Trailers are something I've always loved to sit through when going to see a film. They are the short-form of the bigger entertainment to come. There is a science to crafting them, a true art in the edit, the choice of music, and, ultimately, what to show and what not to show. We have A LOT to get through this week. Spike Lee's "Old Boy" remake finally has a trailer, a ridiculously slick Asian horror flick, a documentary about the smartest man alive, maybe the best film of 2013 (?!), and so much more! Check it out!
This documentary, originally shown at SXSW earlier this year, from Stephen Finnigan will tell us the story of the man. This isn't an exploration of his theorems or his work but more an exploration of the journey to what he has become: a thought leader for the entirety of the world.
I love me some Stephen Hawking. I remember catching wind of the 2004 BBC made-for-TV film that starred the now hugely famous Benedict Cumberbatch. That was actually quite competent and Benedict killed it but, there, we saw more about his drive and his work. I liked that, right away, we establish a tone of this being about the much more intimate story of Hawking's personal life, his struggles with illness and, ultimately, how becoming this remarkable person came at a cost. It does not guilt us into watching though, but rather just set the hooks out for us to sit through the whole film. There's some good stuff to see here about overcoming adversity and I, for one, am looking forward to it. Releases on September 20th (limited release more than likely)
This Next Trailer is a Red-Band Trailer: NSFW (Brief nudity, violence, language)
So, this has been years in the making. The original film, from 2003, by Chan-wook Park is, really, a modern masterwork. It isn't just one of the best things to come out of Asia but a flat-out amazing movie. It has achieved cult status, sure, but I think it's better than just some flamboyant cult classic. The first time I viewed it was wrenching. It ripped me apart and I loved every minute of it.
He is a man (Josh Brolin) imprisoned for 20 years, informed of the death of his wife (supposedly at his hands) and that his daughter might be willing to meet with him were he to ever get out alive. He awakens in a box in a field with a wad of money, a phone, clean-shaven and wearing some fly clothes. He searches for answers to his imprisonment and to find his daughter. Samuel L. Jackson appears to be his jailor and does as Samuel L. always does: be awesome. Ashley Olsen plays his love interest/companion/helper and, though we don't really see him full-on, Sharlto Copley , plays our mysterious benefactor pulling the strings here.
What struck me most about the trailer is that, well, it feels a LOT like what we got in the original film. Yes. Most of the notes are here and I'm a little worried that we'll be getting just an American version of Park's film. Where is Spike Lee's touch on this? I'm not seeing it thus far. Time will tell, along with other trailers, whether this will be worth a look. Releases October 25th.
If you're a fan of the horror genre then there are some chances you've watched an Asian horror flick by now. They tend to focus (especially the Japanese ones) more on the psychological aspects along with the usual gore we're used to. There were, however, a long string of movies in the late 70's and 80's in China that focused on vampires. A lot of them were terrible with a few exceptions (The Mr. Vampire Series) but were so wildly popular that honestly I'm surprised it's taken this long for it to see a comeback as popular as vampires have become in mainstream culture as of late.
First time director Juno Mak (actor/pop star) brings us a homage to those films by giving us a vampire film that appears not only to be working with a LOT of different things: black magic, ghouls and other such things, but really showcases some great effects work and gore. Takashi Shimizu (Ju-On/The Grudge) serves as producer as well and, frankly, this trailer delivers a LOT. The main character is a former actor of those vampire movies from the 80's who moves into a rundown apartment complex and, well, the apartment 2442 is a bad room. Shit is poppin' off to say the least. This is one of the most promising trailers I've seen from an Asian horror flick in some time. The vampires appear to be disgusting, vile creatures and there is gore by the gallon. Will it, however, be cerebral too? Not sure yet. I'm interested though. Should release stateside sometime in early 2014.
Well, as far as big movies go, this could be a humongous one for 2013. A real capstone for the year in cinema as we're introduced to the next leg of Peter Jackson's sprawling adaptation of the Bilbo Baggins' story. We'll get to see Smaug here, more sweet dwarf action and even Legolas! Hurray!
A pretty sufficiently epic trailer that shows us just enough of the dragon to know we're in for a lot of time with Smaug (voiced by Cumberbatch) on screen. Let us not forget the Necromancer character as well! The whole gang returns here along with that bastard Azog. It's what we've gotten most of the time with these Jackson LOTR films. A taste of some action set pieces, a bit of dialogue and some of the antagonist. Whether the first film is actually GOOD or not is up to you but I know for my money I'll be there opening night.
Scorcese. Dicaprio. That, alone, should be enough to sell this movie to you. It features the story of a Wall Street banker who will not cooperate with authorities as fraud charges are brought up. The Mafia is involved, cash is everywhere, corruption is rampant and this trailer is a whole lot of fun to watch. Adapted from a book by Jordan Belfort.
Surely this will be yet another attempt to get Dicaprio an Oscar and being paired with Scorcese certainly helps. I rather enjoyed the dynamic between Dicaprio and McCnaughey doing something that isn't his usual shtick it seems. I really hope Leo gets his due this time. This trailer also serves as sort of an unofficial music video for Kanye West's new single "Black Skinhead". It actually fits with the imagery of excess and wealth quite well. Wall Street looks madcap and almost surreal here yet it's quite clear this is not going to end well. I was in from the moment I heard Scorcese honestly. Opens on November 15th.
Well here it is folks. The last selection of the week. Perhaps the best film that cinema has to offer this year. I present to you the truly cerebral SyFy original:
Sharks. Tornado. Sharknado. This is EXACTLY what it appears to be.
A hurricane strikes Los Angeles and then desert winds come from the East to combine into the worst weather ever seen in human history. The sharks will rule the air, the sea and the land.
Holy fuck. This is tremendous. I thought SyFy had outdone themselves with the seminal classic Sharktopus but this a whole other level of batshit crazy. I can't wait.
THEY CUT SHARKS FLYING IN FROM THE SKY IN TWAIN WITH CHAINSAWS. We all know that is the natural enemy of the airborne Great White. Also Tara Reid is in it. So that's something isn't it?
This movie is going to be awful for all the right reasons. It airs TONIGHT (July 11th) on SyFy. BE PREPARED FOR AMAZING.
That's it for this week folks! I'll be back next week with more trailers that astound, befuddle and maybe even uplift. Probably not. Later!