The Wolverine — Japanese Trailer (July 26)
Silver: I really hope that The Wolverine is not like its bloated and unfocused predecessor OR a feeble attempt to force in connective tissue from past and future X-Men cinema adventures. There are so many nuances contained within the character that have yet to be explored. So a win for us all would be that the filmmakers of The Wolverine have kept it simple and let this film be a stand-alone tale of Logan’s exploits in Japan.
Thor: The Dark World (November 8 )
Silver: When it was first announced, I made no attempts to hide my trepidation about the first Thor. Based on the preview, I was worried the scenes in Asgard were going to feel too over-the-top and melodramatic and wouldn't resonate with modern audiences, who’ve come to expect some level of realism and rawness in their superhero films. And as we’ve all now witnessed, I couldn’t have been more wrong. In fact, Thor is probably Marvel’s third-best film (behind The Avengers and the first Iron Man). The film plays like an interdimensional Shakespearean action movie, and Kenneth Branagh ended up being an inspired choice for director.
This first look at Thor: The Dark World triggered that same original trepidation in me. Without Branagh at the helm dexterously walking the tonal tightrope, will setting the events primarily in Asgard be a good thing? How will audiences react to a non-magical being like Jane being thrust into that world?
Regardless, based on the pleasant surprise I received from Thor, I’m willing to provide The Dark World with the benefit of the doubt.
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that even if this film is complete bollocks, it’d still be worth the price of admission just to see see Tom Hiddleston’s Loki again. His appearance at the end of the trailer is by far the highlight. It’s amazing to me that he’s become such a favorite character of mine in this Marvel cinemaverse. So as far as I’m concerned, too much Loki is never a bad thing.
Browne: While I'm sure this will not be the case, I can imagine a scenario in which Natalie Portman has only seven lines in this film, with the rest of her onscreen time dedicated to a series of never-once-repeated surprised facial expressions.
Mood Indigo (TBD)
Silver: Audrey Tautou laid claim to my heart from the first time I saw her purse her lips, scrunch her nose, and blink her teacup-saucer eyes up at me (and the countless others in the theater) in 2001's Amélie. (What's a stronger word for "adorable"?) As far as onscreen crushes go, there aren't many who can rival my affection for Ms. Tautou. That said, my director crush list is extensive, but very close to the top of that list is the French visualist Michel Gondry. His surrealist sensibilities have kept him from achieving total mainstream appeal (2011's fabulous disaster The Green Hornet was his one attempt at so-called mainstream filmmaking), but have allowed him to cultivate a loyal fan base that has come to anticipate his absurdist, raw, music video stylings. And like Tautou, all of Gondry’s work seems to exude a sense of joy, innocence, and hopefulness. So the combination of the two is a guaranteed tensile strength test of the heartstrings. This should be a good one.
Browne: Sure. Because, why not? Yes! I mean ... WHAT?
The Bling Ring (June 14)
Silver: “I’m a firm believer in karma. And I think this situation is a huge learning lesson for me. To grow and expand as a spiritual human being. I want to lead a country one day for all I know.”
And with that, I’m now completely sold on The Bling Ring. I’m tickled by the phrasing of the line, “I want to lead a country one day for all I know,” and its earnestly detached delivery. I only hope that the rest of the movie follows suit. No longer does this film feel like the stepchild of Spring Breakers, but rather a stand-alone, shrewdly constructed social critique.
And I’m just going to assume that like me, you’re all rooting for Hermione to have a long and prosperous career.
Browne: To echo your point, in two trailers, this went from Spring Breakers lite to a perfectly satirical Onion article. I'm all in.
Man of Tai Chi — International Teaser (TBD)
Silver: It’s Fight Club meets Best of the Best meets The Legend of Drunken Master meets The Matrix, directed by Keanu Reeves. Yes, I will see this. Yes, I will most likely see this twice.
Browne: Tell me how it is, Silver. I'll be too occupied watching that Bling Ring trailer again.
Monsters University (June 21)
Silver: Imagine all the trite college movie tropes jammed into a single movie. Looks something like American Pie Presents Beta House, right? Now look at those same tropes through a Pixar-tinted lens. I think that movie’s looking much more appealing. Let the Scare Games begin!
Browne: If Monsters University doesn't add a scene about the sorority girl e-mail rant, this movie fails animation. And America.
Much Ado About Nothing — U.K. Trailer (June 7)
Silver: Turn the sound off and this trailer looks like home movies of a fancy weekend retreat for all the actors from Joss Whedon’s failed (but much-loved) TV shows. You know, the one I dream about on a nightly basis — sans the splendid Clark Gregg, of course, who was only recently Whedon-ized with his role in The Avengers. But he’s regularly in my dreams anyway.
Browne: Is there anything easier than modernizing Shakespeare? I mean, the words are already there, so it's basically like "just learn your lines and remember your blocking and let's win some Oscars," ya know?
You want to impress me? Make a movie based on a horrible book. Like those Twilight books. Do that and then you'll have my attention.
The East (May 31)
Silver: In just a few short years, actress-writer-producer Brit Marling has made quite a name for herself. She cowrote, produced and starred in Sound of My Voice and Another Earth, and acted in Arbitrage and The Company You Keep. To say that she makes calculating and thought-provoking choices would be an understatement. The East, a thriller focused on a government spook who infiltrates an eco-terrorist group, is Marling’s most commercially viable endeavor. It shares some peripheral narrative similarities with Marling and cowriter Zal Batmanglij’s previous collaboration, Sound of My Voice, but with Ellen Page and the dreamy Alexander Skarsgard (who takes his shirt off at least once based on this trailer). Marling has a solid track record, and she always gets involved in projects with some depth to them. So I feel The East will be worth a look.
Browne: Patricia Clarkson is the Queen. That's it. Nothing more.