Saturday, April 27, 2013

TRAILER ROUND-UP: HERD 107



Last week we got our first look at "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" which picks up right where the first film left off. It's immediately clear that a different, and dare I say better suited?, director is behind things. The first film was adequately made (my review) though its cast was more than capable of doing heavier lifting. They all return - well, except for the ones brutally killed - and bring the mighty likes of Philip Seymore Hoffman to the game. Lots of closed-door politics but dirty-world action are on display. Here's hoping for a high step for the franchise on November 22nd.



Still haven't bothered to catch up with "Thor" (though I believe it is currently streaming on Netflix) even though he, as played by Chris Hemsworth, was one of the best characters in last year's extravaganza that was "The Avengers." After next week's "Iron Man 3" this is the next we'll see of any of those caped, shiny or green heroes ("Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is not due until April 4th, 2013 and there's new word yet on a Hulk, Hawkeye or Black Widow film). In "Thor: The Dark World" his girlfriend, played by Natalie Portman, is targeted by warriors of Svartalfheim (a dark world). He looks to be hammering his way to glory! I'm actually a little excited for his return on November 8th.




Now make way for the best-looking superhero film of the year... The latest trailer for "Man of Steel" gives us glimpses of Superman's pre-Earth life (Russel Crowe plays Jor-El)  and a whole minute of action after donning his cape. Amy Adams gets a handful of lines, the incomparable Michael Shannon glowers and the world needs a lot of saving. On June 14th the world will see Zak Snyder's work like never before. 


"The Conjuring" deserved its Lasso of the Week last month for its first trailer, here is its second. If you plan on seeing this horror film on July 19th you may just want to remain spoiled-free and unfortunately this second trailer shows us a plateful of sequences and their attached scares. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson play the Warrens, paranormal investigators who get in way over their heads when they visit the spirit-filled home of the Perron family. From "Insidious" and "Saw" director James Wan this is shaping up to be a solid period terror.



"Pieta" is the next film from South Korean filmmaker Kim Ki-duk. It follows a loan shark who is approached by a woman claiming to be his mother and asking for forgiveness. His is a violent and poor lifestyle and she seems more than prepared to dive in. I've heard how tis one goes some dark and depraved places ultimately to polarizing reactions. It only showed on the big screen in the States at various film festivals but is now available in stores.



A second international trailer for "Only God Forgives" is almost as exhilarating as the first and gives us some additional glimpses in the Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling's latest project. Refn has proven to have as great an hear for music in his movies as Quentin Tarantino guys... July 19th can't come soon enough for those of us who aren't fortunate enough to see it at Cannes.



"Filth" borrows a page from "Bad Lieutenant  but lives up to its name as a pretty filthy comedy in its very red-band trailer. He's a crooked Scottish cop who can't stay away from drugs and sex though wants very much to win back his wife and daughter. The trailer is frenetic and moves as much as "Trance," another James McAvoy vehicle that's currently in theaters. "Filth" releases this Fall in Europe, no word yet for an American release.




Speaking of McAvoy, he's having quite a year! "Trance" and "Filth" has just been discussed, but releasing (albeit limitedly) between the two was "Welcome to the Punch." McAvoy plays a London detective who is now closer than ever to nailing down an ex-criminal after his son is taken in custody. London nights have never looked more blue, from gorgeous aerial coverage to peeks into it city's underbelly. All three of McAvoy's films this year have a charging bull of visual ferocity behind them, though I think I'll be able to stomach this punch more than "Filth."



"R.I.P.D." is an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name that follows a young police officer (Ryan Reynolds) who is killed in the line of duty and joins the Rest in Peace Department, a group of undead police! I wonder if there's going to be any stakes with a condition like that. The rookie if given a senior deputy in  Jeff Bridges' character, who looks to still be in "True Grit" mode. The plot evokes "Men in Black" (right?) and everything from their partnership, the R.I.P.D. base and the unabashed use of visual effects will bring to mind that Barry Sonnenfeld trilogy. No doubt the studio is hoping for something even half that successful. Will you be supporting these other men in black on July 19th? Maybe after we all see "Only God Forgives" and "The Conjuring."

