Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tim's Trailer Talk, Vol. 15

Hey, what! It's been almost a month since I done the ol' Tim's Trailer Talk, and not unexpectedly a huge collection of unwatched trailers has accumulated. As to maintain my sanity, let's do this thing spread across two days.

A Somewhat Gentle Man

Chances of me seeing it: 20%. Looks really... foreign, and stuff. I dunno! I like Stellan SkarsgÄrd as much as the next guy, so I guess I'll ponder it if the reviews seem strong. Hardly at the top of my list, though.

Chances of me liking it: 10%. I do like that it at least seems to have a lighthearted tone. I get tired of watching trailers for European movies that just have people crying set to piano music for two minutes.

Beyond the jump: pirates, aliens, and assassins!

Bangkok Knockout

Chances of me seeing it: 35%. I've thankfully grown up past the point where I go "Hells yeah, awesome! I gotta see that!" upon seeing Asian people doing martial arts in a movie trailer, especially one that doesn't even hint at a plot (something which can't be said for a shockingly huge percentage of film writers on the internet; I've said before I'm sure I'll say again that kung fu cinema in general is the most overrated genre in the world among geeks), but even I have to admit that some of the moves in this trailer are pretty sick. Whatever that dude does with the kick and the chain-link fence thirty seconds in made me go all "Whaaaat!" I wouldn't drive out to a theater for it and I can't even say I'd necessarily order the DVD from Netflix, but if they put it on Watch Instantly, then eh, why the hell not?

Chances of me liking it: 20%.

Black Death

Chances of me seeing it: 90%. Sean Bean = Holy Shit

Chances of me liking it: 40%. I'll cop to being a bit of a sucker for a gory rough-and-tumble medieval flick that depicts the era warts and all. It remains to be seen how engaging a movie about a mass plague can really be outside of "man, did that suck, right?!", but as long as it's nasty and brutish it may at least have some guilty pleasure value.

Cedar Rapids

Chances of me seeing it: 90%. The Wire jokes alone (from an actor who starred in The Wire, no less) are enough to earn my respect.

Chances of me liking it: 45%. Like Ed Helms. Love John C. Reilly (certainly don't love all the movies he's been in, but I don't think I've ever once had a complaint about him specifically). I am concerned this trailer may have compressed more or less the entire movie into two and a half minutes, but it seems amusing enough to sit through one way or another.

Fast Five


Chances of me liking it: 15%. In all fairness, director Justin Lin did make the franchise's only movie that I actually enjoyed, 2006's giddily nonsensical The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (not to mention one of my favorite movies of the last ten years, Better Luck Tomorrow, and one of my favorite TV episodes of the last ten years, Community's "Modern Warfare"), but Tokyo Drift had both trippy, exotic Tokyo location shooting and a distinct lack of Paul Walker going for it that Fast Five does not. I'm not saying it's impossible for Lin to turn things around, I'm just saying it's damn unlikely.

As a side note, did you know that the characters named Han played by Sung Kang in Better Luck Tomorrow and the last three The Fast and the Furious movies are in fact intended to be the same person? I shit you not. Better Luck Tomorrow is an unofficial part of the Fast and the Furious franchise, which I guess by default makes it the best one by far.


Chances of me seeing it: 80%. What kind of soulless bastard don't dig a good assassin flick? Especially one where everybody is doing one goofy-ass accent or another. Seriously, the hell is Cate Blanchett's uber-'MERICAN drawl about? Funniest shit ever.

Chances of me liking it: 35%. This could so easily go one way or another depending on whether the action is creative or not and whether the drama is groan-worthy or not. Oh, and whether I can sit through all the accents without shouting "TALK NORMAL YOU MOTHERFUCKERS" at the screen. But on the bright side if it sucks we can just go rewatch Kick-Ass for our assassin girl with a crazy dad fix. No major loss.

I Am

Chances of me seeing it: 0%. If Tom Shadyac really wanted the world to watch him jerk off so badly he could have done so in five minutes with a webcam and a YouPorn account.

Chances of me liking it: 0%.

Kill the Irishman

Chances of me seeing it: 75%. Dumb, yet badass. Color me mildly intrigued.

Chances of me liking it: 30%. If nothing else it should be an enjoyable bunch of actors to watch do their thing for a couple of hours. Ray Stevenson dominated HBO's Rome completely and definitely deserved a better leading film role to flex his literal muscles in than Punisher: War Zone. And I'll never say no to a little Christopher Walken action, even if he hasn't really played a character so much as just done a succession of impersonations of his trademark persona since 2002's Catch Me If You Can.


Chances of me seeing it: 100%. There's this kids book by Bruce Coville called My Teacher Fried My Brains that I read when I was about seven or eight and has stuck in my mind with incredible clarity for almost two decades now. It's about this typical junior high kid whose science teacher zaps his brain with an experimental machine and makes him an uber-genius who begins doing doctorate-level math and reading dozens of books a day and solves world hunger and cold fusion within a week. I loved that book, man. Now it doesn't look like Limitless makes Bradley Cooper into a genius of quite that magnitude, but it's still familiar and exuberant enough that I'm definitely gonna watch it. Even if it gets dreadful reviews I'll at least Netflix.

Chances of me liking it: 30%. Of course this trailer throwing out that long, long, long-debunked "we can only access 20% of our brain" urban legend as a key component of its plot doesn't bode well for it being a particularly intelligent film (ironically, right?), but even so it may be enjoyable as dumb, unintentional psuedoscience comedy, like 2003's The Core. Just somethin' about this trailer, man. I totally wanna watch it.


Chances of me seeing it: 100%. Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Superbad director Greg Mottola. Yep.

Chances of me liking it: 35%. I gotta level with you folks here — I love all three of the people I just named, not to mention supporting players like Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Sigourney Weaver, and Seth Rogen, but it's hard to skirt around the fact that I laughed exactly one time during this 146-second comedy trailer (at the very end). You could argue that the best parts were too dirty for the trailer or that the way it was cut threw the timing off, but I remember laughing way, way more than one time at the Superbad trailer back in the day. Now don't misunderstand me; nothing would thrill me more than to be proven wrong, and the key players have stellar track records that certainly make that possible. But at this point I'm feeling a bit nervous.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Chances of me seeing it: 100%. Nothing can deter me from one of the biggest movie events of 2011 — not mermaids, not zombies, not Blackbeard, not even the mind-bogglingly shitty-looking CGI sword one minute and three seconds into the trailer (seriously, Rob Marshall, if you can't come up with a way to make a shot look good, devise a different shot). Now that's dedication!

Chances of me liking it: 50%. You know, after At World's End and this goofily busybody trailer you'd think I'd be much more pessimistic, but I'm actually feeling kind of good about On Stranger Tides on account of they've finally cut the franchise's baggage loose. No Will Turner? No Elizabeth Swann? Thank the fuck lord — those are the absolute best possible moves they could've made. Sure, if you go on dumbass forums like IMDb (and, indeed, the comments section of the YouTube video I've embedded) you'll find countless people bemoaning that it's just not Pirates of the Caribbean without Orlando and Keira (always referred to by their first names as if they're fucking friends with the posters), but that's just because people lack imagination and dread change more than death. As soon as they actually see the movie their mental status quos will shift and they'll forget all about them.

It could still suck, of course, easily. It could be less imaginative and more cartoonish than ever. But that kind of decisive cast reduction at potential financial risk shows that someone up top is at least trying to use their brain, and the casting of Ian McShane is nothing short of a masterstroke. A little Deadwood in your Pirates of the Caribbean? What kind of hooplehead would say no to that?

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