Saturday, August 10, 2013

TRAILER ROUND-UP: HERD 114


Curator's Note: Trailer Round-Up is seeing a lot of activity this weekend. Yesterday I announced the additions of the Instant Trailer Reviews that I've been doing with MOVIECLIPS and I have now posted all that I've been a part of up until now. Those are only semi-regular at this point but I'll try to get back to wrangling weekly Herds wherein I can focus on both quantity and quality. I feel it's more important to cover the newer trailers than to catch up, though Herd 114 doesn't really prove that. Thanks for visiting The Film Tome and enjoy these previews!


Benedict Cumberbatch excites yet again in his depiction of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the trailer for The Fifth Estate, though his facial change make take some getting used to (but hey, Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper completely worked for me). It feels comparable to The Social Network as a dramatic telling of another online mogul's rise to power/fame/infamy is a great story. These two films share in common something that many biopics are lacking, the topics are still pressing as ever and their subjects still in the spotlight. The Fifth Estate couldn't have planned a better time to come out and together with We Still Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (still one of the year's best documentaries) we have a seemingly terrific double-feature about Assange and the controversy he started rolling down the hill. The Fifth Estate is scheduled for an October 18th release date.


Ricky Jay (author, magician, historian and actor) is the star of Deceptive Practices: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay. It appears like an F For Fake with though with more emphasis on being a biographical documentary. It looks back to where Jay learned his stuff and the events along his path to now. I missed the film during it's brief tour but look forward to catching up with it. Seems like a sure fit for Netflix Instant.


When Rose's boss realizes she has a knack for typing he becomes intent on helping her become the fastest in the world. Populaire nails the '50s aesthetic that shows like Mad Men have been seducing us with over the past few years. Déborah François plays Rose, she first burst on the scene eight years ago in The Child (L'enfant), a performance I haven't been able to shake. She continues to impress in the period piece of a comedy. Bérénice Bejo, put on the map from her role in The Artist, co-stars. Populaire has played at several film festivals stateside.


Twenty Feet from Stardom steals the spotlight and puts it on the unknown background singers behind the headliners and otherwise famous vocal artists  Judith Hill from the last season of The Voice is one I noticed. Twenty Feet is currently singing in select cities.


I'd only heard faint whispers of 47 Ronin before its trailer dropped late last month. After years of development hell, it is finally seeing the light of day this Christmas. This is a mythical/mystical adaptation of the classic Japanese tale about a group of samurai who set out to slay the shogun responsible for their master's death. While I would have much preferred a realistic vision (say something akin to 13 Assassins) my inner fantasy-phile will not resist this version. For a certain reason (i.e. to sell this film to Western audiences) Keanu Reeves finds himself in the midst of the samurai. Dude's on a total Far East martial arts kick with this and his upcoming Man of Tai Chi film. Comparisons to Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai come to mind (but when you understand who that film's title is referring to and the involvement of an American it makes absolute sense). This falls more along the lines of a Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame and the recent Jet Li vehicle, The Sorcerer and the White Snake. Yes, those are both Chinese stalks in the Oriental fantasy forest, but the extraordinary action feels similar. I'm referencing all these films I genuinely like and so I am eager to sit before 47 Ronin this holiday season, if nothing else to experience the train-wreck. There's much more to comment on, from it's all-star Japanese cast (Rinko Kikuchi, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tadanobu Asano, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Togo Igawa - seriously, it's like a Japanese Oceans film all up in here) to the reported firing of first-time feature director Carl Rinsch (which saddens me to no end), but this will have to suffice for now.


47 Ronin Instant Trailer Review




I've been waiting for an official U.S. trailer with English subtitles for Mr. Go, a new Korean family movie, but I've yet to find one and long to share this in Trailer Round-Up... so here we go! From what I can tell, and any Korean-speakers in the house feel free to correct me, this is the classic story of a circus gorilla who makes it big in professional baseball. An orphaned girl who's been protecting him since those clown days becomes his manager. The rest, as they say, is history. I could see this being pitched (ha!) as Mighty Joe Young meets one of those Air Bud sequels. While the gorilla CGI is not on par with say The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, it's an admirable effort that shouldn't be picked on too hard in a movie that nobody should take seriously. Mr. Go had a 3D release last month in South Korea and hit theaters this weekend in Taiwan. No word on when it'll reach our shores, but I'm keeping an eager eye on our local Korean multiplex's schedule for this one. Oh, and here's a making of featurette for you to chew on in the meantime. Boy, does this one look expensive. Apparently it cost in the ballpark of $22 billion making it the most expensive movie ever made... Wait, that's Korean currency.

Can't remember the last time I rode an ass, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!



SICK COW

After Devin was wrongly killed by police officers his spirit comes back for vengeance in the form of tribal native action figure.... Ooga Booga. Yes, this is an actual trailer for an actual movie. No, I don't know how. Of course it looks horrible and of course I can't wait to see this! On a sad bewildering note, this is among the last films of Karen Black who passed away this week.



STRANGE STEER



Adore (formally known as Two Mothers) has a fairly taboo plot, one that feels like either a foreign drama or a porno - sometimes the line is fine. Two childhood friends have grown and during a summer getaway they fall for each other's adult sons. If it weren't for the caliber of Robin Wright and Naomi Watts as the two mothers I'd probably write this off in an instant. Still, this does appear incredible melodramatic. At one point one of the mothers exclaims, ""Oh my God, they're trying to kill each other!" It's laughable. It could be a guilty pleasure. Or maybe one will just feel guilty? Adore is scheduled for a limited release on September 6th. The trailer has been playing at the Royal here in town for months now.


LASSO OF THE WEEK


Ben Stiller directs and stars in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and directs the film in addition to starring in it. He plays Walter Mitty, a day-dreaming office worker at LIFE magazine who ends up going on a globe-trotting journey to keep his job. Does knowing the eventuality of LIFE count as a spoiler? Will we know what is actuality and what is going on in Mitty's noggin? Surely the magical realism elements will be a giveaway. I love this mostly-visual preview, though I hope we didn't see all the money shots already. Mitty's is a secret life I anticipate embarking on come Christmas Day. This trailer was a treat for most audiences who had heard nigh a word about its release, it's one of the year's best.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty Instant Trailer Review

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