Keep draggin' that coffin Django, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!


STRANGE STEER



We've now received a U.S. release teaser trailer for Wong Kar Wai's "The Grandmaster." Lots of slo-mo martial arts in the rain folks and a completely useless English narration. I've been skeptical of this project since I first heard of it. With the "Ip Man" trilogy so fresh in our minds I wondered why we needed another version of the story. I've been hearing there's actually not a lot of action on display in "The Grandmaster" and that it's primarily a love story (Wong is responsible for a loose love trilogy of intimate yet epic proportions if you didn't know). Hearing that has me far more excited than this bland preview. Tony Leung as Yip Man will be kicking down the gates of select cities come August 23rd.


LASSO OF THE WEEK

Mads Mikkelsen ladies and gentlemen.. the guy is amazing (see my review for last year's "A Royal Affair"). Currently garnering newfound recognition on TV's "Hannibal" he won the Best Actor award at last year's Festival de Cannes for "The Hunt." Lucas' lonely life is turned upside down when he is accused of child molestation. He must face the townspeople and his own family as he struggles to bring the facts to light. It's a heavy subject but such forces the most riveting performances sometimes. "The Hunt" looks to be a must-see and gets a limited release on July 12th.

And... yes, I'm doing another tie...




"A Hijacking" comes from the writer of "The Hunt" and the director of "R," Tobias Lindholm. A Danish cargo ship is attacked by Somali pirates who hold the crew hostage. Company authorities in Copenhagen must deal with the situation over the phone with all the added pressures of loved ones at home. This looks to be another intense tale from Denmark, one I'm both eager and troubled to sit down to.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 107



NEW IN THEATERS




This Week
  • At Any Price* / 69%
  • The Big Wedding
  • Kon Tiki* / 80%
  • Mud* / 92%
  • The Numbers Station*
  • Pain & Gain / 58%

* = limited release


Last Week 
  • Oblivion / 56%

NEW IN STORES


  • Any Day Now / 77%
  • The Central Park Five / 94%
  • Family Weekend / 38%
  • Gangster Squad / 32%
  • Happy People: A Year in the Taiga / 87%
  • A Haunted House / 6%
  • The Impossible / 81%
  • K-11 / 8%
  • Pierre Etaix CC
  • Promised Land / 51%
  • Thale / 50%
  • Wuthering Heights / 68%

CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes
* * *

POSTER CHILD




The poster for "V/H/S" was one of the best of last year. This promotional material for "V/H/S/2" kind of resembles one of the "Argo" posters with shredded paper. It's not clear what the image creating the skull is, but from a distance this is pretty menacing stuff. Also, the pedigree listed at the top is enough for any cultist to take their hat off in respect.



Speaking of best posters of the year we now have an official candidate in "Only God Forgives" (which also has one of the best trailers I've seen this year - major props to the film's marketing team). A neon dragon between the title, welcome to Thailand! And what's that in its mouth? "Time to meet the devil." Oh, boy! Perhaps the best part is that we now have a release date: July 19th!


* * *

ENLISTED




Check out HitFix's "25 Most Anticipated Movies of Summer 2013." They are not disclosing their top 5 until next Monday though. Any guesses?



It's a hot topic these days, but here's Film.com's "10 Movies That Honestly Depict the Horror of Gun Violence."

* * *

AND THE RANDOM




Scott Mendelson has the weekend box office analysis (this time writing for Forbes!) wherein "Oblivion" took the top spot from "42."

 * * *

OR THE COOL



Check out this featurette regarding the making of the sound and music as heard in last weekend's big release, "Oblivion."



How many film references can you recognize on this NYC map?


* * *


MAYBE THE HILARIOUS



Check out "Star Wars"... in 60 seconds!

