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Trailer Mash 12-2-11

Two warriors are better than one in this week's mashup of opening movies
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One thing you can say for the Answers to Nothing trailer is that it walks its own path. Certainly it did not fall prey to the recent fashion for giving away a movie's entire plot plus a couple of key spoilers. Far from it. In fact, this is a masterwork in disinformation. After a voiceover tells you that in human relations mendacity is the best policy, a series of incomprehensible sequences run one after the other with such anti-logic they seem to be competing for the title of Least Intelligible Non-Sequitur. The effect is strangely compelling, and were the whole film like this, it might be declared a work of profound genius. Or a Paul Haggis film. But instinctively you can tell that this random edit is accidental legerdemain detracting from a story that will inevitably play out like any other soapy potboiler. "Here's to pain," as one of the characters randomly yet aptly puts it.




Snatch, the Documentary, if you are so inclined, Knuckle looks to be an authentic, brutal and cheaply filmed account of life in the fabled Irish Traveler Bare Knuckle fighting community. You can forget those preening Ultimate Fighting Championship sun-bed addicts, real scrappers fight shirtless and bare fisted on tarmac country roads. It's hard to imagine why a film so evidently to the taste of the download-savvy would get a cinema release, other than that the allure of the subject matter is so primal and that a deeper structure and editorial vision exists beneath what is promised here.




Luc Besson's take on the life of Aung San Suu Kyi, held under house arrest for 21 years and still the biggest thorn in the Burmese junta's side, is here represented in a series of brief tableaux brimming with grace and nobility. Portraying The Lady herself, Michelle Yeoh winces elegantly alongside David Thewliss, who, as her English husband, wears the singular expression of a man born for suffering and vaguely glad of it. The sense is that the entire film will be not much more than much more of the very same.




In his new take on Shakespeare's blood-and-guts tale of political turmoil, director Ralph Fiennes casts himself as the eponymous Roman general in Coriolanus, and with that shaven head and pursed grimace, he certainly looks the part. Among the usual quality Brit thesp. suspects, there is also Gerard Butler lending his Scots tough-guy persona to the general's nemesis, Aufidius. But since the film appears to have been shot entirely in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare drag, rather than the words of the bard falling from Gerard's lips you expect to hear instead: "Placing Claymore," "Enemy Shpotted" and the ever popular "Tango doon."




Michael Fassbender will now appear in one film every week until there is no more electricity. Directed by artist-turned-director Steve McQueen, also responsible for the revered Hunger, in which Fassbender played IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands, Shame seems to be another romp along the moral peripheries and this trailer hints at a saga of dark sexuality involving both Fassbender and his sister, played by cinema's Head Girl, Carey Mulligan. The end card indicates uniform approval from British newspapers and movie magazines, but even accounting for gushing local loyalty, that is probably a good thing.




A Warrior's Heart stars side of ham Kellan Lutz in what might be the best lacrosse movie starring a side of ham this week.




Saw the whole of Yakuza revenge movie Outrage when it was screened at Cannes a couple of years ago, and so, by the spurious rules of this weekly roundup, I should be disqualified from reviewing only the trailer. But this is just too good. First the tease: Stylish shots of black shiny cars and Yakuza raising guns at each other are explained throughout in a totally (and brilliantly) un-ironic '70s-style voiceover. It's as if it were made 30 years ago and has just been rediscovered: Even star and director Takeshi Kitano looks younger than he did in Zatoichi. And if you ever saw the greatness in Kitano's Violent Cop and Sonatine, you're already booking cinema tickets. As for the film itself: good news. It's superb. A cold-eyed portrait of institutionalized violence as a business method, Outrage is stunning to look at, has a fantastic cast of gargoyles, is literally outrageous in the audacity of some of its setups (if you have trouble with dentists, you will have trouble with this) and yet still keeps Kitano's obsidian humor on hand when required. Which is right up until the final few Michael Haneke-esque minutes, when the fact of witnessing all this killing suddenly seems not just grotesque but something to be ashamed of.




Remember how Sucker Punch cast Emily Browning as a suspiciously young fantasy sex object in a movie that, having been formed in the mind of a permanent adolescent with the aesthetic sensibility of a designer of dodgy action figures for the Japanese comic-book market, managed to be the least sexy cinematic experience in recent memory? Imagine the exact opposite. Written and directed by Julia Leigh under the eye of Australian feminist institution Jane Campion, Sleeping Beauty could be just that, at least according to this trailer.