Which Trailers reigned
supreme in February?
Godzilla | Gareth Edwards
Gareth Edwards’ welcome remake of the Japanese classic had the teaser treatment some months back and it elicited more than a bit of excitement out of us here at ReelGood. In this, the first official trailer, we’re offered a stronger sense of the storyline, and it seems as though it will be a split story of sorts with one to follow Bryan Cranston’s Joe Brody (presumably a scientist of some description) in conjunction with Ken Watanabe’s Daisuke Serizawa (most likely a Japanese-scientist character). Another thread looks to follow a team of specialist Marine types sent to bring down the beast presumably with more than their assault rifles. Elizabeth Olson is in there too as Brody’s daughter Elle, and strong support abounds with the likes of Juliette Binoche and David Straithorn. Whether the last three will have their own arcs and significant screen time remains to be seen.
What’s to like? A great cast and an inspired choice of director. You might remember Edwards’ Monsters from a few years back, an atmospheric and tense film that took on a sci-fi premise and shot it like a travelogue. That gives us faith that action won’t be sacrificed for story or character, though having said that we expect great visuals with the aftermath and horror of Godzilla’s destruction being just as present as the beast itself. In that sense Godzilla looks like he’ll be in more realistic hidden or human POV type shots, with a few breathtaking examples present in the trailer.
Will it be good? God I hope so and judging from both trailers; yes. No Mathew Broderick in sight, and you can pretty much guarantee there won’t be baby Godzilla’s running around Madison Square Gardens. We’re a little worried that Gyorgy Ligeti’s haunting Requiem (you might recognise it from 2001: A Space Odyssey) might disappear from the final film but lets hope not because it works ridiculously well in the trailers. Also one criticism of Monsters was that despite its title, you hardly ever saw the titular ‘monsters’. We’re confident this won’t be the case with Godzilla. Edwards will probably tease us with distant, murky shots of Godzilla but he’ll undoubtedly leave us pleased with how much we see the films star. To quote my housemate, we have a big radioactive boner for this one.
Guardians of the Galaxy | James Gunn
With Batman vs. Superman and X-Men: Days of Future Past coming up, you’d be forgiven for not picking up on this more obscure comic book adaptation. Though Marvel films aren’t without humour (Iron Man hams it up a little, even Thor had laughs) Guardians is a much more comedic prospect as is clear in this first trailer. Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) ends up leading a rag-tag group consisting of Groot (a sort of tree alien), Rocket (a talking raccoon), Drax (a glowing man mountain) and Gamora (Zoe Saldana green instead of the usual blue). Quill and outfit running from powerful dark powers after coming into possession of a much coveted orb; hijinks and hilarity ensue.
What’s to like? Chris Pratt is a really unsung comic actor and a good choice to lead the film even if he’s not immediately recognisable to many commercial viewers. Let’s hope his star status leaps up after this one. Bradley Cooper is sort of in it, well, he voices Rocket Raccoon, but that will hardly get bums on seats. We get a good sense of tone from the trailer and it looks fun; set design doesn’t look cheap nor do the snippets of CGI. I’m sure us nerds will like it but hard to say if the wider world will.
Will it be good? Tough call, all I know is that my gut tells me maybe. Honestly though, there are high hopes in some circles for this one though having flown relatively under the radar expectations aren’t ridiculously high outside of those circles. Science fiction comedy is a seldom-travelled road and it’s usually a tough sell. The credentials of director James Gunn leaves a little to be desired, but he has a fair history with comedy so hopefully he’ll at least get that part of it right.
Under the Skin | Jonathan Glazer
The trailer doesn’t give too much away so I’ll just tell you, Under the Skin is about an alien (Scarlet Johansson) who seduces and murders men around Scotland. Where the story goes from there is anyone’s guess, but judging by some of the shots offered in the trailer, this could be a bit of a head fuck.
What’s to like? We’re guessing that visually speaking and in terms of film score this could be a real winner. The screeching strings in the trailer would keep Hitchcock up at night; the foreboding and menacing shots of a bitter Scotland suggest a fitting setting for a morbid tale full of graphic nudity and violence.
Will it be any good? Unsure, again, it looks great, but how engaging Johansson will be and how far the story can seduce us remains to be seen. Writer/director Jonathan Glazer has a music video background, which always makes me a little skeptical in regards to the quality of the writing; too often film clip directors are heavy on visuals but light on story when writing/directing a feature. One of Glazers other feature length films Birth had an interesting premise, but failed to really engage for an hour and half and that is the concern here with Under the Skin. Will it be all style and no substance? That is the question.
Brick Mansions | Camille Delamarre
Not sure if there is a storyline as such to this one, more a simple setup to have Paul Walker (may he rest in peace) show off some fighting skills alongside some French dude who is good a parkour. The two (who don’t like each other, well not at first anyway!) must infiltrate a ghetto that’s been inexplicably walled off from the rest of the world (that’s how you deal with crime!) because RZA has a missile that he’s going to shoot at, I dunno, rich white folk? Who knows?
What we’re excited about: Not a great deal, BUT the action looks fairly solid for the most part, and hey who doesn’t like a good stunt? The CGI chain swing looks quite naff but judging by a couple of gags in the trailer, the film doesn’t look like it’s going to take itself too seriously, but then again, how could it?
Will it be any good? Don’t hold your breath. I kind of feel sad that this is Paul Walkers last film; maybe he could have had some kind of Heath Ledger like turn to show the world he could actually act. Or maybe a shitty action film is more fitting. Either way you know what you’re getting yourself in for with Brick Mansions and no surprises are expected at this stage, though it has happened before where unpretentious and unselfconscious action flicks like this turn out to be pretty damn entertaining.
Other notable trailers from February:
Bad Country | Chris Brinker
Basically Willem Dafoe and Matt Dillon running around Louisiana with oversized moustaches doing cops and robbers type stuff. There seems to be a story about corruption or drug king pins or something in there but I was too distracted by the hilariously bad gun shot effects that sounded like they’d been pulled from a film effects packages for schools circa 1995 to really notice.
Unforgiven | Lee Sang-il
The whole American Western/Japanese Samurai Film hat tipping continues years after we thought the whole thing was over with. This time however, instead of Hollywood ripping off a Japanese classic, it’s the Japanese borrowing from the Yanks, and it’s none other than arguably one of the greatest of all Westerns, Unforgiven. Ken Watanabe stars and it appears as though this will be an engaging, and nicely shot remake. Extremely interested to see if it turns out to be more of a masterpiece than Eastwood’s classic, and even more excited to see if this reignites the respectful remakes of the past between these proud cinematic nations.
The Zero Theorem | Terry Gilliam
Looks positively mental, but hey that’s Terry Gilliam for you. The trailer is unlikely to change anyone’s mind, I mean, if you’ve seen a Terry Gilliam film you already know if you can handle it or not. Looks as though it’s definitely leaning towards Brazil territory rather than 12 Monkeys territory. If anyone can explain the plot from this trailer I’m all ears.
Others trailers to check out: 22 Jump Street, The Double, Enemy, and Transcendence. For more Lists, click here. If you’re digging ReelGood, sign up to our mailing list for exclusive content, early reviews and chances to win big!