Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tim's Trailer Talk, Vol. 15.5


Chances of me seeing it: 50%. I saw this in front of True Grit a few days back and while I admit I cringed at first to see the orange Nickelodeon logo pop up followed by some cartoon lizard, the trailer wound up not being half bad. Outside of the talking animals it looks like a pretty decent stab at slipping a Western in past the kiddies. And am I crazy, or does it seem like the Western is back a little bit? I mean, we had a straight-up Western in True Grit and a Western with ninjas in The Warrior's Way in last month or so, and next year there's both a Western with aliens in Cowboys and Aliens and now a Western with talking animals in Rango. Pretty cool! All this being a longwinded way to say maybe I'll see this movie if it gets okay reviews as to voice my support for more Westerns down the road.

Chances of me liking it: 30%. It all depends on how kiddy it is, I guess.

Beyond the jump: not one but two movies about fighting robots. What the hell?

Red State

Chances of me seeing it: 100%. I've seen every single Kevin Smith movie. I'm on this train till it stops, baby.

Chances of me liking it: 50%. It's true that this year's Cop Out was Kevin Smith's most bland and soulless work to date, but I still find myself intrigued by Red State for two reasons: One, most obviously, it's a horror movie with a trailer that contains no comedic overtones of any kind; a change of pace for Smith to say the least. And two, it represents a return to low-budget indie sensibilities, and if you look at Kevin Smith's filmography there's an almost eerily perfect inverse relationship between budget and quality. From lowest budget to highest, they go: Clerks, Chasing Amy, Clerks II, Mallrats, Dogma, Zack and Miri Make a Porno, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jersey Girl, and Cop Out. I'd probably rank Dogma above Mallrats but other than that the lower-budget-to-higher-quality correlation is freakishly perfect. So seeing as Red State's $4 million budget places it above only Clerks and Chasing Amy, not to mention the participation of great actors like John Goodman, Melissa Leo, Stephen Root, and Michael Parks and the fact that a Fred Phelps-type figure makes a great villain for a horror flick, who knows? Could be awesome.


Chances of me seeing it: 0%. I graduated preschool about twenty years back, so no.

Chances of me liking it: 0%. The fuck is it with animated CGI movie trailers listing all their famous actors at the end as if that's something kids actually give a shit about, anyway? Do they think WALL·E made half a billion dollars because all the little ones simply had to experience the vocal stylings of Ben Burtt? Are there legions of young Zombieland and Social Network fans I don't know about who will run to see Rio because Jesse Eisenberg worked on it? Gimme a break, CGI cartoons trailers.

Real Steel

Chances of me seeing it: 70%. HOLY SHIT does this look fucking stupid. I'm just gonna say it, because I'm not sure anyone else on the internet will break from the party line enough to do: this looks way worse than the new Transformers. But I might see it anyway out of morbid curiosity. Keep in mind that I went to Roland Emmerich's 2012 in theaters, so I don't have overwhelmingly high standards for what I'll sit through. I'd probably watch two hours of a guy taking a dump so long as I could kick back in a dark, air-conditioned theater while doing so. It'd probably be better than Real Steel, too.

Chances of me liking it: 2%. It almost looks more boring than the actual robot fighting shows on TV where Roombas bonk each other with hammers.

Take Me Home Tonight

Chances of me seeing it: 50%. Although I find Topher Grace's comedic abilities to be marginal at best, I do admire both the spirit of the single-night comedy and 80s nostalgia. I guess whether I see Take Me Home Tonight is largely reliant on if anything more interesting comes out that weekend (or if they eventually stick it on Netflix Watch Instantly).

Chances of me liking it: 25%. Kind of odd how the supporting cast includes Chris Pratt, Dan Fogler, and Anna Faris, three people funnier than Topher Grace, while Topher snags the lead. It could be worse, though, they could cast him as the villain in a Spider-Man movie. What what do you mean


Chances of me seeing it: 100%. I guess I'll see all the Marvel movies leading up to The Avengers.

