Monday, October 4, 2010

Tim's Trailer Talk, Vol. 7


Chances of me seeing it: 10%. This movie looks hilariously awful, like Showgirls with all the sex and nudity replaced by pure, unleaded gayness. And I don't mean "gay" as a synonym for "bad," I mean that this actually looks like the most homosexual movie ever made. Cher? Christina? Burlesque? Showtunes? I don't even know if any of the actual characters are gay, but Brokeback Mountain bows in awe regardless. As a straight male with no love for dancing or showtunes I have little interest, but I still can't rate my chances of seeing it a flat zero. If it gets middling reviews, no way. If it gets apocalyptically awful reviews, which, going by the trailer, is entirely possible, then I may be compelled to see the train wreck for myself.

Chances of me liking it: 1%. As a side note, why is Cher listed ahead of Christina Aguilera in the credits scroll when Christina is clearly the main character? I know that they sometimes do that when the supporting character is played by a much more famous actor (i.e. Tom Cruise being listed first in Collateral or Johnny Depp in Charlie and Chocolate Factory), but no one has given a fuck about Cher for decades. She hasn't acted in anything of the slightest significance in over twenty years. If anything Christina has greater name recognition today.

Beyond the jump we have a strangely dense collection of indie genre movies!

Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench

Chances of me seeing it: 0%. They're a-singin' and a-dancin' and I'm a-snoozin'!

Chances of me liking it: 0%. Hell, I'd go so far as to say I'd rather watch Glee. An episode of Glee is presumably fifty or so minutes shorter, too.

I Am Number Four

Chances of me seeing it: 35%. Hard to know exactly what to make of this one. Some of the telekinesis effects look cool and I'm reasonable sure I saw a hot girl wielding a katana at one point, but I get a pretty distinct whiff of Twilight from its depiction of a chiseled, superpowered young man belonging to a hunted race who teams up with a lady friend to fight evil (not to mention the first-person-running-camera shots near the beginning). Consider this a high degree "must read reviews first" film. If critics like it, I'll go. If they don't, I won't.

Chances of me liking it: 15%. On very rare occasion these youth sci-fi / fantasy movies are better than you might think. A couple years back I Netflixed The Spiderwick Chronicles on a whim and thought it was a damn watchable little fantasy flick, arguably better than the first two Harry Potters. So there's a chance that I Am Number Four will fall into the same category. A small, small chance.

Ip Man

Chances of me seeing it: 20%. Kung fu movies stand proudly alongside slasher flicks in the list of genres that film geeks like to pretend are a lot better than they really are. That isn't to say there aren't a few sincerely worthwhile diamonds in the rough, but your Kung Fu Hustles are about as one-in-a-million as your Screams. Yes, I'll go there and I feel no guilt about it: with a couple of exceptions, most of Jackie Chan's "classic" martial arts flicks are in fact not good films in any way. Sorry kung fu geeks. Deal with it. This all being a convoluted way to say that I can't muster up any interest in Ip Man because it looks like a generic kung fu flick with a light historical gloss to it.

Chances of me liking it: 10%. Oh my, look how fast that man punches. What fine cinema.

Night Catches Us

Chances of me seeing it: 70%. Marlo and Bunk from The Wire! Holy shit!

Chances of me liking it: 40%. Not that the actual film looks to be on par with The Wire in any way, but I definitely find something potentially compelling in the trailer. As long as it's able to blend history and strong characterization without spiraling into preachiness then it could be a solidly watchable drama.

Paranormal Activity 2

Chances of me seeing it: 75%. Note that there's virtually no chance of me seeing this in theaters; I saw the original Paranormal Activity on the big screen and 1) the way it was shot made me start to feel queasy partway through, and 2) I didn't even like it that much. Admittedly, seeing it with legions of teenagers who screeched like they were being raped at knifepoint every time a vase moved an inch may not have been the ideal viewing scenario, but that's exactly my point. I'll wait for Netflix and watch it in much more appropriate silence and darkness. The original didn't strike me as a flick with sequel potential in the first place so I'm morbidly curious to see where the "mythology" goes.

