Every Friday here at Flavorwire, we like to gather up the week’s new movie trailers, give them a look-see, and rank them from worst to best — while taking a guess or two about what they might tell us (or hide from us) about the movies they’re promoting. We’ve got seven new ones for you this week — including a couple of titles from that festival, plus new stuff from Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell, Blake Lively, Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Robert Pattinson, and Tyler Perry. Check ‘em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments.
Madea’s Witness Protection
You guys, I don’t know. I’ve tried watching Tyler Perry movies, I really have. I want to understand. But they’re awful, a hodgepodge of histrionics, Bible-thumping, slapstick, and troublesome messages about the male/female dynamic, and the presence of his popular “Medea” character is often the weirdest element — at least when he incorporates her into the melodramas, because how the hell are we supposed to buy into any of this serious marriage/divorce/relationship stuff when there’s clearly, clearly a man in a dress who everyone is pretending is a woman? That said, his latest appears to be going for full-on comedy, which certainly makes more sense tonally. All I can say is this: I hope to God that the beret and mustache and French accent Eugene Levy is sporting in this scene is supposed to be a bad disguise, because if that’s his actual character… holy hell, I hope he got a nice check.
This dark comedy/thriller from director Derick Martini (who made 2008’s underrated Lymelife) got some scathing notices when it played at Toronto last fall, but this trailer has piqued our interest; we’ll see just about anything Chloe Grace Moretz does, and while her co-stars Eddie Remanye and Blake Lively don’t usually set the screen on fire, Alec Baldwin’s supporting presence is always reassuring. That tactic of just tossing adjectives onscreen isn’t terribly comforting (possible interpretation: this film got terrible reviews, and here’s the words we wished they’d have used to describe it), but we’re still gonna check this one out at some point, if for no other reason than to see what Ms. Moretz can do with a full-on leading role.
So here’s a movie full of people we like, clearly playing to their strengths, and the director is David Frankel, who did The Devil Wears Prada, which — well, c’mon people, we’re not made of wood. So there’s your good news; your bad news is it looks rather tired and predictable, a rom-com for moms with a few “shocking” blue jokes thrown in to make everyone think they’re being naughty. We’re not writing it off entirely — you can’t write off entirely anything with Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, and Steve Carell. But the looming shadow of It’s Complicated is awfully hard to shake from this one.
Morgan Spurlock’s latest premiered this week at Tribeca, and it’s a mixed bag: occasionally enlightening, mostly scattershot, but very funny. This trailer showcases the funny, which comes courtesy of random but enjoyable interview subjects like Zach Galifianakis, Judd Apatow, and Paul Rudd — and wisely plays up the film’s primary framing device (and best element), in which executive producers Will Arnett and Jason Bateman spend a day at the spa and very quickly fall into their Arrested Development dynamic of wry straight man and comic blowhard. If nothing else, the trailer (and the movie) has got us even more excited about AD’s return — if such a thing is possible.
Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap
Ice-T’s documentary on the origins and vitality of hip-hop screened at Sundance this year, where this writer saw it and, honestly, wished it was just a little more cohesive and coherent. But there are pleasures to be found in it — any movie with this much great music and this many legendary performers would have to boast that — and if it’s an imperfect movie, it makes for one hell of a tight trailer. (Bonus points for the way they do the cast rundown.)
When we put Lawless on our list of the most anticipated summer movies, we didn’t even have a trailer to show you — we were going off of its impressive pedigree (the film reunites The Proposition director John Hillcoat and writer Nick Cave) and ace cast (Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska, Shia LaBouf, Noah Taylor). Now that we’ve had a taste of the picture, we’re even more excited for it, the backwoods Bonnie and Clyde vibe looking like a fine mix with Hillcoat and Cave’s rough-and-tumble storytelling. And while it stinks that we have to wait until August to see it, you can’t blame the film’s distributors, The Weinstein Company: they’re probably (and rightfully) assuming that Mr. Hardy will be a much more marketable asset after July’s release of The Dark Knight Rises.
We were clean blown away by the first teaser trailer for Cosmopolis, the David Cronenberg-Robert Pattinson collaboration you never knew you were dying for, but it was very much a tease — 30 seconds of eye-catching visuals and weirdo eroticism. This new, longer trailer gives a much clearer idea of what the movie is about (well, clear for Cronenberg), and promises more of what we liked the first time around. End-of-the-world movies may be all the rage these days, but this director may just top them all, and we can’t wait to watch.