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 one last Man of Steel sneak peak, Aubrey Plaza in a starring role and so much more!


So, first up we have a "coming of age" story in The To Do List . Aubrey Plaza (who is fucking brilliant on Parks and Recreation  and was stellar in Safety Not Guaranteed ) takes on the lead role as Brandy Clark. She's the overachiever, the valedictorian and a bit of a prude. Her "enlightened" sister (Rachel Bilson) gives her the idea to head off to college with an education of the carnal variety thus the List is born. This has a ridiculous number of comedic actors in it including Donald Glover (Community), Bill Hader (SNL ), Alia Shawkat (Maeby from Arrested Development ), Andy Samberg (The Lonely Island, SNL ), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Superbad , Kick-Ass ) and even more. It's a big ensemble with a lot of talented people but my one question is: Can she carry a film? I think she can. 

Safety Not Guaranteed  was a huge surprise in not only how WELL it was scripted but just how damn good it was and Plaza was a huge reason why. This is a raunchy teen comedy set during the golden age: 1993. The music will be awful, the clothes even worse and there will be dick jokes by the truckload. It made me chuckle more than a few times. Could be worth a matinee show at least. This looks like a lot of others that have come before it, honestly, but if it delivers on laughs? We shall see on July 26.

If anyone has read the site before or listened to the podcast then you'll know I'm a bit of a nut about horror flicks. I do love my slasher flicks, this is true, but a good haunted house/ghost story will always be near the top of my list. Insidious  came out in 2011 with a measly 1.5 million dollar budget under it's belt and a little buzz. It made around 63 million and, surprisingly enough for horror, got fairly good reviews. It, however, had a notorious cliffhanger of an ending with no sequel news in sight. 

It was one of those movies that BEGGED consideration and further discussion after the credits rolled. I've had more than a few conversations with friends who've seen it as to potential endings and other elements that still remain a mystery. This is the second chapter in the Insidious  story. The entire cast is back to unravel the secret of the horrible evil that is still haunting this family.  It picks up immediately after the first film (literally seconds after the last frame of the first movie) and has the same look/feel of the first. A lot of callbacks to the first and a lot of delving deep into the childhood memories of Patrick Wilson. It'll be bigger than the first, naturally, but hopefully build on the fantastic concepts established in the first. 

The atmosphere builds beautifully as the trailer rolls on and then we hear that music. Tiptoe through the tulips my ass. The glimpses of Patrick within the Further (the scenes with the lantern) look stark and terrifying. A great tease without really giving anything away. FANTASTIC. I'll be there on September 13th. 

Alright. So, I've featured a Man of Steel  trailer prior and this should be the last one we get before release next week. Why feature another? Aside from how out of my god damn MIND excited I am for this film..? It's pure poetry.

There are maybe two lines of dialogue spoken throughout and their both from Jor-El (Russell Crowe). The rest is arresting visuals from Zack Snyder and Hans Zimmer score. Explosions! Flying! Punching! Clark Kent getting bullied! Huh? We have all the action set off by these brief glimpses into the humanity of Kal-El/Clark Kent. Great juxtaposition. It flows so well together and, frankly, is a fitting capstone for the marketing campaign.

This movie has so much riding on it. We know the Dark Knight  trilogy was a huge success and served as the DC/Warner Bros plan to make their own Marvel-esque universe but it will be all for naught if this doesn't work. This movie HAS to work.  Thankfully the early reviews coming in are pretty damn good! Epic is a word used a lot which the trailers lean towards but also grounded? Interesting. This had better be good, Snyder.

Robert De Niro has been on a roll as of late and, seemingly, finding his heart again when it comes to acting. It felt like, for about a decade there he was just sleepwalking through most everything he did. His work with Scorcese aside I had begun to lose hope. Fast forward to the past couple of years and we've got movies like Being Flynn  and the fantastic turn he had in Silver Linings Playbook. So, here, he's doing what he does best of all though: being a gangster.

The Family  is the story of a made man (De Niro) who turns state's evidence against the mob and, well, witness protection occurs. The family (De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer in starring roles here) move to France under the watchful eye of FBI agent Stansfield (Tommy Lee Jones). So, needless to say, the tone of the movie right away is mafia movie meets fish out of water comedy. Obviously those in the life have a tough time adjusting to being out of it as Pfeiffer's run-in with a rude shop clerk results in her BURNING DOWN the grocery store. The clean-up crew is coming for De Niro and family and, well, looks like they'll have to stop them. 

The thing I find interesting about this is we're getting a film not only written by Luc Besson but directed by as well. He's shown in the past he can direct a hell of a movie (Le Femme Nikita, The Professional, Taken, Transporter, Angel-A)  but the last few years, a lot of De Niro, have been spent just sorta going through the motions. I felt here that everyone involved was really having fun with their roles and Besson brings his trademark touches of comedy mixed with heavy action. If it's got De Niro giving a damn that's enough for me. Releases September 20th.

SXSW (The yearly all things awesome festival in Austin) this year had a lot of great films but there was one that just blew everyone away. Short Term 12 . I heard a TON of buzz about Brie Larson (United States of Tara , and as Envy Adams in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World ) in this film in that this is a humongous leap forward for an already gifted actress. It won the Audience Prize and the Grand Jury Prize this year and left many in the audience crying and was met with standing ovations. Subsequent screenings seem to have garnered the same response from nearly everyone. So, immediate early Oscar buzz aside this movie looks fantastic.

Short Term 12  is the story of Grace and Mason. They both work at a facility for at-risk- teenagers and are also dealing with the ups and downs that any relationship goes through. She is fiercely protective and a true matriarch for these troubled youths and cares so deeply for each and every one. The arrival of a gifted but very troubled teenage girl with whom Grace forms an immediate bond throws things in an uproar. There is a lot going on in this movie from the complex relationship between caretakers and these kids to the intricacies and the real depth of Grace and Mason's relationship. 

This has the samey feel of a lot of indie films. The music, however, is pitch perfect with Youth Lagoon's  "Montana" kicking in at just the right moment. It establishes Grace as a tough yet loving woman who is deeply invested in her work but is guarded about her past. Mason (John Gallagher Jr.) is just wanting to help and be the best man he can be for her but the walls are up. Add to the mix the new girl who can be downright violent at times? Interesting conflicts arise. 

One of the things I keep reading about this film is just how well it does EVERYTHING. Acting to script to pacing. Everything is just damn near perfect. Even if it's just hyperbole on the part of some critics I have seen what Brie Larson is capable of in United States of Tara  and she has some serious chops. This film looks stellar. One of the new guard of film critics online that I've grown to trust is Slash-Film's Germain Lussler and he gave it his first perfect score. I can't wait. Opens August 23.

 That'll do it for this week folks!  Tune in next week for more of some of my personal favorites of the week or things I feel should be on your radar. 

AuthorThe Scrivener