WHOA! Beasts of the Southern Wild Trailer Impresses

Equal parts Terrence Malick and (early) David Gordon Green, this very buzzed about Sundance hit, Beasts of the Southern Wild is a stunner on the visual and emotional level it seems to be aiming for. I cannot wait to see this on the big screen on late June.

“Hushpuppy, an intrepid six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink, in “the Bathtub,” a southern Louisiana Delta community at the edge of the world. Wink’s tough love prepares her for the unraveling of the universe; for a time when he’s no longer there to protect her. When Wink contracts a mysterious illness, nature flies out of whack-temperatures rise, and the ice caps melt, unleashing an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs. With the waters rising, the aurochs coming, and Wink’s health fading, Hushpuppy goes in search of her lost mother.”

Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book to be adapted by Disney.

A while back, I wrote a post about six novels that I wanted to see adapted. One of my choices was Neil Gaiman’s 2008 fantasy children’s novel The Graveyard Book, in which I said it was “only a matter of time before somebody gets this thing made for the big screen” and when it did it would be “huge.” Now, as Disney has finally acquired the rights to adapt what is an absolute classic in children’s fiction, I am convinced that it will be even bigger than I initially imagined.

Inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Gaiman’s story follows a young boy named Nobody who is taken in and raised by the inhabitants of an old graveyard after the brutal murder of his family. Ghosts from all centuries, vampires, werewolves, and a variety of ghouls make up the rich cast of characters where it is the supernatural who fear the humans – not the other way around. It’s thrilling and scary and genuinely touching, hitting on some very mature themes and beautifully exploring the trials and tribulations that come with growing up.

The adaptation will be directed by Henry Selick, who is primarily a stop motion director having directed The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and a prior adaptation of Gaiman’s work with Coraline – so it’s pretty safe to assume that this will also follow that trend. All I can say is that I am really looking forward to this one.

Have you read The Graveyard Book? What are your thoughts on an adaptation? Would it translate better as live-action rather than stop motion? Chime in below!

Trailer: This is 40

A sort of sequel to Knocked Up, Judd Apatow’s latest follows the married couple played by the always awesome Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann as they approach their forties. While I still have a ways until 40, the trailer doesn’t seem to portray too many of the real-life worries of a couple approaching the often dreaded milestone – but knowing Apatow, in the final version of the film, he will deliver.

This is 40 hits theaters on December 21, 2012.

Are you ready for more Apatow? Are you tired of his brand of humor? Did his films never really connect with you in the first place? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Leonardo’s got a Hammer. The Maid has a bow on her head. Django Unchained Pictures.

I‘m quite excited to see Quentin Tarantino do his Blaxploitation/Spaghetti Western mashup, Django Unchained. It has been somewhat obvious that he has been working towards this point for years and while the hoity-toity of film critics lament that Tarantino is not the ‘populist art-house’ filmmaker they wanted him to be after the one-two punch of Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, I am pretty happy that he finds ways to make arty-genre films (my personal sweet spot). There isn’t quite a trailer to be seen at the moment, but Entertainment Weekly has a few stills to give you a hint of what the picture is going to look like. Jamie Foxx is looking charmingly grizzled and bad-ass. And Christoph Waltz in a duster! In a word: Awesome.

Whoa! Hopkins as Hitchcock.

While I am not a huge habitué of hammy-Hopkins hijinks, I am massively excited to see what the director of Anvil, The Story of Anvil does with an Alfred Hitchcock bio-pic; this one apparently set while filming 1960’s Psycho.

He’s certainly nailed the iconic look of the Hitch and the cast for this film (Hitchcock) is pretty crazy: Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Toni Collette, Helen Mirren, Danny Huston, Michael Wincott, Kurtwood Smith, Michael Stuhlbarg, James D’Arcy. To cap things off, it’s being shot by regular David Fincher (The Social Network, Fight Club, Dragon Tattoo) and Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) cinematographer, Jeff Cronenwroth.

