When I began this blog, which I have diligently neglected, I resolved to avoid posting movie trailers. What would I have to contribute? There isn’t much to be said until the film is released, seen and mulled over. If I came across one I found particularly striking, I would post in on Facebook and leave it at that. Recently, however, I have been overwhelmed by the amount of trailers being released for movies I’m greatly anticipating, and thought it would be too annoying to post eleven YouTube links individually for my friends.
So here they are in one convenient list.
I regard Paul Thomas Anderson with the same reverence as any of the greats – Ozu, Kubrick, Kurosawa, any of them – so naturally I’m more than a little excited about his new film, The Master. It’s been five years since his last film, the brilliant There Will Be Blood, and it appears the wait will have been worth it.
The trailer is both opaque and entrancing. Instead of spoiling much of the plot (a nasty habit many movie trailers have these days), the trailer brings you in through Joaquin Phoenix’s performance, which already looks to be one of year’s finest.
I must confess two things. Firstly, I’ve never been a big fan of David Cronenberg. Secondly, and just as embarrassingly, I’m excited about a movie with Robert Pattinson in it.
Cosmopolis appears to be a return to form for Cronenberg, and I’m surprised at how glad I am about it. I found his older, more bizarre films to be impenetrable both emotionally and intellectually, but I’ve always attributed that to some fault of my own. I could sense some mad genius at work, but his playground was well over my head. Cosmopolis could very well leave me similarly lost, but it’s refreshing to see a movie that looks so insane. Even if he isn’t for me, we need people like Cronenberg around.
I saw Brick several years ago and absolutely adored it. It’s a movie I’ve tried to pass around as much as I can, but for whatever reason, I’ve not followed its director Rian Johnson at all. This trailer for Looper was a firm slap in the face. Okay Johnson, you’ve got my attention. I apologize. It won’t happen again.
After The Darjeeling Limited, I felt as though I’d had enough of Wes Anderson. Not because I wasn’t a fan of the film – I was – but because I felt as though he had peaked. His style had been played out. He proved me wrong with his heartwarming stop-motion Fantastic Mr. Fox, and I am prepared to be proven wrong again with Moonrise Kingdom. And I just can’t say no to Bill Murray.
Beasts of the Southern Wild
I honestly can’t tell you much about Beasts of the Southen Wild, except that it was very well received at Cannes this past weekend, and Roger Ebert already thinks it’s going to be one of the best movies of the year. After watching the trailer, I can see why. This one may be hard to find, but find it we must.
Of all the trailers here, I found this one to be the least interesting. I wouldn’t have included it if it weren’t for director Michael Haneke’s immense pedigree. Haneke is a director that demands attention. The White Ribbon would be perfectly at home in the oeuvre of Bergman, and Funny Games is one of the most repulsive films I’ve ever seen (in a good way). Amour may not have grabbed me yet, but I’ll give Haneke the benefit of the doubt on this one.
The We and the I
Do you remember The Green Hornet? Yeah, neither do I. But I do remember Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. You know, one of the best movies of the last decade. Well, Michael Gondry is back in full quirky force with The We and the I. This one looks like a heart warmer.
Hyde Park on Hudson
Let me reiterate my love for Bill Murray. He has incomparable ability as a comedic actor, and his presence on screen seems to only grow with age. Imagine my excitement, if you will, at the prospect of seeing him play a charming, womanizing Franklin D. Roosevelt.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Okay, it’s blockbuster time.
The Lord of the Rings is one of the biggest blockbuster spectacles in the history of film. It may have its detractors, but to those heartless, imagination depraved husks of human beings, I bite my thumb at thee.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey looks like a familiar trip to Middle Earth, which is exactly what I want it to be. One big difference this time, however, is Peter Jackson’s controversial insistence on shooting at 48 frames per second (FPS). I’ve not seen the preview footage, but I’ve worked with 60 FPS video and the complaints from the CinemaCon screening sound familiar. If you’ve ever wondered why television programs, no matter the budget, just never seen to capture the look of film, it’s partly due to its increased frame rate, often at 30 FPS. 24 FPS to 30 FPS doesn’t sound like a drastic change, but much of the culturally conditioned cinematic feel of movies lies within that 24 FPS frame rate. Increasing to 48 or 60 FPS makes for a sharper, more realistic looking image and motion, which makes it perfect for sports videography. Making The Hobbit look more like the Super Bowl than The Shire, however, sounds like a disaster to me.
Here’s to hoping the CinemaCon reactions were blown out of proportion.
The Dark Knight Rises
For years it was hard to be a Batman fan and a movie lover. Instead of the gritty Gotham of Frank Miller’s seminal comic, The Dark Knight Returns, we were treated to cartoon caricatures with bat nipples. As much as I love Arnold Schwarzenegger and terrible puns, Batman deserved better. Thankfully, Christopher Nolan agreed.
You’ve all seen Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I don’t need to tell you about them. But I must say that I can’t seem to get as excited about The Dark Knight Rises as its predecessors, and the reason is simple. Batman stories live or die on the quality of his villains. The Dark Knight used up the two best, the Joker and Two Face, and now we’re left Bane and Cat Woman, who historically haven’t been so successful. The trailer is used more to show off the many explosions you can expect to see and not to establish much intrigue in the characters, which is a mistake. But who am I kidding. I’ll be first in line at IMAX anyway.
Ridley Scott is a hard director to love. Blade Runner, Alien, The Duelists, yeah, they’re great. But then he shits out twice as many duds, like the recent Robin Hood. My heart just can’t take that kind of abuse.
Prometheus is the kinda-sorta prequel to Alien, which immediately raises red flags. How often do prequels live up to the original? Just about not at all, ever. But this trailer gives me reason to believe. The look is right, and the cast is perfect. Usually when Scott makes a dud, you can see it coming a mile away – no one was surprised by A Good Year. Prometheus looks really, really good. Colour me cautiously optimistic.
So, what are you looking forward to this year at the movies?