Trailers postsThursday December 05, 2013
Thoughts on 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' Trailer
- Good open. When he's falling silently? I like that.
- “The more people I try to save, the more enemies I will make.” Is that true? Maybe if an organized group was after him, but ...
- Is there any chemistry between Garfield and Stone? I don't sense it. It's like they're on a first date.
- Dane DeHaan looks AMAZING at 0:58. Who does he sound like here? Brad Pitt?
- So more on Richard Parker. I guess we'll get this stuff bit by bit, in movie after movie, like Don Draper probing his past. The movies really are episodic now.
- “I made a choice, this is my path...” Ick. And that's for the trailer?
- Electro: “Soon everyone in the city will know how it feels to live in a world without power, without mercy ...” Sounds like the GOP platform.
- Hey, has Spider-Man caught the Burglar yet? Is he gonna?
Great action scenes anyway but overall ho-hum. But it's gotta be better than the first one, right? Right?
Thoughts on the 'Captain America' Trailer
- Instead of “Was he wearing a parachute?” shouldn't the line have been something like, “Was that a parachute on his back?” Also, the guy who answers should be less smug. Also, barbershop quartet? Steve Rogers became Cap in the 1940s not the 1900s.
- Holy shit! Robert Redford!
- “I thought the punishment usually came after the crime.” Interesting.
- “This isn't freedom; this is fear.” Wow. Even more interesting. Oh please, let this play out. Let it be smart. Let Cap not be on the “not fear” side until he's played and then comes over to the S.H.I.E.L.D. “fear” side. The side that has to punish before the crime.
- “You've shaped the century.” Uhh ... what century? Dude was on ice, literally, from 1945 to 2010.
All in all, though, this is my Captain America. I collected comic books from 1973 to 1978 and that Cap, mostly written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Sal Buscema, was not only a man lost in time but a man without a country. He was not a superpatriot. He was to the left of the superpatriots. He didn't trust superpatriotism. In one of the best storylines of the Marvel age, Englehart retconned the Captain America of the 1950s into a completely different Cap (since our Cap was on ice, remember?). Englehart made him a McCarthy-loving, Red-baiting, paranoid nut who winds up being freed after Nixon goes to China and then goes after our Captain America, the original Captain America.
The whole storyline was great commentary upon America of the 1950s. Maybe this movie will be great commentary on America of the 2000s. Doubtful but maybe.
Final thought: Three years ago, I thought Chris Evans, the hotshot Human Torch, was all wrong to play Captain America. Apologies.
Everything Jeff Wells Hates
In the past I've poked fun at Jeff Wells' anti-“Lincoln” rants and his perverse insistence on schooling Jackie Robinson on baseball but I love it when he goes on rants about the shit he hates in modern movies. Maybe because it's the same shit I hate. A recent example:
Studly, sword-brandishing, robe-wearing beardo: “I know what you are.” Tantalizing Lucretia McEvil: “You have no idea.” Brrrnnnggg! Any film in which a major adversarial character says “you have no idea” is instantly disqualified. Everything loathsome and detestable about 21st Century mass-moron pulp entertainment in one downmarket Asian combat film. Cartoon-level CGI. Robes. Samurai swords. Catchy macho-challenge lines (i.e., “C’mon”). Steely glares. A once-influential marquee-name actor reduced to pandering to people whose taste in movies couldn’t be more primitive or less evolved.
Yep, yep, yep, yep, yep.
He's writing about “47 Ronin,” starring Keanu Reeves and Rinko Kikuchi. Trailer here. Enjoy:
Trailer of the Day: Errol Morris' 'The Unknown Known: The Life and Times of Donald Rumsfeld'
First, Bob McNamara in “Fog of War” and now Donald Rumsfeld:
Somehow I get the feeling he's not learning any of the 11 lessons Robert McNamara learned--let alone the lessons the directors of Shin Bet learned in fighting terrorism in Israel. Rumsfeld's a little too pleased with himself, isn't he? It's a bit scary. That one may smile and smile and be a douchebag.
