Thursday, March 28, 2013

TRAILER ROUND-UP: HERD 104




A second trailer for "Star Trek Into Darkness" arrived earlier this month giving us more glimpses of Benedict Cumberbatch in the still unconfirmed (though rumored to be Kahn) villain role. This one's going to be big flick. I just hope to partially understand what all is going down on May 17th.



A word of caution for the first trailer of "Kick Ass 2," firstly, it has some significant spoilers of the first film, secondly, it's a red band trailer (apparently only so they can get a couple F-words in there). Kick Ass and Hit Girl join forces with more costume-donning crime-fighting citizens including Stars and Stripes, an unrecognizable Jim Carrey - and not just because of his mask. The face off against Red Mist with a worthy gang of his own all while our hero struggles through high school. Even though it's a different and much lesser known director (Jeff Wadlow, whose "Cry_Wolf" is worth checking out) it looks like a faithful sequel. "Kick Ass 2" jazzes up this summer, arriving on August 16th.



The first full trailer for "Despicable Me 2" has arrived. Remember that "Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-na-na" teaser we got nearly a year ago?  Steve Carrell is reprising his role as Gru, a hapless super villain who (spoiler alert!) let three orphaned girls steal his heart in the first movie. Other adult roles are voiced by Kristin Wiig, Al Pacino, Steve Coogan and Jason Segal and Russell Brand (who previously lent his voice in "Hop," a previous film from Illumination Entertainment). Gru and a couple of the iconic minions are kidnapped by the Anti-Villain Agency who wants to know how villains think and act in hopes to catch a new rival. Interesting use of Eminem's "Without Me" in this trailer, but somehow it fits the juvenile delinquency of the minions. Set your lipstick phasers to stun come July 3, 2013.



The trailer for "White House Down" promises to remove the bad taste left in our mouths from "Olympus Has Fallen." Strange how similar ideas always seem to arrive in pairs, though perhaps it isn't strange at all and is just the nature of a competitive industry. In "White House Down" Channing Tatum plays John Cale, a police officer on a tour of the White House who must protect his son and his President (played by Jamie Foxx) from paramilitary invaders. It's more "Die Hard"-esque than even "Olympus Has Fallen" struggled so desperately to be. Also, the visuals (including Washington D.C. itself) look refreshingly well conceived. It's back to the 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. on June 18th.



While significantly overshadowed by the likes of "Iron Man 3" and "Man of Steel" comic book fans lest not forget this summer also brings "The Wolverine." Hugh Jackman reprises his role as the blade-handed force last scene in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," not to be confused with the way Jean Valjean looked in the last scene from "Les Miserables." Logan/Wolverine winds up in modern-day Japan (which looks distinctively like Old Japan) where deception and violence ensue. Will you be seeing this one on July 26th?



Jason Statham is on the run with a nun in "Hummingbird." He's ex-special forces (of course he is!) and assumes the roles of another man to infiltrate the London underground in order to avenge _____. Steven Knight who wrote "Eastern Promises," "Dirty Pretty Things," and "Amazing Grace" (?!) sits in the director seat for his first feature film. All I ask is that this is better than the last Statham vehicle, "Parker," which should not be the least bit difficult. We actually get to see Statham with long hair, an unsettling sight, before he cuts it. No release date for the U.S. yet.


We now have a full trailer for "Turbo" that explains how a snail with speedy aspirations got zapped by nitros and is now the swiftest bug around. Dreamworks Animation is on a roll, even stepping up to Pixar levels as of late with "How to Train Your Dragon" and "Kung Fu Panda 2," but the characters and subject matter of "Turbo" just aren't as compelling to me. Still, it looks entertaining enough. Put the pedal to the snail on July 17th!


Writer/director Noah Baumbach returns with "Frances Ha." The result is "Girls" by way of "Manhattan" as seen from a unique view of life that only Baumbach offers (have you seen "The Squid and the Whale" yet?).  Greta Gerwig, who co-wrote the script, takes a turn as the leading lady. She's a New Yorker who doesn't have her own apartment and works at a dance company... but doesn't dance. Go figure. I never tire of black and white photography done well and the story looks strangely deadpan enough to be a riot. The film gets a limited release in the states on May 17th.