Chances of me liking it: 20%. The trailer looks like it's just doing the exact same shit as the original, but with kids this time. Since I didn't like the original, I don't see why I'd like this. But I'm curious anyway. Sometimes the logic of moviewatching curiosity cannot be coherently explained.


Chances of me seeing it: 0%. I'm boycotting this one solely on account of the bright white subtitles without borders that become washed out and unreadable against the image seemingly half the time. In a movie set during winter this could become a full-blown crisis.

Chances of me liking it: 0%. Note to all producers everywhere who put subtitles on foreign films being imported to America: the subtitles need to be yellow, and have black borders. Don't be an asshole. Yellow and bordered. Bright white, unbordered subtitles are a plague to imported cinema. A Prophet is one of my favorite movies of the year but it would have been a lot better still if not for its bright white, unbordered subtitles that caused me to miss or at least strain to see dozens of lines of dialogue. This needs to stop.


Chances of me seeing it: 95%. Hard to resist a full-blown alien invasion flick, especially when the special effects look so cool. And I don't mean that in a "it looks like the CGI guys successfully put glossy images on the screen" way, because films are years beyond warranting praise for that, but some of Skyline's effects actually look imaginative and scary in a way that calls to mind some of District 9's strongest moments. Whatever stomps down on that car at 1:27 into the trailer? Badass.

Chances of me liking it: 45%. That said, the actual glimpses of dialogue and acting look potentially dire, so it's entirely possible that we're looking at more of an Independence Day than a District 9. Consider me interested but suspicious. I suppose that there could always be the silver lining that the acting and dialogue are so bad as to be enjoyed as comedy; the closeup of the guy screaming after the helicopter gets grabbed at 1:43 is easily the most unintentionally funny thing I've seen in a trailer since I began Tim's Trailer Talk. I laughed for like a full minute.

Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives

Chances of me seeing it: 0%. This trailer is trying so goddamn hard to be a wacky, hip grindhouse movie that it just reeks of desperation, and it looks shittily made in all the worst ways.

Chances of me liking it: 0%. That said, if I was a tranny I would probably be all over it.

The Troll Hunter

Chances of me seeing it: 70%. I doubt this one will come out in theaters anywhere I can get at it and I'm growing sick of "found footage" horror movies anyway, but, like Skyline, the special effects alone grab my attention. The trolls look like the closest thing we've ever seen in a movie to the amazing Playstation 2 game Shadow of the Colossus, so I'm going to intentionally read spoilery reviews and whether or not I muster up the energy to Netflix The Troll Hunter will depend entirely on how much I hear that the trolls are actually onscreen.

Chances of me liking it: 30%. Again like Skyline, the non-special effects scenes we see in the trailer look boring as all fuck. There are films that successfully use moments between major set pieces to milk tension, but I worry that in this movie they may just be impatient slogs to get to the next troll scene.

True Grit

Chances of me seeing it: 100%. I know I posted a True Grit trailer last week, but this is the new, full-length version, and it's so badass I just had to post again.

Chances of me liking it: 95%. Last week was 90%, but this trailer forced an upgrade.

The Warrior's Way

Chances of me seeing it: 90%. "Ninjas. Damn."

Chances of me liking it: 65%. This looks like a nerds-only affair, but I am a nerd, so rock on. The stylized visuals and saturated colors give it a look askew from reality while not going so far as to knock off 300, the action scenes seem to be a lot of exaggerated fun, and it's got Geoffrey Rush, whom the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise proved is one of the most enjoyable actors to watch when he cuts loose a little. There's no way that this is a great film, but it looks like it could easily be a solidly enjoyable three-star piece of pulp.

And the week's winner is: Well, it's obviously True Grit again, but it feels cheap to pick the same winner as last week just because they released a new trailer, so let's consider it disqualified. Which leaves The Warrior's Way as the only real remaining option. Skyline and Night Catches Us also show potential promise, though.

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