The Coen Brothers
If there’s one thing you can say about 2014, it’s that it follows 2013 in chronological order. If you can say two things, it’s that we’re going to get the normal mix of bloated blockbusters and art house gems. 2014 will see another Tom Cruise action movie, two more Marvel films, another edgy David Fincher literary adaptation, Spike Jonze’s Oscar-botherer with Joaquim Phoenix, Lars Von Trier’s five hour sex epic, Christopher Nolan’s latest epic, the most Wes Anderson-y Wes Anderson film ever, another slice of Iranian life from Asghar Farhadi and big screen outings for Postman Pat, Paddington and Pudsey the dog, among a host of others.
If sequels are your thing, then feel free to choose from the Muppets, Rio, The Amazing Spider-Man, 21 Jump Street, The Purge, How To Train Your Dragon, Transformers, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, The Inbetweeners, The Expendables, Sin City, Paranormal Activity, Nativity, Horrible Bosses, Dumb And Dumber and Night At The Museum. We’ll get the penultimate Hunger Games and the final Hobbit (probably). There’ll be cinematic interpretations of Lego, the Need For Speed franchise, another Godzilla, Disney spin-off Maleficent, Mrs. Brown’s Boys, Hercules and The Equaliser. You can get two X-Men casts for the price of one, and if none of that appeals, then maybe you deserve Untitled Vince Vaughn Movie, due for release in October.
But that’s all to come. Before that we have to navigate January, and the host of Uncle Sam’s leftover awards contenders that make compiling end of year lists so confusing. Here’s my most prominent trailers for the first month of 2013: The Sequel.
To start with, a trailer that was a phenomenon. Showing before almost every film I’ve seen in the last two months, seemingly crossing almost every demographic line, there’s one inevitable occurrence every time this has screened: almost every one in the cinema chuckles briefly when Morgan Freeman jumps out of the window. Comedy gold.
12 Years A Slave
I saw this on Thursday, and my review will follow in due course. All I’ll say for now is that I was staying in a hotel for work, and I had to sit and have a pint in the hotel bar when I got back in an effort to stop my hand shaking. Steve McQueen has now made three films of outstanding quality that blur the line between art and film, without compromising each other, and for my money there’s no one making films today that have quite the emotional power of McQueen. (Although I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Robert Redford when I heard the name of his film dropped.)
The first documentary pick of the year, and it’s one brought to you by magicians Penn and Teller. I never thought I’d ever see Martin Mull and David Hockney in the same trailer, but there you go.
The Wolf Of Wall Street
Picked this film out in my Half Dozen of the year in December as the best trailer for a 2014 film; this is the more recent trailer. If trailers were directly proportional to the length of their films, this should have been about ten minutes. The first Scorcese I ever encountered was Goodfellas, which I fell in love with by reading the screenplay before I even saw the film; I can only hope the favourable comparisons are justified.
Inside Llewyn Davis
If I was making a top ten of working directors, Steve McQueen and Martin Scorsese would likely be in there. The Coen brothers would certainly be in there, and they’re on a hot streak at the moment. But if you had to pick seven films that represented the Coens, would you have picked the seven listed out in the trailer?
If your film hasn’t appeared in the awards nominations, putting a caption up in your trailer saying “This January” is tantamount to saying “Come and see this if you can be bothered” or “Welcome to the cinematic dumping ground”. Maybe, in the fullness of time, the quality of high budget action movies will have risen to the point where they can be shown twelve months of the year. On this evidence, it will be at least 2015.