Hold on to your shotgun Annie, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!

STRANGE STEER

"We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks" has an incredibly low rating on IMDb, which can only mean some people (who likely haven't even seen the film) are not pleased with its depiction of the controversial website and its ringleader, Julian Assange. This documentary comes from Alex Gibney who has previously granted us access to people and places in "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" and "Taxi to the Dark Side." Gibney's latest arrives in select theaters of May 24th.


LASSO OF THE WEEK

Luciano tries out for the Italian version of "Big Brother" at the request of his children and inadvertently becomes infatuated with the idea of the reality show and paranoid of his own identity. "Reality" strikes at an ever-present idea of what, if anything, is real on television and the implications it has on our world outlook and relationships with others - all while being a complete acceptance of lunacy. "Reality" is currently playing in select cities.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 104



NEW IN THEATERS



This Week
  • Blancanieves* / 100%
  • G.I. Joe: Retaliation / 60%
  • The Host /
  • The Place Beyond the Pines* / 77%
  • Room 237* / 95%
  • Temptation
  • Welcome to the Punch* / 58%
  • Wrong* / 71%


Last Week

  • Admission / 43%
  • The Croods / 67%
  • InAPPropriate Comedy* / 0%
  • Love and Honor* / 9%
  • Olympus Has Fallen / 50%
  • The Sapphires* / 93%
  • Springbreakers / 70%
  • Starbuck* / 67%

* = limited release

NEW IN STORES



  • The Collection / 37%
  • Killing Them Softly / 76%
  • Lincoln / 89%
  • A Man Escaped CC / 100%
  • Monsieur Verdoux CC / 97%
  • Parental Guidance / 19%
  • A Royal Affair / 89%

% from Rotten Tomatoes
* * *

POSTER CHILD




We got a production still and now we've got a poster (and a date!). It's actual happening guys, "Ender's Game" after years of development hell is actual coming!



Ah, the boob uzis... This must be the spiritual successor to the assault rifle leg the main chick in Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror" had. That was his first grindhouse-homage picture during which he teased "Machete," which he actually went on to make. And this is the sequel. It's sex and violence fused together as one marketing tool for this exercise in exploitation.



Like father, like son. The Smiths stare us down behind the motto for "After Earth" the next film from infamous writer/director M. Night Shyamalan.



Two of the rat pack stare into each other's eyes with the realization that it is all (finally) going to come to a conclusion on Memorial Day. This poster for "The Hangover Part III" is a riff on the one for the final step in the Harry Potter series.





Two character portrait posters (Katniss and Haymitch respectively) for the upcoming second installment in "The Hunger Games" series.




It's Jenga only with CGI zombies instead of wooden blocks for this pretty terrific poster for "World War Z."


It's not for an upcoming film (but a classic) though this poster for "Casino" features every suit that Robert DeNiro's character, Sam "Ace" Rothstein, wears throughout the film.

* * *

ENLISTED




The Hollywood Reporter lists 10 things to know about Harmony Korine (director of "Spring Breakers").

* * *


THE GOOD


I'm genuinely excited for "Monsters University," the upcoming prequel to one of Pixar finest hours, "Monsters, Inc." As a viral promotion for film Pixar has launch the Monsters University website! It is surprisingly robust and detailed. I love a fancy online campaign.



Spielberg is planning a film set in India (perhaps inspired by recent offerings such as "Life of Pi" and "Slumdog Millionaire"?) and has confirmed the sequel to "The Adventures of Tintin" due out Christmas 2015! (Source: The Film Stage)

* * *

THE BAD




This week's Criticwire Survey asked critics what they felt was the most overrated masterpiece... If ever there was a confession that could come back to haunt ya. One guy even had the gall to call out "The Godfather"!

* * *

AND THE RANDOM




Much to discuss in the last weekend's box office as Scott Mendelson posted a Part I and Part II of his weekly analysis.



