It’s been a while since I last saw fit to comment on any of the trailers I’ve seen, although I should probably point out that the Eragon trailers that I have been seeing for the last few months have uniformly bored me. Well, when I say uniform, I’ve only actually seen one. But I’ve seen it multiple times.
Anyway, A Scanner Darkly was particularly notable for the treasure trove of trailers that accompanied it. It kind of made me think that I hadn’t seen anything even slightly independent for a while – at least the sort of stuff that is preceded by trailers.
The pick of the bunch gets awarded with an embedded version of its trailer.
First off the block! The Queen: Helen Mirren’s adventure into looking like Elizabeth Windsor and getting the Hell away with it. It’s easy to forget, when all you’ve seen of the film is Helen Mirren, that this film is about the royal family’s reaction to the death of Princess Diana.
Now call me heartless, but I never much cared for the Queen of Hearts. Quite why Elizabeth Windsor should care that greatly for the death of a woman who brought a great deal of shame to the family is beyond me, but I’m not the British public.
To be honest, I don’t really remember the content of this trailer; all that I know is that I want to see The Queen. Even if I were to summon up YouTube and post the trailer for The Queen right here, I doubt that I’d remember it immediately thereafter.
Stranger Than Fiction
Hooray for metatextuality! Stranger than Fiction is further proof that the quality of Will Ferrell is reliant entirely on the quality of the movie that he’s in. The execrable Wedding Crashers was made even worse by his mercifully brief involvement, but Talladega Nights was wholly inoffensive. Stranger than Fiction is like a triangle of delight: Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman.
Basically Emma Thompson has to write a novel, and she chooses to write it about Will Ferrell, not realising that he is an actual person. Will Ferrell can hear her narration, and he realises that she is trying to kill him off. Through Dustin Hoffman, Ferrell has to find Emma Thompson and convince her to let him live.
The trailer makes it look like an excellent story about a wholly mundane man who realises that, when his life is threatened, he really, really is quite attached to living. The grim clinging to the reality that he has come to inhabit makes this look like a good film indeed.
What’s that, Woody Allen? You say this screwball serial killer comedy starring Scarlett Johansson is your penance for having made me sit through your horrid, grey, misanthropic Match Point? Why, I do believe that I’ll take you up on this offer!
My hideous confession – and this is one of my more hideous – is that, barring Match Point, I have not actually seen a Woody Allen film.
Shortly after I watched that mind numbing, insultingly filmed, thoroughly uninviting tennis movie, I happened upon Woody Allen: Complete Prose. Read it? I devoured it. Allen had presented a collection of comedic curios so exquisite that I vomited with envy (also because books are not designed for internal consumption).
Scoop features Scarlett Johansson, a magician’s assistant and journalist, inveigling herself into a serial killing plot that she suspects is engineered by aristocratic Hugh Jackman. Allen himself is on hand to discourage Johansson from getting herself killed, but journalists refuse to listen to reason!
Also I just realised that, save for Woody Allen in place of Michael Caine, this is exactly the same movie as The Prestige. And I’ll tell you what? I can’t wait.
Post-script: “Hey, buddy,” you may say to me, in your no-doubt affected New York accent (substitute for Boston if I start talking about The Departed). “These movies – they’ve already been and gone! What the hell country do you think you’re living in that you’d be so far out of the loop that this stuff is new to you?”
Yeah, well: Australia. Sometimes we get stuff early, sometimes months past due. If I can live with it, so can you.