Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?
The Damned United Trailer
The one name I will always remember from the trip I took to Ireland in 2002 is Roy Keane. Part of Ireland’s soccer team, he caused quite a kerfuffle when he spoke out about Irish players being treated unfairly during their run for the 2002 World Cup. It led newscasts, it was on every paper and it was the subject people most wanted talk about. I learned a lot about football/soccer on that holiday as I saw people’s home adorned in green, white, and orange bunting as if Christmas really was coming in June.
I know how this sport can grip an entire country and this trailer gets that passion down on film. Read More »
Adam Salky‘s feature directorial debut Dare premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. The movie is based on Salky’s 2005 short film which was met with acclaim at film festivals. The feature length version stars Emmy Rossum in a story about what happens when “a pompous actor tells good girl Alexa (Rossum) that she hasn’t lived, she embarks on a bold journey that takes her to mysterious bad boy Johnny (Zach Gilford). Envious, her shy best friend Ben (Ashley Springer) also dares to pursue Johnny, complicating Alexa’s romance and pushing the boundaries among the three friends.” Watch the trailer embedded after the jump.
The Sundance Institute has announced the first half of the line-up for the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Included in the first press release are the films in competition in the Drama and Documentary segments. 3,661 feature-length films were submitted this year, which is 37 more films than last year. For the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, 118 feature-length films were selected including 87 world premieres, 19 North American premieres, and 4 U.S. premieres representing 21 countries with 42 first-time filmmakers, including 28 in competition. Before we get into the full list, I would like to point out some of the films that particularly interest me. Also, now should be the time for me to admit that I focus more on English-language films, so my foreign picks will probably be lacking.
The Wrestler screenwriter Robert Siegel makes his directorial debut with Big Fan, which stars Patton Oswalt as a parking garage attendant and hardcore New York Giants football fan who struggles to deal with the consequences when he is beaten up by his favorite player. Michael Rapaport also stars. I loved the humor that Siegel brought to The Wrestler, and with Oswalt in the lead – this one is a no brainer.
The Office star John Krasinski makes his directorial debut with a big screen adaptation of David Foster Wallace‘s book Breif Interviews with Hideous Men. The story follows Julianne Nicholson as a doctoral candidate in anthropology who “tries to remedy the heartache” of being dumped with little explanation, by interviewing men about their behavior. Krasinski, Dominic Cooper and Timothy Hutton also star.
In Cold Souls, Paul Giamatti stars as a famous American actor who in the midst of an existential crisis, “explores soul extraction as a relief from the burdens of daily life.” Okay, doesn’t have the best plot description but Giamatti is involved, as well as David Strathairn, Emily Watson, and Lauren Ambrose.
Emmy Rossum stars in Adam Salky‘s feature directorial debut Dare, about “three very different teenagers discover that, even in the safe world of a suburban prep school, no one is who she or he appears to be.” IMDB also provides a different teaser synopsis: “The good girl, the outsider and the bad boy…like you’ve never seen them before.” This is a feature length adaptation of Salky’s 2005 short film which was met with acclaim at film festivals. I’m a sucker for coming of age films.
Everyone is talking about Paper Heart, the film that Michael Cera made under the raydar with his girlfriend Charlyne Yi. The film is apparently a meta-love story with the stars playing themselves (?). The pre-festival hype aside, I would see this film based on Cera’s involvement alone.
Teeth star Jess Weixler returns to Sundance opposite Jason Ritter in a big screen adaptation of Peter and Vandy, the Drama Desk Nominated Best Play that was lauded for its “almost embarrassing intimacy and killer comic timing.” The film tells the story of a contemporary Manhattan love story, told out of order, with no beginning and no end. Festival programer Geoffrey Gilmore says that “One of the themes” of this year’s festival is “the kind of new-generation love story,” … a new “way of telling love stories right now by a new, younger generation that’s different, that’s fresh, that’s original.” This and the Cera film Paper Heart seems to fit into this statement.
Jeff Daniels stars as the title character Arlen Faber, a reclusive author of a groundbreaking spiritual book awakens to new truths when two strangers enter his life. The film also stars Kat Dennings (Nick and Norah), Olivia Thirlby (Juno, Wackness), and Lauren Gram. The film was formerly titled “The Dream of the Romans“, which is a much better title if you ask me.
In Good Hair, Comedian Chris Rock turns documentary filmmaker when he sets out to examine the culture of African-American hair and hairstyles. I’m not sure if it will be good, like many of Chris Rock’s films, but I’ll always be there for anything the guy creates.
Documentary filmmaker R.J. Cutler was given unprecedented access for a film titled “The September Issue“. Cutler and crew shot Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour and her team over the corse of nine months as they prepared the 2007 VogueSeptember issue, widely accepted as the “fashion bible” for the year’s trends. I’ve always been interested in the world of journalism, even if the Fashion world might be a very different realm. And I must admit that The Devil Wears Prada has me very interested to catch this one.
You can read the full press release (which includes a listing of all the films announced today) after the jump.
DBthemovie has gotten their hands on a new Dragonball character poster featuring Emmy Rossum as Bulma (seen above). Head on over to Nerdorama to see exclusive screen captures from the official movie trailer.
Emmy Rossum has posted a new update from the sand dunes set of Dragonball (the big screen live action Dragonball-Z movie). Rossum describes the set located outside Dunas de Bilbao as “a sand dune desert.”
“I’ve been riding the motorcycle in 4-foot sand drifts since sunrise to get the shot just right. The wonderful, kind and talented Chow Yun Fat is hanging on for dear life in back. We’ve been doing about 40mph, and over bumpy sand dunes that is enough to make anyone a little queasey. Chow is so kind, so calm and a bit of a prankster (which I love!) and he hasn’t complained once. The sand is pretty deep here, and we’ve had to dig the bike out a few times when it has stalled in the drifts, but the crew and stunt guys and girls are so helpful.”
“I’m really enjoying getting to know Joon Park. I’m not allowed to spill any secrets, but our characters interact a lot in the film. If you don’t know a lot about Joon, in addition to being an actor, he has a massively successful band in Korea (he writes a lot of the music) and is also a great dancer. Not only is Joon very cute and extremely charming, he’s gracious and very down to Earth. We’ve been trading music, giving each other some of our favorite stuff â€“ he happens to love classic rock. Because everyone’s taste in music is so personal, I’ve found music a very good way to get to know someone.”
Rossum also talks about feeding the desert rabbits (yes, there are such a thing) with “lettuce, greens, and chayote” from craft service. You can read her full blog post on MySpace.
Dragonball star Emmy Rossum talks about training and filming with Chow Yun Fat in her latest blog entry:
“Sorry I’ve been rather quiet for a bit, I’ve been working on a very exciting new film that I’m shooting outside the US. I’m working with the great Chow Yun Fat and I’m very excited about the role, which is so different than any role I’ve ever played. I love the character and I’m excited to get to share something so fun with you. In prep for the film I’ve been training very hard, learning how to fight, fire a gun, weapons training and even some martial arts. It’s fun to play such a different character when I am such a pacifist in real life. Speaking of pacifisim and peace, I want to wish everyone a happy, healthy holiday and New Year.”
In Dragonball, Rossum plays Bulma, an inventor/scientist whose father’s Dragon Ball is stolen by Piccolo. James Wong’s live action adaptation of the popular anime series also stars Justin Chatwin, James Marsters, Jaimie Chungand Joon Park. Dragonball will hit theaters on August 15th 2008.
I’ve written 29 news stories in the last 48 hours, yet, believe it or not, wasn’t able to get to everything I’ve wanted to show you. I usually let go of these “missed opportunities”. After all, there are only 24 hours in a day. But I’ve decided to make it a new years resolution (yes, an early one) to compile some these passed over gems in a new “Page 2” link blog. Basically, Page 2 will contain all the news not fit to print. I’m not sure how often I’ll be doing this, but we’ll see. You are reading the introduction to the first edition. Don’t turn away and don’t underestimate their value, some good links can be found below.
Emmy Rossum (Poseidon), Eriko Tamura (Heroes), and newcomer Joon Park (Speed Racer) have joined the cast of 20th Century Fox’s live-action adaptation of Dragon Ball Z. Meh! [THR]
Principal Photography has wrapped on Punisher: War Zone. More Meh! [SHH]
James Bond star Daniel Craig might have inadvertently given away the title to the upcoming Casino Royale sequel. Rumor has it that the film will be titled “007” because, as Craig explained “the first movie dealt with him earning his 00 status and now he is 007 for the first time”. [AICN]
Universal has put the Smokin Aces‘ direct-to-DVD prequel on hold until the writers strike is over. Apparently the studio’s budget of the current script draft came in at $17 million, which isn’t too far off from the original theatrical film. When the strike is over, the writers will be brought back in to do some chopping. Joe Carnahan writes: “We’ve already made contact with most of the actors we want to return but we’ve still got a few tricks up our sleeve and some surprises.” [SmokinJoe]
I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but the screenwriters are on strike. Juno screenwriter Diablo Cody has found a way to spend some of her free time. She will now be writing a weekly column in Entertainment Weekly called Binge Thinking (clever). The first column is about Juno’s unexciting press tour. And better yet, you can read it online for free. Hey, it’s better than Stephen King’s column (as if that’s an accomplishment). Congrads to Diablo on the new gig. [EW] John Singleton has been confirmed as the director of the big screen adaptation of The A-Team. Just what we need, another bad television adaptation. [cine] Jessica Simpson‘s latest movie is such a stinker, it’s being released direct to DVD. [Perez]
Wizard Magazine cast Ray Park as Snake Eye in their version of a live-action G.I. Joe movie nearly seven years ago. [TMB]
Did You Know: In the late-1980’s, Pixar was developing a the Oscar winning short film Tin Toy into a christmas special titled “A Tin Toy Christmas.” The project got shelved but later became the inspiration for Toy Story. [Jim Hill]
The X-Files 2 is now in production, and set photos are beginning to leak. Check out this new one of David Duchovny as Fox Mulder. [CS]
The Lost Boys 2 writer Hans Rodionoff is working on a four-issue limited comic book series for Wildstorm on the Frog Bros. Rodionoff says, the series will “bridge the movies together – what Edgar and Alan Frog were doing between the first movie and the second one. We’ll get to play with Haim’s character a little bit.” I’m in. [Shock]