Sam Mendes will not be directing the next Bond film (though he could certainly direct one later on down the road). The only reason this isn't categorized under The Bad is that it means it could be open to an even more exciting director: Alfonso Cuaron? Rian Johnson? Kathryn Bigelow? Garreth Edwards? Probably not J.J. Abrams, he's got his plate full. Who would you like to see direct the 24th Bond film? (Source: Film School Rejects)

 * * *

OR THE COOL




To celebrate the weekend's release of "The Host" Rotten Tomatoes shares "24 Frames: Aliens Among Us!" Any Peter Jackson fans best discover what the above picture is from. It's amazing stuff.



And in honor of this last weekend's release of "The Croods" here is "24 Frames: History of Dreamworks Animation."




Always there to blow our minds in the most entertaining way possible, Cracked discusses "7 Amazing Movie Special Effects You Won't Believe Aren't CGI." If anything this post has let me know that I need to see "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind."




And now for something completely random (though still cool enough for this segment), the "20 Greatest Tom Cruise Stunts." See Cruise next in "Oblivion," in theaters on April 19th.


* * *


MAYBE THE HILARIOUS




Behold... "Behind the Lines: Every Woody Allen Stammer From Every Woody Allen Film."



The Honest Trailers series is back, this time laying into "Les Miserables."



If that wasn't painful enough on behalf of one of 2012's biggest films here is "Everything Wrong with 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' in 4 Minutes."




We see a lot of these remixes (created from auto-tuned blurbs and sound effects from the source materia) but this is among the best I've yet come across. Any "Breaking Bad" fans will find the most pleasure out of this.

* * *

TV TOO




Trent and I discuss the Netflix Original Series "House of Cards" on the most recent episode of The Film Tome Podcast. He recently posted "'House of Cards' and the Future of/Problem with Television" over on his blog. 




YouTube user goestoeleven imagines what two of AMC's hit shows' intros would look like, "The Walking Dead" and "Breaking Bad" respectively.



It's only fitting that the poster for the sixth season of "Mad Men" is a great advertisement of its own. This colored pencil sketch looks like Sal's own doing of a Donald Drap trudging down Madison Ave. witha skewed Manhattan behind him. Also, season 5 of "Mad Men" is now available on Netflix Instant.

* * *

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? - SHORT REVIEW

O Brother, Where Art Thou?
December 22, 2000
108 min
United States (English)

Directed by Joel Coen
Written by Joel and Ethan Coen


"O Brother, Where Art Thou?" is yet another singular vision from the Coen Brothers executed from a sharp script and through a celebrated cast.

The Coens adapted Homer's "The Odyssey" and set it in the Depressed American South for "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" The harvest is a wild and hilarious ride down one open country road. George Clooney, John Turturro (a Coen favorite) and Tim Blake Nelson rival the Three Stooges themselves as the three muses leading us through the chaos. They're met with an outstanding array of character actors and scenarios.

Roger Deakins and his assistants have captured the setting in all its glory. Unprecedented color correction during post production lends this odyssey a look that is both warm and worn. It may not be saying much by the journey's end, but enough is said along the way to make this an admirable and even contemporary classic of a folk tale.

"Damn! We're in a tight spot!"
- Ulysses Everett McGill



★★★★½

CONTENT: language, violence and brief sensuality

SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS - REVIEW

Sullivan's Travels
December 1941
90 min
United States (English)

Written and Directed by Preston Sturges


"Sullivan's Travels" takes us on a folly journey to learn about hard life through a movie director's eyes. All the while we're reminded why escapist entertainment is a gift to cherish even if this film is not always capable of doing so.

Back on Episode 3: The Film Lovers on the Bridge of The Film Tome Podcast Trent and I discussed movies about movies. We didn't feel adequately experienced to present our Top 5 at that time. There were several titles I cam across in my research that I knew I need to catch up with. One such of those movies (about movies) that was frequently mentioned in lists all over the internet was "Sullivan's Travels." When I saw it was playing as part of a double-feature near me I jumped at the chance to finally see it for myself.

"Sullivan's Travels" begins with a climactic mano-y-mano fist-and-gunfight on top of a speeding train before one character is killed, falls of the train and into a pond below where "THE END" emerges from the rippling water. John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) and studio executives have just finished screening a film and this leads into a fantastic single-take conversation about what's next for Sullivan, a young and talented director in tinsel town. Whatever the idea for a movie one boss repeatedly reminds them, "But with a little sex!" Comedy is Sullivan's repertoire but he wants to adapt "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," a real hard-hitting story about the struggles of contemporary life and he wants to experience some of that himself before he begins production, much to the chagrin of his boss.

