What’s the best month for movies? Is it January or February, when the stream of awards contenders elevates the class of the multiplex for a brief period? Maybe May or June when the big blockbusters quite literally explode onto our screens? Well, based on the quality of what didn’t make this list, as well as what’s on it, one of the most interesting months of the year must be September. If you were to ask me why, you’d probably be expecting some form of in-depth analysis, which may be asking a bit much for my poor little brain at the end of a hard week – maybe it’s because we’re coming into festival season, the third of the great film seasons of the year, or maybe it’s because it’s the first month of the year ending in “ber”. Basically, I’ve got nothing.
What I have got, though, is a stack of quality trailers for you this month. As I said, the quality of what’s on the list is matched by what’s not. Some trailers, including those for Drive (which I have seen, and is, as the youngsters say these days, amazeballs) and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy will appear on my separate run-down of the trailers for the films I’m seeing at the Cambridge Film Festival this year. In addition, I’ve already seen Kevin Smith’s Red State, which I liked, but you probably won’t; there’s the British film that everyone’s talking about, Kill List, which apparently you should see as cold as possible, so I’m not going to inflict the trailer on you; the match up of one of the actors of the moment, Michael Fassbender with up and coming actress Mia Wasikowska, both playing in the dangerous regional English accent territory that Anne Hathaway fell foul of recently; and Tom Hardy / Joel Edgerton testosterone fest Warrior, which got very good reviews from the people that saw it at the secret screening that I failed to get into. Sorry, readers.
Still, plenty to get your teeth into here. Enjoy.
I’ve now seen four of last year’s Foreign Language Oscar nominees, and my favourite is still Dogtooth. That slice of Greek oddness made my top ten of the year last year, strange, occasionally brutal, uplifting and original. The emphasis is on the strange, because after the French New Wave, we’re apparently now having the Greek Weird Wave. Excellent.
Friends With Benefits
A couple of years ago, the biggest curiosity about this trailer would have been to see Justin Timberlake acting, but The Social Network put paid to that novelty. No, the real talking point here is Mila Kunis, who seems to have been converted from the throaty shoutiness of her roles as whiny Jackie on That 70s Show and Meg in Family Guy to a convincing romantic lead on the back of snogging Natalie Portman. It’s a hard life sometimes, isn’t it?
One of the lesser delights of my recent trip to Empire Presents: BIG SCREEN in August was some of the studio presentations. Where other years we’ve been presented with lots of unique footage and famous guests, a couple of the presentations appeared to consist of a mixture of trailers and poorly assembled PowerPoint presentations. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the trailers weren’t then all being played again in front of the films showing all weekend. To my eternal shame, I only worked out the piece of music in this trailer on the third viewing.
Crazy, Stupid, Love
I’ve been a fan of Steve Carell ever since The Daily Show, and I’m sure anyone who recognises the phrase “I love lamp” will similarly be a fan. But while romantic comedy might feel like safe territory for Carell, it feels remarkably conventional for someone so accustomed to left-field choices as Ryan Gosling. But this is from the writing talents of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who brought us I Love You, Phillip Morris, Bad Santa and, erm, Cats and Dogs. Forget I said the last one.
It’s impossible to list in one short paragraph the things that make me smile about this trailer. From The Stath jumping out of a window while TIED TO A CHAIR to Clive Owen’s frighteningly efficient moustache to the twangly guitar music playing over the explosion montage, the fact that Robert De Niro is actually the least exciting thing about this trailer says it all. Outstanding.
Kiefer Sutherland looks like he’s wandered onto the set of entirely the wrong film, but channelling the spirit of Jack Bauer, has decided to give it a go anyway. If he doesn’t at some point completely lose it and tie Kirsten Dunst to a chair, shoot her in the leg and then repeat sentences with increased levels of shouting, I might be a mite disappointed. (I miss 24 – can you tell?)