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, including, yes, Hunger Games; check ’em out after the jump.
Last month, those who were paying attention were a little surprised by the release pattern of Trespass, a Nicolas Cage/Nicole Kidman vehicle that hit DVD about two weeks after its ten-city theatrical release. Then people started seeing Trespass, and it all made sense. Which brings us to Catch .44, which will open in New York and Charlotte, North Carolina on December 9th (ah, the lucrative “New York and Charlotte” platform release) before its DVD and Blu-ray release eleven days later. And we would never dream of judging a movie based solely on its trailer, but it doesn’t look like the non-NY-and-Charlotte markets will be missing much; in spite of Bruce Willis with bad facial hair and Forest Whitaker with bad accent (accents?), this appears to be yet another faux-Tarantino, Guy Ritchie-lite, foul-mouthed crime caper action/comedy. People are still making those?
It may cause my hip-movie-blogger card to get revoked (no really, they issue those things, and mine’s coming up for renewal), but I actually liked Titanic. Seriously! Now, it sure as hell isn’t “the world’s most beloved and acclaimed film” (ah Cameron, master of understatement), and it’s corny as all get out and the characterizations are laughably thin, but it gets the job done — it’s involving and emotional and that last hour or so is a peach. But even I can’t imagine going down to my IMAX cineplex and plunking down twenty bucks to watch it again in 3D (life’s just too short, and I’m too cheap), and as with that trailer a couple of weeks back for the 3D re-release of The Phantom Menace, watching the 3D trailer on your 2D computer ultimately amounts to just a quick reminder of the original film’s flaws. Or, to put it more simply: Re-release or not, none of us ever needed to hear the damn Celine Dion song again.
Now here’s a theatrical re-release we can get behind. You see, since Todd Haynes and Julianne Moore have gone on to make such interesting and well-regarded films, it’s high time for a wider audience to have the opportunity to see their tense and difficult 1995 collabora — what’s that? It’s not a re-release of Safe, but another tired Jason Statham vehicle that happens to have the same title? Ugh. Never mind. Carry on.
The Hunger Games
This whole Hunger Games phenomenon is one of your author’s admitted pop culture blind spots (it’s basically Battle Royale, right?), so I’ve got no preconceived notions or expectations here; it looks sort of interesting, though I’m not quite sure I get what all the hubbub’s about. After watching this much-ballyhooed trailer, there’s only one real question: why are all the recognizable actors (save for Jennifer Lawrence) apparently sporting goofy wigs and/or facial hair?
Look, we love Pixar. Love ’em. Wall-E, Toy Story 3, Up, Ratatouille — these are, no hyperbole, among the best American films of recent years. So we’ll give a legitimate shake to anything they put out. (Okay, maybe not Cars 3. You’ve gotta have your limits.) But there’s something too familiar about the this trailer for their summer 2012 release. With its historical setting, overdone storyline, and plucky heroine, it doesn’t seem part of the distinctive Pixar world — it looks like just another release from their parent company, Disney, another riff on the themes they’ve already mined with Mulan, Tangled, and the like. We’ll see it, because it’s Pixar. But we’re not exactly worked up about it.
It’s not much of a surprise that this adaptation of Nick Flynn’s 2004 memoir bears a different title than the book, which was memorably called Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. It’s a smart, engaging piece of work, though, and the film version from director Chris Weitz (whose films have run the gamut from About a Boy to Little Fockers) looks promising. Paul Dano’s mopey style tends to work better in period pieces than contemporary films (as anyone who suffered through Gigantic or The Good Heart can tell you), but this is a good role for him, and it appears that DeNiro’s not gonna phone this one in. Add in Julianne Moore and Olivia Thirlby, and this one’s got some real potential.
Oh sure, I know we ran the first trailer for Soderbergh’s action picture here before, and that we’ve talked about it elsewhere, and that this second trailer frankly doesn’t tell or show us much we hadn’t already seen — good cast, sexy/powerful leading lady, lots of action, maybe some clever talk. But I ask your indulgence. You’ve seen the trailers I just sat through. Forgive me for wanting to watch one for a picture I’m genuinely excited to see.