Friday, September 16, 2011
Trailers of the Week: The Muppets, Premium Rush, and The Raid
By Daniel Silver
The Muppets (November 23)
In the last few years, has there been a better marketing campaign than the one for The Muppets? Maybe not. The latest is a send up of David Fincher’s kick-ass trailer for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This briskly edited spoof reveals a ton of new stuff, and if you look closely, you’ll even see Chris Cooper singing and dancing.
Premium Rush (January 13, 2012)
A dirty cop pursues a bike messenger through the streets of Manhattan for the potentially incriminating contents of his bag. Premium Rush may look it has more style than substance — lots of low-angle hero shots, stylized moving CGI maps of NYC, bicycle-based parkour — but Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Michael Shannon tend to do solid work, so hopes are high.
Doug Glatt is a kind-hearted bouncer in suburban Massachusetts who just happens to have fists of iron, a head made out of concrete, and the innate ability to beat the crap out of anyone who crosses him. After he’s recruited to be the “enforcer” for a struggling minor league hockey team, Glatt finally finds his calling and his life quickly begins to change for the better. The first trailer for Goon doesn't do the film many favors, positioning the film as if it were any other generic sports comedies — it’s not. I was lucky enough to see the film at the Toronto Film Festival, and Goon is one of the best sports films made in a long time. Magnolia Pictures genre arm Magnet Releasing picked up the U.S. rights to the film, and has planned an early 2012 theatrical/VOD release. Look for it.
The Raid (TBD)
The ultra-violent and hyper-kinetic red band trailer for The Raid certainly lives up to the film’s tagline — “1 Ruthless Crime Lord, 20 Elite Cops, 30 Floors of Hell”. This Indonesian import follows a SWAT team as they raid an apartment in an attempt to capture a merciless crime boss. Early buzz out of Toronto is extremely positive.
Perfect Sense (TBD)
A chef (Ewan McGregor) and scientist (Eva Greene) meet, they fall in love, the relationship blossoms … and then a pandemic threatens the globe. Sorry kids. The trailer for Perfect Sense is quite good, and in a welcome twist, the love story is the primary focus.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (March 9, 2012)
A group of British senior citizens decide to spend their golden years in a retiree community in India. The trailer for the film — directed by John Madden (no, the one who made Shakespeare in Love)— is full of geriatric fish-out-of-water moments featuring four top U.K. actors, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, and Tom Wilkinson. If Dench is in this film for more than 8 minutes, is she guaranteed an Oscar?
Red Lights (2012)
Rodrigo Cortes follows Buried with this tale of a paranormal psychologist (Sigourney Weaver) and her assistant (Elizabeth Olsen) who investigate a psychic (Robert De Niro). Weaver and De Niro aren't the box-office draws they once were, and unfortunately this trailer doesn't do much to make the film seem all that special.
Sleepless Night (TBD)
The trailer for this French thriller reveals quite a bit of the plot, but also successfully sells us on a film that appears worthy of it’s early buzz.
Lovely Molly (September 20)
Ominous music, blood-curdling screams, shaky hand-held visuals, and on-camera testimonials abound in the ho-hum trailer for horror movie Lovely Molly, the latest from Eduardo Sanchez, the co-writer/director of The Blair Witch Project.
Killing Bono (TBD) Killing Bono is the cinematic adaptation of Neil McCormick’s Dublin-set memoir about how his high school rock band was eclipsed by a group of guys named Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen, Bono, and the Edge.
Burning Man (TBD)
Matthew Goode plays a chef trying to reconnect with his son and put his life back together in Burning Man. The trailer is intriguing, but light on context.
Son of No One (TBD)
Channing Tatum is a NYC cop searching for truth and justice in a corrupt precinct in Dito Montiel’s third feature film. Despite a cast that boasts such names as Pacino, Liotta, and Holmes, the trailer for Son of No One, this looks like pretty standard-issue cop drama.
The Awakening (TBD)
This trailer aims to be a mix of The Shining, The Orphanage, and The Frighteners. But despite the talents of Rebecca Hall and Dominic West, the scares here feel too familiar.
Oranges and Sunshine (TBD)
Emily Watson plays real-life humanitarian crusader Margaret Humphreys who exposed the “Home Children” scandal in the 1980’s (in which poor children from the UK were relocated to Australia and Canada).
The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen (September 19)
Take a look at this inspired Apocalypse Now spoof, released this week in promotion for Monday's The Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen. The pairing of elder and younger Sheens is funny, but does pale a little in comparison to this classic moment.
Daniel Silver is the Director of Development for ESPN Films. Follow him on Twitter at @Danielsilver11.