Guys like Paul Giamatti should always be considered for a role like Mr. Hertz, the cantankerous, darkly pragmatic hitman who’s chasing Clive Owen in Shoot ‘Em Up. (Other guys we’d love to see play a hitman: Richard Schiff, aka Toby Ziegler from “West Wing,” and Tony Shaloub.) But they rarely are. Too slumped, too bearded, too old, too ethnic. But then comes Sideways and a sudden bankability, or at least the realization by the rest of the fucking world that Giamatti totally owns, and suddenly he’s A-list where he always should have been.
Don’t show emotion. This plot trick is not as kick-ass as a pair of lizard-spying X-ray specs, the sort strapped to the righteous face of Roddy Piper in the confirmed Detour classic They Live, 1988’s own remix of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. But it keeps Nicole Kidman alive long enough to start piecing together and outwitting those citizens contaminated by the evil galactic spore brought to Earth by the fiery crash of a space shuttle on the Eastern Seaboard.
There are three trailers floating around for The Kingdom, director Peter Berg and producer Michael Mann’s tale of an FBI team sent to Saudi Arabia to nab the men who bombed an American housing compound. All three are similar. Set up the players, including Jaimie Foxx as the leader, Jennifer Garner as, well, as the evidence technician who looks awkward firing an HK MP5 submachine gun, and Chris Cooper as the cantankerous old bastard with perpetual heartburn and knowledge of the terrain, and then reveal that — what do you know? — the Saudis don’t want the Americans poking around, things go wrong real fast, and rocket propelled grenades start screeching from every doorway.
Eggshell blue, slate gray, maize, and orange gerbera, a hangdog mustache — the opening of the trailer for Darjeeling Limited tells us Wes Anderson’s admiration of washed-out color schemes or outmoded facial hair hasn’t changed in the layoff from 2004’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. All of Anderson’s films have at times seemed cobbled together from Continue reading “New Trailer: The Darjeeling Limited”
Production design, lighting, cinematography and a director’s vision are all firing at once when effects and quiet manipulation can make our world look not like some fantasy landscape, but an older, more mundane and brutal version of itself. In the opening shots of the American Gangster trailer, we see a New York City of the grim early 1970s.
The grindhouse has been ground, and porno horror trend is dying a slow, horrible death. Zombie movies still own, but those are retreads, too. That’s why Detour is throwing its flat-brimmed hat into the gothic Western fantasy ring. Paul Thomas Anderson is directing Method man Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will be Blood, and now there’s this, a remake of the 1957 film about a war of wills on the frontier. James Continue reading “New Trailer: 3:10 To Yuma”
Paul Thomas Anderson is on his way back. But it seems that, since we last heard from him with 2002’s Punch-Drunk Love (aka Adam Sandler’s First Quest for Legitimacy), PTA has been possessed by the “Deadwood” soul of David Milch. This advance trailer for There Will be Blood shows us little – an accident at an dusty, early 20th century oil well, a crying baby, quiet shots of a man watching the accident Continue reading “New Trailer: There Will Be Blood”
Who is that man talking to? The Internet? Wait a minute, podcasts are recorded to two-inch tape? Who has a reel-to-reel adapter for iMacs? Oh: “At a radio station in a time of change…” Martin Sheen, who’s increasingly making that “suckin’ it in” face that the contemporary William Shatner does so well, tells the (always awesome) Chiwetel Ejiofor to turn his station around. And the man to do the turning? Don Continue reading “New Trailer: Talk To Me”
Night, neon, bodypainted women and cars that are both fast and furious. This is undoubtedly a dark underworld that’s ruled by fear. Oh, wait. “In a dark underworld ruled by fear…” Gangland murders, close-quarters explosions, and Honchos Who Have Sinned getting out of vehicles with conviction. This will end badly for them. “Until a lone assassin…” Come on. A lone assassin? Really? Is he going to be caught up in a deadly game of cat and mouse with the partner he betrayed? Or maybe get caught up in an erotic love triangle? Wait, wrong cliche.
From the producers and writers of two films that really shouldn’t be referenced as proof that this one is any good, either comes Rise: Blood Hunter. Not Underworld: Evolution, though there’s plenty of gunmetal blue and stainless steel in the morgue shown here. And Lucy Liu is dead. Or she’s alive. Or she’s alive again. Or maybe this is the sequel to BloodRayne. Or maybe she’s just a woman who answered a Craigslist post for “miscellaneous romance.”