If you’ve had a rough week and you feel like you’re free-floating through life, let me pull you back down to Earth with a brand-new collection of freshly-released trailers– starting with Upside Down, a movie which I’m equally resistant to on intellectual and gastrointestinal grounds.
Seriously, watch this clip and tell me it didn’t make you at least a little queasy; then consider that you watched it on your computer or random mobile device instead of a multiplex screen. Maybe the physical space of the theater will acclimate me to the topsy turviness inherent in the film’s conceit, or maybe I’ll throw up all over myself. The cogent point here is that I’m a sucker for punishment, because I must see this. It could either be this year’s Cloud Atlas or this year’s In Time, and whatever the case may be I have to experience it for myself. Is love stronger than gravity? Was this film written using the “ideas first, story later” approach*? My gut tells me yes to both, but it’s telling me a lot of other things right now, too, so behold:
Wash that one down with something more grounded, like this trailer for Olympus Has Fallen. Maybe “grounded” is the wrong word– this thing is patently ridiculous just based on the trailer alone, but it’s silly enough that it should get the taste of Upside Down out of your mouth. Could it also be silly enough to be a shameless good time at the theater? I haven’t had fun with Gerard Butler since 300, but seeing him play the haunted ex-special forces lone hero trope could be a barrel of laughs and a whole munitions shed’s worth of dead bad guys. It’s interesting that two years in a row, America has output movies North Korean sieges on the States; I didn’t think we so scared of Kim Jong-un that we’d drop Arabic terrorists as our villain du jour in big, dumb, macho politically-oriented action films. Then again, Red Dawn was laughably bad, so maybe we’re just chuckling at him.
The latest re-teaming of indie darling Brit Marling and director Zal Batmanglij (check out Sound of My Voice which was just brilliant) is all about covert groups, misdirection and espionage. Sounds like another winning mental chess game and it might just be since it’s currently making a splash at Sundance. That snowy elitist film festival might be winding down, but promotion for the higher-profile indie releases screened this year should continue for a good, long while even after we close the books on the 2013 festival and The East is no exception. Further it looks to prove my theory that Ellen Page was born to play lunatics of all makes and models (anyone see The Tracey Fragments and/or Hard Candy??…eesh). Since I liked Sound of My Voice significantly more than the Mike Cahill-directed Another Earth, The East looks like a big step up from both of them, at least in terms of scope and credentials. That said, I’m sure Marc and I aren’t the only ones curious (read: frothing at the mouth) to see the duo take on the divide between the haves and the have-nots here:
I’m closing things out with the best of the bunch, not just because the trailer for Inside Llewyn Davis excites me more than the others but because the Coens are always a tough act to follow. Honestly, I’m not totally sure how to take this; the Coens never really stick around in one category of storytelling or another, and after remaking True Grit three years ago they’re probably keen to work on something more intimate, a’la A Serious Man, and Inside Llewyn Davis certainly feels like it’s operating on that film’s smaller scale. I don’t know much about Dave Van Ronk– the man whose memoirs the film is based upon– but watching the footage, I’m not sure how much I need to, and aside from that I’m just happy to see Oscar Isaac in a leading role that reunites him with Carey Mulligan (and puts him in contact with John Goodman and F. Murray Abraham):
*Was Kirsten Dunst brought on board because she has experience with upside down kissing scenes?