Sometimes trailers are the best part of the movies, never more so than today as we ventured out to a showing of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I’m so glad we got to watch a whole slew of them.

The clip for Quentin Tarantino’s much-anticipated Django Unchained had people clapping and cheering. The trailer lines up the story pretty well — Django (Jamie Foxx) and Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz) join forces to rescue Django’s wife from Calvin Candle (Leonardo diCaprio) — but doesn’t give away too much. I was actually hoping it would give away a bit more, because I’d like a better idea of how violent it’s going to be, but even Tarantino might not be sure of that yet. As of a couple of weeks ago, he was reportedly still casting, at least as far as Jonah Hill is concerned. Hill, who I thought was so good in Moneyball, had dropped out due to a scheduling conflict but is apparently back in. He’s listed on IMDB but his character hasn’t got a name. Hmm. One thing is certain, Waltz’s character struck me as being very similar to the one he played in Inglourious Basterds, just with a different accent. Django is off the chain December 25.

Despite the presence of actors I think are funny — Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Hill — the trailer for The Watch just wasn’t very funny to me. The gags seemed trite and the characters stereotypical, which is disappointing because the concept sounded interesting: “Suburban dads who form a neighborhood watch group as a way to get out of their day-to-day family routines find themselves defending the Earth from an alien invasion.” It is perhaps a measure of how bored I was that The Watch has a red band trailer and I have no interest in seeking it out. You’ll be able to see for yourself on July 27.

The other clips on offer were Total Recall and House at the End of the Street, which don’t look that exciting to me; End of Watch, which I’m already looking forward to; and Gangster Squad. It looks as if Crazy Stupid Love co-stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are going to be the best thing about this mashup of L.A. Confidential, Mulholland Falls and The Untouchables, in which a small number of L.A. cops try to stop the late-’40s/early-’50s invasion of East Coast gangsters like Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn). Directed by Ruben Fleischer of Zombieland fame, I get the feeling this one will be either brilliant or disastrous. The way Gosling delivers the line “Ya gotta die of something” is pretty encouraging. Gangster Squad is out September 7.


  1. I know Brian Di Palma has a mystery coming out in the’s what he does best that should be good. And Paul Thomas Anderson has one coming out also.

    The Gangster thing should be interesting.

    I look forward to all of your posts Paula

    1. Aw…thanks Val…I look forward to your comments 🙂 I’ll have to check those two others out. Basically from now until the end of the year is when the really good movies seem to be packed in together like cord wood (is that one word or two?).

  2. I’m SUPER excited about Gangster Squad. I’m excited to see Ruben Fleischer tackle the LA of glamour and old-school Hollywood (my favorite topic). Not to mention Ryan Gosling and Josh Brolin in fedoras…it’s like Hollywood made this film for me (and oddly enough it comes out the week of my birthday! )

  3. I think I’m the only woman who isn’t excited about Gangster Squad. I wasn’t even paying attention when the trailer was on before Prometheus. I might just rent that one.

    Believe it or not I actually laughed during The Watch trailer, though you’re right, it does seem trite despite the concept. I think it has potential to be hilarious. I might rent it but I don’t generally go to the theater to see something like that. Here Comes The Boom w/ Kevin James looks like a hoot too, did you see it?

    1. Honestly, with my Old Hollywood obsession, the more I think about it, I will probably see Gangster Squad in the theater, unless I see something that looks otherwise. Have not seen a trailer for Here Comes the Boom, but I have found Kevin James funny before. When does that come out?

        1. Interesting. A cash-strapped school is certainly very realistic unfortunately. I’ll keep an eye out for this. Thanks Ruth!

  4. I love the title of this segment!

    The Watch really doesn’t have that much of a comedic appeal to me. Ben Stiller is often a hit or miss.

    Gangster Squad, however, has my attention. It’s just unfortunate that it’s release is so close to that of Lawless. People will get them confused (like The Illusionist and The Prestige).

    and while I’m not a big QT fan, I remain a little bit more interested in Django Unchained than I was at first.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. Thanks T! 🙂

      I didn’t think of Lawless getting confused with Gangster Squad, but I bet you’re right. Similar time frame, law vs. gangsters, dame in the mix, etc. And yeah, there are still people that I start talking to about Prestige and it becomes immediately clear they are thinking of Illusionist.

      re: Django, same here…for me, it all depends on how/what kind of violence. I’m about to check out your Savages review, it looks good but possibly a bit too violent for me 🙂

  5. Hi, Paula and company:

    So, Hollywood collaborated with the geek~tech Poindexters and Brainiacs who created ‘L.A. Noire’ for the computer and X~Box. Mixed in period clothing and cars from CBS’s ‘The Hat Squad’ from the 1990s and made ‘Gangster Squad’?

    Though Sean Penn’s best work is decades old. ‘Gangster Squad’ looks like the misuse of a far above average cast. It might be cool to see Emma Stone as a bad girl and gangster’s moll, but I’ll wait for HBO.

    1. Hi Jack, I agree a lot of that looks familiar, though I don’t play video games & I missed “Hat Squad.” Hoping that even a misused cast is interesting though when its got talent like Gosling and Stone 🙂

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