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. We’ve got seven new trailers this week, mostly of the artsie-indie breed, though there’s a couple of genre picks in there as well. Check ’em out after the jump.
Hostel Part III
There’s a naked honesty about the direct-to-DVD sequel — its mere existence states, in no uncertain terms, “We didn’t think there was actually any further artistry or quality to be bled out of this franchise; we merely would like to squeeze some more money out of you, the consumer.” And so joining the ranks of the American Pie, Bring It On, and From Dusk Till Dawn franchises is… Hostel. Yep, that’s right, this is the movie that didn’t have to aspire to the high artistic standards of the Hostel pictures. Still, kudos to whoever decided to maximize profit by making it a simultaneous rip-off the Hostel movies and The Hangover.
See, the last one was Piranha 3D, and so this one is double Ds, LIKE BOOBS GET IT?! Hew boy. Look, you’ve gotta give this teaser trailer (created to air during Spike TV’s Scream Awards) credit for knowing what audience is after: blood and breasts. And we’ve come to expect — nay, anticipate — this kind of thing from David Hasselhoff. But Ving… Ving Rhames… what’re you doin’, buddy? It’s a long, long fall from Pulp Fiction to a half-assed Planet Terror homage.
The Devil Inside
Huh. A horror movie about an exorcism. Never seen that before.
The Flowers of War
Yimou Zhang directed the astonishing Curse of the Golden Flower and House of Flying Daggers, so we’re willing to cut him a bit of slack, since this is one seriously confused trailer. What, exactly, is his latest movie? A sweeping historical epic? Perhaps. A bloody, stylized war movie? Mebbe. The sexy tale of a hunky, sinning priest? Sure, why not. Zhang’s previous films have nimbly hopscotched between styles, so maybe it’s all three, and maybe they all mesh — those elements could just pluck out into a messy-looking trailer. Put this one squarely in the “wait and see” column, even with one-time Oscar winner/three-time Batman Christian Bale in the lead.
It’s always tricky when we have to talk about a trailer for a movie that we’ve already seen, thanks to film festivals or those magical “media screenings,” and your author just happens to have taken in this tough and stylish crime picture this very week. So I’ll admit that the film’s story is old hat, as you can put together from the trailer above; it must also be noted that the film is a bit all over the place, its hardboiled gangster elements mixing uneasily with the romantic subplot. But a movie like this isn’t about groundbreaking storytelling — it’s about snazzy style, and (as you can probably tell from these clips), London Boulevard’s got that in spades.
The “found footage” horror movie has proven such a lucrative and venerable trope of recent cinema (and such an easy one for low-budget filmmakers to latch onto) that we suppose it’s only a matter of time before it starts bleeding over into other genres. And that brings us to Chronicle, which mates the first-person camera scare flick with the superhero movie — and it’s a pairing that makes sense, as it’s fairly safe to assume that if a bunch of high school kids got themselves some super powers, they’d certainly get that stuff on video to upload to YouTube or Facebook or whatever the hell these kids are using these days. So sure, the style is getting a little tired, but this one’s got promise. It’s also got Michael B. Jordan (note the B), who is so very, very good on Parenthood.
Due to timing issues beyond our control, we missed Steve McQueen’s highly acclaimed sex addiction drama at the New York Film Festival — and we’re even more upset about it after viewing the film’s evocative and haunting new trailer, which is like a magnificent little two-minute movie onto itself, starting mysteriously and innocuously, but building to an emotive and disturbing crescendo. Word is that after this one hits later this year, co-star Carey Mulligan won’t be the only one able to plaster “Academy Award nominee” in front of her name; Michael Fassbender is reportedly electrifying in the leading role.