Big Bang Theory is this decade's Friends. The Inbetweeners, a parochial sitcom that celebrates average to nerdy high school boys, has been so successful in the UK it is being remade here. Forget the Venice Biennale, Documenta, the Olympics or even Burning Man. If you want to witness the defining cultural event of our era go to San Diego Comic Con. In such a world why wouldn't the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series be the cornerstone of every pre-teen boy's library? But leaving aside the ongoing emasculation of Western menfolk, the Wimpy Kid's central premise, that self-deprecation is the MacGuyver of embarrassing situations, will always make perfect sense. Between the ages of 10 and about 30, most male lives are little more than a series of embarrassing situations, one after the other, and the sooner a fellow gets a grip on that, the better. The trailer for Diary of a Wimpy Kid Dog Days, the summer special episode, illuminates this fact of life with sunny wit and suggests the movie may be a powerful educational tool for any child, male or female.
What year is this? 1976? On the basis of the trailer it looks as though 360 has ignored the 36 years of cinema since Star Wars and instead promises a '70s-style intelligent film about adult relationships. Lending their not inconsiderable skills are the ever-maturing Jude Law, Rachel Weisz, so good in director Meirelles brilliant take on Le Carre's The Constant Gardner and even Sir Anthony Hopkins, with both eyes, and apparently giving a rare, muted performance. Gorgeously international, 360 is also the latest take on La Ronde, Arthur Schnitzler's play of sexual manners from the beginning of the last century. A bourgeois favorite (Sam "Skyfall" Mendes's Donmar Warehouse version, The Blue Room, is still recalled breathlessly), Schnitzler's play this time gets a Peter "The Queen" Morgan makeover, and you can almost smell the class.
A mysterious and alluring product, the trailer for The Babymakers suggests the movie is either the new 40 Year Old Virgin or the horrible thing you would expect from the director of Club Dread almost a decade on. Hope may be held out for the former since there are a couple of exceptionally good low sperm count gags in here, the cast is uniformly sharp and appealling (Olivia Munn should cherish her shot at being the new Christine Keener), and if it ends with an adoption rather than a fertility miracle it will have served a very useful function.
Celeste and Jesse Forever, on the other hand, looks as though it may be in the category of romantic movie as emetic. Who doesn't love the daughter of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton? The one who recalls Margot Kidder in her prime? And isn't everyone agreed that Andy Samberg was one of SNL's finest alumni? So why throw away all that good will on this witheringly saccharine trailer for a movie about a couple who split up but who come to realize they should be together after all? In the trailer's favour a very cool music track runs underneath throughout, the kind of dreamy modern electro pop Nicholas Winding Refn would use to score the scene of someone cutting someone else's face off in an empty discotheque.
Twenty years ago sushi was a relatively big deal. Back then there were even people who reacted badly to the idea of eating raw fish. You really had to make an effort it find it too. You couldn't get it just anywhere, you had to go somewhere interesting: San Francisco, New York, Melbourne, Japan even… In 2012 prettily decorated pieces of dessicated raw fish are delivered to you in your supermarkets, in corner stores, and on ghastly little conveyer belts in every town on the planet. Blue fin tuna is the collateral damage and this trailer for Sushi: the Global Catch explains the mechanics of why there won't be any for much longer.
Christian Slater seems to star in a lot of movies that somehow escape wider attention these days and though Soldiers of Fortune will probably be no exception it is certainly one of the most novel. A bunch of millionaires get the chance to play Call of Duty for real because they have paid to take part in an actual mercenary mission. It’s the ultimate video game and Christian is the hard-boiled vet hired to train them. (Bit of a stretch, yes, but you did just read the premise, right?) As a post-modern comment both on movies such as The Wild Geese or The Dogs of War and on contemporary American foreign policy this could be an amusing if broad satire.
In the endless and eternal season of remakes of movies that do not require remaking Total Recall seemingly has the appearance of being aware of its own abject redundancy. Besides the overt mirroring of key scenes, key dialogue, even the logo font, the evidence is mostly there in the casting. You have to wonder how many A listers were asked to consider filling Arnold Schwarzenegger's boots before Colin Farrell agreed to take the check? And sultry as Kate Beckinsale struggles to be, who would ever compare her to Sharon Stone sweating through a fight scene in a spandex tennis outfit? Perhaps only Beckinsale's husband, Len Wiseman, coincidentally the director of this film. Wiseman also saw fit to combine the Sharon Stone character with that of the original movie's chief thug, thereby comparing his wife's capacity for villainy with that of Michael Ironside, a man for whom the flapping leather trench coat may have been invented. What you end up with is a tribute act, a cheesy, unambitious time filler for the undemanding, at least according to this trailer.
(Mash ups by Mac Smullen)