Somewhere, Charles Ferguson is pissed off.
“The Unknown Known” is making the festival circuit and will be released later this year.
Trailer: Dear Mr. Watterson
A lot of the movies I'm most interested in seeing this fall are docs: “Salinger” in September, and this one, “Dear Mr. Watterson,” about the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes, which opens on November 15:
Trailer of the Day: 'The Congress' by Ari Folman
This looks amazing:
It's about actors being bought and digitalized away but it could be about any of us being bought and digitalized away. That's the movement in our society now. Is the movie about all that's lost in that grand bargain? This grand bargain? The one I keep making with you? And the fact that we can't go back from where we came?
The writer-director is Ari Folman, who made “Waltz with Bashir” a few years ago. The source material is the novel “The Futurological Congress” by Stanislaw Lem (1921-2006), who wrote “Solaris.”
It's going to be playing at Cannes, apparently, and released in France on July 3. And in the U.S.? Silence so far.
Via Hollywood Elsewhere.
Trailer of the Day: Captain Phillips (2013)
Thoughts on this:
- Hanks looks pretty good. This seems like a good role for him: a grounded, true-life, life-or-death movie. The human-sized hero.
- Paul Greengrass as director? I hope the movie is more “United 93” than, say, “Green Zone.”
- I really need to see “Bloody Sunday,” Greengrass' first big movie, which was about the massacre of Irish protestors on Jan. 30, 1972; same as the U2 song.
- Why oh why did Capt. Phillips have to be from Boston?
Opens October 11.
Theory: In 'Man of Steel,' Krypton Lives
I wrote about this just a few days ago but the new trailer reinforces the notion: In the new Superman movie, Krypton, Kal-El's homeworld, lives. It doesn't blow up.
- “I’ll be honest with you, there’s no Kryptonite in the movie,” says director Zack Snyder. (Source: Entertainment Weekly cover story.)
- “This film reveals that even on Krypton, young Kal-El was a special child, whose birth was cause for alarm on his home planet.” Which gives Jor-El a reason, besides the destruction of Krypton, to send his baby son away in a rocket ship. (Source: Entertainment Weekly cover story.)
- In “Superman II” Gen. Zod tried to take over the Earth, since there was no longer a Krypton to take over. In the new teaser, he doesn't try to take over Earth. He simply asks for Kal-El back. But back where? (Source: “Man of Steel” teaser.)
- Zod also refers to Kal-El as “one of my citizens.” But citizen of what? (Source: “Man of Steel” teaser.)
And now we have the new trailer, trailer #3, in which:
- We see a battle on Krypton, not Krypton exploding.
- We see Zod berating a woman thus: “You believe your son is safe?!” It's obviously Lara he's talking to. But how? Isn't this after Kal-El is shot into space? And isn't that generally when Krypton blows up? Yet there they are, talking.
- We see Zod shouting, “I will find him!” amdist a Kryptonian backdrop.
Here's the new trailer:
This trailer, by the way, is the one that most recalls “Superman: The Movie”: from the dialgoue between Jor-El and Lara about their child's place on Earth, to Lois naming Kal-El, from the S-like Kryptonian symbol on his chest, “Superman.”
As for Krypton living, what do you think? Am I missing something? I just can't get around Zod extracting Kal-El from Earth rather than battling him for it. The only reason you don't battle someone for a planet is if you already have one.
ADDENDUM: More speculation in the comments field.
That's Jor-El. But that doesn't seem like a planet blowing up. It seems like soneone's attacking.
And this is Zod yelling, “I will find him!” Seems like the same place. Seems like Krypton.
The New 'Man of Steel' Teaser: Zod Damn
Here's the new teaser trailer for “Man of Steel,” featuring the voice of Gen. Zod (Michael Shannon) requesting the return of Kal-El/Superman (Henry Cavill) from Earth:
Thoughts? I'm sure fanboys are loving it.
