Tuesday, May 15, 2012

TRAILERS: Argo, A Fantastic Fear Of Everything, Gangster Squad, Killer Joe, The Paperboy, The Campaign, Step Up: Revolution, Mansome, People Like Us

There are still a great number of readers' comments to which I have thus far failed to respond; Grandma has been back to the hospital several times for on-going heart problems, so please, forgive me once more, it's beyond my control. The Dictator opens Wednesday so I anticipate seeing that in the evening and getting the post up the next day... well, you know how it goes.  Some great films are finally being released to disc this week: The Grey with Liam Neeson (The Grey: America's Dying Economy & the Politicians's Den) and the film that I absolutely loved writing about, Chronicle (I am adding some new concept art and observations to that post). The Woman In Black will be released May 22 and Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows will be released June 12!
On to the newest trailers:
Argo, set for release in October, comes from director Ben Affleck about attempts to free the American hostages during the Iranian crisis of Jimmy Carter's presidency:
In A Fantastic Fear Of Everything, Jack, a children's author turned crime novelist, becomes a paranoid wreck after he starts researching Victorian serial killers. It might not sound like much, but there is an important date mentioned: November 5, 1979, the date the orphanage where he grew up burns down, and it just so happens, the date that the Iranian hostage crisis highlighted in the Argo trailer above is taking place; given this information, that it's Jack's earliest memory, should we view the source of his anxiety as a metaphor for America's own anxiety about Iran's real or perceived hostility towards the US (like in The Dictator coming out tomorrow)?
Sometimes, movies start looking like other movies (case in point, Mirror, Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman) and Gangster Squad (no release date yet set) looks an awful lot like Lawless which we have all ready seen. This is important because it not only verifies trends and characteristics of society being documented in one film, but aides us in seeing multiple dimensions of it in another (and how one will express certain problems that the other film expresses differently, or not at all):
From director William Friedkin (The Exorcist, The French Connection) comes his newest starring Matthew McConaughey as Killer Joe (no release date) about a young man whose debt drives him to putting a hit on his evil mother so he can collect her insurance policy:
Also starring Mr. McConaughey and John Cusack is The Paperboy  about a reporter returning to his hometown to investigate the case of a death row inmate. Also starring Nicole Kidman (I thought she retired?) and Zac Efron, there is not a US release date set yet for the film.
And, North Carolina is in the media again, God bless them, this time about two rival politicians running for the same office; set for release on August 10, The Campaign may or may not accurately reflect the way the country runs its democracy:
Also due out in August from Disney is The Odd Life of Timothy Green:
The fourth in the installment, Step Up: Revolution due for a July 27 release. Regardless of the politics that may or may not be in the film (and I see quite a bit of clash and conflict in this situation) I am always in favor of films expanding the vocabulary of art (we have all ready seen this in both The Artist and Pina) so I will definitely be catching this:
The next two films are two different sides of women's lives: most of us will probably be able to get the Russian film Elena on disc, but I think it will be a drama that's worth it:
Hysteria is being released in theaters this week:
I am really sarcastic when it comes to films like Hysteria, I think they tend to make men idiots, hold up poor qualities as role models for women and slant--if not worse--accurate history. Besides, I just don't like sex jokes, I think they are always in poor taste. The invention of the first vibrator--the "feather duster" being likened to the "tool" women traditionally used for household work--is what many Feminists feel "liberating" and empowering, even politically; my view personally, so you know why I won't be watching/reviewing it, is that it not only dehumanizes the woman using it, but men in general because sexual intercourse, meant not only for the continuation of the species, but for the necessary bonding of husband and wife, has been reduced to the drive thru of a fast food resturant when "toys" are used "on demand" and the kind of callousness it builds up not only slowly kills a woman's emotional ability to bond with a man, but strips sexual experience of its human quality and makes it a mere matter of "performance" and "pleasure." Hence, in the trailer above, Elena, she and Vladimir not being married regulates her to a prostitute who basically isn't getting paid but is willing to rob for her children (creating all kinds of interesting scenarios).
But the dehumanizing aspect of technological sex goes both ways.
Jason Bateman's documentary Mansome explores what is "masculine" today:
So, what we see, is a basic switching of the genders: men becoming pretty, women taking on a penis. We saw Silent House (Elizabeth Olsen) earlier this year exploring the psychological effects of sexual abuse (and it's possible to say that Carolyn from Dark Shadows is the result of the same thing); when numerous artistic sources collide over the same topic, such as Lovely Molly, due out this month, there is cause for concern: 
Fortunately, there are still films being made such as The Intouchables reminding us how vulnerable we truly are beneath our grab for power and artificial facades: 
With an all, all-star cast, People Like Us (opening June 29) takes a hard look at what money problems and debt has done to this country, and how sometimes we only gain by sacrificing:
Lots of great films to look forward to (FYI, the Hansel & Gretl Witch Hunters starring Jeremy Renner has been moved to 2013, as well as Jack the Giant Killer; to bad, they won't be nearly as relevant next year).