Welcome back to Trailer Happy Hour, where the film and TV promos and teasers are always watching, waiting, de-lib-er-ating. We’ve got a doozy for you today, as Nicolas Cage gives one of his crazier performances in recent memory, so let’s dive right in.
First and foremost: The trailer for Cage’s new film Mandy, a designer cocktail of cult film madness about a grieving husband going on an axe-wielding revenge rampage against the cult monsters who killed his wife. Our own A.A. Dowd simultaneously praised and shrugged at the film’s hallucinatory merits when he saw it at Sundance back in January, but if “Nicolas Cage chainsaw fight” doesn’t automatically do it for you, it probably won’t take much time with the film’s lurid colors and over-the-top reactions to tell you if this thing is your jam. Mandy smashes its way into theaters on September 14.
Next, and on an altogether more somber note: George Tillman Jr.’s film adaptation of Angie Thomas’ best-selling YA novel The Hate U Give. Amanda Stenberg (six years out from her role as Rue in The Hunger Games) stars as Starr Carter, a young black woman whose carefully balanced life is thrown into permanent chaos when a cop shoots her childhood friend right in front of her. Tillman has recruited a great roster of actors (including Issa Rae and Common) to fill out his supporting cast, but it’s Stenberg, capturing the lively mind of divided, fierce, powerful Starr, that quickly steals the show. The film is out on October 19.
Keeping the emotional train rolling, we’ve also got a new trailer for Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carell’s tear-jerking family drama Beautiful Boy, about a father struggling to understand and help his son as he battles with addiction. Based on shared memoirs by father and son team David and Nic Sheff, this one seems like it’ll be pretty much an automatic cry when it lands in theaters later this year.
And then there’s Assassination Nation, a blunt and bloody new film that openly flies its “Oooh, provocative” bona fides by opening with a bunch of semi-sarcastic trigger warnings about all the nasty things contained within. The second feature from Sam Levinson (son of Barry), the film’s trailer looks to be doing the “equal opportunity offender” thing, but it remains to be seen what actual points, if any, it has lurking underneath.
And maybe it’s just us, but all this heaviness today even seems to want to extend to a dumb-fun Denzel Washington violence movie, with the latest trailer for The Equalizer 2 seeing Washington’s grizzled vigilante Robert McCall beating the shit out of a bunch of scuzzy trust fund-types after they sexually assault a young woman and then dump her in the back of his Lyft. (That’s not to deny the visceral thrill of watching Washington put these assholes in the hospital, though.)
Finally (and on the closest thing to a lighter note we’re apparently going to get today), we’ve got the trailer for the upcoming TV adaptation of A Discovery Of Witches. Starring Matthew Goode and Teresa Palmer—and full of all sorts of anguished declarations about how witches and vampires aren’t supposed to smooch—it all looks a little cheesy, albeit in a fun “Let’s watch some talented actors try to make this silly shit about werewolves sound dignified” kind of way.