Trailer Review: Legend


I’m a Tom Hardy Admirer, so long story short, I’ll be seeing his turn as the Kray twins in Legend. I’m liking most of this trailer. My only problem is surprisingly Tom Hardy. I think he is playing Reggie fairly well, he looks so suave and cool. But the other twin, Ronald, he seems to be over playing. I think he is trying to give the twins very different mannerisms in order to easily distinguish the two. But Ronald’s constant sneering just seems like over kill. The music for the trailer is great, very evocative of the time and place. I’m also excited to see how Taron Egerton does after his wonderful turn in Kingsman. Legend could propel him as the next big thing. Mob movies are really hard to do well these days, but hopefully Legend adds something new to the genre when it hits theaters September 11.

Trailer Review/Actor Analysis: Johnny Depp and Black Mass


Actor Analysis
I used to be a huge Johnny Depp fan. For me he reached his peak around the time of Sweeney Todd. After Sweeney he has been on a downward slide, especially critically. Johnny has become a caricature of himself as seen in his last film, Mortdecai.
In the 90s Johnny had a string of indie hits and he could do no wrong. He did some great work in Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood, and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Johnny’s films weren’t always successful, but he seemed to take a lot of risks and to do very different roles.
Of course, Pirates of the Caribbean changed everything for Johnny. At first it seemed he was able to maintain his artistic integrity while making huge bucks fronting a blockbuster franchise. But an island and four (I think) pirate movies later and Johnny has become kind of pathetic. He is always donning a silly costume and his acting has become more exaggerated. Long gone is the subtlety of Donnie Brasco. Now it’s all about weird wigs and dramatic flourishes. So can Johnny, an actor once praised for his quiet, quirky talent make a comeback?

Trailer Review
Black Mass is Johnny’s last chance at reclaiming his past glory. If Johnny can show off his acting chops again then his recent lackluster past will be easily forgotten. But if not, it will just reaffirm the fact that he is now a has-been.
This first trailer for Black Mass is very strong, incredibly promising. It’s one of the best cut trailers I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a great technique to take one small, dramatic scene from the movie and accentuate it with great music and brief flashes of the rest of the film. But maybe this is one of the only strong moments in the film, trailers often show off the best stuff first.
There’s also Johnny’s costume, which is both good and bad. I like the whitish grey contacts, they are really eerie and entrancing. But that forehead, my God they could have named this the forehead movie. And I don’t find the old age makeup all that convincing, but then again I don’t know how old the character should be.
As for the actors Johnny is surrounded by a great cast that we just get a glimpse of, Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Kevin Bacon, etc. Johnny’s acting here though is hard to judge. I think he is pretty good, but I also think the music adds a lot to the tension and helps him quite a bit. I also don’t find his accent to be very convincing. I think Johnny is acting more than actually inhabiting the character, but he definitely has me intrigued and hopeful.
It would be great for Johnny to succeed, but he’s become such a disappointment that I am doubtful. The studio has some faith in Black Mass as it is scheduled for release September 18, early in the awards season. Give your thoughts on Johnny and the trailer below. What are your favorite Johnny Depp films?

Trailer Review: Aloha (2015)

There's no poster yet, so here's a still of Emma Stone and Bradley Cooper.
There’s no poster yet, so here’s a still of Emma Stone and Bradley Cooper.

I’m on the fence about Cameron Crowe’s latest film, Aloha. The only other film of his that I’ve seen is Vanilla Sky which I absolutely love. No, seriously, I LOVE that film. Go see it if you haven’t yet. Like RIGHT NOW. This trailer review will wait a few hours for you, don’t worry.
Anyways, Aloha is about a military contractor played by Bradley Cooper who is getting over a break up with Rachel McAdams’s and falling in love with Emma Stone. Something like that. And Alec Baldwin yells at him. Alec isn’t even funny here because it seems a little too close to how he is in real life. I was waiting for him to call Bradley a “rude, thoughtless, little pig” (sorry, but that will never die).
Aside from the terrible title, I am intrigued by this film. I adore Bradley Cooper and I really like Rachel McAdams. I think they have some good chemistry going on in the trailer. The “conversation” between John Krasinski and Bradley is pretty funny, probably the highlight of the trailer for me.
But, am I the only one who is sick of seeing the older guy fall in love with the much younger girl??? Seriously, it nauseates me (and I am still a young girl). It threw me off a bit in Silver Linings Playbook (although I love that film). Apparently Angelina Jolie was in early talks for the Jennifer Lawrence role in that film. I don’t think she would have been suited for it, but I would have preferred someone like her, who is closer to Bradley’s age. This leads to my problem with Aloha, which is Emma Stone. After looking at IMDB she’s a little older than I thought (around 27), but she still looks like she’s 21. Whereas Bradley is about 40. It just throws me off and takes me out of the movie. If this film is supposed to be about a guy maturing and making more adult choices (just a guess), then why would he date someone so young?? It irks me. I wish Hollywood didn’t always resort to using such young actresses, especially when there are so many talented ones in their 30s and 40s.

