August 17, 2011

Trailer Watch: Immortals, Abduction, A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas, 50/50, The Woman in Black

The trailer gods have bestowed upon us a stylized trailer for Immortals, filled with Greek Gods and warriors. The contemporary-set action movie also presents a trailer for itself with the Taylor Lautner-starring Abduction. With those, we have a new Harold and Kumar movie, a dramedy starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen, and Daniel Radcliffe’s departure from Harry Potter and into the Horror genre.

Immortals (2011)
Release Date:
November 11th, 2011
Cast: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, John Hurt, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans
Director: Tarsem Singh

Tarsem Singh hasn’t directed a movie in five years, since 2006’s highly controversial The Fall. Immortals looks much more commercial but no less stylized, with the trailer recalling Zach Snyder’s similarly-styled 300 and promises plenty of sword-and-sandals action. Interestingly, the trailer doesn’t sell the movie with Henry Cavill, the future Superman.

Abduction (2011)
Release Date:
September 23rd, 2011
Cast: Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Sigourney Weaver
Director: John Singleton

John Singleton’s first movie was the critically acclaimed, Oscar-nominated Boyz n the Hood. Since then, he’s gone onto more commercial films such as 2 Fast 2 Furious. It’s no surprise, then, that he’s teaming up with Taylor Lautner, of Jacob Black fame, to turn him into an action hero with Abduction. Fellow Twilight classmate, Robert Pattinson, has had trouble with success outside the franchise. Movies such as Water for Elephants and Remember Me performed modestly with critics and box office. Will Sharkboy do any better?

A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas (2011)
Release Date:
November 4th, 2011
Cast: Kal Penn, John Cho, Neil Patrick Harris
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson

After escaping Guantanamo Bay and going to White Castle, A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas ups the ante by not having a location in its title, but a time. This thematic paradigm shift is accompanied by a visual change as well: The use of 3D. The trailer openly mocks the illusion with ping pong balls and hand gestures, recalling the same commentary that Albert Brooks used in the 1970’s. Neil Patrick Harris also resumes his persona as a womanizer, ironically riffing on his real-life homosexuality and genial attitude.

50/50 (2011)
Release Date:
September 30th, 2011
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Anjelica Huston, Phillip Baker Hall, Matt Frewer
Director: Jonathan Levine

Joseph Gordon-Levitt became an established indie star with Mysterious Skin, Brick, and (500) Days of Summer before becoming an action star with Inception. Levitt decided to follow up the mainstream movie not with another blockbuster, but with the dramedy 50/50. The movie is based on the true life story of Will Reiser, the movie’s screenwriter, played by Levitt who, despite living a healthy life, gets cancer and has a 50/50 chance of living. His friend, played by Seth Rogen, tries to help him get back on his feet and deal with his life while he also sees a young psychiatrist played by Anna Kendrick. The trailer smartly plays up the mix of high and lowbrow humor without quite letting the viewer forget that there are serious themes explored in the movie.

The Woman in Black (2012)
Release Date:
February 3rd, 2012
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, CiarĂ¡n Hinds, Janet McTeer, Shaun Dooley
Director: James Watkins

After coming off ten years of Harry Potter, capping it off with a franchise-best MRQE score of 85 for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Daniel Radcliffe is headlining his own movie with an adaptation of Susan Hill’s “The Woman in Black.” The trailer shows off Radcliffe moving away from his Harry Potter persona, ditching the glasses and growing some serious sideburns. Pervading the video's atmosphere is gorgeous cinematography by Tim Maurice-Jones, well-edited to be genuinely scary.

Poster Watch: Carnage (2011)

The French poster for Roman Polanski’s upcoming movie displays the range of its excellent cast – Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, and John C. Riley. The movie is supposed to take place in real-time, with two sets of parents meeting to discuss their children. Confusingly, the actors’ names at the top of the poster do not correspond to the order of the faces, but the poster pops with color and funny expression conveying that the film is intended to be a comedy.


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