I think trailers have officially jumped the shark now that they're also video games. Although the phrase "jumped the shark" has probably also jumped the shark. Basically, the world is a messed up place. But there are things to be hopeful about, as evidenced by the clutch of actually-quite-decent trailers this week. Including the beautiful film that contains the image below, 'The Illusionist'.
The Illusionist (UK & US - TBC)
Not to be confused with the Edward Norton vehicle from a few years back, 'The Illusionist' follows the story of a travelling entertainer in Scotland, which I found a particularly pleasant surprise bearing in mind this is a French production. For those who don't share my fondness for Scotland, the real attraction here is the absolutely stunning animation. Gloriously vivid in even the mediocre quality of a YouTube video. Screened just days ago at the Edinburgh Film Festival, it seems to have had fairly good reviews thus far.
Never Let Me Go (US - Oct 1st // UK - TBC)
[Trailer at apple.com]
Not the only trailer to a film adaptation of a novel to appear this week ('Tomorrow, When The War Began' being the other) but for me, this is the more intriguing offering. Adapted for the screen by Alex Garland ('28 Days Later', 'Sunshine') and directed by Mark Romanek, 'Never Let Me Go' features an extremely strong British cast including Carey Mulligan, Sally Hawkins, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley. The story explores notions of humanity in an almost sci-fi setting, as a group of students discover what their place in the world is.
Somewhere (US - Dec 22nd // UK - TBC)
I have a lot of bad will toward Sofia Coppolla for her xenophobic portrayal of the Japanese as an entirely incompetent, moronic nation in 'Lost In Translation'. But 'Somewhere' could change my opinion of Coppolla as a writer-director. Kudos for featuring Phoenix in the trailer, as well as a Julian Casablancas solo version of 'You Only Live Once', but we'll have to see whether this examination of a father-daughter relationship is style over substance.
Conviction (US - 15th Oct // UK - TBC)
There's only so many "inspired by a true story" films I can take in one go, which is why I've eschewed the new 'Middle Men' trailer in favour of this tale of a miscarriage of justice. Admittedly, this is pretentious Oscar bait but the performances by Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell look worth investigating.
Legend Of The Guardians (US - 24th Sept // UK - 15th Oct)
CGI warrior owls in 3D. Hmm. Could go either way really. The full length trailer looks decent though, although I recommend watching this behind the scenes feature with director Zak Snyder first. Oh and yes, Snyder even incorporates slow motion with owls too.
Cyrus (US - 18th June // UK - 17th Sept)
Sadly, not a Miley Cyrus biopic. but instead the latest feature from the Duplass Brothers, who are famous for "mumblecore". Marisa Tomei, John C Reilly and Jonah Hill all make this dysfunctional comedy look quite engaging. Reviews have been favourable, especially following its appearance at the Sundance film festival.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World (US - 13th Aug // UK - 27th Aug)
I think we're having a bit of 'Scott Pilgrim' overkill here, and while this new trailer gives us a proper look at Brandon Routh, I'm not much of a fan of the new footage. The dialogue is starting to concern me, with the jokes falling flat. The first seeds of doubt. Looks like the film's dropped back a couple of weeks in the UK release schedule too.