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Film Trailer Fridays is a new weekly feature for The Monolith. It’s designed to wrap up and showcase all the new trailers that have been released in the last week and put them in one place for you to discover and enjoy. Because this is the first edition, I decided to go back and look at the last few weeks worth of new trailers. Check it out and be sure to tell us your favourites in the comments!

300: Rise Of An Empire


300 Rise Of An Empire Poster

Genre:

Action/Historical

Directed by:

Noam Murro

Written by:

Zack Snyder & Kurt Johnstad

Starring:

Eva Green, Rodrigo Santoro, Lena Headey, David Wenham & Sullivan Stapleton

Synopsis:

The Greek general Themistocles battles an invading army of Persians under the mortal-turned-god, Xerxes.

The Monolith Predicts:

A continuation of the 300 series, started in fine bloody fashion by Zack Snyder who has since moved on to bigger and better things. Overall, I’m not entirely convinced of the merits of this project. It’s been far too long since 300 for this to be a particularly exciting prospect now and the fact that Zack Snyder is involved in writing the film (not his strong suit) is worrying. The visual style looks like a carbon copy of the one Snyder pioneered, but handled with less finesse, making it seem more akin to the Starz Spartacus tv show and decidedly low budget. Perhaps we’ll see some better footage in later trailers, but right now I’m unconvinced.


Anchorman: The Legend Continues


Anchorman 2 The Legend Continues - Poster

Genre:

Comedy

Directed by:

Adam McKay

Written by:

Will Ferrell & Adam McKay

Starring:

Steve Carell, Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Jim Carrey, Vince Vaughn & Liam Neeson

Synopsis:

The continuing on-set adventures of San Diego’s top rated newsman.

The Monolith Predicts:

For the people who are Will Ferrell fans there will be no need to convince them to see this movie. Ferrell has had a fair few box office successes since Anchorman, but none of them have become as pop culturally relevant as the original Anchorman did, which is probably why he’s making another one. This trailer was pretty underwhelming if I’m honest, and the racial humour wasn’t funny or clever, just incredibly played out. This is likely a film that will live and die by it’s cameo appearances and it has a ton of people showing up. Oh, and it looks like they tried to make James Marsden look like Rob Lowe and it’s really freaking me out…


Blue Jasmine


Blue Jasmine Poster

Genre:

Comedy/Drama

Directed by:

Woody Allen

Written by:

Woody Allen

Starring:

Cate Blanchett, Peter Sarsgaard, Sally Hawkins, Louis C.K. & Alec Baldwin

Synopsis:

A life crisis causes a woman to head to San Francisco, where she reconnects with her sister.

The Monolith Predicts:

Woody Allen is one of the most iconic American filmmakers of all time and yet his filmography is actually incredibly hit and miss. Nowadays he tends to release a new film annually, and just as many miss their mark as they hit.

There’s no denying that Allen’s films have a distinct formula of neurotic and eccentric chaacters dealing with various situations, but one thing that is consistent across all of his movies is the great cast he always manages to attract.

Allen is an efficient filmmaker, often shooting his movies very quickly meaning that actors don’t have to devote too much time out of their busy schedule per film, and not only that, they get to work with a legendary filmmaker.

Blue Jasmine looks utterly uninteresting and dull judging by this trailer, yet it still has a great cast, so perhaps it will be worth a watch. Cate Blanchett is a powerful and commanding leading lady, but her character here is seeingly moving in slow motion, making the whole endeavour questionable at best and baffling at worst. I sense another dud coming in the Allen ouvre.


The Butler

Genre:

Drama

Directed by:

Lee Daniels

Written by:

Lee Daniels & Danny Strong

Starring:

Forrest Whitaker, Robin Williams, Terrence Howard, John Cusack, Alex Pettyfer, James Marsden, Liev Schreiber, Alan Rickman, Cuba Gooding Jr. & Oprah Winfrey

Synopsis:

A look at the life of Cecil Gaines who served eight presidents as the White House’s head butler from 1952 to 1986, and had a unique front-row seat as political and racial history was made.

The Monolith Predicts:

This has “Academy Awards” written all over it. It’s a film clearly engineered to be Oscar bait and is exactly the type of historical drama that I tend to avoid, however the actor choices to portray certain presidents are very interesting. If you’re familiar with the Oscar bait checklist, it’s the black version of that.


