Thursday, August 30, 2012


(Author's Note: Introducing the new and improved Trailer Round-Up! It is now a post all of its own, deservingly so as it often brings the quantity - and hopefully you'll think some quality. On Monday's issue of The Film Tome Report I explained that I will be separating the movie trailer review portion from this point forward. To keep things simple I will be labeling it the same number as that week's issue of The Film Tome Report, though to keep with the Western motif I'll be callin' 'em Herds. Yet again I would like to thank my sweet sister Mandy for creating the sweet logo above. Feel free to share you thoughts on any of these trailers in the comments below. Enjoy the round-up and yeehaw!)

Here is yet another trailer (in fact the final) for "The Master." It is not fair anymore to keep these in the running for Lasso of the Week as the essences of acting and cinematography on display are masterful. I continue to be blown away by these previews, less than a month now (September 21st)!

I welcome "The Selling." Richard Scarry (like the children's author) is a real estate agent who is just trying to make a living in our modern-day economy. The only problem is the large home is he trying to sell is haunted! "5 beds. 4 baths. 12 ghosts." as the trailer tells us.
"The Welcome" plays on haunted house tropes (and then possession films in the final scene) using a mix of slapstick and deadpan. I chuckled throughout. This indy comedy floats into select theaters on October 19th, just in time for Mother-In-Law Day!

Stand-up comedian Mike Birbiglia is the director, writer, and star of "Sleepwalk with Me," a new film from the producers of This American Life. Birbiglia plays a comic with plenty of family pressure to improve upon his life (namely to get on with marriage and find a serious career). Based on Birbiglia's own experiences it looks both humorous and truthful. This film is currently sleepwalking through select cities.

"Girl Model" is a rather solemn look into the modeling industry where young and skinny girls are selected today for tomorrow's advertising needs. This documentary follows one 13-year-old plucked from Russia and taken to Tokyo where she must adapt and deliver. It looks to be a damning portrait of the industry, but more importantly, honest. Look for "Girl Model" in limited release starting on September 5th.

"For a Good Time, Call..." is a raunchy comedy starring women for women. ("Bridesmaids" really lit this world on fire.) Lauren and Katie are opposites, but become roomies and eventually run a successful phone-sex operation together. The actresses seem charming even if their day job (night job) does not, but clearly this will not appeal to everyone. "For a Good Time, Call..." will be ringing in some theaters tomorrow, will you be picking up?

Mads Brugger is being praised for his gutsy undercover doc "The Ambassador." Posing as a European-African Consul he headed to Central Africa to run with big boys in the blood diamond trade. Risking a feature film, but more importantly, his life, Brugger mingles with some of the most dangerous men in the world. This is a world I personally know very little about and I am eager to see this man's daring dive into it. "The Ambassador" is available on video on demand services and in select theaters.

Frankly, I would just skip the over-exposing trailer for "Robot & Frank" and just put this movie on your "to watch" list. In the near future robots are household helpers. Frank (played by Frank Langella) is your typical senior citizen encompassed in day even more digital than our own. He's a bit out of touch, but still has the hot's for the librarian in town (Susan Surandan). Frank gets a robot helper and we learn he is not so typical, a former jewel thief actually. A romance and a heist are in Frank's future! This film premiered at Sundance, can be found in a few theaters, or just look for it later on Redbox or Netflix.

I have found plenty of occasions to express my interest in the "found footage" sub-genre (typically filed under horror). Well, "V/H/S" looks to be the "found footage" film to end them all. Some crooks are hired to retrieve a tape from a house. They break in one night only to find countless VHS tapes and so they must watch them to find the right one. The terror-filled scenarios constantly outdo themselves making the group's night (and our viewing) is a long odyssey of the scary and macabre. I gotta say that I love this premise, but the shaky cam, low-budget feel, and familiar thrills might not win us over. "V/H/S" will be available in theaters and on iTunes come October 5th.

This town ain't big enough for the both of us, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!

Sick Cow:

Jessica Biel is "The Tall Man." No, wait, she stars in "The Tall Man," a movie where children small mining town are going missing. Why is it that every horror film has to start with a shot of driving through the woods? Biel is the town nurse and when her own son is taken she sets off after the legend of "The Tall Man" (a play on the Slender Man?) to get him back! Not a lot new here and unfortunately not a lot scary, surprising as this is from Pascal Laugier, director of "Martyrs." You can look for "The Tall Man" in limited release this weekend.

(What was I just saying about "The Tall Man?" Cue the driving through the woods shot!) It was only a matter of time until someone used a hash-tag for their movie title, which prove helpful when promoting "#holdyourbreath." Unfortunately the trailer might scare potential audiences away and I do not mean in a good way. A stupid urban myth (hold your breath when driving past a cemetery) leads a group of teenage friends to more trouble than they bargained for during their (surprise, surprise) camping trip in the woods. And would you guess it, they meet a creepy cop! Hopefully this year's "The Cabin in the Woods" will put a bloody stop to more of these terribly cliched horror films... October 5th. Whatever you do, don't #holdyourbreath for this one.

The Head-Scratcher:

Nic Cage is still at it as always with "Stolen." After Will Montgomery is busted in a heist gone wrong he tries to fix the relationship with his daughter after he is released from jail. Will learns she has been taken hostage by his former partner who wants the $1o million from the unsuccessful job. He's got 12 hours to save her life! The comparisons to "Taken" are far too easy, but "Gone in 60 Seconds" also belongs in the equation. It looks generic and implausible, but the action might be worth it. "Stolen" has a limited release on September 14th.

Lasso of the Week:

I love surprises like "Chicken with Plums."  While I admire what this writer/director team did with the refreshing and daring "Persepolis" I did not know this project was in the works.  When a renowned violinist's instrument breaks he loses all that once made him happy. He lays in bed and awaits Death, who visits him. This visionary story of love and loss is equally strange and magical. After the festival circuit it is playing in very lucky theaters. 

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