Trailer Reviews for December 21-25, 2012

JACK REACHER



I’m a Jack Reacher fan. I’ve read almost all of Lee Child’s books and I love them. The one that this movie is based on, One Shot, is one of the better books, so I’m excited about that… but I’m not so sure about Tom Cruise as Reacher. And no, it’s not because Reacher is supposed to be 6’5” and blond. It’s because Jack Reacher is a Great Dane among men. He’s the kind of guy who goes unnoticed, minding his own business, until somebody pushes him too far and he bites their face off and buries them in the yard. Tom Cruise, meanwhile, is a rabid terrier of a man, running through the streets yapping and latching on to the legs of anyone who looks at him funny. But I have seen him act convincingly, and Lee Child did approve the casting choice so… I dunno. I guess we’ll see this weekend.

THIS IS 40



I am not a fan of Judd Apatow. I did like Freaks and Geeks, but I was unimpressed with his movie comedies and my anti-Apatow feelings intensified when I read a MacLean’s article in film school about how Knocked Up was a ripoff of a book by a Canadian author. Even taking the movies by themselves, they’re often sexist, frequently crude, and feature irresponsible characters that I cannot force myself to like. Except if they’re Paul Rudd, because I love Paul Rudd. If Jack Reacher wasn’t coming out this week, I might feel obligated to go watch Paul Rudd in this otherwise boring looking movie (they say it’s everyone’s story… which is why I don’t need to go see it). But it is so I don’t.

CIRQUE DE SOLIEL WORLDS AWAY



This movie looks like a cross between Mirrormask (which was a letdown) and those weird pseudo-documentaries they make for IMAX. It’s supposed to have an actual story, but as far as I can tell the story is just: “go here and look at things.” Having an audience-representitive character wandering through your disconnected stunt shows does not a story make. Don’t get me wrong – Cirque de Soliel shows are massively cool. All firey and with flips and people spinning around on wires, but it’s not really a movie. It’s a “3d experience”. At about $15, it’s expensive for a movie, but it’s a hell of of a lot cheaper than the $75 plus you’d have to pay to see them live. So yeah, I’d go, take some kids. It’d be a cool thing to see. With the special James Cameron 3D you’d ALMOST feel like you were there.

LES MISERABLES



Oh my god, I cannot even express to you how much I’m looking forward to seeing this movie. It doesn’t open until Christmas Day, but that’s too early for next week’s trailer review article, so I’m lumping next week’s movies in with this week’s. And you’d better believe I will be there on Christmas Day, starry eyed and with my entire family in tow. This time last year I couldn’t even tell Les Miserables apart from Miss Saigon, but since then I’ve read the book, watched the 10th anniversary concert recording, seen the non-musical movie, and listened to the soundtrack. But I’ve never seen the musical. Not even on DVD. I haven’t had the REAL EXPERIENCE. If this movie is anything like the trailer (which makes me a little misty eyed, to be perfectly honest) it will be AMAZING. The only slight blip of hesitation for me is Eddie Redmayne. He seems too sulky to be Marius. But hopefully I’ll either be wrong or the rest of it will be so awesome I won’t even notice.

DJANGO UNCHAINED



Also coming out on Christmas Day: this Quentin Tarantino movie about slavery! Oh… kay. I guess Les Miserables isn’t your typical shiny happy Christmas movie either (what with it being about miserable people and everything) but this one just seems a little… violent. But I guess non-shiny happy people need something to do on December 25 too. I’m not usually that big of a Tarantino fan, but this one looks pretty good. It’ll be very satisfying to see slave owners get their butts kicked, kind of like it was satisfying to see Liam Neeson throat chop human traffickers in Taken. It’s also nice to see Christoph Waltz playing a good guy for once… though he still seems to be the same amoral, half-insane character he was when he was playing bad guys. I’ll see it someday, probably on DVD.

PARENTAL GUIDANCE



See, now this is more like the kind of movie you EXPECT to come out on Christmas Day. A marginally funny yet inoffensive family comedy you can bring your kids to without worrying about them becoming depressed and/or serial killers. It doesn’t have anything to do with the holidays, but that’s a minor detail. Actually, it doesn’t look that bad. I’m not the world’s biggest Billy Crystal fan (read: not a fan at all) but I laughed at the little girl going all Linda Blair on her mom over the cake that doesn’t taste like yogurt and I do like Bette Midler. It’s not enticing enough to win me over the other offerings, though, so it will be relegated to the bottom of my DVD rental list, where it will eventually be forgotten.

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