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TRAILER SALAD THE 11TH: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS plus THE BIG SHORT, HAIL CAESAR!, ANOMALISA, and MORE!

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Well, this is obviously the trailer everyone’s talking about.

It would be wrong to deny the world my thoughts.

I’ll be honest–I liked the second trailer better. It created a greater sense of excitement and anticipation, had one of my favorite shots we’ve seen of the film to date (Daisy Ridley thrusting her hand into the frame dramatically, towards John Boyega, who’s panting and sweating dramatically, who takes her hand and rises out of the frame–dramatically), and I preferred the music on display.

That said, there’s a fair amount to admire about this trailer. I appreciate how restrained it actually is–how many blockbuster trailers end on so quiet a note? And from what we’ve seen, Abrams has delivered a far more visually dynamic film than any of the prequels (and possibly than any Star Wars film since Empire). That first shot of the door sliding open to reveal Ridley’s masked and goggled face, or the fascistic rally, presumably presided over by our villain, Kylo Renn (Adam Driver, who I maintain is part of some strange continuum along with Justin Long and Ezra Miller), or the Millennium Falcon emerging from hyperspace…there are some fine images on display here.

I still have no real idea what the story is, and we’ve seen only a little of Oscar Isaac and none of Lupita Nyong’o (curses) or Max von Sydow (blast). We also haven’t seen any of Mark Hamill (aside from his hand), but we did get a glimpse of Carrie Fisher. My suspicion is that Hamill doesn’t really have that much screentime (and Fisher probably doesn’t either), leaving most of the original-cast face-time to Harrison Ford. And I’m guessing Ridley and Boyega are more or less our protagonists–Boyega in particular looks like he could be the MVP, acting-wise, as a Stromtrooper who, I’d assume, switches sides.

Really, though, aside from the images and a few lines of dialogue, I’m not that much closer to knowing what to expect than I was when the first trailer debuted. That’s okay. It’s not like I’m not going to see this, and probably more than once. And that’s coming from someone who’s not a big Star Wars fan. The rest of you, I’m sure, are going to lose your fucking minds.

This trailer isn’t so new, but I really wanted to talk about it.

Because…what the fuck?

I swear, when I first saw this, I thought it was some kind of a joke. Between the fact that this came literally out of nowhere, was directed by Adam McKay (the man who brought you Anchorman), and just looked absurd, I assumed it was a troll along the lines of A Deadly Adoption. And when people started mooting it as a potential Oscar contender, given the cast and the Christmastime release, I couldn’t help but be baffled.

Does anyone think this looks at all good? Yes, it’s got a good cast. But the jokes in the trailer are hacky, the characterizations seem trite (Bale is the maverick genius, Carell the neurotic man of reason, etc.), Carell’s wig is laughable, the whole thing seems like a poor man’s Wolf of Wall Street…this doesn’t look like a good movie to me at all.

Again, I’m waiting for someone to come out and reveal the gag. Because this looks fucking ridiculous.

Not much to say about this. It’s a Coen brothers film. It’s obviously a must-see.

I think I’ll like it a lot. It looks like a ton of fun. Brolin is always good value for a comedy (just look at Inherent Vice), Clooney and the Coens work beautifully together, it looks like Channing Tatum and Scarlett Johansson both get musical numbers, Tilda Swinton is Hedda Hopper, there’s a weird cult that kidnaps Clooney…when you consider the inherent possibilities of a period piece and a film about the world of filmmaking, I think it’s gonna be a blast.

Aside from some slight trepidation about the February release, this is easily one of my most anticipated films of 2016.

just predicted this to contend for Picture and Original Screenplay at my next Film Awards, and this morning the trailer drops. Perfect.

I was already intrigued, based on the insanely laudatory reviews and Kaufman’s track record. But seeing the animation in action, my excitement only increases. It just looks beautiful and fluid. And touching and funny. The trailer doesn’t give too much away, but damned if I’m not ready for it to hurry up and get here.

