Trailer #4: The Dark Knight Rises

If the first three theatrical trailers for The Dark Knight Rises didn’t make your loins ache with desire, maybe the fourth one will. Focusing more on the movie’s action as well as Bruce Wayne’s retirement and subsequent reemergence as Batman, this trailer has a slightly different feel than the others.

What stands out to me is how distinct these trailers make the movie seem from the previous two. If people were worried how another Batman movie could survive without the Joker (of course it could, but hey, I hear this all of the time), I think these trailers do a good job of demonstrating that in Nolan we can trust and all will be well. Except for Batman. All will not be well for him, as most who know Batman lore have already recognized from these trailers.

The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters on July 20. The only question remains: can it beat The Avengers at the box office?

Teaser #2 for P.T. Anderson’s The Master

They sure know how to cut a teaser trailer over at the Anderson camp. The second look at the upcoming film The Master is a great showcase of the very, very L. Ron Hubbard-ish character – Philip Seymour Hoffman looks to be astounding – as he works his charisma on the hapless (but awesome) Joaquin Phoenix in a tour-de-force bit of overlapping audio. Also, a first look at Amy Adams, but all eyes are on the Hoffman/Phoenix dynamic. This movie cannot hit the cinema soon enough.

Trailer for Silent Spanish Snow White, Blancanieves

Just when you think you can put the whole Snow White thing to bed, along comes surreal (Guy Maddin-esque?), black and white, silent Blancanieves. Featuring a radical change in the setting from fantasy wilderness to the Roaring Twenties, this one has circuses, bull fights, black lace and the sex-bomb actress, Maribel Verdú (Y Tu Mama Tambien) as the evil Queen. The Spanish produced film looks nothing like the colossal budgeted Tarsem or Twilight Hollywood versions and if it doesn’t pop up on the festival circuit (thank-you The Artist!), I’ll eat my hat; so hopefully we will get the chance to check it out at TIFF or Fantasia.

Trailer: Robert Zemeckis’ Flight

It has been so long since Robert Zemeckis has made a live action movie, that something such as Flight, with its unapologetically populist bent, seems like just the trick at getting this director back on his feet after the hard knocks of his last three forgettable mondo-budgeted Mo-Cap efforts. If this flies somewhere in the middle between Castaway (meh) and Contact (yay!), well, I’ll be happy. I’m not expecting something as rich and moody as Fearless (from the trailer, an obvious point of comparison) but Zemeckis often has a way to slip a fair bit of depth between his polished surfaces. And hell, Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Don Cheadle, Bruce Greenwood and Melissa Leo. That’s some fine casting, folks.

An airline pilot saves a flight from crashing, but an investigation into the malfunctions reveals something troubling.

Trailer: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I was thirteen years old when The Perk of Being a Wallflower was published by MTV Books and it seemed like it was the perfect age for me to transition from Where the Red Fern Grows and The Red Pony to something a little more relatable to my hormonal young self.

Sex! Drugs! Weird emotions!

This book had it. To top it off, it took place in Pittsburgh, a place very much familiar to my young self. How neat it seemed to me to visualize the places being described. I passed my copy onto friends who were equally entranced (or confused) by the provocative book. While a silly book as an adult (I tried picking it up for a reread a few years ago and put it down so that I did not further tarnish my memory of it), I suppose that’s somewhat of the point. Isn’t silliness much of what defined our young adolescent years? It’s a time when we define ourselves by music we listen to (“Music is my world,” teenagers often proclaim), movies we watch, and books we read. It’s a time when we are just realizing the truths behind sex, when drugs seem mysterious, dangerous, and tempting.

The adaptation of the Stephen Chbosky novel has been long in the works. Adapted and directed by author Chbosky himself, the movie stars Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Ezra Miller (who made a splash in this year’s We Need to Talk About Kevin), Nina Dobrev, and Paul Rudd.

While this adaptation looks to be a generic coming-of-age tale (albeit with beautiful shots of Pittsburgh, coming out of the tunnel into the city, of course) and I don’t have much interest in seeing it, I’m sure it will open up some strange feelings for young adolescents all over, those trying to break away from playing with their Barbies and G.I. Joes to discover for themselves a little bit about life, love, sex, and drugs.

Check out the trailer and be sure to leave your thoughts below.

Trailer: Red Lights

I‘m always a bit skeptical when I see the Millenium Logo pop up before a film. They have a taste for aging stars and tried formulas (88 Minutes, Killer Elite, Trespass) but then they pop out something like Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant. Now I’m not saying that this new film with Sigourney Weaver, Robert DeNiro (and Cillian Murphy, Toby Jones and Elizabeth Olson) is going to be that exactly, but it’s directed by Rodrigo Cortés who turned out the pretty darn solid Buried, so I’d be willing to give this a shot even if the trailer gives it something of a conventional, I have a thing for The Amazing Randi, Michael Shermer and other debunkers doing their thing. I’m kind of confident there is something going on, because the filmmakers motive (note video below the trailer) appears appears to be able to look at the film itself for fakery while debunking fakery in the film. Nothing wrong with that, Orson Welles was doing it back in the 1970s to great effect and it’s noble to aspire to that, even in a genre film!

Psychologist Margaret Matheson and her assistant study paranormal activity, which leads them to investigate a world-renowned psychic who has resurfaced years after his toughest critic mysteriously passed away.

Oh, and if you are curious about the title, there is this:

New Bourne Legacy Trailer is compensating for a lack of Jason

I do not expect The Bourne Legacy to be like this, but the advertising really, really, really wants to to know that ‘the new Treadstone guy’ is far superior to the one from the previous three films; in fact he might actually be a superman of sorts, with the CIA scientists (Rachel Weisz) messin’ with his genes. Either way, I am completely sold on this franchise which is sort of a high water mark of American action cinema going so far as to influence how they make the 007 films. Besides, they have gone added a load of new actors (all showcased here in the trailer) while retaining a lot of the previous players. And if memory serves, they are going to integrate some footage from the previous films into this one, (liked they did in The Bourne Ultimatum.) Oh, and Jeremy Renner really, really stomps on a guys head.

Trailer: The Imposter

The best film I saw at this years HotDocs festival, Bart Layton’s marvelously constructed The Imposter just got its trailer and its a good overview of the story without revealing any of the myriad twists or break-neck turns away. Layton gives James Marsh and Errol Morris a run for their money in the polished truth-is-stranger-than-fiction department. Sharply edited and wonderfully scored, the trailer below gives a fine taste.

Trailer: The Hunt

Reported to be manipulative and violent (no surprise here, it’s produced by Lars Von Trier’s Zentropa), The Hunt, judging by its critical response and its trailer, strikes me as lying somewhere in the middle of Joe Wright’s Atonement, and Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin. Maybe. Directed by Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, Dear Wendy) it is likely to have a healthy dose of dry irony to it as well. The films star, the always excellent Mads Mikkelsen, just waltzed away Cannes Award for best actor. Below is the trailer.

“A former school teacher is forced to start over having overcome a tough divorce and the loss of his job. Just as things are starting to go his way, his life is shattered. An incriminating remark from a young child throws the small community into a collective state of hysteria. The lie is spreading and Lucas is forced to fight a lonely fight for his life and his dignity.”