Friday, July 8, 2011

Yes, Yes, Yes, DRAMA!

There is nothing like a good Drama to keep your mind off of your own problems.  Engrossing yourself in the world of the far more troubled is a form of escape that takes on the cloak of entertainment.  And it works really well!  Here are the latest trailers in the category of "Drama"

1.  A Better Life
I am leading with a strong film about a father and son.  This is NOT the "Pursuit of Happyness" however, this film does seem to have common themes with it.  The story is about a Father who works extremely hard, and endures strife, stress, and the ever present threat of being exported, all because he wants to provide a better life for his son.  However, his son almost seems to fall into the same pattern of behavior as his father, as moving up in society is always harder than it seems.

2.  Mysteries of Lisbon
Now here's a major contender.  This film trailer is absolutely enchanting.  It hits all of the right areas for true Drama lovers.  Nostalgia, Foreign Language, Class Wars, Murder, and of course the notion that any of the leading characters could be a major culprit!  Take a look and make sure to comment on how you feel this film is going to turn out.

3.  The Ledge
"Hey Readers"
"Yeah Dan"
"Did you ever see the movies "Cellular" or "Phonebooth" or even "24 Hour Photo" ?
"Um...we think so,  are those the ones that all revolve around someone being forced to do something horrible in order to save others from a lover's revenge?"
"Yeah, those ones,... Did you like them?"
"uh, not really, it was really predictable and it was like watching a fat guy fall down really slowly, I mean, we all know what is going to happen, but no one does anything to stop it."
"Yeah!  well how about the exact same thing?!?  Yes!  Another one!  Yay!

4.  WarHorse
Another Steven Spielberg film.  You know what I mean,  the kind that can make you say, "Did you see it?" for an entire year, or the kind that can make you say, "I can't believe that people saw that."
This is a story about an English boy whose horse is re-appropriated by the English government during World War I.  And the arch of the story takes shape when the horse escapes rank, and makes his epic journey all the way back home.  awwwww.

5.  Special Treatment
Here's one for the stretch of what should be a finite subject.  What do prostitutes and psychoanalysts have in common?  Apparently that's the subject of the movie.  This one is a bit too weird for words...and I am beginning to think that I do not understand French culture at all.  See if you all can fill me in on what is going on in this trailer.

6.  The Myth of the American Sleepover
iTunes put this one under the "Romance / Comedy" genre...but I dare to say "Nay!"  I have high hopes for this one.  The film hopes to keep the audience involved while having an extra huge set of characters and overlapping story arches all simultaneous.  The same kind of thing happened in the movie "Crash" however, this one is more about teenagers in love, and less about how racially charged LA is.  I feel that it's a valid comparison.....don't mock me!

7.  Bellflower
Have you waited your entire life to see a crazy, LSD induced, dramatic nightmare?  Then this is the movie for you!  Well, at least that's the way that it looks based on the trailer.  This movie seems to have the same theme as many of your favorite TV episodes.  Two guys are friends...Then one of the guys falls for a girl and totally ditches his friend....then the other guy is jealous, and wants his friend back....and so on.  HOWEVER, I have never seen anything like this trailer is depicting.  That same story as if you were reliving it through the lenses of an alternate universe.  Definitely worth taking a look at...and hopefully it won't be so fantastic that the academy passes it up.

8.  Courageous
At first glance of this trailer, you seem to be following along the story of four police officers, and their struggles to keep their home lives and their professional lives in check.  It looks like a really neat human incite kind of movie.....and then, there is the scene in the trailer, in which it becomes obvious that this movie has an alternative motive for displaying moving pictures on the screen.  I am certain that we could all be swept into the stories of these men who struggle to keep themselves honorable, but there is an overwhelming feeling that this movie is not going to turn out to be that kind of movie....if you know what I mean.  Take a look and judge for yourselves.

