A good movie trailer is hard to find. With only two minutes to create a world, populate it with characters, set a mood, introduce a conflict, sell the audience, and tease them – all while avoiding cliche – the precise construction of a trailer becomes an art in itself. And because we hate to see art go to waste, Trailer Park collects the best trailers for this week’s releases and the poor trailers that get lost between the cracks of the Internet in order to excite you about things you didn’t know you should be excited about.
Trailers of the Week:
Sound of Noise
It’s hard to tell, at first, what these six anarchist musicians are after with their rhythmic bank-robbing crime spree, but only when its too late do you realize that what they’ve stolen is our hearts.
With its snappy editing and catchy Stomp-like music that makes inventive use of the environment, the trailer for Sound of Noise is probably my favorite so far this year. This Swedish-French film has been playing at festivals since 2010, but since the perilous journey from Sweden to America takes approximately two years, the reels have only just arrived for a domestic release that is scheduled for this March. The reviews so far look solid, and given the combination of Sweden’s underrated reputation for music and France’s uncanny ability to be quirky without being insufferable, this film looks very promising.
This Indonesian action film from Merantau director Garth Evans received overwhelming praise from both critics and audiences at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, earning comparisons to John Woo’s Hard Boiled and the recent wave of kick-ass Thai martial arts films. The rights have been snatched up for an American remake, but until then, we’re stuck with this lame original that seems to feature brutal yet well-shot action, a dedicated and talented martial arts stunt team, and the efficiently badass premise of an elite police team trapped in an apartment building with Jakarta’s most dangerous criminals. I guess I’ll just wait for the new one.
The Suicide Shop
The adorable and the macabre are together once again and Tim Burton is nowhere to be seen, though I imagine he’s lurking in the shadows shedding a single tear at the missed opportunity. This animated feature, directed by Patrice Leconte, tells the story of a family that runs a prosperous business selling suicide equipment in a city where everyone is depressed, until their routine is shaken up by the latest addition to the family: the happiest, most hopeful child in the world.
Based on the darkly comedic 2006 French novel by Jean Teulé, this adaptation seems to be preserving the original’s approach and tone with a unique animation style so perfectly suited for the material that I’m surprised that this even was a prose novel and not a comic or picture book.
Theatrical Pick of the Week:
The Forgiveness of Blood
It’s Oscar weekend. Why are you going to a movie theater? Stay at home, watch TV. This is a relatively weak week, with releases that include Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds, the Amanda Seyfried thriller Gone, that Navy SEALS movie Act of Valor, and the Paul Rudd-Jennifer Aniston comedy Wanderlust. While Wanderlust could be a solid comedy, with Rudd rejoining his Role Models and Wet Hot American Summer director David Wain (who also has tons of comedy cred for creating The State and founding the trio Stella), the trailers and promo materials all feature incredibly bland and broad moments that barely qualify as comedy. Surprisingly, Jennifer Aniston doesn’t really seem like the go-to person to blame here.
So instead, my pick for the week is the latest feature from Maria Full of Grace director Joshua Marston. The trailer isn’t entirely clear about the premise, but this dark coming-of-age drama set in Albania revolves around a family’s eldest son and daughter who get caught in the middle of an escalating blood feud when a neighbor is killed in a dispute. The neighbor’s family invoke a centuries-old law that demands the life of the son, Nik, as repayment, so while he’s forced to remain in hiding to protect his life, the daughter, Rudina, is left to take over the family business.
I last saw this trailer before A Separation and realized they shared the same sort of appeal – both movies rely on simple premises to escalate into complex situations and conflicts between family and law. Though this trailer seems to give half the film away, the last 40 seconds, with the teases of big dramatic moments, show there’s still a lot of tension and milage to get out of the story. But that was pretty clear the moment that law came into play. There’s never been a time where the invocation of a centuries-old law hasn’t made matters worse.
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Here at WeLoveCult, we love cult, just not those other kinds of cults, but we might love a good movie about those other kinds of cults, which is why Sundance favorite Martha, Marcy, May, Marlene is this week’s DVD pick.
In the psychological thriller, Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) is a girl dealing with something much more confusing than the above paragraph. After fleeing from a cult, she tries to start a normal life with her family again, but finds it increasingly difficult to deal with her paranoia as she continues to believe she is still in danger. From what I’ve heard the trailer apparently makes the film look far more thrilling than it really might be, but in either case, it’s a well constructed tease from that intriguing opening phone call to the underlying creepiness and the subjective way those cult flashbacks keep uncomfortably seeping into the present.
Also out this week on DVD are Tower Heist, J. Edgar, The Son of No One and London Boulevard, but does anyone really care?
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Written by Tarun Shanker (@tuna365)
After tragically losing his childhood innocence by watching Steven Seagal kick a man under a train in Under Siege 2: Dark Territory, Tarun emerged from the shadows to graduate from NYU with a degree in Film & English and become a mild-mannered New York City assistant by day and a… More »
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