Welcome to “Trailer Park,” our regular Friday feature where we collect the week’s new trailers all in one place and do a little “judging a book by its cover,” ranking them from worst to best and taking our best guess at what they may be hiding. This week, we’ve got a surplus of thrillers, plus a legal drama and vibrator comedy. So, variety, eh? Check ‘em all out after the jump.
Faces in the Crowd
Much to our disappointment, this is not some kind of remake/sequel to A Face in the Crowd with Milla Jovovich as a Lonesome Rhodes for millennials. Nope, it’s just a really silly-looking serial killer thriller, with bad-movie magnet Jovovich doing what looks to be some rather less than subtle acting. Then again, we shouldn’t judge — we might go this far over the top to if we had, um, “face blindness” (snicker, snicker).
Confession: Your author has never seen an Underworld movie, and I gotta tell ya, it’s not something I lose a lot of sleep over. But from what I’ve seen of them, the trailer for the fourth in the series looks to promise pretty much what the others did: Kate Beckinsale in leather, kicking ass and sucking necks in the midst of a flurry of leaping werewolves (excuse me, “lycans”) and explosions and so forth, all under heavy blue filters and tints. This one is in 3-D, though. Of course.
When we first heard that Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman were starring in Trespass, we were confused — does that mean Cage would take over the Ice Cube role and Kidman would step in for Ice-T? Because she’s good, but T will always be “King James,” no matter what. Well, come to find out, it’s not a remake of the 1992 Walter Hill movie; what it is, according to several descriptions we’ve read, is “Joel Schumacher’s Funny Games,” and we’re having a hard time deciding which half of that phrase is less appealing. Funny, isn’t it, how they promote it as being “from the director of Phone Booth and Falling Down,” and not, say “from the director of Batman & Robin and The Number 23”? Anyway, rich people, home invasion, Cage overacting (again), Kidman underacting (again), shoot shoot, run run, boom boom, who cares.
Texas Killing Fields
The supporting cast is what’s got us interested in Ami Canaan Mann’s police procedural, since it includes Jessica Chastain and Hit-Girl herself, Chloe Moretz. The film’s ostensible star is Sam Worthington, who is mostly memorable for being unmemorable (seriously, the guy starred in the highest-grossing movie of all time, and we couldn’t pick him out of a lineup), with Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Losers) apparently fuming at him from time to time. On one hand, the picture looks about as generic as its title; on the other, as far as serial killer movies go, it sure as hell looks more promising than Faces in the Crowd.
We saw the Kassen brothers’ legal drama at the Tribeca Film Festival back in the spring, when it was still somewhat surprising to see Chris Evans in a good movie; its distributors wisely held on to it for a post-Captain America release, and it’s worth seeing if for no other reason than for his wired, cranked-up performance, equal parts bullshit bravado and utter sincerity. There’s a mad, improvisatory energy to his work — you can see him thinking, working the angles, and enjoying his character’s hedonistic nature. The picture that surrounds it isn’t quite as unpredictable as his performance, and this trailer gives it the look of a rather generic proto-Grisham movie, presumably to sell the familiar and (mostly) keep a lid on the movie’s secret weapon.
Tanya Wexler’s Toronto International Film Festival selection is the true story (or mostly true, we presume) of the invention of the vibrator, and this charming little trailer is equal parts ribaldry and history, with a dash of romance. The cast can’t be beat (Maggie Gylenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Pryce, Rupert Everett, Gemma Jones, and Felicity Jones) and the period details look spot-on, though it does have the potential to trip up over its own cleverness. Consider us excited, if not quite orgasmic. (Sorry.)
The Woman in Black
There are, let’s face it, few things on this earth more terrifying than dried up, creepy children’s toys; the trailer for Daniel Radcliffe’s first post-Potter film role gives us not only close-ups of them, but jewelry box music, a child reciting a disturbing poem, a big scary Gothic house, and enough horrifying images to haunt your nightmares for a good week or so. Who knows if the movie’s any good, but this is one hell of an effective teaser.