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Trailer Tracker: Safe House, Wanderlust and More

From confinement to joyful
exploration, from mischief to revenge, there is never a shortage of genres when
it comes to movies – or their trailers. Our featured clip this week is the
psychological action thriller Safe House
with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds about a lone federal agent tasked with
transporting a dangerous fugitive. Director David Wain of Role Models fame reteams with Paul Rudd for Wanderlust, also starring Jennifer Aniston.
The Hangover director Todd Phillips presents us the
hand-held camera, house-party-gone-wild flick,
Project X, and finally for a bit of foreign flavor is the Yakuza
gangster flick
Outrage. The only
thing I’m angry about is that there are too many clips and so little time — it’s
Trailer Tracker.

New clips this week:

Safe House
Project X

Safe House

Proven talent and a rising
star team up for Safe House, where
an ex-CIA agent (Denzel Washington) is put under the care of a safe house guard
(Ryan Reynolds) before the secure location is besieged by armed gunmen. From
then on it is an action chase flick, with
Washington’s spy waging psychological war on
the frantic agent as he tries to get the suspect to another facility. There are
sure to be twists and turns galore here, as doubts will be raised about the nature of these
attackers (are they actually working for the government?) and is
the suave inmate really as guilty as he is claimed to be? This cat-and-mouse
angle mixed into an action-packed chase thriller seems to offer the entire
package for an entertaining diversion.


Safe House
is directed by amateur Swedish director David Espinosa from a script from an
equally novice screenwriter by the name of David Guggenheim, so the potential
is certainly there for a breakout contribution. If the actual movie will be
primarily a thriller or shoot-em’-up remains to be the seen, but the trailer
certainly indicates the latter, as it’s crammed with gun fights, explosions and
car chases — a pyro’s dream. Brendan Gleeson, Robert Patrick and Vera Farmiga
also join the already strong cast, though one has to be wary of a Feb. 10
release window as the first two months of the year usually serve as a dead
zone for quality fare. Regardless, the trailer has me pumped and shows that a
full year without Denzel is too long to wait.


Crisis: may it be midlife,
of identity or some sort of disaster, it always serves as a helpful catalyst
when writers are looking for a way to shake things up and send a story in a
different direction. In Wanderlust – a
word meaning just as you would think: a desire to travel in new directions – a
couple played by Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston purchase a place in
New York just as he
loses his job. Desperate, they head off to
Georgia to shack up with family,
but find unexpected happiness at a bed and breakfast hotel that turns out to be
a hippie commune. The premise and talent of Wanderlust
are strong, but the trailer is of the so-so variety. I laughed out loud at
one scene, and cringed at the eccentricity of another (though director David
Wain’s Role Models contained a
similar blend and worked) so peg me as very interested.

Project X

What if the “found
footage” genre found a house party? Well, Project
 lands us in a Superbad-style setting, whereby a few teen buddies decide to throw
the rager of their high school tenure, with the execution spiralling out of
control as the epic party explodes into mayhem. Obviously not a horror film,
and seemingly not an after-the-fact “discovery” of events but rather a faux
documentary of sorts, the execution intrigues me more than the plot. Writer/director
Todd Phillips producing in a godfather-like role only amps up the potential of
this “gone wild” adventure.


After competing for the
Palm D’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, cult director Takeshi Kitano’s
Japanese gangster flick Outrage slips
closer to a North American release. Outrage
focuses on an inner struggle between some of the upper echelon of the crime
syndicate, including revenge and betrayal – is there any other kind? Often
originating in
Asia if not giving fantastic
spins on the genre, I often take note of these kinds of films if (potentially)
made available towards an English-speaking audience.


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