I don’t have much more to say just now–I think the film will give me plenty to talk about. In the meantime, I really need to rewatch Synecdoche, New York

So this is finally coming out…in February. From the director of Igby Goes Down (apparently good), 17 Again (apparently passable), and Charlie St. Cloud (looked laughable). And to think that David O. Russell was originally going to do this. I have no idea if that would be better or not.

Anyway, this looks decent. There’s some good direction, good production value, and I didn’t spot any glaringly bad effects. I could see it being kind of a one-joke outing (and about 5 years past its sell-by date), but it could also be gory fun. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was actually solid for what it was (though it could’ve been a lot better), so maybe this will be as well.

Damn. This looks even better than I expected. I love the use of “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”. And Rampling looks incredible here–I figured she might be on my Best Actress list, and this just verifies it.

I admit I’m curious to see how the premise plays out–how could a marriage so long-lasting end over a death that occurred nearly half a century earlier? I’m anxious to find out, especially from this team.

Oscar bait coming out in February, and it absolutely looks it.

I’m glad Jesse Owens is getting a biopic, but this looks extremely generic. And what the hell is Jason Sudeikis doing here?

I got nothing. It doesn’t look bad, just forgettable. And that’s why it’s coming out in February.

I normally don’t profile TV, just…Paul Dano as Pierre? The guy’s worked his way back into my good graces, to be fair, but…that’s some of the most random casting I’ve seen in a while.

This’ll probably be solid, at least as TV adaptations of great novels go, but I see no reason not to stick with Sergei Bondarchuk’s version.

Except…Paul fucking Dano.

Another February release. This one at least has a good cast and looks like it might memorably over-the-top. I don’t think it looks good, exactly, not least because I have no idea what it’s actually about based on this trailer, but…it does go big.

I’ll see this, if just to have a break from all of my awards coverage.

Well, goddamn. Too bad this isn’t eligible for this year’s awards.

I don’t even have anything to say. I’m just gonna see this and marvel at it. I think that’s the only real way to deal with a movie like this.

Ugh.

Why?

Seriously, why?

Why did this need to be made?

Why did anyone want to be in this?

Who wants to see this?

Maybe I’m a snob, but this looks like shit.

Fuck this.

Oh, I forgot that Aubrey Plaza was in this.

What did she do to deserve this? I know The To Do List wasn’t a hit or anything, but this is just cruel.

Hey, the guy who made Napoleon Dynamite (which I’ve never actually seen) made another movie.

There are a few funny moments here–the faux-documentary material at the start (I kind of wish the whole film was in that vein), Will Forte’s snippy pettiness–but a lot of it just looks dumb and condescending.

Also, isn’t this supposed to be on the side of faith and religion? Because it could’ve fooled me.

Oh, Lord.

It’s all too rare when older actresses get to headline a film. I’ll See You in My Dreams looked like a good showcase for Blythe Danner.

This…does not do the same for Sally Field.

I had some hopes, but the humor is hacky as shit (with just a dash of anti-millennial sentiment), and the quirk factor is just unhealthy.

I’ll pass.

Kudos, I guess, to this trailer for somehow not being absolutely repellent (though no amount of careful editing can make Taylor Lautner’s performance bearable), but I’m sure this is going to be horrific. Remember when a bunch of Native American actors walked off the set in protest of the material?

Yeah, Adam Sandler just wants to watch the world burn now.

And why the fuck did they have to piss on Aaron Copland’s grave like that?

I’ll finish with this. Jane is mostly notable for its absurdly convoluted production history, and for the fact that it’s been on the shelf for about two years now.

As is so often the case, a film which took so much time and trouble to make appears to be unworthy of it. It doesn’t look bad, per se–just a generic Western with a good cast. It’s not a great trailer, either–the text in particular looks very cheap–but I imagine this will be greeted with a shrug.

Though, it’s cool that we’ve had a minor resurgence of Westerns. The Hateful Eight and The Revenant will doubtless top them all, but it’s still nice to see.

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