Every week countless trailers go unnoticed or unreported. Trailers are an art form in and of themselves and can be just as entertaining, if not more, than the actual films, thus they deserve their own recognition. That’s why every week we sort through them and put the ones we feel you should watch here in our Trailer Roundup.
Synopsis: An epic retelling of the biblical story of Noah who, after suffering deadly premonitions of an apocalyptic flood, takes extreme measures to protect his family.
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Writer(s): Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel
Stars: Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Jennifer Connelly, and Emma Watson
Release Date: March 28, 2014
Thoughts: The Fountain was Aronofsky’s first foray into larger scale films, but this looks to trump that in every which way by being a true epic. Not surprising though, considering the budget is almost quadruple the formers, but by the trailer, it doesn’t look like Noah is using that budget for a complex and as intricate a story as his previous works. That said, it’s a forgivable problem considering most people know the story, or at least the general gist, so there isn’t much wiggle room to change it. Then again, it is most likely just the marketing trying to sell the film with its giant action set pieces. Some scenes in the trailer did seem to delve into Lord of The Rings territory, but the money shot at the end, the ark floating, ultimately sold me.
Synopsis: The classic tale, Sleeping Beauty, is given a new spin when told from the perspective of the villainous Maleficent, looking specifically at the events that hardened her heart, and got her to eventually curse the young Princess Aurora.
Director: Robert Stromberg
Writer(s): Paul Dini, Linda Woolverton, and John Lee Hancock
Stars: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlito Copley, and Juno Temple
Release Date: May 30, 2014
Thoughts: The idea of the untold story of Sleeping Beauty is unique, and Jolie seems perfect for this villainous role, but the overindulgence in CGI at the end really put me off and ruined what could’ve been an excellent teaser. It reminded me of a dark version of Sam Raimi’s Oz. Luckily though, the film is still a ways off so judging the effects is a bit unfair, but it brings up the question of why put it in the trailer? It doesn’t look very good, and I don’t think that’s a picky judgement. Hopefully the next trailer either moves away from it, or at least polishes the effects up a bit, cause the tone it’s going for could stand alone without it. Regardless, I still think Disney will have a hit on their hands come May.
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Synopsis: After being released from prison, a street racer who was framed by a wealthy business man joins a race across the country with revenge in mind. Meanwhile, his ex-partner puts out a bounty on his head just as the race begins.
Director: Scott Waugh
Writer(s): George Gatins, John Gatins, and George Nolfi
Stars: Aaron Paul, Michael Keaton, Dominic Cooper, Dakota Johnson, and Scott Mescudi (Kid Cudi)
Release Date: March 14, 2014
Thoughts: Story wise this appears to be pretty generic, but look wise, it seems freakin’ awesome. While it doesn’t look to have any direct thread to the game in its story (obviously besides for cars racing), there looks to be some pretty awesome action set pieces. A similar big budget franchise, Fast and Furious, has the whole insane stunts down to a point where they’re fantastical in their execution. This looks to counter with a more realistic feel to it all. In vein of Christopher Nolan’s work ethic, the majority of the film is done with practical effects, and the trailer did a good job of showing it. On the other hand, the acting seems competent. We know Aaron Paul is tremendous, but the material just doesn’t seem to be there to showcase his skills. The addition of Kid Cudi as the cool best friend looks fun, and for those that watched How to Make it In America, he’s really not a bad actor.
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Synopsis: Two programmers create the first ever piece of self-aware artificial intelligence, designed to help humanity. But it takes a turn for the worse when the MoD (Military possibly? No explanation to acronym) steal the design, and use it as a robotic weapon.
Director: Caradog W. James
Writer(s): Caradog W. James
Stars: Caity Lotz, Toby Stephens, and Denis Lawson
Release Date: TBA
Thoughts: I’m really starting to dig these Indie Sci-Fi films. When done right, you get some high-concept, yet smaller films that are really awesome, and I think The Machine could be one of them. Besides for the very generic title, I like the concept, and overall it seems like a low-budget I-Robot. The effects look competent, albeit the red glowing, and the tone, a mash of horror/thriller, seems to be pretty spot on for the idea. Also, it looks to delve into some ‘Splice’ territory at one point in the trailer, which could definitely be interesting.
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Synopsis: A contained thriller in which a couple gets lost on the way to a Music Festival, and soon become terrorized by an unknown evil as they drive to find their way out.
Director: Jeremy Lovering
Writer(s): Not Available
Stars: Ian De Caestecker, Alice Englert, and Allen Leech
Release Date: TBA
Thoughts: That’s how a horror trailer should be done. Set up the basic premise, add in some creepy music, disjointed dialogue, and make it go bat-shit insane by the end. This film has been getting rave reviews, and it looks to be getting a US release sometime soon. ‘Agents of Shield’ fans will recognize Ian De Caestecker taking quite a departure from that respective role, and the girl, Alice Englert, looks to hold her own, though isn’t given much in the trailer. The concept too feels so obvious, a couple getting lost driving in the woods, but I don’t believe its been executed properly in recent years. Word on the street is In Fear changes that.
Synopsis: A biography of the civil-rights activist and labor organizer Cesar Chavez.
Director: Diego Luna
Writer(s): Keir Pearson
Stars: Michael Pena, Rosario Dawson, and John Malkovich
Release Date: April 4, 2014
Thoughts: I’m really digging the tone this films going for. Cesar Chavez is a super important man in US history, and it could easily be done in a very feel good way, but it seems like they’re going for a darker take to his story which resonates more to real life. It also makes it look more thrilling, and could definitely attract a greater audience that other Biopics have trouble getting. Acting wise, Pena looks pretty incredible in this role, and it’s about time he breaks out with a complex character such as Chavez.
Synopsis: A poetic road trip through Pulitzer prize-winning CK Williams’ life.
Director: 12 NYU Film Students
Writer(s): 12 NYU Film Students
Stars: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Jessica Chastain, Zach Braff, and Bruce Campell
Thoughts: So this trailer doesn’t look very good. The story seems very disjointed, the cinematography looks uneasy and fluctuates, and the performances don’t look like anything special. But the conceit behind the production is why it’s noteworthy. 12 NYU students were picked to write and direct a part of CK William’s life, and major actors volunteered to be a part of it. The fact that these stars are helping up-and-comers is tremendous, and shines light away from the conceited view of most Hollywood actors.