Me, I'm not sure. I still don't trust Zack Snyder, director of the worst movie of 2011, as well as this new gloomier Superman. Last week, in Entertainment Weekly, we learned that the new movie would have no kryptonite (good); and that Cavill “plays a Superman who isn’t fully comfortable with that god-like title. This film reveals that even on Krypton, young Kal-El was a special child, whose birth was cause for alarm on his home planet.”
That, along with this teaser, is cause for alarm for me. If Zod is requesting the return of Kal-El from Earth, the immediate thought is, “Requesting from where? To return to where?”
Does it live? Does Jor-El send Kal-El to Earth not because Krypton is about to die but because Kal-El is a special child? The One? Please don't make it about The One. I really don't need that story again.
“My name is General Zod. For some time your world has sheltered one of my citizens. I request that you return this individual to my custody. To Kal-El, I say this: Surrender within 24 hours or watch this world suffer the consequences.”
Trailer of the Day: Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia (2013)
Could be good, could be crazy Cubans.
I certainly like this line:
Gore Vidal has been a thorn in the American establishment, of which he is, by birth at any rate, a charter member.
Reminds me of a line from one of my reviews of Vidal's books:
Gore Vidal is one of the great class traitors in American history and, for that, all of us who won't see a penny from the recent repeal of the estate tax should thank him.
One of the scarier lines is when Vidal, in the 1960s I believe, to William F. Buckley I believe, laments that, in the U.S., the top 5% own 20%, and the bottom 20% own 5%. Those were the days.
“Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia” will premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in NYC on Thursday, April 18. After that? Who knows? Fingers crossed.
Reminder: the documentary, “Philip Roth: Unmasked” plays on PBS tonight. I'll be DVRing.
More Vidal posts at the link below.
Trailer of the Day: 'A La Merveille'
When I listed off my concerns about the trailer for Terrence Malick's “To the Wonder” the other day, my friend Dave, a fellow Malick lover, who was also worried that Malick was becoming a parody of himself, suggested I check out the French trailer, which he liked more:
Even the title is better in French: “A la Merveille.” According to Dave, the movie's working title was “The Burial.”
Trailer of the Day: Terrence Malick's 'To the Wonder'
Is the style overly familiar now? The images? The wheat fields and water and waves?
Or is it the theme?
This is the voiceover narration we hear from Javier Bardem, broken down:
- You shall love, whether you like it or not.
- Emotions, they come and go like clouds. Love is not only a feeling; you show love.
- To love is to run the risk of failure, the risk of betrayal.
- You fear your love has died; perhaps it is waiting to be transformed into something higher.
- Awaken the divine presence which sleeps in each man, each woman.
- Know each other in that love that never changes.
I like the first line, particularly the implied threat in it.
Another site has the second line ending with “You shall love,” which is a repetition of the first sentiment, but I thought he said you show love. It's not just a feeling, in other words; there's action involved. It's something, you could add, you can't hide. Another implied threat.
3. is obvious. Not a fan of 3.
4. is where I fear I am sometimes. Nice thought at the end, though. Wish fulfillment?
The last two lines connect the human and the divine through love. The messy human component, with its failures and betrayals and fadings (per “Annie Hall”), is a mere flake of the divine, absolute, unchanging love of God. We just deal with it poorly. We render it less than absolute, less than divine. But know it to be divine.
That seems to be what we're getting here. I'd like to agree. But I'm stuck on 4.
Opening limited April 12.
Trailer of the Day: Average Party
So not a real movie.
I actually think this kind of thing would work for a studio comedy now and again. Or once. Play to the reality of the situation rather than the wish-fulfillment fantasy. Satirize the genre without buying into the tropes of the genre for the second half of the film—a la “The Other Guys” and “21 Jump Street.” But that would take risk and imagination. Artists want to make the new; businessmen want to make what's made money.
