Thoughts on the Previews: July 25, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn, USA 2014)

  • Okay, I’m getting a little tired of the hype at this point. Only a week to go.
  • “Spirit in the Sky” is still awesome.

This Is Where I Leave You (Shawn Levy, USA 2014)

  • Look, another “strained family stuck discussing sex” comedy! It’s funny because family can’t talk about sex or get along, see?! Funny! Ha ha!
  • Seriously, the people who make and watch these types of movies really need to grow the hell up.
  • I have yet to see Tina Fey ever do anything funny. It’s good to see a female comedy star–something we don’t see often enough, particularly if it’s one who does so much of her own behind-the-camera work–but I really don’t see the great comic talent.

Wild (Jean-Marc Vallée, USA 2014)

  • Reese Witherspoon isn’t happy with one Oscar? I don’t see her getting a second one, but that seems to be the point of this movie.
  • The title looked very familiar on screen. I think Andy Bell and Vince Clark must be laughing.
  • Interesting and surprising fact: Reese Witherspoon is 38 years old.
  • I think it’s funny how the movie looks like it’s significantly similar to Into the Wild (Sean Penn, USA 2007), so much so that they hardly bothered to change the title. A lost teenager rejecting the man-made world in favor of nature seems to be a concept that Hollywood expects to resonate. Of course, when you have to have commercials before the film asking people to turn off their cell phones, you have to wonder how much of the audience actually has such an affinity for nature, no matter how much Oprah, Dr. Oz, etc. continue to promote the naturalistic fallacy.
  • Semi-related note: I had completely forgotten that Sean Penn directed Into the Wild. Its status as one of the most overrated films in recent history surely owes a lot to that fact.

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them (Ned Benson, USA 2014)

  • The trailer was really confusing, so I had to look this up to sort it out. There are actually three films in the Eleanor Rigby set, subtitled Him, Her, and Them. Benson made Him and Her, showing the same relationship and circumstances from the man’s point of view and then the woman’s but continued to tinker with them, eventually also releasing Them, which is what this film actually is. From that bit of description, Them sounds like bar far the least interesting of the films, but it’s the first one that seems to be getting a wide release in the US (as far as I can tell). The muddled trailer that seems really unsure how much it wants to reveal and at various times either makes it look like a film about a guy falling for the wrong woman or a woman trying to find herself makes more sense knowing that background.
  • I love Karen Gillan, but if anyone on earth is prettier, it’s Jessica Chastain. And Jessica Chastain is a fantastic actor.
  • There is a very Woody Allen quality about this project, sort of along the lines of Melinda and Melinda (Woody Allen, USA 2004) and its experimenting with telling the same love story multiple ways. While I don’t think that film deserves the panning it has generally gotten, it certainly wasn’t as interesting as it could have been, so I’m interested in a similar concept arising here.

St. Vincent (Theodore Melfi, USA 2014)

  • “Spirit in the Sky” for the second time in one set of trailers.
  • What the hell is this movie? It looks like a pastiche of cliches from a bunch of “coming of age” and “embittered old fart” films. (The latter is not generally accepted as a genre, but I defy anyone to say that they really believe it isn’t.)

Magic in the Moonlight (Woody Allen, USA 2014)

  • I know it’s only in limited release, but I have still seen no trailer, no posters, no sign of impending release here. I will flip my lid if I end up waiting for DVD on two straight Woody Allen movies, even though Emma Stone annoys the hell out of me.
  • There were two other people in the theater today (Yes, I counted). A new Woody Allen film would get more people than that, even here.
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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Previews: July 25, 2014

    • One of my many aborted attempts to write a screenplay was a love story between two attorneys. (Elvis Costello had nothing to do with it.) The woman was based on someone I knew, but I’ve always found it funny how much the physical description actually matches Jessica Chastain:
      “She’s not a model-type: her face may be a bit too angular, with her nose slightly elongated and her chin slightly pointed; her curls of red hair may be slightly unruly, unevenly pointing in various directions all around her head; and her smile may be slightly too broad for her face. But she is an absolute beauty in her own way. Her bright eyes, ever so slightly darker blue than normal, and easy smile make her instantly lovable even before you meet her, and her seeming imperfections somehow make her even more beautiful. She radiates gentleness, and her good humor and general kindness do nothing to dispel it.”

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