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The Trailer Report – 4/18/14
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 crazy ladies, post-apocalyptic car thieves, and the return of Jack Bauer.
Let’s get started:
A Most Wanted Man
A Chechen Muslim illegally immigrates to Hamburg, where he gets caught in the international war on terror.
Does it look good? Yeah, it kinda does. I’ll be honest, the late, great Phillip Seymour Hoffman is pretty much the only thing totally selling me on this, but he is doing it all the same. Besides his always great performance, the story looks like a pretty cool, if subdued, spy thriller (despite the strange sounding accents everybody is doing). It seems to focus a lot on the interpersonal manipulation angle of international espionage, which is always pretty fascinating. It reminds me a bit of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; turns out it should, since it’s based on a novel by the same author.
A man investigates the death of his stepson in a lower working class neighborhood, while trying to keep his own secrets.
Does it look good? Yeah, it really does. Yet another Hoffman movie, yet another show selling performance. This one looks a bit quirkier, a bit funnier in general. To be honest, beyond the initial death, it’s hard to say what’s actually going on this trailer. It seems to be selling the style and wit more than the narrative, which is fine as long they seem quality, which they do here. Also, it should be noted that this is the directorial debut of Mad Men’s Roger Sterling, Robert Slattery, so it’ll be interesting to see how he translates to directing.
A down on his luck traveler and a pioneer woman team up to escort three insane women from Nebraska to Iowa.
Does it look good? Uuuuh, maybe. Tommy Lee Jones has gotten an awful lot of mileage out of his grumpy old man stage of acting (come to think of it, has he ever had a different stage?), and though it’s had varying levels of success, he himself is usually fascinating to watch regardless. That combined with the rather novel story (dealing with mental illness in the old west) should at least make it an interesting watch, but it does seem a little dour in tone. This is directed by Jones himself, this being only his fourth time, so I can’t judge it too much based on that.
If I Stay
A teenage girl’s life is put in the balance after a car wreck leaves her consciousness with a fateful decision to make.
Does it look good? For teenage girls, yes; for me, no. The first half of this looks like a pretty standard teenage girl coming of age story, with the requisite first love and tough decisions. The second half, involving a near fatal car wreck that turns it into some kind of ghost story, seems interesting, but it seems to play to the same tone, with all her teenage girl problems. I would like to think that being a ghost caught between life and death would shift priorities away from whatever high school boyfriend a girl has at the moment, but what do I know about teenage girls? Nothing, that’s what. Also, this looks an awful lot like The Lovely Bones without all the fancy effects.
After the fall of civilization, a grizzled loner tracks the men who stole his car with the forced help of one the wounded robbers.
Does it look good? Possibly. I like the Mad Max (original, not Road Warrior) style of looking at post apocalypse, where everything looks pretty much the same, just with bands of killers and bandits running around and no authorities to help you. It also looks like Guy Pearce is going to give one hell of an intense performance as a dude who will do whatever it takes to survive. On the downside, the director’s first effort, Animal Kingdom, was a solid crime drama that was more than a bit bleak for my taste, and this looks to be even more bleak than that. Certainly don’t walk into this one expecting any happy endings.
When The Game Stands Tall
The journey of a legendary football coach who took his high school football team from obscurity to a record breaking 151-game winning streak .
Does it look good? Eh, not really. It looks to be one of those standard, by the numbers, sappy, faux inspirational numbers that pop up a few times a year, and very often involved high school sports of one kind or another. Listen, I’m not a sports fan, so for the most part these films fly right past my interest. They all seem to have the same set of characters with the same subplots that will get wrapped up in the same old ways. This one might be different, but it doesn’t look like it. Also, Jim Caviezel, I love you in Person of Interest, but the gravelly voice and stone cold stare just do not translate to a coach role; you look like you’re about to murder these kids, not train them.
24: Live Another Day
Jack Bauer comes out of hiding to head off a massive terrorist attack while being hunted down by forces dispatched by the President.
Does it look good? Hell yes it does. I was an unabashed 24 fan during it’s whole run (even its kind of wonky final seasons), and this looks like a true return to its former glory. Kiefer Sutherland does look a little older and craggier, but that’s fine, as the show has always been able to deal with jumps in time very well, and Bauer has been hiding from the US government for years now, so he’s bound to be in rough shape. Who know how this sort of mini-series (looks like it will have 12 episodes total) will stack up in terms of story or bad-assery, but I’m more than willing to find out.
That’s it for this week. Let me know in the comments which of these you’re most excited about, and which ones you want nothing to do with.
Until next week!