This Week in Trailers: Sleepwalking Comics and the Powerful Oz


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’s five new trailers feature Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, David Duchovny, Vera Farmiga, James Franco, Rachel Weisz, Melanie Lynskey, and Mike Birbiglia; check ’em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments.


Christopher Neil’s comedy/drama was one of the more forgettable movies at Sundance this year — not a bad film, just not a particularly memorable one, and one in which a cast of likable performers mostly spin their wheels at the service of its done-to-death coming-of-age narrative. So kudos to the trailer for giving such an accurate sense of the film it’s representing; it looks here like a movie you’ve seen many times before, and it is. And how about that convincing beard on Mr. Duchovny, eh?

Oz the Great and Powerful

We love, love, love Sam Raimi. You know who else we love? Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, and Rachel Weisz. (James Franco, not so much.) So the idea of that group of people collaborating on a Wizard of Oz prequel had us interested, in spite of our general weariness for prequels and reboots and origin stories in general. But there are two prominent credits displayed early on in this first trailer, unveiled yesterday at Comic-Con: “from the director of the Spider-Man trilogy” (we prefer to think of him as the director of the Evil Dead trilogy, but we understand) “and the producer of Alice in Wonderland” — that is, the smelly, awful Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland that inexplicably made a mint. And this trailer looks much more like a movie from the guy who produced Alice in Wonderland than the guy who made Spider-Man; in addition to the sickening-sweet candy-saturated look, it’s got the Disney connection, the 3D addition (oh goody), even the March release date. Maybe Raimi will smuggle in some subversive content, or some entertainment value. He’s done it before. We can only hope he does it again.

Comes a Bright Day

This British caper picture pairs two promising young actors we’ve had an eye on for a while: Craig Roberts (so good in last year’s wonderful Submarine) and the improbably-named Imogen Poots (who smoothly stole the underwhelming Solitary Man from its all-star cast). Plus, it’s got the great Timothy Spall, who we’ll see in just about anything. So why does this trailer peter out so badly in the clutch, when it reaches the required fast-montage-of-action portion? Hard to say — maybe they’re trying to craft a high-powered trailer out of the wrong materials. We’re still seeing the movie, but we wish this teaser had us a little more jazzed about it.

Hello I Must Be Going

This bittersweet comedy/drama from director Todd Louiso (probably best known to you for his performance as “Dick” in High Fidelity) was one of the quiet pleasures of Sundance, thanks primarily to a warm and winning turn by the perpetually undervalued Melanie Lynskey. Its trailer leans a little bit broader than necessary, and gives the impression that the picture is more formula than it is, but there are plenty of hints of its unique charm sprinkled throughout.

Sleepwalk with Me

This autobiographical comedy from director/star Mike Birbiglia — who adapted his one-man show with the help of, among others, This American Life’s Ira Glass — was among our very favorites of Sundance and SXSW (we talked to Birbiglia at the latter festival). But we were worried that a two-and-a-half minute trailer wouldn’t be able to bottle the picture’s specific style and comic voice. Our worries were unfounded; this trailer’s got us all excited to see the movie again. It gives the viewer a strong sense of the movie’s deadpan humor and shaggy-dog likability, and credit must be given for its patience — in this era of slam-bang trailers, that long pause before the “dinner” punchline is genuinely unusual. We’re sold on the movie, but we’re already fans; here’s hoping this one pulls in the audience Sleepwalk with Me so richly deserves.

What do you think of this week’s new trailers? What are you seeing — and what will you steer clear of?