Friday, January 25, 2013

TRAILER ROUND-UP: HERD 98



Ellen Paige is the spokesperson for "The East," an anarchist group that would've likely swallowed up those members of Fight Club while recruiting heavily from real-world Anonymous. The film is currently showing at Sundance. The film also features Alexander Skarsgard and Brit Marling who is a Sundance regular by now (with "Another Earth" and "Sound of My Voice"). No release date yet for "The East."



General Fellers (Matthew Fox) heads to Japan during their surrender to determine whether Emperor Hirohito should be executed as a war criminal. Tommy Lee Jones plays the more well-known General MacArthur (who Fellers reports to), though it's largely Feller's story as he grapples with the devastated country and a personal relationship with a woman from years before. While it's got all the strappings of a typical Hollywood period piece it will be refreshing to see it showing how there was no victor in this situation. "Emperor" takes its throne on March 8th.




Halle Berry works in a 911 call center in the cleverly title thriller "The Call." A teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) calls just before she is kidnapped by madman. In the vein of "Taken" and "Cellular" she gets instructed over the line with how to cope in the situation. This is the only instance in my memory where we get a flashback later in the trailer to something that came earlier in the trailer. I'm sure we can easily fit all the other pieces together before March 15th.




A modern resurrection of the '70s UK TV show, "The Sweeney" has the great Ray Winstone narrating a trailer and leading a unit of London Metro police to catch a criminal organization. He is breaking the law to save it, something we've seen plenty of before, but I'm still eager to see what refinement it may bring to the table. We'll be getting a U.S. release on March 1st.



Bruce Willis, Hellen Mirren and John Malkovich return for "Red 2." Anthony Hopkins joins the old folks party, but Catherine Zeta Jones - what the hell is she doing here? Lee Byung-hun, who I like in several South Korean films turns up as one of the baddies giving these assassins a reason to temporarily come out of retirement. Could be some fun at best. Bring grandma on August 3rd.



I am/was as excited for the next Coen Bros. film as much as the next film buff but I wasn't quite expecting something like "Inside Llewyn Davis." There's some funny bits but this story of a wandering folk singer does very little for me. I cannot see a distinct Coen thumbprint on this thing, which is fine, they should be able to charter new territory, but the trailer was almost a slog and I would almost fear the film to follow suit if I didn't trust all the talent involved. 

Leave the wagon to the rain, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!


SICK COW

"Tyler Perry's Temptation" sounds like a very personal film, but he is nowhere to be seen herein. The film bears the absurd subtitle "Confessions of a Marriage Counselor" where a woman falls for one of her clients, much to her husband's disapproval. Kim Kardashian also has a small role dispelling any rumors that she can act. March 29th is a good day to see something else.



QUEER STEER


Gerard Butler is Mike Banning, a Secret Service agent who must protect the white house during a terrorist attack in "Olympus Has Fallen." It looks ludicrous and action-packed, which is a good excuse for some movies. I was surprised at Antoine Fuqua being in the director's chair ("Training Day" and "King Arthur") as he seems far above the likes of this. Right now this has to prove it's more than "Die Hard" knockoff at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I wonder what Asian country is supposed to be antagonizing us this time and I wonder if President Obama will be taking the first family to see this on March 22. 



LASSO OF THE WEEK

"Lore" is a 14-year-old German girl who finds herself and her younger sibling on their own when their Nazi parents are imprisoned at the end of World War II. As they try to survive the war-torn land and time she finds some help in the least likely of people.  This was Australia's official selection for the 85th Academy Awards, though it did not make the final nominees. Regardless, its a side of history we have not received as intimate and well-executed a treatment as this most certainly appears to be. Look for "Lore" in select theaters on February 8th.

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