Half way through the year, and it’s been a mixed year so far. A decent amount of five star films, but the quality layer below that has been slightly thinner than in previous years, so the second half of the year has a fair amount to make up for. But as well as the midpoint of the year, July marks another milestone: it’s the fiftieth Half Dozen that I’ve written for the blog.
Fifty collections of trailers, from the monthly specials to Superbowl reviews, annual lists of all the trailers I’ve seen at the Cambridge Film Festival and FrightFest and even a Tony Scott obituary special. From the highs of annual award winners including The Social Network, Submarine and The Imposter to the lows of fantastically cheesy trailers such as Killer Elite and Elephant White, it’s now become a monthly ritual to watch every trailer for films coming out to try to find the cream of the crop, and even if no-one reads this, then it’s helped me to uncover a few cinematic gems I wouldn’t have otherwise tried.
But if you are reading this, then you’ll be expecting some trailers, and to mark the 50th anniversary I’ve not only trawled through the whole of July, but picked out the most enticing trailers for each month for the rest of the year.
Clearly inspired by The Artist, because no other movie has ever been made in black and white or without sound, Blancanieves translates as Snow White. Yep, it’s a Spanish Snow White with bullfighting, and if that’s not enough of a hook for you, you may wish to check your pulse to see if you’re still alive.
Long time readers of the blog will know that I like my blockbusters big, dumb and full of fun; I’m a fan of Independence Day and not ashamed to admit it. I can remember a friend telling me he didn’t get on with that particular film after the first act and the trailers had a more serious vibe and then it laid on the cheese, but in my view you can’t really do something of this scale without a bit of Stilton or Wensleydale. Early reports suggest that might not be the case, which will be a cheesy shame.
We Steal Secrets: The Story Of Wikileaks
The second documentary of the year from master documentarian Alex Gibney, this follow up to Mea Maxima Culpa will hopefully be distinguished in one key respect – hopefully I’ll actually manage to catch this one.
The World’s End
Two trailers were released for this, the upcoming closer to the informal Three Colours Cornetto trilogy. One has a casual voiceover from Simon Pegg, but this international trailer has the full-on voiceover man, and you’ve never heard someone make the words “pub crawl” sound quite so incongruous. (Although, looking for ideas of what to do for my 40th next year, maybe finding four mates to do a 12 pub crawl? Perhaps a 12 cinema crawl is more my speed.)
If you, like me, have a high tolerance for kooky and mumblecore, then you’ll very much be looking forward to the latest from Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig. If those names strike fear into your heart, you’ll be turning this trailer off after around 10 seconds.
I bear the scars of battle. I’ve seen X-Men: The Last Stand. I’ve seen X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I wasn’t looking forward to this one at all. Yet somehow this trailer has, just about, revitalised my interested, and I will be very cautiously optimistic come the end of the month. Also, just in case you weren’t convinced, here’s Hugh Jackman to really sell it to you. If the star of his own movie thinks it’ll be good, who am I to argue?
Plenty of potential for August with the Alan Partridge movie, Matt Damon and Jodie Foster in Neill Blomkamp’s latest Elysium, a Morgan Spurlock doc on One Direction and a David Bowie exhibition on film. But the one which has me most in anticipation is the critical Marmite that is Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest. Luke Evans dropped out to be in The Hobbit, giving us another dose of brooding Gosling. Tasty.
Only God Forgives
The list for September was looking thin, to say the least. Richard Curtis and Roland Emmerich unleash their latest, and Ron Howard has Formula 1 biopic Rush, but for me the Cambridge Film Festival always dominates September, and the opening film was announced this week. The star of The Simpsons, Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Big Bang Theory will also be in attendance, all being well. (I once saw him at the local Cineworld watching Atonement, so this isn’t quite a big a deal as it could have been.)
As well as more Oscar bait in the shape of Tom Hanks starrer Captain Phillips, October has a veritable feast of fantasy and sci-fi, with the adaptation of Ender’s Game, the sequel to Thor and this stunning looking space drama from Alfonso Cuaron, which many (myself included) will be hoping can live up to Children Of Men.
The eleventh month of the year is due to see the release of Cannes winner Blue Is The Warmest Colour, Ridley Scott attempting to redefine all star cast with Cormac McCarthy scripted The Counselor and the latest instalment of the Hunger Games, but my pick is Joseph Gordon-Levitt, proving that if anything’s good enough for Hugh Jackman, it’s good enough for him.
Hobbitses? Jack Ryan? Pointless Oldboy remake? Keep them. There’s only one film in December I’m truly looking forward to, and it’s as smooth as a thirty year old scotch and as dumb as a cat in clown outfit. Say whaat?
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues