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 a boatload of new trailers this week — many of them from Cannes, which is after all not just a film festival but a film market, where foreign rights are sold and trailers are thus trotted out. So we’ve got new films from name directors like Paul Thomas Anderson, Sam Mendes, and Baz Luhrmann, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Craig, Bill Murray, Will Ferrell, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, Carey Mulligan, Jackie Chan, Joaquin Phoenix, and his late brother River. Check ’em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments.
This glimpse at Todd Lincoln’s late summer horror thriller looks less like a trailer than a recipe: combine two cups of Insidious, a dash of the ending of The Silence of the Lambs, a J-horror ghost, the score of Inception, and a generous helping of Paranormal Activity, puree and serve for an undemanding audience. And while Twilight’s Ashley Greene is certainly a lovely young lady, are all of her line readings going to be this wooden? (Something tells me the fans of that franchise won’t mind.)
The Great Gatsby
There are few movies this year we’ve been looking forward to less than Baz Luhrmann’s 3D Great Gatsby, but we tried, we really tried, to go into this trailer with an open mind. That open mind lasted about ten seconds in, when the unmistakable strains of “No Church in the Wild” were accompanied by the voice-over “New York, 1922,” and we laughed out loud. Ah yes, all the flappers just adored Jigga and Kanye. Look, we know there are people that swear by Moulin Rouge and adore Luhrmann’s eat-the-lens camerawork and hyperactive, why-cut-once-when-you-can-cut-three-times editing, and we’re sure they’ll find plenty to love here. But it looks, to us, like exactly what we feared Baz Luhrmann’s 3D Great Gatsby would be.
We first got a look at this summer comedy featuring Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, and Jonah Hill (co-written by Seth Rogen) a couple of months back, under its original title Neighborhood Watch. But not long after that teaser trailer’s release, George Zimmerman made the idea of short-fused neighborhood watchmen a helluva lot less funny. So Fox rebranded the movie The Watch, and now we have a new trailer, revealing that ha ha, joke’s on us, it’s actually about aliens. (Better to look like a Men in Black rip-off than a comic take on the Martin shooting, presumably). Vaughn and Stiller haven’t been reliable for a while now, and (altered title or not) the picture’s going to have trouble shaking its bad timing, but this trailer does have some laughs in it, and the chemistry on display between its stars is promising.
Dark Blood is one of the more intriguing unfinished movies in recent cinema. George Sluzier’s thriller was anywhere from ten days to a month (it varies from one account to another) from the end of its shoot when River Phoenix died of a drug overdose in front of the Viper Room. The film was abandoned, presumably for good, but last year, Sulzier (who also directed both versions of The Vanishing) announced that he wanted to try to complete the film so that audiences could see Phoenix’s last performance. Based on the trailer, that sounds easier said than done. The movie looks like a Dead Calm-style three-hander, and filling in the gaps without Phoenix seems impossible — and no one’s even mentioned co-stars Judy Davis and Jonathan Pryce, who’ve aged nearly twenty years in the interim. But all of that aside, it is fascinating to finally get a look at the unfinished film, and if the trailer accomplishes its goal (to raise finishing funds via the crowd-funding site CineCrowd), we look forward to seeing what Sluzier has in mind.
Whole Lotta Sole
Terry George isn’t the most prolific writer/director working, but when he makes a film, it’s usually worth the wait: his screenplay credits include In the Name of the Father and The Boxer, and he directed Reservation Road and Hotel Rwanda. His latest film looks a good deal lighter than his usual dour fare, and he’s surrounded star Brendan Fraser with some of our favorite character actors (including Colm Meany, The Departed’s David O’Hara, and In The Loop’s Tom Hollander). We’re not sure what’s going on with the Lifetime-movie music in the middle stretch, but overall, this trailer’s got us keyed up to see George’s latest.
What Maisie Knew
Directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel made a big splash a decade ago with The Deep End, but their follow-up films Bee Season and Uncertainty didn’t do much to increase their profile. That may change with this family drama, which looks a bit pat, but has an intriguing cast and the potential for some impressive acting. Most importantly, we sense plenty of opportunities for Julianne Moore to cry, which let’s face it, she does better than anybody in the business.
There was some question, after Jackie Chan arrived at Cannes to promote Chinese Zodiac (which he also directed) as to whether this film was his swan song from action cinema — which Chan quickly clarified via Facebook. It’s not his last action movie, but it is (he says) the end of his famous death-defying stunt work, which he’s simply getting too old to do. If this announcement is true (and not merely promotion for the new movie), he’s going out in style: Chinese Zodiac looks to have no shortage of the expectedly comic and inventive fight scenes, and if the plot is pretty old hat, the high style will get us into the theater.
Anchorman: The Legend Continues
No one was more excited than us about the announcement of the long-delayed, long-awaited, long-thought-dead sequel to Anchorman, and it is hard not to grin at this teaser trailer, featuring the Action News team (or the slightly dirtier international version, below). We’d only like to interject this single caveat — not to be a buzzkill or anything, just to reiterate: it is sorely missing one Christina Applegate, who never gets enough credit for the first film’s success. The teaser was assembled quickly, we understand, and perhaps she wasn’t available. But if she’s not in the movie, there will be hell to pay.
Hyde Park on Hudson
The idea of Bill Murray as FDR was one so delicious that it had us salivating for a look at Hyde Park on Hudson, and this film seems like it could be a real treat, hitting a King’s Speech/Downton Abbey soft spot that could bring in audiences that might not’ve been too interested a few years back. Curiously, the trailer downplays the involvement of Roger Mitchell, who directed Notting Hill and Changing Lanes and seems a good fit for this material; we’re also jazzed about the inspired casting of Olivia Williams as Eleanor.
Daniel Craig is back as Bond. Sam Mendes is directing. Ralph Fiennes and Javier Bardem are in it too. They could pretty much just put that information up as on-screen text and we’d see Skyfall, so you can only imagine how excited we are by all the BANG BANG and BOOM BOOM and COOL COOL in this one.
No idea what’s actually happening here. Can’t wait to see the movie.