Sunday, May 12, 2013


The much-anticipated trailer for the long-awaited adaptation of Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game" has landed! Asa Butterfield ("The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" and "Hugo") stars as the title character, a child commander-in-training at a military school in space. This was a spoiler-ific trailer, but maybe only those who read the book (and are therefore already in the know) will realize that. The cast is exciting. Age appropriate stars include Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld while those in charge feature Harrison Ford, Sir Ben Kingsley and Viola Davis. The film already looks like I'd want it to; props to the production designers and overall art dept. At this point I'm most interested in how they will visually realize the unforgettable video game that Ender plays - that was probably my favorite part of the book. Fans of the bestseller need only wait a little longer... November 1st. What do you think of this trailer? Share your thoughts in the comments below or head to The Film Tome Facebook page where a conversation is already underway. 

Poor Jonny. This teenager has just come home from spending time away at the nut house and comes home only to find a hideous creature under his bed. He teams up with his brother to get their hands on whatever they can make into a weapon and teach it a lesson. This indie film certainly feels so, but has far better performances and effects than you migh expect. "Under the Bed" will get a limited release this Halloween season (October 16th to be exact).

"Black Rock" features three childhood girlfriends who reunite as adults to embark on a camping trip on a remote island off the coast of Maine. There they just so happen to meet three guys their age who invite them to their campfire! It's the makings of a perfect trip until the men are revealed to be not just horny but homicidal. The trailer then continues to show each plot-centric power trade-off between the two parties. Less is more when it comes to trailers. Capture our attention, but don't show us everything to the point where we nearly know how contrived this entire film is going to be. This thriller is written and directed (in addition to some script help by Mark Duplass?!) by Katie Aselton, the winner of the Jantzen Swimsuit Competition in 1995 - oh the things you'll learn from IMDb Trivia. It gets a limited release on May 17th, even though its sold poorly I'm going to give it a chance this next weekend.

The trailer for "Pandora's Promise" progresses the question "Can you be an environmentalist and pro-nuclear?" to "In light of climate change, can you be an environmentalist and not be pro-nuclear?" This documentary comes from Oscar-nominated director Robert Stone and covers the past and future of nuclear energy. Sure, its agenda hopes to sway audiences to environmentalism, but the conversation of nuclear energy itself is important whether or not you are one. This trailer made that impression on me, I deem it successful. Not sure when this doc will reach independent theaters if ever.

Tom Hanks stars in the title role of "Captain Phillips," the true story of an American cargo ship boarded by Somali pirates. Sound familiar? In just last Herd I covered "A Hijacking" (which shared Lasso of the Week with "The Hunt"), essentially a Danish version of the same story! I give the edge to that foreign thriller but that's not to knock what's on display in "Captain Phillips." The trailer starts with a peaceful charter. Chaos appears on the horizon and things amp up from there.  Paul Greengrass, the man behind "The Bourne Supremacy," "The Bourne Ultimatum," and the unforgettable "United 93," directs. "Captain Phillips" has a few apparent things in common with that one in particular.  Prepare for an intense ride come October 11th.

"The Attack" follows a happily married surgeon in Tel Aviv. Of course, we know something will have to change to get the story rolling (especially with a title like that). After a suicide bombing near his work his life turns upside down when officials question his wife's involvement. The film is based on the novel by Yasmina Khadra and looks to be a pretty engrossing adaptation. "The Attack" gets a limited release on June 21st.

Alexis Bledel and Saorise Roanan are "Violet & Daisy," two teenage assassins who are super at their work until a surprising target, played by the amazing James Gandolfini. I'm loving the stylish choices before my eyes on this one. It also helps that I'm instantly sold on the subject matter. Now looking forward to June 7th.

"The World's End" will put the cherry on top of the (loose) "blood and ice cream trilogy," a series of bloody British comedies directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" were each among the best films of their respective years. Will this one follow suite? It follows a group of five friends (including Mr. Bilbo Baggins himself, Martin Freeman) who plan a night of marathon pubbing: 12 in all, concluding at the one of the East side of town called The World's End). The catch is that the very night they embark on this drunken quest also happens to coincide with an apocalypse of some sort. It appears to be sci-fi in nature. The plot feels familiar to "Shaun of the Dead" but looks bigger in every way, we'll see if that ends up being a good thing. I can't even begin to tell you how much I prefer the looks of this to the likes of "This is the End" (the American equivalent with Seth Rogen and friends). The trilogy will end on August 23rd.

Climb on out of that barrel will ya, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!


Ever asked someone, "Would you rather die by drowning or being eaten alive by ferrets?" (or any other horrible options)? Well, in "Would You Rather" a wealthy sadist asks the guests of his dinner party if they would prefer to be electrocuted or stabbed or have their eye sliced with a razor blade ("Un Chien Andalou" style!) or any other number of horrible bodily damage. It's a sick premise and a rather lazy excuse to just show us one gruesome scene after another like the "Saw" sequels did.  Ooo, ooo, I've got one! Would you rather watch "Would You Rather" or "Cannibal Holocaust"? Well, I've seen the latter and will probably be seeing the former too anyway when it hits theaters on October 14th. I've got a feeling they are going to do something "Saw"-like and by the end of the party the poor guests that survive will somehow be the better for suffering through this ordeal.


I hadn't even heard of the existence of "Assault on Wall Street" before I watched its trailer, but what surprised me most is that Uwe Boll (a widely despised and panned filmmaker) is directing! Another shocker is that it doesn't look horrible. Dominic Purcell is solid as Jim, a New Yorker living the American dream until the economy crashes and he takes his fury to the (Wall) streets. Perhaps everyone who has felt the hard times of the economic depression can vicariously live through Jim's rampage? (Coincidentally "Rampage" is the name of another one of Boll's more accepted films.) That sounds perfectly healthy, right? This is supposedly showing up somewhere in the country tomorrow, May 10th.


This week's Lasso was no rodeo contest folks, my jaw LITERALLY dropped as I watched the trailer for "Gravity." It has long been my most anticipated film of the year and I'm happy to report that this first glimpse completely lives up to my hefty hype. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock play a pair of astronauts who must survive a damaged space station while being outside it. It evoked a strong "2001: A Space Odyssey" vibe as we saw them at the mercy of space going head over heels in an inescapable drift. I was able to see this trailer in 3D before my screening of "The Great Gatsby" and I cannot wait to see it in that format and projected in IMAX levels. This is Alfonso Cuarón's follow-up to "Children of Men," which I have already been touting this week as my favorite film of the 21st Century. Ladies and gents, prepare to leave Earth on October 4, 2013.

1 comment:

Galyn said...

So Ender's Game looks amazing. I've never read the book but I hear it has quite the following. I can't believe that is little Hugo! My, but don't children grow up fast these days.

Captain Phillips looks intense. Scott would like it. Can't think of any movies where Tom Hanks didn't shine, and the movie wasn't successful.He's amazing in my book.

Gravity remind me so much of Space Odyssey as well and since I wasn't impressed with that one....