Looks like it’s a bridal-themed edition of Trailer Alert.
Ceremony – April 8, 2011
Ceremony, the directorial debut from Max Winkler (yes, son of The Fonz), earned fairly positive reviews at last year’s TIFF, and this trailer makes it easy to see why. It doesn’t look like anything groundbreaking, but it just seems like a really charming little movie. It’s nice to see Uma Thurman back in something that, to all appearances, seems decent. And while Lee Pace is always a welcome sight, his character does seem a bit over the top. It’s sort of like the actor version of Russell Brand’s character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and that seems a bit too strong for an otherwise modest-seeming film. But the real draw here for me is the two younger stars. If you haven’t seen Michael Angarano in Snow Angels or Reece Thompson in Rocket Science, you should definitely check them out. Both films are great, and Angarano and Thompson give hugely charming and touching performances. They’ve both been somewhat absent in the past couple of years, movie-wise, and they seem to be at the top of their game here (especially Angarano, who, to be fair, gets far more screen time in this trailer). This is definitely one that I’ll be watching out for.
Bridesmaids – May 13, 2011
To start with, I love that Judd Apatow (a producer here) is making a film with female main characters. I like that Paul Feig (Apatow’s fellow Freaks and Geeks alumnus) is directing. And I love that the cast includes Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, and Ellie Kemper (not to mention Jon Hamm!). Even though a few jokes in the trailer fall flat (must we resort to bathroom humour?), it looks pretty good. Hopefully this isn’t the thing where they give away all the best jokes in the trailer (hi, Due Date!), but with Wiig (who also co-wrote the film) and her powerhouse comedic chops in the lead, I don’t think we’ll have to worry about waning exuberance. She’s the female Jim Carrey (I said it!), and it’s great to see Wiig finally get a leading role. I’m not completely sold on Bridesmaids, but I’d say it looks pretty promising.
Children’s movies have a bad reputation for their awful dialogue and screeching onscreen pandemonium, but with the success of the Harry Potter film franchise, it seems as though the bar has been set higher. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief (also based on a popular kid’s book series) is clearly trying to feed off some of that good will, and it’s actually largely successful.
Percy (Logan Lerman) is a dyslexic misfit whose mom (Catherine Keener) is dating a boozy loser. But he soon finds out that his social inadequacy is actually a result of the fact that his father is Poseidon, and that Percy himself is a demi-god. The gods have accused him of stealing Zeus’ lightning bolt, and Percy must find the real thief to avoid all-out warfare.
The script is certainly not up to par with the Potter series, but the likeable young cast all do quite a respectable job. Lerman, who first caught my attention for his great work in 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma, gives an appealing performance in his first lead role. But it’s Brandon T. Jackson, playing Percy’s protector, Grover, who steals the film with his comedic charms. Sean Bean, Steve Coogan, and Uma Thurman also all do a great job in their small mythological roles.
Another thing about The Lightening Thief that really worked was the real-world element of the story. Percy and his new found friends embark on a cross-country road trip, which is a blast. Greek mythology is a tough sell in this technology-obsessed world, but director Chris Columbus does a good job of somehow making it all feel current.
Young fans will delight in delight in this smart, fast-paced adventure story, and it makes for a surprisingly enjoyable ride for older audiences who are unfamiliar with the books. The mythological links occasionally feel a bit clumsy, but for the sheer amount of fun that this film offers, it’s certainly worth setting your disbelief aside and getting caught up in its charm.