Monday, September 6, 2010

Tim's Trailer Talk, Vol. 3

22 Mei

Chances of me seeing it: 15%. It doesn't look boring, I'll grant that much, but it's never really a good thing if I can sit through an entire trailer and my reaction afterward can only be described as "...what?"

Chances of me liking it: 10%. I don't want to make any strong judgment calls here, because as I just admitted I have no idea what this film is about from its batshit trailer and movies have come out of nowhere to surprise me before and will again, but 22 Mei is not one I'm going to be counting down the days till.

Click bravely ahead for pulp, violence, arty foreign flicks, and at least one pulpy violent arty foreign flick...


Chances of me seeing it: 40%. The story seems potentially compelling and I spotted a couple of actors I like in there, but it risks preachiness and cliché and from little we see in this trailer I have to say that the filmmaking — the shot composition, the cinematography, the editing — looks a little bit dry and languid. I certainly won't count it out but it's one that I'll have to read the reviews on first.

Chances of me liking it: 20%. As I said, I may see it if it gets good reviews, but with a prestige movie about an important topic like this you can never truly trust the critics one way or another.


Chances of me seeing it: 95%. When executed with originality and skill I love thrillers more than just about any other genre, and while I obviously can't speak to the film's skill not having seen it yet, it looks like it's got the originality down pat. I've seen thrillers set in single rooms before, but single coffins? That's a new one. That's like the single room thriller on crack. I love it!

Chances of me liking it: 70%. It's got a great premise and a solid leading man (just think, once upon a time Ryan Reynolds seemed destined to be typecast in the Seann William Scott mold after Van Wilder; kudos to him for breaking above and beyond that), but with a mystery-thriller thing like this my final judgment is almost entirely reliant on how it ends. Surprising without being absurd is the ideal, a tiny target to aim for but one that I have high hopes this film can hit.

Due Date

Chances of me seeing it: 85%. I wasn't as head-over-heels in love with The Hangover as most other males my age seemed to be, but I did agree with the consensus opinion that Zach Galifianakis effortlessly stole the movie out from under his costars. He's a man who strikes a naturally and undeniably funny presence, one that actually made his small role in Up in the Air kind of distracting, so to team him up with an actor as terrific as Robert Downey Jr. is a minor stroke of genius. The trailer just barely touches on the film's plot because it doesn't need to — this is clearly a movie sold on its actors, period.

Chances of me liking it: 50%. This one's a pretty even toss-up. The thing about road trip humor is that it tends to be extremely episodic, with little connecting tissue between incidents outside of the main characters at the core of it all, so Due Date's ultimate watchability simply comes down to how many funny skits writer / director Todd Philips and his co-writers can come up with. I have a hunch that Downey Jr.'s presence alone will make me ultimately prefer it to The Hangover.

Hobo With a Shotgun

Chances of me seeing it: 100%. Holy shit!

Chances of me liking it: 75%. One of the things I dislike most is a bland movie, a movie that feels like it has no soul. This year's textbook example that I keep coming back to is Clash of the Titans, a sterile cartoon made by committee with no artistic goal in mind beyond soaking up the dollars of a drooling public. I'd rather watch a bad movie with a personality than a mediocre movie without one. And whatever you may think of Hobo With a Shotgun, even if it disgusts you, there is absolutely no denying that it looks like people were alive behind the camera on this flick, people with a gory dystopian vision that made them grin and they really wanted to put onscreen. Now it could still easily be stupid and the energy of its two-minute trailer could sag when lengthened fifty times over, but I gotta see for myself, which means this trailer did its job.

The Last Seven

Chances of me seeing it: 50%. I definitely have some interest in last-people-left-on-earth stories (it's one of those things you certainly don't wish for but you can't help but think "what would I do?" about, the stuff great science fiction is made of), but I may have had my fill of that subgenre with last year's The Road, a movie which this trailer does not demonstrate nearly the same desolation and grit of. It also kind of makes it look like a slasher, and I generally hate slashers.

Chances of me liking it: 25%. We'll see. Maybe the trailer is playing up the slasher element and the film has a less trailer-friendly, more thoughtful component to it. If nothing else, just looking at a totally empty city can be fascinatingly eerie, as the opening minutes of 28 Days Later skillfully demonstrated.


Chances of me seeing it: 75%. I can't fully explain why, but despite some tonal similarity and the same risk of preachiness and critical acclaim over the issues more than the film itself, this one appeals to me a lot more than Amigo. Maybe because the filmmaking simply looks more engaging and visually muscular, or maybe because I really liked lead actress Freida Pinto in Slumdog Millionaire and am interested to see her in something else (not to mention Alexander Siddig of Kingdom of Heaven fame), but I definitely have my eye on this one.

Chances of me liking it: 50%. As always, an "important" movie like this must be approached with caution. But based on the trailer I'd say the odds come out about even.


Chances of me seeing it: 30%. Despite a brisk pace and vibrant tunes and plenty of violence this trailer failed to grab me. I would say that watching the amazing TV series The Wire has kind of ruined all future stories about drug dealers and gangsters for me, but I don't get a Wire vibe from this trailer so much as a City of God vibe, and, well, City of God has kind of ruined all future stories about drug dealers in foreign countries for me, especially ones that look so indebted to its style. It's tough for me to imagine mustering up the energy to drive out and see Pusher unless the reviews are amazing.

Chances of me liking it: 20%. If the reviews are amazing, I'll go, and if they are, maybe the movie's good.

Red Nights

Chances of me seeing it: 25%. What the fuck? And I thought 22 Mei looked bizarre. I don't want to say this movie looks "too weird" for me to see, because that implies that I have delicate sensibilities when I most certainly do not, so I'll say that I think it looks weird at the expense of being good. However, I think I'd watch it before I'd watch 22 Mei. At least this one promises hot Asian chicks.

Chances of me liking it: 5%. If I watch this it'll be with the same spirit of bizarre curiosity with which I watched The Human Centipede. And incidentally, The Human Centipede was not good. Morbid curiosities can fulfill their roles as morbid curiosities but only once in a blue moon do they step beyond that to the level of having merit.


Chances of me seeing it: 65%. So what I got from this trailer is that it's a violent thriller version of Groundhog Day with three protagonists instead of just one. Hell yeah, I fucking love Groundhog Day!

Chances of me liking it: 30%. Of course, the trailer looks like a grungy mess and tripling the number of day-repeaters robs the premise of its fundamental loneliness and much of its drama. However, it does look like this movie explores the darker side of the concept in a way that Groundhog Day didn't (and shouldn't have), so on the off chance that there's actually a brain in the filmmaker's head it could be an interesting little flick.

And the week's winner is: This week seems to be mostly divided between pulp and foreign films (with Red Nights being both), but while Miral does perk my interest the movie that made me really sit up, take notice, and rewatch the trailer three times in a row was Hobo With a Shotgun. If movies were food, Miral would be fine dining; Hobo With a Shotgun would a greasy bacon double cheeseburger, and sometimes that's what makes your mouth water.

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