Preview Review: Random Trailers!

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is having a wonderful Halloween! For those of you already feeling over the holiday, here are some random trailers of all genres for anyone seeking a change of pace.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (Release– May 24th, 2014) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9-9U6Rm46U

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This trailer relies heavily on the glitz and glamour of bringing together both sets of X-Men casts, and I hate to say it (or do I?) but it works. The swelling music effectively, albeit predictably, carries the dramatic montage which reveals all our favorite X-Men from every movie in the series up until this point, so much so that I don’t even know what substance is truly being given here, if any. What is the plot? What is the premise? Well, based on this trailer, all we really need to know as fans and moviegoers in general I guess is that the gang’s all here. And in a way, that’s all we really need to get us excited about a movie based on comics which themselves were driven by and bloated with a multitude of interesting and varying characters. ConsensusAs a fan of the X-Men franchise, I am pumped for this film. It’s the kind of thing I’d be excited for regardless of the trailer, to be honest. However, I do think this trailer does a good job of knowing the film’s strengths and shows us precisely what we want to see most, without giving away too much (or anything at all really); plus, they save the most epic moment for last, which is another smart strategy. Seeing Patrick Stewart’s Charles Xavier communicating face to face with James McAvoy’s is enough to blow anyone, whose seen the films that is, away.

Labor Day (Release: Limited on December 25th, 2013 and wide on January 31st, 2014)   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AhKaOgrQOs

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I have mixed feelings on this trailer. Part of me feels like it gave away too much. Part of me wants more (which is, I guess, the very effect that any good trailer should have). I think the warm colors, music, and acting even within these two minutes are however undeniably beautiful, the cast being what first drew me to this film when I heard about it. With Jason Reitman directing, I am filled with hope that what could come across as over dramatic in a Hallmark movie sort of way will actually be toned down or at least stylized appropriately, making us truly believe this story, and truly connect with and care for these seemingly broken individuals as if they were real. I feel like that is something this trailer, and I’ll assume the whole movie, has going for it; something intense that is stylized and performed in such a way that we can get behind it, as opposed to something that could equally induce eye rolling if not approached as carefully. Consensus: I trust Reitman in his treatment of the source material and I trust these actors in particular to support that material, seeing as I get the impression it would take their kind of nuanced talent and Reitman’s visual but earthy style to really hit home, without necessarily hitting us over the head.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Release April 4th, 2014) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvD6clUAWdA

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So, I didn’t really know what was going on in this trailer, besides all the typical Marvel action stuff, including ScarJo and Sam Jackson reprising their SHIELD roles and Chris Evans looking characteristically handsome as he tries to adjust to the modern world. Before reading any kind of synopsis, I was confused as to who the villain was even though the title gives us a name, and the disconnect kind of bothered me. But, I can understand the discrepancy if it is indeed for the sake of leaving us with mystery and intrigue. That being said, even what is shown is only mildly satisfying in my opinion. The pieces themselves aren’t the issue though. In fact, individually, every moment when taken apart seems exciting enough, but put together, it feels like a disjointed cacophony of everything we’d expect from a Marvel trailer, like I said, but without any kind of cohesion and above all, without anything we haven’t seen before. Consensus: In a post-Avengers world, I’m starting to wonder how individual superhero franchises within the Marvel umbrella are going to fare. By that, I don’t mean that they won’t be successful. I think this film will indeed be unquestionably lucrative. I merely mean to say that with each trailer, I grow a little more familiar and therefore filled with ever-so-slightly less wonder than maybe I had been filled with when the first of each of these series’ had come out. Sure, origin stories can grow tired and worn out, but to sustain the good thing you have going once you actually make a great one? That is a super heroic feat in itself.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Release March 7th 2014) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Fg5iWmQjwk

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Wes Anderson has done it again, and when I say “it,” I really don’t know what I’m referring to. He’s the kind of director whose work is so distinct that his very name should be entered into the dictionary as an adjective to describe his own work, and with each film, he gets more and more… well, “Wes Anderson-y” (Okay so maybe it doesn’t roll off the tongue but can we really think of any better word to adequately label his movies?) This film has all his trademark players, the pretentiously witty dialogue, and the surreal color palate, the likes of which we saw in his last feature, 2012’s Moonrise Kingdom. I do love the way this trailer captures Anderson’s spirit, and the way it gives us the set-up but still with that quirky and madcap what-the-heck-is-going-on kind of vibe that I feel like is important throughout his canon. Consensus: This one definitely looks more slapstick and strange than the whimsical and simple love story we saw in Moonrise Kingdom, but then again, I feel like that is precisely what will set this film apart from his other work while also having it be so stylistically characteristic of it at the same time; it looks like what a Wes Anderson blockbuster would look like, or at least, if that weren’t such an oxymoron anyway.

Contracted (Limited release November 22nd, 2013)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hITC5xoox3s

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Well, I never promised there wouldn’t be any horror trailers on this list. I have been excited about Eric England’s independent film, about a one night stand gone awry when a woman contracts some kind of mysterious (and grotesquely terrifying, based on this trailer) disease, ever since I heard its distribution rights were picked up by IFC Midnight. The trailer did not disappoint, and in fact, a trailer has not in quite some time simultaneously and deeply thrilled and disgusted me as much as this one. It is chilling and shows us just enough but not too much, and with horror especially this balance can really make or break the way audiences think about seeing a film. Everything that happens in this trailer is creepy, really, from its most subtle and drawn out moments we assume to come early on in the film to those we only see in rapidly edited glimpses of the mayhem that probably ensues in the latter portions of the film. And the blurb reviews certainly don’t hurt its cause either. Consensus: I was eager to see this movie even before I saw the trailer, and now I’m 100% sold on it. I have high hopes, considering the trailer alone may or may not give me cinematic nightmares of a sexually transmitted zombie plague.

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