Trailers postsWednesday November 19, 2014
What's Wrong with the Peanuts Movie Trailer?
It's the laughter.
First, everyone laughs because Snoopy plugs Woodstock into a socket? And he keeps getting lit up? As if electrocuted?
Then everyone laughs because Charlie Brown dumps a bucket of popcorn on his head? In “Peanuts” of old, yes, everything went wrong for good ol' Charlie Brown; but when the other kids laughed at him, we didn't think it was funny; we didn't identify with the other kids; we identified with Charlie Brown.
Plus the titles are too spread apart. “NEVER STOP” comes at 0:19, “DREAMING BIG” at 0:30. By which point we're wondering, “Wait, what about dreaming big again?”
Christmas 2015, apparently. Directed by Steve Martino, who directed “Horton Hears a Who.”
Really, this just makes me sad. They're obviously try to revive the series with the same sounds for Snoopy and Woodstock, and with the Sopwith Camel, but they miss out on the most essential element.
Trailer: MLK Gets Ready for His Close-Up in 'Selma'
In an MSNBC piece on the actor Jeffrey Wright published nine years ago, I wrote the following about his performance of Dr. Martin Luther King in HBO's film “Boycott”:
When I finally saw the film what blew me away was not just the imitation — that he could do both versions (rousing and everyday) of the public Dr. King — but that he was able to articulate a private Dr. King that felt real. ... The theme of “Boycott” (a good film, if too flashily directed) is that history just doesn’t happen. History is a series of choices, and the filmmakers work hard to show you the choices that began the civil rights movement. To do this they need a human Dr. King who works things through — from simply asking for a more humane bus system to demanding the elimination of segregation itself. It’s not just a great performance; no one will ever do a better Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Let me repeat that: No one will ever do a better Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Now we'll see. Now, nine years later, it's David Oyelowo's turn:
- Tom Wilkinson as LBJ and Tim Roth as George Wallace? Are there no Southerners to play Southerners? Do we always have to go across the Atlantic?
- I love Wilkinson, but does his LBJ lack ... charm? LBJ oozed. He cajoled. Maybe he was different when dealing with King and Hoover but we need to see some of that.
- The march (or marches) in Selma is an interesting choice. Was it the last truly successful moment of the traditional civil rights movement? Before cries of “Black Power!” were heard, and the white middle class began to drift away? Before Chicago and the poor people's campaign and Memphis? Before Nixon's triumph? My immediate thought is: Why not Birmingham? Why not start with Greensboro and end up in Birmingham?
But I'm glad this is being made. Because if it feels like we get Martin Luther King movies all the time, well, we don't. In fact, this is the first major theatrical film in which King is the central character. Did you get that? It's the first theatrical film in which King is the central character. Paul Winfield played him in a post-“Roots” TV miniseries in 1978, Wright in 2000 on HBO, but this is only the 43rd portayal of King ever, and most of those are bit parts in larger stories, usually on TV, about the Kennedys, or Hoover, or Hover vs. the Kennedys. Because liberal Hollywood.
New Yorkers and Los Angelenos get “Selma” on Christmas Day. The rest of us, Jan. 9.
The Best Line in the 'Avengers 2' Trailer
“Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the sequel to the highest-grossing, non-James Cameron movie of all time, finally relased its trailer and ... what's the phrase? We've seen this movie before. There's the big baddie, a demand for subservience, crowds crying, our heroes in turmoil. Some of the inflection in James Spader's voice even reminds me of Heath Ledger's Joker: “You're all puppets. Tangled in ... strings.” Cf. “To them, you're a freak. Like me.”
But I liked one line. Here's the trailer:
And here's the line:
You want to protect the world, but you don't want it to change.
I like it because it's the argument I wanted Bane to make in “The Dark Knight Rises”: Stupid Batman, maintaining the status quo for Wall Street bankers. Beating up the street-corner guys but letting the system remain the same.
It's also a line that's true for most of us, I think. Most of us want something, something different, but we don't want things to change too much. Because who would we be in that new reality?
The rest of it? Eh. Broken shield, fallen hammer. But it's Joss Whedon so I have hope.
“Avengers 2” assembles on May 1, 2015.
Women in Cinema: SIFF Trailer
I don't know who created this trailer for the “Women in Cinema” series from SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) but they know what they're doing. I saw it the other night at a showing of “Sagrada” at SIFF Uptown and was blown away. It made me wish I was around this weekend (the series is from Sept. 18-21), but I'll be at the Port Townsend Film Festival with friends—one of whom, a woman in cinema, is showing her documentary “The Only Real Game,” about the popularity of baseball in Manipur, a border state in northeast India.
Lynn Shelton's new movie, “Laggies,” is premiering tonight at the reborn Egyptian on Capitol Hill. Jeff Wells, who hasn't been a huge fan of Shelton's previous work (“Humpday,” etc.), thinks it's her breakout movie.
Second 'Birdman" Trailer
I'm so there. I really hope it takes on all the crap it should take on—the obsessive, adolescent, wish-fulfillment fantasy of it all. Not just the sadness of his need but the sadness of our need. First trailer here. October 17.