So it’s Saturday and I can post whatever I want. Those are the rules. When the Star Wars VII trailer was first unleashed to the world a couple of weeks ago, people all over the place were sighing and pooh-poohing the thing. It’s too fake and glossy looking they said. The lightsaber doesn’t make sense they said. There’s too much CGI they said. I, on the other hand love the trailer – especially the more I watched it. In my comments I mentioned that the trailer actually looks a lot like scenes from the original movies. It’s very minimal and open when it needs to be, detail oriented and claustrophobic when it needs to be.
I found this trailer today which kind of proves my point. It even shows moments that I specifically mentioned in my comments.
What this mock trailer also proves of course, is that it’s ludicrous to judge a movie based on six or seven 3-second shots from a movie; context is imperative. But I think in terms of visuals, from what I can see, Abrams has nailed it.
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.
Just a quick rumor report to dish out for all you Ridley Scott / Alien fans. Michael Fassbender recently told Collider that he wasn’t sure when Prometheus 2 would be released (or even when it production was scheduled), but he did say it is happening and has laid the claim he will be reprising his role of David. So there you go.
The ever expanding roster of soldiers of fortune in Sylvester Stallone’s Expendables franchise gets a handsome black and white photo shoot, and a trailer just in case you are not photo gallery’d to death. If there is ever a case of character-posters getting out of hand, I present it below, tucked under the seat. But I will give it this, the black and white, minimalist style here with the lighting equipment visible in the frame does impart the overkill-basics ethos of the series.
This is a follow on by Errol Morris’ to “The Umbrella Man” short film commissioned for the New York Times last year (we featured it here.) In part 2 “November 22, 1963” Morris continues his conversation with Josiah “Tink” Thompson regarding all things JFK.
The scope and tone of the Zack Snyder directed Superman feels earnest and emotional in all the right ways. This is the best execution of ‘pure epic’ that I’ve ever seen in a modern comic book superhero movie. Here is hoping that Man of Steel lives up to the incredible expectations engendered by this trailer.
Richard Linklater continues the romantic adventures and travails of Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke with Before Midnight. The third entry in the series find them a bonafide couple, with two little girls in Greece. And all the stresses of age, parenting, regrets, etc. challenge the notion of perpetual romance. I love the idea of these ‘delayed’ sequels (see also the middle chapter, After Sunset) which allow us to see the progress of these two characters as they (and we) make our way through life. They’ve also had a nice mix of the practical, the romantic and a sense of humour about things; what more do you need from life? To find out where the couple stands in their parenting years, and for that matter, who is the “mayor of Crazytown” you’ll have to watch the trailer below.
OK, I’ll confess: While I am rather indifferent to the been-there-done-that muddle that was David Twohy’s Pitch Black, the mega-budget rather delightful and thoroughly camp sequel is the guiltiest of pleasures. The Underverse, Colm Feore’s crazy-ridiculous armour, hell, the Flash Gordon level of production design, coupled with fully unrestrained Karl Urban and Thandie Newton shouting at everyone and Dame Judi Dench as a hologram, it’s the film that keeps on giving. Of course this kind of craziness lost money, and Twohy, who was a stalwart of writing middling genre films in the 1990s, kind of disappeared for a decade right after The Chronicles of Riddick torpedoed.
The convict with strange glowing eyes who simply won’t take your shit will be complete with the third film, simply called Riddick. Considering the all at odds titling of these films, they are going to look strange next to each other in the future discount box-set.
Until then, Vin Diesel would like to tease you with his gravelly hoobastank.
I should probably stop posting trailers for the sequel film to the rebooted Star Trek franchise, as the direction that the creators want to take these films is simply out of synch with what I know to be a Star Trek film. Apparently in this new tangent universe, there is no 5 year mission to explore new worlds. Why bother when you can set your tone in the vein of Chris Nolan Batman features – all culture of fear and terror and bureaucratic gridlock. This trailer also commits cardinal sin of using a Requiem for a Dream “Lux Aeterna” score, which at this point is as terrible of a cliche in science fiction trailers as is “Everyone Was Kung Fu Fighting” is for Jackie Chan imports. Oh, they apparently crash the enterprise and I know we never seen that done in a Star Trek feature film before.
I feel like a petty negative-nancy when it comes to the mass-sell of this film, with its endless explosions and its PG-13 lingerie shot. At least with The Wrath of Khan, they had the science and ethics of the Genesis project. Here, it’s all noise and fury, signifying nothing we’ve not seen in the past 5 years of space-shooter films. Congrats Star Trek, you are just like everything else. Thanks J.J., Orci and Kurtzman, you’ve risen my passion (a good thing!) but alas in a negative way towards what appears to be your collective, handsomely mounted and expensive mediocrity.
(Before you folks get all mad at me for pre-judging this enterprise: No, I don’t have to wait to see the film to get pissed off about it. I shall indulge myself like the patron saint of angry nerd, Ignatius J. Reilly, who to the best of my knowledge was not a Trekkie; but then again, neither am I.)