Monday, September 29, 2008

Trailer Trash Tuesday

So I broke my movie drought of the last four weeks or so (besides The Midnight Meat Train, the last movie I saw in a theater before this weekend was Pineapple Express. If you know me, you know how weird that is). As with every semi-regular feature on the blog, Trailer Trash has been absent for the last several weeks. To make up for it, I'm bringing it back with a vengeance. Here are all the pertinent trailers I saw as I finally re-introduced myself to the movies this weekend.


I can't believe I haven't said a word about this movie in the month or so since this trailer premiered. There is no 2008 movie I am looking forward to more than this. I'd already been awful bullish on the prospect -- the combination of subject matter, director, and cast has always seemed ideal -- but this clip put me over the edge. Beautifully constructed, touching just enough on the story without giving it away. I love how it borrows from the Angels in America soundtrack as kind of a secret code (is Gus Van Sant wants to walk in Tony Kushner's footsteps, I will gladly follow him). The glimpses of the cast are where I'm really jazzed. Be prepared for the "Sean Penn IS Harvey Milk" raves, sure seems that way. James Franco's gonna get nominated for an Oscar. Allison Pill is my new favorite actress I've never seen in anything besides Dan in Real Life. The way Josh Brolin says "incorrigibles." The way Diego Luna struts across the screen. The way Emile Hirsch delivers that "I don't do losing" line. I need to see this movie NOW.

Revolutionary Road

They ran this trailer Sunday night during Mad Men, which makes total sense given the similarities in subject matter, but maybe isn't so great an idea if the viewers are paying attention. Because with the '50s aesthetic, and the unhappy marriage, and the smoking, and the fedoras, this movie looks a lot like Mad Men...only if everyone on Mad Men articulated their every thought and emotion all the time instead of acting like the repressed and emotionally inarticulate people they are. I'm not sayingRevolutionary Road can't make it work, but all the "I'm feeling suffocated by the trappings of post-war American society as manifest in suburbia!" stuff concentrated into one hundred and forty seconds seems too on the nose. I'm sure Leo and Kate are phenomenal, though.


For whatever weird reason known only to the darker recesses of my disturbed brain, I'd been resisting this movie as it came down the development pike. I don't know why. I like Baz Luhrman. I like Nicole Kidman and I quite like Hugh Jackman. But I always thought the enthusiasm for this movie outweighed its real value. This trailer has me almost entirely turned around. I love the idea of Luhrman doing Gone with the Wind, and if all else fails, this is going to be an incredibly interesting film to look at. The only thing holding me back, and I don't care how shallow it makes me seem, is that I don't know how I'm going to be able to take looking at the kabuki mask that is Nicole Kidman's face for 2+ hours. This has been coming for a while, but it's definitely the worst it's ever been. She can barely speak.

Quantum of Solace

I take perverse joy watching the Bond fans squirm at any violation of whatever they think is sacred about this, the dumbest movie franchise of all time. Even Casino Royale, which I enjoyed fairly well, was a spectacularly stupid movie. So the idea that this movie is transgressing by having Bond actually remember the events of the last movie is like...transgressing what precisely? Anyway, as for this know, Daniel Craig looks good moving around and talking. What else can you say? It's not like you have to sell anyone on this movie; hence the title, that gloriously "who gives a shit?" title. I love that. It's a James Bond movie. They could call it "My Ass" and it'd draw the same audience (and, to be honest, probably some other people).

The Secret Life of Bees

On paper, this movie sounds awful. The worst kind of Oprah's Book Club hookum where the ladies dance around the kitchen to soul classics and the little white girl shows them the way. But from what I've seen in this trailer, the execution might not be half bad. I don't know, maybe I'm just being soft, but this looks far less histrionic and more honestly emotional than its blueprint calls for. Dakota Fanning -- of whom I am decidedly not a fan -- looks really good, and not just as a precocious tot.

The Soloist

Much like The Secret Life of Bees, this one looks like it should be terrible on paper; the worst kind of manipulative drivel. But what I'm seeing here gives me a bit of hope that Joe Wright, Robert Downey Jr., and yes, even Jamie Foxx are approaching this material honestly. Yeah, it's probably still awards-baiting, but now I think there's a chance that it won't be shamelessly so. (Seriously, am I just a Robert Downey Jr. mark or does he look awesome yet again?)


Kris McN said...

Oh yes, he looks awesome!

liz said...

Oh, Joe, I couldn't agree with you more about Nicole Kidman! Her face seems particularly unfathomable in a period film, because it's so obviously the product of contemporary technologies. Nevertheless, I am totally in the tank for Australia. Ooooh, and Milk looks totally swoony as well.

Revolutionary Road the book is depressing as hell, so it's possible the movie could be dark enough to be interesting.

deirdre said...

RDJ always looks awesome.

Dakota Fanning is the millenial version of Nicholas Nickleby's Infant Phenomenon. I keep expecting to read that her parents feed her on gin and cigarettes to stunt her growth. (I've been trying to work that into a film review for years, now, but there's never enough space.) I will agree with the Fug Girls, though, that it's nice to see her out and about not looking like a living Bratz doll.

Glark said...

Wait, there's a group of Bond people upset that Bond films are embracing continuity? Are you making up stories again Joe?

Joe Reid said...

You can't please a Bond fan, Dave. They're all crazy weirdos. ALL.

Stephanie said...

I'm with you on The Soloist. On paper it sounds like it could be Radio but Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx totally sell the material in the trailer.

The Australia trailer should really just be alternating shots of Hugh Jackman in a tux and in cowboy gear, and no Nicole Kidman in sight. The tickets practically print themselves!

Jon said...

Milk looks fantastic, although I expect some critics to complain about Penn's voice and accent (despite the fact that he nails exactly what Harvey Milk sounded like). It'll be a repeat of Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle, in which Jennifer Jason Leigh was slammed for talking... exactly like Dorothy Parker.

My only real fear about Milk is that it will leave me a sniveling wreck, unable to leave the theater.

Anonymous said...

Session 9 and Enduring Love are two of my all time favorite movies! Glad someone else out there is spreading the word!

JennB said...

Okay, the way they're promoting The Secret Life of Bees bugs me because it's nothing like the book. The ads make it out to be some fun romp. The book is about a girl who runs away from her abusive father with her nanny, who's just ticked off a bunch of racists while she was on her way to vote. They wind up living with beekeeper sisters who knew the girl's mother. Not sure how that translates to a montage of happiness with "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" playing over it.