Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Movie Trailer Reviews

Every so often, I take a look at upcoming movies, choose some of the more interesting ones, and decide whether it will be any good based on its trailer. Fair? Of course not! But this is the Internet - where the young bucks can do and say what they want, and the old folk can call us fools and say we live in our mother's basement. And the wheel in the sky keeps on turning. So let's get started, shall we?

Shutter Island

You don't fool me Martin Scorsese. I saw Session 9 too (What's with the #9 these days? You'll see one pop up later as well). Actually, this almost feels like the prequel to Session 9, being that it's based in a creepy New England insane asylum where no one seems to know what is real and what isn't.

Has Scorsese done a movie like this before? I assume there aren't any supernatural elements (contrary to what the trailer is representing) and his name alone is probably going to get people to the theater, but aside from the big names in this, it kinda feels like a run-of-the-mill thriller. Ben Kingsley acting slimey; Patricia Clarkson acting crazy; Max Von Sydow acting creepy. If it wasn't for the gore I'd suggest we might see something like this on Lifetime with Michael Gross as the director of the facility, Meredith Baxter (Birney still? She got divorced - did she change her name) as the crazy woman and Mark Ruffalo as the agent in over his head (the Leo role. Obviously, it doesn't take a sleuth to figure out Ruffalo meets his untimely demise in this movie, based on the fact he's in it for about 8 seconds - and that's not a spoiler. I have no actual knowledge, and hope he lives through this terror. I just have a pretty bad feeling.).

Scorsese gets me in the door, but here's to hoping he's not coasting after the uneven and overrated The Departed.

Sherlock Holmes

Wow - this trailer starts out great. Gritty, ominous, complex...and then we turn the lights on and the true colors reveal...it's a Guy Ritchie template all over again. Right down to guys shirtless and punching each other.

I want to create a new category of movie; the "clever" action/adventure film. It's the type of movie you'll watch and realize you're always watching a movie. Let me try to make that clearer. When I watch Raiders of the Lost Ark, I get nervous for Indy during the truck chase, even though I've seen it roughly eleventy billion times. Why? Because I get caught up in the whole yarn. It's almost impossible not to. Now, when I watch The Mummy, never for a second do I fear for Brendan Fraser. Because I know it's Brendan Frasier and it's a movie. Competently made, at no point however do I ever lose myself in the story or care about the characters. And yes, I know that my age may have something to do with that, but seriously, mentally I'm still about 10.

And I'm afraid Sherlock Holmes will fall into the latter category.

I want Guy Ritchie to choose a tone and stick with it here. Make it humorous or realistic and stick with that. I think making that choice early would help the film immensely. But as it stands now, the humor weakens the peril, and vice versa, leaving us with a watered down movie, which includes a bare knuckle fight. Is there something you want to tell us Mr. Ritchie?

District 9

Blair Witch, V, and World War Z influences are certainly going to get me interested. I didn't find much information on District 9 (my crack research being to wiki it) but what I did find seems pretty cool. Based on a short film by the same director, the movie is about aliens coming to Earth (South Africa to be exact) and immediately being quarrantined. Less to do with the violence something like this would cause (at least from the trailer) the movie delves into the social issues of the visitation. Obviously an allegory for racism, it has a cool viral campaign to go along with it.

Hopefully, it expounds on more than just the "concrentration camp" mentallity the trailer hangs its hat on (seriously - read World War Z for an awesome account of what a society would do when confronted with a global issue similar to aliens) and evolves into something more than Alien Nation (which is a movie near and dear to my heart).


keithwade said...

I read Shutter Island when it first came out, before the word about a major twist ending got out. Good luck keeping it under locks before the movie comes out. Especially when it's an awful, cheap twist and it's telegraphed in the trailer. Great book up until the ending though. It was also filmed near where I grew up, so I'll have to see it anyway.

Goose said...

didn't know it was a book first so maybe I'll read it. M. Night Shyamalan's movies are all shot pretty much in my back yard, so I'm used to cheap twists (as well as good ones, don't smite me, Night).

Goose said...

oh, also, I hope the cheap twist was, "It was all in his head!"

keithwade said...

The book is by Dennis Lehane, the same Boston author who wrote Mystic River and Gone Baby Gone. And exactly how many twist endings can you have when it's set in an insane asylum?

Goose said...

It's just like I always say about the Revenge of the Nerds movies - how many times do the nerds have to beat the jocks before we start considering the jocks the nerds? Mystery question of life.