Weekly Trailer Round-up #1


School is winding down which is making me rethink how I want my blog to be. I know consistency is my big issue and my main goal to work on that. Writing does not come as naturally to me as it does for many others out there, so time is a factor. I’d like to do a weekly trailer post as well as a weekly commentary post sharing my thoughts on a piece of film news. My weekly screening posts will have musings as well.

Trailers are usually about prepackaging a film into a definitive set of criteria. For the most part, people want to know what to expect when they walk into a movie theater. Will they be scared? Thrilled? Laugh? Cry? Trailers boil down the expected emotions. Or they purposely misrepresent the film in efforts to gain more viewers. It goes without saying that trailers are a form of advertising. They are meant to sell the film. So while they always have to be taken with a grain of salt, they also are a great indicator on whether or not any given film will be ‘for you’.

30 Minutes of Less (B): The material looks little more than average, but the comedic pairing like Jesse Eisenberg and Aziz Ansari looks very promising. Eisenberg is one of the best young actors today and Ansari is one of my favorite stand-up comedians, so it would be a shame if this doesn’t pan out they way it theoretically should. Eisenberg’s character seems to have a lot more confidence than the types of characters we are used to seeing from him. It is not hard to see the slightly different air about him, making him, dare I say it, even more attractive? Yes…I believe I dare say it. In short, hopefully the film itself will match the potential of the cast and not depend too much on the line deliveries of the actors.

The Change-Up (C-): Another take on the ‘Freaky Friday’ concept, this time with two actors who seem incapable of portraying the other convincingly. At least, that’s the sense one gets from the trailer. Isn’t the entire point of a film like this to see all the fun ways the actors portray their characters post body-swapping? When Ryan Reynolds, a womanizing bachelor, and Jason Bateman, a domesticated family man, switch bodies it is nearly impossible to tell the difference. This may be because we do not stay with a scene long enough to get a sense of the performances, but uninteresting material aside, it looks like it’ll be hard to fully buy these performances.

The Help (C+): I have been meaning to read The Help, but now I’m not so sure if I want to. This looks a lot more light-hearted than I thought it was supposed to be. Packaged into the epitome of a heartwarming crowd pleaser, nothing about this trailer feels real. I’ll read the book because it is absurd to not read a book because the trailer for the movie adaptation is disappoints, but the fact remains…this looks overcooked.

Submarine (A): I’ve been looking forward to this ever since hearing about it, and the trailer exceeded my expectations. Has a Rushmore vibe about it (one of my all-time favorites; as innovative in 2011 as it was in 1998), yet it looks like it has its own identity and does not feel forced or unoriginal.  The film looks quite beautiful to boot. Unfortunately, I’ll be missing this at IFFBoston next week, because I am opting for Green instead.

The High Cost of Living (D+): Everything we hear Zach Braff say in voiceover during the first third of this trailer sounds like dialogue that could have come directly from Garden State. Nothing about it looks worthwhile; a somber romantic drama laced with some half-hearted humor. The only question left hanging is whether or not the lead female will accept Braff for his actions. I don’t care to know the answer. The tagline, the music, all of it; no thanks.

Another Earth (B): The concept of Another Earth certainly has potential, and it looks like the outcome can go either way. Low budget indie sci-fi cannot help but recall last year’s Monsters, and that was a near disaster in execution.

Circumstance (A-): Try not to be captivated by this. My hope is that it can give legitimate insight on Iranian youth culture, and not just be a titillating tale of victimhood.

Terri (B-): This is certainly something I’ll see but outside what looks to be a great performance by Jacob Wysocki and the ever-reliable presence of John C. Reilly, nothing sticks out. There are so many trailers for these kinds of indie films, and it is unfortunate that they are always put together to convey the same exact tone and feel, despite the wide range of identities these films carry.

L’Amour Fou (B+): Biographical documentaries are an immediate hook. Plus, lots of stunning fashion. Plus, this kind of high-profile auction is something that fascinates me. Also; a few shots of Saint-Laurent remind me of Crispin Glover. Weird.

Brother’s Justice (D): This looks like a thoroughly pompous project. Nothing is funny in this trailer. Appearances by Ashton Kutcher and Tom Arnold are terrible selling points.

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