Well, will you be saying hello or goodbye to Aloha?

Trailer Review: Child 44


“Murder is strictly a capitalist disease.”

Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman are teaming up yet again for Child 44. I think this is collaboration #4? This time they are embroiled in a murder mystery within Soviet Russia. Noomi Rapace, Jason Clarke, and Vincent Cassel are also in the film based on the novel by Tom Rob Smith.
I think this looks like a good, gritty film. I’m not really excited for it because the subject matter is depressing as hell. Children being murdered? I had enough of that shit in Changeling (seriously, that movie has traumatized me). I will be seeing Child 44 though as I am a huge fan of Tom and Gary. Noomi not so much, I wish they had cast a different female lead. I am also extremely interested in Russian history, so I’ll be there opening weekend. The music in the trailer is great, very dark and dangerous feeling (other than that annoying Inception BAAAAMMM used in EVERY TRAILER). And I think everyone nails the Russian accent.

Your thoughts on Child 44? Have you read the novel? I wanted to, but probably won’t get to it before the movie comes out.

Trailer Review/Actor Analysis: Tom Hardy and Mad Max: Fury Road


Actor Analysis
My Holy Trinity consists of: Tom Hardy, Michael Fassbender, and James McAvoy. These are actors that I will see in just about anything. They’re charismatic, incredible actors and they also take on risky roles.

My Holy Trinity all happened to star in Band of Brothers.
My Holy Trinity all happened to star in Band of Brothers.

Tom is at an interesting point in his career. He has recognition and acclaim from critics, filmmakers, and avid film viewers. He has done some great work in Bronson, Stewart: A Life Backwards, and Locke. Yet he hasn’t quite caught on in a big way to the general population. He came close as Bane in The Dark Knight Rises. But his face was covered up and he was overshadowed by Heath Ledger’s legacy.

Oh, it's just Tom Hardy covering up his face again. The guy must hate looking into a mirror.
Oh, it’s just Tom Hardy covering up his face again. The guy must hate looking into a mirror.

Other than Mad Max Tom has quite a few intriguing projects coming up. Child 44, a gritty drama with Gary Oldman and Noomi Rapace will be out in the spring. He’s currently filming The Revenant with Leonardo Dicaprio. Tom will be returning to the DC movie universe, this time as Rick Flag in Suicide Squad in 2016. Most exciting to me is that Tom has signed on to play Elton John in a musical biopic about the singer. Tom is developing such a diverse portfolio. I hope he can successfully balance character study dramas with big blockbusters. Although I don’t understand why exactly he wants to do Suicide Squad. Maybe if he was Deadshot, that I could understand. But Rick Flag sounds like a very minor character.
Mad Max is Tom’s first time carrying a movie, being the lead in a huge blockbuster film. He’s been in successful ensembles before (TDKR, Inception), but can he do it alone? If given the right material I’m sure he can. Is Mad Max: Fury Road going to propel Tom Hardy into super stardom?
Trailer Review
I enjoyed the trailers previous to this one. But this trailer feels…weird to me. I’m not sure what the tone of the film is or what exactly it’s about. The positive of that is the trailer doesn’t reveal too much of the plot (a pet peeve of mine). I don’t like the music, I find that it makes the film seem like too much of a comedy.
The emphasis of the trailer seems to be on everything but Tom Hardy. Which worries me a little bit, although I’m sure he must give a great performance. I guess the studio realizes that Tom Hardy isn’t necessarily a bankable name. Instead there is an emphasis on the action sequences (which look awesome) and Charlize Theron. I’m not a huge fan of hers, but she looks decent in the trailer. What really jumped out at me though was Nicholas Hoult’s transformation. Wow, I had no idea that was him. If he can give a stellar performance he might just steal this movie out from Tom.
I haven’t seen any of the previous Mad Max films, but none the less I will be seeing Fury Road opening weekend (May 15, 2015). What do you think of the trailer? Do you like the career choices Tom is making? And are you even a Tom Hardy fan? (The only possible answer is “Yes!”)

