Tag Archives: Beginners

The Times Like Those Alternative Oscars!

Every year, the same movies snatch up a big portion  of the Oscar nominations. Then, we hear about these movies for months as we lead up to Oscar night. And while this year has been a pretty exciting race (I’d say the winners for both lead acting categories are up in the air), and there were a few surprise nominees that snuck in at the last moment (what’s up, Demian Birchir?), it  can get a little bit repetitive to hear about the same movies over and over again, even if you enjoyed them.

In hopes of offering a change of pace, I’ve compiled my own “Oscar”  list of sorts. For my categories, I ignored all of the existing Oscar nominees and focussed on films and performances that didn’t receive as much awards attention this year. I also omitted people like Shailene Woodley, who did not receive an Oscar nomination but still got lots of attention from critics, bloggers, and awards groups leading up to the nominations.

Also, keep in mind that there are still lots of films from this year that I need to see. Shame, Take Shelter, Melancholia, and Martha Marcy May Marlene are just a few on that list.

Enjoy, and feel free to post your own “alternative Oscars” in the comments.

Best Picture

Drive

The Ides of March

Meek’s Cutoff

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Win Win

It may be a small, unassuming film, but Meek’s Cutoff stuck with me in a big way this year. The film is unconventional in almost every way (the pacing, the mumbled dialogue, the refusal to punch up the story with high drama), and it’s a true achievement in cinema.

Best Director

Tomas Alfredson, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

George Clooney, The Ides of March

Carey Fukanaga, Jane Eyre

Nicholas Winding Refn, Drive

Kelly Reichardt, Meek’s Cutoff

Again, I have to give this one to Meek’s Cutoff. While Nicholas Winding Refn offered a masterclass in cool and Tomas Alfredson built insane tension around old guys sitting around talking in a room, Kelly Reichardt created something truly unique. I didn’t care for her last project, Wendy and Lucy, but her deliberate pace and sparse, terse tone worked wonders in Meek’s.

Best Actor

Dominic Cooper, The Devil’s Double

Ryan Gosling, Drive

Tom Hardy, Warrior

Ewan McGregor, Beginners

Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris

Cooper masters not one but two challenging roles in this messy film. He’s chilling and downright crazy as Sadam Hussein’s son, Uday, and also deeply sympathetic as Latif, the man hired as Uday’s double. It’s a towering pair of performances, and Cooper finally realizes the potential he showed in small roles in films such as Starter for 10 and An Education.

Best Actress

Felicity Jones, Like Crazy

Keira Knightley, Last Night

Mia Wasikowska, Jane Eyre

Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids

Robin Wright, The Conspirator

Wiig gives a downright brilliant comedic performance in Bridesmaids, and sometimes that is enough for me. She throws herself into every gag headfirst, and she comes out in the end with a highly charming, perfectly executed performance. McCarthy is also great, but for me, Wiig is the reason to watch Bridesmaids.

Best Supporting Actor

Michael Fassbender, Jane Eyre

Colin Ford, We Bought a Zoo

Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Ides of March

Simon Pegg, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Mark Strong, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

I thought Fassbender was a tad overrated in X-Men (sorry), but he reminded me why I loved him so much in Fish Tank with a similarly physical and subtly threatening performance in the gorgeous Jane Eyre. He oozes charisma here, and makes for a completely magnetic screen presence. Kudos to Mark Strong, too, for fantastic scene-stealing work in Tinker Tailor, and for converting me into a Mark Strong fan.

Best Supporting Actress

Jessica Chastain, The Tree of Life

Anna Kendrick, 50/50

Carey Mulligan, Drive

Amy Ryan, Win Win

Michelle Williams, Meek’s Cutoff

It was the year of Chastain, and my favourite performance of hers (though I haven’t seen them all) was as the ethereal wife in The Tree of Life. It’s a beautiful, moving performance, and she slips seamlessly into the languid tone of the film.

Favourite Movie Posters of 2011

My 10 Favourite Movies of 2011


10. Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol

Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Simon Pegg, and Jeremy Renner proved to be the dream team in this surprisingly entertaining franchise reboot. Also notable is director Brad Bird’s seamless leap from Pixar to live action. He created a taught, fast-paced thriller that exemplifies what going to the movies is all about.