Chances of me liking it: 30%. I remain incredibly unsold on Chris Hemsworth as a leading man (he was able to anchor the first ten minutes of Star Trek just fine as Kirk's dad, but that was of course with the help of J.J. Abrams' hyperkinetic direction, something Thor doesn't have going for it) and after her ferocious performance in Black Swan it kind of depresses me to see Natalie Portman immediately retreat to being The Romantic Interest in a superhero movie, not to mention this trailer is rather stupid. But at the very least the narrative structure looks to be a different than the framework laid out by Spider-Man in 2002 and duplicated by so many superhero films since, and it has some amusing fantasy elements with the pantheon of gods and whatnot. I'm not counting down the days, but we'll see.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Chances of me seeing it: 99%. Yeah I'll probably see the stupid fucking movie

Chances of me liking it: 15%. After Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen even that may seem generous, but I do have to confess being vaguely fascinated by this movie's supporting cast (none of whom show up in this all-prologue trailer, obviously), which includes John Malkovich, Frances McDormand, Firefly's Alan Tudyk, and Community's Ken Jeong. I mean, that's a quality lineup. I doubt they can compensate for Michael Bay's aesthetic sensibilities, but it's at least worth acknowledging. However, the recasting of Shia's love interest from Megan Fox to some lingerie model who's never acted before probably says it all about Bay's priorities and how worthwhile this movie will be. It's not that I'm a Megan Fox fan, but although she may be a bad actor, at least she's an actor, more than can be said for our new female lead.

The Tree of Life

Chances of me seeing it: 100%. This is only Terrence Malick's fifth film in 37 years. As long as he's making them at that rate I don't really have any excuse not to see one when it ambles along.

Chances of me liking it: 40%. That said, there's no guarantee about how I'll feel after sitting down in the theater, seeing as Malick's last film The New World was a glacial affair that left me numb with boredom. I was shocked when I looked it up after seeing it to learn that it was only two and a half hours long — I was absolutely sure I had been sitting in the theater for at least an hour longer than that. It's been insanely overrated by critics in the years since but lord knows I have no desire to ever watch it again. I don't doubt for a second that The Tree of Life will be visually gorgeous, just as The New World was. It remains to be seen whether or not it's as cold, mannered, and lifeless.

Waiting for Forever

Chances of me seeing it: 0%. Nope, nope, nope.

Chances of me liking it: 0%. I love it when movies are rated PG-13 for "thematic material." Such useful information for a parent to have.

Water for Elephants

Chances of me seeing it: 70%. OMG R-PATTZ!!!! SO DREAMY!!!!! Nah, I'm just shitting, it actually doesn't look half bad.

Chances of me liking it: 35%. If nothing else the film's depiction of 1931 looks to be visually stylish as hell, and it's tough to say no to Christoph Waltz, Hal Holbrook, and Paul Schneider in the supporting cast. However, I will for the rest of my life cringe at seeing elephants perform in any context, even as part of a film, after reading this Onion article, which will cast an inevitable pall over my viewing of the picture.

And lastly, a (slightly NSFW) TV trailer I found interesting —

The Borgias

This show is obviously going for the standard morally ambiguous protagonist cable model that so many post-Sopranos shows have aped, from Deadwood to Dexter to Breaking Bad to Boardwalk Empire, but as long as it works, hey, why the hell not? The real story of Rodrigo Borgia (also known as Pope Alexander VI) and his kids Cesare and Lucrezia is bananas enough even before getting sexed and bloodied up for Showtime; mix with some gorgeous, expensive-looking production values and Profion Jeremy Irons in his first regular TV gig and you got something I'll definitely check out.

And the week's winner is: Lots of films I'll probably end up seeing this week, considerably fewer I'm actually excited about. In terms of peak curiosity the two that jump out the most are probably Red State and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, for similar reasons despite being about as different as two films can get. You see, I loved both Kevin Smith and Jack Sparrow once upon a time, but felt stabbed in the back by the last films they gave us, Cop Out and At World's End. I'm hopeful that their new films can regain my trust.

No comments: