Category Archives: trailer

What I’ve Been Watching: Man of Steel


Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns came in out in 2006 to a somewhat muted response. Although I for one felt the film got a lot right. In particular Lois Lane’s article “Why the world doesn’t need Superman” struck right to the core of what a Superman story should be, it’s less about who he is than what he represents. Unfortunately the final act of that film was all kinds of terrible, and as a result it’s taken seven years for there to a reboot.

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X Men: First Class Trailer

One of my Top Five Anticipated Movies of 2011 was X-Men: First Class. Directed by Matthew Vaughn (Stardust, Kick Ass) it tells the story of Professor X and Magneto when they were still friends, and running Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters together.

Set during the 1960s Cuban Missile Crisis, it will show the story of the first mutants as they come to terms with their own powers, and cope with the public’s reaction to finding out about their existence.

Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) acts as a kind of Martin Luther King to Erik Lehnsherr’s (Michael Fassbender) Malcolm X. Both want equal rights for mutants, but have very different opinions on how to go about this.

Whether the film succeeds or not will rely on whether Vaughn can tell a unique, interesting story that does more than simply fill in the gaps of the first three X-Men films. The relationship between Professor X and Magneto was always one of the most interesting things about the trilogy. If played correctly, it could make for a very compelling story. However, Vaughn must balance making First Class both accessible to new audiences, and simply retreading the ground already covered in the existing films.

The trailer gives us no hint as to whether he will do that or not. What it does tell us, is that some of the costumes have changed, but it still feels very much like the X-Men movie franchise as created by Brian Singer over ten years ago.

Check it out for yourself:

Six Trailers. One Song.

Trailers for movies always fascinate me. The way they sell a movie often gives us a lot of preconceived notions of the what the film will be like. Often, it is the studios who cut the trailers, and therefore are more interested in the commercial, as oppose to artistic, value of the piece.

Below are six examples for which this was almost certainly the case. All of them use a track called House of Cards by Audiomachine. Audiomachine are a band who exclusively make music for trailers.

It’s interesting to note that none of them are dumb action thrillers or lowest-common-denominator comedies. All of the films themselves harbour ambitions to be creative, artistic pieces of art. However, the use of the same track to signify the same emotion at the same point in each trailer shows a serious lack of imagination.

Lovely Bones (1:30 onwards):

Gone Baby Gone (1:30)

Pride and Glory (1:15):

Appaloosa (1:15):

Changeling (1:00)

Passchendaele (0:44)

Top Five Most Anticipated Movies Of 2011

2010 has had its time (and its Top Five Lists). Now it’s 2011’s turn. So here for you are my Top Five Most Anticipated Movies Of 2011:

5. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
(October 2011)

The talent behind this film is such that I can’t help but be excited. The screenplay comes courtesy of Edgar Wright, Steven Moffat (Doctor Who), and Joe Cornish (off of Adam and Joe). It’s produced by Peter Jackson, and is directed by Steven Spielberg.

If that doesn’t get you excited enough, the motion-capture in this film is supposed to be something pretty special. As yet, there’s no trailer, although hopefully this still will give you an idea of the visual feast on offer:


4. X-Men: First Class
(June 2011)

Given the disappointment of the last two X-Men films (X-Men 3: The Last Stand and Wolverine), I’d understand why some people may not be too overjoyed by the prospect of another.

This one, however, comes courtesy of the same writer-director team (Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn) that brought us Stardust and Kick-Ass. Expect plenty of fast-paced dialogue and visuals as we meet Professor X and Magneto before they called themselves Professor X and Magneto.

3. True Grit
(11th February 2011)

The Coens’ last movie, A Serious Man, was my favourite movie of 2009. Their next film is True Grit, a remake of the 1969 Western which won John Wayne an oscar.

The Coens showed they could handle the genre in a modern setting with the superb No Country For Old Men. True Grit is set during a more traditional timeframe as Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon help a 14-year old girl hunt down her father’s killer.

2. Super 8
(August 2011)

Not much is known about Super 8 beyond that it’s written and directed by J.J. Abrams, and is intended as a throwback to Spielberg’s sci-fi films of the 70s and 80s. The title also suggests it may be based on ‘found footage’ from a Super 8 camera. (cf. Cloverfield, Blair Witch Project, etc.)

Any more information than that you’ll have to glean from the teaser trailer. Like the original trailer for Cloverfield, this is a masterclass in giving us just enough footage to leave you confused, intrigued and excited about the film:

1. Black Swan
(21st January 2011)

Darren Aronofsky has become one of the most exciting directors of the past decade or so. Films like Requiem for a Dream and The Fountain have given the audiences experiences unlike anything else in American cinema.

Black Sawn seems to use a lot of the fantastical and psychological elements from these two films. We follow Natalie Portman’s tormented ballerina, desperate to take centre stage from her rival, played by Mila Kunis. Those who have seen Requiem for a Dream will know no one does ‘central character going insane’ better than Aronofsky.

Edinburgh International Film Festival – My Top Five Picks

Yesterday the schedule for The Edinburgh International Film Festival was announced. We already knew The Illusionist, from the creators of Belleville Rendez-vous, was going to open the event and that Toy Story 3 would play in Edinburgh the day after its world premiere on 18th June.