With literally only a dime in his pocket Sullivan sets off in full hobo garb to face a hard-knocks life until he finds what he's looking for. His boss and teamsters and never too far away, nor is Los Angeles... He winds up meeting a lovely face (easily supplied by Veronica Lake) at a diner. She tried her luck as an actress but is heading back home rather hopelessly. Sullivan convinces her to give it another try all while little-by-little revealing who he actually is. The two becoming road-tripping allies as they learn together what the tramp life is like. One stretch is a montage of their adventures and it plays as if a scene from a silent picture.

"Sullivan's Travels" begins with an interesting dedicatory card:

To the memory of those who made us laugh: the motley mountebanks, the clowns, the buffoons, in all times and in all nations, whose efforts have lightened our burden a little, this picture is affectionately dedicated.

The film itself is a comedy. McCrea and Lake are swell together, even if laughs aren't what these two are best at delivering (six years later the two would co-star in the highly recommendable Western "Ramrod"). Writer/director Preston Sturges is most well-known for his screwball comedy "The Lady Eve." The comedy at work here is similar but also relies on some good old slapstick. Sullivan being pushed in the pool is hardly funny (even if it was original then) nor when the gag is repeated on others again and again.

Would "Sullivan's Travels" make my list for movies about movies? No, though it certainly merits being in the conversation. While the main characters are filmmakers and there are a few movie-centered scenes (which are also the best of the the film) the majority is not about the movies but purposely about learning what life on the road holds is store for us. My favorite scene featured a chain-gang of prisoners marching throw a swampy marsh on the way to a church that is transformed into a theater for a night of entertainment (a Disney cartoon to be exact). When compared to an earlier in-theater scene the contrast could not be greater. The power to make the audience laugh is worthy of our respect and gratitude. While "Sullivan's Travels" is far from one of the funniest films it deserves accolades for exploring this idea while being a pretty great film itself.

"There's always a girl in the picture. What's the matter, don't you go to the movies?"
- John L. Sullivan



★★★★

CONTENT: some sexual references, thematic themes and brief violence

MOVIE MUSIC MOMENT: MISERLOU & JUNGLE BOOGIE / PULP FICTION



"Miserlou" by Dick Dale
and
"Jungle Boogie" by Kool & The Gang
as seen and heard in
Pulp Fiction (1994)

After the unexpected vocal explosion in the film's opening scene Dick Dale's "Miserlou" rides in like the surf music it is to accompany the opening credits. It's a rapid number that gets the body strumming for the ensemble beast that this piece of cinema is. Then at 1:38 (just as the credit for Music Supervisor comes onscreen, probably not a coincidence) we hear the familiar radio surfing and changing sound effect before settling onto the outrageously funky sensations of "Jungle Boogie" by Kool & The Gang. I still remember the first time I saw "Pulp Fiction" (life-changing night for me) and how much the music here set the mood for the bait-and-switch drama to follow. The film is chock-full of ideas I never knew were possible in a film, switching the opening credit music is one such thing.

In all honesty we could just use "Pulp Fiction" for the next few months of Movie Music Moment as practically each song's use is memorable. In fact, the Tarantino canon is all like this. We'll get to his other films before coming back to "Pulp Fiction," until then we'll leave this rich mine as is. What are your thoughts on this iconic opening credit sequence? Also, please feel free to share your own Movie Music Moment in the comments below.

DOUBLE-FEATURE: SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS / O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?


Last night I attended a double-feature of "Sullivan's Travels" and "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica. I had never seen the former and it was an opportunity for me to see the latter (one of my favorite Coen Brothers films) on the big screen for the first time. I thought nothing of the pairing, but realized why  within minutes into "Sullivan's Travel." Therein the titular character, played by Joel McCrea, is a motion picture director (I suppose that's what they called them back in the '40s) who wants to add heft to his career by adapting the "socially-conscious" book, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" It's a fictional book whose narrative is never fully explored but sets the stage for Sullivan to get a taste of poverty and even some trouble before he sets out to make such an important film. The Coen Brothers took the name of this book and titled their loose adaption of Homer's "The Odyssey" set in the 1930s of American South as such.


