In the past few days, a whole mess of new trailers have popped up for upcoming films. Grouping them together in this article is not just for your viewing convenience, but an exercise in examining comparative marketing restraint and seeing what might be worth watching. I’m still shocked by just how much information about the critical path and plot of a film, trailers are willing to give away. Ultimately it must be either the incompetence of the marketing department, or merely an honest reflection of the shallowness of a given film.
Obviously we won’t know for sure until it releases, but be warned about the live-action adaptation of Disney’s Cinderella. When I watched the trailer it felt like I was viewing the full film that had been compressed by 7-Zip. Not that spoilers are devastating for a property that exists in the public zeitgeist like Cinderella does, but it limits the audience’s expectation for a creative twist or clever manipulation of the expected narrative.
Some of the casting is a bit off too. Richard Madden (better known as Rob Stark) portraying Prince Charming is a bit awkward to see, when at any moment it feels like he could be spoilered in the spoiler. Also Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother is especially strange.
Somewhere in the middle of polarising trailer composition, we find Danny Collins and The Colour of Time. The basic premise and core themes are presented organically and promote a sorely lacking sense of intrigue compared to Cinderella.
I love screaming Pacino, as much as others might call it over the top or ridiculous – when he goes properly mental in a movie, it’s cinematic bliss for me. Here in Danny Collins, Al Pacino looks to be playing a more laidback perverse role, something he’s more than capable of, but a nice change from constant uproarious anger.
The Colour of Time is another in a long line of James Franco’s experiments with small scale filmmaking that aims to highlight the importance of character and acting above all else. With a public perception that stops at “that drug dude from Pineapple Express” in some cases, reengaging with the core and soul of acting with these character study pieces, not to mention his and Chris O’Dowd’s Broadway, Of Mice and Men run, is a hard transition for audiences and specific demographics to follow him into. This is the sort of film that might be labelled with being hipster trash or loathsomely pretentious – remember though, you haven’t seen it, just like Cinderella.
And finally… Peanuts. The latent love I have for these characters has bloomed over the last couple of years. Reading some of the old comic strips as an adult, there’s a brilliant darkness and morose beauty that Charles Schulz brought to what was looked at as just a thing for kids to read and watch.
The second trailer for the 2015 remake has potential. Not much is revealed but the new art style propels the world of Charlie Brown into the modern era of feature length animations, attracting younger audiences, while also hinting at the essence that made the old show and comic strips so wonderful. The Christmas setting makes me think of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and that has to be a good sign.