A number of high-profile trailers have been released in the past few days, so it seemed like a fitting time for rundown of what we can expect to see in the coming months. That is, a lot of Jude Law.
Release Date: September 9, 2011
Contagion looks a bit different from what I expected. I thought it would be more of a contained story about the scientists trying to stop the disease. But I am totally down for this sweeping, borderline-apocalyptic thriller. Aside from what seems to be a pretty major spoiler about a character death (I’m sure it happens early in the film, but still), I really like the trailer. I’m not a big Soderbergh fan, but this might be the film that turns it around for me. Law and Damon seem to be going “big” with their performances, but I imagine that will fit better in context. And Hawkes looks great, even just from his one line in the trailer. This looks like a good ol’ fashioned thriller with a top-notch cast, and that exactly what I want it to be.
Release Date: November 23, 2011
Not to be a complete Negative Nancy, but I can’t help but think that this looks lame. Like, really lame. I know it’s based on a kid’s book and is largely aimed at kids, but I was expecting more from a Scorsese film. Not all of his films have to be The Departed, but I thought this would have a little more heft to it. Instead, it seems overly focused on the special effects, which seem copious. Though I was invested at first (partly thanks to Jude Law’s kindly presence), the trailer quickly became a numbing, frenzied mess of CGI. A little “whimsy” goes a long way for me in movies. And though I normally like Sascha Baron Cohen, his character is already annoying me. It looks like a poor man’s Harry Potter. But hopefully Hugo is better than the trailer looks.
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Release Date: December 16, 2011
Even though Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are two of my favourite actors, I was a bit underwhelmed with the first Sherlock Holmes movie. It wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t that…good, either. And it looks like more of the same for the sequel. The trailer doesn’t offer much that is new or interesting (but man, it could sure use some more super slo-mo, right?). I don’t know, it looks okay, I guess, but I just don’t have much to say about it. And are we really reusing the exact same joke again at the end of the trailer? Between this and The Hangover II I’m getting some serious 2009 film-related amnesia this year.
Release Date: March 9, 2012
There are a lot of things that I like about Friday Night Lights. But if I had to pick the most watchable aspect of the show, it would definitely be Taylor Kitsch as the brooding, oddly multifaceted ne’er-do-well, Tim Riggins. So it’s fun to see him get a leading role in The Prince of Persia John Carter. That said, I have no idea what to make of this movie. The trailer was interesting, in a bizarre, hard-to-follow kind of way. IMDB tells me the following: “Civil War vet John Carter is transplanted to Mars, where he discovers a lush, wildly diverse planet whose main inhabitants are 12-foot tall green barbarians.” It also tells me that Samantha Morton, Bryan Cranston, Thomas Hayden Chuch, Mark Strong (gee, do you think he’s playing a villain?), and Willem Defoe are in this movie, yet I spotted NONE of them in the trailer. But I’m still very intrigued by this. It could be an incoherent, overly serious mess of CGI, but moments in the trailer seemed legitimately epic and impressive.
ALSO: I just realised that John Carter is the first live-action film by Wall-E and Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton. Those were two of Pixar’s most visually dazzling films, so that kind of explains visual scope that we see here. I am even more hopeful now.
Release Date: October 14
Monster movies are always in style, so it makes sense that they would reboot another franchise. This time, it’s The Thing, and it stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) and Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom). I’m not a big horror fan, but The Thing actually looks better than I expected. It certainly doesn’t appear to offer anything new, but the whole “who among us isn’t human?” premise is often entertaining. Winstead seems to be a capable leading lady here, and I’m always intrigued by Edgerton (though he didn’t have much to do in the trailer other than look concerned). I won’t be rushing out to see it, but The Thing looks like it could potentially be a cut above the usual horror fare.