Memo to The Weinstein Co.: given that Shanghai won last week's Trailer Park poll with a whopping 62% of the votes, I think it's only
This week there are a few too many repeat, as in second version, trailers for films we've looked at in the past. Dinner With Schmucks, The Expendables and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, of course. Some are improvements, some are not. I didn't even bother ranking the latest spot for Eat, Pray, Love, because there is nothing about it that appeals to me. If I want to get envious while watching celebrities traveling the world and eating great foreign cuisine, I'll watch that show with Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali. And I'd rather not do that anymore than I'd like to watch Julia Roberts needing to quit her current life for a year and find herself in Italy, India and Bali. The MPAA should have kept its original stamp of an R rating solely on the idea that kids should not be exposed to such bourgeoisie fantasy.
What I'd rather sit through, I'm sure, is a movie in which World War II is fought with puppets. Jackboots on Whitehall seems a bit like Team America but British and concerning an alternate history, kind of like Inglourious Basterds. The action figure-like style of the animation also reminds me a bit of A Town Called Panic and the TV show Robot Chicken. The movie features the voices of Ewan McGregor, Rosamund Pike (who can also be seen in the new trailer for Made in Dagenham), Richard E. Grant, Dominic West, Timothy Spall (as Churchill!), Richard O'Brien (as Himmler!), Richard Griffiths (as Goering!), Tom Wilkinson (as Goebbes!) and Alan Cumming, as Hitler! It's probably totally stupid, but not anymore than the rest of the films spotlighted this week (yeah, I said it, Scott Pilgrim cult).
Check out this week's trailer rankings and vote in the poll after the jump.
1. Jackboots on Whitehall - Who doesn't want to see a puppet Hitler voiced by Alan Cumming?
2. Lebanon - For a more serious war movie, though one that promises (via the critics) "plenty of thrills" and "gallows humor," you might prefer this to Jackboots. After reading all the praise from the fests last fall, I wondered just how great a movie could be that's set solely inside a tank. This trailer does a great job of showing all the tricks of how the film opens up the stage and also closes it tightly. I'm really looking forward to it.
3. Mao's Last Dancer - Sure, this biopic from Bruce Beresford looks a little corny -- do we really need the setting spelled out with a heavy reference to the Houston Oilers? -- but the trailer has me intrigued about the story of Chinese ballet dancer Li Cunxin, and it does co-star Kyle MacLachlan (as well as Bruce Greenwood, who also appears in the Dinner With Schmucks trailer below). It's like Billy Elliot meets Moscow on the Hudson -- or, Beijing on the Hudson, as it were.
4. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Trailer #2) - I Still think this seems like a one joke movie, and I still think its style will make it about as inaccessible to mainstream audiences as Speed Racer. But I appreciate that this trailer, unlike the first, shows us some other real characters that could ground the movie. I'm at least hopeful the fanboys will be right with this one, and combined with the new TV spot, my expectations are rising.
5. Dinner With Schmucks (Trailer #2) - Not too much different than the first trailer, and it still looks stupidly hilarious.
6. Made in Dagenham (International) - This also-British film about wage equality for women seems awfully unoriginal in plot, but the cast is pretty terrific. And even without Hoskins, Richardson and other great talents, Sally Hawkins in the lead is enough to sell this post-Happy-Go-Lucky.
7. Mr. Nice - A British Blow. Since that earlier drug dealer biopic was not nearly as great as its excellent trailer would have us believe, I'm holding back on getting excited over this film despite this decent spot.
8. The Expendables (Trailer #2) - This is a very weird trailer in that it doesn't really show much except foggy representations of some of the stars (and cameo players) seemingly trapped inside a metal skull, or something. It also continues the very misleading campaign for this movie by putting Schwarzenegger and Willis' names before most of the actual cast.
9. Gulliver's Travels - Apparently in this movie Jack Black is the travel writer's Tom Perkins. Also, it apparently is limited to the overdone Lilliput part of Swift's classic, which we recently saw tackled just as faithfully with a short homage in Night at the Museum. Maybe Sony is hoping this is a success and the other parts of the book will be adapted for sequels. After watching this trailer, though, I hope it fails. Black is the new bomb.
10. Flipped - This trailer wouldn't be so low on the chart if another director made the film. But given that Flipped is by Rob Reiner, who 24 years ago made one of the most essential coming of age movies of all time, it has a negative handicap. I'm hoping that it just seems like the most common of '60s-set adolescent dramas because the marketers at Warner Bros. think that even after Stand by Me and Wonder Years and plenty of other examples, all audiences are really just craving an oldies soundtrack and very familiar stories of boys and girls going through puberty by discovering they love their childhood friend. This is that kind of glossed nostalgia flick that Reiner should be above.
Now vote for your favorite of the ten: