Trailers of the Week: Runner, Runner, The To Do List, Blackfish, and More

Paranoia (August 16)

Silver: Three things …

1. I find it odd that the marketers of Paranoia felt it was necessary to tout this film as being “From the director of 21,” but do not, at any point, list its impressive cast. I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that the majority of folks seeing this film will have either not seen 21 or would have forgotten they’d seen 21. I sure did.
2. I’d like to start a petition to allow just one Hemsworth in Hollywood. Liam Hemsworth may be a fine and upstanding citizen, but in the films I’ve seen him in, he’s been a mostly valueless shell of a pretty face.

Browne: Whoa there.

Silver: Screen grabs of his brooding in The Hunger Games should have been used as Calvin Klein cologne ads, and any young actor could have smiled then died in the first 10 minutes of The Expendables 2. (FYI, that is not a spoiler. We’re almost a year out from the release of that film. The blackout window is over. Deal with it.)

Browne: Cruel, you are.

Silver: I, for one, am on Team Chris in the Hemsworth debate.

Browne: You’re insane.

Silver: The dude’s Thor. But he’s also had solid showings in Star Trek and The Cabin in the Woods, in which he struck a perfect balance of douchey and self-reflective. And he looks great in Ron Howard’s upcoming Rush. So, Hollywood: When Bradley Cooper, Chris Pine, Michael Fassbender, Chris Evans, and Leo turn down a role, can you just skip over young Liam and go directly to James McAvoy like you normally do? That guy always bring something interesting to a role. (Sorry, Liam.)

Browne: Don’t say “sorry.” You don’t mean that. You monster.

Silver: 3. Sawyer (a.k.a. Josh Holloway) is in this movie! Nice to have you back, buddy.

 

Runner, Runner (September 27)

Silver: This film could very easily be an unbearable Two for the Money21 hybrid (I promise this is the last time I shit on 21. As it is, two mentions in one post is much more than that film deserves), or it could be a splendid amalgam of Donnie Brasco and Rounders. Given that Runner, Runner is from “the writers of” the Ed Norton–Matt Damon classic, I’m hoping for the latter.

So, Ben Affleck as the bad guy, huh? That’s a pretty great and unexpected surprise. I’m sure a great way to wash off Oscar fairy dust is to get paid to chew scenery in a picturesque location. His character in Runner, Runner feels like the post-Boston, grown-up, smarter version of Chuckie from Good Will Hunting. At the end of this trailer, I was half expecting Affleck to turn to Justin Timberlake and say, “How do you like dem apples?!

Browne: The ONLY problem I have with this trailer is that I know, with full certainty, that Justin Timberlake is not a college-age kid. In the beginning, I couldn’t see past that, but once Affleck showed up and it was clear Timberlake was going to be running for his life the whole time, that complaint left my brain.

Huge fan of Evil Ben.

 

Closed Circuit (August 28)

Silver: Oh, boy! This looks goooooood! Like with a good wine, though, I can’t quite pin down all the flavors. To me it’s a delicious medley of British crime films and all of Alan J. Pakula’s political thrillers, with a hefty side of Bana, Hall, Broadbent, and writer Steven Knight (Eastern Promises and Dirty Pretty Things). These are just a few of my favorite things. Bring it.

Browne: The phrase “From the producers of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is all you need to see. Looks great.

 

Man of Steel — Final Trailer (June 14)

Silver:

MOS

Need I say anything else? (PSYCHED!!!)

(Yes, that is my ticket in front of the Superman cape hanging in my office.)

Browne: I can’t top that, Dan. The closest I can come up with is an After Earth stub sitting atop a Martha Stewart towel. I lose.

 

The To Do List — Red-Band Trailer (July 26)

Silver: Top five reasons I know this film will be awesome:

5. Donald Glover in Cross Colours–esque, stingle-strapped, YELLOW overalls
4. A megaphone-wielding Bill Hader
3. Rachel Bilson’s back! Where have you been?!
2. Clark Gregg and Connie Britton as Aubrey Plaza’s parents. (See note below.)
1. It’s about time whimsical and raunchy retro movies moved on from the ’80s and started covering my formative years as a teen. I can’t wait to egocentrically project my own emotions onto these films.

(Note: What an ingenious pairing in Gregg and Britton. On their own these two are awesome, but together, they’re like two members of the Acting Avengers in a spin-off story. In fact, I now want to see a movie — or, better yet, a TV show — featuring these two as a couple. Who’s cosigning this?)

Browne: I’ve got three more, all Plaza-related:

1. The “pearl necklace … it actually sounds really elegant” line
2. Her skorts
3. “I kissed his nipple … but I don’t know why.”

