Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (trailer)
Director: Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Batman, Sleepy Hollow)
Tim Burton’s latest critical hit comes along just at a time when his reputation was starting to fade. I’ve been disappointed by every single one of the long line of musicals that’s come along in recent years (I skipped only Hairspray), but this seems promising, and I’ve gotten excited about it even though I never thought I would.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (trailer)
Director: Julian Schnabel (Basquiat, Before Night Falls)
This premiered at Cannes, where it won Best Director, and has gotten almost unanimously great reviews ever since. If you watch the trailer, you’ll see that it goes way out of its way to avoid telling you what the movie is actually about, so I’ll do so here. It’s a true story about Jean-Dominique Bauby, the editor of Elle who was completely paralyzed after a stroke, and left able only to control one eyelid.
The Savages (trailer)
Director: Tamara Jenkins (Slums of Beverly Hills)
Film about a group of young archaelogists who are attacked by cannibalistic natives of the jungles of Ecuador. Oh wait, no, it’s actually about family of neurotics with the last name “Savage”. It stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney. The lead actors inspire confidence, but the trailer fails to distinguish the film from any other dysfunctional-family dramedy that’s come out of Sundance recently. Which, (not?) coincidentally, is where the movie premiered.
Youth without Youth (trailer)
Director: Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather, The Conversation, Apocalypse Now, Jack)
Well, reviews have been pretty bad, but I’m still going. Funny story about this one, though. I saw the trailer in front of Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead last week, and the older folks behind me were puzzled by the movie’s title. In the trailer, as on the Apple trailers page, the second ‘Youth’ in the title is printed upside down. “WHAT’S THE NAME OF THE MOVIE?” said one guy to the other. “I DON’T KNOW. YOUTH WITHOUT SOMETHING.”
Charlie Wilson’s War (trailer)
Director: Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Carnal Knowledge, Silkwood, The Birdcage)
Man, a lot of movies this week by prominent directors. This one came looking for prestige, but it looks like it will have to settle for being a moderate box-office success. Which these days is saying a lot for a non-franchise. I’ll see it, but I see Tom Hanks these days and the word ‘overbroad’ always seems to pop up in my mind, so I’m expecting a decent, occasionally frustrating, non-political political comedy.
Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (trailer)
Director: Jake Kasdan (Orange County, The TV Set)
This actually looks funny to me. And even more significantly, it looks like an actual parody, as opposed to the endless Scary Movies that seem to think referencing a movie is the same as spoofing it. And let’s face it, if there’s a movie that’s ripe for parody, it’s Walk the Line.
Man in the Chair (trailer)
Director: Michael Schroeder (Out of the Dark)
Schroeder is apparently a veteran of direct-to-video cheese, and this one is getting pretty bad reviews. Funny how that works out. I didn’t even bother to watch the trailer and don’t really even know what it’s about. A dereliction of duty? Perhaps, but life is short. It does have Christopher Plummer and M. Emmet Walsh, though, if you’re interested.
P.S. I Love You (trailer)
Director: Richard LaGravenese (Living Out Loud, Freedom Writers)
Star Hilary Swank’s married to King Leonidas, but he dies, and she starts getting letters from him to cheer her up and help her move on. As if that doesn’t sound bad enough, the trailer even shows her conversing with the dead Phantom, like in The Lake House. I really don’t know how this could possibly sound more tedious unless Harry Connick, Jr. plays the rebound man. Well, he does.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets (trailer)
Director: Jon Turtletaub (Cool Runnings, While You Were Sleeping, Phenomenon, National Treasure)
Last only because I didn’t see the first one, and will therefore not go see this one, either. Doubt I’m missing much.