While I admit that the Western is not my favorite genre, there’s plenty to take in and admire in this trailer for the Coen brothers’ adaptation of the 1968 novel by Charles Portis True Grit (a re-adaptation, when taking the 1969 John Wayne vehicle into consideration).
Those familiar with the Coen’s work are aware of their motifs—crime, dry comedy, obstacles. Though I haven’t read True Grit, I’m engaged by the revenge narrative accompanied by exaggerated supporting characters and sharp regional tone. Mattie Ross, played by novice Hailee Steinfeld, approaches Jeff Bridges’ character Marshal Reuben J. Cogburn to avenge her father’s death. It’s a slick, simple narrative, but with the Coen embellishments, it’s likely to be a hit.
Trailer after the cut:Continue Reading »
At first glance, it looks as if there’s nothing new here, nothing that hasn’t been done before. A married couple loses their young child to a tragic car accident, and Rabbit Hole is a study of their grief, their discord, and the grim aftermath.
—but a look deeper offers a glimmer of originality. Based on a play by David Lindsay-Abaire (which I have not seen or read), Rabbit Hole makes a difficult situation even more difficult. In the midst of her grief, Becca Corbett (played by Nicole Kidman) finds a way of picking herself up—by having an affair with a young comic book artist. I won’t spoil any further; but suffice to say, there are layers to this story that, in the hands of a capable director, could offer an interesting spin on an old plot summary.
I do hope the film is darker than the trailer suggests, as the wrong tone could turn a grief-study like this into melodrama. Regardless, I’m intrigued.
Trailer after the cut:Continue Reading »
It turns out that Black Swan is not the only film coming out this year focusing on an athlete, as David O. Russell’s The Fighter will release later this year on December 10th. But while the Black Swan trailer has me anticipating an edgy, avant garde film that offers something fresh and original, The Fighter trailer looks like rehashed boxing melodrama.
Pass?Continue Reading »
Many have expressed that Never Let Me Go is a film they’d prefer to experience without knowing anything about its story beforehand. If you feel that way, I advise against watching the trailer below. I certainly don’t intend to spoil anything (because I’ve not seen the film yet), but this trailer does reveal plot details that you may or may not want to know before seeing the film.
Never Let Me Go is adapted from a novel of the same name written by Kazuo Ishaguro, who also wrote The Remains of the Day and The White Countess (both have also been adapted for the screen in the past decade). The film is directed by Mark Romanek, who directed the 2002 critically acclaimed thriller One Hour Photo. Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan, and Andrew Garfield play three students boarding at Hailsham Academy, a school for special children who will grow up to make contributions to society–many contributions. We and the students later learn that they are bred, born, and raised to donate their organs to other human beings.
So, that’s what the film looks like on paper. Now, have a look at the remarkably stunning visuals of the trailer. There’s the chief reason that I cannot wait to see Never Let Me Go.Continue Reading »
Festival season is in full swing at the moment with Venice, Telluride, and Toronto. More on that later, but for this week’s Trailer Tuesday, it seems appropriate to discuss the trailer for one of the most talked about films on the festival circuit.
Danny Boyle follows up Slumdog Millionaire with 127 Hours, which tells the true story of Aron Ralston, a climber who found himself between a rock and a hard place—literally—for five days in the mountains of Utah until forced to amputate his own arm to survive.
There’s no denying that this film has achieved some high praise from critics on the festival front: for Danny Boyle’s inspired direction, for the film’s technical sophistication, and for the courageous and vulnerable performance from James Franco (who I imagine has quite a bit of screen time by himself). The hype is deafening. Critical acclaim and awards success seem almost a given, but one has to wonder how the film will fare at the box office. The film is so intense that multiple viewers have fainted at two different screenings at the Telluride Film Festival. I’m wondering whether or not I can handle this myself. Can you?
Trailer posted after the cut:Continue Reading »
When the Black Swan trailer made it online last week, I think I can speak for many of us when I say that these few minutes surpassed all expectations of how unusual this story of a ballet dancer challenged by her rival might turn out to be. To pair a director like Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler) with a story set in the ballet world may seem dissonant; but now having seen the trailer, I can see something weird, creepy, and thrilling underneath the surface.
Natalie Portman plays Nina, a veteran principle ballerina working in New York City for a company whose director (Vincent Cassell) develops an interest in a vibrant newcomer, Lilly (Mila Kunis). Aronofsky has set a great stage for actors to show their strengths in the past, and it seems that he has done so with Black Swan as well. So much of that trailer’s edge is about Portman’s emotional and psychological state.
Black Swan will open the Venice Film Festival on September 1st (tomorrow!).
View the trailer after the cut:Continue Reading »
Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal reunite for the first time since Brokeback Mountain in Love and Other Drugs, directed by Ed Zwick (who generally works with heavy drama, like The Last Samurai and Blood Diamond) and based on a memoir written by a Viagra sales rep.
The chatter for this one began quite a while ago, as many of us (self included) are anxious to see this pairing hit the big screen again. Both Gyllenhaal and Hathaway have proved in their recent years that they can inhabit both comedic and dramatic characters. I tend to prefer Hathaway in comedic roles and Gyllenhaal in dramatic ones, but I think they both have an opportunity to show more range with this story. That is, if you’re counting on this to have more depth than the trailer suggests.
If anything, this trailer makes me take a step back and consider whether or not this really is something to look forward to. Sure, it looks sexy, fun, and entertaining, but where’s the story? Where’s the conflict? For those of us who don’t really know pharmaceutical sales, why is his job so interesting? More than likely, the trailer is the way it is—insincere, generic—because the distributors would like to attract a greater market of viewers. Let’s hope that that is the case—that there is controversy, conflict, and substance here that makes Love and Other Drugs more than a standard romantic comedy.Continue Reading »
A few weeks ago, I posted the trailer for the upcoming film about the creators of Facebook, The Social Network. At first glance, one has to wonder, “really?…REALLY?!” Where’s the story? Why should I care about this project?
Well, a recent extended trailer that premiered in front of Inception has answered those questions for me. This trailer provides for me the characters, themes, and conflict to grab my attention. Perhaps it will do the same for you:
And hey, what an informed song choice.Continue Reading »
It may be vastly different in tone from Network, but there’s something about Morning Glory that makes it an attractive option for a Saturday afternoon in the theater. Rachel McAdams plays Becky Fuller, who appears to be a refurbished Andrea of The Devil Wears Prada—a go-getter who takes on a gateway job opportunity that doesn’t necessarily financially compensate for the outlandish work it requires of her. Her Miranda Priestly is a composite of Diane Keaton and Harrison Ford, high profile co-anchors of a struggling morning show program.
What do we think about this one?Continue Reading »
The Social Network is David Fincher’s latest project that, as explained in the trailer, will tell the story of the architects behind the most popular social networking website, Facebook.
The only reason I’m giving this project any sort of consideration is David Fincher, who despite some loud criticism describing his films as “cold” and “emotionally removed,” has made some of the most well reviewed thrillers of the past decade in Zodiac, Fight Club, and Se7en. I imagine that The Social Network will likely play to its audience’s emotions, raising questions about privacy and exposing the negative lifestyle changes of many that are consumed by the virtual experience.
If you care about this project (I don’t really), The Social Network will hit theaters in limited release this October.Continue Reading »