There are few things more exciting than the tingle a well-cut and exciting trailer can give a cinema-goer. One of the best parts about the cinematic experience is experiencing the highs and, inevitable, lows of the upcoming features that will be barreling our way soon. We might get tantalized by a new political thriller or the latest big studio/big budget blockbuster. No matter the genre if the trailer is well produced it can garner attention. After a bit of a delay the second installment is here! Some of the biggest and best trailers including the latest from Cannes, new looks at the coming summer blockbusters and more!
I thought I'd start the week off with something that will be premiering at the Cannes Film Festival (out later in the summer in a limited release) here soon. An adaptation of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying brought to us by director James Franco. Hmm. Okay. Bit of warning prior to watching: About 1:10 in there is a depiction of a violent sex act, no nudity, but it's clear what's going on. NSFW warning.
So, we've got James Franco (starring and directing), Danny McBride (been waiting for this guy to take on a more dramatic role), Logan Marshall-Green, Tim Blake Nelson (Most people tend to remember him from O' Brother Where Art Thou?), Ahna O'Reilly, Beth Grant and Jesse Helman.
Franco is definitely attempting to up his directorial game by adapting something as deep as Faulkner. The story, to boil it down as best I can, involves a family's attempt at transporting the body of the matriarch to her burial place. It doesn't go so well.
Told by multiple characters and I noticed that some of the original text is used within the trailer. Interesting. Mostly I'm intrigued by two things here: Can Franco, who also adapted the original work, make this work and will Danny McBride prove something I've long felt he could do: Be a dramatic actor.
Alright. So, this is another Cannes soon-to-premiere film. The main player here is Robin Wright (known as of late for her brilliant turn in Netflix's House of Cards) in a film that is a hybrid of live-action and animation. She plays an actress at the end of her career, so to speak, and she sells her likeness to a firm that will use it in myriad ways. Harvey Keitel, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Danny Huston and Paul Giamatti also star. The trailer gives a feel of some of the cerebral qualities of something in the vein of Charlie Kaufman (think Being John Malkovich) mixed in with Roger Rabbit or The Triplets of Belleville. This could very well be the most visually arresting film to hit the scene this year. VERY interested. Limited release - premieres at Cannes soon and European release July 3rd. Wide later this year.
Finally the full length trailer for the next installment in the Riddick franchise. I'll be the first to admit that I was very cold on these movies upon release. It took me playing the absurdly fun and well made Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay tie-in game for PC (and Xbox). Stellar game that made me appreciate the character of Richard B. Riddick far more than the movies upon first glance did. I went back and watched Pitch Black (a rather fun little sci-fi action flick) and Chronicles of Riddick (A decent sequel if not problematic at times). This trailer feels like the best pieces of both were hacked off and sewn together into this monster.
Riddick (Vin Diesel) is stranded upon a dying planet full of awful predators. His only course of action for survival is to activate a distress beacon. This brings bounty hunters that include Dave Bautista, Jordi Molla, Matt Nable, Katee Sackhoff (BSG! Yay!), Bokeem Woodbine, Conrad Pia, Raoul Trujillo, Nolan Funk, Keri Hilson, and Karl "Judge Dredd" Urban.
Honestly? This could be a lot of fun. Drops on September 6.
NSFW: The next trailer is a Red-Band Trailer. It contains foul language.
So, the first thing that struck me is we're getting to see Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) and John Francis Daley (Bones) in lead roles here. The rest of the roster is quite impressive with Craig Robinson (The Office) as the Anti-Christ, Rob Corddry is, well, being Rob Corddry and a cavalcade of others. The script is penned by none other than the most non-heinous Chris Matheson (Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure) and directed by Paul Middleditch (the rather underrated Seperation City).
A young couple navigates the hellish remains of Earth after the Rapture and has to deal with the Devil, etc. The main problem with this trailer is it's kind of a dud. A few moments actually did make me laugh such as the foul-mouthed crow and a few lines from Robinson. Otherwise? I uh. Hmm. I'm going to hope this turns out better than the trailer is leading us towards. The Rapture begins on June 7.