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Monday, April 22, 2013

MOVIE MUSIC MOMENT: THE CIRCLE OF LIFE / THE LION KING




"Circle of Life" by Elton John and Tim Rice
as seen and heard in
The Lion King (1994)

"The Lion King," arguably Disney Animation Studio's last masterpiece (not counting Pixar titles), began with as iconic a fanfare as any film in memory. The opening cry in Zulu (by one Lebo M I've come to learn) kicks off the "Circle of Life," a number composed by Elton John with lyrics by Tim Rice. The song maintains a native chanting while bringing in English vocals for its Western audiences. We learn about this cycle of nature from the lyrics as we observe some of its mascots en route to Pride Rock. The progression is a wonder to behold and is still standout animation to this day, but the opening of this saga would hardly be as memorable without this renowned number. The song is powerful yet peaceful, which is precisely what a lion king ought to be.

This marks the first (of hopefully many) Movie Music Moment in an animated film that I've done. Share your thoughts on the "Circle of Life" or any other song choice. Look for more each Monday or peruse the previous Movie Music Moments through the associated label. Thanks for visiting The Film Tome!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

TRAILER ROUND-UP: HERD 106



"Disconnect" plugs into the lives of several "everyday" people who have found themselves in one dire situation or another due to some facet of our digital-saturated lives. Social media, identity theft and viral videos are capable of turning individuals upside down. This is being called "Crash"-like, an Oscar-winning film that I feel is is both over-and-underrated. It looks to do with online connections what that film did with racial relations. I seek out ensemble/hyperlink movies such as these ("Magnolia" being one of my favorite of all-time) and with the positive press "Disconnect" is receiving  I look forward to seeing it next week. "Disconnect" is currently playing in theaters across the country.



Sofia Coppola has a new movie coming out. "The Bling Ring" casts Emma Watson (of "Harry Potter" fame) and some of her peers as a group of teenagers who stalk celebrities in order to rob their houses. There's a lot on display that recalls an earlier from this year, "Spring Breakers," namely a group of troublesome girls partying their lives away. Set to a rousing number and clocking in under a minute this is an effective sample that actually sold me despite its subject matter. Coppola is still responsible for one of the best films of the new millenium ("Lost in Translation") so I'll watch anything she produces. "The Bling Ring" hits select theaters on June 14th.



"Elysium" is Neill Blomkamp's follow-up to "District 9," a radical and original sci-fi film from a few years back which happened to be the first review I wrote for The Film Tome. Also, "Elysium" was on my most anticipated films of the year list. It looks to be living up to the tremendous hype. Set over a century into the future, the wealthy live on a space station in while the poor remain on Earth. Jodie Foster and Matt Damon are the poster citizens of each where this is concerned. Damon, with the help of a bio-tech addition to his body, embarks on a mission to close the divide. This future age looks remarkably detailed and the action ridiculously rendered. We're all going to be in for one helluva ride come August 9th!



"The Company You Keep" has a cast to shout from the rooftops: Robert Redford (who also directs), Shia LaBeouf, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandan, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Terrence Howard, Stanely Tucci, Richard Jenkins, Sam Elliot, Brit Marling, Anna Kendrick and Brendan Gleeson! Holy cinema, it's like Bollywood all up in here. Well, I'm seeing the film for that reason alone. LaBeouf plays an ambitious journalist who is on the trail of Redford, a former Weather Underground activist. The rest I suppose are people they'll encounter along the chase. The production looks as robust as its cast I just hope we'll care about at least one of them. "The Company You Keep" is currently playing in choice cities.



Here's the second trailer for "The Internship" that looks a lot like the first trailer (which I may not have even covered on the Tome - certainly wasn't anything to write home about then or now). Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are comedic gold, but this extended ad for Google is neither original or edgy enough to warrant a recommendation.



All right ladies, start your engines. Long haired men with accents engage in Formula 1 racing in "Rush"! This is the story of Niki Lauda who a had a near fatal accident on the track and then raced against his rival a few weeks later. What does this inspirational based-on-a-true-story drama offer that we haven't seen a million times before? For one thing I haven't seen F1 racing like this before in the movies and it looks pretty exhilarating with its  gritty '70s exposure. Will you be driving fast to theaters on September 20th for this film I hadn't even heard of until this week?



Keanu Reeves grabs a camera in "Generation Um...". No, this is not another documentary like last year's "Side By Side," but a New York based drama about three adults and their (sex) lives? I'm vague because the trailer is and that's fine by me. Apparently it's set over the course of one day and follows the lives of Reeves' character and his two female friends. This is available come May in theaters and online.



