You can't judge a book by its cover, but can you judge a film by its trailer?
Last week saw a bunch of trailers come out that got geeks en masse either exploding with squee or sighing in fury. You can see a bunch of the ones for 2015 releases here.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which won't be out this year, had everyone just exploding in their pants with the new trailer. Chrome stormtroopers, robot soccer balls, forever young Chewbacca! It had it all. We still don't really know much at all of what the movie is about, but by gawd it sure looks great.
Shortly thereafter, the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer leaked and was met with a resounding meh, even after the grainy bootleg was replaced a day later by the real deal. It wasn't a bad trailer and certainly added more interest than the first teaser, but it was impossible to upstage Star Wars.
For a trailer that I thought was genuinely bad, have a look at Terminator: Genisys ... sigh. Look, if you ask me, the Terminator franchise has never been able to come close to the magic encapsulated in the first two films. Not the third film, not the TV series, not the Christian Bale debacle, and this pseudo-reboot looks about as convoluted and hamfisted as any unnecessary sequel I've ever seen.
But as bad as that movie looks, there's one that looks even worse. M. Night Shyamalan's The Visit. Aside from The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, the guy hasn't put out anything of merit. The Village had a couple bright spots. Signs, too. But after The Last Airbender killed whatever good will he had with movie-goers, I'm frankly surprised he can still find work. When I heard he was going back to the horror genre, I thought there was a glimmer of hope. NEWP! Not only is it a found footage film, and done in such a way that pisses all over that overused conceit, but the trailer shows a movie so overladen in cliche and insulting plot points, that I wonder just how awful the film will be if these snippets are the best it can muster.
Honestly, as far as 2015 goes, outside of Avengers 2 and Max Max: Fury Road, I'm not seeing a whole lot to get excited for. At least with the action/adventure genres, I'm not seeing much of anything. There's Southpaw and Aloha, but they're more drama and comedy respectively. Ant-Man? Maybe? Looks like it'll be fun, but it also looks like a placeholder film in the MCU. I'm happy to be wrong on that, though.
That's why books are so awesome. There are tons of 'em out there, and finding good to great ones is no trouble at all. In fact, a couple in the latest pile to arrive on my doorstep look like they could be kickass. Have a look and let me know what catches your eye.
Dreaming Deep by Anonymous-9 - What do you do when you've always proven your skills at crime fiction? Throw in some Lovecraftian horror to make it interesting. Hey, sounds like a good plan to me.
Goblins and Skinner by David Bernstein - Dave has a couple more horror novels set for release this summer. Goblin comes out through Samhain Publishing, while Skinner comes out through DarkFuse. Definitely a guy to watch out for if you aren't already.
The Gumshoe and Other Brit Grit Yarns by Paul D. Brazill - I had already loaded The Gumshoe onto my Kindle when it came out as a separate novella, but now it's collected with other tales and I snagged it for free.
The Clockwork Dagger / The Clockwork Crown / The Deepest Poison by Beth Cato - Not only does Beth have a follow up novel to her successful debut novel, but there's also a companion novella out as well this year. I have an interview with Beth coming up soon to talk about it all, so keep your eyes peeled.
The Brass Giant by Brooke Johnson - How about a little YA steampunk for a change of pace? This one features a teen girl with a passion for tinkering that finally gets a chance to assist with the construction of a top secret automaton. Nice work if you can get it.
The Breadwinner by Stevie Kopas - Zombie apocalypse, anyone? Stevie has a trilogy set in Florida as the undead start feasting on brains, what brains can be found in that humid den of debauchery. This novel is the first.
Red Junction by Kile Norby - Then there was some weird western that showed up in the ARCs. It's set during the Colorado gold rush, and features a heckuva lotta zombies.
No Date for Gomez by Graham Parke - I reviewed No Hope for Gomez a couple years ago, and now the sequel is out. Graham was generous enough to gift a copy to me via Kindle, so thanks Graham.
The Penny Thief by Christophe Paul - This one is a previously published novel that features a banker up against a scheming rival as they go after the same stolen money. Could be good.
Night of All Evil by J.M. Shorney - A former member of an occult get-along gang becomes the target of said group as they try to resurrect their leader. Interesting premise.
Aickman's Heirs edited by Simon Strantzas - I'm unfamiliar with Robert Aickman's work, but his weird fiction has garnered a devoted following, aking to H.P. Lovecraft. Now there's an anthology that serves as tribute to his strange tales, published by Undertow Publications. I'm intrigued.