First up this week is the Oldboy remake, but unlike previous weeks, it garners top honors more out of curiosity than anticipation.
The original 2003 South Korean film is truly epic and beloved by many (if you haven't seen, please stop what you are doing and watch it immediately). As is often the case with remakes of this ilk, the two main questions are: will it live up to the original? – and – will it distinguish itself enough to be its own unique entity? More often than not the answer to at least one – if not both – of those questions is a resounding NO.
But with Spike Lee at the helm, Josh Brolin in the lead role, and a solid supporting cast of Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, and Samuel L. Jackson, it has intriguing potential. (At the very least it should be better than the proposed Spielberg produced, Will Smith starring remake that was originally mentioned a few years ago before this version finally went into production). Plus, the movie was shot in New Orleans, so I have to be at least minutely interested in it because of that.
Oldboy hits theaters October 25.
Second, we have Out of the Furnace, a tense-looking thriller with an amazing cast and also lots of potential.
Looks pretty good, minus that Pearl Jam song that kicks in during the second half (nothing against Pearl Jam or that song mind you, it just seems out of place in the trailer and takes away from the displayed grittiness and drama of the film).
Out of the Furnace lands in theaters December 6.
Third, we have Saving Mr. Banks, a Disney movie about Walt Disney himself and his attempts to persuade author P.L. Travers to let him adapt her cherished children’s book Mary Poppins.
Looks about as you would expect – a well-acted and lovely, based-on-true-events, inspiring Disney tale. The film stars Tom Hanks as Disney and Emma Thompson as Travers, plus Paul Giamatti, Collin Farrell, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Rachel Griffiths, and Bradley Whitford.
Saving Mr. Banks flies into theaters just in time for the holiday movie season on December 13.
Check out more trailers, including Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, The Canyons, Curse of Chucky, The Grandmaster, and many, many more after the jump...
Next up, we have a short teaser look at Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, a new biopic about Nelson Mandela, covering the South African icon from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.
While the incomparable Morgan Freeman did a fine job portraying Mandela in the otherwise forgettable Invictus (2009), I am really excited to see what the exciting, quickly rising British actor Idris Elba can do in this meatier role.
The film is directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) and comes to theaters November 29.
Then we have The Canyons, a movie already famous (or infamous rather) long before its release date, but for all the wrong reasons.
The film is written by contemporary literary genius/self-important asshole Bret Easton Ellis (The Rules of Attraction, American Psycho, Less Than Zero) and directed by faded Hollwood screenwriter-turned-director Paul Schrader (who wrote Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, among others while directing American Gigolo and numerous other films).
The Canyons has already made plenty of headlines, just none of them very positive - from its start as a Kickstarter campaign, the controversial dual hiring of troubled actress Lindsay Lohan and porn star James Deen, its very troubled and much-publicized shoot, the constant bickering between creatives, and finally, up to its eventual rejection for nearly every major film festival (Sundance, SXSW) because it is apparently awful.
Maybe it is because I once danced with Lindsay Lohan at a bar in college (true story, ask Dan) or that Bret Easton Ellis' novel American Psycho is one my all-time favs, but I just cannot help but still be slightly intrigued by this cinematic trainwreck. We'll see when it hits Video-On-Demand on August 9.
After that, now is the time for something a bit more fun. For that, I have got two teasers and one full length trailers for some upcoming animated films:
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (September 27)
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (June 2014)
The Boxtrolls (September 2014)
Next, we have Seventh Son, a new action-adventure tale complete with witches, ghosts, monsters, and dragons - all based on a popular series of fantasy novels called The Wardstone Chronicles.
The film looks fairly standard by fantasy means, but enjoyable and probably better than most comparable movies. Plus, it appears loaded with cool monsters and solid special effects. It stars Jeff Bridges (who apparently is required to talk in an unusual accent in all his movies from now on), a delightfully evil Julianne Moore, Ben Barnes, Kit Harington, Alicia Vikander, Olivia Williams, and Djimon Hounsou.
Seventh Son hits theaters January 17, which is never a good month for movies, but you never really know what will happen in the new year.
I will admit, I have a pretty solid crush on Kristen Bell (who doesn't, amiright?), which forces me to be interested in her new movie - The Lifeguard - no matter what.
The film looks okay - a fairly cliched and mopey quarter-life crisis film that could be hit-or-miss. But I like a lot of people involved, so hopefully it is better than the trailer indicates (though it did not make much noise after debuting at Sundance earlier this year).
The Lifeguard also stars Mamie Gummer (aka Merryl Streep's daughter), Martin Starr, Adam LeFevre, and Amy Madigan. It hits limited theaters and VOD August 30.
Remember the Chucky movies? The serial killer-possessed doll that goes on ridiculous murder sprees? Well guess what: there is a new movie in the series coming out later this year - Curse of Chucky.
The sixth film in the series (which started with Child's Play in 1988) and first since 2004's Seed of Chucky (which is predictably awful). The series ultimately steered more towards horror-comedy by the final few films rather than just the straight-up horror it started out with, but this new entry looks like an attempt to get back to its roots.
The always great Brad Dourif returns yet again as the voice of Chucky, but that is about it as far as recognizable names in the cast list. The film is written and directed by original creator Don Mancini. Curse of Chucky hits limited theaters and VOD on October 8.
Next is Austenland, a romantic-comedy starring Keri Russell as a woman obsessed with Pride & Prejudice who travels to a Jane Austen theme park in search for her perfect gentleman.
Yikes. I do not mean to sound mean, but that sounds awful (granted, I am in no way whatsoever the target audience here). But I like Russell and co-stars Jennifer Coolidge and Bret McKenzie (one half of the awesome comedy/folk music duo Flight of the Conchords), so maybe it will be tolerable - though I doubt I will ever find out personally.
Find out for yourself on August 16.
And finally, we close with The Grandmaster - the latest film from Chinese master filmmaker Kar Wai Wong (Chungking Express, Happy Together, In the Mood for Love).
The story of legendary martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee. The film stars Chinese superstars Tony Leung (Chungking Express, In the Mood for Love, Hero, Infernal Affairs, Cyclo) and Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero, House of Flying Daggers).
The film comes to U.S. theaters on August 23.
UNTIL NEXT TIME!
Check out last week's THIS WEEK IN MOVIE TRAILERS for looks at The Counselor, Jobs, Lovelace, The Spectacular Now, Drinking Buddies, Prince Avalanche, Frozen, and much more!
Check out two week ago's THIS WEEK IN MOVIE TRAILERS for looks at The Wolf of Wall Street, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Snowpiercer, 300: Rise of an Empire, Diana, Runner Runner, and much more!