This Week in Trailers: ‘Ted,’ ‘Total Recall,’ ‘To Rome with Love,’ and More


Every Friday here at Flavorwire, we like to gather up the week’s 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 eleven trailers for you this week, including new films from Woody Allen, Oliver Stone, and Seth McFarlane, plus Whitney Houston’s final role and Katy Perry in 3D. (Seriously.) Check ’em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments.

Rock of Ages

Bad hair metal songs, transformed into cheeseball Hollywood musical numbers. Good actors slumming, bad actors failing. Bullshit nostalgia, repackaged and resold. There is no movie I’m looking forward to less than this one.

Wait, what’s that? They’re doing Grown-Ups 2? Scratch the previous statement.


Katy Perry: Part of Me in 3-D

Since I don’t work the music beat around here, I’ve not had to pay much attention to Ms. Perry, and I can’t say I’ve lost a lot of sleep over it. But that leaves me in a position of not knowing what the hell to make of this trailer, which seems to match the schizophrenia of her Britney-style “I’m a good Christian girl but I’m mostly known for my double entendre lyrics and impressive bust” success. On one hand, it’s dead-serious hagiography and cliché motivational speaker pap like “If you have a dream, you have to go on a journey to fulfill that dream.” But then, on the other hand, it’s all plunging necklines and a title that’s clearly an eyebrow-wiggling reference to her most famous feature. I dunno. I’m not the audience for this. Fans’ll like it, I imagine. And dirty old men.

Total Recall

This remake of the 1990 Schwarzenegger film is one we’ve been unsure about since its announcement, primarily because of reservations about director Len Wiseman, who was just fine when he was merely directing Underworld films but sure fumbled the ball with that last Die Hard movie. But we’re also all for the idea of returning to the source material and making it into something a little less Arnie action and a little more thoughtful sci-fi. Unfortunately, that’s not what they appear to have done here. In fact, if anything, it looks like they’ve bypassed the original Total Recall altogether and made a remake of The Bourne Identity. We remain skeptical.

High School

“Dude! You know what would be awesome! If we made a movie about getting the whole school high.” “Shut up, you’re high.” “I KNOW!” “That’s a stupid idea, bro.” “Oh yeah? Well just you wait! One day I’m gonna be a real filmmaker, and I’m gonna make that movie, and it’s gonna be dope, and it’s gonna make, like, ten million dollars, and you’ll look like, look so stupid!” “Whatever, dude. Pass the bong.”


Oliver Stone hasn’t exactly been the most reliable filmmaker as of late; Alexander was, no matter which of its countless cuts you’re watching, a disaster, and while W. had its moments, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps was his most hyper-caffeinated and desperate picture in years. But even when he’s failing, he’s still doing interesting things, and while we’re not sure we’d care about Savages were he not involved (this is a plot that’s been done to death, reanimated, and done to death again), it looks like it may have some dirty Natural Born Killer/U-Turn era energy, plus a hell of an impressive supporting cast.


Here’s where remakes and adaptations get tricky — to a viewer with no background information (like, say, MANY of its YouTube commenters), this fictionalized movie musical riff on the Supremes looks like an out-and-out rip-off of Dreamgirls (right down to the inclusion of a former American Idol-er in a leading role). It’s not, of course; it’s a remake of the film from 1976 (a full five years before Dreamgirls made its Broadway debut). But it’s still hard to get around the fact that it seems like this is a story we’ve already seen, though it’ll be nice to hear those great Curtis Mayfield songs again, and to see Whitney Houston in her final screen role (a fact that the trailer thankfully chooses not to emphasize). And hats off to whoever had the good sense to get Cee-Lo into this thing.


Look, there’s no need to dress it up or apologize for it: we’ll sit through just about any movie that provides an excuse to stare at the achingly beautiful Frieda Pinto for two hours. Thankfully, this one appears to have a few other elements in its favor as well. The director is the malleable and prolific Michael Winterbottom, whose filmography runs from smart comedies like The Trip to experimental biopics like 24 Hour Party People to documentaries like The Shock Doctrine; here he’s doing the female-centered drama (which he’s done before, and well, in the underseen Angelina Jolie vehicle A Mighty Heart). And the premise here is a good one — a modern-day, location-shifted retelling of Hardy’s Tess of the D’urbervilles. The result looks sexy and intriguing and well worth checking out at this month’s Tribeca Film Festival.

7 Days in Havana

The “one city, several stories” sub-subgenre goes to Cuba with this intriguing anthology film from seven international directors, including Gaspar Noé (Enter the Void), Elia Suleiman (Divine Intervention), and Benicio del Toro (you’ve heard of him, we’re assuming). These kind of things can be hit and miss — that’s just the danger in omnibus projects, where a bad segment or two can torpedo the entire endeavor — but they’ve got a good group of filmmakers here, an interesting cast, and an infinitely fascinating location. Fingers crossed on this one.

To Rome with Love

There are plenty of reasons to be excited about Woody’s follow-up to Midnight in Paris: another romantic locale, another terrific cast, and Allen’s first on-screen appearance in six years (since 2006’s Scoop). But just so we’ve aired our concerns: some of these jokes are mighty weak, especially for the trailer (where you’re supposed to put the good ones), and while we know he’s an Italian comic actor — so it probably made sense — really, Woody? Roberto Begnini? Really?

Okay, those things said: Can. Not. Wait.

Lola Versus

On the face of it, this looks like a fairly standard, been-there-done-that single girl tale, and frankly, were I not familiar with the pedigree on this one, I might dismiss it. (Okay, it’s got Greta Gerwig in it, so that’s unlikely.) But it’s the latest collaboration between writer/director Daryl Wein and writer/co-star Zoe Lister Jones, whose first film was the wonderful autobiographical romantic comedy/drama Breaking Upwards — a film that also managed, with wit and specificity, to transcend the dreary expectations of its formula. Lola looks like it may do the same thing, so this is one to watch out for.


It has come up, a time or two, that your film editor is no fan of Family Guy, or the inexplicable MacFarlane television cartoon empire that it has wrought. So credit where due: I was not expecting to enjoy even the NSFW red-band trailer for his feature directorial debut, to say nothing of looking forward to the film itself. But I have to give it up — the premise is clever, Wahlberg and Kunis are clearly game and having a ball, and this MacFarlane skeptic laughed out loud. More than once. Uncle, Ted trailer.