9. Beginners

Mixing human drama and gentle comedy, Beginners is a simple but effective story about family and love. The film is loosely based on director Mike Mills’ own experience with his father, and his closeness to the material only strengthens this heartfelt story.

8. Meek’s Cutoff

Director Kelly Reichardt deserves a lot of credit for turning a plotless 2-hour movie about a group of wandering pioneers into one of the year’s more compelling films. Reichardt’s stark visual style suits the subject matter perfectly, and subtle, ambiguous performances only strengthen the material.

7. Win Win

Paul Giamatti shines as a self-serving wrestling coach who takes a child prodigy under his wing in Win Win. It’s a quiet film, but with a stellar cast and a heartfelt story, it sticks with you more than you might think. In some ways it is a standard “indie” film, but without the pretentions that hinder some similar projects.

6. The Ides of March

Clooney directs a high-quality political thriller with a cast that most filmmakers could only dream of. Thankfully, with such a juicy story, he departs from his typically dry directorial style in favour a more popcorn-friendly flick full of drama, suspense, and plot twists.

5. Daydream Nation

Kat Dennings and Reece Thompson serve as very likeable leads in this quirky coming-of-age drama. The film is shot in an appropriately moody style, perfectly encapsulating the overboard misfit teen angst. Daydream Nation is simultaneously funny, moving, and just a little strange.

4. Bridesmaids

Bridesmaids says some nice thing about female friendships, but mostly, it’s just hilarious. Kristen Wiig proves that she deserves many more leading roles, and the supporting cast also gets to shine. With one laugh-out-loud scene after another, it’s the funniest film of the year.

3. The Descendants

The Descendants is a moving story about family and change, set against the gorgeous backdrop of the Hawaiian countryside. George Clooney and Shailene Woodley make for an appealing father/daughter duo, and director Alexander Payne deftly mixes heartfelt drama with small bouts of comedy.

2. Midnight in Paris

If you’ve ever wished to live in a different era, Woody Allen’s great Midnight in Paris will probably ring true for you. It’s a film that celebrates art, history, and the need for individuality, all told through Allen’s sharp, eloquent point of view. It’s also Owen Wilson’s best performance to date.

1. Super 8

Paying homage to the films of Spielberg (who is a producer here), J.J. Abrams crafted a hugely likeable sci-fi adventure with Super 8. Led by a cast of charming and distinct kids, this monster movie is exciting, fun, and everything that movies should be.

The Ultimate 2011 Movie Guide

You know all of those “most anticipated” lists that are out around this time? And you know how they all just have the year’s biggest blockbusters (Thor, Transformers 3, etc.) in varying order? Well, this list is different. It’s a mix of all different genres and sizes of movies (yes, including some blockbusters). I always find it interesting to look back at the movies that I was excited about. Because all it takes is a bad trailer and/or poor reviews to make me completely lose interest a lot of the time. So here’s a look at 50 films in 2011 that I’m excited for, in a very rough order.

1. The Tree of Life

Release Date: May 27

Director: Terrence Malick

Starring: Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn

The plot description is vague (something about a loss of innocence), but the trailer suggests that artistry takes precedence over plot. Director Terrence Malick (whose past films include The New World, Badlands, and The Thin Red Line) takes his time to make meditative films, and hopefully it will be worth the wait.

2. Contagion

Release Date: October 21

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Cast: Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Laurence Fishburne, John Hawkes, Demetri Martin, Bryan Cranston, Elliott Gould You can’t argue with that cast. The sci-fi storyline about scientists stopping a killer virus may not lend itself to such A-list star power, but with Soderbergh at the helm, it’s bound to be a cut above the usual genre fair.  

 

3. On the Road

Release Date: TBA

Director: Walter Salles

Cast: Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Sturridge, Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Steve Buscemi, Elizabeth Moss

This long-gestating adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s famous novel has a top-notch cast with some of my personal favourite current actors. Adapting such a huge book is always a challenge, but if they can pull it off, this could be a hugely popular film.