Invasion USA: Two Lois Lanes, No Superman
One recent afternoon, going link to link on IMDb.com, I landed on the page for “Invasion USA” (1952). (“It will scare the pants off you!” ... Hedda Hopper) I was intrigued because that's also the title of a truly awful Chuck Norris movie from the Reagan-era 1980s. I wondered if this film, from the most frigid part of the Cold War, was its predecessor. Seems so. From IMDb's synopsis:
A group of people at a bar witness the unfolding events of a Soviet invasion of the USA.
It's also apparently worse than the Norris film. It has a miniscule 2.3 IMDb rating (Norris' film is at 4.8), and it's the butt on an entire MST3K program. That takes doing.
So why am I writing about it? I noticed that both 1950s-era Lois Lanes are in it. Noei Neill plays “Second Airline Ticket Agent” (although “First Airline Ticket Agent” doesn't make the cast list), while Phyllis Coates, higher billed, plays Mrs. Mulfory. The female lead is Peggy Castle, who mostly made B-pictures. Gerald Mohr is the lead. “War or no war,” he says in the trailer, “people have to eat and drink ... Or make love.” Then he grabs Ms. Castle and plants one.
Edward G. Robinson, Jr., son of, has a bit part as a radio dispatcher. It's his first screen role. He was in 23 pictures and died in 1973 at the age of 40. There's a million sad stories on IMDb.
I was hoping the two Lois Lanes had a scene together but it doesn't look like it. Neill is in this clip in which she has to tell a woman that Gardner Field, Montana, where she hopes to join her husband and children, has been attacked by an A-bomb. “All flights to Gardner Field have been discontinued ... permanently.”
Here's the trailer. SEE ... NEW YORK DISAPPEAR! SEE ... SEATTLE BLASTED! And don't miss the Peter Lorre-type trying to foment revolution against the boss until the U.S. Army comes through the door!
Two Lois Lanes but no Superman. No wonder the USA was invaded.
“All flights to Gardner Field have been discontinued ... permanently.”
Trailer of the Day: The World According to Dick Cheney
Unfortunately, we don't get ShowTime, where it premieres on March 15, so we'll have to seek it out some other way. That's assuming I want to spend 90 minutes listening to Dick Cheney.
But the director is R.J. Culter, who directed “The September Issue,” and who produced “The War Room” back in 1992. Good sign.
Star Wars VII by Michael Haneke
Turns out it was shown at the 2013 Cesars, so there's our answer. Unfortunately, this fact made me less impressed with the final product. If it's shown at the Cesars, instead of just on YouTube, shouldn't this be better? Funnier? It's still good. I also like that you can swear at the Cesars and apparently not get bleeped.
I'm curious. Did they do more faux trailers for the new “Star Wars”? Directed by other famous European directors?
And a show of hands: Who's seen both “Star Wars” and “Amour”?
Trailer of the Day: 'Midway' by Chris Jordan
WARNING: If you're like Patricia and have trouble viewing the death of animals, don't watch past 1:00 ...
I don't need “ocean of grief.” That's unworthy of the images. Otherwise this looks powerful and necessary. There's almost a Terrence Malick vibe. The filmmaker, Chris Jordan, is from Seattle, by the way.
Movie Trailers: Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
The Coen Bros.' latest, “Inside Llewyn Davis,” starring Oscar Isaac and Carey Mulligan (troubled husband and wife in “Drive,” more troubled here), is apparently screening for L.A. insiders this week, according to this New York Times article by Michael Cieply. Cieply writes:
If the film has had a slight air of mystery in recent months, that is partly because the Coens, working with the producer Scott Rudin, their collaborator on both “True Grit” and “No Country for Old Men,” made the film with backing from the French company Studio Canal but with no predetermined American distributor.
After shooting in New York City and elsewhere last year, Mr. Coen said, the brothers finished the movie at their own pace. They could have rushed it into the Oscar season but didn’t. Instead a public debut at the Cannes film festival in May is possible, he said. And by then, assuming that buyers like it as much as Mr. Wald did,“Inside Llewyn Davis” may have an American distributor, an army of publicists and a release date.
