Wednesday, February 27, 2013

TRAILER ROUND-UP: HERD 101





"Rewind This!" is a documentary about how the home video market (and its star, the VHS tape) changed the landscape of film for consumers. In 2013 it's a matter of nostalgia, though there are still some reasons these blocky records are still important. My thoughts go to "Earthbound," the '80s sci-fi flick that I have yet to see but long to see because my father is in briefly during his short-lived career as an extra... This doc will be showing at SXSW this year. The rest of us film geeks will eagerly await its release. Wouldn't it be neat if they put this on VHS?




The trailer for "It's a Disaster" is set to "In the Hall of the Mountain King." Yes, that's a fact. What is not a fact is whether this comedy is in fact funny or not. It stars David Cross (perhaps best known as the never-nude brother-in-law on "Arrested Development") and Julia Stiles as one of several couples at a lazy Sunday couples' brunch. When one of their uninvited friends shows up is a hazmat suit with talk of "dirty bombs" downtown their paranoia slowly bubbles. This is writer/director Todd Berger's second feature film following "The Scenesters," a film few have seen and fewer were impressed by. Let's give this one a try. It played the festival circuit last year and gets a limited release on April 12th.




Love Danny Boyle after only seeing a few of his films, but I can already tell he's one of those directors who never does remotely the same thing twice. Case in point, Boyle's latest film, "Trance." James McAvoy is an art auctioneer who gets involved with a gang of thieves and their hypnotherapist (this leads to much mind-bending) in hopes to acquire a rare painting. Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel, two good-looking actors who always seem to be trying new things, round up the cast. This film looks bonkers as the trailer takes a sharp turn at the 50-second mark and never lets up. If you're interested, here's a red band trailer for your consideration. March 27th is only a month away!




"Life of Pi" wasn't the only Oscar nominee to be largely set upon and at the mercy of the open ocean; "Kon-Tiki" depicts the story of explorer Thor Heyerdal's voyage across the pacific on a raft in the 1940s. The stunt was all in an effort to prove that South America could have reached and settled in Polynesia before Columbus' time. The film was Norway's official selection for the Oscars and the country's most expensive film to date. It certainly looks that way and it's easy to understand why they want the rest of the world to see. "Kon-Tiki" gets a limited release here in the States come April 19th.

Camels can't be hitched round here, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!


SICK COW


"Spiders (3D)," not to be confused with the recently covered "Big Ass Spider," is another monster flick with city-terrorizing arachnids. How it is that we got two of these big spider centric B-movies in the same year is a mystery to me. The film must know it's preposterous. The effects here are impressive compared to its direct competition, but that's probably the best thing I can say about this "eight legs, three dimensions, one disaster" of a movie. It showed somewhere earlier this month. I wonder if anyone will be able to ever see it in 3D again...



QUEER STEER

Just about everyone who sees the trailer for "Detour" is quick to label it "Buried" in a car. Looks like I just did too. I have no idea how this poor guy drove upon this sinkhole (or whatever it is), but that's the inciting incident for this survival film. Like "127 Hours" it looks to be largely a one-man-show who waits to be rescued and slowly loses his mind. Sometimes it's the audience who has to survive through a film like this. I'm interested in the concept even if we've seen stuff like it before and recently, but it will have to prove itself amidst the pack. Expect a small release on March 29th.



LASSO OF THE WEEK

I usually don't have ties for Lasso of the Week (I believe the magic of Spielberg begged for an exception with trailers for "War Horse" and "The Adventures of Tintin" back in 2011), but hey, if the Oscars can do it then so I can I! This pair of documentaries are the best new trailers of the past few weeks:




"Leviathan" is the anticipated (by a select some, self-included) follow-up from the documentarians of "Sweet Grass." A strangely incredibly watchable observation of sheep farmers in Montana. Following suit, "Leviathan" is a look at the commercial fishing industry in the North Atlantic. What's the catch? It's shot from a fish's point of view (yes, they used a "fish eye" lens) bringing an entirely new perspective to this form of filmmaking. The sound design alone sounds worth the price of admission. This gets a limited run in lucky theaters this weekend.



I covered an earlier title-card-only teaser for "Room 237" and called it both one of the worst and best trailers I had ever seen. This one is similar in not spoiling anything, but making you insanely curious about what's within. It is a reconstructions of the iconic teaser that Stanely Kubrick himself engineered for "The Shining." As this is a documentary all about the fan conspiracies surrounding that horror classic, particularly that dreaded room at the Overlook Hotel. The result is a stroke of inspired genius. The upward scroll flaunts the doc's garnered accolades while an antique VCR (likely what many of the film's subjects watch it through again and again) receives a flood of bright blood. "Room 237" gets a limited theatrical release on March 29th. I hope to find it sooner rather than later, but mean to revisit "The Shining" before I do.

Looks like we've come full circle this week... from "Rewind This!," a movie about VHS tapes, to "Room 237," a trailer featuring the most memorable VCR we've ever seen. Let me know what you think about this Herd of trailers in the comments below! Thanks for visiting The Film Tome.

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