Question of the Day: Teasers for Trailers


While it seems to be a sci-fi only thing at the moment, I have no doubt that it will soon be the new normal in terms of online film advertising. Prometheus, Total Recall and now Looper all have teasers leading up to the debut of only the films trailer. Arguably, the Stephanie Meyer non-Twilight property, The Host, had a power-point level ‘teaser’ was effectively a teaser for the trailer, albeit the presentation was not quite that explicit in communicating a ‘trailer premiere date’ as the former three, so you might just call that one a traditional ‘teaser.’

Advertising for advertising is a strange beast born of the 21st century. Especially, considering that it is likely only hard-core film nerds are ‘excited to see a trailer’ to the point where they will seek it out on their own. And like the “Ain’t It Cool News is a populist-baromoter to every thing pop-culture” fallacy of the late 1990s (*Cough* GODZILLA *Cough*), the studios seem to think that advertisements for their advertisements is the way of the future. Personally, I’ve got no beef with the director of the film making a personal pitch to the audience, dropping a heady concept into the audiences lap in a more intimate and personal way (from the horse’s, mouth so to speak), rather than the ‘visual-and-audio-overkill’ that many trailers are these days. I would still rather this method be done attached to the online trailer, as if the director or star introduces it followed immediately by the trailer itself. But the preference, at this particular cultural moment, is to trickle things out rather than plant a flag and shout from the hilltops.

What are your thoughts on this. Does it bother you? Are you completely indifferent to this trend? Do you like to be teased about the arrival of more marketing? Or do you merely skip all these trailers and teasers (and teasers for trailers) for films that you want to see, particularly those easy-to-spoil plot-twisty sci-fi films?

Good Friday One Sheet: H(a)unted Poster for Rian Johnson’s Looper

Seems like we’re being inundated with new trailers and posters this week, but of them all, this is the film I’m probably most excited about this year. I’m a huge fan of Rian Johnson’s Brick (my favorite film of 2005, in fact), and his follow-up The Brothers Bloom wasn’t too shabby, either. Now he’s re-teaming with Brick star Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who’s also doing pretty well in his career, if you hadn’t noticed) and adding the likes of Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt to the mix with a trippy sci-fi time travel story. And that’s all I know about the film, and all I want to know. This poster will be the last piece of marketing I look at for this film. I’m already sold.

Looper opens September 28th.

Look under the seats for the upside-down version.

Would you like to know more…?

Trailer: Take This Waltz


Sarah Polley’s follow-up drama to Away From Here is really, really good. It is kind of similar in its inevitable, conflicted melancholy tone, but that is perhaps even more jarring due to the young age of the characters. It is also likely the most Toronto-heavy film since Bruce McDonald’s Picture Claire (or perhaps Atom Egoyan’s Chloe) but don’t hold that as a value judgement or comparison! The prop-details right down to the brands of micro-brew and eccentric Toronto neighborhoods, including nostalgia stops and touristy attractions reveal that Take this Waltz making a bid for some seriously textured Canadiana. Consider it all easter eggs for the locals, the movie has crumbling relationships and existential crises of happiness on the brain and certainly at the forefront.

The Leonard Cohen song is covered by Feist, and really, that should blow your mind in some small way (albeit it’s not used in the trailer below.) It’s equal parts Blue Valentine and Closer, and if you are in any way familiar with the tastes of Mike Rot, you will in no way be surprised that it was his favourite TIFF film entry from last year. He politely dragged me to see the film when it played at Canada’s Top 10 2011 retrospective and yea, I’m pretty comfortable saying that is indeed really good (lagging only slightly behind Cafe De Flore and Monsieur Lazhar – a strong year for Canadian Cinema). It’s finally getting a cinema release, and that means we are blessed with this fairly linear and standard bit of advertising below.

Take This Waltz will first come to VOD on May 25th and then get a theatrical release on June 29th.

When Margot (Michelle Williams), 28, meets Daniell (Luke Kirby), their chemistry is intense and immediate. But Margot suppresses her sudden attraction; she is happily married to Lou (Seth Rogan), a cookbook writer. When Margot learns that Daniel lives across the street from them, the certainty about her domestic life shatters. She and Daniel steal moments throughout the steaming Toronto summer, their eroticism heightened by their restraint.