So, last we met, Michael Myers was afraid of opening on Halloween and Wes Anderson's latest was tantalizingly close on the horizon. But if you think my trip to the theatres this week stopped at a mere four trailers, you're effing nuts. What else?
Rocket Science (8/10): I was initially resistant to this movie due to the hard-sell effort to make this the '07 Little Miss Sunshine (Sundance darling! Weird-ass kids! Little movie that could!), but in the span of two and a half minutes, I was won over. After seeing the more extensive HBO First Look, I'm even more won over. I am a sucker for this kind of barbed sweetness, but consider also: Anna Kendrick, who I've loved since Camp, gets another chance to show her stuff; the adorable Nicholas D'Agosto, who played Jan's assistant on The Office this year; and the "do you know if she wears a bra...wanna see a bra?" line, which still has me laughing. Points off for the overused "Blister In The Sun" clip (though it earns those points back for the underused "Kiss Off"), and I'm puzzled as to why they didn't feature the speed-talking debate scenes, which are as good a hook for a brainy movie as I've seen, but this movie has shot right up the list of movies I have to see.
Death Sentence (8/31): Okay, a revenge fantasy by the director of Saw? Shitty. Sorry, Kevin Bacon. Revenge fantasies , for me, are like movies about child molestors (like The Woodsman, uh, sorry again, Kevin Bacon) -- why do I want to watch these people do these things? It takes a strong filmmaker to make a movie about either subject that I'll want to see. James Wan isn't that guy. Also, is that Garrett Hedlund with the shaved head and tatts and perma-scowl, aping Ben Foster from Alpha Dogs? That's a crime against beauty, James Wan. And I will seek out my vengeance.
Reservation Road (10/19): This one's been raked over the coals all week, and I agree that it gives away way too much of the plot and seems in many ways like movies we've seen before (In The Bedroom, 21 Grams), but I also am not sure if a movie of this sort can really be appreciated in trailer form. Not that it's above criticism, certainly, but I think this movie ends up living or dying on the performances, and a trailer hardly ever gives a good approximation of great performances, particularly the quiet ones. I'm finding it harder to believe this is the oscar contender many of us thought it would be, but I am also not ruling out acting honors for Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Ruffalo. Not yet.
Finally, I know it's been carpet-bombing your television lately, but I have to put a word in for the Superbad trailer and TV spots, for many reasons, really. But mostly for McLovin. Makes me laugh my ass off every time. "It's like a sexy hamburger!"