Saturday, February 2, 2013

TRAILER ROUND-UP: HERD 99




The lovely and talented Tina Fey plays a Princeton admissions officer in (ahem) "Admission." An unlikely kid is on the application horizon who just may be her ____ . She meets him when visiting the alternative campus lead by Paul Rudd's character who she will _____ . This is one of those three-act trailers that miss the point of selling us the film only to tell us everything in 2.5 minutes. Or you can just wait to see the 2-hour version on March 22nd.




Kirsten Dunst proves she has not forgotten how to kiss upside-down in... "Upside Down." The gravity-defying world on display here just may give you a headache from the trailer alone. I've seen similar realms in video games and the effect reminds me of an early sequence in "Inception." This is a sci-fi love story where Jim Sturgess ("Across the Universe") is insistent on finding a specific girl who lives in the parallel world above (or is it below?) his own. Crazy concept and vexing visuals - I had not even heard about this until last week and now I'm excited for its March 15th release.

Kick the sow down to Chow Town, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!


SICK COW

In "Dark Skies" two caring parents have a new reason to be concerned for their little boy. Clearly the dad doesn't know save buttons don't work so well on online games, but that's not the reason to knock this trailer. It's the laughable buildup of the supernatural going on at home (from the stacked foods in the kitchen to birds and mom alike hitting their heads on the window). When comedic actor J.K. Simmons shows up as an expert on alien activity it becomes even harder to take anything seriously... Seriously, this is close to "The Happening" caliber. It's build up of "Dark Skies" indeed on February 22nd.



QUEER STEER


There is no stranger trailer in recent memory than "Journey Into the West: Conquering the Demons." While not directed by the great Stephen Cho (whose "Kung Fu Hustle" took Western audiences on an unexpectedly unique ride) it is written by and stars him. There is so much going on here that you will have no idea what the character-filled narrative (from monkey warriors to pig-headed men) even is, though apparently it's based on the classic Chinese novel of the same name. The film gets an anticipated release in China over Chinese New Year (next week). No word yet on its U.S. release.

LASSO OF THE WEEK

"War Witch" is Canada's official selection for the upcoming Academy Awards. This brutally realistic drama follows the kidnapping and recruiting of a young African woman by rebel soldiers, filmed entirely in the Congo. The young warrior learns to cry inside her eyes among other things to adapt to this harrowing way of life. It's as far from a "good time at the movies" as you can get, but a much needed reminder that cinema is for so much more than entertainment while existing as an eye-opening realization to this serious ongoing plight in the world today.

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