We see a family celebrating a wedding anniversary at an isolated cabin when they are soon under attack by killers in various (creepy) animal masks. Though they look as if they're not going to give up without fighting back... "Home Alone"-style. The trailer for "You're Next" shows far too much than I'd like my trailers to (please take note of "The Conjuring"'s exceptional first trailer) but has a pretty effective use of contrapuntal music in its last half. It's been garnering some positive word of mouth at festivals such as SXSW. The rest of us can start seeing it on August 23rd.



I never bothered with the first "Percy Jackson" movie, did you? "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" is coming and is chock-full of more exposition than the first 10 minutes of "The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey"! Fans of the first film or source material are likely to be more onboard with this children's fantasy, but it has me desperately longing for the next "Harry Potter" and hoping this isn't it. See the sea of monsters on August 7th and in 3D if you so choose.

Lay like a sow and eat like a cow, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!


SICK COW

The trailer for "No One Lives" bares a lousy use of title cards amidst the kidnapping and killings on display in this independent horror/thriller. One YouTube user commented, "Well, if nobody lives, I guess I don't need to see the movie." Probably not and the the trailer may easily persuade you that it alone is more than enough to see. A limited release on May 10th is all I have on this one.

STRANGE STEER


"Tai Chi Hero"  is the sequel to "the ground-breaking steam-punk throwdown" that was "Tai Chi 0" (pronounced "zero"), a film that neither I nor anybody I know ever saw. I remember its trailer containing a fair amount of kung-fu shenanigans and overall absurd use of machinery. Well, this is definitely the sequel. Love the not-too-distant fantastical martial arts films of Zhang Yimou, but nothing has been quite as spectacular since (please correct me if I'm wrong). Remember the trailer for "True Legend"? I thought we had the most bombastic thing since "Navajo Joe," but no - just a two-minute assembly of all the best bits in its trailer. "Tai Chi Hero" will be kicking down the doors of select theaters next week. Oh, you better believe they used "from zero to hero" at then end of the trailer.


LASSO OF THE WEEK


Got a Western? Bring it on! Truth be told, when I hear independent Western I get worried pretty quick. Seen so many come and go that I almost feel I know the type, but "Dead Man's Burden" looks so good it will keep my mind open and optimistic for any that follow in its footsteps. A cast of unfamiliar faces helps situate us to Old West where survival, revenge and justice are the codes of the land. The scenes appear immaculate for a film of this division and while avenging your father's death is one of the more overused tropes of this (or any) genre I was ready to hear what these characters had to say. This appears to be getting a limited release on May 3rd.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

THE FILM TOME REPORT: ISSUE 106



NEW IN THEATERS




This Week
  • 42
  • The Angels' Share* / 91%
  • Antiviral* / 70%
  • Disconnect* / 63%
  • It's a Disaster* / 73%
  • Paris Manhattan* / 71%
  • Scary Movie 5
  • To the Wonder / 42%


Last Week
  • 6 Souls* / 5%
  • The Brass Teapot* / 29%
  • The Company You Keep* / 57%
  • Evil Dead / 64%
  • Jurassic Park: An IMAX 3D Experience / 91%
  • Thale* / 57%
  • Trance / 71%
  • Upstream Color* / 84%

* = limited release

NEW IN STORES

  • Bad Kids Go to Hell / 44%
  • Gate of Hell CC / 100%
  • The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia / 23%
  • Hyde Park on Hudson / 38%
  • In Another Country / 81%
  • The Sorcerer and the White Snake / 21%

CC = Criterion Collection
% from Rotten Tomatoes
* * *

POSTER CHILD



Check out the first poster for Neill Blomkamp's "Elysium." We're seeing the back of a slightly-cyborg Matt Damon. See more of "Elysium" in this week's Trailer Round-Up!

* * *



CAST AWAY


Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey will star in Christoper Nolan's next film, "Interstellar," a sci-fi flick with time travel, dimensions and worm holes. (Source: Deadline)

* * *

ENLISTED


Are you on Letterboxd? If you're a film geek you better be! Now there's a list with every single one of Roger Ebert's "Great Movies."

