Big announcement coming up, this Friday – and, there’s probably one or two readers who know of what I speak – but, until then, a few brief thoughts on several interesting trailers that I’ve happened upon in the past week or so.
The Book of Eli – The Brothers Hugh
It seems we’re going to have our share of bleak, post-apocalyptic films coming up in the next six months – with this and John Hillcoat’s The Road. It’s interesting – despite the drastic difference in direction the two films look to have taken, there’s some very similar imagery in their respective trailers. Broken highways, forests covered in ash, bandits emerging in a line from a smoking tunnel. I’m sure someone will probably go on to suggest that the two of them “might even take place in the same universe!” but, I wouldn’t go that far. Still, intriguing.
On it’s own, this has me very excited, as it’s been a long while since we’ve had an apocalyptic “traveling man” actioneer that’s been even close to adequately executed – and, this has the Hughes brothers behind the camera. From the second trailer released, the presence of many of the genre’s given tropes is apparent, although like I said before, it’s been a long while since they’ve been done well – also, it looks like I was right before. The book that the Eli character keeps going on about is The Bible – which is intriguing, given the Oldman character’s hunger for it (“it’s not just a book! It’s a weapon!” etc.). I only hope they don’t try to throw something silly into the mix, that it contains a vial of some sort of virus or something like that.
The Road – John Hillcoat
Speaking of The Road, given the film’s imminent release in the coming few months, the trailers are starting to look all the more tantalizing, although the overall impression among critics is that the film, while good, fails to capture the essence of McCarthy’s prose – no matter. I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, and this seems like it may be one of those cases where that’s a requirement to really enjoy what Hillcoat’s doing. What has me a little less hopeful is this weird talk about a giant, over-the-top set piece involving an earthquake that doesn’t seem to fit in with the level of physicality in the rest of the film. Hmm.
Although, it’s funny – for all the talk that Hillcoat’s given about trying to distance the film from his native country’s other famous post-apocalyptic trilogy, this really bares the aesthetic fingerprints of those films all over it, especially considering Hillcoat’s approach to the wandering bandits that everyone’s mentioned. Although, as he’s mentioned, this really seems like a less intentionally mythic approach to the same kind of situations – and, this really may be Viggo Mortensen’s best role, given the intense look in his eyes the whole way through (probably best noticeable with his line, “it’s like it used to be when the sun came out.”) and the gaunt shadow to his entire face, with the way his cheek bones poke out so prominently.
There’s a line one of those bandits says, about half-way through the trailer – “why-on’tchall cum’on up’ta the truck?” – and, the first thought that came into my head, probably half-due to the guy’s gawky physique, was ‘is this guy from Decatur, I wonder?’
A Nightmare On Elm Street – Samuel Bayer
Another of Platinum Dunes factory-line remakes, this one actually seems to come with a modicum of visual talent behind it – that’s not saying much for the rest of the thing, or how good it will turn out to be, but at the very least this looks less terrible than any of Platinum Dunes’ previous remakes. What’s also a little weird, but also semi-intriguing, is that this really looks like a shot-by-shot remake of the original film – doesn’t say much for originality, but there’s a few really grabbing images here, throughout. They seem to be trying to return to the “not-so-funny” Freddy that was found in the original film, and A New Nightmare, and goodness – Freddy really does look like a burn victim. We get one good look at Freddy’s face, near the end of the trailer, and – here it is.
I won’t go so far as to say this will turn into a good film, but I’m actually a little less not-hopeful than I usually am, about this sort of thing. That “produced by Michael Bay” credit, though – it just gives me the chills.
Big announcement, this Friday. Meat and potatoes, you know.