Crystal Fairy


Crystal Fairy Poster

Genre:

Comedy/Drama

Directed by:

Sebastian Silva

Written by:

Sebastian Silva

Starring:

Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffmann & Agustin Silva

Synopsis:

Jamie is a boorish, insensitive American twenty-something travelling in Chile, who somehow manages to create chaos at every turn. He and his friends are planning on taking a road trip north to experience a legendary shamanistic hallucinogen called the San Pedro cactus. In a fit of drunkenness at a wild party, Jamie invites an eccentric woman – a radical spirit named Crystal Fairy – to come along. What is meant to be a devil-may-care journey becomes a battle of wills as Jamie finds himself locking horns with his new travelling companion. But on a remote, pristine beach at the edge of the desert, the magic brew is finally imbibed, and the true adventure begins.

The Monolith Predicts:

Whether you enjoy this film will likely boil down to your opinion on Michael Cera. The Arrested Development alumni has been accused of consistently playing the same character in every film he’s in (which is fairly accurate), so if you’re not a fan of his awkward teen comedy style then you’re probably not going to enjoy this Chilean romp. The feedback from the festival circuit has been very positive though, so even though this trailer doesn’t particularly grab my attention, apparently there’s a good film behind it.


Diana


Diana Poster

Genre:

Drama

Directed by:

Oliver Hirschbiegel

Written by:

Stephen Jeffreys

Starring:

Naomi Watts, Naveen Andrews & Douglas Hodge

Synopsis:

The last two years of Princess Diana’s life: her campaign against land mines and her relationship with surgeon Dr Hasnat Khan.

The Monolith Predicts:

Honestly, this looks to be shot well, but I literally could not care less about a film with this subject matter. The fact that Oliver Hirschbiegel is directing this after making one of the best films ever made in Downfall, leaves me feeling a little betrayed and disappointed.


Elysium


Elysium Poster

Genre:

Science fiction

Directed by:

Neill Blomkamp

Written by:

Neill Blomkamp

Starring:

Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, William Fichtner & Sharlito Copley

Synopsis:

Set in the year 2154, where the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth, a man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.

The Monolith Predicts:

This film looks absolutely incredible and is a strong contender for one of the best films of the year. It seems that since the also amazing District 9 Blomkamp has honed his skills even further, somehow making a film that could well be better than it’s predecessor. As usual it’s very heavy on the socio-political commentary, but it’s handled with the right amount of intelligence so as not to insult the viewer. Blomkamp seems to have really made efficient use of his inflated budget and Sharlito Copley looks menacing as the film’s antagonistic force. Cannot. Wait. For. This!


The Family


The Family Poster

Genre:

Action/Comedy

Directed by:

Luc Besson

Written by:

Luc Besson & Michael Caleo

Starring:

Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer & Tommy Lee Jones

Synopsis:

The Manzoni family, a notorious mafia clan, is relocated to Normandy, France under the witness protection program, where fitting in soon becomes challenging as their old habits die hard.

The Monolith Predicts:

It’s rare that Besson elects to direct one of his own action scripts in this day and age, so The Family must truly be something special. It’s got a strong cast, and despite some of De Niro’s more suspicious career choices (Meet The Parents etc.), he’s also still capable of greatness, as witnessed in last years Oscar darling Silver Linings Playbook. The trailer makes it look entertaining enough and it does have a lot of credibility going for it in the form of Martin Scorsese as producer and a story editor and writer from The Sopranos co-penning the script. The trailer looks fun, it could be good! Poster is a complete Photoshop disaster though. What happened to the dog?!


Free Birds


Free Birds Poster

Genre:

Family

Directed by:

Jimmy Hayward

Written by:

Craig Mazin

Starring:

Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler, George Takei & Keith David

Synopsis:

Two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history – and get turkey off the holiday menu for good.

The Monolith Predicts:

Bet you didn’t think you’d be reading the line “two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks” when you woke up this morning! This is a particularly weird instalment in the family friendly adventure pantheon. The plotting seems to be all over the map and the intentions of the film unclear. What’s more, the animation is actually of a low quality when compared to the recent films of Pixar, Dreamworks or Blue Sky Productions which is a distraction. What’s more, while the yellow hazmat suit guys are actually quite funny, there’s no denying that they are “inspired” (read: ripped off from) by the minions of the Despicable Me series. Either way, when Free Birds is released it won’t have any other family film competition so the filmmakers are hoping that will lead to its success.

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