Let me start off by saying it's a god damn crime that Alfonso Cuarón is not a household name in terms of big name directors. Films like Children of Men, Y Tu Mamá También and A Little Princess (not to mention one of my favorite entries in the Harry Potter franchise Prisoner of Azkaban) are not only aesthetically wondrous but are just great fucking films. So, to say I've been looking forward to Gravity for a while is an understatement.
You have two MAJOR stars in George Clooney and Sandra Bullock, both Oscar-winners and box office draws, teaming up with a director that is a true visionary? This is the tale of two astronauts who get detached from their ship and have to survive alone in the infinite dark of space. Set for release on October 19 in 2D, 3D and 3D IMAX (Definitely going to see this in IMAX). This has been YEARS in the making. This won't be a huge sci-fi epic but a much more intimate even introverted affair that is a showcase for Bullock.
THAT is how you cut a trailer. That lost shot, in particular, had my arms breaking out in goosebumps. It was chilling and a good indicator of the desolation and the fear we're going to feel as the audience in watching it. It gave little away other than the base premise and the music was perfect. I was cringing in horror. Lost in deep space? Fuck that. Fuck that so hard. I AM THERE, MR. CUARÓN.
WARNING: NSFW - Red-Band Trailer - Mostly a few curse words here. Nothing major.
Coen Brothers. The name is synonymous with films of artistic merit and, usually, fantastic performances. Here we have a folk singer, a cat, a bearded John Goodman and Carey Mulligan. Oscar Isaac plays the titular character/folk singer and this movie looks, not only gorgeous, but yet another strong entry into the canon for Joel and Ethan Coen.
This film feels like it should have been black and white but the muted color palette works so well for the subject matter at hand. If their last film A Serious Man is any indicator of what we're going to be getting with this film? We're in for a treat. I can't wait. It'll premiere at Cannes soon and release wide on December 6.
It's about god damn time. The oft delayed and long in development hell Ender's Game finally has a trailer. The book of the same name by Orson Scott Card is, in my opinion, one of the finest science-fiction novels ever written. I've read it maybe twenty or so times now? I'll read it again before this film comes out for sure.
The age of the characters was always a problem or the action sequences would be simply too much to put to film is what we've always been told. Gavin Hood (Rendition, Tsotsi, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) has stepped up to the challenge and, if the trailer is any indicator, fans of the seminal book might get what we've wished for. Asa Butterfield (brilliant in Scorcese's Hugo) plays our hero who is recruited into space to train as a future military leader who is destined to save our planet. Harrison Ford plays the always gruff mentor and other Oscar-caliber talent fills out the rest of the roster with Hailee Steinfeld, Sir Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis and Abigail Breslin.
The zero gravity battleroom sequence looks phenomenal. The scale of this is massive, as it should be, and Butterfield really steps into and inhabits the role of Ender Wiggin. This is a book, however, that while being well-known, may not be as familiar to most movie audiences. A few third act moments are in the trailer but nothing major. This has me salivating. Seriously. I can't wait for November 1.
So, we already had the sub-par Olympus Has Fallen that provided, at best, some light if brainless popcorn faire. Here we have Channing Tatum and Jaime Foxx teaming up with Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow) to give us a completely absurd action flick that involves an assault on the White House by a paramilitary group. Between the two this looks like the more fun film. It, much like the sixth entry into the Fast and Furious franchise, are exactly what you want our of a fun summer movie. Action with humor mixed in and explosions. Yup. Is it dumb? Yes. Will it feature far too many potshots at terrorists/militants followed by too many explosions? You bet your ass it will. Will it be an entertaining time at the movies? Yup.
John Cale (Tatum) must protect the President (Jaime Foxx) and also try to find his daughter. This is buddy cop movie except one of the cops is the President of the United States who totally says something to the effect of "Get your hands of my Jordans!" after firing a rocket launcher. THAT FUCKING HAPPENED. Honestly the first promo images of this looked like a reboot of Die Hard but set in the White House? Hmm. Interesting.
Well, that'll be it for this week, folks! The Scrivener will be back next week with more trailers for your consumption.