But it's the closing line that makes me smile:
“How good you are doesn’t always matter,” he added. “That’s what the movie is about.”
Here's the trailer that's making the rounds:
If that left you hanging, as it's designed to, you can hear Mr. Isaac singing live at Caffe Vivaldi here.
By the way: Would anyone but the Coens get away with “Llewyn” in the title?
'Man of Steel' Trailer #2
I'm not a fan of Zack Snyder (“Sucker Punch,” etc.) so I'm a bit worried that he's at the helm of the first true cinematic reboot of Superman since 1978. But this trailer? Looks pretty damn good.
Start with young Clark saying, “The world's too big, Mom,” and her asking him to focus on just her. Perfect. Imagine if you could hear the entire world? How would you focus? I actually wrote a bit about this, about Superman's dilemma, in 2010:
We're interested in him because he's all-powerful but being all-powerful is dramatically uninteresting. So we need to either push toward or pull away from his power: weaken him to create a feasible drama, or keep him as is and make his all-powerfulness the drama. I'm inclined toward the latter.
The trailer indicates that Snyder has done the latter.
I also like Pa Kent's advice. How, maybe, he should let people die. How, no matter what, he shouldn't let people know what he can do. I think it's bad advice but no one ever said Pa Kent couldn't give bad advice. Fathers do it all the time.
All in all, Superman's dilemmas seem four-fold:
- How to handle his powers.
- What to do with his powers.
- The frightful reaction from humans.
- General Zod.
Movie Trailers: The Lone Ranger (2013)
I like the opening narration here. I like anything in movies that reminds moviegoers how much everyday life changed during the 19th century from the previous, I don't know, 10,000 years. “From the time of Alexander the Great,” we're told, “no man could travel faster than the horse that carried him. Not anymore.” Cut to trains zipping through the west.
The focus is on the star, Johnny Depp, rather than the titular Lone Ranger, played by Armie Hammer, but that makes sense. Hell, it's not even on Depp. It's on the trains. But that makes sense, too. We're just at the teasing phase of the trailer. They can't give us too much or they'll have nothing to give us in the spring.
On the other hand, as great as that opening narration is, a few of the mid-shots are of outlaws on horses catching up to those zippy trains. Kind of undercuts the message, doesn't it?
(If the video above has been pulled try watching it here.)
I still don't know how they're going to do it. What's the story? How do you make the Lone Ranger interesting? How do you not marginalize the Ranger or Tonto? What's the point of the mask, the silver bullet, hi-yo Silver? The most recent incarnation, the disastrous “Legend of the Lone Ranger” from 1981, died a slow, strangulating death answering these very questions.
It doesn't help that the movie team is basically the “Pirates of the Caribbean” team: Depp, director Gore Verbinski, screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio. Disney and Bruckheimer. Depp's stoic head wobble riding beneath the train is indicative. It's a whiff of Capt. Jack.
They're going all out, though: $250 million budget and a July 3 release date. Somewhere, Klinton Spilsbury cringes.
Movie Trailers: 42 (2013)
I got a shiver at the beginning of this trailer, but then ... I don't know. If you're a baseball fan, you know most of the lines, apocryphal or not. “You want a player that doesn't have the guts to fight back?” “No, I want a player with the guts NOT to fight back.” Right. The lead, Chadwick Boseman, looks the part but he needs to be solid and immoveable, confident and competitive and angry. He's definitely not doing Jackie's voice, which, let's face it, sounded a bit like a black stand-up comic doing a stereotypical white guy. The homerun is good but we need speed on the basepaths. That was the shocking thing Jackie brought to a staid game. And Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey? Was Philip Seymour Hoffman busy? John Goodman?
Writer-director Brian Hegeland has written some good movies (“L.A. Confidential”; “Mystic River”), a lot of mediocre ones (“Blood Work”; “Man on Fire”; “Robin Hood” (2010)), and a few bombs (“The Postman”), but he's directed nothing of interest (“Payback”; “A Knight's Tale”; “The Order”). The movie looks majestic and false. Somewhere Spike Lee is bitching. Hopefully, in April, I won't be.
Waiting for 'The Master'
It's always a bit of a drag to see trailer that makes you lose interest in the movie you're about to watch. It happened to me all the time during the Winter of 2011 whenever I saw a trailer for Terrence Malick's “The Tree of Life,” which became my favorite movie of the year. It's happening to me again whenever I see a trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson's “The Master,” which just won various awards at the Venice Film Festival, including acting, directing, and best picture. Whoops, wait. New Venice rules prevent one film from dominating too many categories, so the jury, led by Michael Mann, took the best picture award back. Everyone's thought: Why take that one back? Wasn't it obviously best picture?
The film, shockingly, opens next week, limited, and the week after, wide. To me, it looks like a late December release. Not that I'm complaining.
Here's the trailer that keeps distracting me from what I'm about to see:
Trailers: Les Miserables's Got Talent
The trailer for the new musical, “Les Miserables,” is silent but for the bare, stark voice of Anne Hathaway singing “I Dreamed a Dream,” which, of course, is the song Susan Boyle sang on “Britain's Got Talent” a few years back, which, of course, is one of the most watched and talked-about videos in the YouTube era.
You can view the trailer here. (For some reason, they're not letting us embed.)
The musical stars Hugh Jackman (as Jean Valjean) and Russell Crowe (as Javert), two men's men as well as women's men, real Aussies and real actors, so it'll be interesting to see how the movie does at the U.S. box office.
The rest of the world turned “Mamma Mia!” into an international hit a few years back but America., and in particular American men, mostly yawned. “MM” is among the top 100 global box office hits of all time (unadjusted), currently ranked 65th with a $609 million gross, but only $144 million of that, or 23.6%, came from the U.S. Only three movies in the global box office's top 100 managed to get on the list with a lower U.S. percentage. (For the curious, they are: “300,” “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.”)
The U.S. just doesn't go to musicals anymore. We watch “American Idol” and “Glee” but can't be bothered to get into a car to hear folks sing.
The last time a live-action musical wound up in the top 10 in the annual U.S. box office was in 2002, with “Chicago,” which finished 10th for the year. The last time a live-action musical finished first in the annual U.S. box office was in 1978, with “Grease.” Andrew Lloyd Webber's “Phantom of the Opera” barely made a dent in 2004, grossing $51 million, and winding up 63rd for the year.
Can Wolverine save “Les Miserables”? Can General Maximus Decimus Meridius? Can Catwoman?
One thing's for sure: If Susan Boyle can't, no one can.
Whew ... 'Neighborhood Watch' is F**ked!
“Whew... Vaughn Meader is fucked.”
--Lenny Bruce, onstage, November 22, 1963
I thought of JFK impersonator Vaughn Meader tonight. I was waiting in line at the movie theater and saw a poster for the upcoming comedy “Neighborhood Watch.” It's about a bunch of suburban dads—Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill (does that dude sleep?)—who band together and create a neighborhood watch group to get away from their families. Apparently, in the process, they uncover a plot to take over the Earth.
Here's the trailer:
In light of recent events in Florida, with the tragic death of Trayvon Martin at the hands of a neighborhood watch volunteer, at the least this trailer is gone. I'm shocked it's still on YouTube. It helps that they have a black guy in the car with them—or at least a Norwegian-Nigerian by way of Britain. But the whole vibe of the thing? And Jonah Hill making his finger like a gun? No go. It's Vaughn Meader all over again. It's Peter Bogdonavich's 1968 film “Targets,” about an assassin, slated for release just after the MLK and JFK assassinations. Neighborhood watches might've been funny last year. Not this year.
Although maybe it'll do well in the South.
