Spidey plummets through the sky, his suit rippling to show you it's not all CGI this time. (It's totally all CGI this time, but there will be ripples.) He busts a web. He catches a police car on his shoulders. If you expected subtlety from The Amazing Spider-Man 2's first trailer, you're a noble soul. But aside from big moments briefly glimpsed, there's not a lot to specifically chew on. Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy and Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker give us a bite of tasty repartee and leave us wanting a full plate. Harry Osborn shows up, played by Dane DeHaan (Chronicle, Kill Your Darlings, Metallica: Through the Never), looking somehow creepier than James Franco did in Spider-Man: The Tobey Years.
As Grantland's 26th-most capable movie critic but top-three beefologist, it is my duty to discuss a situation that is taking place in the cinematic sphere, especially since the end result will probably be a bloodbath of mythological proportions.
If you're unfamiliar with the obscure source material and wondering what this Noah movie is all about, here's the elevator pitch that sold it to Hollywood: "It's the story of this regular guy who wakes up one day with the urge to build an enormous wooden zoo-box because the world is about to end, and he loves animals. Then the world ends — whoosh! It's a flood! No, it can't be a giant meteor! Think The Perfect Storm, but with cooler hair, and a boat full of super hot zookeepers! — and his filthy coffin full of zebras floats around for 40 days. Then the water goes away, he lets all the animals out, and the world is saved. I'm thinking Leo for the lead. We'll get him out on the road saying this was the original global-warming story."
Here is the second trailer for the RoboCop remake, which provides us with Cop 2.0’s revamped origin story: Giant police drones roam the streets of every country in the world but America, maintaining an efficient, if terrifying, order. (Feel free to take a deep breath when you realize that young Adib registers as a non-threat, saving us from having to watch what happens when a finger scans as a gun. They definitely saved the "cannons tearing innocent civilians into flesh-confetti" montage for the movie.) And so Corporate Interests decide to put a human face on the lumbering biped sentinels of Remote-Controlled Justice, a Detroit cop is barbecued inside his car, and yada yada yada, the Peacekeeping iPod is born. "Let's go with black," decides the Steve Jobs of public security, and the next thing you know, Joel Kinnaman is running around in Batman's armored pajamas, gunning down bad guys, and thanking his agents for negotiating a helmet that occasionally reveals his entire face. Peter Weller's jaw really could have used Team Kinnaman. (And Michael Keaton's armor-tailors. Robo 1.0’s shit was boxy.)
One of the great joys in life is pushing play on a new trailer and cranking the video quality up as high as it'll go. But with this three-minute Desolation of Smaug trailer, I barely dare. Even in 720p, everything looks so crisp and beautiful and oh-jeez-we're-almost-at-the-end-of-all-these-movies-ish. Legolas's eyes? THAT blue. Smaug, a.k.a. "Smowg"? SO big. The beast around the 2:18 mark, bounding out of the woods so quickly I can't even pause and get a good look? HORRIFIC. And that was all in 720p — who hath the courage to bump straight up to 1080p, with December 13 and actual shiny cinema screens looming so near?
When I saw Sonic Youth live a few years ago (pre–Gordon Moore flameout), I distinctly remember my friend and I shouting to each other multiple times throughout their set "They are vampires [hesitant question mark?]." "They have to be vampires." "Seriously though, they are vampires." It made sense that a certain kind of '90s alt-rocker would age exceedingly well, but this was ridiculous. Now, upon seeing Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as ineffably glamorous Wayfarer-sporting undead rock stars, I can't help but think Jim Jarmusch's latest film, Only Lovers Left Alive, is like a reverse 50 Shades of Grey fanfic project about Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore with the names changed and the bloodsucking stuff stuck back in. This is fantastic news, obviously.
It seems that hanging out in baseball front offices while Brad Pitt put on his usual master class in snacking served Jonah Hill well. He's really learned how to eat: He looks totally comfortable sitting beside Leonardo DiCaprio, ordering all the scenery on the menu and running up a 26-grand bill because fuck you, it's going on the company's Oscar Nominees Club Card. That's how Jo-Jo rolls now, tucking in to a decadent meal with Leo, trying out an accent so outrageous Ryan Gosling just woke up in a cold sweat and fired his inexplicable-dialect coach. You get the feeling he knows he belongs, that Seth Rogen's last 10 calls asking if Jonah wants to fellate Beelzebub again have gone straight to voice mail, because you gotta keep the line clear for Marty and Quentin.
Ohhhh boy! It's finally here! The trailer for Days of Future Past, the Generations of X-Men movies, where your O.G. cast and your hot young First Class cast band together to save the mutants of the future. My first thought is: Time has certainly passed. Do you realize that the first X-Men movie came out in 2000? Hugh Jackman has been playing Wolverine longer than most Bonds play Bond. My second thought is: DINKLAGE. My third thought is: Wow, they really got everyone back together for this, didn't they? Famke, Halle, Anna, Shawn (Ashmore, duh, most dependably present Iceman ever) ... yup, just about every original X-person. The whole gang. Literally everyone.
Keanu Reeves — Eff Bee Aye agent, knower of kung fu, reluctant destroyer of sad sandwiches — cordially invites you to abandon your family on Christmas Day to watch him and roughly four-dozen of his best samurai buddies fight some dragons. And not your regular, run-of-the-mill, Benedict Cumberbatch–sneering-in-a-mo-cap-booth, slouching-along-at-a-hyperreal-frame-rate dragons. Here there be dragons made of magical geishas and infinity-kimonos and gushing hellfire, who threaten you with mountains of corpses and dudes tattooed head to toe in the finest skeleton body-art. (Do they have guns? OK, they have guns. Cool.) Keanu's dragons are not messing around. They've seen DragonHeart and everything, and they aren't impressed. Connery totally phoned it in.
It sure gets complicated, what with all these superheroes zipping around, but here's the basics: After Avengers, Iron Man had to save the world. On November 8, Thor will save the world. And then, finally, it'll be Captain America's turn to save the world. Again.
There's a new trailer for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues loose in the world this morning, gracefully pirouetting through our minds like a deep fryer–equipped ’Bago freed from the bonds of gravity by an inattentive chimichanga cook and an improperly deployed cruise control. There are the obligatory nods to the plot, but did we just gulp down that scorpion for plot? Will the knowledge that Harrison Ford is Ron Burgundy's executive nemesis or that Veronica Corningstone has taken his job — the selfsame Corningstone who mounted the carnal unicorn with him and took a bareback gallop across the slippery rainbow bridge to Pleasure Town — put the proverbial fannies in the seats?
Wassup, Wes Siiide! Really excited to share the new trailer for The Grand Budapest Hotel with you all today. Wes Anderson was one of my favorite filmmakers when I was a teenager, so I feel like I already have a lot emotionally invested in this movie. Watching his films just makes me feel like a child, which is a really good thing sometimes! We talked about the poster earlier this week; and while some of my predictions may have been a bit off the mark, I feel open-minded and ready for whatever this whimsical and off-beat auteur is serving up this go-round.
But first off, for as much as I got wrong about the poster, I was right about one thing: murder! The Grand Budapest Hotel looks to be a madcap murder mystery with a generous side of that ol' Andersonian father-son angst some people just can't seem to get enough of. I'll admit I was a little nervous about this new thematic territory going in, as I always am when faced with new things and the threat of change, but as soon as I saw that lobby boy hat on newcomer Tony Revolori, its function stitched on in immaculate golden Futura, and realized that M. Gustave was just another variation on Royal Tenenbaum and Steve Zissou, I knew we weren't too far from our comfort zone. There is a secret tiny handwritten code exchanged between young lovers, phew.
In any movie where there's a group of people who have to get a job done by working together and utilizing all their different skills and strengths, I always feel the most kinship with the expert/professor character. So The Monuments Men looks great to me, because its entire dirty dozen is made up of experts/professors. (Although I'm gonna make a wild guess that Bob Balaban is the most experty of all the professors; that just seems like his thing.) Art historians don't get nearly enough chances to be action heroes in American cinema, and I'm glad George Clooney is righting that wrong.
The Hobbit (2 of 3) (otherwise known as The Desolation of Smaug) is coming for Christmas, and Peter Jackson's trailer-making Uruk-hai have readied one beardy inferno of a reminder. Don't forget to bake some Lembas bread for Legolas, making his prodigal return after holidaying in the Caribbean the past few years. You'll also want to dust off that tin of DHARMA Initiative fish biscuits for Evangeline Lilly, who'll show up in an arrow-slangin' elfin love-interest capacity. Hit up Doome Reade real quick, too — you’re gonna need stocking stuffers for those gargantuan Mirkwood spiders, not to mention Smaug (pronounced here as "Smowg"; voiced by Ye Olde Benedict Cumberbatch). Maybe if it all comes together just right and everyone gets along and Gloin doesn't drink too much this time, you'll get another mini-episode of Tolkien food-porn, No Reservations: Middle Earth–style. Perhaps a spot of sonorous dwarf song along with it. You never know. It's the holidays.
Aaron Paul's post–Jesse Pinkman era is nearly upon us, and here's a taste of what's in store: fast cars and very serious voice-overs. Need for Speed is an adaptation of the driving game of the same name, and appears to be trying to live in that sweet spot between the Fast & Furious movies and Drive. Aside from there being as much dialogue in this trailer as in all of the latter, all this makes me think is that post–Breaking Bad Paul could do very well as a troubled-girl's Ryan Gosling. From now on, all he needs to do is save a kid, get his face messed up a little, and weep himself hoarse as all that he loves and makes him human is taken away from him, and it'll be like Jesse never left us.