4. Young Adult

Release Date: TBA

Director: Jason Reitman

Cast: Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, Patton Oswalt

I love Jason Reitman as a director, and I love him even more when he teams up with screenwriter Diablo Cody. Charlize Theron stars as a divorced writer hoping to reconnect with a now married old flame (I’m guessing that’s Patrick Wilson’s character?). Even with that vague plot, the names attached make me thing that this might be a romantic dramedy that’s actually good.

5. X-Men: First Class

Release Date: June 3

Director: Matthew Vaughan

Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, January Jones, Rose Byrne, Kevin Bacon, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Lucas Till, Oliver Platt, Caleb Landry Jones

What is with the amazing casts this year? Hopefully they don’t disappoint, as these monster casts sometimes do (hi, Nine!). I could see this one going either way, but Matthew Vaughan (Kick-Ass) is a fun director, and with the actors attached, I’m sure I’ll enjoy it on some level. The trailer looks like promising, if not fairly standard, superhero fare.  

 

6. Ceremony

Release Date: April 8

Director: Max Winkler

Cast: Michael Angarano, Uma Thurman, Reece Thompson, Lee Pace

It earned strong reviews at TIFF, and Max Winkler’s directorial debut looks like a charming and funny coming-of-age tale. Angarano and Thompson have been deserving of a breakthrough role for years, and even if this isn’t the vehicle to rocket them to the big time, it’s refreshing to see some of Hollywood’s truly talented young actors get a chance to show off their acting chops.

7. Beginners

Release Date: June 3

Director: Mike Mills

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent

McGregor is always a joy to watch on screen, and it’s an added bonus when his movies are actually good. His career seems to be on the upswing again, and this modest little story about a man dealing with his father’s late-life coming out looks like charming fun, with a dollop of melancholy.

 

8. Restless

Release Date: TBA

Director: Gus Van Sant

Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Henry Hopper, Schuyler Fisk, Jane Adams

I would be slightly dubious about the “quirky” plot (“a terminally ill teenage girl who falls for a boy who likes to attend funerals”) if it wasn’t in such good hands. From his big-name fare (Good Will Hunting, Milk) to his artiest, least comprehensible work (Paranoid Park) Gus Van Sant is always an interesting director. The trailer makes it look like one of his more mainstream efforts, but Restless also appears to have Van Sant’s unique touch that makes me very excited.

 

9. Jane Eyre

Release Date: March 11

Director: Carey Fukunaga

Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Sally Hawkins, Judi Dench, Imogen Poots

It looks like it’s going to be a big year for both Wasikowska and Fassbender, and this sweeping adaptation of the classic Charlotte Bronte novel will likely give both their careers even more of a boost. Potentially overwrought but certain to be well-shot, the best-case scenario for Jane Eyre would be something along the lines of a darker version of 2005’s Pride & Prejudice.

10. Super 8

Release Date

Director: J.J. Abrams

Cast: Kyle Chandler, Elle Fanning, Amanda Michalka

After a completely esoteric teaser and an only slightly more telling Superbowl spot, I still don’t really know what Super 8 is about. But I have faith in J.J. Abrams after Lost and the Star Trek reboot. Elle Fanning is a young actress who I surprisingly really like, and I loved seeing Kyle Chandler (who will always be Coach Taylor to me) being a badass in the trailer. 

  • And 60+ More to Look Forward To…
    Potentially Hilarious Comedies
    There are few things that I enjoy more than a big, dumb comedy, if it’s done well. And, like most years before it, 2011 has a number of potential winners (most of which are bound to disappoint)

