As the ancient Knight Templar once told Indiana Jones, “You must choose, but choose wisely.” With our new weekly trailer roundup, we aim to help you sift through the noise and set realistic expectations for upcoming films, so this doesn’t happen to you. Headed to the movie theater this weekend? Here are the new trailers you might miss while waiting in line for popcorn.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Based on John le Carré’s novel, TTSS comes off in this new trailer as a twisty, Pakula-esque espionage thriller and a “Who’s Who” of male British thespians. Pre-release buzz points to the film being a contender for end-of-year awards (it’s pretty much guaranteed a bunch of BAFTA nominations). But what’s most exciting is the return of the brooding and slightly twisted Gary Oldman. And for those who can’t wait until next spring for more of the BBC’s brilliant series Sherlock, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy also stars Sherlock himself, Benedict Cumberbatch.
Swinging With the Finkels
On the flip side, Cumberbatch’s partner Watson (better known as Martin Freeman) may want to do his best to distance himself from Swinging with the Finkels if this desperate-seeming first trailer is anything to go by. There are certain cinematic rules which this film is clearly in violation of. The three most glaring: 1. Never put Mandy Moore in a movie; 2. Don’t put Jonathan Silverman in movie either, unless his costars are Andrew McCarthy and a dead body; 3. Hitting Jerry Stiller in the groin with a sex toy is not funny.
Ralph Fiennes makes his directorial debut with a contemporary adaptation of the Shakespeare tragedy. A risky choice for a rookie outing, since the Bard has never much translated into box office. But based on the visuals and tone established in the trailer, it appears Fiennes has given the film everything he could to buck this trend. He’s assembled a stellar cast of pretty much every British actor who wasn’t in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
If audiences mistook Anonymous for a Michael Bay period film, they might not be far off. Bay’s German doppelgänger Roland Emmerich helmed this opus, and it’s safe to assume his ability to get it made owes mostly to the fact that his nine previous movies grossed a combined three billion dollars. The logline: “A political thriller advancing the theory that it was in fact Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford, who penned Shakespeare’s plays.” Shakespeare would probably skip this in favor of Coriolanus.
Shut Up, Little Man!
Scripted movies, with their long dramatic plot arcs, are difficult to condense into two-minute trailers that accurately represent the finished product (see the original one for Rise of the Planet of the Apes). But documentaries are made up of thousands of small pieces that all coalesce into a film — a photo here, a piece of archival material there, a newly shot interview in between. As such, doc trailers usually tend to paint a more accurate picture of what they’re advertising. So after watching the trailer for Shut Up, Little Man! — about the audio recordings made by Eddie Lee Sausage and Mitchell D. of their arguing neighbors — it’s easy to get excited for something this seemingly unique and hilarious.
Queens of Country
Don’t expect Queens of Country to play your local multiplex — this little flick will most likely go straight to VOD. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a try. The plot involves line-dancing competitions and the search for the owner of a missing iPod, and it features The State’s Joe Lo Truglio as a woman. If that isn’t enough, the lead role is played by the hilarious Lizzy Caplan (Party Down and True Blood).
Daniel Silver is the Director of Development for ESPN Films. Follow him on Twitter at @Danielsilver11.