However, yesterday was the day we found out about the other 131 movies that will feature at this year’s festival. Tickets go on sale on 3rd June at 12 noon. I’ve picked out five I think you should look out for:

Mr Nice
Directed by Bernard Rose

Based on Howard Marks’ autobigraphy, Mr Nice tells the tale of the Oxford graduate turned drugs smuggler, played by Rhys Ifans. Along the way he gets involved with the IRA, Mafia and wanted by the DEA. Expect a mix of comedy and action as we see the enigmatic Marks talk his way in and out of perilous situations:

Mr Nice Trailer

The Secret in Their Eyes
Directed by Juan José Campanella

El Secreto de Sus Ojos 02.JPGFrom Argentina comes the winner of this year’s “Best Foreign Language Film” at the oscars. It’s set in 1999, but features flashbacks to 25 years earlier, as our protagonist tries to piece together a case that has haunted him for decades: the rape and murder of a young woman in 1974. Pitched as part murder-mystery, part romance, this one is definitely a must see for any film aficionado.

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?
Directed by Werner Herzog

“Produced by David Lynch and Directed by Werner Herzog” should be enough to convince most film fans to go and see this one. Marketed as “Inspired by a true story” (the most misleading statement known to man BTW – what film is not inspired by at least one true story?), Herzog describes it as “a horror film without the blood, chainsaws and gore”. Although certainly from the trailer, it looks more like a psychological thriller than a fright-fest….

My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done Trailer

The Extra Man
Directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini

extra man 04.jpgPossibly the most star-studded of this year’s films, The Extra Man sees Paul Dano, John C. Reilly, Katie Holmes and Kevin Kline join directors Berman and Pulicini (American Splendour) for a film that sees Kline take young playwright Dano under his wing. It seems this has the type of indie sense of humour one might associate with Wes Anderson, and its unsurprising that this made its debut at Sundance: a festival renowned for such quirky indie hits. I for one am a huge fan of movies of this ilk, and can’t wait to see Dano in a role supposedly markedly different from both There Will Be Blood and Little Miss Sunshine.

Third Star
Directed by Hattie Dalton

THIRD STAR.jpgRounding off this year’s fest comes Third Star, a British bromance/road-trip movie. Combining the type of comedy and emotion of something like Cemetery Junction, it features four friends going on what they hope will be a relaxing trip away, but practical difficulties and emotional revelations inevitably get in the way of such notions. The festival has put a lot of confidence in the movie by putting putting it in as the closing night gala, here’s hoping its World Premiere doesn’t disappoint.

The Edinburgh Film Festival runs from 16th until 27th June. Tickets can be booked in advance on the website:

New Treme Trailer (From Creators of The Wire)

A few months ago I featured the teaser trailer for Treme, the new show based in New Orleans, from the creators of The Wire.

Since then, they’ve released this trailer, which gives us a much better idea of what to expect from the show:

You’ll notice in the trailer, we get John Goodman bookending the footage, talking about what’s great about New Orleans: the music, the food, the people.

It seems like this show will do for that city, what The Wire did for Baltimore. Although, the trailer at least, makes it seem more like a love letter than The Wire’s warts and all depiction of The City That Bleeds. Nevertheless, given David Simon’s history of creating realistic depictions of people, places and events, I don’t think the show will match this tone as it progresses.

The characters are what we’d expect from the talent involved. Wendell Pierce (aka Bunk) is a talented but drunken musician , Steve Zahn is loveable mess of a DJ, Clarke Peters (aka Lester) is a stubborn man, determined to live in what remains of his house.

Finally, it’s clear that the gap between the federal government’s aid and what the people actually need will be a clear theme in the first season. A stand-out line for me was:

“Still got a lot of water?”
“Oh not much… less than a foot.”

That and the ‘foreign’ interviewer implication that New Orleans is no longer a great city, no longer a city worth saving seems to be the lens through which this story will be told.

Treme debuts on HBO in America this Sunday 11th April . No word yet on any UK networks buying the show.

Scott Pilgrim Trailer: Frame by Frame Analysis

Regular readers of this blog will know how much I’m looking forward to the Scott Pilgrim movie – it was my top pick in my Top 5 Most Anticipated Movies of 2010.

So imagine my excitement on Thursday, when its director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) tweeted a link to the teaser trailer. I’ve embedded said trailer here for you in all its high-def glory:

If you’re a fan of the comic, or were in any way impressed with the trailer, the following is also worth a look. It’s a frame-by-frame analysis that explains a few more of the plot details and characters in the kind of awesome detail I could only dream of doing:

Anyway, colour me excited. I’d strongly advise reading the comics before you see the film, since the series is one of the most enjoyable and engaging stories I’ve read in a while: full of humour, geeky references and even a few tears. I’ve included the first four pages of volume 1 below to give you a wee taster. If you like what you see, why not buy it at amazon now?

If you’re having trouble reading the images below, just right click and go to ‘View Image’ to see a nice big, readable version.

“Scott Pilgrim is dating a high-schooler?!”