It can be hard to keep track of all the movies that are announced every week. There are countless films we look forward to that drop off our radars before we get a chance to see them. Trailers of the Week is a feature that scours the internet for new movie announcements. Every week, I’ll present a blend of event movies, indie films, and international features. The goal is to help you find new trailers for the blockbusters you’re most excited about while also helping you discover crazier, riskier movies to share with your friends. I’ll feature the most promising trailers and give you some background information on each film. If you find something new to look forward to every week, I’ve done my job.
You can call Leonardi Dicaprio the most overlooked actor by the Oscars, but at least he’s been nominated four times. For my money, it’s Jake Gyllenhaal, nominated once for Brokeback Mountain, and never again. Despite his youth, he stands as the most overdue for the award in my book. Gyllenhaal’s characters create realities for themselves inside of their films. That’s disturbingly close to what the rest of us do in real life. From the disturbing sociopath of Nightcrawler to the driven detective in Prisoners, directors don’t just feature Gyllenhaal, they remold entire movies around his talents. Southpaw was originally slated to star Eminem, but that idea never took off. Instead, it’s been reshaped around a buffed up Gyllenhaal and what looks like another give-it-all performance.
My best friend and I made a bet a few years ago about Arnold Schwarzenegger. He would win an Oscar within 20 years, he said. I took the easiest money I’ll ever make and insisted he wouldn’t. (A lifetime achievement Oscar doesn’t count.) Here’s where I start worrying: The best thing that could’ve happened to Arnold is his action career tanking the way it did in 2013. Those movies don’t reliably make money anymore. He hasn’t abandoned action, but since then, Schwarzenegger’s quietly started taking real chances. Last year’s Sabotage was cut into smithereens by its studio, but Schwarzenegger showed some surprising acting chops. Maggie is the kind of film he would have carved his way through with a minigun and a machete 20 years ago, but now he’s just an overwhelmed father facing the imminent death of his daughter. I don’t think I’ll lose that bet, but I’m not as confident about it as I used to be.
If the one film you always wanted to see was “Bill & Ted Get Pregnant,” welcome to your new favorite movie. This trailer has me cackling like a madman inside of two minutes and, best of all, it doesn’t feel like all the funniest scenes are stuck in the trailer. There’s room to expand, and the performances charm you at first sight. This also means my two most anticipated comedies of the year are both titled Man Up.
(The other Man Up stars Lake Bell & Simon Pegg.)
This is an art film – wait, no it’s a Western that – or is it a comedy? Most trailers are supposed to define the genre and story for you in a linear fashion. Slow West isn’t interested in telling you what it is, but I do know one thing: I really want to see it. Whether it’s more True Grit or Young Guns, it communicates a sure tone, and it does what few trailers do anymore – it makes me smile.
Donnie Yen is a Hong Kong action legend. At 51, he’s making some of the best films of his life. Re-teaming with much of the same crew that realized the Ip Man franchise guarantees stellar fight sequences. I only hope they don’t abuse the wire work too badly – Yen is one of those actors who’s always best when grounded, and the fights are more about what his body can do than what the stunt crew can.
You’ve got one question, I know. Why is the new James Bond so far down on the list? Daniel Craig’s first two Bond movies showed how successfully the franchise could get away from a repetitive formula in order to create something fresh and modern. Skyfall was hell-bent on destroying that and returning to the 60’s, but even worse, it thought that James Bond raping a former sex slave and celebrating her later death with the classic Bond theme were an appropriate way of doing so. Even Roger Moore’s Bonds had more class than that.
This week’s other notable trailers:
Speaking of overlooked Oscar nominees, Catalina Sandino Moreno is one of the best actors you probably don’t know. The trailer for Medeas doesn’t give enough away, but it’s enough to keep it on my radar.
Cheatin‘ doesn’t look like my thing – I don’t think I could watch the animation style longer than a few minutes – but it’s definitely going to be up someone’s alley.
Modern Family star, Sarah Hyland, starts down the indie comedy path in See You in Valhalla. This one could go either way.