Trailers of the Week: This Is the End, Turbo, The Place Beyond the Pines, and More
Evil Dead — Full Red Band Trailer (April 12)
Silver: My brain is flopping around my skull like a Jell-O ring riding a go-cart down a bumpy hill. That was 2:22 of unrelenting terror, horror, and gore. And the highest form of praise I can loft onto it is this – I know the 1981 Evil Dead intimately, and am genuinely pleased that this remake is staying relatively true to the original narrative and that it’s even incorporating some of the more iconic set pieces. And yet, from what I’ve seen in both this and the red band teaser released back in October, I still feel truly terrified and in the dark about this remake. The primary thoughts that ran through my head before I began typing this post were, Even though my wife is a big fan of the original, she is a little squeamish — do I dare drag her to this turned-up-to-11 version? and If she doesn’t go, am I brave enough to see this on my own? (And if I do see it on my own, do I then have to become one of those creepy dudes who sit in the handicapped seats in their oil-stained sweatpants eating popcorn crumbs off their washing-machine-faded Rorschach T-shirts?) But for my fellow Deadites, we should continue to take comfort, because aside from expanding upon the groundwork laid by October’s equally good teaser, we did get two more indicators that we should stop worrying and continue to get excited about this film.
1. The demon vomit (@ 1:09). It’s as merciless and gratuitous as the original’s. It’s nice to see that get worked into this one.
2. The structure. Both the teaser and this trailer are paced and arranged similarly to the 1981 film. It has an ominous but measured start, mixed with moments of terror, then alternating calm and horrifying moments, which builds till the terror fully takes over.
I cannot wait for this film to swallow my soul.
Browne: Wow. This is how we’re going to start the year? With a HORROR FILM RED BAND? I want out of 2013, right now. This is a horrible sign. These should be illegal. I’m installing parental controls on my Internet. Everything is horrible.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (March 15)
Silver: This unfortunate and unfunny trailer quickly knocked The Incredible Burt Wonderstone off my “Most Anticipated” list for 2013. After seeing it, I was left with the feeling that this film was basically going to be Death to Smoochy lite. Simply flip drama for comedy, slide in Steve Carell, swap out Williams for Carrey (who at 2:00 recycles one of his best gags, the “Half Time” bit from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective), add a comparably stacked supporting cast seemingly well suited to handle the film’s quirky conceit, and — voilà — you have today’s version of Death to Smoochy. My hope is that the strength of talent, both in front of and behind the camera (the script is from the writers of Horrible Bosses, and the film is directed by a guy who has helmed and/or produced 88 episodes of 30 Rock), will ultimately outweigh this incredibly weak trailer.
Browne: I’m not as miffed by this trailer as you are, Dan, but the plot is essentially the magic version of Zoolander, but without Billy Zane. (BILLY ZANE BETTER BE IN THIS FILM.) So yeah, I hope it has a trick up its sleeve or else I’m turning it off and re-watching Hansel, Mugatu, Derek, and Katinka Ingabogovinanana for the 213th time.
Turbo (July 19)
Silver: Turbo’s vast and unique voice cast — Snoop Dogg/Lion, Luis Guzmán, Bill Hader, Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Pena, Ken Jeong, Maya Rudolph, Michelle Rodriguez, Ben Schwartz, and Paul Giamatti — might be the only thing that gets me to the theater, because right now, all I see is a Dreamworks mash-up of A Bug’s Life and Cars.
Browne: Get all those people in a human movie and I’m there. Animated short about slugs and racing? No chance. Great use of “The Distance” by Cake, though.
The Place Beyond the Pines (March 29)
Silver: Blue Valentine wrecked me. I thought it was brilliant, but have not been able bring myself to sit through it again. And from simply seeing the line, “From the Director of (said film),” I felt myself slowly slipping back into my BV-induced depression. But this is a different movie, and should be measured on its own merits (although based on what we see in this trailer, I could be convinced that this is the sequel to Drive). The high-angle shots of the tree-lined road evoke a Miller’s Crossing sense of foreboding, and based on his previous work we know that writer/director Derek Cianfrance knows how to elicit emotion from some of the more sensitive and intriguing aspects of the human condition. As a longtime fan of Eva Mendes, I’ve always wanted to see if she could hold her own in a legit drama role with some meat to it. If Bradley Cooper’s performance in Silver Linings Playbook is any indication of the increasingly reputable trajectory of his career, when combined with Gosling’s more “bankable” performance (filled with sullen, droopy, puppy-dog-eyed stares), in 10 years we may look back at this on-screen duel as this generation’s Godfather: Part II.
Browne: Bold statement you just made at the end, Silver, but you’re not completely crazy. This film looks awesome. I didn’t move for the entire trailer, which is rare, and was genuinely disappointed when it ended. This is one of those trailers that you see and want to immediately go to the theaters for the film. The words “Coming Soon” are my arch nemesis right now.
Dead Man Down (March 8)
(Note: Start this clip at 0:27, when the “Trailer for the Trailer” ends and the actual trailer begins. Sheesh! Hollywood needs to stop this practice now.)
Silver: A new film noir from Niels Arden Oplev (director of the Swedish The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) starring two of my favorite working performers is fodder enough to get me appropriately stoked for Dead Man Down. But what intrigues me the most about this film comes during the billing block section at the end of the trailer (2:55). You’ll need to squint, but one of the companies listed right next to Original Film, IM Global, and FilmDistrict is WWE Studios. Yep, the same guys who bring you SmackDown are now producing legit movies. And from the look of it, if this is the kind of film they’re backing, I’m all in favor.
Browne: Sure, super-slowed-down scenes are slightly cheesy, but good LORD is this an exception to the rule. It also doesn’t hurt that a cover of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is complementing the super-dramatized action. I’m in, even with that horrible stunt at the beginning.
A Good Day to Die Hard (February 14)
Silver: If the great Alan Rickman could have prophesied that his seemingly insignificant elevator talk with Joseph Takagi (“Nice suit”) would, years later, become the basis of the most overbearing, banal, schizophrenic Hollywood marketing campaign in recent memory, he probably would have opted not to hum Ludwig Van’s ninth symphony.
Browne: This preview came on before Django, and when it was over, people laughed. I was one of those people. Because it’s just a big bag of laughs. Laughing at laughs.
This Is the End (June 14)
Silver: I only see two paths for This Is the End. It will either become another joke title, à la “Oh that was Gigli bad,” or “That film just Adventures of Pluto Nash–ed it,” and of course, “[Sigh], Battlefield Earth,” and go down in cinema history as one of the most self-indulgent films ever made (co-written, co-directed, and co-starring Seth Rogen, based on a short film he co-wrote, co-directed, and co-starred in). Or, the insane glut of funny people who pop up in this film will place it just behind It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World as the greatest comedy ensemble movie ever produced. There really is no middle, it’s either/or. I believe it’ll fall to the latter. Even though many of these guys haven’t been at the top of their “Funny Money” game of late, they’re usually at their best when they’re all working together. There were some good laughs in this trailer. I giggled at the back-and-forth between McBride, Hill, and Franco. And even though This Is the End seems to shares some similarities with my no. 1 most anticipated film of 2013, Edgar Wright’s The World’s End, I’m really rooting for it to be great.
Browne: This is the film I’m most excited for right now. I’m watched this long trailer (and the trailer before the trailer) 10 times in the past week. McBride is incredible. Michael Cera is dead. Everything is fantastic.
This will be great. The only thing better than posse rap tracks are posse comedy movies, and I believe this will be to 2013 what “Mercy” was to 2012.
Vehicle 19 (2013)
Silver: Paul Walker is smarter than he looks (or sounds). He’s realized that audiences only care to see him on film if he’s in, near, or put himself in a situation where he could get into or near a car. So Vehicle 19 is a good move for him. This whole thriller takes place IN a car. He’s clearly taken “stay in your lane” literally.
Browne: I can’t make a comment more on point than your “stay in your lane” observation, so I’m going to sit this one out. With that said, congrats, Paul. Can’t wait until your next film, when you play the role of a “check engine” light.
Pain and Gain (April 26)
Silver: Rem, due to its unlucky release date, we were on trailer vacation when everyone else got to squeal in ecstasy over the release of this trailer. But this gift from the trailer gods is far too good for us to not get a word or two in.
As far as I’m concerned, this is one of the top 10 top five trailers ever made. Even though I’m fairly certain I’m going to love the actual film (it looks like Bad Boys and Bad Boys II Bay, not gigantic robots and Pearl Harbor Bay), I can watch this trailer over and over, each time with equal enjoyment (and don’t think I haven’t). It’s the cinematic version of a Halloween “Fun Size” candy bar. And there’s one moment that, no matter how many times I see it, never ceases to make me laugh. After a barrage of slow-motion, low-angle mayhem coated with syrupy and booming music, at 2:04, like the characters, the trailer breaks for a “pump.” It’s the commitment by Wahlberg and Johnson to play the scene delusional and detached that makes it so hilarious. And the cherry is Johnson’s delivery of the lines, “That’s it. It’s good. It hurts. I know it does. That’s it. Get it.” As if, no matter what turmoil their life is in, at that moment, his job is to be back at the gym, pushing his buddy to get big. I doubt this moment will play the same in the final film, but it’s this sense of humor and treatment of the action that just kills me. I cannot wait for April 26.
Browne: I love the fact that it’s hard to tell if this is an action comedy or a comedy action film. Dan, you’re right, Bad Boys is really the closest thing to compare it to, but with Pain and Gain, we get THREE GUYS, not two. And then, as a cherry on top, there’s Monk. I can’t wait to tell my mom there’s a Monk movie, and then drag her to Pain and Gain. So served, she’s about to be.