Seen The Avengers? Good. So, here are your options for movie watching this week as they have presented themselves in trailer form. Mashup by Sara Gardephe.
Oren Peli's Paranormal Activity 3 is supposed to be pretty good, which makes sense. The first looked like a proof of concept rather than an actual movie, and the second was obviously a swift cash-in. With a bit of time and money, things had to improve for what was essentially a really good idea. Chernobyl Diaries is Peli's next step toward making a proper movie, but it's not such a good idea. It's spam in a cabin, but the cabin is Chernobyl, the city devastated in 1986 by the world's worst ever nuclear meltdown. Here's a video. Too soon for an exploitation flick, some say, but in the end, Chernobyl is simply the backdrop to a trailer that could be for just about any teens-in-trouble horror movie ever made.
Speaking of 1986, welcome back, Emma Thompson. She's taken over from Rip Torn as head of the Men in Black operation, and to an undemanding ear her accent suggests sensitive authority. That's appropriate enough since the romantic plot, as everyone knows by now, is to do with Will Smith rescuing the love of his life, Tommy Lee Jones, from non-existence. MiB2 failed because it was played solely for gags. This trailer for MiB3 suggests there's gratifyingly more going on than a Rick Baker creature feature and a couple of pratfalls. Once again, there's no Rip Torn, damn it, but Josh Brolin seems an appropriate substitute.
Cowgirls n' Angels is apparently a sun-drenched fantasia about a kid who wishes to compete in rodeos. Producers of the movie, designed exclusively for female children who like horses, would have been able to predict its revenue take to the dollar before a single frame was shot. The trailer simply lines up its attractions: non-threatening but chipper girl child, horse, handsome boy, more horses, sunshine, lots of it, and as an aging cowboy, James Cromwell. Well done, pigs, well done.
Want the definition of arch? Watch the trailer for Moonrise Kingdom, the story of a couple of 12-year-olds who fall in love in some faded Kodak-tint version of the '60s. Doesn't mean the movie doesn't look brilliant, but divested of the connective tissue between the various scenes of smarty-pants kids and megastars playing baroque comedy versions of themselves, it is in danger of setting your teeth on edge. Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton and Ed Norton are from the tier of actors you might expect to join one of those parties director Wes Anderson and Bill Murray throw every once in a while.
Demonstrating that hipster losers with personality problems are not solely the provence of Brooklyn, New York, and Hoxton, London, Oslo, August 31 is seemingly the story of one day in the life of a miserable Norwegian incapable of turning his life around. Only the constant punctuation by plaudits from critics raving about the film offer any recommendation to anyone unimpressed by the opportunity to stare at modernist Scandanavian architecture and glum faces for 90 minutes.
OC87 is a film about real mental illness and, uniquely, is made by someone who has both OCD and Asberger's. You're immediately thrown into what it is like to see the world through Bud Clayman's eyes, as shots of him on the bus or shaving in front of the mirror are accompanied by a voiceover expressing his paranoid thoughts. A compelling if not entirely attractive fellow, Clayman is at the very least a sharp manufacturer of trailers, since this brief catalog of craziness certainly leaves you wanting to know more.
France has this dreadful reputation as far as multiculturalism goes, so it is encouraging that according to the film's publicity, the entire population has seen The Intouchables five times and it is their favorite film ever. The story of a multimillionaire paraplegic and the Senegalese immigrant who cares for him in his own rough-and-ready way, this could have been mawkish drivel, but there are more laughs in this trailer than in all of the comedies made by Adam Sandler in the last decade. In addition, there's a role for Audrey Fleurot, an essential component of the superb ensemble cast of Engrenages, a super-sharp Parisian cop show that, sadly, will never find an American broadcaster. Too bad, but Well Done the French, at least according to this trailer.