* * *


THE GOOD


In honor of Roger Ebert this week's Criticwire Survey asked critics what the man's greatest piece of criticism is.



Max Landis, screenwriter for "Chronicle," spoke with IGN assuring fan that a "really dark" sequel is happening.  Here's my review of the first film. 

* * *

THE WEIRD


There's a rumor that Shimizu Takashi (Japanese director of "The Grudge" and other horror films) is going to be adapting "Kiki's Delivery Service" for a live-action film! Studio Ghibli already adapted the book into an animated classic but I am all for seeing this new version. (Source: Twitch)

* * *

AND THE RANDOM



Check out the cast of "Jurassic Park" (currently in theaters for a 3D re-release) then and now.

 * * *

OR THE COOL



MovieClips has another terrific supercut of the best new movie trailers of the last month, this one has a Mark Whalberg theme due to "Pain and Gain" and "2 Guns" trailers, but makes great use out of some audio clips from "Boogie Nights." Hats off to the editors behind this one.


* * *

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

LAST ACTION HERO - SHORT REVIEW

Last Action Hero
June 18, 1993
130 min
United States (English)

Directed by John McTiernan
Written by Shane Black & David Arnott (Story by Zak Penn & Adam Leff)


"Last Action Hero" is a love letter to the action genre while managing to be a solid and purposely overdone action film of its own.

I took more notes during my virgin viewing of "Last Action Hero" yesterday than just about any movie I have ever watched. A young kid is given a magic movie ticket that permits him to enter the latest adventure of his favorite action star, Jack Slater. Arnold Schwarzenegger is Jack Slater, or at least plays him in the movies within this movie. This satirical explosion is as much a mockery of the action genre as it is an adolescent romp through one. The self-aware gags seem to never cease and almost feel like it due to the film's excessive length, though I still had a gleeful blast practically throughout.

"Here's another explosion for your movie, kid."
- Jack Slater



★★★★

CONTENT: some language, crude humor, some sensuality, strong violence throughout

Monday, April 8, 2013

MOVIE MUSIC MOMENT: LET MY PEOPLE GO / SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS




"Go Down Moses"
as seen and heard in
Sullivan's Travels (1941)

Last month I saw "Sullivan's Travels" for the first time in a double-feature with "O Brother Where Art Thou?" (itself an immense resource for future Movie Music Moments). My favorite sequence was observing the transition of a chapel into a movie house for the prisoners of a chain-gang where poor Sullivan has found himself amidst his travels. The preacher takes advantage of the opportunity to teach his congregation before leading them in a group rendition of "Go Down Moses."

Preacher and church-goers alike harmonize as we observe the prisoners march through the swamp, through the church doors and then down the pew-strewn aisle. It's a deep voiced number accompanied by an organ and speaks volumes about the situation on display. The  Old Testament story of Moses freeing the Israelites from Pharaoh's bondage is now given new meaning when used as soundtrack for the criminals in a "free country" as sung by a solely black congregation. The scene leads into a night at the movies where they enjoy a black-and-white cartoon together and it seems that all is right with the world. It's hard to tell when the church service ended and when the partaking of motion pictures began. Perhaps that's why this film is so beloved it film circles as the medium is right near sacred.


Have you seen "Sullivan's Travels" and/or do you have a Movie Music Moment of your own? Look for more on future Mondays!

FROM UP ON POPPY HILL - REVIEW

From Up on Poppy Hill (コクリコ坂から)
July 16, 2011 (Japan)
March 29, 2013 (United States)
91 min
Japan (Japanese / English)

Directed by Goro Miyazaki
Written by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa (Based on the manga by Tetsurō Sayama and Chizuru Takahashi)


"From Up On Poppy Hill" continues many now-near-sacred Studio Ghibli traditions while breaking away in noteworthy ways. Its story is a place in time that is as informative as it is impeccably crafted. Blemishes are slight in this frequently blossoming drama.

