Dracula Untold

The Trailer Report – 7/4/14

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 misanthropic babysitters, undead girlfriends, extreme tornadoes, and one misunderstood vampire. Let’s get started: MOVIES

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

One couple’s story as they try to reclaim the life and love they once knew and pick up the pieces of a past that may be too far gone.

Does it look good? Eh, not really. I’m not huge on relationship dramas in the first place, and this definitely, firmly in that camp. I like both James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain, they’re both great actors, and I do like the novelty of their “split-story” concept; telling it form POV of both of them could be very interesting, especially when you get into the reasons for the breakup, but I doubt any of that will have the power to overcome the fact that this will essentially be the same love story we’ve seen countless times before.

Dracula Untold

The story of a warrior who took up dark powers to defend his homeland, and who in the process became Dracula.

Does it look good? …Maybe. The idea is fine, I suppose, despite that sort of Hollywood rehashing a property into oblivion sort of vibe. Luke Evans is a solid actor, and I think he’s fully capable of headlining an action movie like this. It just feels a little odd to me; it feels like they are trying to turn it into a period epic like Gladiator or Braveheart, but still maintain a high level of fantasy on top of that. Worse, this is based on a classic horror franchise, and this doesn’t appear to be even trying to be scary. Still, some of the action seems pretty cool (if stolen from video games). If this can avoid the trappings of the Underworld series (or the even worse I, Frankenstein) then it could be fun, but I’m not holding my breath.

Into The Storm

A group of high school students document the events and aftermath of a devastating tornado.

Does it look good? Possible, but I’m not optimistic. Disaster movies have in recent history been fairly campy affairs, dominated by ludicrously over-the-top visuals and not much care for story or character. One of the better ones, 1996’s Twister, seems to be the one this film is most closely imitating, just with the storms seemingly turned up to 11. What has me the most worried about this one is that from everything I can tell, this a found footage movie, and that does not bode well, at all.  A few movies have managed to overcome the crippling nature of this storytelling method, but thus far I haven’t seen an example of a film that could not have been told better in a different style. The hand-held nature of it always seems to be a cop-out, a way of not having to worry about cinematography, framing, composition. It just looks lazy.  If that is indeed is what this one turns out to be, it will at least cheat it, as many of the shots in this trailer wouldn’t be possible within that framework. We’ll just have to wait and see how much of the film actually is the from lens of a camera held by a high school kid.

Life After Beth

After his girlfriend unexpectedly dies, a young man sees it as a second chance when she suddenly rises from the dead.

Does it look good? Possible, but with more optimism. I’m not a huge Aubrey Plaza fan, but she has a decent enough track record in comedy. The idea itself seems pretty ripe for comedy, though a lot of this territory was already covered in the recent Warm Bodies. The writer/director is in freshman directing territory, and his only other writing credit was I Heart Huckabees, though that one was just wacky, weird, and fun enough to warrant my interest in his potential.

St. Vincent

A young boy whose parents just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic war veteran who lives next door.

Does it look good? Certainly does. We all know Bill Murray is a funny dude, but do you know the last time he had a starring role in a straight comedy? Not a dramedy, but a genuine, pure comedy? Groundhog Day, that’s how long. Now, I’m sure we could debate just what constitutes a pure comedy (I think Wes Anderson comes close sometimes but never really tips over); we could also debate whether film is going to be a straight comedy. Certainly, the construction of the trailer and the music would imply some kind of feel-good drama to it, but almost every line of dialogue in the trailer was a joke, so I’m rolling with that. We could also debate what constitutes a starring role (you’ll note that I left Garfield out of the equation), but that would do no one any good. Oh, right, the movie looks pretty fun, too.

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 no part of. Until next week!