Hot Times and Hot Movies at Coming Attractions Trailer Program Summer 2010
By Cheryl Dixon, DC Film Society Member
Once again, with the movie studios hell-bent on finding this year’s summer blockbuster, a movie trailer based on the film adaptation of a popular novel and a mad-cap French comedy won the popular vote at DC Film Society’s Coming Attractions, Summer 2010 Trailer Night program held on June 8 at Landmark’s E Street Cinema. Attendees selected the trailer for The Girl Who Played with Fire and Micmacs as the evening’s winning trailers overall. Hot enough for you?
100 attendees enjoyed the always witty and insightful commentary on the trailers made by our fave co-hosts and film critics Joe Barber and Bill Henry. And the more vocal participants made their views known during the no-holds-barred, opinion fest covering 33 of the trailers for this summer’s (and in a few instances, this fall’s) sizzling hot releases as well with remakes/updates, comedies, film adaptations, and movies in 3-D in abundance.
Here are the rules: the audience rates each trailer on both its entertainment value and whether it more or less generates interest in seeing the movie. There’s an informal applause-meter to capture the enthusiasm and a formal ballot on which attendees can select from a 0-5 rating scale. Seven general film categories were chosen, from which the audience selects the best trailer* within each category and finally votes for the “best of the best” trailer overall. Informal results indicated the finalists were: The Karate Kid, Perrier’s Bounty, Micmacs, I Am Love, Toy Story 3, Restrepo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
Stay tuned, the formal balloted results will be revealed soon!
Free movie promotional items were plentiful: lots of free movie posters, T-shirts, CDs, DVDs, books; and absolutely fabulous raffle prizes, including movie tickets were on hand.
Thanks to the DC Film Society Directors and Coordinating Committee for putting together this twice-annual event, especially Michael Kyrioglou, Jim Shippey, Karrye Braxton, Billy Coulter, Cheryl Dixon, Annette Graham, Larry Hart, Charles Kirkland, Jr., Ky Nguyen, Adam Spector, and all volunteers. Special thanks to Joe Barber, Bill Henry, Allied Advertising, Landmark’s E Street Cinema & staff, Terry Hines & Assoc., and all participating film studios.
Lessons learned: Joe & Bill’s general remarks included commentary on the names and pedigrees emphasized for audience recognition. Ever wonder why there’s a voiceover: “And from the Director of…” or “A Sundance favorite,” or “Winner of the Jury Prize,” etc.
Remember, attendees, if you liked what you saw in the trailers, go see the movies. Missed our event? Here’s what you missed; hunker down in the cool comfort of your local theatre and take a peek at what’s in store:
Back to the Future
The A-Team. The 80’s hit TV show with an updated cast including Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Jessica Biel, and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. The trailer clearly shows that this is a guy flick: shoot ‘em up! Joe says that when you see the movie, stick around for the credits.
Dinner for Schmucks. Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, and Zach Galifianakis are dinner guests in a screwball comedy featuring an executive competition about who can bring the dumbest guest.
*The Karate Kid. Jaden Smith, Jackie Chan, and Taraji Henson star in this 80’s classic, coming of age tale, this time set in China. Bill and Joe remind us that the appropriate title should be “The Kung Fu Kid” as it is this form of self-defense/martial art that Jaden Smith actually learns from the “master” Jackie Chan. The audience admired the lush setting and chuckled at the seriousness of it all: a life he never wanted, a teacher he didn’t expect....
Predators. Producer Robert Rodriguez brings together Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace, and Danny Trejo in an action-adventure vehicle where the men are game.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer gets his take on this version of the magician’s tale featuring Nicholas Cage, Monica Bellucci, Jay Baruchel, and Alfred Molina. Dazzling, explosive special effects galore were naturally to be expected. Haven’t seen this many gargoyles come alive since Ghost Busters.
Deceptive Titles – Not What You Think
Going the Distance. Drew Barrymore and Justin Long navigate the perilous waters of long-distance romance. Looks comedic, with a dose of angst. More chuckles from the audience.
Grown Ups. Really? Looks like a 90’s SNL reunion, plus a few others, where the boys will be boys, forever after! Look for Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Kevin James, Maya Rudolph, Salma Hayek, Colin Quinn, Tim Meadows, David Spade, and Rob Schneider in the mix. Does the comedic star power guarantee a hit? Again, chuckles for this one….