If only we could receive a Studio Ghibli film every year. Last year saw the Western-tuned version of "The Secret World of Arrietty" and it was the leading animated film I saw in 2012; the much-lauded Japanese studio's latest is "From Up On Poppy Hill" and is in a prime spot to follow suite for 2013. Set in the early 1960s in Port of Yokohama, Japan our story focuses on 16-year-old Umi. Like most of the stories Hayao Miyazaki shares our protagonist is a young woman (or older girl rather) and they are typically in an age of coming of age. Umi lost her father during the Korean War but she still raises signal flags in his ship's honor from the pinacle-placed boarding house where she lives with his younger siblings. Their mother is also out of the picture at the beginning of this picture, studying abroad in America. Umi herself is a high school scholar, considering prospects for her own future and expected to make breakfast and dinner for the folks at the manor up on Poppy Hill

Umi tells us in her opening narration (a first for a Ghibli film?) that you can often tell the time of year by the flowers in bloom but in Yokohama its by what ships are seen passing in the harbor. There's a maritime atmosphere present throughout most of the film and I thought of "Ponyo," the last film that Hayao Miyazaki directed. Therein we also observed a child spying from a balcony into the glistening blue expanse for their patriarch at sea. While Hayao is credited to the screenplay this time around it is his son Goro Miyazaki who directs. Goro's debut was "Tales of Earthsea," one of the most overlooked Studio Ghibli films in recent years.

There's not a shred of the fantastical in "From Up On Poppy Hill" (again, a first for Ghibli?). It's subject matter finds its place beside "Grave of the Fireflies" and "Whisper of the Heart." It's an entirely hand-crafted period piece that progresses toward two young people approaching a first love. Umi and her female classmates get involved with the renovation of the Latin Quarter, an old building on campus that houses myriad clubs and the school newspaper ran by Shun, the whisper of Umi's heart. "From Up On Poppy Hill" salutes this rising generation women who men would cease to function without. The school politics govern a microcosm on the island that mirror the state of Japan as a whole at the time. This was in the year prior to Tokyo hosting the Olympic games, a time for rejuvenation and repair. There may not be bath houses filled with spirits or cat buses bounding over the hills in this Ghibli project but there is something wonderful in observing the processes we take for granted as being household mundanity.

An upbeat and accurate soundtrack mostly help to keep the events airy affairs. I've personally missed Joe Hisaishi's work for these last few Ghibli entries (though it can be heard to full orchestrated effect in their first video game collaboration, "Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch," which was also released upon us in the West this year). It becomes adequately touching in the film's moving reveals, but earlier sometimes felt evasive, especially in a scene between Umi and Shun that would have been more powerful otherwise. Their relationship becomes surprising complex, so much to a point that I seriously speculated what I would do in their situation. This is hardly animation for children, not due to any offensive content but simply because of the experience reaching adulthood offers us all. The hand-drawn animation is as deeply vibrant as ever. A few rides into town (such as the picture above) and the clubhouse offer us the most details to marvel over. One scene during a school debate clearly demonstrated the weakness of the anime style as my imagination was lost amidst a sea of similar faces, many of which remained motionless. These issues do not amount to much in the overall view. As far as I'm concerned Studio Ghibli has yet another classic on their hands.

"It seems the whole country is eager to get rid of the old and make way for the new."
- Umi



★★★★½

TRAILER ROUND-UP: ISSUE 105




We got a second and now red-banded trailer for "Pain and Gain," the latest gift for humanity by Michael Bay. We spend more time with several scenes from the first trailer which I feel did a much better job selling this Miami-based action comedy. Get your crew together if it sound like your kind of flick come April  26th.



This summer you'll be able to see Whalberg again opposite Denzel Washington in "2 Guns." One is DEA, the other is Naval Intelligence. They've been investigating each other only to find out each other's identities. They must join forces to bring down the mob that's been behind the whole charade from the beginning. Yeah, it's basically a wrinkle in the tired buddy cop formula. Will audiences be too exhausted for another one of these on August 2nd? Whalberg and Washington can both hold their own when it comes to comedic material, that's the strongest draw for me.



It's impressive they managed to cut together a green-band trailer for "This Is the End." James Franco, Seth Gordon and friends all play themselves as partygoers who's good times are interrupted when the world as we know it decides to come to a fiery and brimstone-y end. Fromt he writers of "Pineapple Express" and "Superbad" this uber-meta experiment promises on big laughs and absurd action (earlier trailers and clips have demonstrated how raunchy it is going to be as well). And hey, Emma Watson shows up at the end of this trailer for a nice cameo. June 12th very well may be the end... of something.



