Trailer Roundup (vol. 4)

You know what day it is, folks. It’s Trailer Day!

There’s been a ton of new trailers this week, ranging all over the genre map. Let’s start with the geopolitical thriller The Kingdom:

This is from the guy who brought us the documentary style drama Friday Night Lights (both a movie and a network series). He’s graduated to the big leagues now I guess. His theme looks pretty relevant. It reminds me a bit of Black Hawk Down mixed with Syriana. I’m just hoping that Jennifer Garner doesn’t cry in this one. Sure, she’s a good crier, but that’s become her calling card. Enough of that particular emotion already! Let’s move on.

In the bizarre animation department is Beowulf:

What is Zemeckis thinking? What in the world is the point of animating all your big A-list actors in their own likenesses? I mean, it’s one thing to hire a big timer like Mike Meyers for his obvious voice talent for Shrek. But you don’t design Shrek’s animated character to look exactly like Mike!

Why not just make this movie live action and save a cool 100 million dollars? I don’t get this guy.

Back to the live action world. Next up is The Nines:

Weird, huh? I’ve read nothing but praise about this one. It’s very indie. I’ve also read that everyone who’s seen it has the hardest time explaining it. I love that! And it’s been a long time since I saw a good mystery movie.

Next, Kevin Bacon gets the Death Sentence:

This trailer features that post-rock avant-garde band Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s song “East Hastings” near the end. You can’t miss it — it’s the mashup of big orchestral strings and soaring stadium guitar, all in a dank minor key. It’s been making the trailer rounds lately, first coming out in the 28 Days Later soundtrack. It has since come to aurally represent downward spiral story lines, such as Death Sentence: Father’s son gets killed senselessly. Lady Justice screws him of his legal vengeance on the killer. Father becomes cold vigilante and wages war with the baddies. Fairly predictable territory, but director James Wan definitely has added slick to the canvas. He’s the dude responsible for the original Saw horror. Yeah, that guy. But who knows? You gotta love the degrees of Kevin Bacon. Could be slightly good. Probably will be very, very violent.

Speaking of very, very violent, here comes the 30 Days of Night!:

Ok, so buyer beware. Believe it or not, this one came to us from the comic book world, just like 80% of all the other movies lately. But it’s in the alt-comic sub-genre. The “graphic novel” (a bit of a euphemism for a longer comic book) was really slickly done. The art was surreal and nightmarish and the story is about vampires, so there’s automatically buckets of blood.

Interestingly, the guy that brought us Hard Candy has managed to pull off that visual style here. Looks to be very cool (if you’re into gory vampire flicks, that is)! And while we’re on the subject of avant-garde trailer music, notice that cool gloomy rocking piano at the end of 30 Days? That big gothic sound has become such a staple for this style of movie lately. But I’m a sucker for it. It conveys an appropriate mood of mayhem for that king of movie.

Another possible gore fest is The Last Winter:

This looks heavily influenced by John Carpenter’s excellent, yet freaky The Thing. Same setup: band of scientists in an arctic tundra discover something malevolent in all that ice. Only in The Last Winter, that something is Nature herself. I really dug this writer/director’s debut, Wendigo, that other equally freaky spookfest about the Native American legendary creature. He did a lot with very little, creating mood from a micro-budget. That’s something, so his tundra flick could be good. And really, there’s very few good psychological thrillers left these days, so this could be one to see.

Next up is the documentary My Kid Could Paint That:

Doesn’t that look fantastic?! I love the story, though I knew nothing about the events until hearing of the movie. I just love the whole concept. I mean, how many of us have thought the words of the title before while looking at some abstract art? “Wait, it’s how much? My kid could paint that!” Can’t wait to see this one.

In the sad military drama department, here’s In the Valley of Elah:

This one is based on actual events. You can’t go too wrong with Tommy Lee Jones.

And finally in the epic period military genre is Elizabeth – The Golden Age:

Did you love Elizabeth (the first) like me? Well now she’s got CGI, and lots of it. She’s kicking Spaniard butt by the boat(s)load this time around, and she’s pissed off. Kate Blanchett spitting mad is just guaranteed good movie time.

Ok, that’s it for this week. Until next, go watch some trailers!

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