9.  Moneyball
This Fall, (dun duh, dah dah dah)  Brad Pitt, (bump-a, bah bump-a) Philip Seymour Hoffman, (dun dah, dun dun dah) and ..... Jonah Hill?
Now I know that both Philip Seymour Hoffman and Brad Pitt have been in their share of comedies too...but seriously....Jonah Hill?  anyways
Moneyball is the story about the general manager of the Oakland A's and how he had the baseball world turned on its ear when he took on the system and ran his team on an extremely small budget.  thus the name,  Moneyball.  It actually looks pretty interesting.   Comment please, comment!  I live on your comments alone!

10.  Girlfriend
This could be one of those heart touching films about a girl who made all of the wrong choices in life, but still has someone who has always worshiped and adored her from afar.  This is not "Can't Hardly Wait"  and this is certainly not "Forest Gump"  but something else....It's not even where those two films meet.  This is something that will be great,  I know that this movie is going to be on my "Keep an Eye on It" list.

11.  The Tree
I can tell you that this trailer just doesn't do it for me.  I feel like I couldn't connect on many levels, and that they didn't really give me that "just enough" bit of plotline to keep my interest.  So, that being said, I am really hoping for a "Trailer 2" from this film production before the actual movie comes to theaters.
Essentially, "The Tree" revolves around a family, as they are grieving the loss of the father.  One of the daughters is convinced that his spirit lives on in the tree that grows outside of their house.  Meanwhile, the mother is being courted and the man that she is dating is finding that the house has plumbing problems due to the roots of the tree....and you can pretty much see where this is going.  yada, yada, yada.   Fingers crossed for a "Trailer 2."

12.  R
yes, that's it, the title is simply, "R."  Little is given in this trailer.  The story is supposed to be about a character named Rune who is newly imprisoned.  He must quickly learn the ins and outs of prison life.  However, as a sub-plot, there is a befriending inmate who becomes an accomplis.  See if you can decipher just what this movie is all about.

13.  The Sleeping Beauty
This film seems to have one foot in "Fantasy" and one foot in "Drama"  so I have made "Drama" it's home based on the fact that I can.  Nanna nanna boo boo.   This is a highly deconstructed telling of the classic story.  I like to watch the trailer again and again to see if I can catch all of the parallels between the story that we all know of "Sleeping Beauty" and this seemingly eccentric vision.

14.  Life Above All
You know much as it would seem like laziness to not write anything.  I simply feel that the trailer speaks volumes more than I could ever express or hope to explain to you, my beloved readers.  Please, please, please look at this trailer.  Then write some comments down, please put your words where I could not.

15.  Griff The Invisible
This is like the plotline of some kind of backwards superman epic.  Take a man who's life is unfulfilling, so in turn, he becomes a crime fighter each night.  Meanwhile, the "mild mannered" side of him attracts a young lady, who now must save himself from totally being consumed by this need to fight crime.  Sounds like a mashup of Spiderman 3 and you know.....something good.

16.  Pariah
This is a coming of age story.....but wait for the twist....she's a lesbian.  How can a 17-year old highschool student, remain calm, keep composure, and slowly but surely come out of the closet with minimal ramifications?  Well hopefully when we see the whole movie, we will witness something like that.  "Pariah" is listed as "Coming Soon."  Keep an eye on it.

17.  The Help
The real question on this film is....can Emma Stone carry a film?  I would like to think so, however, this is her big opportunity and so we will all have to find out On August 10th.   This story revolves around the Equal Rights era of the 1960's in the state of Mississippi.  Emma Stone's character is a journalist who takes an interest in the sub-culture of "The Help."  The Help mainly consisted of African American Women whom had stronger bonds in friendship to each other than their employers.  Armed with the dirty details and incites of the collective African American Women whom worked in the houses of the white employers, Emma Stone begins to publish her stories, but all of this at the rist of exposing her sources.

18.  A Love Affair of Sorts
First, take a look at this trailer.

Okay, Now for a fun fact:  Yes, this entire movie was shot on the old (and now phased out) Cisco Flipcams.   So my must now judge for yourselves,  is this story staged, or are we really watching the gritty reality of a relationship as it unfolds?

