Friday, 29 June 2012

10 Trailers Which Caught My Eye

Trailers are a huge part of the movie industry and, as a form of advertising, can make or break the commercial future of a movie. With a good trailer a bad movie can do pretty well, with a poor trailer even a great movie can be financially disappointing at the box office. I strongly believe that you can't accurately judge a movie by it's trailer, after all they only show you exciting and eye catching footage out of context. But I also believe they are more than just the cover of a book; trailers show you glimpses of acting quality, plot structure and a general feel of the movie's atmosphere.

There are plenty of movie trailers which have caught my attention this year, for various reasons. Here are 10 trailers which caught my eye in a positive way-

1. The Master

The combination of director Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, Magnolia) and actor Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator, Walk The Line) is enough to send shivers down the spine of any movie buff. Both are very talented artists that have shown that they can be amongst the best in their respective fields.
The Master is set in the 1950s and charts the rise of a faith based organisation in America (which is likely to have comparisons with Scientology). Phoenix's childish giggling, combined with his eerie stare and the repetitive, tribal background music makes this teaser trailer incredibly ominous and exciting. 

2. Django Unchained

I was a little bit disappointed when I found out about the plot of Quentin Tarantino's latest movie. It's a revenge movie closely linked to a very painful period in history, in which one ethnic group were mistreated by another - sound familiar? That being said, Inglourious Basterds is the best movie Tarrantino had made since Pulp Fiction and this also features the fantastic 'Jew Hunter' himself, Christoph Waltz - so I'm now excited.

3. The Dark Knight Rises

I don't think I need to say a lot here, I just really liked the latest trailer. I can't wait to see how Tom Hardy does as the new central villain. The Joker was the antithesis of Batman, posing an intellectual and moral challenge; Bane will be Batman's biggest ever physical challenge, a force to be reckoned with (and if the comics are anything to go by, Batman is in for a very painful ride).

4. The Great Gatsby

Baz Luhrmann, director of Romeo + Juliet, teams up again with Leonardo DiCaprio in this envisioning of an American classic. The styling of the movie looks great; everything looks authentic and Leonardo DiCaprio is at the perfect point in his career for the role of Gatsby. It will also be interesting to see if Carey Mulligan can keep up her amazing streak of movie choices/performances and if Toby Maguire can get properly back on the horse after the Spider-man trilogy...which was just awful.

5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Again, not much to say here. I loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit is a great book and judging from production blog videos on youtube, they are putting an incredible amount of effort into developing this.  There was some criticism at a preview screening regarding it's 48 FPS frame rate - apparently it looked too realistic and clear cut. Doesn't really sound like a criticism to me but I guess it may lack a certain cinematic feel. I personally can't wait to see how Peter Jackson does with this chapter of Middle Earth's history (particularly with my favourite chapter from The Hobbit, Riddles in the Dark).

6. Taken 2

Taken really surprised me when I first watched it; I was expecting a mindless action movie but Liam Neeson's performance elevated it to something more (along with plenty of great action sequences). I think part of its success was also the clever and resourceful ways in which Neeson's character would outsmart (and beat the crap out of) the unscrupulous bad guys. In Unknown he had an equally physical role but it didn't quite work as well. I hope that Taken 2 has that same special quality that the first one had.

7. The Bourne Legacy

I dreaded this movie when I first heard of it's production. I love the Bourne trilogy, it's rare in the fact that it's  both exciting and cerebral in equal measure. I really didn't think following it up with another Bourne movie was a good idea - especially one without Jason Bourne in it! But after seeing this trailer and the effort that has been taken to integrate it into the canon of the original trilogy, I'm now quite excited. The addition of Edward Norton to the cast is also a huge bonus.

8. Brave

Pixar creates an incredible amount of quality animated movies and this one certainly doesn't look like an exception. Brave appears to be along the lines of a Celtic Mulan and could possibly be up there with the likes of Up, The Incredibles and Wall-E. It features an all Scottish cast, including the 'Big Yin' himself Billy Connolly. Should be great.

9. Total Recall

I'm a pretty big fan of the brutal, Paul Verhoeven original (even with the incredibly dated special effects and over-egged acting). The general concept is based on the short story We Can Remember It For You Wholesale, written by the brilliant and prophetic Phillip K Dick. There are some very big differences between this version and the original, the main one being that none of it is set on Mars. But before you panic, don't worry it still has that prostitute with three boobs in it. Also, Brian Cranston will be playing the role of Cohaagen, which is a very exciting prospect.

10. Looper

I really like Joseph Gordon-Levitt and in Inception he showed that he was capable of high octane action as well as small indie movie rolls. This movie's concept is interesting, although time travel is a dangerous plot device and often leads to paradoxes and things that don't technically make sense (often forcing the audience to suspend their disbelief). I hope it's done well and I also hope that it explains why future gangsters go to the trouble of sending people back in time to be shot (thereby also changing the future), when they could quite easy kill people themselves.

There you are, 10 trailers which caught my eye. There were plenty which I missed out, feel free to comment below and let me know which movies you're looking forwards to. I'll be writing some short reviews of Snow White and the Huntsman and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter soon!