TrailerBytes: Lawless, Hope Springs + more!

TrailerBytes with Dan Spritz

Lawless

It’s refreshing to see a Prohibition-era film. There aren’t enough of those. More importantly, it looks excellent. It has a stellar cast (Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Guy Pearce, and Gary Oldman) and does a masterful job of spacing out when they are revealed. Without really giving anything away, this trailer sets the stage wonderfully while introducing elements of all the characters. They all appear to have depth, while being perfectly cast. Even more, there’s action! Action helps mediocre trailers, and boosts the profile of a trailer as strong as this one. There’s nothing specific to focus on, because everything that happens feels substantial. There’s a certain weight to it, I’m excited for more.

Lawless

Brave

Every trailer for Brave trailer delights me, regardless of what it depicts, because I love the accents so much. This guy should be incorporated into their marketing strategy, but that’s just me. As it stands though, this trailer mostly rehashes portions of the previous three trailers. What we do learn is that the spell that could destroy everything was unleashed by Merida’s desire to change her fate. How reasonable of her. There’s also the king imitating her (cute), some bears (cute/terrifying), along with a song that appears to be in Scottish Gaelic (odd). It ends with Merida asking, “If you had the chance to change your fate, would you?” So … Brave is Pixar’s 8 Mile?

Hope Springs

Centering a trailer around Meryl Streep is always a good decision. She doesn’t get enough credit for her comedic acting because she’s so good in dramatic roles, but she can be really funny. The banana scene is what’s going to get the attention, but her discomfort throughout the trailer plays well. Moreover, she is playing off of Steve Carell as a therapist and Tommy Lee Jones as her grumpy husband. While casting Jones in this role is obviously a no-brainer, Carell could truly shine in this film. He has the perfect amount of sensitivity, plus he’ll definitely get some jokes in as well. What shocks me is that this couple isn’t having sex at all. Obviously they’ve been together for a while and things change, but this issue isn’t addressed beyond Jones’ character being glum. Since the lack of sex is the film’s central conceit, the first question is obviously about why that is the case. The trailer should at least address it. Points off for that, but all else is good.

This Is 40

From Judd Apatow, the executive producer of Girls, comes This Is 40, the spinoff of Knocked Up. (Am I the first person to make that joke? Please tell me I am.) While this film is ostensibly a comedy, the trailer isn’t particularly funny. Sure, the joke about vagina rings indicating a woman’s age is funny, but the lead-up to it is not original. Beyond that, it’s cute that they are marketing this as the sort-of-sequel to Knocked Up and it is amusing to see Paul Rudd struggling on the treadmill. Melissa McCarthy’s presence is welcome, and apparently Chris O’Dowd, Charlyne Yi, Lena Dunham (!!!), and Megan Fox (???) will be present as well. As encouraging as those names are, right now it feels like a more mature movie about growing into parenthood. It looks good, but it doesn’t look fun. The trailer ends with Rudd imploring Leslie Mann to inspect his taint for … something. This could be an uproarious scene in the movie, but this trailer just paints it as an example of the sacrifices people make in relationships. Compassion is important, yet not really funny. It could lead to a strong movie, but what kind of movie remains to be seen.

Dan Spritz / Cherry On Top / @DanSpritz

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