Thursday, September 13, 2012


After last year's "War Horse" Spielberg's upcoming "Lincoln" feels even more familiar. Sure, they cover different settings, times, and circumstances, but both are reminiscent of classic Hollywood productions of the largest order. Few can wrangle the ropes needed for historical tent-pole films like Steven Spielberg. He has done it before and he certainly looks to have done it again. For this reason the trailer for "Lincoln" (which hit the web this afternoon) is exactly what you'd expect, for better or worse. They seem to have resurrected the 16th president himself, but no, that's method actor Daniel Day-Lewis completely immersing himself in yet another role. Fine actors like Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who play's Lincoln's son) stand on the sideline. Do not anticipate this to be a controversial account of Abe Lincoln as I know such material as surfaced in recent years (and I'm not talking about his vampire hunting hobbies). "Lincoln" addresses select cities on November 9th and the entire nation on November 16th. Are you going to attend?

"Silver Linings Playbook" is David O. Russell's follow-up to the wonderful "The Fighter." Bradley Cooper plays a former teacher whose mental illness put him out of work. He has since moved back in with his parents. Jennifer Lawrence plays a young woman who has been depressed ever since her brother passed away. Both are in need of therapy and they look to be each other's cure. Funny, heart-warming, and playing on November 21st.

A second trailer for "Wreck-It Ralph" appeared. The nice use of "Funky Town" takes a turn for the worse as fun's "Some Nights" fills the second half of the trailer, which doesn't fit at all and merely strives to be popular. I like how they introduced the voice talent involved through a character selection menu and you see a few new things like the "bad guy" support group prayer. Game on November 2nd.

"Resident Evil: Retribution" is upon us. Is this the fourth now? ALICE (Milla Jovovich) fights yet another army of zombies and whatever else the Umbrella Corporation can throw her way. Chances are you already know if you want to see this movie, though I think it would be fun to marathon this series on some future weekend. They just need to put a stop to it first. You can see the slo-mo spectacle in 3D and IMAX this weekend. I wonder if it will focus more on creatures jumping out to the audience than the focus on depth that most 3D films utilize these days.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! "How to Make Money Selling Drugs" takes an ironic look at both sides of the ongoing "war on drugs." In our current economical situation it is a feasible way to make a living. Heck, some people are making a million a week! This documentary tells us all we need to know from some big names from the entertainment industry. Expect this one to turn some head as it comes out later this year.

"How to Survive a Plague" on the other hand is a very different type of documentary. It speaks of the aids epidemic of the late 20th century (so expect primarily archival footage) and the men and women who fought for their lives against its cruel clutches. On YouTube it appears to be very divisive, but no matter how you cut the issue it is of great importance then and now. Look for this is select theaters.

Will we ever tire of creepy children in film? Probably not and after seeing the trailer for "Mama" I hope not. Produced by Guillermo Del Toro, this horror covers some familiar ground: A young couple adopts some children who aren't quite right and only learns more after bringing them home. It particularly recalls another Del Toro produced production, "The Orphanage," which was pretty special. This boasts some very pretty visuals and an unrecognizable Jessica Chastain as the wife/adoptive mom, but she's not the one the littlest girl calls "mama." I'm already shaking for January 18th, 2013.

Time to double-lock the barn padlock, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!


"Atlas Shrugged: Part II" asks us again, who is John Galt? As someone who has no idea how to answer that question I also have no idea what is going on in this film. Based on the lauded book by Ayn Rand, perhaps it was best to leave this story on the page. The first film flopped and somehow this one emerged from its ashes. Opening on October 12th nowhere.


It feels like I already saw "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2." Wasn't it called "Eclispe"? How many times can they rehash the good vampire/bad vampire can't get along nicely routine and then end it with a showdown on the mountain with the misunderstood werewolves. I thought the first three films were mildly enjoyable guilty pleasures when considered as rom-com fantasies, but I didn't bother with "Breaking Dawn - Part 1." The only reason I would touch this one is to see K-Stew tackle a mountain lion (as seen above and in the trailer). On November 16th the Twihards can finally look for a new purpose in life.


"A Late Quartet" follows the spiraling lives of four musicians preparing for their 25th Anniversary performance: Phillip Seymore Hoffman, Christopher Walken, Catherine Keener, and Mark Ivanir. The classical music dictates the ebb and flow of the emotional offstage lives of the first three in particular. From the calculated performances to a Walken soliloquy (complete with metaphors of their music for their lives) this comes off really remarkable. I hope the film can live up to this pitch-perfect trailer. This is the first fictional feature from Yaron Zilberman who I'd say is now a name to look out for, in the meantime look for "A Late Quartet" in select theaters on November 2nd.

(Updated on 9/16/12)

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