Trailer Trash: Save Yourself

Here is the short but sweet trailer for ‘Save Yourself’. The trailer suggests that in the fiercely contested film industry an actress called Crystal has screwed over three of her contemporaries and lured them to an isolated house in the middle of nowhere. The perfect setting for a horror movie.

We hear screams, see our heroines in deep danger, doused in petrol, bound, glimpses of gory tools of torture, and then the women flee from whatever malevolent being is chasing them.

The female driven horror stars Jessica Cameron (Truth Or Dare), Tristan Risk (ABC’s Of Death 2), Tianna Nori (Clean Break), Sydney Kondruss (The Drownsman), Bobbie Phillips (Carnival Of Souls) and a slew of other Canadian actresses.

Most horror trailers give too much away, which is why when promoting a horror movie the teaser can be so much more effective. There seems to be a lot going on, and this raises questions like what’s with all the bodies wrapped in polythene bags? Who is the villain of the piece? Certainly being the inquisitive sort I’m not keen to watch the movie and find out.

 

For more details on ‘Save Yourself’ visit:

 

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Website: www.SaveYourselfMovie.com

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Trailer Trash: 50 Shades of Grey

I remember a couple of years ago, during the heat and fervour of the E.L. James phenomenon, glimpsing a copy of ’50 Shades of Grey’ that was sat on the desk of my dentist. My dentist was a polite, plain looking Indian woman in her early thirties. Lying prone on the dentist’s chair I feared for my modesty and what on earth she’d get up to with those sharp looking implements that were about to prod and probe inside my gob.

Though I never read any of James’ erotic novels I got the gist of what they were about – Mills & Boon for a uptight sexually repressed generation, a pulp equivalent to D.H. Lawrence’s highbrow smut. Many wondered how ‘50 Shades of Grey’ would be adapted on screen, the dirtiest of minds predicted that pornstar James Deen would play Christian Grey, building on from his role in ‘The Canyons’ alongside Lindsay Lohan. Initially actors were cast and then some dropped out after having second thoughts, most likely doubting the quality of the source material. Now we have the trailer for Sam Taylor-Johnson’s movie version starring Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dorman.

The vibe of the trailer suggests an ‘American Psycho’ stroke ‘Great Gatsby’ adaptation, as Anastasia Steele, a naïve journalist interviews Christian Grey, this hotshot albeit mysterious businessman who shies away from media attention. At first it looks like a conventional love story, icy businessman melts, and begins to show a softer side before he opens the door to his S&M dungeon.

Yes, the sexy payoff is at the end. Before that in nearly two minutes hardly anything is given away; we are titillated just enough to wonder what this is all about. The problem I have with the film’s trailer is that it’s all so cold and serious. I suppose the emphasizes Christian Grey’s bland control in the boardroom as opposed to whatever the hell he does in the bedroom with all those chains and whips, but contrast it to I don’t know, something like the trailer for the mildly controversial ‘Secretary’ which had a similar S&M theme.

The dominance and submission content in the ‘Secretary’ trailer is delivered humourlessly. The early signs of ’50 Shades of Grey’ is that they probably could’ve released a sixty second sound clip of orgasmic groaning on a blank (or grey) screen and it would have generated excitement to the hundred million strong baying mob of punters waiting to see Christian Grey brought to life on screen.

This trailer doesn’t exactly get my porridge oats boiling. Thumbs down from me.
– RJW

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Trailer Trash: Game of Thrones Special

As ‘Game of Thrones’ continues to take over the world, the stars of the show, most of whom whose characters will likely at some stage be brutally slain, are beginning to depart the show and move on to seek fame and fortune in Hollywood, entertainments equivalent to Braavos. Kit Harrington aka Jon Snow recently stretched all of his acting muscles by playing a sword wielding warrior in ‘Pompeii’, now it is the time of Rose Leslie and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to try and make an impact later in 2014. Thankfully neither are wearing animal skins or false hands.