* * *
UPDATE: Nearly a week later and the Fox studios are finally waking up to the problem. Apparently they've removed the first teaser poster and trailer but only from Florida, where Trayvon Martin was killed, and which passed the “Stand Your Ground” law that allowed George Zimmerman to walk. A Fox spokesperson released the following, carefully worded statement to The Hollywood Reporter:
“We are very sensitive to the Trayvon Martin case, but our film is a broad alien-invasion comedy and bears absolutely no relation to the tragic events in Florida. The movie, which is not scheduled for release for several months, was made and these initial marketing materials were released before this incident ever came to light. The teaser materials were part of an early phase of our marketing and were never planned for long-term use. Above all else, our thoughts go out to the families touched by this terrible event.”
Above all else.
How 'Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter' Speaks to Our Time
The absurdity of the title is the point of the title but the point of the movie isn't absurdity. From the trailer, it appears to be the usual slow-mo, martial-arts mayhem but with a strong, 19th-century industrial and gadgetry presence. It's “Sherlock Holmes” but in America, and with a real historical (and beloved) character. Plus vampires. The ol' railsplitter is now a vampire-splitter. God save the union.
I'm sure it'll be shite. But it's the tagline at the end that made me post this. It made me laugh out loud. Did you catch it? It says:
ARE YOU A PATRIOT OR A VAMPIRE?
Brilliant. Truly. It lays bare the absurdity of our time: the uncompromising, absolutist, bifurcated vision of our modern politics and media. Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. Because there's no middle ground. America during the Bush years lost its middle class and its middle ground. We've been trying to get both back ever since.
Are you a patriot or a vampire? Someone, somewhere, is laughing their asses off.
Trailer of the Day
Loki: I have an army.
Tony Stark: We have a Hulk.
If I'd seen this when I was a kid, I would've wet my pants.
Via Ross Pfund on Facebook.
Trailers: Two Best-Foreign-Language Contenders
I was at the Egyptian Theater Saturday for “A Dangerous Method,” which was good, and saw the usual slew of trailers. These are the ones I made mental notes to see.
“In Darkness,” directed by Agnieszka Holland (“Europa, Europa,” “Three Colors: Blue”), and Poland's official candidate for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 2012 Academy Awards:
“Footnote,” written and directed by Joseph Cedar, winner of best screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival, and Israel's official candidate for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 2012 Academy Awards:
It's that time of year. For the next three months, the only good new thing in U.S. theaters will be the 2011 foreign language leftovers. Which are often the best movies of the year.
UPDATE: Both films have made the best-foreign-language-film shortlist.
Movie Trailers: What's Wrong with this Picture?
I saw this on IMDb.com yesterday. Can you spot the oddity?
With the left-most trailer, “Newlyweds,” I wondered if the girl with Ed Burns wasn't Melanie Laurent, but I believe it's Caitlin Fitzgerald. But that's not an oddity.
The poster for Cameron Crowe's “We Bought a Zoo” relegates Scarlett Johansson to the background, which is like putting Baby in a corner, but that's not an oddity, either.
No, it's in the right-most trailer image. I saw it and thought, “Oh, Jeremy Renner's got a new movie coming out. Cool.” Then I saw the title.
When was the last time a Tom Cruise movie ignored Tom Cruise in its marketing? Is he still that toxic?
This Year's Best Picture Winner?
Last Sunday I was almost moved to tears by the trailer for the film “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” starring Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and Thomas Horn, which will be released on Christmas Day 2011.
Today, I read this column by Jeff Wells, in which various best picture contenders are examined and dismissed (“The Descendants,” “Moneyball”), and which concludes with these paragraphs:
...when Gabe The Playlist begrudgingly said there “wasn't a dry eye in the house” toward the end of a recent NY screening of Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, I felt a little button-push sensation in my chest. I thinking it might be the one....maybe. He said he's not a Stephen Daldry or a Sandra Bullock fan and that he didn't care for the Asperger's kid, but he still recognized or acknowledged that it delivers the emotional payoff that it set out to deliver. ... So it's looking like Extremely Loud might have an edge at this stage.
Then I looked at my review for last year's best picture winner, “The King's Speech.” It begins with this admission before I dismissed the film as a minor film:
When I first saw a trailer for “The King's Speech,“ I was almost moved to tears.
So it looks like ”Extremely Loud" is on the right track anyway. Its trailer nearly moved me to tears. Now let's see if the film is the right kind of sappy for the Academy.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Whole Lot of Motherf**king Good Actors
I saw the trailer for “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” the other night before seeing Ryan Gosling in “Drive” (more later). Now I knew “TTSS” had been getting good notices—strong best picture candidate, etc.—and I knew it had some heavy hitters in it, Gary Oldman and Colin Firth and the like; but I was shocked, shocked, pleasantly shocked by just how much talent is in this thing. One good actor after another showed up in the trailer. “Hey, John Hurt ... Wow, that looks like Tom Hardy. Really? And Ciarian Hinds is in this, too?” Add Toby Jones and Mark Strong. Plus directed by Tomas Alfredson, who directed “Let the Right One In.”
Jeff Wells over at Hollywood Elsewhere is particularly impressed with Oldman:
I don't want to get into this too deeply because the film doesn't open for another nine or ten weeks but I can at least say that Gary Oldman's performance as George Smiley has to be considered...no, trumpeted as Best Actor-worthy. I've read a couple of reviews that claim he's not aping Alec Guinness's performance as Smiley in the 1979 British miniseries version. Well, he does seem to be doing that. To me, at least. Oldman barely moves in this thing, but oh, how he delivers! The man is an absolute pleasure just to watch...to simply regard. The stillness of him is sublime.
Opens December 9 in the U.S.
Let the master acting class begin.
Best Movie of the Summer?
They named it for a president. They made it soft and cuddly. But then the claws came out...
There's nothing more frustrating than seeing a great trailer like this, that promises a “Summer 2011” release, but then you can't find a release date on IMDb. I'm just saying that I hope somebody releases this thing soon because we need it. Caught between “Final Destination 5” and “The Help,” I'll take the action-adventure movie “The Teddy Bear,” starring Jordan Muschler and Ryan Muschler, thank you.
The Life Submarine with Oliver Tate
It was after I watched this talk by Harvey Weinstein on Jeff Wells' site, in which he made passing reference to the movie “Submarine,” that I saw the trailer for the movie on IMDb.com. Curious, I checked it out. It looked good. Although this shot seemed somehow familiar.
Even more so the wallpaper in this shot.
By the time the protagonist walks by the swimming pool in this shot, I was thinking, “OK, that's enough.”
I still hope the movie is good on its own and not simply derivative of Wes Anderson. June 3rd release in the states.
SIFF Quote of the Day
“Grandmother, melancholy grips my heart when I think of your old violin.”
—Opening words of a trailer for a film playing at SIFF, the Seattle International Film Festival. I'm a SIFF fan but this is almost a parody of an overly precious SIFF film.
“He's Moving Like a Tremendous Machine!”
My mother and my friend Jim both love horses and horse-racing movies, so they're both happy it's Derby day, and they're both looking forward to Disney's “Secretariat,” about one of the greatest horses who ever raced.
This morning, Derby morning, I watched the “Secretariat” trailer for the first time. The movie stars Diane Lane as the horse's owner, John Malkovich as the horse's trainer, and Margo Martindale (who played the American abroad narrating her Paris adventures in horribly accented French, in Alexander Payne's sweet, melancholy vignette in “Paris, je t'aime”) as the horse's namer. Good cast. But it looks awful. How do you make drama out of a horse winning the Triple Crown by 31 lengths? (“He's moving like a tremendous machine! Secretariat by 12! Secretariat by 14 lengths at the turn!...”) You make it all about the horse's owner.
Hopefully they'll still give us Chic Anderson's great call. October release.
Secretariat by a nose.
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