Tuesday, 10 December 2013

A Trio of Trailers

Work commitments have recently left me little time to dedicate myself to updating here, or even watch many films at all for that matter, and so to make up for the lack of content I thought I'd do a bumper trailer post featuring the trailers that I have intended to look at individually over the past few weeks.

Only Lovers Left Alive
UK Release Date: February 21st 2014

 photo tumblr_mxautb9TLz1rbeeqlo2_250.gif The newest film from director Jim Jarmusch, Only Lovers Left Alive, stars Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as Adam and Eve, a centuries-old vampire couple who have each adapted differently to the modern world. Although I am yet to see any films by Jarmusch, he has directed a handful that have caught my attention and Only Lovers Left Alive did exactly that when the first image and plot information from the film was released online months ago. Unfortunately I've found the marketing for this film a little lacklustre and the trailer is no different.

There's no denying that the cast is impressive. Any film that boasts Hiddleston, Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, Anton Yelchin and John Hurt demands attention and surely carries a promise of quality, yet no ones performance is coming across as particularly interesting in this. Usually I wouldn't expect a fair representation of the quality of acting from a trailer but this one is fairly dialogue heavy and seems reliant on the films concept and the talent involved. The script is also at fault here, with a handful of dull and cheesy lines, but the delivery is none too inspiring either.

The thing I find most frustrating about this trailer is that it just feels a little amateur. The gaudy font and the bizarre fades to a vibrant red screen make it feel less like a polished trailer and more like a fan made effort. On top of this the whole thing is a little flat, with no sense of the crescendo or hype that is expected of a trailer. Tom Hiddlestone's final line in the trailer is frankly confusing as well, I'm not even sure I understand what he means without some context, but it seems to have been used in a similar vein to the epic one-liners that are now commonplace in trailers.

I'll remain hopeful for this project as I can't imagine this cast disappointing me, but for now I am a little disheartened. I also hope the final film isn't as littered with high-angle shots of everybody tilting there heads back, because I've seen enough of those in this trailer to last me.

UK Release Date: May 30th 2014

 photo tumblr_mwmu73u49H1shtqapo1_500.gifFollowing Snow White and the Huntsman Disney's next live action update of an animated classic is Maleficent. I've been a bit wary of this project for some time now. On the one hand Maleficent is my favourite Disney villain and one that deserves as much cinematic exposure as possible and Angelina Jolie is perfectly cast in the role and has looked brilliant in everything released so far. On the other hand, first time director Robert Stromberg is helming the film, and his previous experience as the production designer on Avatar, Alice in Wonderland and Oz The Great and Powerful has made me worry about the potential reliance on gaudy visual effects.

The trailer certainly succeeded in appeasing some of my worries by displaying a very dark, sombre atmosphere befitting the villainess. The effects are certainly in a similar vein to those of Stromberg's previous projects, with the crappy looking wall of thorns sequence looking the least polished, but they are at least darker and more in keeping with the gothic influences that ran through the animated version. The colourful little fairy creatures were the most sigh-inducing aspect of the trailer and I really hope that they are not an indication of what Juno Temple, Imelda Staunton and Leslie Manville will look like in this.

The rest looks good enough to keep me excited. I like the use of what seems to be a single conversation as the only dialogue being sampled. I love Jolie's appearance and voice. I'm less thrilled about Elle Fanning and her OTT British accent, but as I'm sure she'll spend much of the film taking a nap I'm not as concerned about her affecting my enjoyment.

While I'm certain that future trailers will show off much more, I'm not sure I want much more exposed before I see the film in the cinema. My biggest concern is for the appearance of Maleficent in her dragon form and I'm sure that when that is eventually shown in a trailer I will become too fixated on how that sequence looks to go into the film with an open mind. I just really hope they do Maleficent justice.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
UK Release Date: April 18th 2014

 photo tumblr_mxd00ewInm1qjqxmoo1_400.gifIn a year that saw cinema's biggest superhero team-up and the final instalment of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, Marc Webb's reboot of the Spiderman franchise drew the comic movie short straw. Personally, I loved it and found it to hold up a lot better than The Dark Knight Rises on further viewings. I was already excited for a follow-up and when the likes Dane Dehaan, Jamie Foxx and Felicity Jones were added to the cast that excitement increased considerably.

When the trailer for the sequel went live last week I was completely won over. Given the history between Spiderman films and multiple villains I was a little wary upon seeing that Electro, Rhino and Green Goblin will be featuring in this film, but I would be lying if I said my inner 8-year old didn't squeal with excitement over the numerous nods to the Sinister Six. My faith in this film has continuously stood strong after hearing both Dehaan and Shailene Woodley lay great deals of praise on the script. While it's clear that this film is going to have a lot of balls in the air I remain confident that it can all come together brilliantly if done right.

The first shot of Spiderman falling through the air is beautiful, and I'm glad to see that this film looks as strikingly shot as it's predecessor. An international trailer has also made it's way online and showcases some more footage of the Times Square face off between Spidey and Electro, which looks stunning.

I've seen a lot of backlash to this trailer online which annoys me. People seem to have become blockbuster snobs in the aftermath of Nolan's Dark Knight films, and now anything that doesn't aim for  a similarly gritty and pretentious style is deemed unworthy. I'm all for quality cinema, especially when it comes to the blockbuster film, but people need to stop confusing seriousness with quality. These Amazing Spider-Man films may be exploring a darker facet of Peter's past but they're still aiming to be fun, and this looks like a lot of fun.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

The 100

For the last two-or-so months I've been flirting with the idea of putting together a top 100 list. I'd attempted this in the past and failed each time but after spending some time recently talking on here about some of my favourite films I felt that the blog would benefit from having a permanent list, and so this week I have spent most of my time out of work putting one together.

I present, The 100.

I have to stress that this is in no way definitive, each day that I spent working on this list a number of the entries lost and regained their places and it is partly due to this that I also decided not to try and order them. All of the films chosen are personal favourites or films that made me fall in love with cinema, but with every new film I watch there is obviously a chance that a new film could earn a spot. If I do alter the list at any point I will address the changes in my weekly pins post.

I would never attempt to create a list of the best films made, simply because I have not seen every film ever made. This list is just a collection of some of my favourites with an obvious bit of quality control applied as well. There are countless films that I still wish were in there (no films by the Coen's made the cut for example, simply because I haven't seen them recently enough to weigh them up against the others, and I struggled to choose many of Wes Anderson's films over one another) but for now, this is my 100.

As I love all of these films I'm always up for talking about them so be sure to comment here or on the list's page to let me know whether you agree with my choices, disagree with them, or even hate them.