The trailers for three upcoming films have made their way online in the last couple of days: After Earth, Oblivion, and Man of Steel. Let’s tackle them one by one…
This one could really go either way. I’m not overly impressed by the trailer – the story seems a bit familiar, and there’s lotsa mediocre CGI – especially with the animals. I think Life Of Pi set a new standard for what CGI animals should look like, and After Earth isn’t up to that standard. That said, I did like some of the wing suit footage. That stuff looks pretty neat. And I have a thing for father-son stories. That aspect of the film has the potential to work really well here as Will Smith and his son Jaden are playing the roles of father and son. I really liked Jaden in his last film (2010’s The Karate Kid). And the elder Smith is a lot of fun to watch in pretty much any role.
My favourite thing about this trailer is what it doesn’t say. This is an M. Night Shyamlan film (what a twist!). I feel like most of his previous films have had his name pretty front and center in the marketing. But I guess it doesn’t carry the same weight these days.
After Earth has a number of writers credited, including Shyamalan himself. The other big name involved is writer Stephen Gaghan, who’s worked on such films as Traffic (for which he won an Oscar in 2001) and Syriana (for which he gained an Oscar nomination in 2006). After Earth opens June 6th, 2013.
Covering somewhat similar territory as the last movie here, what with the whole “earth is a smoking ruin” theme. But I have to say I like the look of this one a lot better. I just liked the way the trailer worked in a series of reveals. Our hero (played by Tom Cruise) is knocked out, and wakes up in the captivity of… Morgan Freeman?! Didn’t see that one coming. The girl he’s so chummy with at the beginning (Andrea Riseborough, who you might remember as Wallis Simpson in W.E.) appears to be double crossing him? And how exactly does Olga Kurylenko factor into everything? Why have parts of Cruise’s memories seemingly been wiped? What’s going on?!
This is the kind of thing a good trailer should do. After having watched it, I want to know more. I’m intrigued. And that feeling only grows when I look at the cast list. Apparently Melissa Leo and Zoe Bell are in this thing too?
As with After Earth, a gang of writers were brought in for Oblivion. Joseph Kosinski (who also directed), Michael Arndt (of Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3 fame), William Monaghan (Kingdom Of Heaven and The Departed) are just some of the writers credited.
From a visuals perspective, things just look nicer overall in Oblivion. I mentioned Life Of Pi earlier, and Claudio Miranda is the cinematographer for both that film and this one. So maybe that’s why. Oh, since I didn’t mention it before, the cinematographer for After Earth is Peter Suschitzky (a frequent collaborator of David Cronenberg). Oblivion opens April 12, 2013.
Man Of Steel
I have to confess I’ve paid little to no attention to Man Of Steel so far. I knew Zack Snyder was directing, and I knew Henry Cavill was gonna be Superman. But that was essentially it. So this trailer packed in some great reveals for me. Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Clark Kent’s parents (actually I may have known that, but if I did I forgot about it until seeing this jogged my memory)? Great choices. And I definitely didn’t know Amy Adams was Lois Lane, so that’s pretty awesome. And Russell Crowe is Jor-El? This just gets better and better. A peek at the cast list also shows Laurence Fishburne is Perry White. I can see him taking what I imagine is a pretty small role and having some fun with it. And this trailer doesn’t show it, but Michael Shannon is General Zod. He’s done some great work in the realm of cinematic villainy lately. (Did you see him in Premium Rush? The sets had his teeth marks all over them.) So I’m expecting big things from him.
All in all, even though this trailer is covering well-trod ground (another superhero origin story?) I’m sold. Chris Nolan and David S. Goyer teamed up for the story and Goyer got sole credit on the screenplay. These guys worked together on Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and yeah, that seemed to work out pretty well. Let’s see if they can work wonders for DC’s other big superhero. Man Of Steel opens June 14, 2013.