A History of Zack Snyder Trailers. Oh, and Man of Steel with all new Choir Voices.

Man of Steel

Say what you will about Zack Snyder films (I like the entirety of Watchmen and the opening 10 minutes of Dawn of the Dead thus far) but the man knows how to approve/select/make trailers for his films. That is, if has any say in this part of the process (I am unclear on how the marketing machine works.) However, abandoning 1990s rock songs and speed ramping for the first time in a decade, Snyder is going for epic. Angels in heaven, full choir epic, mixed with a bit of Kevin Costner and Dianne Lane playing the goodly New England (we’re not in Kansas anymore!) parents until he takes the stage on his own terms. If you treat Superman seriously, then this trailer is for you. If there is any doubt we are in the Christopher Nolan Wheelhouse, well, there isn’t anymore. Still, this indeed looks great as a coming out party.

If you want a fun Superman, well, back to Richard Donner you go or perhaps wait for whatever they come up with for Justice League.

Because it is Trailer Week at Row Three this week, tucked under the seat are all of the Zack Snyder trailer is reverse chronological order so you can, perhaps, see how we got to this point.

Would you like to know more…?

Teaser Trailer: Unforgiven (Japanese remake)

I love myself a good old-school samurai film (I even ranked ’em once). I also love westerns. Since these two have borrowed from each other for decades now (all right, mostly it was everyone else stealing from Kurosawa), it came as little surprise when it was announced a while back that Ken Watanabe was set to star in a samuraiized remake of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven. As you may remember, Watanabe was in the Eastwood-directed Letters from Iwo Jima. This, of course, means nothing, but like the nonsense the football analysts on ESPN spew, some might find the loose connection interesting.

Still, despite loving samurai movies and westerns and Ken Watanabe, I quickly forgot about it – that is until today, when the Japanese teaser trailer for it began making its way around the internet. While it lacks subtitles so I do not understand the narration, I do understand the international language of beautiful filmmaking and badass samurai.

Director Sang-il Lee is probably best known for 2006’s Hula Girls. His remake of the Eastwood classic, according to Twitch, follows a man who is a “raditional thinker holding to his samurai code – despite the shifting standards of the late 1800s – who takes a job as a bounty killer.”

I’m digging what I see. How about you?

Trailer: Oblivion

Kurt expressed his hatred for the one-sheet for Oblivion the other day. Too Inceptionish. Maybe too Prometheusish, as it was pointed out in the comments. Of course, as we all know though, the quality of the poster as portrayed by an out-of-touch marketing team does not necessarily dictate the quality of a film.

When Oblivion was first announced, I was excited/worried that it was an adaptation of the Elder Scrolls game. When I discovered that it was instead an adaptation of a sci-fi graphic novel (of which director Joseph Kosinski also wrote) and was going to star Tom Cruise, I registered it as “keep an eye on it,” but despite my love of sci-fi and my usual enjoyment of Tom Cruise, I haven’t gone out of my way to pay attention to its development.

The story follows a drone repairman (Cruise) on the supposedly uninhibited earth who rescues a mysterious woman (Kurylenko), which leads him into discovering some sort of intergalactic conspiracy. The trailer is uninspiring, although one can assume it will be a stellar IMAX experience, regardless of the quality of the movie itself. For now, I remain indifferent.

Directed by Kosinski (Tron: Legacy), co-written by William Monahan (The Departed) and starring Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Morgan Freeman, Melissa Leo, and Zoë Bell, the movie will be released in IMAX on on April 12, 2013 with a traditional theatrical release the following weekend.

What do you think of the trailer?

BRAHHHHHHHM! Star Trek Universe goes the way of Christopher Nolan

As if the Dark Knight Rises inspired poster was not sign enough, the blaring horns in this trailer and overall tone suggest that the Bond Franchise isn’t the only one influenced by Christopher Nolan’s in–camera, realistic-grim imagery and tone. Welcome to a Star Trek that certainly isn’t your father’s Star Trek, even as the image above suggests Spock might still ‘die’ in this episode, if you know what I mean. BRAHHHHHHHM!

Kutcher is Jobs (and other Sundance news)

Thanks to Variety, we have a pretty snazzy look at Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs. I think that it’s pretty clear: Kutcher has the look down. It remains to be seen if he can step up his game and capture the nuances and eccentricities of the beloved man. The film, titled Jobs, will be the closing night film at Sundance this year, meaning there are going to be many skeptical eyes on this film come January 27 in Park City, Utah.

Read on to see the 17 other world premieres that were announced for Sundance today.

Would you like to know more…?

Trailer: A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III

Roman Coppola, son of Francis Ford, brother of Sophia, and cousin of Nicolas Cage, is set to release his second film – over a decade after his feature film debut CQ. He’s done a lot of second unit work for his sister and father over the years, but most notably, it’s his second unit work with Wes Anderson (Life Aquatic, Darjeeling Limited) which seems to have rubbed off on him the most.