The Kids Are All Right. Julianne Moore and Annette Bening head the perfect family until their children conceived through artificial insemination decide to track down their sperm donor-father, Mark Ruffalo! Lots of comedic possibility here! Sundance hit!! Even more chuckles….
Life During Wartime (Landmark). Writer/Director Todd Solondz presents a dark comedy featuring an ensemble cast including Allison Janney, Ally Sheedy, Michael Lerner, Ciaran Hinds, Charlotte Rampling, Shirley Henderson, and Paul Reubens. The story features a dysfunctional family’s efforts to find love, hope, and forgiveness, but the trailer left audience hands scratching heads. Fans of his earlier film Happiness will recognize characters. Attendees were intrigued.
*Perrier’s Bounty (Landmark). Jim Broadbent, Brendan Gleeson, and Cillian Murphy star in a story about warring Irish gangsters.
Looks Like Trouble
Cyrus. Writer/Directors’, the Duplass brothers’ comedy features John C. Reilly, Marisa Tomei, Jonah Hill, and Catherine Keener. The guy meets the perfect gal and then her difficult-to-get- along-with son. Hilarious hijinks follow. Attendees laughed out loud.
Jonah Hex. Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, and Megan Fox, in a Western with a horrifically-branded bounty hunter seeking freedom and justice. Definitely a guy flick with Megan Fox adding some romantic interest.
Lottery Ticket. Terry Crews, Keith David, Ice Cube, Mike Epps, Loretta Devine, Bow Wow, and Bill Bellamy, are just a few of the ensemble cast in a comedy about a lottery prizewinner who must survive three days in the ‘hood before the ticket can be cashed in. Problem? Everyone else knows he has the winning ticket. There were more than a few cries of: “Blaxploitation lives!”
*Micmacs (Landmark). Writer/Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet (A Very Long Engagement, Amelie) casts Andre Dussollier, Dany Boon, Yolande Moreau, and Julie Ferrier in a mad-cap French comedy about the destruction of a munitions factory. The trailer aptly describes the movie as “inventive” and “visually entertaining.” The movie will appeal to those tending towards the irreverent. The trailer received voluminous applause.
The Other Guys. Mark Wahlberg, Will Ferrell, Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Eva Mendes in a comedy about rival NYPD detectives. Lots of action, a few chuckles. Guy flick.
Takers. Hayden Christensen, Idris Elba, Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Jay Hernandez, Michael Ealy, Chris Brown, and Zoe Saldana – the cute guys, plus one cute gal star in a crime caper that pits one detective hot on the trail against a bunch of bank robbers.
Girls Gone Wild
*I Am Love (Landmark). Tilda Swinton is cast as the lead as the Russian wife of a wealthy Italian who falls in love with the culinary delights and passion of her adult son’s friend with tragic consequences. Lush film, chick flick, includes the score of Pulitzer-prize winning John Adams. Bill assures that this “terrific” trailer does not give away the movie at all….
Knight and Day. Tom Cruise reprises his role as a secret agent who gets romantically involved with Cameron Diaz in this action/comedy/thriller.
Salt. Adam Spector says that Angelina Jolie returns to the screen in smokin’ hot kick-ass mode. Is she or isn’t she a Russian spy? Liev Schreiber and Chiwetel Ejiofor join the cast.
3-D Stands for Derivative, Dumb, and Desperate
Cats & Dogs: Revenge of Kitty Galore. Are you ready for this? Cats and dogs put aside inherent tendencies to attack each other to unite against a sinister cat foe. Voiceovers include Christina Applegate, Fred Armisen, Michael Clarke Duncan, Neil Patrick Harris, Sean Hayes, Bette Midler, and James Marsden. This trailer got lots of giggles.
The Last Airbender. Adam Spector says that the last airbender tries to save the world and M. Night Shyamalan’s career. The question is will dazzling special effects and solid action suffice?
Step Up 3-D. New York City dancers square off in hip-hop battle in 3-D.
*Toy Story 3. Andy’s all grown up and leaving for college. Time to get rid of childish things, like toys. Woody, Buzz et al find themselves in a daycare center and must fund a way to escape. The long-awaited and endearing sequel proves that third time’s the charm. Even better in 3-D.
The Real 3-D: Daring, Dynamic, Documentaries
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (Landmark). Meet Joan Rivers. This documentary showcases the life and works of the celebrated comedienne, talk show host, celebrity/fashion gabber, and Celebrity Apprentice.
