as fans would like.

I'll still be there opening weekend, though. My wife will have to see it, so I may as well go too.

Captain Marvel
Comes Out: March 8, 2019

I mean, let's be honest, this is the movie we're all waiting for. After the end of Infinity War we've all been waiting for answers as to what comes next. Captain Marvel is our first chance to get some of those answers, what with the tease of her appearance at the end of that Avengers flick.

Not that we're likely to get too many answers just yet, as Captain Marvel would appear to be entirely an origin story for the character (set in the 1990s, no less). We get to learn about who she is (a Kree warrior that looks a lot like a Green Lantern), why she's on Earth (to fight some kind of Kree/Skrull war), and who she'll become by the time Avengers: Endgame comes around. This also looks to be a decently SHIELD-centric movie, which might just imply that Captain Marvel is going to take over the role Captain America has had for the Marvel Cinematic UniverseWhen it first began in 2008 with a little film called Iron Man no one suspected the empire that would follow. Superhero movies in the past, especially those not featuring either Batman or Superman, were usually terrible. And yet, Iron Man would lead to a long series of successful films, launching the most successful cinema brand in history: the Marvel Cinematic Universe., being the storytelling lynch-pin for the whole affair.

There are more questions than answers raised by the first trailer and second trailer, though. For instance, how linear is this story going to be? The trailers seem to imply a movie that bounces back and forth along Captain Marvel's time line, which I think would be a bold, interesting choice for a Marvel movie. Of course, it's probably too bold, too interesting a choice to actually be true -- Marvel has a formula and I doubt they're going to start really shaking it up now.

This is an MCU movie so we're all going to flock to it no matter what the trailers show or the reviews say. Of all the movies on this list, this is the only one guaranteed to be attended by every comic book nerd in the country regardless of if they've seen or read anything about it or not. It's Marvel, so we may as well all line up and let them take our money.

And That's It...

While there are more weeks in March there aren't any other movies that really suit discussion on this site. So for now, we're off to go watch everything we just listed and we'll see you in three months for another one of these trailer recaps.