Trailer Roundup: BIRDMAN, SIN CITY 2, RAGE, and COHERENCE

 

Trailer Roundup
We dig trailers and Trailer Roundup brings you a selection that are either highly anticipated, interesting for discussion, or simply look awesome to us. The intent here at Cinapse isn’t to bring the newest, quickest, most hot-off-the-presses stuff, but simply to highlight what has come out recently (whether large or small) and to discuss what we’re digging and not digging. And unlike much of the (often soul-crushing) marketing machine that grinds on and on in Hollywood, the trailer remains a promotional tool that can be art in and of itself, and is often the best indicator of tone, scope, and style for an upcoming feature. Let us know what you think about these trailers!

This week the Birdman trailer comes from out of nowhere and becomes one of the most anticipated films of the year, we get a solid peek at Sin City 2, and I compare the merits of a low budget Nic Cage actioner to a buzzed about sci-fi indie. Read along and let us know what you think.

BIRDMAN

Now that I’ve seen the trailer, I remember seeing a production still online a few months ago featuring a really cool-looking costume for a Birdman movie, but hearing that it wasn’t a traditional superhero film so much as, well, whatever is going on in this amazing trailer:

 

It goes without saying that casting Michael Keaton as a washed up actor who used to have his own superhero franchise under his belt is a stroke of genius. But having Alejandro G. Innaritu behind the camera inspires an enormous amount of confidence that the promise of this trailer will deliver in the theater. The rest of the cast looks remarkable and clearly there’s even a VFX budget thrown into the mix. Maybe Birdman, Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance) will be the higher profile, more prestigious version of JCVD that none of us knew we needed? All I know is that this film has become one of my most anticipated of the year with this single trailer. The tone, the premise, the cast, the director… I’m all in.

Are you still on the Innaritu train? Or has some of his more divisive recent stuff turned you off?

Birdman swoops into theaters and plucks out your eyeballs in Fall 2014.

SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR

I used to LOVE filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. His films were my scene, his rebellious spirit felt fresh, and his ingenuity was undeniable. His Troublemaker Studios is based here in Austin, TX and he’s got some legendary status around these parts… with all the good and bad that can come from being a legend. But I have to say that his most recent output has been rough… even for me as a fan. I liked Machete way more than I should have, but couldn’t stand its sequel. But basically since the original Sin City Rodriguez’ movies have felt budget cut; rather than feeling filled with ingenuity… they just feel cheap. So I am pretty excited about his return to the world of Sin City as, in some ways, that feels like his last “big” movie.

 

As with the first film, this cast is very exciting. Powers Boothe hamming it up as a villain, Joseph Gordon Levitt fitting into this world like a glove, Josh Brolin continuing to try and find a hit, and the ever surprising Eva Green who single-handedly put the 300 sequel on the map. Then a whole mess of returning characters and a pretty visually wonderful aesthetic, and you can count me cautiously optimistic.

Does Frank Miller writing the screenplay for his own material skeeve you out, or do you think this one might be on par with the first film?

Go into Sin City: A Dame To Kill For with your eyes open on August 22nd, or you won’t come out at all.

RAGE

Here’s an interesting trailer (assuming you’re as fascinated by Nic Cage as many of us correct people are). What you’ve got here is a blatant Taken rip off that has a surprisingly slick trailer featuring a really solid cast and some decent visuals…

 

… but when you look “under the hood” you see writers whose previous work includes Giallo and Wesley Snipes’ Game Of Death (Jim Agnew) and SyFy-level films Mammoth and Kraken (Sean Keller). I’m not meaning to judge these folks sight unseen, but none of these titles suggest that Rage will rise above the Taken rip-off status that its trailer suggests, even if the visuals (director Paco Cabezas is a primarily Spanish-language genre director, so maybe he’ll be the behind the camera break out here?) and cast appear to offer something of a higher caliber than most DTV fare.

Rage supposedly hits US theaters on July 11th, but I’d bank on finding it soon after that in a Redbox near you!

COHERENCE

I paired this trailer with Rage intentionally, because they’re probably a case study in opposites. Whereas Rage‘s trailer looks kind of slick and has a cast filled with recognizable names, but will most likely be exactly what it is selling and nothing more, Coherence has a very unassuming trailer, but the buzz around it is overwhelmingly positive.

 

If I’m being totally honest, this trailer explains little and offers not much to go on… but if the Fantastic Fest crowd is to be believed, then Coherence offers something truly special. And this is an example where looking “under the hood” exposes an exciting distribution firm picking it up in the US (Oscilloscope) and a director (James Ward Byrkit) who cut his teeth on short films and storyboarding and writing on Rango, and a few of the Pirates films!

As a side note: What is up with so many recent films featuring old friends/frenemies getting together in a single house for some kind of meal or reunion, and then all kinds of crazy stuff happening? I guess this is an easy premise for a low budget film, and to highlight some actors. But even today I just watched a trailer for the upcoming Goodbye World which has a remarkably similar premise to this one, and a number of festival screeners I’ve seen making the rounds have the same structure as well. Just an observation/frustration… and from what I hear Coherence rises above the cut.

Does anything in this trailer excite you, or have you heard any of the buzz that I have?

Coherence enters our theatrical orbit June 20th.

And I’m Out.

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the author

Ed changed careers and moved halfway across the country from Maryland to Austin with his amazingly understanding wife just to figure out how to earn a living watching movies. He once heard it said that NY/LA are where you go to MAKE movies, but Austin is where you go to WATCH movies. And that is the truth. But seriously, if anyone knows how to make a living watching movies, please let him know. Twitter: @Ed_Travis

  • Jon Partridge

    Coherence is fantastic, one of my faves of FF. I have a screener and my review will run later this week. But…it is one of those movies you REALLY don’t want to know much about and just enjoy the ride. Very clever and fascinating piece of film making.