Leslie appears in ‘Honeymoon’, which looks partly like ‘Evil Dead’ and for some reason the vibe of the trailer reminds me also of 2008’s ‘The Strangers’ and rather obviously ‘The Cabin in the Woods’. Paul and Bea (Leslie) are newlyweds who decide rather than Cancun or Bali to instead stay in a dingy cabin in the middle of nowhere. Paul wakes up during the night, sees that his wife is no longer bed with him and finds her out in the woodland looking rather distressed. Over time Bea behaves oddly and there be something out in those there woods. Paul meets another pale faced young woman who isn’t his wife in the woods and she warns him that it’s not safe. There are hints of surveillance cameras in the frantic final half of the trailer. The couple are being watched, but by whom we don’t know. Right at the end Bea says “something bad happened to me in the woods”. I’m curious to know what that is.

Coster-Waldau, a seasoned actor who has already got one foot in mainstream cinema after appearing in the spooky ‘Mama’ and alongside Hollywood’s greatest current action hero Tom Cruise in ‘Oblivion’, stars in Danish film ‘A Second Chance’. This film looks more of a hard hitting drama, as Coster-Waldau’s Police detective character retrieves a baby from a couple of drug addicts and gives it to his wife to look after. The missing baby places the wayward junkie parents as prime suspects in a potential murder. The originality of the story makes this an intriguing film and one that I’d certainly be interested in watching.

Although the Mother of Dragons might say “The next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time you have hands!” I will defy her and give these trailers two thumbs up.

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Trailer Trash: Truth or Dare

Until someone filled me in about the controversy surrounding the latest series, I must say I’d forgotten about ‘Big Brother’. I suppose that’s been helped by not owning a TV, and generally leading a busy enough life which means Reality TV no longer seeps into my conscious anymore. In those dark procrastinating days when I had oodles of free time I would religiously watch ‘Big Brother’, particularly when it was on Channel 4. In the early 2000s I also watched the only two TV series’ of the UK version of ‘Survivor’ and then in later years I’d fill up spare hours digesting imported MTV fabricated gunk like ‘The Hills’. I think I was hooked on Reality TV. It was visual candy.

In the early days of Reality TV there was a certain naivety about the contestants. They were in it for the cash prizes, competing no differently to those who’d go on ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’ or ‘Wheel of Fortune’, but as the popularity of these shows grew, savvier contestants realized that there was a chance to get their fifteen lucrative minutes of fame and make far more money than even the winners of the show. Potentially they could launch a career of sorts by being outrageous, idiotic and desperate. The most tragic example of this was Jade Goody.

Post YouTube vainglorious sorts no longer need to leave their houses and spend a few months contained in a house. Now they can Vlog from their bedrooms, film themselves on their iPhones and reach millions of people with their content. Times are changing and literally anybody can be a star. Clicks and views have become the new currency.
‘Truth of Dare’ contains a mix of Reality TV and the relatively new phenomenon of WebCelebs as “Six college kids find internet stardom when they make “Truth or Dare” videos with a violent twist. It is all fun and games until their number one fan decides he wants to play by his own rules.”

The trailer for ‘Truth or Dare’ is flooded by glowing quotes from critics and an endless list of awards won, which I suppose gives this film a seal of approval. It’s a short, visceral and bloody trailer. We see a greasy haired irate man take a handful of people hostage. There are screams aplenty in what appears to be a gore-filled torture fest of cuttin’, stabbin’ and shootin’. There’s just enough given away in the trailer to make me curious as to whether ‘Truth or Dare’ has any depth to it, or if it’s an orgy of violence fit only for creeps and torture porn junkies.

– RJW

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Trailer Trash: Nurse 3D

An eerie whistle opens the trailer for ‘Nurse 3D’, a film which from the evidence presented by this trailer can be defined as an erotic thriller in the ‘Single White Female’ / ‘Fatal Attraction’ mould. We see a group of proud nurses graduating from All Saints Nursing Corps. A perky blonde graduate called Danni (Katrina Bowden) introduces her new friend Abby (Paz De La Huerta, best known as Luzy Danziger from ‘Boardwalk Empire’) to her boyfriend Steve at her graduation party.

IT STARTED AS A FRIENDSHIP flashes across the screen in bold text BUT ONE NIGHT ***suspenseful pause*** BECAME AN OBSESSION. The trailer at this point titillates with some girl on girl action as Abby slips Danni a roofy and takes advantage of her.

