Trailer Tuesday: The Wolf of Wall Street

Every Tuesday, I will post a trailer I saw in the past week that I felt was worth sharing.

A new trailer for a Martin Scorsese movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio? How could I resist?

By now, it is becoming clear that the partnership between Scorsese and DiCaprio is going down in movie history as one of the most successful. Since Gangs of New York, they put out a string of movies that are, simply put, undeniable. It has been a while since 2010’s Shutter Island, which was a remarkably strong thriller, and Leo did not appear in 2011’s Hugo, but it’s of no surprise to anyone why he was asked to play the lead in The Wolf of Wall Street; since his initial surge in popularity as a teen idol, he’s proved himself to be one of the most charismatic and iconic actors of American cinema today, and his collaboration with Scorsese has everything to do with that.

Neither is Jonah Hill’s appearance a surprise, actually, which could not have been said just a few short years ago, when the actor was making his name in Judd Apatow comedies. In fact, aside from Seth Rogan, one could argue he was the actor that’s gotten the most attention from those films. Hill received a supporting actor nomination for Moneyball in 2011’s Academy Awards, and I see more of the same in his future, as he continues pursuing other dramatic roles. He seems to be wearing some prosthetic teeth in The Wolf of Wall Street, and it looks awkward here, but I think it will work well as a look-defining characteristic in the movie.

Overall, I love the sleaze, the 90s vibe, McConaughey’s appearance in the trailer, the musical choices… It seems to me, Scorsese is doing to Wall Street here what he did to the mob with Goodfellas, by turning the entire thing into something of a dark farce. I can’t imagine the movie not doing well or being good, and I for one am looking forward to seeing it.

The Wolf of Wall Street is currently set to be 165 minutes long, and comes out Christmas Day this year (aww, Martin, you always know just what to get me); though there have been rumors of a delay.

Trailer Tuesday: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Every Tuesday, I will post a trailer I saw in the past week that I felt was worth sharing.

Finally, a superhero trailer worth sharing. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is my currently most anticipated superhero film of the coming year, far more so than Thor: The Dark World. To be fair, though, this is just my bias. Marvel has so far done a good job of differentiating their different superhero franchises in terms of genre, and I simply tend to like the international thriller/spy genre better than fantasy films – not that Thor doesn’t look good, which it does, largely due to the presence of fan-favorite Tom Hiddleston’s Loki.

Getting back to Cap, however. Chris Evans returns to the role of Steve Rogers/Captain America, as is Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, and Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes (here returning under the guise of the titular Winter Soldier). The trailer showcases a possible rift within S.H.I.E.L.D., as Steve Rogers shows his disagreement with their policies.

We finally get a moving image of Anthony Mackie as the superhero and long partner to Cap, the Falcon, and we’re now able to get a better idea what his flight looks like. I have to say, it’s not the most believable looking – but then again, the concept isn’t very believable either. Falcon does not get much screen time in the trailer, and neither does the supposedly central villain, Winter Soldier, who despite that still gets to do cool bad-guy stuff as he antagonizes a freeway and catches the Captain’s shield.

The movie is directed Anthony and Joe Russo, previously known for their work on sitcoms, such as Community. Considering the fact that most of the action is typically to fully orchestrated by the directors in these films anyways, technical expertise in shooting action is probably not required, whereas the sitcom experience will help them capture the character and humor that the Marvel franchises have become known for.

Overall, all of the fandom aside, it’s just a cool trailer for an action movie that looks exciting, and worth seeing. Captain America: The Winter Soldier comes out in March of next year.

Trailer Tuesday: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Every Tuesday, I will post a trailer I saw in the past week that I felt was worth sharing.

So, this week, the trailer for Wes Anderson’s new film came out. Need I say more? I understand there are some people that might not care for his film, but I’ve found that as a general rule, I tend to not care for those people.
 
The trailer has everything we like in a Wes Anderson movie: genuinely funny dialogue, quirky costumes, and comedic appearances by great actors. I think I’m a big fan of Saoirse Ronan’s agent, because she’s been in all the right movies recently. I’m delighted to see Harvey Keitel in a feature film again, though his role will likely be small. Ralph Fiennes, who based on the trailer appears to be in the lead role, seems to be the only newcomer to Wes Anderson’s films, but I can already tell why he’d be perfect for his world.
 
Granted, this does appear to be more of the same from Anderson, whose style has not changed, really, since The Royal Tenenbaums. Even last year’s Moonrise Kingdom, however, was great, which served, if nothing else, as a reminder that the style he coined over a decade ago still works undeniably. I would, perhaps, like to see Wes Anderson try his hand at something slightly different, but at the same time, his voice changing would actually be a distinct loss to the world of cinema.
 
Interestingly, as distinctive as his style is, this is the first of Anderson’s films that he did not write with a partner. It is coming out on March 7th, 2014 in the USA.

Trailer Tuesday: Charlie Countryman

Every Tuesday, I will post a trailer I saw in the past week that I felt was worth sharing.

