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. This week we’ve got Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis facing off on the campaign trail; Matthew McConaughey bullying Emile Hirsch and Juno Temple; Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, and Emma Stone in a gangster pastiche; Todd Solondz directing Christopher Walken and Mia Farrow; and a few promising films set to premiere at Cannes. Check ’em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments.
Let’s start with a bit of the official description, just to illustrate how overworked the plot sounds: “When 22-year-old Chris (Emile Hirsch) finds himself in debt to a drug lord, he hires a hit man to dispatch his mother, whose $50,000 life insurance policy benefits his sister Dottie (Juno Temple). Chris finds Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a creepy, crazy Dallas cop who moonlights as a contract killer. When Chris can’t pay Joe upfront, Joe sets his sight on Dottie as collateral for the job.” What this amounts to in the trailer is McConaughey cracking wise and sounding menacing in another of his cowboy hats, Hirsch running around with a face so bruised it’s nearly unrecognizable, and Temple doing a sort of Manic Pixie Damsel in Distress act. It’s possible McConaughey’s character will be interesting enough to save Killer Joe (or at least justify its NC-17 rating), but this trailer doesn’t me intrigued enough to find out.
Oh, I don’t know. Despite the name, this is not a gangster movie parody — it appears to be a dead-serious noir-style flick set in ’40s Los Angeles. The trailer features many moments we’ve already seen in similar films, including a whole lot of guys in fedoras shooting guns and burning money. But Gangster Squad does star Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone. Ruben Fleischer, of the enjoyable and genre-savvy Zombieland, directs. I can’t predict whether this will be fun or terrible, although it may be worth the price of admission just to watch Gosling and Stone’s dangerous flirtation.
Killing Them Softly
This isn’t quite a trailer — it’s just the first 45-second clip that’s been released — so don’t take its place on this list too seriously. In this tiny peek at Andrew Dominik’s mob flick Killing Them Softly, which is set to open at Cannes, we meet a pair of thugs (one of whom happens to be Sam Shepard) who burst into a trailer and chuck Ray Liotta out the other end of it. Despite having no idea what I just saw, I’m pretty into it — and looking forward to seeing where the film’s star, Brad Pitt, and James Gandolfini fit in.
Directed by Ben Affleck — who, before you snark, actually has a nice track record going — this based-on-a-true-story Iran hostage crisis thriller finds a team of diplomats posing as a sci-fi film crew in order to carry out a secret rescue mission. Judging by the trailer, the dialogue and pacing seem right, and you can’t argue with a cast that features Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Kyle Chandler, Alan Arkin, and Clea DuVall (remember her?!).
To be entirely honest, your author isn’t always a big fan of Will Ferrell — but even we admit that he seems to have his character for The Campaign nailed. A goofily slick congressman up for his fifth term, he expects to run unopposed but is blindsided by beard-free Zach Galifianakis, a strange, fey, and apparently quite stupid non-politician with a taste for dumpy sweaters. We have no doubt that watching these two trade barbs on the campaign trail will be hilarious, and the trailer is even more promising than we expected.
Cringe-master Todd Solondz’s latest looks a bit tame compared to the pitch-black, pedophilia-and-suicide comedies he’s known for. We would be worried, but we imagine that trailer for Dark Horse — which stars Jordan Gelber as a schlub who lives at home and falls in love with an exhausted-looking Selma Blair at a wedding — doesn’t represent a fraction of the weirdness Solondz may well be constitutionally incapable of avoiding. Plus, Gelber’s parents are playing by Christopher Walken and Mia Farrow, so you can’t really go wrong.
The Taste of Money
Is it a bold move — or even a foolhardy one — to put a Korean-language trailer that we can’t even understand at the top of this list? Probably. But look at how gorgeous and strange the visuals are in this preview for The Taste of Money, which centers on the private secretary of a powerful businesswoman at the head of a Korean conglomerate and promises family intrigue, stylish violence, and deviant sex. Seeing as the film’s director, Im Sang-soo, is responsible for 2010’s fantastic The Housemaid, we’re fairly sure our enthusiasm for this one — which also premieres at Cannes — is justified.