Abby is a pouty, minxing seductress with a dark side. Familiar of her work from ‘Boardwalk Empire’, in which she essentially played a whore who spent most of her time undressed and talking in this cutesy Marilyn Monroe tone, De La Huerta seems to spend a significant amount of time in her underwear talking suggestively. De La Huerta has an ounce of acting charisma to deliver the killer lines, which at least presents some intrigue about her character.

There seems to be a key origin story giveaway when somebody in the hospital says to Abby “You look really familiar. You look like my next door neighbour Sarah. They put her in Sunnyview Institute when she was just a kid”. Ok, so that’s why she’s a murderous psychopath. No curve balls, twists or revelations here then, but I wonder what the decision to include that information adds to the trailer since we can kinda guess Abby’s unhinged. It seems rather obvious. Does the trailer need to give away why?

I re-watched the slightly crudely edited trailer for ‘Fatal Attraction’ as some kind of comparison, and at least for the first minute of the trailer things are a little bit ambiguous. It isn’t until a screaming Glenn Close charges at somebody with a kitchen knife that we get to see any real hint of danger. What I’m saying is that there’s enough bait on the hook to keep the potential erotic thriller viewer interested, but not too much to give the whole plot of the film away. Less is more baby. Make us crave something.

Do I want to watch ‘Nurse 3D’?

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Trailer Trash: The Hungover Games (Red Band Edition)

First thought. Who watches these piss weak parody films? Second thought. Who actually laughs when they watch them?

I’m guessing the thought process behind the making of this movie was to combine ‘The Hangover’ with ‘The Hunger Games’ and then sprinkle on top the rancid muck of pop culture in the hope that beautiful flowers bloom from the manure. Voila! You have ‘The Hungover Games’. I think the key to making a good parody film is simple enough, pour on thick a rapid fire host of zinger one liners and get a talented cast to play it mostly straight. Nowadays makers of parody films aim for familiarity and lowest common denominator humour. The shit is literally thrown on the drawing board in the hope that it sticks. It appears ‘The Hungover Games’ goes beyond being so bad it’s good territory, like a carelessly thrown boomerang that flies full circle and ends up getting stuck straight in the arse crack inducing a splintering bleeding anus of agony.

The trailer features the three main guys in ‘The Hangover’ played by Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifinakis and Ed Helms played by lookalikes with the names Bradley, Zach and Ed. Fumes from a dodgy air freshener take the trio forward in time into a dystopian future. We see ISCFC favourite Tara Reid dressed up as Effie Trinket and then a bizarre action sequence that is a mix of ‘The Hunger Games’ (duh) and the chaotic melee fight scenes from the two ‘Anchorman’ films. There’s a Django lookalike, a Captain Jack Sparrow, Ted (complete with oversized dangling furry meat and two veg), the blue lass from ‘Avatar’ and Kardashian doormat Bruce Jenner dressed up as Cesar Romero from the old ‘Batman’ TV series.

‘The Hungover Games’ came out this year and already it feels dated. Jeez, I guess Pop Culture doesn’t age well in the high speed Tweetin’ and Tumblr-in’ digital age. With a trailer that showcases the most crass and unfunny moments of the film, an endless montage of bad lookalikes that wouldn’t look out of place in the Great Yarmouth waxwork museum and dick jokes. Limp, flaccid dick jokes ***sigh***. ‘The Hungover Games’ makes ‘Scary Movie 5’ look like ‘The Godfather Part II’.

– RJW

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Trailer Trash: A Walk Among The Tombstones

I think I lost faith in Liam Neeson as an actor, after almost accidentally reinventing himself as a veteran action hero in ‘Taken’ and putting in a sterling performance in the wonderfully bleak ‘The Grey’ he’s found himself over the last few years in a run of stinkers – the sequel to ‘Taken’, ‘Battleship’, ‘Wrath of the Titans’ and ‘Non-Stop’. Adapted from Lawrence Block’s novel ‘A Walk Among The Tombstones’ finally looks like a Neeson film worth watching.

The trailer begins with a black and white flashback, world weary private investigator Matthew Scudder (Neeson) was off duty killing time in a Cop bar, suddenly two guys come in and shoot the bartender, robbing the joint. Scudder chased the guys off into the street, and after discharging his weapon, an innocent bystander was hit by a stray round. Subsequently Scudder handed in his badge.