This subject matter, plus the cast, plus (as you said) Bill Hader with a megaphone, make this exciting.

 

The Family (September 20)

Silver: Given his track record as the world’s no. 1 B-level action-movie writer and producer (the Transporter series, the Taken films, the Taxi series, and various other micro-budgeted orgies of explosions), it would be inaccurate to say that Luc Besson has turned his back on the genre that gave him his start. But the truth is, it’s been 19 years since he last directed an action/crime film. And that film wasn’t just any film, it was Leon: The Professional. So his fans have been waiting a long time for him to return to the genre. And even though the comedic elements of The Family look somewhat wooden (and that’s not a knock on Tommy Lee Jones’s acting style; love that dude), and De Niro’s role appears to be simply a distant cousin of his Analyze This character, I’m still quite looking forward to this movie, simply to see if Besson can bring some vivacity into an otherwise plateaued genre.

Browne: There’s something about Tommy Lee Jones protecting Robert De Niro that I love, especially since I think this scenario has played out in real life once or twice. That’s purely speculative, though.

 

Getaway (August 30)

Silver: This one feels weird. On one hand, Getaway appears to be further building out Ethan Hawke’s solid Rod Serling–esque résumé of self-contained and compelling short-story films — Gattaca, (the remake of) Assault on Precinct 13, Sinister, and this weekend’s The Purge (which looks awesome).

On the other hand, with the inclusion of Selena Gomez, Getaway looks like it could be one of those jokey pretaped bits MTV rolls out during one of its “awards shows.”

Executive: “We need one of those fresh, baby-faced starlets to play against type in this fake trailer we’re producing for the show. You know, it would be funny to see someone so adorable and seemingly sterile try to play ‘hard.’”

I’m not off here, am I? It’s super-weird, distracting, and completely unbelievable seeing her play a street punk, right?

Browne: You’re right. The way she stuck up Ethan Hawke, it seemed like a Digital Short bit using her Spring Breakers character. But it’s an actual movie. Ethan Hawke is the man, and doesn’t make a ton of bad decisions, so it’s hard to root against this film, but I’m not as pumped as I thought I’d be.

Weird is a good way to put it, Dan.

 

Short Term 12 (August 23)

Browne: I’m having a hard time articulating my serious emotions on this film, because I keep looping the trailer and don’t have much time to write. This woman, Brie Larson, is a serious force in this trailer, as I imagine she will be in the entire film. Say things, Dan. I know you feel the same way.

Silver: I’ve liked Brie Larson in everything I’ve seen her in. And although she’s shown hints of dramatic depth (particularly as Kate Gregson in the criminally canceled United States of Tara) I’ve only thought of her as a comedic actress. But with Short Term 12, she appears to show off her range of thespian chops in a big way. As the child of two social workers, I appreciate how challenging her role here is. She’s essentially playing one character with two lives that fuse and separate erratically — the nurturing and positive forward-facing head of a foster facility, and the beaten-down, frustrated, and exhausted caregiver.

A few weeks ago, when writing about the Fruitvale Station trailer, I noted that sometimes a film can function as an indicator that a new talent has arrived. In the case of Fruitvale, I was referring to its writer-director, Ryan Coogler. Simply based on this trailer, I’m going to make the leap one more time and assume the same can be said for Brie Larson in Short Term 12.

 

Insidious: Chapter 2 (September 13)

Browne: Yeah, right …

Silver: Rem, I know you’re not going to be able to make it through this trailer, so let me tell you what you missed.

A lot of creepy and scary shit!

There’s really no clever way to say it: Insidious was, is, and always will be terrifying.

It was the first film to give me nightmares since I saw Alien for the first time as a 9-year-old. So as with any sequel, my fear is that this will in some way tarnish the memory and legacy of its predecessor. However, based on this trailer, I do not think that’s going to be the case here. Like many other great sequels, Insidious: Chapter 2 appears to expand upon the first film and dig down into its events and aftermath. And I can already tell you that the “He’s got your baby!” sequence when viewed in its entirety is going to frack me up for a spell.

 

Blackfish (July 19)

Silver: Sooooo … now I just feel crappy. But I’m strangely compelled to see the rest of this movie so I can transition from feeling awful to severely mad. Nothing like an intense and preachy doc to fill your hot summer nights.

Browne: Even though this doc surrounds a tragedy, this is one of the more interesting and unexpected premises I’ve seen in a while. In the beginning, I thought it would be just another animal documentary about how orcas migrate or echolocate. Did not expect a revenge murder thriller. Fascinating. Definitely want to learn the whole story.

Filed Under: Liam Hemsworth, Man of Steel, Movies, Trailers of the Week

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Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

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