banner 2-14

The Trailer Report – 2/14/14

Hello, all you movie watchers out there! Welcome to The Trailer Report, where we’ll break down all of the week’s biggest movie and TV trailers, and try our best to answer the ultimate question for all trailers: Does it look good?

This week we’ve got teenagers chasing birds, old folks stealing stones, and Nicolas Cage getting angry.

Let’s get started:


Authors Anonymous

A group of aspiring writer friends are thrown into turmoil when one of them begins to achieve success.

Does it look good? It does not. Setting aside my general disdain for both Chris Klein and Kaley Cuoco (I will argue you right into the ground if you ever attempt to defend The Big Bang Theory in my presence), the film still has a very cheap, direct to video look and feel, as well as not having anything resembling jokes in a trailer that seems to think its funny. I wouldn’t be surprised if this “Theatrical Release” ends up consisting of three theaters for exactly one week.


A Birder’s Guide To Everything

Three teenaged bird-watchers attempt to find evidence of an extinct species of duck.

Does it look good? It looks cute enough. Coming-of-age movies are a dime a dozen, and usually rely on a singular gimmick to differentiate itself, and this is no different. No doubt the bird-watching will turn out to be an apt metaphor for the turmoils of growing up. Still, the film certainly looks pleasant, and kind of a fun role for Ben Kingsley.


Brick Mansions

In a vaguely dystopian near future, a cop has to team up with a parkouring criminal to infiltrate a criminal compound.

Does it look good? Looks like some dumb fun, sure. This one is a straight remake of the 2004 French film District B13, which while weird featured some pretty impressive parkour and fight sequences, and this looks to copy absolutely all of that to the letter (including having the same actor in the same role of the acrobatic criminal sidekick).


Drive Hard

A criminal tricks an ex race car driver into helping him rob a bank.

Does it look good? Not really. This is a really uneven trailer; it can’t seem to decide if it’s going for funny or serious action movie (a malady I’m guessing the movie will suffer from as well). The whole thing feels like it wants to be a crazy buddy action movie, but doesn’t quite quite make it. Also, sorry Tom Jane, but as good as you are at stoic and bad-ass, being a goofball does not work for you, at all.



A violent ex-criminal trying to put his life together is tested when he befriends an abused young man.

Does it look good? As with most things Nicolas Cage, this could go very good or very bad. He’s always been a great actor, but his penchant for eccentricity in his performances (which often border on self-parody) tends to lead a lot of his films astray. I’m cautiously optimistic in this case; he seems to be playing it fairly reserved and the story looks interesting enough to warrant a quality performance out of him. But with Cage, it’s always a roll of the dice.


The Love Punch

A divorced couple goes after the people who swindled them out of their retirement money.

Does it look good? Eh. I love the idea of pairing Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson, but why did it have to be in such a stereotypically bland piece of romantic comedy fluff. They’re both better than that (well, Brosnan at least can be, at times). Once again, it looks pleasant enough if not terribly entertaining.



An aggressively violent DEA squad runs up against a drug cartel when money from one of their busts goes missing.

Does it look good? It does look good, but more than that, it looks brutal. There is no shortage of blood and gore in this red-band trailer, and it certainly looks like it’s running with it’s hard R rating. I wasn’t a big fan of David Ayer’s last film End of Watch, but that had less to do with the well done action and more to do with the bro-culture characters (and a little bit of that seems to be here as well). But this is also Arnold’s first hard R of his solo resurgence films (The Last Stand, The Escape Plan), and I’ve always thought he works better in a more brutal atmosphere, so I’m hopeful.



A brilliant scientist has his mind put into a machine, becoming the first AI, and becoming increasingly dangerous because of it.

Does it look good? This is probably the highlight of the week. I’ll be honest, I didn’t think much of the idea when I first heard about it; it sounded like a remake of The Lawnmower Man turned into a Johnny Depp ego project. And I suppose that could still be argued. But this trailer presents a movie far more violent, far larger in scope, and far more fantastical than I expected. This is the directorial debut of Wally Pfister, Christopher Nolan’s go-to cinematographer, and that certainly shows. The aesthetic Pfister brought to Nolan’s films is certainly present; I suppose we’ll have to wait and see how much he learned about directing.


The Two Face Of January

A criminal couple becomes embroiled with a stranger while on the run from the law.

Does it look good? Intriguingly so. This looks like a well crafted, stripped down thriller. In fact, it actually looks like something Alfred Hitchcock might have made. And while I’m not a huge fan of Dunst, Mortensen is always reliable and Oscar Isaac is an impressive, rising talent. Combine that with the stylishly 60’s look the movie is sporting, and I’m pretty down for this one.


 That’s it for this week.  Let me know in the comments which of these you’re most excited about, and which you just couldn’t bring yourself to love.

Until next week!