Sullivan's Travels (1941)
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

The two films have more in common than just this title. Both depict two of the more peculiar road-trips I can recall seeing in movies. Our characters use cars and trains but mostly walking to reach the destinations they seek, though its the people they come across along the way that stand out most. The two films also share a scene in which chain gangs of prisoners are brought into a movie theater as a reward for their hard labor. It's one of the most striking scenes in the Preston Sturges' picture. It's, again, merely a nice reference in the Coen Bros.' production. 

"Sullivan's Travels" ends up (rather meta-ly) being a film about comedic films while being one itself. It's a tribute to those who make audiences laugh and forget about their own troubles. There's nigh a genre the Coen Brothers won't tackle before all is said and done, but one thing is certain, they bring a unique sense of humor to practically all of there films (with an occasional exception, see "No Country For Old Men"). They too know that film as entertainment is not something to be looked down upon. Sure, their comedies are often dark, but sometimes being able to find something to laugh at in life's unusual places is what we needed all along.

It was a delightful double feature and I look forward to pondering and considering why future films might be programmed together. Besides the Aero, its sister theater Grauman's Egyptian Theater (both are operated by American Cinematheque), and the Quentin Tarantino-owned New Beverly are other places here in Hollywoodland that have double-features on a weekly basis. Earlier this year I saw Akira Kurosawa's "Dreams" and Charlie Kaufman's "Synechdoche, New York" back-to-back and the Egyptian. Twas one of the most noteworthy theater-going experiences of my life. I'll be sure to document any I go to in the future.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

THE SILENCE - REVIEW

The Silence (Das letzte Schweigen)
July 1, 2010 (Munich Film Festival)
March 8, 2013 (United States)
111 min
Germany (German)

Directed by Baran bo Odar
Written by Baran bo Odar (Based on the novel by Jan Costin Wagner)


"The Silence" will trouble you with its intensity each second of its running time. There are few films capable of such power as this procedural of grief and guilt.

"The Silence" exploded on my radar a few weeks ago with an incredibly intriguing trailer (see it for yourself below). It sets up the murder of a young girl on July 8, 1986. Her bike was found in the woodland meadow outside a suburban town in Germany. 23 years later to the day a terribly similar crime occurs. It occurred to me while watching the dialogue-free trailer that no central character emerged, rather, it seemed to be an account of the many lives affected both then and now. As it turns out this is precisely how the film itself works itself out. Scenes cut back and forth between the victims, their families, the police detectives and the predators. It's hard to say whose movie this is, but if you consider the title it may give you a clue.

I've made a habit of taking notes when I watch films. I've noticed that the best of the best don't permit me to take many notes as they've grasped my attention entirely and I cannot afford to divert even a shred. I wrote only a few things down during my screening of "The Silence" because it held me in this manner, mostly in the throat and in the gut. I'm trying to think of a film that was this tense from the very beginning to the very end (maybe "Rec"?). Baran bo Odar is a new filmmaker to me. He wrote and directed "The Silence" which feels akin to a Kubrickian chronicle. There's more than one cue from  "The Shining" (and even Fritz Lang's masterwork "M" now that I think about it) but Odar holds and plays his cards in an absorbing way that is all his own. 

The film owes a lot of its tension to it's original soundtrack by Pas de Deux. It reminds me of the equally effective "mood music" as heard throughout Bong Joon-ho's "The Host." Speaking of the South Korean director, I dare propose that this may be the best crime drama I've seen since his impeccable "Memories of a Murder." Both films tackle depraved subject matter involving children as they depict troubled men trying to catch even more troubled men. While the perpetrators herein are not justified, there is a admirable choice to humanize them. Much of the film keeps you guessing, but I further appreciated it not being afraid to tie up all loose ends in a time when ambiguity seems to be a popular decision amidst the artful.

