Sunday, April 30, 2006

Trailer-Spotting 04/30/06

Because I'd rather watch brand new movie trailers than work:

Trailer: "Lonely Hearts"
Generated Interest Level (Out of 10): 4
Why: I'm going along OK with this trailer. James Gandolfini with hair? Cool. John Travolta glowering and haunted? Sure. Why not. Jared Leto with a moustache? Don't see why not. Spiffy '40s suits and shiny automobiles? I guess so. I'm vaguely intrigued and then I stop and try to think what the trailer's reminding me of. The answer? It's "Mulholland Falls" only without the prospect of getting to a see a voluptuous pre-weight loss Jennifer Connelly get naked. Now I ask you -- do we really want to encourage Hollywood to believe that that's what we want to see? Is that a trade-off I'm prepared to make? Heck no.

Trailer: "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"

Generated Interest Level (Out of 10): 2
Why: With dark hair and a scruffy period beard, Brad Pitt -- playing the titular Jesse James -- looks kinda weird in this one. Perhaps that's why the trailer is almost entirely Casey Affleck. But if you're a studio and you're hoping to make money off of your fall Brad Pitt movie, surely there has to be a better strategy than premiering a teaser trailer that's just Casey Affleck mumbling. I know what the plot of this movie is, but I defy anybody to explain it to me based on this trailer. And I defy anybody to tell me that based on this particular release of clips, they're more excited about this movie than they were before.

Trailer: "Strangers With Candy"
Generated Interest Level (Out of 10): 5
Why: So I guess ThinkFilm has just decided that nobody's possibly going to go see this movie who wasn't already a fan of the cult comedy when it was on television. That's not a big enough audience to become a crossover smash, but I guess it's big enough to break even. There's no attempt to initiate newbies into the premise or comedic logic of the story, just Jerri Blank (Amy Sedaris) being Jerri Blank. And if that doesn't mean anything to you, neither will the trailer. No mention is made of any of the guest stars, including the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Allison Janney, Philip Seymour Hoffman. Thus, the part of me that was vaguely interested before is still vaguely interested now, but I dunno why this needs to be seen on the big screen.

Trailer: "All the King's Men"
Generated Interest Level (Out of 10): 7
Why: It's not a great trailer, but it does one important thing: It suggests that even if Sony had to pull this one off the shelf last winter and even if it's being released somewhat too early this fall for effective Oscar consideration, some parts of this movie are likely to be worth watching. For example, if this trailer is an accurate indications, what are the odds of Pawel Edelman's cinematography not getting an Oscar nomination? And Sean Penn? Boy, he sure looks like he's acting up a storm, doesn't he? He's spittin' and speachifyin' and speakin' with a Southern accent. How can he not be nominated for an Oscar? I am, I confess, a bit unsure why I feel like Penn's performance is basically giving his "I Am Sam" character a Louisiana accent. But I'm curious now.

Trailer: "Marie-Antoinette"
Generated Interest Level (Out of 10): 7
Why: You know this one's an international trailer. How? Well, you see Kirsten Dunst's rear for a second. Plus, the trailer reuses the teaser's money shot of the naked Queen hiding behind a fan and throws in a couple more naughty moments. Once again, there's indie rock in the background and once again, some effort is being taken to prevent us from hearing Jason Schwartzman talk. The movie is premiering at Cannes next month and I still don't have any idea of what its tone is going to be or much of anything except that the costumes will be ravishing and the cinematography quite appealing as well. You can already tell that there will be too many sensibilities, accents and styles at work in this movie. But can Sofia Coppola make them work anyway? Well, that's why we see the movies.

Check out the trailers and let me know if I'm missing something to get psyched about.


  1. Anonymous8:18 AM

    Well, obviously the Jessie James movie is a psychosexual thriller about the man who stalked and killed the lengendary outlaw/gunfighter. Do I get a medal?

  2. Sure. You can have a medal.

    But my question was less how the trailer reflects the actual movie and more how the studio that cut and released the trailer thinks that *this* is the way to market the movie. I don't care if Casey Affleck is the star of the movie (as he obviously is) and Brad Pitt appears only for five minutes. This isn't the trailer you cut...