I love when books and films take place over really short periods of time, and I recently watched two that work within a similar time frame back to back: Booksmart (which I was seeing for the first time) and Cloverfield (which, if I’d ever seen before, I had completely forgotten). Both take place mostly over the course of a single night, which kicks off after a short setup sequence introduces their cast of characters.
The movies aren’t particularly alike, but side by side, it was clear what a comparably amazing job Booksmart does in getting its events rolling. The main character is set up in all of 30 seconds with a glance over her bedroom, and nearly every other character in the movie is established over the next 15 minutes. Then the night rolls, and we watch everything that was set up earlier fall into place.
Cloverfield, on the other hand, really takes its time. The setup isn’t that much longer — about 18 minutes — but it does so much less in that time period, loosely establishing just a few characters while we impatiently wait for something to happen. It’s a monster movie, and ultimately, they just need to get to the monster.
Check out seven trailers from this week (okay, one’s from last Friday, but it was a holiday) below.
An American Pickle
Seth Rogen stars in this wonderfully depressing looking comedy about a 1920s immigrant to America, who — through failures in early 1900s factory safety standards — becomes frozen in time and wakes up in the modern day, where he meets his great-grandson, who is also played by Seth Rogen. It’s a perfectly ridiculous premise. The film comes to HBO Max on August 6th.
Kevin Hart stars as a fictionalized version of himself going through a ludicrous training boot camp to learn how to become an action star, rather than just a comedic sidekick, in Die Hart. It’s a funny premise, but I’m not sure how many people will see it — the show airs on Quibi, which doesn’t exactly have a huge subscriber base. It comes out on July 20th.
Hilary Swank stars as an astronaut headed to Mars in Away, a new series headed to Netflix. This first look doesn’t reveal much, but we should know more soon: the series debuts on September 4th.
I Used To Go Here
Gillian Jacobs stars as a burnt-out author who heads back to her old college for inspiration, and in doing so, seems to regress into a college student herself. Jemaine Clement co-stars as a professor. The film comes out on August 7th.
We Are Who We Are
HBO has a new series coming up from Luca Guadagnino, the director of Call Me By Your Name, that once again involves glamorous teenagers living in Italy. This first teaser is super short, but it gives off just enough Call Me By Your Name vibes to get me interested. The show debuts in September.
She Dies Tomorrow
Amy Seimetz wrote and directed this eerie, dryly comic psychological thriller about a woman who believes she’s going to die and the people around her who start to believe it. The film got great reviews out SXSW, and now it’s heading to theaters (and drive-ins) on July 31st before streaming on August 7th.
Valley of the Gods
Uhhhhh. There’s a snake limousine.