Trailer Review/Actress Analysis: Jennifer Aniston and Cake


While writing this trailer review I also got the idea for a new kind of post: Actor Analysis in which I will evaluate the past work of an actor and the direction they are/should be going in the future. Does that make sense? Give your opinions in the comments and nominate an actor for me to evaluate, possibly once a week. Or tell me it’s a shit idea, whatever. On with the trailer review:
I am not a Jennifer Aniston fan. It’s partly because I am Team Jolie (that’s so 2005, I know). But I also just feel that Jennifer reached her pinnacle many years ago now and needs to stop trying to reclaim it. The way I see it, the only reason she seems to still be popular these days is because of the love triangle between her, Brad Pitt, and Angelina that the media still perpetuates. Jennifer can be quite a good comedic actress, I’ll give her that. She was very enjoyable on Friends and in a few of her rom-coms.
With Cake Jennifer wants to be taken seriously as a dramatic actress. There are some rumors that she may even be up for an Oscar nomination for her role as a woman traumatized by an accident she suffered. Something like that anyways. The media (things like People magazine, etc.) are making a big deal that Jennifer wears no makeup and has a facial scar in Cake. I think focusing on something that superficial is insulting to women and especially to Jennifer, although she seems to be fueling these media outlets.
While watching this trailer I tried to look past surface and evaluate Jennifer’s performance as well as the film as much as I could from a 2 minute glimpse. I think Jennifer gives an okay performance here. Not bad, but nowhere near Oscar worthy (especially this year with actresses like Rosamund Pike and Julianne Moore presumably in the race). Also, I do not want to see Jennifer playing a pessimistic bitch. She also comes off as a creepy stalker, obsessed with someone’s dead wife (when you say “I’m not a stalker,” you definitely are). I don’t think even her biggest fans want to see that. There is nothing about her character in Cake that seems likeable. I think that’s also because Jennifer is trying just a little too hard to shed her good girl image. I think she should embrace it instead of moving away from it since that is where she has had the most success.
Cake doesn’t seem worth my time, and that’s not just because of Jennifer Aniston. It just doesn’t feel exciting and new. It feels old and dull. Go watch Gone Girl again or something else equally intriguing. Cake feels like a snooze, as its January release date suggests. Also, why is it called Cake? Maybe I’d go see it if free cake was involved.

Trailer Review: Pan


Now this is a trailer that I really like. Which is kind of funny because I am not a Peter Pan fan at all (except for Finding Neverland). This trailer looks fun and magical. And it might actually add something fresh to the classic story. I think a Peter Pan prequel has a lot of potential to be interesting.
I love that one of my favorite directors, Joe Wright, is directing. He makes surprising and innovative choices. Joe Wright is not afraid to take risks and I hope this movie reflects that. Hugh Jackman looks great as Blackbeard. He’s pretty creepy looking and it looks like he had a lot of fun. And I also love that Rooney Mara is playing Tiger Lily. The casting choice pissed off a lot of people (since she’s not Native), and I can understand why, but she is one of the best actresses out there. She can pull it off. I don’t think I’ve seen Garrett Hedlund in anything before, but he looks promising as Hook. And the boy playing Peter, Levi Miller, seems perfect for the role. Also, the music in this trailer is really great and accentuates the story.
I think what appeals to me the most about this movie is that it is a little dark. Disney versions of fairytales tend to ignore this aspect of their stories. But Warner Brothers is producing Pan, not Disney. So they are more willing to go dark and take risks Disney would not. I will definitely be in line to see Pan when it arrives in theaters July 17, 2015. Will you?

Trailer Review: Jurassic World


“You just went and made a new dinosaur? Probably not a good idea.” Understatement of the year Chris Pratt.
I don’t know what I was expecting from this trailer and movie. But I don’t like it. I guess I was hoping it would be something different than the old films. But this just looks like the same old Jurassic Park with better effects and minus Jeff Goldblum (laaaame). I also hate the music in the trailer. It sounds like every other action movie trailer ever made. I am so sick of them all sounding the same.
There are two reasons I might still go see this film. 1) That giant alligator like dinosaur that comes out of the water and eats the shark looks pretty cool (alligators are my favorite animal). 2) Chris Pratt. He is so much fun to watch and I liked the scene where he is on a motorcycle as raptors are running around him. That simply looked fun.
The kid in me does kind of want to see this. Jurassic World comes out June 12, 2015.

