Trailer: Gangster Squad

Ryan Gosling. Josh Brolin. Sean Penn. Convinced yet? Okay… Emma Stone, Giovanni Ribisi, Nick Nolte. How about now? Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) directs Gangster Squad, which is a “chronicle of the LAPD’s fight to keep East Coast Mafia types out of Los Angeles in the 1940s and 50s.” The film also co-stars Michael Peña, Robert Patrick, Anthony Mackie, & Mireille Enos.

Tommy guns! Fedoras! Cool one-liners! A stylish LA-set noir that could be straight out of a Chandler book. I bought my ticket before I even finished writing about it. This is my kind of movie.

Gangster Squad is scheduled to be released in the U.S. on October 19, 2012.

Trailer: Killer Joe


One of the hidden delights of TIFF last year was this little southern fried noir featuring cowboy hats, zippo lighters, trailer parks and biker gangs all in orbit of the eponymous dirty cop, Killer Joe (Kurt’s Review). Matthew McConaughey and his very (VERY) game ensemble cast, including Gina Gershon, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church and Emile Hirsch knock this one out of the park, and the powers that be realize there is only one way to watch this thing: NC-17. William Friedkin used to get away with a lot of subversive behaviour in his 1970s output (The Exorcist, The French Connection and Cruisin’) but sort of petered out after the quite solid To Live and Die in LA. But his collaboration with writer Tracy Letts and very tight budget turned over a new page that really let him indulge in weirdness. Killer Joe is the new Friedkin all the way, and it is really, really good. Don’t bring your mom to the screening though.

After months of waiting, they’ve finally cut a trailer and damn if it isn’t one of the best ones I’ve seen this year so far. Just watching this one again, reminds me to kick myself for not putting this in my top 10 films of last year. When Pauline Kael said, “Movies are so rarely great art that if we cannot appreciate great trash we have very little reason to be interested in them.” She was talking about Killer Joe.

Trailer: Argo

If I’m the one doing the counting, Ben Affleck is two for two as a feature film director. After Gone Baby Gone and The Town, I have been eagerly awaiting what he would do next. He has come a long way from the easily joked about actor who I once loathed.

His latest effort in the director’s seat is Argo, a film in which he will also star. It follows the true story set when “the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point [and] a CIA ‘exfiltration’ specialist concocts a risky plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador.” It has a pretty rockin’ supporting cast that includes Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Kyle Chandler, Alan Arkin, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, and Richard Kind.

Argo hits theaters in the U.S. on October 12, 2012.

Ferrell and Galifianakis begin their campaigns.

Maybe it will be just want we need in August, right as the political absurdity that is the upcoming U.S. Presidential election is kicking into overdrive.

The Campaign, directed by Jay Roach (Austin Powers, Meet the Parents), written by two of the guys involved on Eastbound & Down and FunnyorDie.com, and starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis is a political satire following two Southern politicians caught in vicious campaigning for a seat in Congress. No official trailer has been released yet, but below you can watch the “political ads” – one for each candidate.

Will this be a refreshing farce of what is sure to be an overwhelmingly in-your-face and negative election year? Are Ferrell and Galifianakis a match made in heaven? Are you indifferent? Chime in below.

Would you like to know more…?

The Loved Ones Gets Tugged

If you ask me, one of the most frustrating examples of festival favorites not getting US distribution is 2009’s Aussie horror The Loved Ones, which won the audience award at TIFF’s Midnight Madness and went on to a year of pleasing festival audiences around the world – I mean, two years – no, make that three years. And with never any whisper of getting an actual release in the US, despite being well-received everywhere it went. (See Andrew’s 4.5-star review, and its placement on two of our favorites lists in 2009.)

The story follows a young man who’s got some family issues going on, but wait until you see the family issues of the girl he rejected for prom. She kidnaps him with the help of her father and stages her own prom at her house. A very bloody prom. You could argue that the film’s genre tone makes it much more difficult to market to mainstream audiences than to festival or midnight crowds, and there’s probably some truth to that. But really. This film is so good, with such a tongue-in-cheek approach to its very gory and often disturbing subject, that it’s head and shoulders above most wide-release horror films. It goes for everything a lesser film might shy away from, but always in a very fun and satisfying sort of way.

In any case, if you live in certain areas of the US, you might actually get a chance to see the film. It’s still not getting the full-on distribution it deserves, but thanks to new service Tugg, various screenings around the country are being planned. Tugg basically crowdsources moviegoing, by letting individuals sponsor screenings they want to see happen at theatres near them, and if they get enough people committed to going, Tugg facilitates the screenings. I don’t know all how it works behind the scenes, but it looks like a pretty cool thing, if it takes off.

So check out The Loved Ones page on Tugg and if there are any screenings near you, commit yourself! And as many friends as you can find. Right now it looks like there’s a Los Angeles screening confirmed at the New Beverly Cinema on June 1st, and other cities including New York, Chicago, Austin, Houston, and Chicago are working on setting up screenings for the same time. Do it. The film is worth it.

Trailer: Expendables 2

We skipped the ‘trailer for the trailer’ earlier this week and waited for the goods on The Expendables 2. If this franchise continues to bring on new and old cast members, I cannot imagine what the 3rd or 4th entries are going to look like. As it stands, this trailer shows you want you want to see: A shot or two of each of the principle cast members, most of them either looking badass or shooting off one liners (or in the case of Jason Statham, both). Also, it seems by bringing in Con Air and Tomb Raider director Simon West, it looks like there is a bigger flair for set-pieces and vehicular carnage.

Do we know what the movie is about? Hell no. Do we want to see Chuck Norris, JCVD, Sly, Arnie and Bruce Willis (and Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Scott Adkins, Nan Yu, etc. etc!) all in the same movie. Yessum.

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!