The recently-released The Great Gatsby trailer has been highly divisive within the fandom, particularly due to the addition of modern elements and an apparent diversion from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. What does the trailer tell us about Baz Luhrmann’s treatment and interpretation of this literary classic, and what can we expect from the forthcoming film?

FITZGERALD VS LUHRMANN

It’s probably best to get this out of the way first. We have all been victim to the feeling of disappointment that inevitably comes when the film adaptations of our favourite books don’t meet our expectations. It is immediatley apparent from the trailer that this is a Baz Luhrmann production – it isn’t Fitzgerald on screen. Anyone going to the cinema expecting a strict retelling of Gatsby is going to be disappointed.

It is going to be over-the-top and it is going to be a spectacle. That is what Baz Luhrmann does, and he does it very well. There has been a fairly strong reaction to the trailer, but it would be practically impossible to translate Fitzgerald’s vision to screen, as his Gatsby is linked so intrinsically to his writing. Best to view the two as separate entities, and enjoy them as such.

MODERN ELEMENTS

Many will disagree, but we loved the trailer music and overly saturated colours. The colours just heightened the viewing experience, and so this is the jazz era – does it matter? Of course, hopefully Luhrmann also includes some era-appropriate music, and not withstanding the fact that trailer music won’t necessarily appear in the film, the tone of the music suited the plot immensely, even if the genre didn’t.

3D AND EFFECTS

We know that Luhrmann decided to film in Sydney instead of on location in New York because so much of the city was going to have to be digitally altered to recreate New York of the 1920s. The skyline was gorgeous, and we’re sure that these broader shots will be where 3D is really featured, as well as in the party scenes. There was something funny about the cars, we can’t decide if they weren’t finished or it was a stylistic choice to make them out of place – either way it was slightly jarring.

VOICE-OVERS AND FLASHBACKS

The opening quote may not have been from Gatsby, but it was still Fitzgerald, so we’ll take it. It was used brilliantly to set up the context of the story; although hopefully this doesn’t mean Maguire will be doing one film-length voice-over to try to fill in the gaps where in the novel, we hear Nick’s thoughts. Overuse of a voice-over will just take the viewer out of the world Luhrmann has created, which would be a shame.

The flashbacks looked out of place just based on the colouring. Maybe in a longer sequence it won’t be as jarring, but as a split-second flash in an otherwise overly bright trailer, it stuck out every time. However, flashbacks mean we will be getting some Gatsby war backstory (and maybe some for Nick too?), and that will be great, just as long as they are used sparingly. Please.

PLOT FOCUS

Based on the trailer, the biggest shift we can see from Fitzgerald’s novel is the focus on the Gatsby-Daisy love story, which seems to essentially be the plot of the film. The book was really about Nick and his interactions with this group of people who happened to be involved in a love-triangle/quadruple/mess; if Luhrmann’s interest lies in making this a love story, we can deal, as long as Nick’s character isn’t sacrificed in the process. It would be a shame to lose all the brilliant wit of the novel for the sake of making Moulin Rouge 2.0.

CASTING

THE WOMEN

Despite any prior misgivings, we are in love with Carey Mulligan’s delicate, wispy Daisy. We hope the sardonic element of her character is also included, but this was a very promising start. Similarly, Elizabeth Debicki was a wonderful surprise, although of course an unknown actress wasn’t going to have been cast without merit. Finally Isla Fisher as Myrtle was fabulous, while we didn’t get to see much of her, what we did had just the right touch of hysteria.

THE MEN

This is the biggest problem with the trailer – Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby. We didn’t get to see a huge range of emotions from him in the trailer, mainly just this vaguely worried/irritated face. If this is all he’s got, this will be a disaster. Similarly with Tobey Maguire as Nick – Nick has a great wit, which we have yet to see from Maguire, but hopefully it will be included in the film. Finally, there’s Joel Edgerton as the bullying Tom. He looks the part, let’s just hope he gets a lot angrier in the film than he does in the trailer.

LITERARY ROOTS

METAPHORS AND SYMBOLISM

Without going too English Literature class on you, let’s take a minute to celebrate the inclusion of many of Fitzgerald’s genius metaphors. Essentially, The Great Gatsby is one giant metaphor, but still, it was so exciting to see Owl Eyes, and the looming eyes of Doctor T.J. Eckleburg, even if they both end up to be throwaway images. Now let’s just see DiCaprio mooning over that green light. We also hope to see the symbolism of the different classes of people as indicated by the East Egg/West Egg divide. Okay, end of class.

COSTUMES AND LOCATIONS

Oh wow, those costumes. Take a bow Catherine Martin (costume designer), because you are a 1920s genius. Also, Gatsby’s mansion was gorgeous, gaudy, and amazing. The costumes and the settings really anchored the film in the 1920s. Of course, the party scenes were a bit too grandiose, but it’s Baz Luhrmann so that should be expected. If there is one thing Luhrmann does well, it is style. His films always look stunning, even when they have very little, or nothing at all to say.

ANTICIPATION?

Despite the multitude of changes, and being devoted Fitzgerald readers, we are really looking forward to the film release. So maybe it will end up being a bit more of a love story with some Kanye West thrown in. Maybe DiCaprio was a poor choice, or the cars look a bit funny. The first half of the trailer still built up the anticipation of Gatsby’s reveal, and then shifted immediately from the glamourous parties to the more menacing undertones of Gatsby’s life.

