Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Trailers: Iron Man 3 News, Great Expectations, Twixt, General Education Diana Vreeland

THIS JUST IN: Kristen Stewart has been dropped from future sequels to Snow White and the Huntsman; at this point, Universal is planning solo sequels with Chris Hemsworth, only.
It appears that the hugely anticipated--but still filming--Iron Man 3 starring, yes, Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow and Sir Ben Kingsley as had some of the trailer info leaked from the Comic Con convention. It appears that Tony Stark, because of the events during The Avengers, has suffered a nervous breakdown/moral breakdown and even though he works at new armor and tech for his Iron Man weapon, he has to start seeing a shrink (there also appears to be an argument between he and Pepper). At some point in the film, Stark gets thrown into the ocean and has to watch as his Malibu mansion sinks into the water. Rather sounds like Wayne Manor from The Dark Knight Rises going "under water" like the rest of the mortgages in the country.
Concept art for the Mandarin, being portrayed by Sir Ben Kingsley. Like we have been seeing in other films, Mandarin makes his own Iron Man suit and uses it, not for good as Tony Stark has mostly done, but for evil, and this appropriation has significant repercussions for understanding our political climate today.
What is most important about the trailer, is the voice over done by the Mandarin saying that "there are no heroes" and he's going to teach Tony Stark and everyone "a lesson." There have been some speculations that the trailer could be released as early as this weekend, but it's not likely since it has a scheduled release date of May 2013. When the film is shown to audiences, director Shane Black has said he's "stripping Stark of all his comforts, bringing him back to the days of the cave, when he had to fight to survive" and that's probably the best thing that can happen to him, and to us.
On to other news,...
This week, The Hunger Games is available on DVD/Blu-Ray; if you haven't seen it, you really should. It's not a spectacular summer blockbuster like The Avengers, but it's one of those ambiguous films that begs interpretation and it's pretty certain that it's being turned into a trilogy.  Additionally, The Raid: Redemption comes out on video this week; it's one of the best action films I have ever seen and, while I feel it's about the Muslim take over of the West, I do encourage you to see it if you haven't because it's incredibly well made. Lastly, the 1915 silent sensation les Vampires is also being released. No, it's not about blood-suckers literally, but about a group of ruthless anarchists and it has a 100% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Given that Francis Ford Coppola directed it, I am surprised that Val Kilmer's Twixt appears to be going straight to video:
Anyone knowing the history of cinema knows that the great Bruce Dern usually plays the villain; does that mean he's the serial killer, wanting Val Kilmer's character to write a book about him? It's possible. A most interesting clip from Great Expectations (opening in November in Ireland; sorry about the German subtitles, and, by the way, please pay attention to the background music; where have you heard it before?):
Miss Havisham is, arguably, one of the greatest and most memorable of characters to ever grace English literature; her "resurrection" at this particular time will make quite a splash in how we understand economic politics in the English arena today. Why black and white? It invokes history, the past (because, in spite of the historical setting of the film, it's still going to be about today), and it's questionable if it's the past of capitalism or socialism in the country. This is where that screeching background music comes into play (about 1:04) which we heard in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, a decidedly anti-socialist film; Great Expectations either wants to challenge the anti-socialist stance of that film, or invoke it to validate and substantiate its own anti-socialist stance. Just because we know a story from literature and past films, doesn't mean that it's going to be the same for the current generation (there were subtle yet important changes made in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy which altered the meaning for today's political battles from both the book and the first film adaptation). In something of a similar vein, although more obviously political, is A Royal Affair with Casino Royale's Mads Mikkelsen:
The synopsis for General Education is that Levi is set to go to college on a tennis scholarship but he didn't graduate high school; why would this be important? Two reasons, one Levi's from a long line of tennis players (think of game theory and how it's been applied to capitalism) and, secondly, he dresses as a raccoon, and where was the last place we saw a raccoon? In John Cusack's The Raven (the coon was named Karl after Karl Marx).
It's probably not going to be that great of a film (I couldn't even establish a release date for it at this time) but this biography and it's correlation to fashion and history really looks good: Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel which will be released in the UK in September:
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner