This Week in Trailers: 'Dark Shadows,' 'Hemingway and Gellhorn,' and more


Every Friday here at Flavorwire, we like to gather up the week new movie trailers, give them a look-see, and rank them from worst to best — while taking a guess or two about what they might tell us (or hide from us) about the movies they’re promoting. We’ve got seven new trailers for you this week, including new films from Nicole Kidman, Clive Owen, Kate Hudson, and a new Johnny Depp-Tim Burton collaboration. Check ’em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments.

A Little Bit of Heaven

Look, it’s not like we’re ever going into a Kate Hudson trailer (and, by this point, that’s all we’re watching that she’s involved in — the idea of paying money and sitting through a Kate Hudson movie is utterly implausible) with high hopes. But even with our usual low bar, we’re not sure what the hell to make of this mind-boggling mosaic of Lifetime movie clichés. And while Ms. Hudson’s presence in this kind of pap is expected by now, what are all of these other good people doing in it? Peter Dinklage? Lucy Punch? Rosemarie DeWitt? Romany Malco? Sure, you guys have bill to pay, understood. But A Little Bit of Heaven? Seriously?

Dark Shadows

And just when we were willing to give Tim Burton another shot, here comes this. Johnny Depp has reportedly been trying to get this film version of the cult ’70s vampire soap opera made for years, and whaddaya know, it’s not so hard to get vampire movies made these days. But it looks, to these jaded eyes, to be everything we can’t stand about Burton’s recent output : it’s yet another adaptation of pre-existing material (memo to Mr. Burton: you can occasionally come up with new ideas!), yet another undisciplined Depp performance, and yet another trip to the camp/emo well, style-wise. And hey, dig those funny ’70s music cues, man!

The Assault

Your correspondent saw this Greengrass-style French action thriller at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival and honestly forgot all about it; it’s a pretty solid, tense picture, but it’s one of those action movies that seems to play American festivals solely because it’s subtitled. Not that you’d be able to tell from this trailer — it’s one of those bait-and-switch jobs that plays up the action and does back flips to avoid any dialogue scenes, so you’d never guess that this the dialogue is subtitled (or, more importantly, that there’s so much of it in the film’s middle stretch). Aside from that, it does a decent job of selling this somewhat harrowing and legitimately taut true story.

Fat Kid Rules the World

Fat Kid is one of the many films we didn’t make it out to at SXSW this year, but we did see director Matthew Lillard out and about in Austin, and your film editor watched him have a particularly awkward conversation with a couple of festival goers, who then snickered after he walked away. The whole thing was unnecessarily cruel; let he/she among us who hasn’t enjoyed their Scream (or even, yikes, She’s All That) cast the first stone. The former Shaggy is working hard to reinvent himself these days — first with an acclaimed turn in The Descendants, and now with this, his directorial debut. The story looks a little pat, but the trailer’s got a nice energy to it, and we’re all for Jacob Wysocki (so great in last summer’s underrated Terri) getting more work.


Creepy, killer kids are always a reliable hook to hang your horror movie hat on, and this Irish chiller (which also premiered, to positive reviews, at SXSW) has them coming out its ears. Also, desolate streets, scary noises, and a leading man just this side of translucent. Seriously, what else are you looking for in a horror movie?

On The Road

We’ve got a feeling that your level of approval for this trailer (and the film itself) will be directly related to your degree of attachment to the source material. It’s one (tricky) thing to adapt a book; it’s another altogether to adapt a generation-defining book. So let’s look at this thing from the outside: Walter Salles is a good director — and he made The Motorcycle Diaries, so he knows a thing or two about humanizing the iconic. The participation of Kristen Stewart raised the ire of many, but she is capable of good work (mostly in underseen and frankly mediocre movies like The Yellow Handkerchief and Welcome to the Rileys), and Salles was smart to cast (basically) unknowns in the roles of Dean and Sal. And then, taking a cue from Gilliam’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, he’s filled out the supporting cast with hip familiar faces (Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Elisabeth Moss, Kirsten Dunst). The book’s hardcore devotees will probably cry foul, but they’re going to no matter what — they’ve seen this story in their head for decades. We, on the other hand, are intrigued by this one.

Hemingway and Gellhorn

The teaser trailer for this HBO movie is tantalizingly brief (that’s why they’re called “teasers”), but promising. This true story of the stormy relationship between writers Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn is one we’ve been looking forward to; the figures are fascinating, the cast is intriguing (though Clive’s accent sounds, er, problematic), and the choice of Philip Kaufman (The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Henry & June) to direct is spot-on. May 28th is a long way off, but there’s nothing wrong with looking forward — this is The Avengers for book nerds.