Thoughts on the Previews: August 20, 2014

Whiplash (Damien Chazelle, USA 2014)

  • J.K. Simmons in a serious movie? Interesting. It looks like he’s essentially playing a serious version of B.R. from Thank You for Smoking (Jason Reitman, USA 2005), so he’s probably more than capable.
  • So this is the jazz music version of Gordon Ramsay? Is that the idea?

Birdman (Alejandro González Iñárritu, USA/France 2014)

  • I cannot tell what this movie is. Is it a comedy about a has-been actor trying one last hurrah? Is it about a former comic book superhero actor who has actual powers? Is it about a deluded old actor losing himself in his own past?
  • It feels like I haven’t seen Michael Keaton in my adult life.
  • Looked it up. Last time I saw Michael Keaton was in Jack Frost (Troy Miller, USA 1998), when I was 13.
  • Is Emma Stone going to be in every movie now?

The Theory of Everything (James Marsh, UK 2014)

  • I don’t know if this is a terrible idea for a film or a great one, but I really hope it’s great, because Hawking deserves it.
  • I do like the title.

If I Stay (R.J. Cutler, USA 2014)

  • Chloë Grace Moretz was so, so very good in (500) Days of Summer (Marc Webb, USA 2009) and Hugo (Martin Scorsese, USA 2011). I just hope she grows up to be as special as she seemed early on.
  • It seems that we have a new ghost love story every six months, doesn’t it?
  • This was in my head the entire time:

  • And, seriously, I thought he made that song up completely because it’s just so simplistic that I would never have thought actual paid musicians did it.

Unbroken (Angelina Jolie, USA 2014)

  • This just so does not look like a film the Coens helped write.
  • This is such clear Oscar bait.
  • I wondered if Jolie was trying to combat the constant claim that she is “anti-America” by making a super-jingoistic film, but people are now claiming that it’s further evidence because the lead actor is Australian instead of American. (Well, most of them are saying “British,” because they don’t bother to look things up first, but he is Australian.)
  • Angelina Jolie has actually had a very quiet directorial career to date. This is her third film and I don’t remember ever even hearing about the first two until I looked that up. It’s interesting how quiet that has been considering the amount of press she otherwise gets.
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