Friday, March 11, 2011

Trailers for Most Anticipated Movies of 2011

There are many great movies coming out this year, none of which I have actually seen, obviously. There are several, however, that I am especially excited about, so I thought I'd feature them here. Of course, many movies coming this year have yet to put out trailers or even production stills yet, so I can't say much about them.

Among those I'm most looking forward to are:  The Invention of Hugo Cabret, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Ben Kingsley, Jude Law, and Chloe Moretz;  The Adventures of Tintin, a collaboration between Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson starring Jamie Bell, Daniel Craig, Andy Serkis, and Simon Pegg and Nick Forst, though they will all be covered up by motion-capture CGI to represent the classic characters from the comics;   A Dangerous Method, directed by David Cronenberg and starring Viggo Mortenson and Michael Fassbender as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, respectively; The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, directed by Daivd Fincher and starring the beautiful Rooney Mara as the piercing- and tattoo-covered Goth-hacker, Lisbeth Salander;  and finally, the return of Whit Stillman, writer/director of Metropolitan and The Last Days of Disco, with new film Damsels in Distress, starring Greta Gerwig and Adam Brody.  All of these films look fantastic, and I encourage everyone to check them out.

My top trailers are after the jump.  I didn't want to slow down the load time too much with so many more videos on the front page.

Here are my favorite trailers of the year so far.  That is, the trailers of movies I'm most looking forward to, for I suppose there's a difference, though not in most cases.

The Tree of Life is without doubt my most-anticipated movie of the year.  Terrence Malick is a genius, every movie he has made has been a masterpiece, and this looks to be possibly his greatest yet.  And, unbelievably, he's already filming his next project!  For a man who's only put out 4 movies since 1973, that's unheard of.

Winner of the Golden Palm at Cannes last year, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives has been met with worldwide acclaim.  I have yet to see any of director Apichatpong Weerasethakul's films, but he has been praised extravagantly as the future of cinema, and I am very excited to find out for myself.

Of Gods and Men won the Grand Prix at Cannes (essentially second place), and has also been praised around the world.  A story of faith and peace amidst terrorism, it promises to be a profound and moving experience.  I am fascinated by films and filmmakers who explore spiritual themes in their work, examining the soul and man's relationship with the eternal, and these first three films all promise to do that in intriguing and enriching ways.

This looks like the next E.T the Extra-Terrestrial--even sort of stole its plot it looks like.  But that's a very good thing--we haven't had this sort of wondrous family entertainment in a long time, and I'm pretty amazed at how excited this trailer makes me.

I have not seen Kelly Reichardt's other films, but they have garnered a lot of praise and look interesting.  I'm a Western fanatic, though, so this is, by far, the most interesting-looking movie for me that she's made.  Any new experiments with the genre are welcome, and this one has quite a cast to back it up.

I have a great affection for the X-Men comics and mythology.  They tap into so many different fascinating themes and appealing narratives--the outsider who discovers he has talents that no one else knew about, the joining of an extraordinary community, the politics of social minorities--along with exciting science fiction and superhero storylines, populated by an almost unlimited cast of eccentric characters.  It appears the studios agree with me, because this is the fourth film in the series and Darren Aronofsky is set to direct a fifth.  Unfortunately, none of the movies so far have been able to quite capture all the possibilities here.  Though the first two did a fairly solid job, the third and fourth were rather dismal efforts that offered only a few tension-less thrills.  This movie, however, directed by the talented Matthew Vaughn and starring an excellent cast of young actors led by Michael Fassbender, looks very classy and exciting.  It looks likely to be the best superhero movie of the year.

I have seen three reviews of this movie so far.  All three called it a masterpiece.  Korea is making some of the most exciting movies in the world right now, and this film looks likely to continue the trend.  Nevertheless, I am somewhat cautious--while I have loved some Korean movies like Mother and The Good, the Bad, and the Weird, I hated Oldboy--the film this one most (superficially) resembles.

Director Jon Favreau has proven himself with the Iron Man movies--he is not a visionary, but he knows how to make a good popcorn movie that puts bodies in the seats and lets people leave the the theater happy with the money they've spent.  This movie looks built in the same mode as his last two, which would be enough for me alone.  But a movie about cowboys fighting off aliens?  Come on, who wouldn't want to see that? (Cue a bunch of mature adults raising their hands.)  Plus, with this movie, Meek's Cutoff, and the just-released Rango, (plus the great success of the Coens' True Grit) the Western appears alive and well, perhaps ready to return to the days of more than one a year.

And finally, we come to this one:  Wong Kar-Wai's The Grandmasters.  Admittedly, this isn't much of a trailer.  And I have no idea what the words say.  But I am still ridiculously excited for this one.  Wong is one of my favorite directors, a brilliant filmmaker who works out the plots of his movies as they go, often changing the script each day before shooting.  This is his first feature film since My Blueberry Nights in 2007, and it has been filming for over a year now.  Production stills have been released though, along with this trailer and some posters, and the film was pre-sold at the Berlin Film Festival.  It was hoped that the film could be ready for Cannes, but this now looks unlikely.  Despite it's difficult production, however, which has included injured stars and money delays, as well as major story changes, it looks like it's finally making it onto the home stretch, and I can't wait to see more.  The film tells the story of legendary martial artist Ip Man, who developed the Wing Chun fighting technique and trained a generation of young martial artists, including Bruce Lee.  Ip Man has been in the movies a lot lately, including two eponymous action-biopics starring Donnie Yen, which were major hits in the Asian box office.  With this in mind, it will be interesting to see how Wong makes his own movie, for we have already seen from Ashes of Time and Fallen Angels that while he often includes intense violence in his films, he rarely films it in a traditional way, generally cutting up the action until it is more abstract than a sustained fight scene.  Nevertheless, this film apparently has a very large number of fight scenes, involving complex choreography and dangerous stunts, so perhaps he will show these scenes in a more traditional way.  I'm sure it will be great either way.  Below is some of the stunning production art used to promote the film.

I'm also looking forward to several other movies.  I think Super, Hanna, and Attack the Block all look intriguing.  And, of course, I will almost certainly see the other big superhero movies this summer, Green Lantern, Thor, and Capatin America.  I don't feel as enthusiastic about those, though.  There's something about them that makes me a bit pessimistic about their chances to be good.

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