Nothing about recent mainstream movie trailers has been appealing to me recently, I suppose we will have to wait until winter or spring to get the juicy trailers for next year’s big blockbusters. In the meantime, though, these non-summer months we’re just starting out on are here for independent cinema.

In that spirit, I picked Charlie Countryman as today’s trailer. In picking the trailers, I really make an effort to decide based on the video itself. I do believe there’s something of an art to coming up with a good trailer, and while Charlie Countryman‘s ad does not necessarily break the norm, it is an exciting trailer that genuinely makes me want to see the movie.

I’ve traditionally been somewhat at odds with LaBeouf’s film choices, so his prominent role here might have previously turned me off the film completely. After seeing Lawless, however, I definitely have more faith in his ability to pick a role and commit to it. Despite his rocky past (I’m looking at you, Transformers), the young these seems to have recommitted himself as a serious actor. He’s also appearing in Lars von Trier’s latest film, Nymphomaniac, which has me intrigued somewhat thought I’ve recently found von Trier’s films hard to stomach (not to say that they were bad, by any means).

The rest of the cast of Charlie Countryman seems spot-on – Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Til Schweiger, and Melissa Leo have all proven themselves to me in the past, so I’m genuinely excited to see the film, based on the trailer. Though I’m now seeing the reviews are less than great (Rotten Tomatoes has 33%), this may just be the case of a low score indicating something controversial, perhaps, as opposed to merely bad.

The film is directed by new-comer Fredrik Bond, written by Matt Drake, and comes out in UK on November 8th, and on the 17th in the US, in limited release.

Trailer Tuesday: Escape from Tomorrow

Every Tuesday, I will post a trailer I saw in the past week that I felt was worth sharing.

In the increasingly litigious society we live in, particularly in the realm of media, we are seeing less and less truly transgressive cinema, filmed against the rules by daring people. Escape from Tomorrow is precisely such a film, a psychological horror movie filmed in Disneyland, with no permission. The guerrilla-style shoot was evidently ignored by the Disney corporation, and after release, the company decided not to press any charges and avoid the film entirely. It has since been picked up by Producers Distribution Agency, and will be released in theaters and video-on-demand on October 11th.

Written and directed by Randy Moore, who has no other credits to his name, with relatively unknown actors, this trailer excites me. It seems fantastic, and low-budget, and potentially really scary or moving. But most of all, I enjoy the fact that this film is outside the norm, that the filmmakers took a risk to tell a story – and it seems it is paying off. I will definitely be making an effort to see it, though chances are very slim I will be able to see it where I live.

Trailer Tuesday: The Night Of The Great Chinese Lottery

Every Tuesday, I will post a trailer I saw in the past week that I felt was worth sharing.

I will readily admit that this week’s trailer is something of a gamble, I have absolutely no familiarity with anyone involved with the film… But sometimes, it’s more fun that way! AS far as I can tell, all of the principals are making their feature debut in this movie which does not seem to have a hard release date.
 
So, what drew me to the trailer? Well, I can tell that the film definitely has a certain amount of visual style, which always draws me. The trailer does not reveal too much in terms of plot, but one word come up repeatedly – paranoia. If that is, indeed, in some way the theme of the film, I applaud the effective advertising.
 
The film was shot on a non-existent budget in Hong Kong, which seems to have production value everywhere. If the film comes out being good, it could be a great example of filming, for free, in an exciting place making all the difference in distinguishing oneself from more expensive pictures.
 
Ultimately, having no stars or flashy special effects, the trailers sells itself on mood and visuals. It’s unlikely I will get to see it in the near future, as even some of the more major movies tend to not make it over to Lithuania, much less independent films with no distributor… Based purely on the trailers I’ve seen recently, though, I would simply want to see this independent movie.
 
The writer/director is Marco Brunelli, and stars Mathieu Bourassa, Furio Mazzarelli, and Andrew Martin. You can find more about the film at http://nightofthelottery.com/

Trailer Tuesday: Last Days on Mars

Every Tuesday, I will post a trailer I saw in the past week that I felt was worth sharing.

There is a true shortage of original sci-fi out there today. In Last Days on Mars, however, we see a trailer which is not, at least at a first glance, an adaptation of anything (indeed, the screenplay is original, and written by Clive Dawson), as well as appearing to be quite effectively scary. It is directed by Ruairi Robinson, who, like the writer, is a newcomer in feature film. It has Liev Schreiber in what appears to be the lead.

It is impossible to watch the trailer here without being immediately reminded of Alien. My hope is that the comparison remain hopeful. I truly don’t see enough serious science fiction thrillers that could be taken even remotely seriously. Even the Alien franchise itself strayed away from its horror movie roots in the later installments, straying more towards adventure. This isn’t terrible, of course, but my point is that I’m hoping for some of that vibe in Last Days on Mars

The film already premiered in Cannes in May, but is scheduled for a December 6th release in the United States. While the some of the advance reviews were not favorable, that trailer completely has me wanting to see the picture.