    • The most anticipated comedy of the year is probably The Hangover: Part II. But is a sequel really necessary?
    • Thanks to the first Hangover outing, The Office‘s Ed Helms gets his own film with Cedar Rapids.
    • And in a film that could be this year’s Hangover, three of the funniest dudes working today (Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman, and Charlie Day) compare Horrible Bosses. Oh yeah, and Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, and Jamie Foxx are along for the ride, too
    • David Gordon Green, who proved his comedy chops with Pineapple Express, and now he has a medieval stoner flick (with James Franco, no less!), Your Highness, and a baby-sitting-stint-gone-awry comedy, The Sitter (starring Jonah Hill, Sam Rockwell, Ari Graynor, and Max Records), on the docket for 2011.
    • The ladies (in this case, Kristen Wiig, Rose Byrne, Maya Rudolph, and Ellie Kemper) finally get a chance to be funny in an Apatow-produced comedy in Bridesmaids.
    • Capitalizing on the horror/comedy genre that 2009’s Zombieland explored to great effect, director Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) brings Anton Yelchin (one of this year’s hottest commodities), Colin Farrell, and David Tennant along for a remake of 1985’s Fright Night
    • Speaking of Zombieland, director Ruben Fleischer and star Jesse Eisenberg team up again for the caper comedy, 30 Minutes or Less. With a supporting cast that includes Aziz Ansari, Danny McBride, and Nick Swardson, it seems like a sure-fire laughfest…right?
    • And speaking of great casts, The Big Year stars Rashida Jones, Jim Parsons, Owen Wilson, Jack Black, Rosamund Pike, Steve Martin, Joel McHale, Dianne Wiest, and Anjelica Huston in a comedy about bird-watching.

    And what would the year be without a few star-studded rom-coms? Most of them sound exactly the same, but there are a few with a glimmer of hope.

    • Crazy Stupid Love offers the heavenly combination of Steve Carrell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone in a film about a struggling father trying to reconnect with his family.
    • Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd reteam thirteen years after The Object of My Affection for Wanderlust
    • And while I’m not a huge fan of multi-story rom-coms, What’s Your Number? stars Anna Farris as a woman recalling her past twenty (yes, twenty) relationships. And with a supporting cast that includes Andy Samberg, Joel McHale, Chris Pratt, Zachary Quinto, Chris Evans, Mike Vogel, Ari Graynor, and Thomas Lennon, even I can’t help but be excited.
    • Oh, and I kind of like Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake as actors, so I’m sort of excited for Friends With Benefits. So sue me.

     

    Shit Gets Serious

    Depressing Dramas!

    • Alright, this isn’t a depressing drama, but Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo is a mix of comedy and drama, and it stars Matt Damon, Elle Fanning, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Hayden Church and Patrick Fugit (yay!). The title kind of says it all.
    • Director Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count on Me) meditates on the aftermath of a bus crash in Margaret, which has an impressive cast of Anna Paquin, Matt Damon, Mark Ruffalo, Matthew Broderick, Kieran Culkin, Olivia Thirlby, Krysten Ritter, Allison Janey, and Rosemarie DeWitt
    • The Iceman delves into the life of infamous killer Richard Kulinski, and it stars James Franco, Benecio Del Toro, and Michael Shannon
    • Imagine a movie that stars Cillian Murphy, Michael Fassbender, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, and Colin Farrell. Well, this film might actually exist. At-Swim-Two-Birds is an Irish film based on an Irish novel directed by a respected Irish actor (Brendan Gleeson). And it’s going to be amazing, if it ever gets made (IMDB still lists it as in pre-production. Why must you tease us so?)
    • The Lucky One is a stupid-sounding movie based on a stupid-sounding book by a stupid author, but I will watch it and probably secretly really enjoy it because it stars stupid Zac Efron.

    Period Pieces!

    • Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, and Gary Oldman make a fetching trio in Cold War thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
    • Michelle Williams, Emma Watson, and Eddie Redmayne explore the life of Marilyn Monroe in the appropriately titled My Week With Marilyn
    • Frued and Jung face off in A Dangerous Method, which stars Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen and Keira Knightley
    • Cross-dressing in 19th century Ireland is made cool in Albert Nobbs. Glenn Close takes the titular role, while Mia Wasikowska, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, and Aaron Johnson make for a enticing supporting cast.
    • Teen heartthrob Robert Pattinson plays a social climber at the turn of the last century alongside Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci, and Kristen Scott Thomas in Bel Ami

    Sci-Fi!

    • Justin Timberlake, Cillian Murphy, Amanda Seyfried, Olivia Wilde, Alex Pettyfer, Matthew Bomer, and Johnny Galecki deal with the troublesome effects of anti-aging in
      Now (by Gattaca director Andrew Niccol)
    • Clive Owen and Daniel Bruhl (stars of my own personal dreams) come together for a supernatural thriller about clairvoyant children in Intruders
    • Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby , and Max Minghella escape an alien attack in The Darkest Hour
    • The infamously punishing Lars Von Trier guides Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Kiefer Sutherland through Melancholia, a thriller about Earth being on collision course with another planet.

    Action Movies!

    • Remember when Steven Soderbergh cast Sasha Grey in The Girlfriend Experiment? That sort of made sense as an experimental piece. Now he’s taking a somewhat similar risk by casting non-actor and fighter Gina Carano as the lead in Haywire. But this time she’s backed by a cast that includes Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Michael Angarano, and Bill Paxton in this story of a black ops soldier out for revenge. This is either going to be amazing or awful.
    • Tower Heist. Pros: It stars Casey Affleck and Ben Stiller, and it was written by Noah Baumbach. Cons: It was directed by Brett Ratner (director of the only X-Men movie that I disliked, and heartless conspirator against the precious Hugh Jackman), stars Eddie Murphy, and has a completely boring, generic-sounding story (some Ponzi scheme heist thing). I’m hoping the good outweighs the bad, though. It is Noah Baumbach, after all.
    • Driver explores the high-flying life of a stunt driver, starring Ryan Gosling and It Girl Carey Mulligan
    • Matt Damon plays a man on the run from unknown forces with Emily Blunt in The Adjustment Bureau

     

    Blockbusters

    • As someone who grew up with Harry Potter, it pretty much goes without saying that I am excited for the final movie chapter, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
    • Scorsese goes three dimensional with the highly anticpated Hugo Cabret. This adaptation of the children’s book stars Chloe Moretz, Michael Pitt, Jude Law, Emily Mortimer, Sascha Baron Cohen, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Lee, and A Serious Man‘s Michael Stuhlbarg.
    • David Fincher is on a roll, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, his adaptation of the massively popular Swedish book, is bound to be stylish and intense.

     

    Indies

    Sundance

    • Director Drake Doremus (Douchebag) earned huge acclaim at Sundance for his long-distance romance/coming-of-age story, Like Crazy (starring Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Twilight‘s Charlie Bewley, and Chris Messina)
    • One of the other break-out films of the festival was Martha Marcy May Marlene, which stars Elizabeth Olsen (sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley) as a young woman dealing with her escape from a cult. The top-notch supporting cast includes John Hawkes, Hugh Dancy, and Brady Corbet.
    • Paul Rudd steps behind the camera again with his rom-com-dram My Idiot Brother, and gets some help from Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Steve Coogan, Hugh Dancy, Rashida Jones, TJ Miller, and Adam Scott on screen.
    • Fundamentalism is this year’s whipping boy at the movies (seriously, did you see how many Sundance films took on religion this year?), and The Ledge is apparently a battle of wills between a Christian and an atheist that involves a man on the ledge of a very tall building. It stars Charlie Hunman (Sons of Anarchy), Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson, and Terrence Howard.
    • Kevin Smith’s own statement on fundamentalism takes the form of a horror film in Red State, which stars John Goodman and Michael Angarano.
    • The Details (starring Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, and Tobey Maguire) has a bizarre plot about raccoons, but since it is director Jacob Aaron Estes follow-up to Mean Creek, I can’t help but be intrigued
    • J.K. Simmons gets a much-deserved lead role, and Lou Taylor Pucci stars as his son with a memory-blocking tumour in The Music Never Stopped. It looks like a nice meditation on family, and the power of music.

    TIFF Holdovers

    • Peep World
      (which I somehow managed to completely miss hearing about up until now) looks like a funny, slightly Arrested Development-esque comedy about a family who feels betrayed when the youngest brother uses them as material for his novel. And did I mention that it stars Michael C. Hall, Rainn Wilson, Judy Greer, Sarah Silverman, Taraji P. Henson, and Kate Mara? Yeah, that too.
    • The Conspirator‘s cast alone (Robin Wright, James McAvoy, Evan Rachel Wood, The Greatest’s Johnny Simmons, Alexis Bledel, Jonathan Groff, Justin Long, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson, etc.) is awesome, and the story, which revolves around the assassination of Lincoln, sounds intriguing
    • I didn’t love Kelly Reichardt’s previous effort, Wendy and Lucy, but I did respect it, and I’m interested to see her next project with Michelle Williams (supporting cast includes Paul Dano, Bruce Greenwood, and Zoe Kazan)
    • Last Night
      looks like a lush warning against the pitfalls of love and excess, and the cast (Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes, Guillaume Canet) is certainly easy on the eyes.
    • Will Farrell gets semi-serious as man whose life is falling apart in Everything Must Go

    Yet to Screen

    • Jay and Mark Duplass let Jason Segel into their mumblecore world with the decidedly low-concept comedy Jeff Who Lives At Home
    • Sarah Polley directs herself, Michelle Williams, Seth Rogan, and Sarah Silverman in a drama called Take This Waltz
    • Jay Baruchel, Sean William Scott, Liev Schreiber, and Allison Pill celebrate hockey in Goon
    • Cancer is made kind of funny (?) in Live With It, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a young man diagnosed with cancer (supporting cast includes Seth Rogan, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Anjelica Huston, and Phillip Baker Hall)

Movie Trailer Round-Up: Beginners, Perfect Sense, The Conspirator, Limitless, Kaboom

Believe it or not, there are still movie coming out this year. The world doesn’t stop for the Oscars, apparently. So here are a few trailers for some upcoming films. I recognize a few as TIFF movie that didn’t get picked up for 2010 release, and there are, as always, a few big blockbusters, too.

Beginners

Release Date: June 3, 2011

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Melanie Laurent

This movie looks really, really good. Like, REALLY good. It’s a beautifully constructed trailer. The voice-over work from McGregor does a good job of laying out the story without seeming forced. I also like that it shows you enough of the plot to get you intrigued without showing the whole movie (alright, maybe it shows a little too much, but what trailer doesn’t these days?) It looks like McGregor and Plummer both give great performances, and I love the dog. The trailer made me smile, and I like movies that balance funny, life-affirming moments with heavy subject matter. I remember this movie got pretty good reviews at TIFF, and I am now officially excited.

Perfect Sense

Release Date: TBA?

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Eva Green

Basically, take the opposite of my thoughts on the Beginners trailer, and you’ve got my opinion for Perfect Sense‘s trailer. They are trying so hard to make this trailer look cryptic and intriguing, but in execution it accomplishes neither. There is far too much heavy-handed narration, and it looks like they simply compiled the film’s most “dramatic”. It could have been intriguing as a one-minute teaser, but instead we get two and a half minutes of muddled clips that have no meaning out of context. Maybe the film will be interesting (it has a sci-fi element, if my memory serves me), but I feel like I know nothing about it after watching this trailer.

The Conspirator

Release Date: April 15, 2011

Cast: Robin Wright, James McAvoy, Kevin Kline, Tom Wilkinson, Alexis Bledel, Evan Rachel Wood, Justin Long, Johnny Simmons, Tony Kebbel, Jonathan Groff

It’s a really nicely put-together trailer. The Conspirator looks like your standard U.S. period piece fare, but at an elevated level. We get a peak at everyone in this massive cast, and aside from Alexis Bledel (who looks kind of dreadful), I liked the looks of everyone (especially McAvoy, but probably because he got far more screen time than anyone else here). It might not be my favourite genre, but I’m pretty excited for this, based on the cast and effective trailer.

Limitless

Release Date: March 18, 2011

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Abbie Cornish

I always am intrigued by films about writers, but this doesn’t look good. The concept of an all-powerful drug that lets you access your entire brain could make for a really intriguing movie with lots of moral questions. This is not that movie. It looks like some kind of weird crossbreed between a superhero movie and Eagle Eye, and it does not seem promising.

Kaboom

Release Date: TBA

Cast: Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett, Juno Temple

Despite some strange tonal shifts in this trailer, it looks interesting. I feel like it’ll play out better as a full-length movie, rather than a two-minute collection of punch lines. It’s also nice to see Haley Bennett getting some more work (yes, it’s Cora Corman from Music and Lyrics!). Definitely intriguing, but I’ll reserve judgement for now.