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Of all the “it” directors right now, it still seems odd to count Ben Affleck among them even though the greatness of his first two efforts (Gone Baby Gone and The Town) are hard to deny. Affleck is back with Argo, the true tale of a government exfiltration team who poses as a film crew to smuggle captured dignitaries out of Iran.
Also garnering significant early acclaim is Killer Joe, the dark comedy starring Mathew McConaughey from director William Friedkin, and we have the first trailer. Capping things off this week are the red-band trailers for The Dictator and The Watch (formerly Neighborhood Watch), two hard-R movies that are on most people’s “uncertainty” radar. You can talk the talk, but will you watch The Watch? It’s Trailer Tracker.
Based on 1979’s “The Canadian Caper,” and the subject of many documentaries and television movies, Argo tells the true story of a Canadian/U.S. covert rescue of six American Diplomats who became trapped in revolutionary Iran after their embassy was seized. The notoriety of the mission came from the fact the team posed as a movie crew in order to get in an out of the dangerous country and as the trailer explains, “Argo” is the name of the fake screenplay for their fake movie. Argo comes from director Ben Affleck (he also stars) and joins cast members the likes of Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, Clea DuVall, John Goodman, Michael Parks and Taylor Schilling.
The period, late '70s vibe is damn strong in the trailer (try getting away with a hairdo and glasses like that today) and carries a similar dramatic (but lightly comedic) feel utilized in efforts like Charlie Wilson’s War and Catch Me if You Can, which were also based on true events. If the great (if not overly familiar) cast isn’t enough to convince you that this could be a third straight hit for Affleck, it is also produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov (The Ides of March) and written by a first-timer by the name of Chris Terrio. It is doubtful this will carry quite as much mainstream appeal as The Town, but the trailer does a great job of setting up the scenario and tossing out some punchy dialogue, all while keeping some “heist” elements intact.
Recently branded with the dreaded NC-17 rating, William Friedkin’s (The Exorcist, The French Connection) Killer Joe tells the violent Texas tale of Joe Cooper (Mathew McConaughey), a police officer and hitman who becomes embroiled in the murder plot of a woman, whose son wants to collect her life insurance. Emile Hirsch will play said son and will be joined by Juno Temple, Thomas Hayden Church and Gina Gershon. Killer Joe snatched up some great early reviews after its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, in particular for McConaughey’s apparently fierce performance. Most fans of the actor will likely skip this particular endeavour (the NC-17 should help that along), but that’s not to say they shouldn’t give it a chance.
The Dictator (Red Band)
Set to his theaters next Wednesday, The Dictator has already had a great deal of exposure thanks to viral videos, the appearance of the character on SNL and at the Oscars, as well a handful of earlier trailers. The red band trailer contains a lot of footage already seen, but tosses in a few new (and quite funny) scenes, including Sacha Baron Cohen’s character assisting in a birth, some more of John C. Reilly and a longer look at the titular character scaring the crap out of tourists in a helicopter. Pretty much, we’ve seen all we need to see regarding this film and if you’re not sold yet, I can’t see anything more forthcoming that will convince you.
The Watch (Red Band)
Now here’s a weirdly hilarious mess of a trailer. Recently changed from Neighborhood Watch to just The Watch in light of the shooting Trayvon Martin by an overexcited neighborhood watch guard, Fox has been frantically trying to rebrand the comedy, abandoning the marketing that makes it seem like a standard order “men acting like boys” offering and instead focusing on the alien invasion angle. This trailer is extremely profane and essentially structureless, simply tossing out a few of the raunchy comedic sequences and little else. I suppose the important thing that in spite of the general oddness of this clip, I did laugh a number of times. I guess condom-talk, exploding cows and alien semen is my thing.