Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trailer Trash Tuesday: Overcompensation

Since I haven't posted this feature much this summer, so why don't I hit you with FOUR trailer write-ups today. I'm like the absentee divorced dad who overcompensates at Christmas! Who doesn't love that guy?

You know, I've been waiting on Mira Nair to make something grand and sprawling and not in possession of the myriad flaws that held Vanity Fair back. It'd figure, then, that she'd end up delivering it with a cast of Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, and Ewan McGregor, a trio I could not find more underwhelming. It all looks so plausibly successful, though. Hardcore Oscar bait like this always holds the risk of feeling too put-together, but even Swank -- under the makeup and the accent -- feels more liberated than I can remember her. Can someone help me out, though: what movie does the music from this trailer come from? At least in the first half -- is it the Friday Night Lights movie? Hook me up, lovely readers.

The Fourth Kind
It's an effective trailer, to be sure -- Milla Jovovich as herself, assuring us the movie is entirely supported by "archival" footage (as also scary as fuck). Just the kind of "this is REAL, you rubes" stuff that made Blair Witch so effective. Even when we know it's bullshit, it's fun to partake in the illusion. Taking on the legacy of Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a brazen move, though, and I wonder if this trailer doesn't bite off, on our behalf, more than we can chew.

The Men Who Stare At Goats
This one hit the internet last week and seemed to really blow people away. I'm a smidge more reserved. Wacky Clooney works with a VERY strong directorial hand, and thus far that directorial hand has proved to belong to the Coen Brothers. I'm not entirely sold that his producing crony Grant Heslov can do as good a job. But it's certainly intriguing -- the idea of the military training psychic soldiers, warrior monks, and other such fantastical things is flush with possibility. Jeff Bridges looks like a potential show-stealer, and hey, maybe this is the movie that makes us all like Kevin Spacey again. I said maybe!

This movie came out of nowhere the last few weeks with what feels like a manufactured "OMG you guys, Michelle Monaghan should totally get an Oscar nomination" word-of-mouth campaign. The mouths seem to belong to members of the marketing department. Of course, buzz for past nominees like Melissa Leo may not have been quite so different, but it doesn't seem like anyone's actually seen this movie yet, is the problem. Anyway, I like Michelle Monaghan, so I'm more than willing to give this a shot. Can't say I'm not wary of this too-articulate son of hers, but it's not a dealbreaker.


Vance said...

Sadly, buzz from TIFF is that Goats isn't as good as the trailer.

Ewan McGregor underwhelming? (in Amelia, not Goat)

Mike said...

You know what's not great to think about while biking home at 9:00 at night through a very dark neighborhood? Owls. Owls that aren't owls. Owls that, to borrow a phrase, aren't what they seem.

I can't see that movie.