Thursday, July 30, 2015

Trailer Review - July 2015

Well, I called it in my last article: If I ended up continuing my sloth-like behavior toward writing up Trailer Reviews in July, this monthly roundup format may become a permanent fixture. A treasure trove of noteworthy trailers hit the scene in the past 30 days, many of which are big-time Oscar hopefuls. So let's go all out snarky on them, shall we?

Official Trailer
Watch It Here

Person of Interest: Michael B. Jordan as El Hijo de Creed, Tessa Thompson as his singer girlfriend, Phylicia Rashad as his mother, Wood Harris as a boxing coach, and Sly Stallone as Rocky Balboa.

Scene Pop: The past and the present.

Effective?: Oh yeah!

Check it Out?: Definite yes. This trailer is pretty amazing, giving us just enough of a nibble of what's to come while treating us to some fan service (Rocky, the re-emergence of the USA shorts). I would have loved it if the makers made a switch and have him as a MMA fighter instead but c'est la vie. This role really could finally, finally be the true breakout, star-making role for Jordan.

Steve Jobs
Official Trailer
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Person of Interest: Michael Fassbender as the titular character, Kate Winslet as Job's possible secretary Joanna Hoffman (that's bull!), Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, and Jeff Daniels as John Sculley.

Scene Pop: Really no scene to pick out because the attention is all on Aaron Sorkin's script.

Effective?: I would go with yes. It shows off the tech advancements Jobs helped engineer and his dark genius personality while also throwing in the melodrama of his personal life in order to attract further viewers.

Check it Out?: Probably a matinee unless the early reviews are absolutely glowing. The performances, particularly Fassbinder, will be noticed come award season and Sorkin brings his usual bite but it remains to be seen if the troubled production was salvageable.

Official Trailer
Watch It Here

Person of Interest: Jack Black as the Garth Marenghi-looking R.L. Stine, Dylan Minnette as generic white teen hero, Odeya Rush as Stine's daughter, Ryan Lee as some extremely annoying kid, and Amy Ryan as the talented actress cashing an easy paycheck.

Scene Pop: It's Slappy the Dummy!

Effective?: As a film targeted towards kids and trying to reel in the huge nostalgia for the lengthy book series, yes.

Check it Out?: I guess so. A lot of internet old-timers who grew up with the books and the cheesy TV series have been decrying it left and right. I however break away from this pack and think it could be goofy entertainment, especially for those seeking something along the lines of Hocus Pocus. I still hate Ryan Lee though.

Official Trailer
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Person of Interest: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are sisters! And they invited Ike Barinholtz and John Cena and to their house party! But not Maya Rudolph.

Scene Pop: I don't really have one.

Effective?: I sadly have to say yes.

Check it Out?: No. I didn't find anything funny beyond Rudolph's wrestling championship and I'm not even a fan of a female-led version of Project X.

Official Trailer
Watch It Here

Person of Interest: Jennifer Lawrence as Joy, Robert De Niro as her father, and Bradley Cooper as some guy.

Scene Pop: Any of the surreal moments. Take your pick.

Effective?: More towards no. The holiday-like cover of "You Can't Always Get What You Want" matches the melodrama, establishes a good beat for the trailer editor, and perfectly fits the film's target date of Christmas but I really have no idea what the story truly is or really care for it.

Check it Out?: Indecisive for now. It may be a breathtaking movie or a turgid mess of talent.

The Revenant
Teaser Trailer
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Person of Interest: Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy as two woodsmen stuck in the harsh wilderness.

Scene Pop: The possible one-take battle scenes.

Effective?: I would say yes. The drum-breathing tempo is exhilarating and the dark violence works with the peculiar surreal imagery.

Check it Out?: It's from Alejandro González Iñárritu. He gave us Birdman. Coupled this info with the on-going news stories of how the production is still being filmed and suffering from many problems (shocker) and you have yourself either a bonafide fiasco or a worthy film.

The Good Dinosaur
Official Trailer
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Person of Interest: Raymond Ochoa as the boyish titular dino and Jack Bright as his human friend.

Scene Pop: The firefly scene.

Effective?: Yes, even though the editor forcibly shoved a fist-full of emotion up my ass to make me care for this product.

Check it Out?: If you have a kid, yes. For everyone else, your mileage may vary. The cartoonish look of the characters doesn't really gel with the high-end realistic backgrounds for me and again, I need a plot or conflict to truly suck me in.

Official Trailer
Watch It Here

Person of Interest: Daniel Craig as James Bond, Léa Seydoux as the new love interest, Christoph Waltz as Blofeld mk. 2, Dave Bautista as his henchman, and Ralph Fiennes, Naomi Harris, and Ben Whishaw in their new usual roles.

Scene Pop: "It was me, James. The author of all your pain."

Effective?: Yes, though it is an averagely edited action trailer.

Check it Out?: Definitely. It will be the last Bond film in quite a while now so you might want to see in theaters while you have the chance.

The Night Before
Official Red-Band Trailer
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Person of Interest: Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Anthony Mackie as three best buddies. Plus, you Lizzy Caplan, Mindy Kaling, Jillian Bell, and a cameoing Miley Cyrus.

Scene Pop: Got to go with the Kayne West take on Big; I love me some "Runaway."

Effective?: Yes. It tells you the simple plot, show off a few set-pieces, and has plenty of drug humor and pop songs to entice you.

Check it Out?: If you're in for some counter-programming for the holiday season, it looks to be a worthy ticket.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Official Red-Band Trailer
Watch It Here

Person of Interest: James Badge Dale, John Krasinski, and Max Martini are three of the six military specialists to help save Americans in 2012 Benghazi.

Scene Pop: "From Director Michael Bay"

Effective?: Has some generic trailer tropes but the jingoistic, Call of Duty vibe makes it engaging.

Check it Out?: On the fence at the moment. Bay is a wild-card director and he doesn't work well with historical violence (Remember Pearl Harbor?). Its mixture of Black Hawk Down and the later works of Bigelow make it appetizing but I can't quite tell yet if it will be another "America, Fuck Yeah!" film.

The 33
Official Trailer
Watch It Here

Person of Interest: Antonio Banderas as the head of the trapped miners, Lou Diamond Phillips as a concerned foreman, Rodrigo Santoro as generic Latin hero, and Cote de Pablo as somebody's wife.

Scene Pop: Nothing.

Effective?: No, no, no. This trailer is too laughable to take serious. I mean come on, the usage of "Say Something"?

Check it Out?: No. General audiences may be fooled into seeing but I can not right now. A 2015 script where a miner has a baby on the way and another is two weeks from retirement? Over-emotive dialogue that should have been cut out of the first draft? How can you expect this to be good?

Other trailers to consider: Brooklyn has Saoirse Ronan torn between her new home in NYC with an Italian boyfriend and her previous life in Ireland; Mississippi Grind has Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds travel from casino to casino to win big; and Spotlight looks to be a really good newspaper drama yet despite the juicy topic of the Boston Catholic sex abuse scandal and the usage of a slow cover of XTC's "Dear God", it does come from rapidly fading writer-director Tom McCarthy.

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