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« Thoughts I Had... While Staring at Promo Images for "Edge of Tomorrow" | Main | Link Runner »
Tuesday
Jul162013

'Yes, No, Maybe So' Blow-Out Special

Trailers everywhere! At the movies and at home this weekend I saw a whole slew of trailers and realized I hadn't written about any of them. So let's catch up with super quick trifurcated thoughts on five forthcoming features (The Grandmaster, Blue Jasmine, Out of the Furnace, Oldboy, and Runner Runner) via their current trailers.

Are you aching to see any of these movies, eager to avoid them, or withholding judgment until you see reviews? Don't be shy, lurkers. Speak your three-part thoughts in the comments.

THE GRANDMASTER

 

  • yes - Wong Kar Wai movies are few and far between and ought to be gazed at with as much rapture as one can muster. This trailer has plenty of eye-glazingly pretty moments. Plus that gorgeous cast: Tony Leung Chiu Wai headlining, and Chang Chen & Zhang Ziyi (the young lovers from Crouching Tiger) reunited. Yes please times many despite the lack of title cards (boo) to glorify their names
  • no - Wong Kar Wai's style is so stylish it could easily dip into self parody and sometimes movies that take years to make are 
  • maybe so - biopic. (sigh) 

BLUE JASMINE

 

  • yes - Early word is promising and since the last Woody Allen movie (To Rome With Love) it's time for another goodie. The plot/concept which seems to mix a riff on the Bernie Madoff scandal with A Streetcar Named Desire looks interesting. But in the end, Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins as squabbling sisters = my ticket already purchased.
  • no - Andrew Dice Clay in a Woody Allen movie? Class warfare could go very tone deaf since Woody lives quite an insular life.
  • maybe so - early word is promising but with hit and miss 21st century Woody you just never know;  critical consensus we await thee! 

OUT OF THE FURNACE

 

  • yesnomaybeso
  • whoops I forgot to comment on this one. Do it for me in the comments.

OLDBOY

 

  • yes - A Spike Lee joint + Josh Brolin is a fine actor + i'm no fan of the original (I know I know I know I'm supposed to be. Shut it) which means a remake isn't sacriligeous to me and I could conceivably like it more.
  • no - the original was such a successful exercize in cooler-than-thou auteur sadism it undoubtedly gave Refn, Gibson, and Tarantino multiple Os as they turned green. But sadism isn't my thing. 
  • maybe so - ...but I like style-for-style's-sake sometimes so it might be interesting to see how Spike Lee's  meshes or diverges from Park Chan-wooks? 

RUNNER RUNNER

 

  • yes - Ben Affleck as a charming sell-your-soul-to-me devil I can buy...
  • no - but Justin Timberlake as a good guy? Hmmm. Still not sold (at all) on him as a movie star.
  • maybe so - The crime thriller aspects look rote but there's something about the visuals that look well sleekly designed / shot (at least in the cuisinart style of trailers). But I haven't seen Lincoln Lawyer, director Brad Furman's previous meal ticket so maybe you'll tell me how good or generic it is in the comments?

 I'd share a sixth for Closed Circuit but that's one of those truly awful "it's the whole movie" trailers so anyone who has seen the trailer need never buy a ticket to the movie. Unfortunate because Rebecca Hall is worth watching a full length, don't you think?

 P.S. Weird Trivia: Two of these trailers begin with alarm clock noises and two of them contain shots of people doing laps in pools. 

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Reader Comments (25)

Since I was only willing to even watch the trailers for Wong Kar Wai and Blue Jasmine, I guess it means No to all the others, and a tentative Yes to these two films.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

The Grandmaster: I need this movie in front of my eyeballs NOW. It's been way, way too long since the last WKW film and this one at least looks stunning with great actors. Also, Yuen Wo-Ping is a genius fight choreographer. I don't really mind the biopic aspect of it much since I'm not really familiar with the man.

Blue Jasmine: I'm shocked that I'm so on board for this. I like Blanchett but don't worship at her altar, she almost looks like she's overdoing it in the trailer, and Woody is so hit or miss, especially recently. But, yeah. Blanchett and Hawkins as squabbling sisters? And Alec Baldwin as a Wall Street scumbag? I'm so on board.

Oldboy: I'm kinda with you on Chan-Wook's original, although overall I liked it. What that means, unfortunately for Lee, Brolin, Jackson, and company, is that I really don't need to see this story again, no matter how intrigued this particular team doing this particular story makes me.

Runner Runner: Affleck looks like a hoot and a half, but everything else looks shitty, starting with Timberlake. Never liked him as an actor and this just looks all wrong for him (he's supposed to be a college student, right? He looks way too old for that).

