Volume 28: Liam Neeson’s Reign of European Terror
Dir: Olivier Megaton – Planned release date: October 5
Considering its insane financial success, a sequel to Taken was probably inevitable, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it. We’ve already seen enough “Liam Neeson kills a bunch of people” movies in the past couple years, so returning to the original source just seems unnecessary. This trailer is not at all reassuring. If anything, it looks like the worst possible Taken sequel we could have asked for. Apparently a product of the Hangover: Part II school of filmmaking, Taken 2 just looks like the lamest, dumbest retread imaginable. The whole “revenge” angle doesn’t fly with me at all—did we learn nothing from Jaws: The Revenge?—and the action scenes just seem derivative by now. Silliest of all is the return of the dramatic cell phone speech, which confirms Taken 2’s lack of interest in exploring new territory. Hey, remember that movie where Liam Neeson promised to kill a bunch of foreign dudes on a cell phone and then he did? Here’s more of that.
Dir: Paul Thomas Anderson – Planned release date: October 12
As you all probably know, Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master is high up there on my “anticipated movies” list that exists in my head and nowhere else. I posted the first teaser clip a few weeks back, and normally I would not post about another clip so quickly. However, as this is Paul Thomas Anderson we’re talking about, I thought I’d make an exception. This clip is very much a companion to the previous clip; it has the same Jonny Greenwood music, the same visual style, the same general feel. Only this time we get a glimpse of a mustachioed Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd, a figure who does not at all resemble L. Ron Hubbard, thank you very much. I suspect at some point there will be a more revealing, commercial trailer that lays everything out more clearly. I, however, am dreading that day, and I would have no problem with just these two clips all the way up to October. Unfortunately, the studios do not share my love of vagueness.
Celeste and Jesse Forever
Dir: Lee Toland Krieger – Planned release date: August 3
You are at a key juncture of your career, Andy Samberg. You just left Saturday Night Live after seven fruitful years, and now you must choose where to take your career in the years to come. You could continue down the Happy Madison path, where you will probably make a great deal of money right away but still star in movies like That’s My Boy. Or you could go down the path seen in this trailer for Celeste and Jesse Forever, which appears to be about a couple of friends who fall in and out of love yet still remain close. Or something. I might ultimately prefer something a bit more down the middle—this movie seems a bit too self-consciously “indie” based on this preview—but ultimately this would seem to be the more creatively fruitful way to go. There’s no doubting your comedic talents, Andy. I just hope you put them to good use.
P.S. – I’m sure you probably know this, but That’s My Boy bombed. Not looking to influence you in any way… just remember that when you’re making your decision.
Dir: Pete Travis – Planned release date: September 21
So, uh, who’s excited for a British Judge Dredd reboot from the director of Vantage Point? Anyone? No? Well, maybe this trailer will convince me otherwise… (2 minutes, 42 seconds later) … Yeah, that was some bull. It looks like crap, and you immediately lose me when the sole purpose of the MacGuffin drug is to make things move in slow motion. Gee, you think that’s ever going to be used in an action scene? And then there’s the plot, which is waaaaay too similar to the other recent action films we’ve seen about attacks on apartment buildings. (See: Attack the Block, The Raid: Redemption.) This movie’s been flying under the radar for quite some time, and it certainly seems like it’s going to stay that way.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
Dir: Bill Condon – Planned release date: November 16
In case you’re wondering: no, I still haven’t seen any of the Twilight movies. Yet I always feel as if I know what’s happening in them based on all the trailers and clips, and you cannot fathom my lack of interest. This new trailer for the series’ final installment just looks like more of the same: everything is brown, the acting is stiff, and the whole enterprise just seems downright icky. There’s little doubt we’ve gotten to the point when everyone involved just wants to move on to the next thing—I believe Robert Pattinson has said as much—and the end to this whole thing isn’t coming a moment too soon. Based on what I get out of this trailer, the entire Twilight saga seems to come down to one huge vampire battle that is teased in the last few seconds. While we don’t see the actual combat here, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this doesn’t exactly look like anything on the level of Helm’s Deep. Was this really all supposed to lead up to an Outsiders-esque rumble in the snow? If so, I hope it was worth it, Twilight fans.