Friday One Sheet: Rated R-100

Japanese comedian Hitoshi Matsumoto specializes in delightful, deadpan movies. His previous efforts, Big Man Japan (aka Dainipponjin) and Symbol were both international successes, and great films as well. His latest is the bizarre S&M-dramedy, R100 that takes its title from the Japanese film rating system, indicating that nobody under 100 is authorized to view it.

Can a poster be dead-pan? I think the large amounts of text on this, and a woman in fetish-leather wear is both eye grabbing, and kind of self-deprecating at the same time. Good on you Drafthouse Films for capturing part of the spirit of this crazy film, without spoiling a darn thing.

Trailer: Pixar’s Inside Out

Inside Out

Oh how the mighty Pixar has shrunk. I know a trailer is not indicative of potentially complex tone or emotional depth, but if this warmed-over sitcom level entertainment, with its lazy humour, is how the animation-company wants to represent their new film to the world (via the UK), then so be it. There was a time when each Pixar project was met with excitement and anticipation by kids and adults alike. Not today. I hope the trailer-cutters or other marketing brain-trust execs have been sacked.

Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it’s no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. As Riley struggles to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, inner turmoil ensues on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

I had imagined that the ‘inside-the-mind’ POV would be limited only the the main character, the young girl, but it looks like the film will be spastically jumping in and out of all her family members minds, with each of the emotions getting a moustache, girly headbands or mom-jeans to tell whose inner-thoughts belong to whom.

Trailer: Fury Road

Fury Road

“Everybody has gone out of their mind!”

With all the focus on comic book super-franchises and Star Wars and Disney, this big budget studio reboot of Mad Max is without a shadow of a doubt, my most anticipated popcorn film of 2015. All the marketing thus far promises a stylish hybrid of car stunts, elaborate make-up and practical props and an epic fire-works spectacle of CGI. Simply put, this looks to be the best bet for honest-to-goodness badassery in the in the multiplex next summer. Fury Road, which is now looking more and more like a direct do-over of The Road Warrior has been several years in the making (principal photography wrapped on this 2 years ago this week), but it looks like George Miller and company did this one up right. I cannot wait to see Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron rip up the the post-apocalyptic desert of this island earth.

Oh what a lovely day! Vroom Vroooooom.

Trailer: White God

White God

Winner of the Prize Un Certain Regard Award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, White God is described as “a brutal, beautiful metaphor for the political and cultural tensions sweeping contemporary Europe”:

When young Lili is forced to give up her beloved dog Hagen, because it’s mixed-breed heritage is deemed ‘unfit’ by The State, she and the dog begin a dangerous journey back towards each other. At the same time, all the unwanted, unloved and so-called ‘unfit’ dogs rise up under a new leader, Hagen, the one-time housepet who has learned all too well from his ‘Masters’ in his journey through the streets and animal control centers how to bite the hands that beats him.

Friday One Sheet: Inherent Vice

OK, this is not exactly a movie poster for Inherent Vice, but the cover for the reprint of Thomas Pynchon’s source novel. It darn well should be a movie poster though. Los Angeles neon soaked nights, lots of colourful characters, all occupying the headspace of the central character, a side-burned and spacey Joaquin Phoenix. This is one of my favourite ‘posters’ of the year.

Trailer: Da Sweet Blood of Jesus

Da Sweet Blood

Never one for modesty, Spike Lee, has been in a bit of a dry patch lately, but Da Sweet Blood of Jesus looks to change all that in a big way. Just the kind of small-but-still-big canvas that the director excels at, and in an indie mode (Kickstarter + $10K from Steven Soderbergh got this made in 16 days) that he can get away with just about anything. The trailer has a lot of stuff going on, addiction, class, race, sex, murder, and all of it very is compelling. Look for the Danny Glover cameo.

Dr. Hess Green (Stephen Tyrone Williams) becomes cursed by a mysterious ancient Afrian artifact and is overwhelmed with a newfound thirst for blood. He however is not a vampire. Soon after his transformation he enters into a dangerous romance with Ganja Hightower (Zaraah Abrahams) that questions the very nature of love, addiction, sex, and status in our seemingly sophisticated society.

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus is getting a day and date release (Theatrical and iTunes) on February 13th.

Black Friday One Sheet: Black Christmas

One of the original North American slasher films (freshly influenced from the Italian Giallos) turns 40 this year. Yup, Bob Clarke’s Black Christmas, in all its string-light, POV, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, Keir Dullea glory.

Designer Gary Pullin delivers a handsome one-sheet in three colours, Red, Black and White to celebrate this fact. Nice details like the sorority-house letters on the phone, the infamous suffocation scene, and an ominous crimson tree looming over the entire house.

Trailer: Jurassic Park 4

JurassicWorld

Lots of StarLord but no mix tape (and very little sense of humour), Jurassic World looks about as lazy as they come in terms of sequels. Colin Trevorrow’s (Safety Not Guaranteed) direction here, looks to be exactly what a studio wants: Extruded plastic product. Judging by this digitally-bright and quite colourful trailer, Jurassic World is Jurassic Park minus any sense of wonder. Only the franchise remains, trapped in amber and poked for cloning every few years.

Friday One Sheet: Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella

This is how you get a teaser poster for an existing brand exactly right. Now coy images of pumpkins or mice sewing in the attic. This is marketing that cuts right to the heart of the story, get the princess in her sky-blue dress a bit of a rush to/from the ball with the iconic shoe right beside the title text. The only think that not perfect here is the lazy-typesetting, but you can’t always have everything.

By the way, this is the first I’m hearing about Kenneth Branagh directing a live action Cinderella movie for Disney. It’s a long way from Thor, but on second thought, not that long a way.