We now inhabit a world where every creature on Earth is programmed to covet the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd. The new TV series Smash could not be more hotly anticipated, and only those poor and sorry people with normally developed critical faculties cannot appreciate Glee. This week's mashup of Don't Go Into the Woods and Joyful Noise (above) rehearses the theme that movies about putting on a show sing the same song every time, over and over, until hell summons. This is the real meaning of Friday the 13th.
Judging from the trailer, Joyful Noise is Satan's template for a stage musical in three years time, tops. Teaming Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah in a plot devised exclusively to serenade Broadway's cash registers can only be the work of the Dark Lord. Apparently the story of how a white male Glee reject, Dolly's nephew, rescues a gospel choir while falling in love with a junior relative of Queen, it is a very specific fantasy. A painful running gag has Queen making endless cracks about Dolly's plastic surgery and culminates in her grabbing the much, much smaller woman in a headlock. Queen really can be a terrifying figure, though in truth Dolly is a no less terrifying figurine. Syrupy arrangements of classic pop songs suggest tears are anticipated as the movie credits roll, though not from Queen, who may not be capable of them, nor from Dolly, who may no longer have the necessary ducts.
If the words " 'Michael Biehn gives one of the best performances of his career'—www.quietearth.us" do not ignite a small flame of joy in your heart then you've been nowhere near a cinema these past three decades. Appearing halfway through the trailer for The Divide, they tell us all we need to know and more about what is evidently some post-apocalyptic '70s disaster-exploitation-flick tribute. Filtered through a torture-porn aesthetic and starring a suitably B-movie cast (Rosanna Arquette, Milo Ventimiglia), it is properly exploitative, and given the promise that "Michael Biehn give one of the best performances of his career," you have no excuse for not knowing what to expect. You could not sue this trailer.
Strange quixotic creature, Mark Walhberg. Some kind of genius in Boogie Knights, Three Kings, We Own the Night, the undervalued The Fighter and of course this; horrible in The Happening, Max Payne, and now, apparently, Contraband. A running and jumping and shouting trailer, this has Marky Mark as a former bad guy unable to pronounce the letters "l" and "r" yet forced to commit a heist one more time while promising a wretched time to anyone who threatens his fammy.
Were you wondering who the next Bradley Cooper is? Judging from its trailer, Loosies, written by and starring Peter Facinelli, hopes it will be Peter Facinelli. He's pretty good, running around and being charming and wicked at the same time, but whatever charisma he has is pounded out of your memory by even the briefest glimpses of the ghouls-gallery supporting cast. One look at Vincent Gallo, William Forsythe and even Michael Madsen, and it's Peter who? Unless you are fan of Twilight movies, in which case you'll know exactly who he is, but then you will also have those special critical faculties reserved for fans of Glee.
The latest Disney cartoon to be reanimated in 3-D is Beauty and the Beast. Notable upon its release 20 years ago for the swooping cameras flying from the rafters into the arms of the rotoscoped dancers, there is at least a vague creative rationale for this other than the pure joy of throwing money into the mouse's pocket.
Don't Go Into the Woods may well be brilliant. If you recall Vincent D'Onofrio impersonating a stack of cockroaches animating a human skin in the first Men in Black movie, then you know that here is an artist well capable of invoking terror and hilarity in the exact same moment. The title tells you everything you need to know other than that the jackasses going into the woods are a ghastly emo band ambushed first by their uninvited girlfriends/groupies, and then by a mysterious tall figure with a heavy blunt instrument. From the off you are on the side of the mysterious tall figure with the heavy blunt instrument, and never more so than at 0.57. This is when the lead emo appears to suffer an aneurysm brought on by singing outside his range. Perhaps D'Onofrio's darkest joke is that it's hard to tell whether or not the emo knows quite how ridiculous he looks at this point, at least according to this trailer.