This week’s crop of trailers is the strongest in a while, with four movies that look like pretty solid executions of their respective genres: action, caper, drama, and tearjerker. Which ones are you excited to see?
Plot: You don’t get much from this FX-heavy trailer, but the official logline says the movie’s about a rogue cop (Mark Wahlberg) bent on avenging his murdered family.
Looks like: Jason Bourne rents an apartment in Sin City.
Verdict: Apparently Mr. Payne’s not a big talker. The first third of this eerie trailer has exactly four lines of super-ominous dialogue, and the rest is a word-free collage of shadowy, slo-mo action shots (a few of which feature some kind of winged manbeast thing). Are we really supposed to decide whether or not to see this movie based solely on its lighting? In which case I give it a big fat Maybe.
ROCK N ROLLA
Plot: A mobster (Gerard Butler) and an accountant (Thandie Newton) get tangled up in a twisty plot that puts them at odds with London’s criminal underworld.
Looks like: The inbred offspring of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch.
Verdict: I’m kind of torn on this one. On the one hand, I know that this is a Guy Ritchie movie. And as one of the handful of people who subjected himself to the two-hour crotch-grabbing montage that was Revolver, I’m aware that Mr. Madonna doesn’t always deliver the goods. But something about the oddly fizzy chemistry between Butler and Newton makes me think this might actually be kind of…fun. Maybe Guy’s due for a comeback?
Plot: A lightweight TV host (Michael Sheen) gets in over his head when he lands a historic interview with the recently impeached Richard Nixon (Frank Langella).
Looks like: My Dinner with Richard
Verdict: It’s nice to be reminded that a trailer doesn’t need nuclear detonations, screeching hot rods, or back-clawing sex to be totally riveting. Ron Howard’s adaptation of the award-winning play by Peter Morgan (The Queen) is an early Oscar favorite, and this preview makes it seem likely that Frank Langella will become the second actor (after Anthony Hopkins in Nixon) to score an Oscar nom for tackling Tricky Dick.
THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES
Plot: A troubled teen (Dakota Fanning) and her caregiver (Jennifer Hudson) are taken in by three sisters (Queen Latifah, Jennifer Hudson, and Alicia Keys) in 1964 South Carolina.
Looks like: A big budget installment of Oprah Winfrey Presents.
Verdict: Wow. Little Dakota Fanning’s not so little anymore – but she hasn’t outgrown her acting chops, judging by the convincing sobs in this trailer. Hudson, Keys, and Latifah also make a strong acting troika, although part of me would rather just watch video of the three of them doing karaoke at the wrap party. Is that so wrong?
I pass the mic to you, PopWatchers. Does Max Payne look like a pleasure? Whose secrets are you more eager to hear: Richard Nixon’s, or some southern Bees’? And is Rock N Rolla music to your ears, or just noise?