The compostions here are practically picture-perfect in every shot. The beginning moves in on two doors of an apartment complex, ultimately deciding upon one and leaving the other outside the frame (and outside this story). This 50/50 idea is visualized from the very beginning in a story where mourning parents and frustrated police chalk up the chances and put yellow tape around coincidences. I haven't even spoken of the performances. Not one disrupts the carefully woven tapestry of this storyline. We could call them all supporting players that hold up the thrilling and distressing wonder that this is. It's still earlier in 2013 but I reckon "The Silence" is going to make it onto my top films of the year list. Easily.




Updated 4/20/13

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

BRONSON - SHORT REVIEW

Bronson
October 2008 (BFI London Film Festival)
March 13, 2009 (UK)
92 min
United Kingdom (English)

Directed by Nicholas Winding Refn
Written by Refn and Brock Norman Brock


Tom Hardy is a wall of hard-hitting bricks in this never-dull and always stylish biopic. If you can stomach the punch, you really should sit down to "Bronson."

Before Nicholas Winding Refn put himself on the American map with 2011's "Drive" he already had a name for himself in the UK with "Bronson." This is the account of Britain's most notorious (and, as it were, most expensive) prisoner. Michael Peterson has always had a knack for getting into fights. After an armed robbery lands him in prison this tendency causes him to be moved from one jailhouse to another as he rocks inmates and guards alike.

This biographical portrayal is first and foremost an artful telling of events as compared to frequent dry discoveries the subgenre is known for. This is primarily due to Tom Hardy's downright electrifying central performance as the man who would become known for his fighting name, Charles Bronson. The sharp script is given a most charismatic mouthpiece in Hardy who most of us saw playing Bane in last year's "The Dark Knight Rises." He address the audience as he recounts the episodes of his life thus far.

The mix-tape worthy soundtrack, attention-grabbing compostions (a scene where Bronson is on tea duty in prison would make Wes Anderson take notes) and frequent humor may seem like it does the whole affair some injustice. Admittedly, at times it does feel like a case of style over substance. But there is so much to take in through Hardy's portrayal that you're permitted to see the man behind the name and behind the real name.

"All my life I wanted to be famous. But I couldn't sing, couldn't act. I was running out of options."
- Michael Gordon Peterson AKA Charles Bronson



★★★★½

CONTENT: strong brutal violence and disturbing images, some female nudity, full male nudity, strong language

THE FILM TOME PODCAST - AFTER DARK 002: POST-OSCARS WRAP



In this second edition of The Film Tome Podcast "After Dark" Trent and I share our thoughts about the Oscar results and the show itself. We made our Oscar Bowling a little more interesting beforehand with a bet, hear about that at the end of the episode. We discuss the new Netflix original series "House of Cards" and also get around to briefly reviewing "Argo" and "Silver Linings Playbook" amidst the plentiful tangents.

Enjoy the episode and please download it on iTunes where you can also give us a rating and/or review. We'd love to hear your thoughts on the Oscars or the any of the shows/films we discuss. You can do so in the comments below.





SHOW NOTES

The Film Tome Podcast - After Dark 002: Post-Oscars Wrap
Recording Date: February 25, 2013
Runtime: 39:54

Segments:
(2:50) The Master (2012) Deleted Scenes
(3:40) Netflix Instant
(6:39) The Film Tome's Movie Music Moments
(9:00) The 85th Oscars
(21:15) House of Cards (2013)
(28:08) Review: Argo (2012)
(33:35) Review: Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
(36:56) Oscar Bowling Bet

Music:
Frank Ocean - Wise Man, Django Unchained OST (2012)
Maurice Jarr - Overture, Lawrence of Arabia OST (1962)
Familion - Hace Tuto Guagua, Argo OST (2012)
Anthony Hamilton - Freedom, Django Unchained OST (2012)

TRAILER ROUND-UP: HERD 103





Here's the second full trailer for "Iron Man 3." As the recent posters have been demonstrating, this is the film where crap gets real. Tony Stark (RDJ) shows Pepper Potts (Paltrow) how important the relationships between them is while Mandarin (Kingsley) implores wether he wants to live as a nobody or die as a hero. The stakes have never been higher and clearly neither has the budget. From the looks of things they could have called this one "Iron Men." May 3rd is going to be a big day for the world. 


