“Blue Is The Warmest Color”– For a film that won the coveted Palme d’Or (Best Film) at the Cannes Film Festival this year, you’d think the people involved would be a lot happier with the outcome of their 179 minute, NC-17 film. As it is, director Abdellatif Kechiche is upset with his lead actress, Lea Seydoux, and has taken to trashing her in the press. Maybe that kind of press does wonders for the box office in France. The trailer itself is very well done, showing us glimpses of the two main characters and how they end up together. My hope for this film (based on a comic/graphic novel) is that it succeeds as a deeply emotional love story, and doesn’t gain a following simply for the well publicized, 12 minute lesbian sex scene. This has an October 17th, 2013 release date in France, but as for North America’s ability to see the film? I don’t see anything listed, but checking on iFC is probably a good idea.
“Dom Hemingway”– From the producers of “Sexy Beast” and “44-Inch Chest”, and the director of “The Matador” comes another “guys who are egregiously cockney, exceedingly arrogant, and do terrible things to people” movie, this time starring Jude Law with ugly teeth and a guy who could pass for Hugh Grant’s brother. Law stars as the titular character, a former (current?) thief who has been locked up for 12 years, and upon his release he has to ‘readjust’ while attempting to reclaim what he feels is owed to him for not snitching on his peers. The most interesting aspect of this trailer was Jude Law transformation into a vulgar, unlikable character that we’re not used to seeing him do, going back 11 years to his role in “Road To Perdition”. I’m not sure what we’ll get out of this film; it may capture the energy of similarly themed films like “Sexy Beast” or “Layer Cake”, or it could be as jumbled and unfocused as a Guy Ritchie film. Either way, I’m interested, because Brits are just more interesting to watch. The U.S. release date for this is April 4, 2014.
“Mr. Nobody”– You may be asking yourself why I would review a trailer for a 4-year-old film starring Jared Leto that I or you have never heard of. The simple answer is that the trailer is really quite striking, and apparently the distributor found it necessary to re-enter this film back into the current film bloodstream. Jared Leto plays Nemo, a 118-year-old man who is the last ‘mortal’. You see, apparently in the future, they’ve ‘cured’ mortality, but Nemo is the last living mortal who can’t be cured. As he is something of a novelty, he is interviewed by a reporter, and decides to retell his life story as it was and how it could’ve been.
There’s a gut-wrenching scene in this trailer where younger Nemo has the impossible dilemma of getting on a train with his mother, or staying behind with his father (Rhys Ifans) after they split, and clearly that moment (I’m not sure which version actually took place) defined him. This movie seems to be a hybrid of “The Fountain” (which I hated), “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (which was rather lame despite the acclaim), and “Sliding Doors” (an excellent and underrated Gwyneth Paltrow film). My hope is that the reason this is seeing new life is because they didn’t have a market for it, and now they do. You can currently purchase this via Amazon @ $19.99, or rent it for $9.99. In other words, after four years, they still can’t figure out how to distribute this film. This is another one to periodically check iFC listings for.
“The Last Days On Mars”– Starring Liev Schreiber, we have another film about unknown nasty things on Mars. None of the people in this trailer have seen “Red Planet”, “Mission to Mars”, “Species II”, or any other piece of junk film designated to scare us about our little brother planet. I have no indication after watching this trailer that this is any different in scope or quality than the previously mentioned films, which does not bode well for it. There is so much undeveloped material when it comes to science fiction and space, so why does Hollywood continue to make every extraterrestrial film something about a menacing ‘specimen’? I think it’s high time they mine the rich literary fields of Arthur C. Clarke for more material. This sees a limited US release on December 6th, 2013, and if I have my way, it will fade into oblivion shortly after that.
“Dario Argento’s Dracula 3D”– For whatever reason, I still hold out hopes for a powerful, horrific story involving the original vampire, as even Coppola’s 1992 entry didn’t cut it for me. For whatever reason, Dario Argento is considered a horror savant, as I haven’t enjoyed what I’ve seen of his. For whatever reason, this cheap-looking film is in 3D. There is no reason to see yet another take on Dracula, especially when 3D is being used in such a kitsch-y fashion. If, for some reason you need to see this, maybe out of pity for Rutger Hauer, good luck finding a theater in the US to see it at. It was released 10/4/13, but only pulled in a little over $3000 at the box office, so expect this on video quickly if you’re interested. I’m not.
“Snowpiercer”– Based on the trailer I saw for this, it could just as easily be called “The Hunger Games On A Train”. However, this is the first English-language film from Korean director Bong Joon-Ho (of the very good “The Host”), and Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Ed Harris, Jamie Bell, and Alison Pill are in it, which means I’m going to allow my jaded eye to see a bit more before I ignore this. It’s interesting to note that the plot revolves around a train that has to keep going, and ‘piercing’ through the snow, because of a failed global warming experiment. I’m interested in seeing if there are any political or scientific angles on this story. This has been released in South Korea, but a North American release date has not been set. When that date is set, have caution- apparently the Weinstein Company has edited the film going forward for English-speaking countries, down 20 minutes from before, which has upset the director. In the end, it may not make a difference, but it’s unfortunate that once again the Weinsteins giveth, and taketh, away.
“After Tiller”– I won’t offer any opinions on the topic of this documentary, which just happens to be abortion. I can only comment on the effectiveness or lack thereof as it relates to the trailer, and in that respect, it is quite effective. Sometimes there are two sides to a story, and whether you like it or not, there are people who work for a living, and sometimes that work happens to be for doctors who perform late-term abortions. These people have families and children as well, but to a segment of the pro-life movement, their deaths are justified. I could go on, but I won’t, and I’ll rely on this documentary about the aftermath of Dr. George Tiller’s murder to inform me. This doc was originally released in January of 2013, and is now traveling the film festival circuit. The only way to see it will eventually be on video, or at one of these festivals, as I doubt this will gain enough traction to reach a broader audience.
“About Last Night”– Starring Kevin Hart and Michael Ealy, this well-done and funny trailer showed me the possibility of another grown up “dating nowadays” movie was coming our way. Directed by Steve Pink (“Hot Tub Time Machine”), this remake of the 1986 Rob Lowe/Demi Moore headliner comes out on Valentine’s Day 2014. This might actually be the rare holiday-set film that wants to say something about relationships, as the director has done some solid work in the past, including the screen adaptation of a favorite film of mine, “High Fidelity”. I’m expecting a rated R film here, so we shouldn’t have to worry about dumbed-down dialogue or an overindulgence in cliche. Plus, Kevin Hart is a seriously funny guy.
“Open Windows”– My last trailer review included thoughts about “Grand Piano”, which stars Elijah Wood as a creepy guy piano genius. In this one, he’s a star-struck creepy guy who has won a contest to have dinner with the next “Big Thing” actress, played by former porn star Sasha Grey (who actually did wonderful work with Soderbergh’s “The Girlfriend Experience”). The twist is that the actress refuses to have the dinner with him, and someone has set both of them up for something dangerous. I’m intrigued at the thought of placing a fictionally famous character in harm’s way, and throwing in ‘fan’ who’s motivations are purely based in sexual fantasy into the equation. Interestingly, there is no U.S. release date set for this film, but it has seen the light of day in Spain and France.