The Humour Here Is Quite Direct

Oddly, considering that there isn't a major film festival or convention happening right now, that this week saw the release of many trailers for what stand to be some big film in the later half of this year and in into next. So, as I am often to do, I've thrown them altogether in one post, for your binging pleasure.

First up, above, is the first trailer for a film out of England, a remake of the 1970's sitcom Dad's Army. Proof that the Americans don't have the exclusive rights to rebooting prior franchises (the show ran for 9 series), this comedy war film focuses on a volunteer Home Guard brigade of men too old or too unfit to serve during WWII, getting into all manner of farce while looking after King and Country. Of course, every bit of appeal about this film lies in it's cast, which consists of Toby Jones, Michael Gambon, Bill Nighy, Tom Courtenay, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Bill Paterson and Mark Gatiss. That is a king's ransom of talent, and make this film a must watch, even if it turns out to be terrible.

Hit the jump for more, including Bryan Cranston's post Breaking Bad film, Mads Mikkelsen's Hannibal follow-up and Quentin Tarantino's next product of violence and lack of self restraint.

Up next is the first full trailer for Tarantino's The Hateful Eight. Now, if you're familiar with this site at all, you'll know how much I love a Western, and with a cast including Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern, it's hard to turn my nose up at the potential of this movie. And certainly, the movie looks like a hell of a lot of fun. But Tarantino has his periods: This first period, consisting of his first three movies, his second period, consisting of Kill Bill and Death Proof, and his current period, which started with Inglourious Basterds. And I am a huge fan of his first period, as is I believe pretty much everyone.

This second period was transitional, and I'm literally half and half on it (enjoyed Kill Bill Part 1, liked half of Part 2, didn't care for Deathproof). But I have not enjoyed his latest output. They are self indulgent and lack narrative focus. Tarantino has become to bloody action films what Woody Allen has become to New York character pieces: a prisoner of his own tropes. Django especially was a slog of a film. My hope is that, because of the constraint that Tarantino has placed on himself by limiting the action to the inside of a cabin during a blizzard will also require him to draw in his grander tendencies and produce something a little more grounded. Really, what I'm hoping for is a western version of Reservoir Dogs.

Next is Trumbo, a bio-pic being groomed for Oscar contention, the real life story of screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted by the McCarthy hearings, but continued to write (and win Oscars for) popular and successful movies of the era under pseudonyms; his works include Spartacus, Roman Holiday and From the Earth to the Moon. the movie is directed by Jay Roach, which surprised me, because he's more well known for comedies. And joining Cranston is an impressive cast including Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, Louis C.K., Elle Fanning, John Goodman, and Alan Tudyk.

However, I can't shake the similarities between this film and Hitchcock, a film I quite enjoyed. And it goes beyond Mirren's involvement in both (but Michael Stuhlbarg and Richard Portnow in practically identical roles doesn't help). I feel it's the cookie-cutter format of the bio-pic that is eating at me. It's already a genre I'm less then warm to, and the fact that this looks structurally and aesthetically indifferent from any other makes disinclined to become enthusiastic about it.

Finally, we have Men & Chickens, a Danish film chosen to premiere at TIFF this year, and headlined by Mads Mikklesen. My first reaction to this trailer is that this looks just bonkers insane. My second reaction is I now wish that Hannibal had afforded Mads more opportunities to showcase his comedic talents. My third is that this movie looks just bonkers insane. and might be the movie I want to see the most this year, suddenly. I could run down the plot for you, but I'd much rather you just watch the trailer. Because nothing I could say could do it justice. Seriously, just watch it.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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