*Restrepo (Landmark). An up close and personal view of U.S. soldiers fighting the war in Afghanistan.
Stonewall Uprising (Landmark). This is the story of the 1969 police raid of a gay bar in New York City where the patrons fought back and launched a revolution/evolution of gay pride.
Bring Your Kindle to the Cinema
Eat Pray Love. Julia Roberts, James Franco, Viola Davis, Richard Jenkins, and Javier Bardem, and Billy Crudup star in the film adaptation of the popular Elizabeth Gilbert account of her international travels to Italy, India, and Indonesia post a painful divorce.
*The Girl Who Played with Fire (Landmark). Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist star in this film adaption of the second of the popular Swedish novels trilogy (the first was “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) authored by Stieg Larsson. The journalist and computer hacker go after a sex-traffickjing enterprise. The trailer effectively captures the suspense of this mystery/action thriller.
The Killer Inside Me (Landmark). A barely recognizable Casey Affleck plays a deranged, small-town sheriff in this novel adaptation. Kate Hudson, Jessica Alba, Ned Beatty, Simon Baker, and Bill Pullman are amongst the supporting cast.
Ramona & Beezus. Joey King, Selena Gomez, John Corbett, Sandra Oh, and Josh Duhamel star in a family comedy based on the hilarious misadventures of Ramona Quimby, beloved lead character in the popular children’s book series written by Beverly Cleary.
Winter’s Bone (Landmark). A mountain girl seeks out her father to save the family home in this thriller. Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Kevin Breznahan, and Dale Dickey are amongst the cast.
*Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. Michael Douglass and Charlie Sheen return in Director Oliver Stone’s long- awaited sequel to Wall Street (1987). This time joined by Shia LaBoeuf as the protégé mentored by Gordon Gekko post prison release. Carey Mulligan, Susan Sarandon, Eli Wallach, and Frank Langella round out the cast. Will LaBoeuf learn that greed is good?
TRON: Legacy. A techno-whiz searching for his father finds himself immersed in the virtual reality world of video games. For older fans who remember playing these video arcade games or the Oscar-nominated 80’s film, TRON, this time it’s special effects are updated and presented in 3-D! Michael Sheen, Olivia Wilde, Jeff Bridges, and Garrett Hedlund are featured.
See you at the movies!
Calendar of Events
American Film Institute Silver Theater
"Totally Awesome IV: More Films of the 80s" is a summer retrospective of 80s films running from July to early September. Titles for July include The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Legend (1985), Clue (1985), Fletch (1985), Caddyshack (1980), Back to the Future (1985), The Blues Brothers (1980), Used Cars (1980), War Games (1983), Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), Re-Animator (1985), and The Fog (1980). More in August and September.
Celebrate Akira Kurosawa's centennial year with a retrospective of films. Part II runs from July through early September. Titles in July include Ran (1985), Stray Dog (1949), The Hidden Fortress (1958), Dersu Uzala (1975), The Bad Sleep Well (1960), High and Low (1963), Yojimbo (1961), Sanjuro (1962), and Red Beard (1965). More in August and September.
"The Films of Francois Truffaut, Part II" includes Day for Night (1973), Two English Girls (1971), The Story of Adele H (1975), Small Change (1976), The Man Who Loved Women (1977) with more in August and September.
Special engagements include a 1977 Japanese film House (Nobuhiko Obayahshi, 1977), an Iranian film Close-Up (Abbas Kiarostami, 1990), and restored 35mm prints of The Godfather Parts I and II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972 and 1974).
The AFI again hosts "NIH Science in the Cinema," a six-week series offering films with a medical or science-related theme. On July 7 is Snowcake (2006) with the theme of autism; on July 14 is Candy (2006) about drug addiction; on July 21 is Extraordinary Measures (2010) on rare diseases and on July 28 is In the Family (2008) about genetic testing. Two more in August.
"Michael Caine: A Class Act" is a 20 film retrospective of Caine's 50 year career. One title remains for July: Last Orders (2001)
A Michael Nichols retrospective ends July 1 with Charlie Wilson's War (2007).
Freer Gallery of Art
The 15th Annual Hong Kong Film Festival continues in July and August. On July 9 at 7:00pm and July 11 at 2:00pm is Vengeance (Johnnie To, 2009); on July 16 at 7:00pm and July 18 at 2:00pm is Ip Man (Wilson Yip, 2008); on July 23 at 7:00pm and July 25 at 2:00pm is Rule Number One (Kelvin Tong, 2008); and on July 30 at 7:00pm is The Contract (Michael Hui, 1978). The series concludes in August.
