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?
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Posted on Thursday, April 22nd, 2010 by David Chen
The Independent Film Festival of Boston has begun! I’ll be here over the course of the next week providing coverage, hopefully in the form of interviews with exciting people from the indie film scene. Here are some of the movies I’m most looking forward to, and here’s a link where you can find all of our IFFboston coverage from this year and last year. Hit the jump for my brief chat with actor Kevin Kline, who was in town to receive a Career Achievement Award. In the meantime, if you have a movie you’re screening here and want to chat (or if you’re just a reader/listener in the area and want to say hi), feel free to e-mail me at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com.
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American Splendor directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini return to Sundance with The Extra Man, a comedy which will screen in the Premieres section. Based on a novel by Jonathan Ames (Bored to Death), the film tells the story of a down-and-out playwright who escorts wealthy widows in Manhattan’s Upper East Side takes a young aspiring writer under his wing. The cast includes Kevin Kline, Paul Dano, John C. Reilly, and Katie Holmes. After the jump we have photos, a poster, and a very extended plot synopsis from this upcoming film.
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It didn’t take long at all for Robert Redford‘s The Conspirator to get off the ground. The film, which hinges on the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, was announced only months ago and is already shooting in Savannah, GA. We knew some of the cast prior to the shoot’s start, but now we’ve got a host of good names to throw your way, in addition to some pics and video. Read More »
Universal Pictures has released a new trailer for The Tale of Despereaux, the new computer animated family fantasy adventure from Sam Fell (Flushed Away) and Robert Stevenhagen (supervising animator of Space Jam and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West).
This trailer makes the film look less like a copy of Ratatouille (a problem I had with the teaser). The film doesn’t look all that special compared to even Dreamworks’ Monsters vs. Aliens. The animated adaptation features the voices of Emma Watson, Dustin Hoffman, Christopher Lloyd, Sigourney Weaver, Matthew Broderick, and Kevin Kline. Watch the trailer after the jump, and tell me what you think in the comments below.
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Ryan Reynolds’s star has not blazed into the sky yet. Sure, he has made numerous attempts and coasted around orbit before burning out into a falling star back to earth, but his rise has not stuck. It’s starring vehicles like Definitely Maybe that stunt his growth as an actor, he is unable to unleash his dry, witty lashbacks and deadpan grace upon us. In the recent past he has done well, in my opinion with some light fluff like Just Friends, which is good, and PG-13′d him into his vulgar- less brilliance. He took on the task of working with an amazing ensemble in Smokin’ Aces with great success holding his own with the great Ray Liotta, Andy Garcia, Affleck, and Common…That last part was a joke… But all he got to really do was scream “Come on!” and “Goddamn it!” I believe he works best in comedy where he can unleash his talent in the fashion he is best conditioned to.
This brings us to Definitely Maybe. He doesn’t get to use any of his chops that we have grown accustomed to here in this flick and we are worse off for it. Now here is my conundrum as a reviewer. I’ve had two days to think of what to say and I’ve decided to be honest, I’m not sure what genre this movie falls into after having seen it. It wasn’t laugh out loud funny. It wasn’t very romantic. And to top it all off it wasn’t very dramatic. We have Reynolds, a single dad, who gets two days a week with his daughter, the new “IT” girl, Dakota Breslin…I mean Abigail. She wants to know the story of how her parents met after a class in Sex Ed and whether or not she was an accident or not. So because Reynolds wants to make a game out of it for some reason, (She doesn’t want to go bed, and to shut her up he tells a 9 hour story) we have Breslin with a checklist playing CLUE with her dad to find out in his past, which serious lover her mom is. Because he must change the names so she can figure it out on her own.
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