A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III looks zany. Which is, one can assume, what Roman was going for.

The movie follows a rich, successful, and spoiled man (played by Charlie Sheen in his glorious return in the big screen) who isn’t handling the recent breakup with his girlfriend very well. He is, according to his ex-girlfriend, a “big fake liar” and according to his friend (played by the elusive Bill Murray) “incredibly irresponsible.” The cast is rounded out with the always awesome Jason Schwartzman (who looks like he may be the highlight of the film), Katheryn Winnick, Patricia Arquette, Aubrey Plaza, Dermot Mulroney, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Here’s the official synopsis from the studio:

Charles Swan III (Charlie Sheen) has it all. He’s an eccentric and highly successful graphic designer whose fame, money, and devilish charm have provided him with a seemingly perfect life. But when his true love, a perplexing beauty named Ivana, suddenly ends their relationship, Charles is left heartbroken. With the support of his loyal intimates– Kirby (Jason Schwartzman), Saul (Bill Murray), and his sister, Izzy (Patricia Arquette) – he begins a delirious journey of self-reflection to try and come to terms with a life without Ivana. “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III” is a unique relationship film told in a playful and unconventional style.

For me, the trailer did deliver plenty of laughs (Bill Murray could be reciting law code and I’d laugh though), but I couldn’t help but think that it seemed to be like an inexperienced filmmaker overtly channeling Wes Anderson’s wackiness. Which doesn’t have to be a bad thing. After all, the stellar trio of Sheen, Schwartzman, and Murray is enough to get anyone excited. I’m optimistic. The film hits U.S. theaters on February 8, 2013, so we will find out more then.

What are your thoughts? Does this look like a poor man’s Wes Anderson film or does this have enough star-power and uniqueness to be something really special?

Trailer: World War Z

I‘d make a case that it was 28 Days Later… in 2002 that led to the resurgence of the zombie in popular culture, a sub-genre of horror and drama and camp that had all but died out in the previous decade (save for maybe the Resident Evil video games). Since then, zombies have continued to gain momentum and have shown no signs of slowing down (edit: no pun intended… seriously). New Living Dead sequels. More zombie video games. Remakes. Books. Comic books. And, of course, The Walking Dead which has been blowing away television records – and has really seemed to find its ground here in the third season after two seasons of fan criticism.

Now, we have another big screen adaptation of a zombie book, this being an adaptation of World War Z by Max Brooks. Directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Monster’s Ball, Quantum of Solace) and starring Brad Pitt, Matthew Fox, David Morse, and Mireille Enos, this zombie flick follows a U.N. employee (Pitt) in his desperate attempt to stop a zombie outbreak before the entire world is affected.

The book itself is pretty enjoyable (I checked the audio version out of the library a couple of years ago and it was superbly voiced), but with the historian’s account approach that it takes, the movie will surely be taking many liberties. Also, as you’ll see in the trailer these are the running zombies and by the looks of the trailer, they definitely have much different mentality and physical ability than your traditional zombie (that pile… WTF?). The CGI also looks absolutely awful in this trailer, especially for a $125+ million production, although perhaps that is something that is still being polished, seeing as the film won’t be released until June 23, 2013.

The film has had a pretty rocky production, first being filmed back in the summer of 2011 before having some major rewrites and seven additional weeks of shooting this past fall. The rewrites have not been seen a positive, but rather a way to make the film more marketable to the masses. Forster described the original intent of the film as similar to All the President’s Men with zombies while Ain’t It Cool News released a script review back in ’08 that called the script “Best Picture material” and “genre defying” and similar to Children of Men. It definitely seems to have veered away from that original intent.

Either way, it’s zombies and it’s Brad Pitt, so even if it’s not as great as it was once envisioned, it should be an enjoyable popcorn flick at the very least.

Trailer: They Die By Dawn

Now don’t get too excited. I should probably get out of the way that this isn’t a feature film, but a 30 minute short directed by usual musician Jeymes Samuel of The Bullitts. Now, how Samuel was able to get such an impressive cast, I’m not sure – but boy, did he ever. With Michael K Williams (isn’t this enough to warrant our attention?), Isaiah Washington, Giancarlo Esposito, Nate Parker, Jesse Williams, Erykah Badu, and Rosario Dawson (IMDb also lists Idris Elba, but he’s nowhere to be seen in the trailer), there is absolutely no doubt that this short film is going to rock.

Well, okay… it does look cheesy. And it may look a little too sleek and polished for those who like their westerns on the gritty/Peckinpah side. But remember that this dude’s a musician and appreciate the fact that he brought all of these awesome actors together… for a western. Mostly, I’m just eager to see Omar and Gus on screen together.