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

I can't buy Justin TImberlake as an actor, but he's even less believable as an action star. Watching him in "In Time" and in this trailer for "Runner Runner," I place the blame mainly on his speaking voice. He has a high-pitched squeaky voice that may work in comedy but in action films it is unintentionally hilarious. Maybe he should do a musical.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

Out of the Furnace: So, underground boxing rings inform a mumbly southern fried revenge story. So, exactly what you'd expect out of the description "Winter's Bone meets Fight Club directed by the guy who did Crazy Heart". NO.
The Grandmaster: Five words: Wong Kar Wai Action Movie. I've seen three Wong Kar Wai movies. To do effective full blown action, you need a taste for dramatic cohesion and zippy pacing, both of which Mr. Wai generally lacks. He's at least good at what he usually does, but what he usually does is FAR from The Grandmaster. NO.
Runner Runner: Though it doesn't sum up the "Entire" movie, it pretty much zips you all the way to the end of the second act. If so much can get covered in 2.5 minutes, the reviews are probably going to be bad. NO.
Oldboy: I'm one of those who loves the original, but I'm still not sure if this is going to be anything more than, at the same time, a hollower but prettier imitation. If the lead were black, Anthony Mackie as one possibility, touching on the racial elements that drive the best of Spike's work, matched with these visuals? Could have at least matched the original, expounding on a (slightly) different set of themes. Maybe, if the reviews are strong.
Blue Jasmine: I'm unsure about everything in it, but Baldwin easily looks the most promising. Sally Hawkins looks more lively than I thought, but I'm still not 100% sold on her nominee status, especially since I think Dice Clay is her husband. Still, I think it's a maybe so.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Thanks for finally doing one for Blue Jasmine! Really excited for it.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

GrandMaster--yes. The trailer would be far more effective if they dropped the voice over and let the visuals speak for themselves.

Blue Jasmine--yes to maybe. I will always give Woody the benefit of the doubt (one of the few directors still taking chances), but sometimes he doesn't know how to edit his thoughts and it gets messy.

Out of the Furnace--No. Incredible cast but I think I've already seen this, perhaps several times.

Old Boy--yes to maybe. Spike Lee makes great films but the story didn't interest me until about half way through the trailer.

Runner, Runner--no. If those are the best bits they can find for the trailer, it sucks a big one.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry O.

Blue Jasmine Blue Jasmine Blue Jasmine Blue Jasmine Blue Jasmine!!

Has anybody else noticed how similar Blue Jasmine seems to be to A Streetcar Named Desire? Formerly-wealthy-now-penniless sister driven mad, sister who married down, blue collar husband...

I have to say, it makes me more excited to see the film, not less.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnne Marie

Have any of you people hating on Timberlake even seen The Social Network, Black Snake Moan, Alpha Dog, or Friends with Benefits? I think you just don't like him because pop culture tells us we're supposed to hate musicians turned actors.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertr

tr -- i have seen all of those save alpha dog and i just dont think he's a natural onscreen. he is not a bad actor at all but he's not a particular great one either so to me he's just taking up space where a great actor could be. This is often what i think about people who switch to movies from other fields and are ungreat. ;)

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

I thought the lincoln lawyer was one of the better thrillers in recent years and it was the first movie to show McConaughey was the real deal. Well not the first, but it started his renaissance. I can't wait for oldboy. I love spike lee and Blue Jasmine looks surprisingly very good. Usually woody isn't this quick recently to have another hit, but well see and he can be special.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

Out of the furnace looks good, but also seems like it could head into cliche territory. But the cast and director is promising. I don't think it will be a huge contender though.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJosh

I couldn,t agree more about Rebecca Hall - I just finished watching Parades End and she is luminous; her ability to provoke empathy, sympathy, despair and loathing all within a single scene was so impressive.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermatt

Hell yes to Grandmaster, Blue Jasmine and Oldboy. AUTEURGASM!

Maybe so to Out of the Furnace - it looks pretty generic from a distance and the Eddie Vedder song is, you know, whatever. Plus Crazy Heart did next to nothing for me.

No to Runner Runner. Brad Furman is a good director but this cast! Yeesh. That's like vintage early 2000s smarmy Affleck vs. his 2010s heir, good ol' Justin Timberlake. Timberlake is a great live performer and he came close to matching his SNL energy/charm level in Friends with Benefits (and he looked dy-no-mite too), but otherwise I feel like he is one of the least natural leading man actors around these days.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

I love the reasoning of Dave in Alamitos Beach and concur: if I can't even bother to watch the trailer, I guess it's a no. So, a default no to Out of the Furnace and Runner, Runner... for now.

Yes to Oldboy, Grandmaster, and Blue Jasmine.

I am cautiously excited for a new good Woody film. The trailer makes me remember why I love Cate. But every time I rewatch it, I grow more and more concerned that it is far too similar to Streetcar. Please, don't let that be the case.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

Grandmaster: good looking cinematography, and I love Tony Leung. Maybe.

