Wrath of the Titans (March 30)
Dan Silver: When discussing the Wrath of the Titans trailer, the predictable snide critiques would most likely revolve around how the filmmakers have clearly channeled their inner “Michael Bay-hem” to forgo any sense of story and just create an orgy of computer rendered havoc OR how it’s now clear that any producer can play dress-up with such venerable performers as Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson if you pay them enough OR even how the best part of the trailer is the use of Marilyn Manson’s “Sweet Dreams”. Even though all this is true, the pieces of the trailer which stood out most to me were how fresh and unsoiled the film’s female lead (Rosamund Pike) looked. She’s in four shots (at :59, 1:08, 1:35, and 1:36) and in each one she almost sparkles. For a film that is supposed to take place in the sand and dust enveloped ancient Greece, she looks like she’s just walked out of her trailer after taking a shower. It’s immensely distracting. But ultimately, who cares right? Although beautiful and talented, audiences are not coming to the theater to see her. They're buying their ticket to see a two sided, sword wielding monster tear people down on a battlefield.
Rembert Browne: Silver, I’m so glad you brought up that two-sided monster, because it’s actually the only thing I have to discuss regarding this horrible trailer. Just curious, is that the first two-sided monster in the history of film? If not, I want to see any past films with two-sided monsters, ASAP. Judging by its skill set, agility, and complete disregard for life, it seems pretty unstoppable, so if this movie actually contains a plot where two-sided monsters are defeated, it better be by a four-sided monster. If not, I’m calling shenanigans and spinning out of the theater.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (March 9)
Browne: Based on the title, I thought this was an Ice Road Truckers spin-off. Then I saw Emily Blount and Ewan McGregor and realized this was probably a film with some substance. Basically, a bombing occurs in the Middle East and a British news outlet needs a positive story from the region. What do they settle on? The story of a Yemeni man who wants to introduce the sport of salmon fishing in his country. Although I don't think I have nearly enough knowledge of British political history, Yemen, or salmon to really understand what's really going on, I was noticeably feeling inspired with every passing second. Even though the choice of background music in the second half of the trailer could not be worse, I have a weird feeling this movie is going to be fantastic. Silver, say something emotional.
Silver: It doesn’t happen nearly enough, but it’s nice to be inspired when watching a film. And although the trailer for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen tries much to hard to elicit an emotional response, I’m confident that the film’s Oscar caliber pedigree will keep the sentimentality to a minimum. My biggest take-away from the trailer was this -- I am going to stop denying my feelings and just admit that I have an intense man-crush on McGregor (who sounds a lot like a young Sean Connery here). He’s dreamy.
Jack the Giant Killer (June 15)
Silver: Currently, there are two fairytale centric TV shows on two different networks and two different Snow White films being released this Spring/Summer. I honestly don’t understand this trend of fairytale reboots, but of everything out there and upcoming, I am most hopeful about Jack the Giant Killer. The few dramatic moments contained in the trailer are slightly too demonstrative, but the menacing soundtrack sets a nice tone and the action set pieces look promising. Here’s hoping this is a return to The Usual Suspects and X-Men 1 & 2 for director Bryan Singer and not a continuation of his Superman Lives and Valkyrie mediocrity.
Browne: Sorry Dan, but this movie will be horrible. If I want to be captivated by the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk, I'll break out the VHS recording of my school's production of Into The Woods from 11th grade. Dan, I know you love movies, but if you even think about paying for this film, I will launch IMAX 3D bag of popcorn at your face.
Casa De Mi Padre (March 16)
Browne: I remember in 2005 when it seemed as if Will Ferrell was about to slip into dreaded Sandler territory. After Bewitched and Kicking and Screaming, I thought we were in for a decade of unfunny Ferrell, but then Stranger Than Fiction came out and my faith was restored. I got a little worried after Semi-Pro, but then Step Brothers was released and again, I became increasingly confident that Will would never completely pull a Sandler. With the short snippet from Casa De Mi Padre, I don't really know what to think, but the only thing I can guarantee is that if it's horrible, his next film will be a classic. I don't know if I've made this point clear yet, but I'm sure of this because he's not Adam Sandler. Silver, please say you have some inside information about what is going on, all I'm doing is hating on Adam Sandler.
Silver: We learn absolutely nothing from this brief 30 second teaser. But does it matter? Casa De Mi Padre is a Western comedic send-up of the traditional Mexican Telenovelas and stars Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, and Will Ferrell. Oh and did I mention Will Ferrell delivers all his dialogue in Spanish? So this is a cowboy comedy, ALL IN SPANISH, staring Will Ferrell. Yeah, think I’ll see this.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 3D (February 17)
Silver: This second trailer shows more of the film, and reveals slightly more plot, but it’s ultimate problem is that it doesn’t reuse the shot of The Rider pissing fire from the film’s teaser trailer. It was so memorable that I was half distracted the first time I screened this second trailer because I waiting to see how they worked it in. Regardless, I’m a big fan of the directors Neveldine/Taylor. There’s no denying their visual dexterity, and no mistaking their unique style. I think their Crank films are misunderstood, and Gamer underrated. I absolutely despised the original Ghost Rider, but with these two behind the camera I am legitimately excited to see the sequel.
Browne: In this trailer, Nic Cage delivers the line "there are some demons you just can't escape." And like that, I finally have a way to describe the way I feel about Nic Cage. I could have sworn there was something in the Patriot Act about making a sequel to Ghost Rider -- how on Earth did this get clearance? Ending the year with a Ghost Rider trailer has to be a horrible omen for 2012. This could get ugly.