This fall into decline was the entire point of Fitzgerald’s novel. He proposed that the wealth and fast-paced lifestyle were symptoms of a deeper problem, a desperate greed, corruption and emptiness that purveyed this decade of history and mirrored the decline of the ‘American Dream’. We hope to see this more fully developed in the film, but from the trailer we do feel like Luhrmann did understand this theme.

In the end, it could be a complete trainwreck, although a beautiful one a la Australia, or it could be a Romeo and Juliet style masterpiece – with Luhrmann it can be hard to tell. The trailer left us feeling hopeful and excited for the final product, and satisfied that despite the many changes, the production team do get what Gatsby is really about.

Now let’s see if they can pull it off.

What were your thoughts on the trailer? Did you like the incorporation of modern elements, or would you have prefered a stricter book-to-film adaptation?

This week Emma Stone hosted SNL with musical guest Shawn Mendes. Check out some of the highlights from the episode!

‘SNL’ Cold Open

The show poked fun at Donald Trump’s social media activity including his retweeting of teenagers. Alec Baldwin returned as Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon played Kellyanne Conway. Interestingly, Donald Trump tweeted about SNL while this sketch was airing.

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This week Emma Stone hosted SNL with musical guest Shawn Mendes. Check out some of the highlights from the episode!

‘SNL’ Cold Open

The show poked fun at Donald Trump’s social media activity including his retweeting of teenagers. Alec Baldwin returned as Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon played Kellyanne Conway. Interestingly, Donald Trump tweeted about SNL while this sketch was airing.

Opening Monologue

In the opening monologue, Emma Stone reminisced about her previous appearances as host. It all led up to an awkward rendezvous with Bobby Moynihan.

The Hunt For Hil

In a digital sketch, the show spoofed the Hillary Clinton sightings happening in her hometown in upstate New York. Check out The Hunt for Hil.

Jennifer Aniston meets Vanessa Bayer’s Rachel from ‘Friends’

Jennifer Aniston stopped by Weekend Update during Vanessa Bayer’s incredible Rachel impression. Aniston and Bayer star in the new movie “Office Christmas Party.” Check out the cameo below!

Debette Goldry

Kate McKinnon reprised her character Debette Goldry — a golden age actress who had to do crazy things to get the roles she wanted.

Shawn Mendes performs on ‘SNL’

Shawn Mendes performed two songs on the show as well. Check out his performances of “Treat You Better” and “Mercy.”

Coming Up on ‘SNL’

Next week John Cena will host SNL with musical guest Maren Morris. On December 17 Casey Affleck will host along with musical guest Chance the Rapper.

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The first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is finally here! If this trailer is anything to go by, the movie will be just as good as the first!

Guardians of the Galaxy was a major hit because of its offbeat characters, and own brand of humor not yet seen in Marvel movies. Fans have anxiously been waiting to see if the sequel would live up to the hype of the first film. The first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 gives us a glimpse at what’s to come, and we’re loving it!

Take a look at the first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 below:

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The first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is finally here! If this trailer is anything to go by, the movie will be just as good as the first!

Guardians of the Galaxy was a major hit because of its offbeat characters, and own brand of humor not yet seen in Marvel movies. Fans have anxiously been waiting to see if the sequel would live up to the hype of the first film. The first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 gives us a glimpse at what’s to come, and we’re loving it!

Take a look at the first teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 below:

Most notable in the trailer is baby Groot! He was well-loved in the first film and many wondered how involved he would become in the second film, given that he had been reborn after saving his friends. It appears that baby Groot will be just as involved in the action as before, and is causing trouble of his own! It should be fun seeing if Rocket can keep up with his friend as he grows.

Also touched upon in the trailer is Star-Lord’s feelings for Gamora. Somehow his friends are surprised by this news, and Drax even thinks it’s hilarious when the secret is made public. This whole scene makes us even more anxious to see this group together again. Only a couple more months to go! May 2017, can you please hurry up?

The official synopsis for the film teases:

“Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel cinematic universe continues to expand.”

What do you think of the first teaser trailer for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’?

In interesting but potentially brilliant casting news, comedian Amy Schumer will be taking on the role of Barbie for a live-action film.

Take a moment to soak in the news. Now revel in the idea. This could be awesome.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amy Schumer is not only leading the project on screen, but she’ll also have an influence on the script.

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In interesting but potentially brilliant casting news, comedian Amy Schumer will be taking on the role of Barbie for a live-action film.

Take a moment to soak in the news. Now revel in the idea. This could be awesome.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amy Schumer is not only leading the project on screen, but she’ll also have an influence on the script.

Last year, Sony had their pick of three complete scripts for a live-action Barbie movie. Of those three, they chose Hilary Winston’s. Now that Schumer is on board, THR says to expect her and her sister, Kim Caramele, to rewrite Winston’s original idea.

The plot, given that Schumer doesn’t change the major details, “begins in a perfect land of Barbies where one woman slowly awakens to the fact that she doesn’t fit it. She is expelled from the idealistic land and journeys to the real world, where she discovers that being unique is an asset.”

The outlet also addresses the fact that Mattel has had to deal with plenty of criticism regarding body image and race when it comes to the Barbie toys. Schumer’s casting is a great way to speak to some of those issues, and will hopefully provide a positive and uplifting message by the movie’s end.

There will be, of course, some hesitation given Schumer’s previous work. One only has to look as far as Trainwreck and Inside Amy Schumer to see her comedy is often brutally honest and raunchy. Barbie would be shocked.

But Schumer is an actress, after all, and a brilliant comedian. For this “contemporary spin on beauty, feminism and identity,” she seems like just the right fit.

What do you think of Amy Schumer as Barbie?