Movie Trailer Review: Night School, Mary Poppins Returns, Dog Days and More

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John Cho plays the father of a 15-year-old girl who goes missing after a study session with her friends. Like “Unfriended,” this entire movie takes place on the computer. Cho’s character uses Facebook, Skype and other programs to help track down his girl. I also have a 15-year-old daughter, so this movie is supposed to hit home with me. However, the trailer devolves into predictable chaos at the end. I hope the movie will have a more satisfying ending.

Crazy Rich Asians

The title says it all here, as Constance Wu’s character is whisked off to Singapore by her boyfriend (Henry Golding), who is revealed to be “crazy rich.” Michelle Yeoh (from one of my all-time favorites, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), plays the boyfriend’s disapproving mother. Will he follow his heart or obey his mom? Awkwafina plays the bride-to-be’s best friend, and she introduces us to the epithet “banana” (“yellow on the outside, white on the inside”), which sounds like a term we won’t be allowed to say in the near future. The predominantly Asian cast is very refreshing, and I hope we see more movies like this in the future.


A Simple Favor

Anna Kendrick plays suburban mom Stephanie, who is swept into the mysterious disappearance of her glamorous new friend, Emily (Blake Lively). The playful French music in the trailer adds to the intrigue. As Stephanie unravels the mystery, she falls for Emily’s husband (Henry Golding again!). The producers shouldn’t have given away that juicy plot twist, but at least we don’t know what’s the “simple favor” Emily asked of Stephanie before her disappearance.


Welcome to Marwen

Steve Carell plays a World War II historian who is beaten by five thugs in a random act of violence. With his memory erased, he photographs a world of Barbie dolls who look like his female friends reimagined as avenging warriors. The outcome of his search for healing and justice never seems to be in doubt, but we are supposed to be intrigued by the lifelike appearance and animation of the dolls.


Bad Times at the El Royale

Jon Hamm plays the owner of the El Royale hotel, which is located on the border of California and Nevada. A priest (Jeff Bridges) soon learns that bad guys are doing bad things there. Then the trailer switches into a weird gear, which Chris Hemsworth showing up looking like Jim Morrison. A woman belts out “This Old Heart of Mine” to herself, and then walks out into the rain. Huh? Bridges’ character says he’s not really a priest. Don’t give that away in the trailer!



Jennifer Garner undergoes a dark transformation after her husband and daughter are gunned down by members of a drug cartel. Justice is denied, as the judge and cops are in the pocket of the bad guys. The defense attorney gaslights her by questioning whether she really saw what she thinks she saw. The mild-mannered mom resurfaces five years later as a vigilante of vengeance. We are supposed to ask ourselves if we would do the same if we were in her shoes; let’s hope we don’t have to find out.


Dog Days

How much you will like this movie depends on one question: Do you like dogs? If you do, this is the movie for you. Four dogs weave their way through the lives of 12 people in Los Angeles. It doesn’t matter what these dogs are doing. The doggie love just flows, and the people involved with them learn to love each other, too. The cast includes Nina Dobrev, Vanessa Hudgens, Rob Corddry and Adam Pally. I feel like I was in the room when this idea was pitched: “What if we did a movie like Love Actually or Mother’s Day … but with dogs?”


Mary Poppins Returns

The teaser trailer follows a kite as it blows around a familiar-looking British neighborhood. It eventually mounts to the sky, where our favorite governess rides down with it, instead of her trademark umbrella. Emily Blunt delivers her lines well enough for us to give her a chance to play Mary Poppins. We’ll see if she portrays the snippier version of the character from P.L. Travers’ books. However, the original movie was such a classic that this film seems like must climb a mountain of expectations to satisfy the audience. Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke are a tough act to follow, and so is the original film’s amazing music.


The House with a Clock in its Walls

Jack Black and Cate Blanchett show a young relative the secrets of a magical house. The first part of the trailer is Potter-esque, as the boy discovers that he has a tremendous aptitude for magic. Then we learn that house has a doomsday clock within its walls, planted there by its evil previous owner. Describe this trailer in three words: “Confusing magical fun?”



This cartoon tells the Bigfoot story backwards, as Channing Tatum’s Bigfoot (living in a colony of Bigfeet) discovers a mythical human for the first time. People and Bigfeet can’t understand each other’s speech and are scared of each other! That’s about it. This movie will entertain the kids, but adults will be checking their phones after they’ve identified all the celebrity voices (Zendaya! Common! LeBron!)


Night School

Winner of the Week! We know Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish will be hilarious. The real treat is that the minor characters are really funny, too. We have the assistant principal who Hart accuses of using a “black voice” (he denies it). One of the students is Skyping in from jail, where he gets into a brutal fight. Rob Riggle shows up on the night mission to steal a test in a bright yellow outfit. Yes, Night School is going to keep it 100.

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