Neil Jordan's "Byzantium" is the story of a mother and daughter vampire duo (played by Gemma Arterton and Saorise Ronan respectively - two uniquely beautiful women) over some many years. It is based on the play by Moria Buffini who also adapted it to the screen. It's difficult to get a scope, but this horror drama looks to be the best of its kind since perhaps "Interview with a Vampire." No release date for the United States yet, but expected to fall this year.



Two graffiti artist friends aspire to tag the New York Mets' Home Run Apple in "Gimme the Loot." This critical darling shows their relationship with each other and other young adults who are all making their own marks on the Big Apple that be. "Gimme the Loot" gets a limited release on March 22nd.



Here's the teaser for "Planes," a spin-off of Pixar's uber-successful "Cars" franchise only it's being made by Disney Animation itself. The a rocking trailer the shares some of its winged cast of characters but delivers absolutely nothing that we can invest in... Will you fly into theaters come August 9th?



Aaron Eckhart is an ex-CIA agent who gets "Erased" in an upcoming thriller from Philipp Stölzl. He must protect himself and his bewildered daughter as they escape the plot to terminate to the both of them. We'll have to see if we can figure out why when the film comes out. "Erased" is available on Demand April 5th and in theaters on May 10th.


It looks like it's going to be "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2." Flint Lockwood and gang return when it's discovered that his incredible invention from the first film is creating animal-food hybrids... It's a bizarre concept that you probably best not think too much about (though we got some similar material in last year's "Wreck-It Ralph"). I found it pretty amusing and like the first film I couldn't turn my eyes away. The food will fall on September 27... in 3D no less.






It's the epic conclusion to the trilogy that never began as a trilogy, "The Hangover Part III." The friends are returning to Vegas after their formulaic (or so I hear) trip to Bangkok. Will this one switch up the story? There's some surprisingly big set pieces and equally big laughs on display here. Let's hope it's not just a case of showing us everything in the trailer. Can you stay sober until May 24th?




A second trailer for M. Night Shyamalan's "After Earth" has landed. This one offers a glimpse of life before their crash landing on (surprise/spoiler) Earth. It looks like they were inhabiting Mars, no? The father-son team (played by real father-son team Will and Jaden Smith) were commander-trainee, it looks like both roles are going to be needed on their efforts on the hostile planet. "After Earth" comes out on June 7th. Will this be the film that gets people back on the Shyamalan train? Let it be know that I never got off.



Out of all the offerings this Herd "Beyond the Hills" easily looks the best. Still, this feature is strictly about trailers and you'll see below what was selected to wear Lasso of the Week around it neck. This comes from Romanian writer/director Cristian Mungui who won the coveted Palme d'Or at Cannes with "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days." This time he depicts the friendship of two young woman at an Orthodox covent and the two paths their lives took. It sounds dreadfully dull on paper, but let the trailer itself impress you with its artistry and compelling characters. "Beyond the Hills" gets a limited release this weekend.

Quit cussin' at my cousin, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!


STRANGE STEER

Yet to see a Pedro Almodóvar film, but if/when I do I likely won't be making "I'm So Excited" the first. Set entirely on a plane (though we get cameos of Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz, two Almodóvar alum, working the landing strip) it follows the quirky passengers and nutty male flight attendants on a vibrantly colored flight to Mexico City. Hardly a single joke landed for me, but such can be difficult to attain in a foreign trailer. Look out for this in select theaters on June 28th.


LASSO OF THE WEEK

I've not seen a trailer for a horror movie quite as good as that for "The Conjuring" in recent memory. I'm always longing for previews to show us a scenario over an entire synopsis and this one does precisely that. It's the late 1960s, we see a family settling into an farmhouse in New England. A song from the era ("Time of the Season") sets the mood before a game of hide and seek (and clap) drastically alters it. A second scene at night seals the deal. We know their not alone in the old house (a concept used time and time again), but letting it breathe has worked wonderfully. I just hope against odds we don't get a bare all trailer next. Also, I love the HUGE title we cut to at the end. This is movie marketing at its best. Move in on July 19th.