National Gallery of Art
Art films in July include Agnes Martin: With My Back to the World (Mary Lance, 2002) on July 2 at 12:30pm, The Painter Sam Francis (Jeffrey Perkins, 2008) on July 3 at 1:00pm, John Marin: Let the Paint Be Paint! (Michael Maglaras, 2010) with the filmmaker present to introduce the film and post-film discussion on July 3 at 3:00pm, Sam Gilliam (Rohini Talalla, 2008) on July 4 at 2:00pm and July 10 at 1:00pm, The Art of the Steal (Don Argott, 2009) preceded by From Impressionism to Modernism: The Chester Dale Collection (Carroll Moore, 2010) on July 4 at 4:30pm, and B-Side: Music in Barcelona (Eva Vila, 2009) on July 9 and 16 at 3:00pm.
"Phil Solomon: Rhapsodies in Silver" is a 3-part series of experimental films by Phil Solomon who will be present to introduce the first two. On July 10 at 3:00pm is "Elegies," on July 11 at 4:30pm is "Lullabies" and on July 17 at 1:00pm is "Nocturnes."
"Film and Reality in the 1930s: Roots of the Docudrama" looks at the beginnings of docudrama. On July 17 at 3:00pm is "The Political Documentary" with an introduction by Richard Koszarski, author of the book Hollywood on the Hudson: Film and Television in New York from Griffith to Samoff and includes four films. On July 24 at 1:00pm is "The March of Time: Seventy-fifth Anniversary" including the feature length The Ramparts We Watch (1940) and three short episodes from the 1930s.
The Gallery's annual preservation series focuses on Il Cinema Ritrovato, a festival in Bologna including restorations, rediscoveries and rare films from archives and private collectors. On July 18 at 4:30pm is The Mummy (Shadi Abdel Salam, 1969); on July 24 at 4:00pm is The Matinee Idol (Frank Capra, 1928) preceded by Fiddlesticks (Harry Edwards, 1927); on July 25 at 4:30pm is The Miracle Woman (Frank Capra, 1931); on July 31 at 2:00pm is The Way of the Strong (Frank Capra, 1928) and on July 31 at 3:30pm is Ladies of Leisure (Frank Capra, 1930). More in August.
National Museum of the American Indian
Shown daily at 12:30pm is Native American Veterans: Storytelling for Healing (2009), a short film about Native Americans on active duty in the US military. At 3:30pm is a feature length film Free Land (Minda Martin, 2009) comparing today's chronic homelessness with the homelessness imposed on the Cherokee Nation 170 years earlier.
"Argentina at the Smithsonian" includes short films and a feature. On July 31 at 11:30pm is a program of two short films by pioneer ethnographic filmmaker Jorge Preloran: Chucalezna (1968) and Señalada en Juella (1969). On July 31 at 1:30pm is Cochengo Miranda (Jorge Preloran, 1974) a feature-length film about the life of ranchers in the western pampas of Argentina.
On July 17 at 2:00pm is Snow Falling on Cedars (Scott Hicks, 1999), set in 1951 and based on the award-winning book by David Guterson.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
To accompany the new exhibition "Telling Stories: Norman Rockwell fom the Collections of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg" is a series of classic films reflecting the values of community and family found in Rockwell's paintings. On July 8 at 6:30pm is Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (Frank Capra, 1935) and on July 22 at 6:30pm is Saving Private Ryan (Steven Spielberg, 1998).
Washington Jewish Community Center
On July 27 at 7:30pm is Eli and Ben (Ori Ravid, 2009), a drama from Israel starring Lior Ashkenazi as a person accused of accepting bribes and the effect it has on his son.
To celebrate the Berlin International Film Festival's 60th year is a series of seven films from past festivals chosen by Dieter Kosslick, manager of the Berlinale. The remaining film in the series is Head-On (Fatih Akin, 2004) on July 12 at 6:30pm, winner of the Golden Bear Award in Berlin, about Turkish immigrants in Germany.
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will accompany a screening of the award-winning documentary Planet Earth on July 8 at 8:00pm.