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The hook is that after that fateful day Scudder is a rogue, an unlicensed private detective who carries out favours and in return he receives gifts of cash. It looks like he has a lot of shady clients. A new client comes in and says that somebody has kidnapped his wife. From the trailer we hear a Dictaphone recording of what sounds like the abduction. The trailer picks up when Scudder answers his phone and a sinister voice says “I understand I have a new player in the game”; cue a haunting cover of Soundgarden’s ‘Black Hole Sun’ that will get many people scurrying off to download this song pronto. There’s something about Neeson answering the phone in trailers which really gets the juices going.

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It seems the trailer gives away a shocking moment for free, when a man who seems ready to give Scudder information about the kidnappers instead decides to jump of the roof of a tall building, presumably to his death, hopefully there is a twist because this seems like one of those genuine moments that shouldn’t be given away. The trailer finally builds to a crescendo creating a hive of fear and paranoia, as Scudder goes deeper into his investigation, putting his own life in jeopardy.

The exciting thing about this film is that the trailer gives off a slight Fincher vibe, recalling the suspense of films like ‘Se7en’ and ‘Zodiac’. It really does look like we could have a good Neeson film on her hands here.

– RJW

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Trailer Trash: Wish I Was Here

Zach Braff starred as JD, the likeable Doctor in popular American sitcom ‘Scrubs’. Although the show went on too long, and perhaps outstayed its welcome, Braff didn’t want to be stuck in TV land and wanted to make movies (this was just before Hollywood actors decided they didn’t want to be in movies anymore and got back into TV shows). He wrote and directed ‘Garden State’ and also starred in the film, essentially playing himself. World weary, looking for love, fogged down by Anti-D’s. ‘Garden State’ is marmite for many. Some loved the cuteness, that oft-quoted line about The Shins; others saw it as a pretentious bag of shite. Me, I kinda like Braff, he brings a sense of neurotic vulnerability to the screen, evidently influenced by Woody Allen and not too dissimilar to the likes of Michael Cera and more recently Jesse Eisenberg.

‘Garden State’ was ten years ago, and since then Braff hasn’t been on many people’s radar. That was until he announced a few years ago that he would be making a plea to his fans for financial support on Kickstarter. The millionaire actor asked for two million dollars. Worldview Entertainment added several more million to the budget. I suppose the question people must have asked themselves before donating money to the Kickstarter campaign is this – do I want to see another Zach Braff film? Evidently the man still had a lot of fans because the project quickly hit its fundraising target.

Critics wondered why Braff didn’t finance the movie himself. Braff argued that he wanted to maintain creative control. This was his vision. But is it the film his fans want to see? The sales pitch was more or less if you liked ‘Garden State’, you will like this.

‘Scrubs’ is now a forgotten footnote in sitcom TV history, we now like ‘Community’ and ‘Parks and Recreation’, Lena Dunham is probably now this generation’s equivalent to Zach Braff. The teens who mimicked their first forays into love from ‘Garden State’ moments may well have moved on. The people who tweeted and complained about the initial Kickstarter campaign have likely turned their ire onto new targets. This week it is probably aimed towards Macklemore dressing up like a Jewish stereotype.

So what does the trailer for ‘Wish I Was Here’ tell us? Braff still likes sweetly optimistic mildly euphoric indie rock. The character, no doubt partly based on himself, is now older with a family and responsibilities. Kate Hudson plays his wife and he has two wise cracking adorable kids. The trailer shows us that Braff gets a lot of bad news, financial woes, his Father seems to be dying, he has a wayward younger brother. We’re bombarded with familiar faces, Jim Parsons is in the film, so his Braff’s buddy Donald Faison. Overall the trailer seems to suggest that this film is mostly clichéd Californian nothingness, a vague story about life’s cruel lessons.

It seems odd after watching the trailer four or five times I can’t help but wondering about what the money has been used for, how many million does it cost to get Hudson and rising stars like Josh Gad to feature in your film? What the hell has all this money been spent on? At one point Zach Braff test drives an Aston Martin along a sunny coastal road. Was this little gauche detail deliberately included to get the critics to re-bite and once again attack this project, just to whip up a little hype and publicity?

I look forward to seeing how ‘Wish I Was Here’ is marketed up to its release date in July. This trailer has left me undecided as to whether or not I want to go see it.

– RJW

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