The Mayans may have been wrong about the end of the world, but don’t worry– the Go, See, Talk! Trailer Round-Up is here with two visions of Armageddon to slake your thirst for wanton destruction. Of the pair, the first isn’t a literal Ragnarok, but rather a localized catastrophe that devours an entire city; then again, when your film is set against a backdrop of explosions, crumbling buildings, and rapidly rising social anarchy, maybe that counts as the wholesale destruction of a cinematic world. Either way, Aftershock looks harsh, nasty, and bonkers in all the right ways, though I’ll take bets on how long Eli Roth actually survives in the film (and on whether or not the clip’s blackly comic punchline is the final shot of the movie):
Seth Rogen and James Franco, however, have other ideas than Roth– they actually want to see the planet meet its fiery demise while sprinkling the proceedings with countless members of the Apatow comedy train. This is the End boasts a ton of potential; Goldberg and Rogen have a strong writing history together, and the entire band of actors we see here (McBride, Franco, Rogen, Hill, Baruchel, Robinson) have all proven their salt across television and film alike. The problem here is that it’s hard to tell how much of this footage is actually the movie and how much of it is just nonsense shot for the trailer, to say nothing of how weirdly-paced the McBride bit feels.
I’m saying all of this with no context beyond the basic synopsis and, of course, the clip, but the funnier moments aside, I’m not sure how best to prepare myself for This is the End or what mode I should expect it to play in:
My reaction to Pain and Gain is a bit more defined. Michael Bay’s latest, and the first non-Transformers film he’s directed since 2005 (no joke), looks brilliant (also no joke). High style, unabashed gonzo attitude, sleaze, tongue-in-cheek black humor, a balance of earnestness and self-awareness…it’s hard not to be drawn in by what Bay’s doing here, especially since it all appears to exist on the lunatic fringe of cinema. Did I mention that this tale of ill-advised crime and punishment, set in glitzy Miami, is based on a true story? If Pain and Gain is half as gloriously bizarre on the big screen as it is in a 2 minute clip, then it could be Bay’s deranged masterpiece:
And that brings us to the final entry here, which may well either be the best or the most frustrating. If you know me, you know I loved Drive, but you may not know that I also dug Blue Valentine. Maybe there’s logic to the notion that taking two good things and mashing them together should result in one really good thing, but I can’t help but bristle at the sense that Derek Cianfrance, director the latter film, cobbled together The Place Beyond the Pines while operating under that exact assumption. I don’t know if that says bad things about the movie, but it’s hard to get away from the obvious influence both Drive and Valentine had on Cianfrance’s vision here:
That does it for this collection– what do you guys think? Any of these exciting to you as we head into the new year, or are there other upcoming films that have your attention?