National Geographic Society
The African Diaspora Film Festival will feature a selection of 10 independent films, eight of which are area premieres, during four days in July. On July 22 at 7:00pm is Freedom Riders (Stanley Nelson) about the Civil Rights workers in 1961; on July 23 at 6:00pm is an "African Griots Program" of two shorts films Sotigui Kouyate: A Modern Griot (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun) and Wole Soyinka: Child of the Forest (Akin Omotoso); and at 8:30pm is Made in Jamaica (Jerome Laperrousaz) about Reggae. On July 24 at 12:30pm is Silent Shame (Juan Jose Frausto), at 3:30pm is Katanga Business (Thierry Michel) about the Congo, at 6:00pm is The Harimaya Bridge (Aaron Woolfolk) about an African man in Japan, and at 8:30pm is "African Griots Program." On July 25 at 1:00pm is Up From the Bottoms (James Schaub), about the migration of African Americans from the South to the North, at 3:00pm is Black and White in Exile (Ray Blanco), a documentary about Cuban and Haitian exiles in the US; and at 5:30pm is Pro-Black Sheep (Clayton Broomes, Jr.) which will be followed by a discussion with the director and lead actor.
On July 7 at 7:00pm is a program of short French films on DVD. Titles include Paul Rondin is... Paul Rondin (Frédérick Vin, 2008); Skhizein (Jérémy Clapin, 2008); Brainstorming (David Freymond, 2009), Jeanine Sophie Reine, 2009), The Skeleton Woman (Sarah Van Den Boom, 2009), Ya Basta! (Gustave Kervern, 2010) and The Man in the Blue Gordini (Jean-Christophe Lie, 2009). Reservations are required.
The Japan Information and Culture Center
On July 21 at 6:30pm is Tokyo Sonata (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2009), a story about a salaryman who loses his job and his attempt to hide that fact from his family; the film received several awards at film festivals. On July 30 at 6:30pm is Death Note 3: L Change the World (Hideo Nakata). Reservations are required; consult the website.
The National Theatre
This year's summer cinema features "Cary Grant: A Star to Remember." On July 12 at 6:30pm is An Affair to Remember (Leo McCarey, 1957); on July 19 at 6:30pm is His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940) with three more in August.
National Institutes of Health
Films with a medical or scientific theme are hosted by the AFI. See above. Discussion will follow the screenings with an expert in each scientific field.
Screen on the Green
Watch classic films on a gigantic movie screen on the mall. "Screen on the Green" is back this summer with films shown at dusk (approximately 8:30pm) on Monday nights. Bring a blanket. On July 12 is Goldfinger (1964) with Sean Connery as James Bond; on July 19 is The Goodbye Girl (1977) with Oscar-winning Richard Dreyfuss and on July 26 is Twelve Angry Men (1957) starring Henry Fonda. One more in August.
To accompany the exhibit "Discovering the Civil War" is a screening of The Red Badge of Courage (John Huston, 1951) on July 17 at noon, based on the novel by Stephen Crane and starring Audie Murphy.
To celebrate the Boy Scouts of America's Centennial Celebration is a program of archival films on July 26, 29 and 30 at noon: a silent film from 1925 Good Turns for Our Forests with scouts demonstrating fire prevention methods and The US Army and the Boy Scouts, a 1962 episode from the US Army's promotion series "The Big Picture."
The Avalon starts a new series of Greek films on the first Wednesday of each month. On July 7 is Athanasia, Well Kept Secrets (Panos Karkanevatos, 2008), about an American woman who returns to her Greek roots to look for her father.
For this month's "Czech Lions" series is Protektor (Marek Najbrt, 2009) on July 14 at 8:00pm, set in 1938 about an upcoming actress who has to confront her Jewish heritage.
The "French Cinematheque" film for July is Skirt Day (Jean-Paul Lilienfeld, 2008) on July 21 at 8:00pm, starring Isabel Adjani as a teacher in a bad neighborhood who takes her class hostage.
To accompany the exhibition on the paintings of Chuck Close is a documentary film Chuck Close (Marion Cajori) on July 21 at 7:00pm.
On July 31 at 8:30pm the National Symphony Orchestra will accompany "The Planets," a suite of seven HD short films produced to accompany live performances of the popular orchestral suite. The program will include music from Avatar, Wall-E, Lost in Space, Star Wars, ET and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Atlas Performing Arts
Atlas Arts hosts the "Gay 101" series of films. On July 1 is Breakfast at Tiffany's; on July 8 is Auntie Mame; on July 15 is La Cage Aux Folles; on July 22 is Valley of the Dolls; and on July 29 is Where the Boys Are. All films begin at 8:00pm. More in August.