Silver: With this first official trailer, we’re finally given a better understanding of The Master’s plot, and a much clearer sense of the film’s three leads and the roles they’ll play in the action. My previously written thoughts (based on the firsttwo teasers) were further solidified. Here are my two new takeaways from this trailer: First, my newfound love for cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr. His 65mm visuals are striking, and he seems to have perfectly filled the role after Paul Thomas Anderson’s longtime DP, Robert Elswit, was unavailable because of prior commitments. The other takeaway is how perfect Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Joaquin Phoenix appear to be in their roles. The quiet menace of Hoffman, the demure malevolence of Adams, and the inner and outward psychosis and rage of Phoenix. Even without seeing the film, I honestly can’t picture anyone else playing these characters.
Silver: As a filmmaker, Spike Lee is at his best when he’s not directing a film he wrote. Clockers, 25th Hour, and Inside Man are Spike’s best work because in these films he’s a hired gun, and has no other options but to act as a pure storyteller. His tendency to veer into self-righteousness is kept in check by his producers (Martin Scorsese on Clockers, Edward Norton on 25th Hour, and Brian Grazer on Inside Man). Sure, there are exceptions — films that he’s written and directed like He’s Got Game or even Bamboozled work because it’s evident that Spike has something personal to say and visualized how he’s going to say it, and is not just preaching. Based on the trailer, I believe Red Hook Summer to be one of the exceptions. It feels very “Spike”, with its melodramatic music, flash cuts to handheld 16mm, and shots of forlorn folks looking directly into the camera, but what intrigues me is that Red Hook Summer appears to be a coming-of-age story. It’ll be interesting to see how Spike sees “today” through the eyes of children. I have no doubt that this film will be divisive and in some way filled with controversy (Spike wouldn’t want it any other way), but this one looks like it’ll be worth the time.
A Note From Dan: There was such an overabundance of trailers this week, and we had such a good time last week crafting (used loosely) a single phrase for the latest Avengers trailer, that instead of skipping a few of these we thought it would be fun to go with a single-sentence review (also used loosely) of each one.
A Note From Rembert: We also thought it would be a fun social experiment to see Dan squirm as he attempted to condense his thoughts to a simple sentence. As for myself, I've never really written anything over 140 characters, so this is perfect.
Next week, the Trailers of the Week will return (with a vengeance). Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel.
Men in Black III (May 25)
Silver: I don’t think Josh Brolin’s spot-on impression of Tommy Lee Jones is going to distract me enough from how old Will Smith looks.