I’ve been to the movies two weekends in a row now (for The Avengers and Dark Shadows), and am definitely looking forward to three of the films I saw trailers for.
I was probably going to see Lawless anyway, due to my being a sucker for anything to do with Prohibition and the presence of Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska, all of whom I believe to be talented actors. Hardy, Shia Labeouf and Jason Clarke play “the infamous Bondurant Brothers: bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Prohibition-era Virginia” (per the film’s site). Their livelihood is threatened when the lawmen sent in to stop them demand a piece of the action. The film is based on Matt Bondurant’s novel The Wettest County in the World, which he based on stories of his own family. The Player-style pitch: “It’s like Bonnie and Clyde with The Untouchables and some Godfather thrown in.” The trailer sets up the conflict, but, unlike a lot of trailers, it doesn’t show you how it’s going to end. I love the look of this film, the desaturated colors with lots of shadows and night shots. It took me a minute to recognize Guy Pearce as a menacing FBI agent. Hardy is always a standout for me, he transforms himself for every film, and I’m looking forward to seeing him and his Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy co-star Oldman in their scenes together. Lawless will debut at the Cannes Film Festival; its US release date is August 31.
In End of Watch, Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña star as cops in south central L.A. who are as close as brothers. They are modern-day cowboys, looking for dope, money and guns …until they get on the wrong side of a scary cartel. The car chases and drug busts have documentary look, with handheld and dashboard-camera footage, giving the film a rushed, urgent quality that matches the subject matter. The film was written by David Ayer, who was also responsible for Training Day and The Fast and the Furious. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that Watch is going to do for JG what Jarhead and Prince of Persia failed to do—make him a blockbuster action star. Jarhead wasn’t actually an action picture, but it was marketed like one, which didn’t work, and Prince of Persia had too many Disney/fantasy elements for people to take it seriously (though it is one of those films that I’ll stop to watch every time I find it when I’m flipping the channels and happen upon it.) If the trailer is any indication, End of Watch is gritty, violent and riveting. US release date is September 28.
Argo, directed by Ben Affleck, is based on a covert operation detailed in recently declassified US government documents. In 1980, when Iranian revolutionaries took over the American embassy in Tehran, 66 Americans were held captive for 444 days. Apparently there were also six who managed to escape to the Canadian embassy. Knowing these six were in incredible danger, the White House took a chance on a crazy scheme…send in operatives masquerading as a film crew working on a sci-fi film. I really love Affleck’s film The Town and it looks like this will have the same adrenaline-producing suspense and true-to-life characterization, with a little more humor as it parodies Hollywood. It will be interesting to see how he blends the drama of the extraction with the comedic elements. Argo will be released on October 12.
What do you think? Seen any good trailers lately?