"Aroused" is a documentary that takes us behind the scenes of the pornography industry, but maybe not in the way you'd think. It's a sit-down conversation with several of its stars and their thoughts on what they do for a living. It's an eye-opening account and works to humanize a group that many objectify; granted, they've asked for it. This film had a limited release earlier this year.


"Is there anyone else alive?" He asks. "Define 'alive'," the creepy survivor replies in the trailer for "The Colony." One day it never stopped snowing, setting the world in a post-apocalyptic ice age. Some of the survivors have holed up underground in one of several colonies. One day they receive a distress call from another colony and they leave their own to investigate. Yeah, I'm betting that's the mistake that gets all but a few of them killed by the end... Yet again another example of two similar films coming out in a single year. I'm referring of course to Bong Joon-ho's "Snowpiercer," which I will living to see even when I go see "The Colony" on April 12th.



We've received the first full trailer for the "Carrie" re-make which had a very fine teaser months ago. This one looks to follow in the original's footsteps fairly closely as the most iconic scenes (from the girls' locker room to the bucket of blood at prom) are showcased. Julianne Moore is completely unhinged as the religious nut of a mother, she eerily lullabies "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy" during the beginning. For those unfamiliar with the story this is one spoiler-ific trailer. Many feel this is looking to be one unnecessary film. Will you be seeing it this Halloween season (October 18th)? In an intriguing marketing move they invite audiences to call Carrie in a closing title card: (207) 404-2604. I did.


Remember how the first trailer for "The Great Gatsby" blew nearly all of us away last year? Well the latest (third) trailer pulls off the same feat. An incredible feast of sound and music set to a some of the most hyper and hypnagogic set-pieces I have ever, ever seen. This is clearly the force behind "Moulin Rouge!" and "Romeo + Juliet" which helped put Leo (Gatsby) on the map back in the '90s. This looks like one to see in 3D on May 10th.



"The Purge" asks audiences to swallow a most preposterous premise. In a (utopic?!) future unemployment is at 1% and crime is at an all-time low in America. The reason? Because of the Purge, one night each year wherein anything goes. Steal, kill, piss on a panda... whatever wets your whistle! One family foolishly allows a highly targeted man to enter their home and they become a hotspot for psychotic killers. "The Purge" is on May 31st.

Flash your star Sheriff, I reckon it's prime time for the Trailer Round-Up Awards!


SICK COW

Without fail Adam Sandler continues his downward spiral with "Grown Ups 2," though Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade also deserve some ridicule. More crude but clever-free jokes abound in this trailer leading up to a climatic scene where the "grown ups" are pressured into doing a cliff dive in the nude. Maybe "The Purge" ain't such a bad idea after all. Can I suggest July 12th for the date? In the very least this looks to be an improvement over the debauchery of "That's My Boy."



STRANGE STEER

"Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony" may go away with my Best Title of the Year award... This documentary provides a much needed explanation and exploration of the alarmingly large demographic of men, MEN!, who are obsessed with the rebooted "My Little Pony" series. I don't understand it friends, I don't understand it one bit, which is why I look forward to learning more when I see this documentary (wherever it becomes available). Perhaps most unexpected is how tender an examination this looks to be. Maybe I just need to see "My Little Pony" for myself?


LASSO OF THE WEEK


Compare Baz Luhrman's vision with that of Nicholas Winding Refn. His films also bear a strong sheen and style that feels out of this world while still keeping a foot in realism. The trailer for "Drive" and the film itself were the same way. As was his highly acclaimed "Bronson." Refn teams up with "Drive"-star Ryan Gosling once again for "Only God Forgives." This Thailand tale revolves around a police officer and a gangster boss who settle their differences in the boxing ring, but there appears to be much more going on. Refn has brought a beautiful brutality to the art-house and I can't wait to see this one as I made clear in my ten most anticipated films of 2013. The Thai titles flickering to English is also a nice touch. Still no U.S. release date...