Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff – B: This is one of my most highest anticipated films of the summer. Jack Cardiff is one of the all-time great cinematographers. This looks like it will be a purely celebratory tribute to the man, and that is exactly what I am looking for in this case.
Page One: Inside the New York Times - B: A fascinating topic that hopefully assumes we are all somewhat aware about the state of journalism, as opposed to using it as an introduction to the hard facts. I am banking on this being well-done, but the question is; will it be as meaningful and insightful as it clearly wants to be? Hard to tell from the trailer.
Buck – B+: This documentary is yet another of the docs I am highly anticipating. It looks like the kind of inspiring story I can actually get behind and want to engross myself in. The way others relate with other animals is something that greatly interests me. It is part of the reason Project Nim is my favorite film of the year so far.
Octubre – B: Really liking the purposely off-kilter nature of the trailer. Even though there is no indication as to what the it is about, this left me wanting to know a bit more.
Saviors in the Night – C: This does not looks like it stands out in any way from the many WWII-era films. The tagline at the end is way too overstated, just like the rest of this trailer.
Thunder Soul – B-: While this comes off more like a reality show special than a documentary film, I definitely want to see this, especially to learn about the original incarnation of the band. Overall, this looks like a fun time.
The Road to Nowhere – C-: This trailer is telling me I should be really excited about this film coming out. But outside of Hellman’s involvement, nothing here pops at all. The trailer takes the ambiguous route which can only work when the images are compelling, leaving us wanting more; this does not.
The Ledge – C-: We get way too much set-up here, telling us not only why Hunnam is on the ledge but giving us all of the backstory leading up to it. Gives away too much and looks mundane and rote to boot.
The Trip – A: Having seen The Trip, the trailer is somewhat unrepresentative, but aren’t they all? Smartly puts an emphasis on what we know of Coogan and Brydon’s personalities. Banter will be ever-present as will impersonations. It does not, and probably for the best, go into the more uncomfortably self-reflexive elements of the film. It also misrepresents itself as ‘the trip of a lifetime’. In fact, its the opposite. Nothing out-of-the ordinary happens in the entire film. The ‘my name’s Michael Caine’ and ‘Gentlemen to bed!’ scenes are the highlights and it also smartly shows each of these. Excellent work. Love this film.
Martha Marcy May Marlene – A+: When trailers like this come around, it reminds us how predictable most trailers are nowadays. This causes us to realize just how predictable the films themselves are nowadays. This looks like something entirely original, telling a story that treads unfamiliar ground. Yes, it can be loosely described as a thriller, but the main character looks like a refreshing brand of unstable and the trailer’s structure thankfully gives little away. If the film is as good as this trailer, and its festival run suggests, we are for something great here. Its time for this Olson sibling to shine in the spotlight.
Green Lantern – B: Pretty much everyone who watched the first trailer to Green Lantern was majorly disappointed. While there is nothing anyone can do to make me all-out stoked for this film, I am happy to report that this new trailer is a massive improvement. It’s light on the humor, heavy on the epic scale. Sarsgaard alone is enough to get me to see this. The effects look top-notch as well.
Conan the Barbarian – F: I feel like I need to take a shower now. Not sure what else I expected from a film directed by Marcus Nespiel, but there you have it. Everything about this looks filthy and nauseating. Count me out for this one.
Colombiana – C-: Honestly, after the near-brilliance and violent exhaustion of I Saw the Devil, any vengeance themed film needs to bring something seriously new to the table to spark my interest. This looks like it will bring absolutely nothing new. Zoe Saldana kicking ass is always a good thing, and I’m happy that she has a star vehicle (she deserves it). Yet, it looks like there is nothing this has to offer.
Project Nim – A-: This is my favorite film of 2011 so far. The trailer ultimately makes a very wise choice; it only shows footage from the first half hour. This way, Nim’s story will be a surprise to all that see the film because they will not have been spoiled by a trailer that could have easily given an overview of Nim’s entire life. Unfortunately, the trailer loses all the levels of depth that the film carries and merely looks like a documentary that only works on a surface level. The film is so much more than that and while the trailer sacrifices that sense, it was the right decision.
The Future – A-: This is a film I have seen that is not entirely successful. The first half of the trailer makes everything a little too upbeat, giving it that ‘indie’ feel without acknowledging the true originality of July’s voice. The Future has a lot of humor, but it’s all very droll. Once Beach House kicks in, this trailer becomes everything I wanted the film to be. It highlights a lot of the best things about it and the feel of the song gives everything a sense of existentialist wonder that should have come through a lot more in the film itself.
The Skin I Live In – B+: This is a quick jolt of a teaser that focuses on one scene. Without a doubt, one of the most anticipated films of 2011 for most film buffs. Cannes reactions will soon give us some quotes we can all hang off of. Almodovar is delving into outright horror territory, a genre I love when it proves itself. The teaser itself really is just that; a tease. He is clearly taking some notes from Franju’s Eyes without a Face, a great personal favorite.
Final Destination 5 – B-: Something that I enjoy about the Final Destination series is how ridiculous their set-ups are. And that’s what this series is all about. They spend an awful lot of time setting up their kills, because it is all about the extreme circumstances that are wrapped up in the characters’ ‘destiny’. Their inventiveness in this regard can be quite fun and even, dare I say it, effective. They seem to know how amusing it is that this franchise has lasted as long as it has and I won’t begrudge them the fun they are having with it. Plus, Emma Bell is in it and she is great. I will take a moment here to plug Adam Green’s. Frozen. Also; Tony Todd!
Reel Steel – C-: A sci-fi variation on the boxing movie has potential, but Reel Steel looks contrived on arrival. The characters seem uninteresting, especially Jackman’s down-and-out protagonist. The kid looks tiresome and all that’s left are the robots, in which case I could just watch the new Transformers film.