Trailer Review: Cinderella


As a young girl my least favorite Disney movie was Cinderella. I loved Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty. But I only watched Cinderella once or twice. There are no fun songs, no cool animals, and worst of all Cinderella herself is incredibly boring. She seemed so dull and too goody two shoes. She didn’t make any mistakes or any daring choices. She didn’t seem to have much of a desire to do anything other than attend some stupid ball. She just put up with abuse and never said anything against it because Cinderella is a ‘good girl.’
My apathy for Cinderella persists to this day and this new live action adaptation starring Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, and Stellan Skarsgård does nothing to change that. Cinderella has the misfortune of coming out the year after Maleficent, which was a generally good re-telling of a classic Disney fairytale. Maleficent also had the great advantage of an interesting protagonist (played wonderfully by Angelina Jolie). Cinderella instead centers on boring Ella, played by Lily James. Lily seems fine in the role, but she doesn’t have any charisma to engage an audience (at least not from this trailer).
I really hate the narration of Ella’s mother about how good she is, etc. *yawn* I hate how the trailer is hammering the viewer over the head with its message. And I like my characters to be real and flawed, not perfect. All the Disney films I listed that I like have flawed characters. They all do something that may be wrong, but they also learn something. Cinderella just leaves the party a little late. Which is plain old dumb.
There are a few things I like about the trailer. First of all, the cast. Cate, Helena, and Stellan are some of my favorite actors. The whole time I watched this I kept wondering, what drew such great talent to this project? Whatever it was, I don’t see it (other than maybe a big paycheck). Cate’s costumes are wonderful, just amazing. Visually she is the most striking of anyone, more so than Cinderella. Cate was great as a villain in Hanna, one of my favorite action films (see it if you haven’t!) So it will be fun to see her being evil once again, she does it so well. Aside from Cate’s I don’t like any of the other costumes, the step sisters in particular look silly. Helena Bonham Carter brings some fun and humor to the trailer. She looks like she had a blast playing the Fairy Godmother.
I forgot that Kenneth Branagh is directing this film. Now that I remember that I feel so disappointed. I think he is a talented director and actor. But this feels generic and totally unoriginal. This adaptation feels unnecessary and doesn’t look any different than the animated classic. I’ll be skipping this one when it comes out March 13, 2015. If I want to hear “Kindness is magic” I’d much rather watch Ricky Gervais’s TV show, Derek, again.

Trailer Review: Fifty Shades of Grey


I’ve never read any of the Fifty Shades books. I try to be fairly open with what I’m willing to watch, so there’s a chance I would watch the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. But it is hard to get past the perception that the movie will only appeal to a certain demographic, namely middle aged women.
I will admit to being a little curious about the Fifty Shades movie. But wow, this trailer is boring. Maybe if the movie was rated NC 17, maybe if they were really willing to push the envelope this would be an interesting film. But instead it seems they are censoring it and taking the more kinky elements out. Which I can understand, too much sex and kink might just become a porno (although Nymphomaniac is a case against that line of thought).
Anyways, the biggest problem with this movie, which is very evident in the trailer, is that there is a severe lack of a plot. There is nothing going on story wise other than a girl engaging in S&M for the first time. I like films that are character driven and the two characters here (as well as the actors) come off as boring and bland. I don’t want to watch two wet pieces of cardboard get it on, I want to see Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt! I guess the point of the Fifty Shades books is that Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) is plain enough and so underwritten that anyone woman could imagine themselves in her place. But I don’t think that can translate onto the screen very well. Also I guess Christian Grey is supposed to be intimidating and drop dead sexy. But I’m not getting that vibe from Jamie Dornan at all. He is like a limp fish far as I can tell.
“Why are you trying to change me?” “I’m not. You’re the one that’s changing me.” The dialogue is clunky and cheesy. And to make matters worse, this movie is arriving in theaters on Valentine’s Day, 2015.
My say something nice: normally I hate Beyonce, but I really like the music in the trailer.