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Archive for December 18th, 2011


Trailer Watch: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Based on an acclaimed novel, adapted by Oscar-winning screenwriter, solid cast, strong use of music, whole plot broadcast in the trailer so the risk-averse masses are reassured that everything works out alright in the end before walking into the theater… Check, check, check, check, and check. Director Lasse Hallström has been honing his Oscar-ready craft for years and has, perhaps, become a little too slick for his own good. (To my mind, he peaked with his debut, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, while film geeks would likely cite the Criterion-approved My Life as a Dog, made in his native Sweden.)

And yet… as a trailer, at least, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen works, but even so, I’m kind of surprised this is being pushed out in March, 2012, then, rather than this month — basically a no-confidence vote from the studio as far as awards go, as the Academy voters have a notoriously short memory.

Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, and Kristin Scott Thomas star.

Trailer Watch: Act of Valor trailer #3

A new trailer for Act of Valor has hit the interwebs — and there’s not much more to add, really, since the trailer itself doesn’t add much to the earlier trailer I posted a while back. Viewed solely as an action movie, it looks pretty awesome, with the only major wildcard being whether or not the story can string together the action sequences well enough and the actors can be convincing enough in the quiet scenes.

There’s the obvious (and tiresome) criticism that this is nothing more than propaganda, since it was created with the approval of the Navy. But really, how are films like The Kingdom or… well, anything Michael Bay does… and video games like Call of Duty or Battlefield not the same this way? Are we so stupid that we can’t enjoy it on its own merits, divorced from who gave it the green light? I don’t think we are.

Act of Valor stars Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez and Nestor Serrano. The film was directed by Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh and hits theaters on February 17, 2012.