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Archive for July, 2012


Trailer Watch: Marjane Satrapi’s Chicken with Plums

Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud’s animated adaptation of Satrapi’s much-heralded Persepolis was, in many ways, better than the original two-volume (in America) graphic novels. The story de-emphasized the somewhat self-indulgent second volume — and, to be blunt, it was much better drawn. (For all her storytelling skills, I don’t much care for her drawing.)

The co-directors have teamed up again for an adaptation of Satrapi’s Chicken with Plums, the story her of great-uncle, a renowned musician in 1950’s Iran.

Here’s the synopsis of the graphic novel:

We are in Tehran in 1958, and Nasser Ali Khan, one of Iran’s most revered tar players, discovers that his beloved instrument is irreparably damaged. Though he tries, he cannot find one to replace it, one whose sound speaks to him with the same power and passion with which his music speaks to others. In despair, he takes to his bed, renouncing the world and all its pleasures, closing the door on the demands and love of his wife and his four children. Over the course of the week that follows, his family and close friends attempt to change his mind, but Nasser Ali slips further and further into his own reveries: flashbacks and flash-forwards (with unexpected appearances by the likes of the Angel of Death and Sophia Loren) from his own childhood through his children’s futures. And as the pieces of his story slowly fall into place, we begin to understand the profundity of his decision to give up life.

Nasser Ali Khan is played by Mathieu Almaric (Quantum of Solace, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) and seems to have been turned into a violinist for the film for some reason, but otherwise, several of these “reveries” make appearances in the trailer. While this film is live action, there’s an artificiality to the whole production that is really beautifully done, heightening the story to almost the level of myth. It looks beautiful.

Alongside Almaric are Edouard Baer, Maria de Medeiros, Golshifteh Farahani, Eric Caravaca, and Chiara Mastroianni. The film came out last year in France, but finally makes it to the States on August 17th.

(via Comics Beat)

Trailer Watch: Ang Lee’s Life of Pi

I didn’t fall completely in love with Yann Martel’s novel Life of Pi — there were parts I loved and parts I didn’t, but the ending pulled it all together for me, even after a late turn in the story kind of pushed me away.

I am, though, a fan of Ang Lee (when he’s not directing Hulk), and the trailer for its long-awated feature adaptation looks beautiful. The big question mark will be the script by David Magee (Finding Neverland) and how well Ang Lee can handle the tone of the books… trickier parts. (I think there’s a little irony in the choice of David Magee, but it would be a bit of a spoiler to say why, unfortunately.)

Alongside Sharma as Pi, Tobey Maguire, Irrfan Khan (Amazing Spider-Man) and Gérard Depardieu round out the cast. The film will hit the US on November 21, 2012. Definitely gunning for an Oscar. (Oh yeah: it’ll be in 3D, of course.)

Trailer Watch: Zack Snyder gives good trailer to the Man of Steel

It’s no secret that I don’t like Zack Snyder’s films. Watchmen was good, but missed the point of the comics in several ways, and 300 and Sucker Punch were both pretty, brain-dead slogs for me. Clearly, he has his fans. (I’m told Dawn of the Dead doesn’t do this, but haven’t bothered to see it yet.) And yet every one of their trailers was pretty great. The teaser trailer(s) for Man of Steel is no exception in that regard.

I’m honestly surprised, though: it’s not just AWESOME cranked up to 11. It feels mature. It feels grown-up. It looks grounded in reality (or as grounded in reality as a film about a man who can fly can get). Its tone is… really kind of beautiful. The presence of red and blue and nearly every shot of the trailer, all presumably from footage before Clark takes on the cape, is clever (and far more subtle than that sounds).

It’s easy to assume producer Christopher Nolan had some influence with that, but I think that would be unfair to Mr. Snyder. Still, his trailers have been good before, and his films… less good, so I don’t want to get my hopes up too much for a great Superman film. We’ll see next year.

The footage in both of these teasers is identical (I think), but the voiceovers are different, so check them both out:

Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel stars Henry Cavill, Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, Diane Lane and Kevin Costner as Martha and Jonathan Kent, Michael Shannon, Antje Traue (Pandorum), Ayelet Zurer, and Russell Crowe as Jor-El. The film is slated for a June 14, 2013 release.

Trailer Watch: Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, and Isla Fisher in Bachelorette

Yeah, yeah, shades of Bridesmaids. But this is darker and meaner and has a really strong cast: Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, and Isla Fisher star as a trio of horrible, horrible women whose ex-hot friend (Rebel Wilson) gets married, and the three reluctantly? bitchily? go along for the ride. Hilarity ensues — or, at least, that’s the idea.

Kyle Bornheimer, Hayes MacArthur, James Marsden, and Adam Scott star in writer-director Leslye Headland’s film, which opens on September 7th after a VOD premier in August.

The synopsis (much of which you can pick up from the trailer) follows, after the break: