Tag Archives: movie trailer

On being brave

lionI almost didn’t see Lion.

From the trailer, I could tell the movie had the dreaded Disney structure:

Child has a beloved family. 

Child is ripped from his beloved family within the first five minutes.

Child spends the rest of the movie looking for his beloved family.

Let’s face it — that story line is hard enough to watch when little cartoon characters are involved; I wasn’t sure I could stomach it with real people.

And I wasn’t altogether wrong.

But this true story — and the actors who portray it — are so compelling, I couldn’t have looked way if I had wanted to.  It is heartbreaking and life-affirming, all at the same time.

And I hope, in the course of my life, I can be one-tenth as brave as that little boy.

 

 

 

 

 

I spy a fun film

I finally saw The Man from U.N.C.L.E. today.

I’m so glad I didn’t let the critics dissuade me.

Since the stylized spy thriller opened counter to Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, critics seemed hell-bent to compare the two.  I’ve seen both; there’s really no comparison.

MI:RN was a wonderful sequel in the Mission Impossible franchise, but the storytelling and action sequences are distinctly modern. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. is a homage to the 1960’s television series, and the look, feel, pacing, soundtrack — you name it — are true to that era.

I also loved the very dry, British humor that director Guy Ritchie brought to the production. I’m not sure everyone in the theater today got it, but that simply made me feel smarter…and laugh all the louder.

As the trailers promised, everyone in this film is beautiful to gaze upon. Russian spy Armie Hammer is deadly gorgeous, especially in the close-ups, and American agent Henry Cavill is so chiseled, he doesn’t seem realistic. Hugh Grant has also never looked better. He should hire the hair and makeup people and keep them on staff.

I loved Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and I loved The Man from U.N.C.L.E. 

I am so complex.

Monster mash

One of the first movies that kept me up at night was a version of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein that I saw during my grade school years on a late night ‘creature feature.’

I’ve searched IMDB.com to no avail, trying to locate the specific retelling. But I do have a memory of the final scenes — Dr. Frankenstein destroying himself and his monster. And the monster says, “Well done, master.”

No wonder I had nightmares.

There’s yet another remake of the classic story, starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, coming out at Thanksgiving time .

This one looks like as much fun as fright. I’m in!

Impossible not to

spy posterAre you excited about Melissa McCarthy’s new action comedy Spy?

I am. The critics are. (It’s received a crazy fresh score — for a comedy, no less — on RottenTomatoes.com.)

I’ll bet you are, too.

But I feel we have to give some credit to Tom Cruise, who has starred in some of the big action films that McCarthy and director Paul Feig are lampooning. You may hate his personal life and his religion, but who cares? His films are epic.

Have you seen the trailer for Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation?

I’m going.

Scare tactics

I saw the movie Whiplash last night, and found it extremely compelling.

Are you planning to see it? Here are a few things you should know.

Whiplash-5547.cr2

 

  1. It’s not about jazz.  They play music, sure…but the selected songs — even the title track — are simply vehicles for the story.  The film could have just as easily taken place in the world of sports or the culinary arts.
  2. It is about abuse. The relationship between a music student and his no-holds-barred instructor — portrayed with gut-wrenching intensity by Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons — is difficult to watch. Teller is attacked emotionally and physically at every level, and like a hostage in a kidnapping incident, has a twisted love/hate relationship with his captor that boggles the mind.
  3. It’s hard to watch. In the theater where I saw the film, there were several horror movie trailers that preceded the feature presentation.  I found that odd until I saw the film.  There are definite similarities.

 

ImPressed

Back in June, I discussed Eric Devine’s young adult novel Press Play, which has since been published in October.

press playIt tells the story of a high school student who accidentally captures footage of the violent hazing practices of the lacrosse team while filming his documentary film project.

I was impressed by Devine’s idea to create a book trailer — like a movie trailer, but for his book — and display it at the local movie theatre in his home town of Waterford, New York.

A film features prominently in the book, and Devine is using the movies to promote it.

Devine’s book trailer was played multiple times before the films, inviting viewers to purchase Press Play at the mall bookstore where the cinema is located.

I think this is inspired.

Even better — Devine saw my blog post about his book trailer and was nice enough to share a link so we could all take a look:

Thanks Eric — and congrats again on the book and your brilliant marketing campaign!  Can’t wait to read it.

 

 

Star gazing

This morning was grey and rainy, so I decided to go see Guardians of the Galaxy.

Guardians-of-the-GalaxyI didn’t think the trailer looked that interesting, but all the critics were singing its praises…and a few friends who attended the first showings loved it, too.

So, off I went.

If you love Chris Pratt from Parks and Recreation and have been on the fence, go see it.  This is a superhero film infused with his trademark sense of humor.

Bradley Cooper is also hilarious as the voice of the raccoon.  And the talking tree, who can only speak four words, will become a favorite.

I have to admit, though, one of the most gut-wrenching movie moments in the theater today was seeing the trailer for Interstellar for the first time.

Wow.

Coming soon

I began the third class of my publishing certificate at NYU tonight.

The instructor, a literary agent at a boutique firm here in New York City, was describing some of the ways authors have promoted their books above-and-beyond their publisher’s efforts.

press playEric Devine gets my vote for most creative.

His young adult novel Press Play is being published in October.  It tells the story of a high school student who accidentally captures footage of the violent hazing practices of the lacrosse team while filming his documentary film project.

Devine had the idea to create a book trailer — like a movie trailer, but for his book — and display it at the local movie theatre in his home town of Waterford, New York

On an agreed-upon evening, Devine’s book trailer will air multiple times before the movies, inviting viewers to purchase Press Play at the mall bookstore where the cinema is located.

I think this is inspired.

A film features prominently in the book, and Devine is using the movies to promote it.  He’ll probably get local publicity for this unique angle, too.

I wish I could go watch!

 

Costner can

Kevin Costner does good sports movies.

Field of Dreams.  Bull Durham.  Tin Cup.  And my personal favorite, For Love of the Game.

draft day posterSo his latest filmcentered on the day of the NFL draft — had me at the trailer.  Costner may not deliver in every film (Waterworld comes to mind), but when it comes to sports  —

I believe.

And Draft Day does not disappoint.

The NFL was squarely behind this movie, so all the teams are real franchises.  Costner manages the Cleveland Browns and wheels and deals with teams like the Seattle Seahawks.  There are so many cameos by NFL players and ESPN announcers, you kinda forget it’s a movie; it certainly looks like the actual draft that you’ve seen on TV.

The only clunky part for me is the romantic relationship.  While it can be an integral part in films like For Love of the Game, here Costner’s scenes with co-star Jennifer Garner grind the action to a halt.  While she certainly has reason to distract him, you have to wonder why a sports fan like her would.

It’s draft day, for cripes sake!

 

Take your hands off my lobby boy!

Reason #873 I love New York City:

The 10:00 am showing of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel was two-thirds full.

budapest lobby

Perhaps because we have all been watching the trailer for this beautiful, whimsical, fanciful film in theatres for almost a year.  And every time I’d think, “This looks so much better than the movie I’m getting ready to see!”

(Many of those times people in the theatre would clap, so I think they agreed, too.)

The best news? The film lives up to the trailer.  In fact, Budapest is, in my opinion, Anderson’s best movie to date.  The world he creates has the exquisite detail you expect and an amazing array of characters both real and remarkable.

But Budapest is a bigger yarn than Anderson typically tells.  While his Europe is a fictional one, some familiar dark elements surface that give its message more import.

And I want to go on record now — the film’s title song deserves an Oscar nomination. So does Ralph Fiennes, for a pitch perfect comedic performance.

Or should I say…on the nose, Lord Voldemort?