Is 2012 going to be Christina Aguilera's year? The past few years have seen her take a few faltering steps involving shading a soon-to-be-everywhere Lady Gaga, developing a drunk diva reputation in the tabloids after her divorce, dropping an eclectic electropop album called Bionic right when electropop became beyond oversaturated, and getting her period onstage while performing at Etta James's funeral. She has regained some ground over the past year, emerging as the highest-paid judge and queen bitch of The Voice and guesting on the relentlessly annoying/catchy/omnipresent Maroon 5 song "Moves Like Jagger." Aguilera is a perfectionist whose tendency to overdo it on runs and melismas is her biggest weakness. I heard "Beautiful" on the easy-listening station in my car earlier today and was noticing just how spare and sensitive the vocals are for an Aguilera song. She gets accused of wasting her instrument by embroidering songs without adding any real emotion. But because we know she is capable of turning it out when she feels like it and is given the proper material, we expect her to turn it the fuck out every single time.
Rembert Browne: Will Ferrell is in a great place right now. This is the fourth wave of his career and perhaps the Era of Ferrell I'm most excited about. He has already had his rise to fame (SNL), his string of classics (Old School, Zoolander, Anchorman), and his Sandler phase (Kicking & Screaming, Semi-Pro). The key is that he successfully made it through the Sandler "I am just going to keep making movies because I can and I don't care if fewer and fewer people laugh because I got bills, son" period, remembered how to be really funny again, and is now getting weird and experimental. That's what Casa De Mi Padre, an absurd movie completely in subtitles, screams out to the public. "Get weird with your old pal, Will." I don't know what I'm getting myself into with this movie, but I genuinely can't wait.
Each week, marketers release new movie posters, many for films whose releases are still months away. But for those who know where to look, one-sheets can reveal studios' hopes and insecurities about their products. In this space, we will attempt to decode the hidden meanings of the week's new posters.
Casa de mi Padre
What the art says: Lionsgate is going all in with this telenovela thing. No Will Ferrell in his underwear, no nods to Old School, no John C. Reilly — it’s just a man in a leisure suit with his favorite girl and a hungry eagle. And yet all the good will won with the sexy imagery, the exquisite color palette and that fearsome scowl on Ferrell’s face is almost completely squandered by those stupid fake fold lines. No one puts movie posters in their pockets guys. Pockets just aren’t that big. What the text says: Subtitles don’t scare Lionsgate. Which means Lionsgate has huge balls. Because if we were making a movie for people whose weekly reading intake consists solely of the back of a toothpaste tube, we’d be nervous about it. Instead, Lionsgate embraces it with the tagline, “The funniest movie you’ll ever read.” Good luck!
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.