Out of the Furnace: I love half the cast and hate the other half. Story seems like "what, again?" No.

Old Boy: starring Josh Brolin. No.

Runner Runner: just show me a clip of all the Anthony Mackie parts. I couldn't bear to watch the rest, the trailer is too long already. No.

Blue Jasmine: finally a movie with some women in it. But can even great actresses triumph over Woody Allen's long held conviction that women are shrews and ruin everything? Maybe.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Oldboy gets HELL YES from me. I like that the trailer (the sadism is integral to the act of vengeance in the movie so I cannot really critique it as that when PCW had his own weird thing going on) is either really applying misdirection to the plot-twist or, if we really does seek to be its own thing, already shows some differences going on. This seems more noir. PCW's adaptation of the manga (Brolin actually resembles the main character much more) had his Grimm fairytale flourish, Spike can do noir/thriller.

Heard mixed things on The Grandmaster. I know some liked the change of pace from WKW but others called it his weakest movie. It looks great, at the very least.

MAYBE to Blue Jasmine. Woody, why are you returning to America and not have it be New York? Especially when you have such 'bada-bing!' ancillary characters. But Blanchett and Hawkins as sisters is dream casting.

MAYBE Out of the Furnace- Due to casting strength.

Runner, Runner- NO. As Nathaniel states, JT is miscast.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Cate Blanchett is always a YES to me. Woody usually means 'wait for the reviews' but I'm betting all in on this one.

The Grandmaster got terrible reviews from the festival it debuted and Wong Kar Wai's last movie made me cry - it was that bad (it was My Blueberry Nights with Norah Jones), so I'm a NO.

Oldboy - I'm a fan of Spike Lee but I love the original too much so... MAYBE SO? Scorsese did worsen the original Infernal Affairs trilogy but won himself an Oscar for it... Let's see.

Out of the Furnace - MAYBE SO, I'll wait for the reviews. Bale is typically awesome in everything and the cast looks fine but Scott Cooper also gave us one of Maggie Gylenhaal's worst performances (and of course it would end up Oscar nominated) while giving Jeff Bridges one of his best. I'll wait and see. I'm betting it turns into a big Oscar contender.

Runner Runner - I'm a YES because this looks campy and trashy and Timberlake and Affleck are such affecting actors this can't succeed (it's this year's IN TIME i'm afraid).

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJay

Volvagia clearly hasn't seen Ashes of Time. It's not about the action, even when it's an action movie. It's about movement, the same way In the Mood For Love is about the movement of Cheung's body when she climbs those stairs in slow motion. WKW films movement in altered states of time: it's not action, it's memories of action. Just like movies. He is way more interested in exploring these concepts of memory and film than filming action.

Of course, I am a YES YES YES YES YES NOW.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

How I wish Justin Timberlake would stick to music and guesting on SNL.

July 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBilly Held An Oscar

My money are on Blanchett to take home the Oscar this year. Blue Jasmine looks incredible. I won't be surprised if eventually Hawkins is nominated too.
Beside this movie recently I've been moved by the trailers of The Wolf of Wallstreet, The Counselor, 12 Years a Slave and..that's it. I hope that the end of the year presents some really nice surprises because up till today 2013 has left me cold.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel B.

Woody Allen has been relegating the madwoman as a caricature for the past decade so I love that he's putting this kind of character to the forefront and making her more complex in Blue Jasmine. And this is probably the closest that non-Aussies will see her as Blanche DuBois.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaolo

I can't stand sadism either and the only reason I sat through the original Oldboy was that I was watching in it movie theater with a bunch of other people, none of whom seemed to walk out. But can I say "WOOF WOOF" for Josh Brolin? He gets only sexier with age.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWafer

cal: Might actually check that out (I've seen Chungking Express, Happy Together and In the Mood for Love, grades being B+, B+ and B respectively), but I think I'd wait on taking the risk on seeing this movie, The Grandmaster, until after getting through Ashes in Time.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Grandmaster: Looks very pretty but overblown. No.

Blue Jasmine: I try never to mix the artist with the art, but I draw the line at child molesters and rapists. No Woody Allen for me.

Out of the Furnace: I hate Christian Bale. No.

Oldboy: I never saw the original so I'm not attached, but that looks incredibly brutal. I'm probably a no.

Runner Runner: Looks by the numbers. Unless reviews turn my head, this one too is a no.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

I'm no right now on Old Boy out of principle. Spike Lee et. al said they were adapting the manga to make a new film, but trailer is using visuals and scenes that were created for the Japanese film adaptation. That's not cool. It won't be a shot for shot remake because Spike Lee isn't a hack, but don't lie and say it's not a remake when it blatantly is. I'm waiting on the reviews to decide if I'll ever see it.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

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