Back in 2009, the Polish Brothers, Mark and Michael, released two films on the festival circuit: The Smell of Success premiered at Sundance, while Stay Cool opened at Tribeca. Now, two years later, both films are finally getting released in theaters. The Smell of Success just got a very limited opening this month, and Stay Cool will be hitting theaters September 16. A new trailer’s just been released for the latter, and… well, I can see why no one was in a hurry to rush this out.

Stay Cool follows a successful writer named Henry McCarthy (Mark Polish) who returns to his high school as a commencement speaker at the request of Principal Marshall (Chevy Chase). Once Henry arrives, Marshall encourages him to “connect” with the graduating class, which apparently means sitting in on classes and passing notes with students. (I don’t know about you, but I have never had a commencement speaker that did this.) Winona Ryder plays Henry’s high school crush, who’s now a local pharmacist, while Hilary Duff plays a current student who’s got her eye on Henry. Sean Astin, Josh Holloway, and Jon Cryer also star. Watch the trailer after the jump.

Read More »

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?

Read More »

Teaser Trailer: The Polish Brothers’ Oz


Hollywood is going crazy with Wizard of Oz sequels, prequels, reboots and re-imaginings. Earlier this week it was confirmed that Sam Raimi had signed on to direct the Wizard of Oz prequel Oz The Great and Powerful starring Robert Downey Jr. It has been previously rumored that Drew Barrymore is planning to direct a Wizard of Oz sequel titled Surrender Dorothy. Meanwhile, Universal have their Wicked film (based on the Oz-related musical of the same name) somewhere along the pipeline. And I’m sure there are others in various stages of development.

A teaser trailer has appeared online today (found via the playlist) for a new film from Michael and Mark Polish titled Oz. It appears to be a Wizard of Oz prequel, as the clip features a younger-than-normal Dorothy walking down a hallway with the Cowardly Lion (who is played by a realistic-looking lion and not a man in lion make-up). Watch the teaser trailer for Oz after the jump, and please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Read More »