Snow White and the Huntsman (June 2)
Daniel Silver: A box-office battle between two pasty-faced adolescents will range as two Snow White films will be released in 2012. Although Mirror Mirror will win the race to theaters on March 16, June’s Snow White and the Huntsman has notched itself a win by releasing its trailer first. The music is what initially gave me hope. It’s extremely reminiscent of Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy score, and the initial image of the red-eyed crows swooping through a foreboding sky got me excited. But that quickly subsided when all the CGI-enhanced imagery kicked in — birds bursting into another 100 birds, a power zoom into a castle, and a knight breaking into a thousand small pieces — and when I saw that the film was from the producer of the eye-raping Alice in Wonderland my expectations were properly reset. Also, is it me, or does Chris Hemsworth look to be playing a poor man’s version of his own Thor. I’m going to love to hear what my buddy Rembert thinks about this one.
Rembert: This looks unreal. I guess my Kristen Stewart film ban will finally be up. It was a good run, nevertheless.
Contraband (January 13)
Browne: Contraband, starring Mark Wahlberg, is the second coming of 2008's Taken, in the sense that the lead character is the MAN, his family is put in danger, he snaps, and then proceeds to destroy anyone that stands in his way. Wahlberg's character is a cleaned-up ex-con who has to get dirty again to help his family. That's so Marky Mark. They main guy standing in Mark's way is none other than your favorite Scientologist's favorite Scientologist, Giovanni Ribisi. I don't know if it was the plot, or all the guns, or the Beckingsale, or simply the Game/Lil Wayne song at the end, but I haven't been so pumped for a movie in a good while. I think this'll be fantastic.
Silver: The primary takeaway from this trailer is that I now believe audiences have never heard Giovani Ribisi’s real voice. He’s always playing a weirdo who speaks with some kind of accent. Can someone tell me what this dude really sounds like?
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (February 10)
Browne: I love the fact that at some point someone said, "So we've got the kid from Bridge to Terabitihia, the girl from High School Musical, the brunette from Sex and the City, the butler from Dark Knight, the Rasta Monsta guy from How To Make It In America, and The Rock all confirmed. LET'S MAKE THIS MOVIE." Even though I've probably had 9 different crushes on Vanessa Hudgens throughout my life, nothing about this movie looks awesome. If my little cousin asked me to see this with him, I'd put him in a head lock and just to teach him a lesson, take him to Contraband. Sorry I'm not sorry. Dan, you got anything nice to say?
Silver: Not really. I’m still too busy being embarrassed for The Rock after seeing his “Peck Pop of Love”. Great googly moogly.
Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (December 16)
Silver: Roger Corman is the legendary low-budget B-movie producer who’s equally known for his schlocky and exploitive genre films as he is for giving icons like Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, James Cameron, Jack Nicholson, and Robert DeNiro their starts in Hollywood. The Corman’s World trailer captures all the fun and irreverence of the over 300 films he produced, but also teases a fascinating look at one of Hollywood’s most influential fringe talents. Also, pay close attention to each of the folks interviewed; they’re all smiling as they reminisce about their time working for Corman. As Nicholson says, “By mistake he actually made a good picture every once in a while.” I am beyond giddy for this doc.
Browne: There should be a Roger Corman Film Festival across the street from Cannes that has 8x louder speakers. Just to cause a little trouble. Can't wait for this film.
Goon (March 30)
Browne: In Goon, a fat-faced
Sean Patrick Thomas Sean Patrick Flanery Seann William Scott plays a softie tough guy (Doug Glatt), in the sense that he's a really nice guy that could beat anyone up. After getting into a fight with a hockey player while in the stands, he's contacted by the head coach of a minor league hockey team to try out. He can barely skate, but that's okay, since his only role on the team is to fight others. While he can intimidate anyone physically, he's not the slickest with the words, might be borderline-illiterate, and has a lack of knowledge of most things, which makes him come off as cross between Forrest Gump and Jean-Ralphio. The trailer doesn't make the movie seem that great, but I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being quite good. You know, like The Replacements.
Silver: As I said back in September, Goon is one of the best sports films I’ve seen in ages. It’s a perfect mixture of hilarity, inspiration, and ultra-violence is tough to balance in a trailer, but this one does a pretty great job. Don’t miss this movie.
Roadie (January 6)
Silver: A recently unemployed, over-the-hill former roadie for Blue Oyster Cult returns to his hometown and falls for his old flame, who just happens to be married to his former buddy. Swap out the roadie and Blue Oyster Cult parts and you’ve got the logline for almost every single pensive independent film made in the past 20 years. And the trailer follows suit, it’s got all the requisite Indie tropes — grainy images of forlorn individuals, people throwing things, guys lighting cigarettes on the side of a highway, and a solemn chick playing the guitar. Without seeing it it’s hard to know what to make of Roadie, but based on the above it’s pretty easy to guess.
Browne: I already saw this. It was called The Wrestler.
Silver: Hushed voices speaking of past horrors, a textured sound design, and a slew of brooding visuals. If I didn’t know better, I’d have mistaken this for Terence Malick’s latest trailer. This misunderstanding should be taken as a complement, as Wreckers appears to be a ominous voyeuristic slice-of-life tale of familial strife. The simplicity of the trailer’s construction is ultimately why it’s so successful; the jarring cut to full audio after a 1:10 of relatively muted tones is a simple, yet effective way to elicit the proper emotional response from the viewers. And with up-and-coming British star Benedict Cumerbatch heading the cast, this film should surely find a domestic distributor soon.
Browne: Yes, this movie looks great, but much more importantly, how awesome of a name is Benedict Cumberbatch. Are you for real? That kid never had a chance at being a hockey player.