Bad Ass (April)
Dan Silver: Is there an end-of-the-year award for Best Tagline to a film? If there is, I’d like to nominate the one from Bad Ass — “He’s Mean. He’s Angry. He’s Old.” Forget the underwhelming Machete, this appears to be the film the real-life badass, Danny Trejo, was born to make. What’s more, the film is a fictionalized account of actual events. There’s no keeping me away from this movie.
Rembert Browne: There is something extremely intriguing about a film starring three 60-somethings. It's sort of like It's Complicated but violent, not funny, not sexy in the slightest, and unless I missed something in the trailer, not about a love triangle. How sweet would it be if it were, though? You can't tell me a film about Danny Trejo and Charles S. Dutton fighting for the attention of Hellboy wouldn't be an instant classic. Easy Oscar.
Underworld: Awakening (January 20)
Silver: Chock full of unimaginative and familiar imagery, and layered with trite, recycled dialogue — “A new enemy arose”; “Something’s escaped”; “You have no idea what you’re up against” — the final trailer for Underworld: Awakening is what you’d expect from a fourth film in a vampires vs. werewolves series. The trailer does leave me with one question, though — Is Kate Beckinsale a real vampire? If not, I’d like to start that rumor right now. Sure, she plays a child of the night in the Underworld series, but she doesn’t look like she’s aged a day since the original film came out in 2003.
Browne: I really do miss Pearl Harbor Kate Beckinsale. I wonder if she even remembers that role. If you threw a script at her that was less vampires and lycans and more rom-com with Paul Rudd, I wonder how quickly she'd burn the text, bite your neck, and kill you. I miss you, Kate. I hope your movie does horribly so you are forced to go back to making movies with humans.
The Impossible (TBD)
Silver: Since the teaser trailer for The Impossible is in Spanish, some of you may not understand what’s being said (like me). But comprehension aside, the visuals are so striking and haunting that I dare you to NOT be intrigued. So what is this film actually about? Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts (nice cast) are husband and wife who, along with their family, try to survive the aftermath of the Boxing Day Tsunami. Set off by the third-largest recorded earthquake in history, this 2004 natural disaster killed over 230,000 people in 14 countries in and around the Indian Ocean. Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona (The Orphanage), I can’t wait to not only see the U.S. trailer, but the film as a whole.
Browne: Silver, I thought you accidentally sent me the Spanish version and was ready to make fun of you, but then I read your blurb and remembered that you don't make mistakes. Anyway, this film could be in any language and I would see it; it looks phenomenal. The only good thing to come out of disasters are great disaster movies. This definitely looks like it will follow suit.
The Return (February 10)
Silver: In the trailer for The Return, the repetitive rhythm elicited from the score and the on-screen industrial machinery effectively complement each other to illustrate the film’s inherent drama. It appears to be an intensely emotional character piece with strong performances by Linda Cardellini, John Slattery, and Michael Shannon. But who wants to be depressed this early in the New Year? So when viewing the trailer, I suggest you think of it as the story-after-the-story for Cardellini’s character, Lindsay Weir, on Freaks and Geeks. This is what happened after Lindsay got in the van in the final episode. So instead of a potentially gut-wrenching experience, there’s now a possibility of Haverchuck showing up. Happy times.
Browne: This is like Homeland: Lady Edition. If it's one percent as captivating as Homeland, I'll see it in theaters three times. That's a promise.
All Things Fall Apart (TBD)
Silver: If sports movie trailers had a paint-by-numbers kit, the final result would be the trailer for All Things Fall Apart. Nothing original here. But there are a few things to take note of when discussing the film.
- 1. 50’s dreadlocks. They feel like a reverse example of Simmons’ “A Fat-Concealing Beard on a Basketball Player” theory. In the film 50’s star football player character gets cancer and through his treatment loses weight. But it appears that instead of doing what real actors do and actually physically transforming his body and losing weight for a role, 50 just strapped on a ridiculous Medusa dome to add the weight and removed it to lose it. Based on the full-body shots in the trailer, I don’t think anyone is buying it.
2. Let this film be a lesson to those who want to “make it” in the film business. It’s simple and easy. Just “get swole,” release two to three hit singles, get Vitaminwater to name a flavor after you, parlay that into getting cast in one or two films that get critically slaughtered, tank at the box office, and in essence make you un-castable. Then take all your music and sugar water money, start your own production company, and then just write and produce subpar films you also star in. See? Nothing to it!
Browne: And that, my friends, is how you start beef with a rapper that's been shot nine times. Good luck, Silver. I got your back?