Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Today in trailer happy hour: angry cowboys, Mr. Rogers, and a whole lot of Jake Gyllenhaal

Screenshot: The Sisters Brothers

Welcome back to Trailer Happy Hour, where you can walk right in, sit right down, and baby, let your TV and movie teasers and promos hang down. Today, we’ve got Jean-Claude Van Damme fighting people in a submarine, Mr. Rogers doing whatever’s pretty much the exact opposite of that, and a double dose of Jake Gyllenhaal, so let’s dive in:

First up: The Sisters Brothers, a sort of Western/dark comedy/crime thriller starring Joaquin Phoenix and John C. Reilly as the titular siblings. Based on a novel by Patrick deWitt, the film co-stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a buddy of the Brothers, plus Riz Ahmed as the guy they’ve been hired to track down and (presumably) kill. Tonally, the whole thing darts all over the place, but it does get the official Trailer Happy Hour Award For Changing The Tempo Of A Pop Song For Emotional Effect, which should help it plenty when it arrives at the box office later this year.


Next up: Black Water, which reunites Universal Soldiers Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren in some sort of submarine violence excursion. Unsurprisingly, the whole thing feels extremely ’80s, complete with gratuitous shots of the film’s female lead, Jasmine Waltz, stripping down to her skivvies at the drop of a hat.

Next, let’s hop back on the Gyllenhaal train with Wildlife, the directorial debut of actor Paul Dano. J-Gylls appears opposite Carey Mulligan and The Visit’s Ed Oxenbould, playing a suburban dad whose employment woes seem to push his wife (Mulligan) into taking care of the family’s finances on her own, with potentially catastrophic results. Our own A.A. Dowd gave the movie a positive write-up when he saw it at Sundance this year, praising Dano’s “elegantly straightforward style” in his review.


Speaking of stylish, we’ve also got a new trailer for Paul Feig’s sudden stark left turn, A Simple Favor, which promises Anna Kendrick and the Ghostbusters director getting dark and thriller-y together. The promo, meanwhile, is that rarity in this day of largely artless teasers: A legitimately elegant little short film, creating a sense of the rising tension and discomfort of Darcey Bell’s well-received thriller debut.


And finally, a palate cleanser after all that nastiness, murder, and angst: The second trailer for the upcoming Mr. Rogers doc, Won’t You Be My Neighbor. As ever, the appeal of this project is letting the beloved kids’ host speak for himself, expressing a philosophy of love while making it abundantly clear that he did more than just talk the talk. The film arrives to buoy our spirits a bit in select theaters on June 8.


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