19.  Gun Hill Road
This one looks promising.  Our main character is just getting out of prison after 3 years.  He is trying to re-integrate himself back into his regular family life only to find that his wife is emotionally distant, and his son is gay (much to his father's dismay).  As the Drama unfolds, our main character must either re-find his place in the family, or adapt to the fact that he is no longer as needed now that 3 years has given the rest of the family time to grow.

Well that's all for now my readers!  make sure to leave your comments below, I really enjoy the fact that we can all discuss what we think a movie will be like, and how our first impressions shape how we may or may not see that movie.  Thank you for Reading!


  1. haha the trailer for Courageous is so startling. It's like it's trying to trick you or something. You can definitely see how the small Christian production company that made Fireproof and Flywheel and Facing the Giants has come a long way when it comes to production value though

  2. Yeah, I had that same, "ooo, this could be goo...oh wait, what the what?!?" reaction too the first time that I saw this trailer. Then of course I had to confirm my suspicions and "Yes" this movie is backed by a christian organization. And what's even worse....they have a whole book series of "How to be Courageous" for sale. ugh.

  3. First, a comment on Courageous - yeah, it's clear that the movie has an agenda (or, shall we say, a message), and it's going to be religious. But it has provoked a question in my mind that perhaps you who see more movies could answer: who else is making family films nowadays that address real issues? The "family film" market seems full of animated feel-goods and flimsy comedies, but I can't think of recent films in the genre that really take on parenting. I may simply be uninformed, though.

    Now, onto the ones that really interested me:

    1. The Ledge - I had actually already looked this one up after seeing Liv Tyler talk about it on Conan, where it sounded like an intriguing religio/personal conflict movie. After watching the trailer, looks more like what could've been thought-provoking takes the easy way out and just turns the story into a suspenseful stereotype.

    2. I like the look of Moneyball; it gives me the feeling of a sports movie that appeals to a broader audience than just sports fanatics (though baseball fans will surely be specially intrigued). I guess the team-of-misfit-underdogs angle has been tried many times, but it looks to me like "tried and true" will apply here.

    3. Girlfriend - Also looks good, so long as they can keep the story from being too simplistic. When I see a film like this, I want to delve into the nature of human conflict and relationships, not just end up with a heartwarming story (not that there is confirmation of either of those things in the trailer). I'm particularly interested in how this one will end.

    4. R - Great example of a trailer that tells you way too little. What are they hiding? A plot?

    5. Griff the Invisible - Probably my favorite of the list, it looks like a movie with multiple levels. Up until halfway through the trailer I even wondered if it could really be a sarcastic comedy. It looked more like a story about fantasy and growing up by the end, though - and that's good.

  4. After watching all the trailers the ones that I'll probably end up seeing are A Better Life, War Horse, Moneyball, Girlfriend, Griff the Invisible, Life Above All, and The Help.

    I'm really interested to see War Horse because the thing that made the play so special was the puppet work they did with the horses.

  5. @ Benjamin Wright:

    I suppose everyone's take on "real issues" can differ from person to person,but I totally get what you mean when you propose the question of who is really out there making films that connect and deliver a message. I can only think of a couple of films off the top of my head like, "Things We Lost in the Fire" ( wherein there is a story about redemption, responsibility, and recovery. But then again, this film is geared more towards adults because of the content and context. Another (stretch) of an example might be "Crash" wherein the message is that peoples choices and stances on life cause them to collide in a finite world of choices. Although neither of these films should be viewed with an audience of the whole family, these films do propose exemplar behaviors in pseudo dramatic ways. Neither of these films is going to be as straight forward and clear messaged as "Courageous" but they do seem to be leaning toward an exemplar lifestyle.

  6. @jdbutler88:

    agreed, the structured puppets of the broadway "War Horse" is ironically going to set the bar to reach for the real-life horse in the upcoming Spielberg film. Usually it's the other way around, but the Broadway production is extremely high quality. Is it possible to capture that energy from the excitement of a real-life audience at a Broadway production and deliver that onscreen to a theater audience? It's like trying to capture lightning in a bottle....however, it does sometimes happen.