Trailer Tuesdays: 10 Pounds of Epic in a Five Pound Bag

Cinematographer Jack Cardiff, 1929

There is only one word to describe the multitude of trailers rolling out this week: epic.  Stunning visual effects, powerful film scores, and, most importantly, long run-times, are what make audiences flock to the theater summer after summer.

Honestly, it was hard for me to narrow down this week’s selection, but I have included as much as possible.  This week also brings two new features designed to break up the monotony of Hollywood blockbusters.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II

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As a fan, I couldn’t be more excited about this trailer.  I literally watched it three times in a row.  Honestly, as much as I love these books, I have always been cautious of the film franchise.  Terrible pacing and poor character development were what was normally found in the Harry Potter films year after year, almost as if they were never designed to stand alone, but made exclusively for people who where already fan of the books.

But splitting this last book into two parts was a brilliant move.  Even though it was most likely purely a marketing move to milk this franchise as long as possible, having two feature films has finally given the screenplay the room it needed to breath and to take the time to explore the relationships between the characters that make this fantastic world believable.

Looking directly at the trailer itself, we find it properly utilizing this new “epic trailer” structure that has been emerging recently, which consists of a 90 second theatrical trailer which ends with a dip in the music and poignant one-liner, only to explode into the final minute of epic montage footage set to the most powerful moments in the score, purely for the sake of being flashy.  It is almost like the trailer is saying, ” This movie is too epic.”

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Click here to see the trailer

When I first saw the teaser for this film last year, I was confused because it almost looked more like a bad remake of 2001: A Space Odyssey than the next Transformers movie.  But what is most surprising about this newest full theatrical trailer just released is that it actually looks good!  Unexpected, I know.

It is actually a really well produced trailer, which a fantastic score highlighting the dip-to-black titles at the beginning.  So will this film actually be good?  Probably not, but the visual effects are sure to be nothing short of mind-blowing.  The best choice that this trailer made was not showing any of the new female model/ lead, played by Victoria Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, trying to act.

Bottom line: I’m sure this is going to be a 2 1/2+ hour film with laughable dialogue and passible-to-terrible performances interspersed with some great robot fight scenes.

Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai

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Even though there is not much to this trailer, if you know what you’re looking at you have plenty of reason to be excited.  From legendary director Takashi Miike, most famous for Ichi the Killer, one of the most disturbing yet groundbreaking films of all time, as well as 13 Assassins which as recently been released on a limited theatrical run in the US, this film promises to deliver not only some beautiful and original cinematography, but also a compelling story.  And of course some bad-ass samurai fights.

Guilty Pleasure Film of the Week:

One Day

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Honestly, this trailer took me a second viewing to see the potential in this film.  What ultimately gave this film a second chance for me was it’s director, Lone Scherfig, who recently made An Education, a brilliant but overlooked film with remarkable performances and compelling storytelling.

If this film is going to have anything, it will have some decent chemistry between it’s two talented leads.  Anne Hathaway, who is always brilliant and in everything she does, despite her surprisingly mediocre accent in this film, is sure to connect well with Jim Sturgess of Across the Universe, who seems like he’s matured quite a bit from his usual boyish roles.

The only really surprising thing in this trailer for me is Scherfig’s choice in for the female lead.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m always down for some Hathaway action, but I would really like to know why Carey Mulligan wasn’t cast for this part.

Documentary Corner:

Cameraman: the Life and Work of Jack Cardiff

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I’m just going to cut to the bottom line for this: this film is going to be amazing!

This film is for any filmmaker who has put their eyes through a lens, any film lover that has enjoyed a beautifully composted shot.  This film is about a remarkable man who has literally shaped the way we watch movies and has been behind the camera of some of the most iconic films in the last 60 years.

This film is sure to not only be a look inside the artistic process of filmmaking, but also a look inside the human soul in search of capturing something beautiful.

Other notable trailers of the week:

Immortals

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Even though I know there is a huge market for this film, I have to admit that I am genuinely not down.  This film looks like the cross between Kanye West’s “Power” music video and 300.  It’s sad to see how Zack Snyder has become a genre all to his own.  Be prepared for bad acting and all the best shots being ruined in this trailer.

Make Believe

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If you are into inspirational documentaries, or even secretly into magic, then this is the film for you.  This film is sure to showcase some truly talented kids as well as take an interesting look into a career that most people rarely think about.

Page One: Inside the New York Times

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This film was picked up by Participant Media this year at Sundance.  In this day and age of instant communication and Twitter, it is important to think about how journalism and the way we get our news everyday has changed, even just in the past few years.

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