The Half Dozen: 6 Most Interesting Looking Trailers For October 2013

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October’s always an interesting month for me, not least because I normally enter it with a little bit of cinema fatigue. Not being tired of the films themselves, you understand – that ain’t ever gonna happen, sister – but because each September I spend eleven days effectively living in a cinema for the Cambridge FIlm Festival. This year I saw thirty four films, two programmes of shorts, wrote seven reviews for another website (Take One), did four Q & A hostings and two interviews for radio show Bums On Seats as well as appearing on both Bums specials during the festival, which finished last Sunday. And I’m still trying to write up my own adventure at the festival. Let’s just say I’ve slept very well this week.

But that always leaves me with a bit of a quandary: a lot of the films I see at the festival are advance screenings of films which then go on general release subsequently. However, there’s still so much new stuff on release as well that I can also happily make a selection of films as well. So this month I present the best of both worlds: you can either take my views on six films I have seen, where I can offer you an opinion on the film itself, or you can take the trailer only option, where I’m as in the dark as you and we’re judging on just the trailer. Take your pick.

Films I’ve already seen at the Cambridge Film Festival

Camp 14: Total Control Zone

The harrowing story of an escapee from the North Korean regime, my memory of this is a bit hazy – mainly because it was shown at the 2012 Festival – but I’m sure the version I saw was subtitled and not dubbed with someone attempting to talk so slowly it sounds like they’re reciting Coldplay lyrics. Hopefully if it is the dubbed version in distribution it won’t be too much of a distraction, as this was an effective combination of haunting animation and one man’s attempts to get his life back. The Actual Score: 8/10

The Crash Reel

Along with A Story Of Children And Film, the best documentary I saw at this year’s festival. I was a fan of Lucy Walker’s previous work, but was completely unprepared for the power of the story of snowboarder Kevin Pearce and his and his family’s attempts to come to terms with a traumatic brain injury. It’s a rare documentary that can actually leave you with a knot in the pit of your stomach, but The Crash Reel paints a desperate picture of young sports stars putting themselves in real danger for our entertainment. The Actual Score: 9/10

The Pervert’s Guide To Ideology

The Pervert’s Guide To Ideology is a follow up to The Pervert’s Guide To Cinema. When I went to see it at the Cambridge Film Festival with a Q & A, the audience was asked how many had seen the previous film, and there were almost no hands. I’d be interested to see how many people will return to it off the back of this; there’s some interesting ideas at work and the ties between the film clips and the theorising are solid, but it takes a strong constitution to be lectured at for two hours and ten minutes without a break. You may be longing for the days of an intermission. The Actual Score: 7/10

Sunshine On Leith

This was the first of two surprise films at this year’s festival, and generated reactions from excited to “Worst. Film. Ever.” on Twitter following the screening. There’s three things for me: if you’re opposed to The Proclaimers on general principle, this isn’t going to do much to change your mind; dramatically it’s a wash-out as LITERALLY NOTHING HAPPENS for the first 50 minutes; and a week later, I’m still singing the songs. But I once came within a whisker of doing “500 Miles” at karaoke once, so I’m not the best judge. The Actual Score: 6/10

Machete Kills

Playing as part of the FrightFest strand at the Festival, Machete Kills is the movie equivalent of one of those pre-teen American beauty pageant contestants – it’s bright, flashy, oddly fascinating and every time you look away it will attempt something even more ludicrous in an attempt to get your attention. It also features an actual grown up beauty pageant contestant as a main character, and Charlie Sheen as the U.S. President. And Lady Gaga. In two different roles. You get the idea. The Actual Score: 6/10

Muscle Shoals

The first of the musical documentary strand I saw at this year’s festival. In fact, of the thirty-four films I saw this year, thirteen were documentaries. I can now talk intelligently about everything from 1920’s French cinema history to the threat to albinos in Tanzania, and that all came from one Wednesday afternoon. This one was about the influence of a backwater American town on a significant proportion of American music. Hashtag educational. The Actual Score: 7/10

Films I haven’t seen yet

Filth

Confession time: started writing this earlier. Seen the film since. Theme comprehensively out of the window. Anyway, McAvoy turns in a career best performance, but Mrs Evangelist suggested the trailer’s a bit misleading in that this goes very dark towards the end. Actually, it goes a bit dark at the start and then gets almost pitch black, but the 18 rating should give you a hefty clue. The Predicted Actual Score: 8/10

How I Live Now

I’m fascinated by Saoirse Ronan, mainly for the fact that she manages to nail a variety of accents and in real life has an Irish accent so thick you could stand a spoon up in it. In twenty years or so I’m expecting the annual Best Actress competitions to be a battle between her, Chloe Moretz, various Breslins and probably Meryl Streep. Streep will probably still win. Legend. The Predicted Score: 7/10

Captain Phillips

Some of my favourite directors have managed to put together fantastic runs of quality, and Paul Greengrass’s Bourne sandwich, with a United 93 filling, would be the equal of most of them. It’s a shame it all came to an end with the crushingly disappointing Green Zone. If ever I was hoping for a return to form, then this would be it, so let’s hope Tom Hanks is also on similar form. The Predicted Score: 8/10

Ender’s Game

It’s Harrison Ford. In space. It’s not Star Wars, but hey, what is? Oh, that’s right, Star Wars. Slightly concerned that Harrison Ford’s now too old and curmudgeonly to be Han Solo, but I will be cheerfully proven wrong in about two years. The Predicted Score: 6/10

Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

Long time readers will know that I’m a fan of the Jackass series. Less long time readers might be heading for the exit now, but I stand by the fact that the three Jackass movies have made me laugh more than just about anything else I’ve seen in the cinema in their respective years. How the same concept will work with a more narrative structure remains to be seen, but the trailer still made me chuckle heartily. The real key is the level of laughs that have been held back from the promo. The Predicted Score: 7/10

Thor: The Dark World

I always look forward to a trip to the cinema with Mrs Evangelist, and if nothing else the Marvel movies have given me a cast iron guarantee of fun for all the family. Confirmation on watching this trailer before Filth today that Mrs E will be up for the latest dose of Disney-branded myth making. Marvelous. (Sorry.) I’m preparing for some form of geekgasm, based on the director of Game Of Thrones directing the Ninth Doctor, very little of which is alluded to in this promo. The Predicted Score: 8/10

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