With summer behind us, it’s time to look forward to fall. Ah, fall. Leaves turning. Temperatures mercifully dropping. Pro football back to the field (phew!). Best of all, it’s the best time of year for movies. Ambitious Oscar hopefuls make their pitches starting in September while patient box office dynamos wait for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays to bring them a bit of luck. We get it all in the fall. What better way to prepare ourselves than previewing it through previews? Below are the most intriguing trailers for the remaining year (sorry, that means no Dark Knight Returns info). Some may turn out as grand as their marketing department made them out while others merely capitalize from the initial depiction before disappointing. Either way, forget Tosh.0’s YouTube videos—these are the ideal form of two-minute entertainment.
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Now that Olivia Wilde has put rumors of a turbulent post-divorce love life to bed by revealing to Jimmy Kimmel (July 27th) that there’s a “no sex hex” on her new home—supposedly left there by a certain trio of notoriously chaste brothers—it’s time to draw attention back to her acting. That is, as far as there ever was any attention; Wilde seems to have fallen prey to an all-sex hex, meaning that reviewers cannot seem to get past her physical appearance.
Wilde is quickly establishing herself as the breakthrough star of 2011 on the big screen. While many already know her from television series such as House (Dr. Remy “Thirteen” Hadley) and The O.C. (Alex “Marissa’s girlfriend” Kelly), from last year’s holiday blockbuster Tron: Legacy, or simply from topping Maxim’s Hot 100 list, attention to her acting prowess has been limited in favor of discussions of her characters’ bisexuality or the actress’ supposedly turbulent love life. This summer, critics will have another shot at making things right: she’ll be all over a theatre near you, in Jon Favreau’s much-anticipated Cowboys and Aliens and the Ryan Reynolds/Jason Bateman-fronted body switch flick The Change Up, and butter-carving Butter and In Time are also scheduled for release this year.
A few days ago, the trailer for Steven Soderbergh’s latest film, a thriller entitled Contagion, was released around the world, and immediately a certain amount of buzz began to build. It wasn’t over the storyline about a global pandemic quickly growing out of control, or the stellar cast that includes Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Jude Law, and Laurence Fishburne. No, within a few short hours of its release, the web was working overtime to lambast the decision to reveal one of the movie’s major plot points. In case you haven’t heard, we will put up the traditional SPOILER warning, but since this fact is also the main focus of this piece, it seems rather moot. Toward the tail end of the preview, as things are growing more and more desperate, Damon learns that his wife, played by Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow, has died from the disease.
Shock! Horror! A major star actually succumbs to the main plot point. While we don’t know the particulars, including when exactly this happens in the narrative and whether or not Damon is actually being told the truth (could be one of those ‘secreted away for experimentation’ ruses), many in Messageboard Nation couldn’t believe that a major motion picture selling itself on subject matter and star power would eighty-six one of its important leads in such a pre-release manner. After all, all the Gwyneth fans out there are probably fuming that their favorite is predestined to buy the farm - remember, at least from the trailer’s viewpoint - while others in the cast are going to live (again, supposedly).
The news surrounding Transformers: Dark of the Moon has focused as much on the dispute between former leading lady Megan Fox and director Michael Bay as it has on the actual film. Even though Fox’s expressions were less than eloquent, and the terms she decided to use were reprehensible, Transformers 3 demonstrates that there is validity to her point about Bay portraying women in a negative light. While I wouldn’t go as far as to call him misogynistic, here are some observations on the film that outline his one-dimensional portrayal of women. (warning: this will obviously entail a few details on the plot, so don’t read on if you don’t want to be spoilered).
The film starts off with a long tracking shot of Rosie Huntington-Whitely’s tanned and toned derriere walking up a flight of stairs. She is Sam’s new girlfriend—the only explanation for the complete absence of Fox’s Michaela is that Michaela “couldn’t deal with it” and left. The first scene also shows that Sam is annoyed that Carly has to provide for him, her “American boy-toy.” He is desperately looking for a job to cover his half of the rent, and the role-reversal is making him so grumpy that Carly readily offers to reward his job of keeping an eye on the house with non-monetary pleasures.
Finally - a trailer that “gets” it.