Sunday, March 20, 2016

Trailer Wars: Springtime Special

It's a cloud stricken rainy first day of spring and I just sat and watched 10 trailers for movies with upcoming release dates. Let's just say I now have something other than the weather to be depressed about...

Movie fans all know that there is nothing quite like seeing an exciting trailer for the first time and the feeling of anticipation that then follows. Out of the coming attractions I just sat through, there were only two that got my heart beating and the rest had my eyes rolling.

With all the remakes and over the top action blowouts/action comedies/over used CGI action blockbusters, I can't be the only person who is bored by most of what Hollywood is cranking out these days. [Ben Hur? Tarzan? I love you Jack Huston and Alexander Skarsgard,  but y'all, just watch the original and the animated masterpiece scored by Phil Collins instead.]

Understated movies with emotional punches to the gut tend to be what really gets my motor going. At least that has become the kind of movie I value more than anything else. May I present evidence 1A: I spent all last night drooling over everything to do with the recent Oscar nominee Carol - the costumes, music, and cinematography (plus, Kyle Chandler in a tuxedo).

However, absorbing costume dramas aren't the only movies I am capable of enjoying. Not to seem contradictory, but I like to have fun too! I do love heading out to the theater for a good summer blockbuster as much as the next person, and will likely be shelling out dough for both X-Men: Apocalypse and Captain America: Civil War. Although, if this is the only kind of movie that's released for the majority of the year, doesn't it all become boring and expected? There is nothing to be gained when every other movie studio is just trying to capture the same magic (and dollars) as the Marvel universe. The world of movie making should always have surprises and give an audience more than they could ever dream up, not just settle for non-creative imitation.

One trailer that I saw today though seems to find the perfect balance of both of these worlds - it's a movie that blends understated filmmaking with modern effects laden sci-fi fare.

I'm referring to the latest from director Jeff Nichols, Midnight Special:

Nichols has already proven that he is a man capable of impeccable and creative storytelling by delivering wonderful movies, like Mud and Take Shelter.  The later even showed how Nichols could utilize impressive CGI to build the madness inside Michael Shannon's mind. Anyone can tell that just from the mysterious trailer alone, Midnight Special looks to blend together the best of what Nichols has already shown he can do as a filmmaker. His imagination seems to have no bounds.

Nichols always knows how to cast a movie as well: his muse, Michael Shannon, is present again, plus Kirsten Dunst in her full on continued resurgence (post the brilliant second season of Fargo), Kylo Ren (yeah, I know it's Adam Driver), and the kid (Jaeden Lieberher) from the still tragically underrated St. Vincent!

Not too much looks exciting to me these days (although, the Tim Burton fan in me was also pleased with the trailer for Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children), but I will be bubbling with anticipation until my eyes finally see all the mysterious genius behind Midnight Special.

Midnight Special is currently in limited release. Check it out - this may be playing in a theater near you.

Until next time. 

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