Sometimes it seems like Hollywood doesn’t have its priorities straight anymore. Film studios seem to be preoccupied with nothing but superhero sequels, movies based on board games and interminable rom-coms. But thankfully, there’s still at least one thing they’re good at: distilling a film’s premise into a two-minute clip full of quick cuts, thumping music and dramatic voiceovers. Every week, we'll serve up Hollywood’s hottest trailers without making you pay for a movie ticket. We all know the previews are the best part anyway.
Christmas came early this week for us trailer junkies. We were treated to new looks at several promising movies. In this installment, James Franco adds “ruler of Oz” to his ever-growing list of professions, and Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe share a bath. Also, LES MISERABLES, YOU GUYS.
Release Date: Dec. 25, 2012
Who’s In It?: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen
What’s It About?: The classic, beloved musical finally hits the big screen. For the uninitiated, Les Mis centers around an escaped convict (Jackman) who builds a new life for himself in 19th century France while dodging an obsessed policeman (Crowe), adopts a little girl and finds himself in the middle of a students’ revolution. Yeah, everyone was talking about that last trailer, with Anne Hathaway sobbing her way through the stirring “I Dreamed a Dream,” so what does this new look offer? The answer is a whole lot. While Hathaway’s character, Fantine, serves as an emotional center of the story and gets to sing one of the best songs, the fact is that she disappears about a third of the way through the story. In addition to renditions of the stirring “One Day More” (which the cast of SNL took on last weekend) and “Do You Hear the People Sing?” this trailer gives us a look at some of the more minor members of the ensemble cast, including newcomer Samantha Barks as Eponine. And as she proved at the 25th Anniversary Concert, she’s more than ready. There's also Baron Cohen and Bonham Carter as the sinister Thénardiers, and that cute little girl who ends up on every poster. The cinematography is beautiful, the epic scale is unmatched and just try not to succumb to the charms of the rousing score. So yeah, this one looks pretty solid.
Russell Crowe’s Singing Experience:Um, he was in a band?
Oz: The Great and Powerful
Release Date: March 8, 2013
Who’s In It?: James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams
What’s It About?: Apparently, so much happened before Dorothy dropped in. Oof, sorry guys. I am a theatre major, after all. But while Wicked focused on the origin stories of the witches, Oz takes on the man himself: the wizard. It turns out he got to the Emerald City much like Dorothy did; he flew in from Oz via tornado, and suddenly his screen widened and everything was in color. Circus magician Oscar Diggs (Franco) is thrust into a strange new world that believes he's the savior it has been waiting for. The trailer shows us Franco’s character’s journey from fish out of water to the Wizard of Oz we all know, although it could do a better job of introducing the characters played by Kunis, Williams and Weisz. Complicated scholarly research reveals that Kunis is playing the Wicked Witch of the West (Theodora, although my fellow theatre majors know her as Elphaba), Williams is the beloved Glinda and Weisz is the house-prone Witch of the East. The visuals look stunning and the cast is top-notch, but let’s hope this take on the classic tale successfully straddles the line between revisionism and homage to the classic movie.
But It Can’t Get Any Weirder Than: That time Zooey Deschanel was Dorothy.
A Young Doctor’s Notebook
Release Date: No U.S. release has been scheduled, but it debuts on British TV Dec. 6.
Who’s In It?:Harry Potter and Don Draper
What’s It About?: Based on a series of Russian short stories, this miniseries examines a young doctor (Hamm) who views his life and work through a series of interchanges with his younger self (Radcliffe). Information on this one is scarce, as it's an under-the-radar British television miniseries, but Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe sharing a bathtub (much less in the same movie) should be enough to make Tumblr explode. The interplay between the two (who surprisingly quite resemble each other when paired side-by-side) seems quick, witty and delightful, even if the rest of the humor showcased isn’t (ha ha ha, he bumped his head on a lamp!). Oh well, British humor doesn’t always make sense to us Yanks. With the pedigree of its two main actors, it will definitely make its way stateside, so keep an eye on this one.
Get Ready to See A Lot of GIFs Of: Daniel Radcliffe saying “pass me the loofah."