Trail(er) Mix – DJANGO UNCHAINED, GANGSTER SQUAD, THE WATCH

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.